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1 And Jehovah said unto Noah, Go into the ark, thou and all thy house, for I have seen thee righteous before 2 me in this generation. Take to thee of all clean cattle by sevens, the male and his female; and of cattle that
CHAPTER VII., verse 2.-Clean animals are those which were allowed to be eaten by the Hebrews', and the custom is here presupposed of setting apart such a class of animals according to the Levitical law; hence also seven pairs are to be taken of each kind (the mystical number seven being used); these animals may have been intended for food during the flood, and to serve afterwards for sacrifices to Jehovah,—especially the cattle, the sheep and the doves 2.
No satisfactory explanation has been given by the older dogmatical writers respecting this division of clean and unclean animals for the idea of its being merely an arrangement of civil polity or an order for the regulation of diet, cannot be admitted, because various animals are Levitically prohibited which are in great request even in the hottest climates, such as the camel and hare, swine and eels. Another reason which is opposed to its civil origin, is the strange, arbitrary and unscientific division of animals into those with cloven and uncloven hoofs, and those which ruminate and which do not ruminate. The notion of mere dislike to particular animals is not sufficient to account for the separation of the clean and unclean classes, for a man, by eating of the forbidden animals, made his soul an abomination3, and in this expression religious abhorrence was expressed. The extraordinary view of Warburton and others, that the ritual law was instituted by Jehovah, partly in compliance with the people's prejudices, is not found in any Hebrew writer; and the reason supposed by Michaelis3, that the people were thus to be set apart
1 Levit. xi.; Deut. xiv.
3 Levit. xi. 43.
5 Mos. Recht, iv. 193.
2 Levit. i. 2, 10, 14.
4 Divine Legation of Moses, ii. 497.
3 are not clean a pair, the male and his female; of birds also of the heaven by sevens, male and female, to keep 4 seed alive upon the whole earth. For after seven days, I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights, and will destroy every [living] being that I
from other nations, does not hold good, because it was precisely this very law which placed the Israelites on a level with the Egyptians, who abhorred the flesh of swine1, and also more particularly with the Persians. The Zendavesta however here assigns a motive for such a law which is perfectly satisfactory; for the forbidden animals belong to the creation of [the evil] Ahriman, and man is restricted to the creatures of [the good] Ormuzd. Rhode 2 has examined this point attentively, and Bleek3 thinks it very probable that the idea of a whole class of animals having been produced by an evil principle may have originally prevailed among the Hebrews, as well as elsewhere, and that the prohibition of the unclean animals may have been founded on such an idea. This supposition would not however agree with the first chapter of Genesis, where the whole of creation is declared good, and still less with the Hebrew worship of Jehovah ; but if, to reconcile our view with Bleek's, we only omit the word originally," with reference to the Hebrews, (and take into consideration the previous remarks on chapter iii. 1, 14: see pp. 45 and 57), the influence of Persian ideas on the Hebrew writer will then explain everything; it is also important to remark, that the animals which glide and creep are precisely those which are mentioned in Leviticus as an abomination*.
Verse 4.-Respecting forty as a poetical number, see Volume I. p. 83, in this work; and with reference to the determination of the time of the flood, some remarks will be given at the conclusion of this section. Yěk'um (being), which only occurs again in
1 Herod. ii. 47; iv. 186.
3 In Ullmann und Umbreit. Stud. und Krit., 1831, p. 498.
4 Levit. xi. 41-43.
2 Heil. Sage der Baktr. p. 422.
5 have made from off the whole earth. And Noah did all6 as Jehovah commanded him. And Noah was six hun7 dred years old when the flood of rain was upon the earth. Then Noah, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him, went into the ark before the water of the 8 flood. And of the clean cattle, and of the cattle that
are not clean, and of the birds, and of everything that 9 moveth upon the earth, two and two went unto Noah into the ark, male and female, as God commanded 10 Noah. And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second
verse 23, and in Deuteron. xi. 6, is very frequently met with in the later dialects'.
Verse 9.-Instead of 'Elohim, the Vulgate, Chaldee, Samaritan and other manuscripts here read Jěhovah.
Verses 11, &c.-The narrative in these verses takes a poetical flight. The expression "the windows of heaven were opened 2 " is a perfect parallel to that of "the fountains of the great deep burst out": for the "great deep" is the sea of heaven, which is used as an equivalent to the "clouds "in Proverbs iii. 20, as Schumann rightly explains it3.
[Ewald alludes, in his essay on Genesis, to verse 4 of this chapter, where the rain is mentioned as the cause of the deluge ; and he observes on this subject, that the Hebrew writers supposed the clouds to be piled up to a considerable height in order to supply rain, and that thus, according to their ideas, a great sea was formed above the earth, from which Jehovah himself descended in the tempest and thunderstorm. God "spreadeth out the heavens and treadeth upon the waves of the sea."-Job ix. 8. "At the
1 See Gesenius, Anecdot. Orient. p. 65.
2 Compare Isaiah xxiv. 18, and note on Genesis i. 6.
month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on this day all the fountains of the great deep broke up, and 12 the windows of heaven were opened, and the flood of rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 On this same day went Noah, and Shem and Ham and Japheth the sons of Noah, and the three wives of his
brightness before Jehovah, his thick clouds passed; hail and coals of fire."-Psalm xviii. 12. Yam, the Hebrew word translated " sea," in Job ix. 8, is frequently used for těhom, “deep,” which occurs in verse 11 above, and Ewald regards the two words as interchangeable terms. The upper sea (of clouds), agreeably to Hebrew meteorology, was divided by the pressure of its contents, and thus poured down rain in showers. By the wisdom of Jehovah are the deeps divided, and the clouds are made to drop with dew.”—Proverbs iii. 20. (Luther's translation). In Genesis vii. 11, the great sea (of clouds) is also described as containing fountains that the outpouring of its waters may last a longer time; and a similar image is added to accomplish the same purpose, when the windows of heaven are opened; hence from these fountains and windows a continuous pouring down of rain ensues. It should here be remarked that the fountains and windows are afterwards closed before the rain ceases. See Gen. viii. 2; and Ewald, Comp. der Genesis, p. 1161.]
Geshem, in ver. 12, 'shower,' used for matar, 'rain,' is poetical, and so also is the accumulation of synonyms (verse 14) which are employed to designate all birds, large and small; and there is still more poetry in the beautiful climax, describing the progress of the flood itself,-"the waters increased,......the waters increased greatly.......the waters prevailed exceedingly,"-(verses 17, 18, 19). The later compiler may have felt the beauty of the text, for he has left it without any addition, and has omitted to introduce
1 [See the note on Gen. i. 6, p. 12, in this volume, as well as Job xxvi. 8; Xxxviii. 22, 25. Compare also Dr. Pye Smith on the Relation between the Holy Scriptures and some parts of Geological Science, p. 272, respecting Hebrew ideas of meteorology; and Beke's Origines Biblicæ, on the flood, vol. i. p. 322.]
14 sons with them, into the ark. They and every animal after its kind, and all cattle after their kind and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind, and all feathered things after their kind, every 15 winged thing, all birds. And they came to Noah into the
ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein was the breath 16 of life; and those that came there were male and female, of all flesh they came, as God commanded him. Then Jehovah shut him in.
17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; then the waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it was 18 [raised] high above the earth. And the waters pre
vailed, and increased greatly upon the earth, and the 19 ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, and all the highest mountains which are under the whole heaven were
the clean and unclean animals, which he had before mentioned; it may also be observed, that the verses 14-16 in this chapter are more descriptive than those in chap. vi. 19, 20.
[Josephus thus describes the flood: "When God gave the signal, and it began to rain, the water poured down forty entire days, until it became fifteen cubits (or ells) higher than the earth; which was the reason why there was no greater number (of living beings) preserved, since they had no place to fly to. When the rain ceased, the water did but just begin to abate after 150 days."-Josephus, Antiq. of the Jews, I. iii. 5.]
Verse 16.-Even if it had been said that Elohim, and not Jehovah, had "shut Noah in," we should have objected to the introduction of such an insignificant point of detail, which offers so great a contrast to the dignity of the general description; but at all events it might have here been just as well represented that Elohim closed the door. Nearly all critics have felt this phrase to be an interpolated gloss; and Ewald, whose judgement is other