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the land, where they had previously worshiped. But this allusion to the feasts is only a forced explanation; and
be answered at once, that in the Hebrew calendar the Passover must have been at least as ancient a feast as the Tabernacles, although, as it involves the idea of foreign influence, it may have been celebrated later. Besides an additional argument is afforded by these feasts for the adoption of the later arrangement of the year, since the seventh new moon was already deemed holy', although it may appear that this peculiarity was merely an extension of the seventh day or sabbath to longer periods. On the whole, there only remains this one passage of Genesis referring to a year of 365 days. Herodotus? and Diodoruss attribute the regular solar year to the Egyptians, who may at that time have had it; but it would be absurd to refer this myth of the deluge to Egypt, since that country is under water in August, and besides it has no record or tradition of any particular deluge.
On the other side, the allusions in Genesis to the origin of the giants, the rainbow, the name of Noah“, and various other circumstances, indicate the connection of the narrative with the mythology of Central Asia; and the mention of the flat river-boats made of pine-wood points to the country (of the Euphrates and Tigris) beyond Babylon. It was precisely here too that, in accordance with the most exact calculations of the ancient astronomers, Nabonassar introduced a complete solar year, B.C. 7475, and hence this æra of Nabonassar supplies a date for the first origin of the poetical narrative of the flood.
2 Herod. ii. 4.
1 Levit. xxiii. 24; Numb. xxix. 1.
5 Compare Gen. v. 22, 23.
It should also be remembered, that the whole of the district of Babylon was unknown to the Jews before the Exile to that country (B.c. 587), and that the narrator of the Flood adds the distinction made by Zoroaster between clean and unclean animals; so that, from these various circumstances, pretty clear information is afforded, to an impartial person, as to the period when the narrative was composed.
[Remarks of Professor Tuch on the Narrative of the Flood
THERE is a manifest unity both in the plan and description of the flood now under consideration : we find at first a statement of its cause, with an announcement of the catastrophe, and the mention of the means of deliverance for those who were to survive it; a more distinct command is then given, and information is afforded respecting the punishment of the world, in accordance with the prediction; and a new epoch for the world begins with Noah, after the flood ?. In this narrative however, if anywhere in Genesis, ample evidence is given of a compilation of heterogeneous portions; and we may easily trace in it the course of the earliest narrative, which formed a foundation for the other parts. The first author's intention was to stop at chapter v. verse 32, with the mention of Noah and the birth of his three sons.
1 Tuch's Commentary, p. 139.
2 Compare Ewald, Comp. der Gen. pp. 82, 203, &c.; Ranke, Untersuchungen (Researches), p. 172, &c.
title, Elleh t'olědoth Noach (these are the generations of Noah), chapter vi. ver. 9, separates Noah's history as a distinct narrative. Noah is described as a just man, and as opposed to a degenerate race; so that the description of the corruption of the earth in the earliest document, (vi. 9–12,) sufficiently accounts for the approaching flood, in which only Noah with his family are to be saved. The well-known declarations and orders of vi. 13-22 follow, in which the mention of Noah's family, verse 18, gives an adequate reason for the enumeration of his three sons in verse 10. In vi. 22 it is said that "Noah did as God had commanded him," and with this remark the history of the flood, chap. vii. 11.-viï. 19, is immediately connected. At the conclusion of the deluge (chap. ix. l-17) the whole of the earlier narrative terminates with the divine blessing and covenant, and with the mention of Noah's age and death, verses 28, 29. This forms the completion of the earliest account, which began chap. v. verse 32. Everything essential is given in this shorter narrative of the flood, and one part confirms and explains another; so that the identification of these fragments with the earliest document is proved by the strict continuity of the narrative, which is complete in itself, and is closely connected with the foregoing genealogy and cosmogony. The same name (Elohim) is alone employed for the Deity, the modes of description are similar, and the same forms of speech recurl,
In contrast to this earlier narrative let us next consider the work of the later compiler. In chap. vi. 1-8,
i Compare chap. vi. 9 with v. 22.-vi. 19; vii. 16, with i. 27; v. 2.-vi. 20; vii. 14, 23; viii. 17; ix. 2, with i. 20, 24.-ix. 1, 7, 8, 17, with i. 22, 28.ix. 6, with i. 27; v. 1, and other passages.
ADDITIONS OF THE LATER COMPILER.
he enlarges on the cause of the flood, which in the early narrative is only briefly touched upon. The divine creation is united with the earthly in a manner displeasing to God, and the human race degenerates through the attainment of extraordinary power [by the giants]. Crime and violence are the consequence; the thoughts of men's hearts are evil (verse 5), and God repents that he has created man. Thus the compiler explains, from the old legend, the cause of the excess of crime among men, and at the same time justifies the determination of God to destroy man together with the inferior animals. Noah alone is described as finding favour in the sight of Jehovah (verse 8). Nothing in the earlier narrative is altered by the compiler, but he introduces a new interpolation in chap. vii. 1-10. The earlier document represents God as announcing to Noah his intention with respect to the world, and giving him the command to build an ark, and then immediately after chap. vi. 22, the same account mentions (vii. 10) the coming on of the flood. The compiler however misses, and therefore supplies, the precise command of God to Noah to go into the ark, chap. vii. 1, as well as the exact announcement of the time when the flood is to commence, verse 4, (which may be compared with verse 10,) and also the distinct statement of the animals which are to be taken into the ark (vii. 2, 8). Attention has been already directed to the circumstance, that the earlier document only represents a pair of each sort of animals, as taken into the ark for the preservation of the different kinds; whilst the later compiler, in accordance with the Mosaical system, separates the clean and unclean animals, and appoints seven pairs of each kind of clean animals to enter the ark. The later compiler must here have had an idea in
ADDITIONS OF THE LATER COMPILER.
his mind connected with the sacrifice afterwards described in chap. viii. 20, since it is known that, according to the Levitical law, only clean animals could be employed in sacrifice. The subsequent history of the preparations for the flood leave nothing wanting [in the earlier narrative] except the closing of the ark after the animals have entered it in pairs; and this omission is supplied, by the compiler's (chap. vii. 16) adding three words with respect to Noah, Vayyissěyod Yehowah ba'ădo, “and Jehovah shut him in.” Jehovah alone could here be represented as closing the door, since there was no one else present.
At the end of the flood the later compiler misses, and supplies, the thanks-offering, which Noah as a religious man had naturally to present to Jehovah for his wonderful preservation (chap. viii. 20, &c.). The Deity at the same time resolves, from the sweet savour of the sacrifice, that he will not again curse the earth on account of men', whose thoughts are evil? from their youth up; and thus the compiler prepares for the mention of the promise of God not to send a flood any more upon the earth (ix. 8, 11, &c.).
There is another legend contained in this account, to which a national interest is attached, viz. the cursing of Canaan; and it is plain that the compiler could only introduce this in chap. ix. 18–27, between the blessings and promises of God and Noah's death: anywhere else it would have been out of place.
But little originality is to be observed in the Jehovistic interpolations before us; well-known and received ideas are brought forward in these later additions, connected with and derived from the earliest document, and only enlarged
1 Compare chap. iii. ver. 17.
2. Compare chap. vi. ver. 5.