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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Abrahamic religions, Noah[a] (/ˈn.ə/ NOH)[1][2] was the tenth and last of the pre-Flood Patriarchs. The story of Noah's Ark is told in the Bible's Genesis flood narrative. The biblical account is followed by the story of the Curse of Ham.

In addition to the Book of Genesis, Noah is mentioned in the Old Testament in the First Book of Chronicles, and the books of Tobit, Wisdom, Sirach, Isaiah, Ezekiel, 2 Esdras, 4 Maccabees; in the New Testament, he is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew, and Luke, the Epistle to the Hebrews, 1st Peter and 2nd Peter. Noah was the subject of much elaboration in the literature of later Abrahamic religions, including the Quran (Surahs 71, 7, 1, and 21).

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Noahs ark is one of the most recognizable stories in the world. It tells the tale of a man named noah, whom god told to build a huge arc, gather all the animals in the world in male and female pairs and board the arc in preparation for a great flood. There are those that believe the tale of noahs ark is not just a fable found in many cultures. Biblical literalists believe that the bible is one hundred percent true, and that includes the story of noah and the great flood. Many scholars believe that the story of noahs ark was inspired by the ancient flood stories of Mesopotamia, specifically the Epic of Gilgamesh. There are some archeologists who say that there is evidence to suggest that there may have been a great flood right around the time that Noah was said to have built the ark. Of course, this is a story in the bible we are talking about, so there are many skeptics who say that the arc was nothing more than a story, a metaphor for faith, struggle and triumph. The question has puzzled scholars and scientists for centuries. Is the story of noahs ark simply an allegorical metaphor? Or was it an actual boat? There have been quite a few expeditions that claim to have found evidence of the arc, which we will discuss in this video. There have also been scientists and archeologists who claim they have found evidence of a great flood. If Noahs ark wasn’t just a story, then surely there has to be evidence that proves that the arc was a real boat. Today, life’s biggest questions asks, what happened to noahs ark? Hello and welcome back to life’s biggest questions, the channel that asks the fundamental questions of life. I’m your host charlotte dobre. Before I get into this video, this is just a friendly reminder to show this channel some love by leaving a thumbs up, subscribing and let us know in the comments below a question you have always wanted to know the answer to. As a way to increase involvement in the lifes biggest questions community, the hosts respond to user comments at the end of the video. So make sure you stick around until the end of the video to see if your comment got featured. Alright lets get into this question. First, a brief history of noah’s ark. In the old testament, or the hebru bible, in the story of the Genesis flood in genesis 8:4, god plans to purge the world of sin. Noah had 3 children, he was also apparently about to celebrate his 600th birthday. This isn’t an unusual statement in genesis. In the early chapters there are accounts of people living to be 700 or 800 years, but the numbers are not real. They are mythic numbers that some experts believe are meant to reinforce the mystery of the text. God says he will spare Noah, his family, and all the worlds animals, who are innocent of sin, from an devastating flood that will engulf the entire world. God made the flood due to his regret over how great the wickedness of the human race had become on earth. God gave Noah instructions for building the ark, which was 300 egyptian cubits in length, 50 cubits in width, and 30 cubits in height. Which translates to 450 feet by 75 feet by 45 feet. and 7 days before the flood, god told noah to board the ark with his family and the animals he had gathered. The devastating flood comes to purge the earth, and the ark stays afloat for 150 days. Legend has it, as the waters receded, the ark ended up on the mountains of Ararat. The actual location of the mountains of Ararat is in the eastern Anatolia region of turkey, between the provinces of agri and igdir, near the Iranian and Armenian borders. Noahs ark, and its final resting place is not only mentioned in the bible. Other, separate sources speak of it. For example, The famous explorer marco polo spoke of noahs ark in his book, the travels of marco polo. He wrote, in the heart of the Armenian mountain range the mountain range is shaped like a cube, or cup, on which noahs ark is said to have rested. Whence it is called the mountain of noahs ark. The story of noahs ark is not only in the hebru bible, theres also a version of it in the quran, and there is also mention of a similar story in ancient Mesopotamian text. In the epic of Gilgamesh, a Mesopotamian flood story that was passed down centuries before the bible even existed, the gods sent a flood to wipe out the humans. The gods chose one man to survive the flood. He built a boat and put all the animals on it and following the flood, ends up on a mountain. Pretty strikingly similar if you ask me. Alright, so what about the whole great flood thing. Did it actually happen? Surely there has to be scientific evidence for the flood. Well, Interestingly, the story of a great flood exists in many different cultures around the world. Sumerians had their own version found in the Epic of Ziusudra. There are tales of a flood myth that originate in china, and india, korea and Malaysia, and the phillipines. The greeks told ancient flood myths, the Vikings, and ancient Irish and welsh peoples. That’s a lot of different cultures that developed independently of each other. Some would say where there’s smoke, theres fire. Could it be that all of these cultures were simply telling similar stories? Or is there more to it, perhaps a singular source. Robert Ballard, one of the worlds best known underwater archeologists, claims that he may have found evidence of a great flood. Ballard found the titanic wreck in 1985, so he’s got a pretty good track record. While probing the black sea, off the coast of turkey, He said he and his team found traces of an ancient civilization that dates back to the time of noah. He said that 12 thousand years ago, much of the world was covered in ice. Once that ice started to melt, well, there was obviously flooding. The question is though, was there one great flood. According to a theory published by two Columbia university scientists, there was a great flood in the area surrounding turkey. What is now the black sea was once a freshwater lake. It became the black sea because of rising water from the Mediterranean sea. And we’re talking a huge flood that had a force 200 times that of niagra falls. The flood wiped out everything in its path. Up to 150 thousand square kilometers of land went under. The evidence for this flood is an ancient shoreline that was found 400 feet below sea level. Carbon dating of shells put the flood at around 5 thousand bc, the time when many believe the great food took place. Perhaps the great flood was not a flood that enveloped the entire world, but simply took place in the region where Noah was said to have lived. We experience floods in modern day, why couldn’t noah have experienced a flood thousands of years ago? So now that you know that a great flood could have happened. What about the ark? Is there any evidence of the ark that’s been found? There have been many attemtps to find noahs ark, the first recorded search was 275 to 339 CE up until present day. Expeditions and searches have taken place throughout history. Furthermore, there have been many people who have claimed to have found noahs ark over the years. In eastern turkey, a boat like formation was exposed after heavy rains and earthquakes in 1948. Turkish army captain Ilhan Durupinar identified the formation in an ariel photo during a nato mapping mission in 1959. Photographs of the formation were published in Life magazine in 1960. According to the article, the shape looked like the hull of a ship. One end was pointed as you would expect, from bow, and the opposite was blunt like stern. The distance from bow to stern was 300 egyptian cubits, or 515 feet. The average width was 50 cubits. These were the exact measurements mentioned in the bible. The discovery was later debunked because the formation was found to be nothing more than a geological formation. The boat shape came about as a result of an earthquake in 1948 that exposed a rock. In june 2006, Bob Cornuke of the bible archaeology search and exploration institute took a team of archeologists to a site in the Alborz mountains. They said they found an object 13 thousand feet above sea level that had the look of blackened petrified wooden beams that was 400 feet long or 300 cubits, consistent with the measurements in the bible. There was also apparently fossilized sea creatures within the petrified wood. But these past sightings are no comparison to this next discovery. Recently, in 2017, professors of theology and science announced they had found actual evidence of noahs ark on the very mountain that it was said to have perched. Mount ararat is in north eastern turkey. Its actually now called Agri Mountain. Eyewitness accounts of a large wooden structure that appears to be in the shape of a boat have been rampant for centuries. Chinese and Turkish researchers also claimed to have found an arc like structure there in 2010. Researcher Professor Paul Esprante heard of these accounts and went to mount arat with a team of 108 researchers. They announced they were 99 percent sure that they had found noahs ark. Near the peak of the mountain, they found 7 large wooden compartments buried at 13 thousand feet above sea level. How crazy is that? Why was there a gigantic wooden structure right on the top of mount Ararat, the tallest peak in turkey and the exact place the bible said was the arcs final resting place. And to make matters even more amazing, radio carbon dated wood from the site put the wooden structure at 4800 years old, which coincides roughly with the time of the great flood in the book of genesis. Mind officially blown. The researchers presented their evidence at the International Symposium of Mount Ararat and Noahs ark in Agri. Of course, like with any discovery, there are skeptics. Its hard for many to believe that the wood could have survived thousands of years following a flood. Other skeptics say the arc, if it had actually existed, must have been torn apart and used for building materials. Regardless the Turkish government plans to turn the site into a Heritage site on the UNESCO World heritage list, which is a title given to places of cultural significance. So what does science have to say about the story of noahs ark? Unfortunately, theres no scientific evidence that there was a global catastrophic flood. That doesn’t mean that a flood in the area didn’t take place, it just means theres no evidence of a global catastrophic flood that God told Noah to prepare the arc for. Furthermore, and this goes without saying, how was it even possible for all the animals on earth to live on an arc together for 150 days without eating each other. Until further evidence is discovered, Noahs ark, and the tale of the great flood is just a story. Do you thin noahs ark was a real boat? Let us know in the comments below. For now, its that fun part of the video where I’m going to respond to some of your comments. Why do I waste my time making useless random videos – is it possible to get pregnant while youre pregnant. And also would they be twins or would one baby come out and the other baby stay in. that’s a really good question. Even though you would think that while a woman is pregnant, she cant get pregnant again, but yes, it is possible to get pregnant while youre pregnant but its very rare A woman can ovulate while she is already pregnant, and that egg can then become fertilized. Getting pregnant while already pregnant is called superfetation, and it occurs in other mammals like badgers too. As for the second question…I suppose it would depend on when the second egg was fertilized. Austin champman – Love the video and im also a potato. Thanks for subscribing to both lifes biggest questions and inform overload. For those that don’t know, lifes biggest questions is a sister channel to Inform Overload. Definitely subscribe if you need a place to get your news. Tay West – This is a good video. Hey thanks tay, glad you like our content Christian Hernandez – I feel smarter every time I watch your videos MasterMomo – what if Canada was real? As we are based in Canada, and we are recording this video in Toronto, I am fairly certain that Canada is real Stingray 1442 – does everyone deserve a second chance. Depends on what the person did, but I would say, yes. everyone deserves a second chance


Biblical account

12th-century Venetian mosaic depiction of Noah sending the dove
12th-century Venetian mosaic depiction of Noah sending the dove

The primary account of Noah in the Bible is in the Book of Genesis.

Noah was the tenth of the pre-flood (antediluvian) Patriarchs. His father was Lamech and his mother is not named in the biblical accounts.[3] When Noah was five hundred years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth (Genesis 5:32).

Genesis flood narrative

The Genesis flood narrative makes up chapters 6–9 in the Book of Genesis, in the Bible.[4] The narrative, one of many flood myths found in human cultures, indicates that God intended to return the Earth to its pre-Creation state of watery chaos by flooding the Earth because of humanity's misdeeds and then remake it using the microcosm of Noah's ark. Thus, the flood was no ordinary overflow but a reversal of creation.[5] The narrative discusses the evil of mankind that moved God to destroy the world by the way of the flood, the preparation of the ark for certain animals, Noah, and his family, and God's guarantee (the Noahic Covenant) for the continued existence of life under the promise that he would never send another flood.[6]

After the flood

After the flood, Noah offered burnt offerings to God, who said: "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done" (8:20–21).

"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (9:1). They were also told that all fowls, land animals, and fishes would be afraid of them. Furthermore, as well as green plants, every moving thing would be their food with the exception that the blood was not to be eaten. Man's life blood would be required from the beasts and from man. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" (9:6). A rainbow, called "my bow", was given as the sign of a covenant "between me and you and every living creature that [is] with you, for perpetual generations" (9:2–17), called the Noahic covenant or the rainbow covenant.

Noah died 350 years after the flood, at the age of 950,[7] the last of the extremely long-lived antediluvian Patriarchs. The maximum human lifespan, as depicted by the Bible, diminishes thereafter, from almost 1,000 years to the 120 years of Moses.[8]

Noah's drunkenness

Noah's drunkenness, Ham  mocks Noah, Noah is covered, Canaan is cursed. Egerton Genesis
Noah's drunkenness, Ham mocks Noah, Noah is covered, Canaan is cursed. Egerton Genesis

After the flood, the Bible says that Noah became a husbandman and he planted a vineyard. He drank wine made from this vineyard, and got drunk; and lay "uncovered" within his tent. Noah's son Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his brothers, which led to Ham's son Canaan being cursed by Noah.[9] As early as the Classical era, commentators on Genesis 9:20–21 have excused Noah's excessive drinking because he was considered to be the first wine drinker; the first person to discover the effects of wine.[10] John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, and a Church Father, wrote in the 4th Century that Noah's behavior is defensible: as the first human to taste wine, he would not know its effects: "Through ignorance and inexperience of the proper amount to drink, fell into a drunken stupor".[11]

Philo, a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, also excused Noah by noting that one can drink in two different manners: (1) to drink wine in excess, a peculiar sin to the vicious evil man or (2) to partake of wine as the wise man, Noah being the latter.[12]

In Jewish tradition and rabbinic literature on Noah, rabbis blame Satan for the intoxicating properties of the wine.[13][14]

Curse of Ham

Noah curses Ham by Gustave Dore
Noah curses Ham by Gustave Dore

In the field of psychological biblical criticism, J. H. Ellens and W. G. Rollins address the narrative of Genesis 9:18–27 that narrates the unconventional behavior that occurs between Noah and Ham. Because of its brevity and textual inconsistencies, it has been suggested that this narrative is a "splinter from a more substantial tale".[15][16] A fuller account would explain what exactly Ham had done to his father, or why Noah directed a curse at Canaan for Ham's misdeed, or how Noah came to know what occurred. The narrator relates two facts: (1) Noah became drunken and "he was uncovered within his tent", and (2) Ham "saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without". Thus, these passages revolve around sexuality and the exposure of genitalia as compared with other Hebrew Bible texts, such as Habakkuk 2:15 and Lamentations 4:21.[17]

Other commentaries mention that seeing someone's nakedness could mean having sex with that person as seen in Leviticus 18:7-8 and Leviticus 20:11.[18]

Table of nations

The dispersion of the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (map from the 1854 Historical Textbook and Atlas of Biblical Geography)
The dispersion of the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (map from the 1854 Historical Textbook and Atlas of Biblical Geography)

Genesis 10 sets forth the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, from whom the nations branched out over the earth after the flood. Among Japheth’s descendants were the maritime nations. (10:2–5) Ham’s son Cush had a son named Nimrod, who became the first man of might on earth, a mighty hunter, king in Babylon and the land of Shinar. (10:6–10) From there Asshur went and built Nineveh. (10:11–12) Canaan’s descendants – Sidon, Heth, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites – spread out from Sidon as far as Gerar, near Gaza, and as far as Sodom and Gomorrah. (10:15–19) Among Shem’s descendants was Eber. (10:21)

These genealogies differ structurally from those set out in Genesis 5 and 11. It has a segmented or treelike structure, going from one father to many offspring. It is strange that the table, which assumes that the population is distributed about the Earth, precedes the account of the Tower of Babel, which says that all the population is in one place before it is dispersed.[19]

Family tree


Narrative analysis

According to the documentary hypothesis, the first five books of the Bible (Pentateuch/Torah), including Genesis, were collated during the 5th century BC from four main sources, which themselves date from no earlier than the 10th century BC. Two of these, the Jahwist, composed in the 10th century BC, and the Priestly source, from the late 7th century BC, make up the chapters of Genesis which concern Noah. The attempt by the 5th-century editor to accommodate two independent and sometimes conflicting sources accounts for the confusion over such matters as how many of each animal Noah took, and how long the flood lasted.[20][21]

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible notes that this story echoes parts of the Garden of Eden story: Noah is the first vintner, while Adam is the first farmer; both have problems with their produce; both stories involve nakedness; and both involve a division between brothers leading to a curse. However, after the flood, the stories differ. Noah plants the vineyard and utters the curse, not God, so "God is less involved".[22]

Other accounts

Noah appears in several non-canonical books.


The Book of Jubilees refers to Noah and says that he was taught the arts of healing by an angel so that his children could overcome "the offspring of the Watchers".[23]

In 10:1–3 of the Book of Enoch (which is part of the Orthodox Tewahedo biblical canon), Uriel was dispatched by "the Most High" to inform Noah of the approaching "deluge".[24]

Dead Sea scrolls

Genesis Apocryphon, a portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls that features Noah.
Genesis Apocryphon, a portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls that features Noah.

There are 20 or so fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls that appear to refer to Noah.[25] Lawrence Schiffman writes, "Among the Dead Sea Scrolls at least three different versions of this legend are preserved."[26] In particular, "The Genesis Apocryphon devotes considerable space to Noah." However, "The material seems to have little in common with Genesis 5 which reports the birth of Noah." Also, Noah's father is reported as worrying that his son was actually fathered by one of the Watchers.[27]

Comparative mythology

Indian and Greek flood-myths also exist, although there is little evidence that they were derived from the Mesopotamian flood-myth that underlies the biblical account.[28]


George Smith, the man who transliterated and read the so-called "Babylonian Flood Story" of Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh.
George Smith, the man who transliterated and read the so-called "Babylonian Flood Story" of Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

The Noah story of the Pentateuch is almost identical to a flood story contained in the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, composed about 2000 BC. In the Gilgamesh version, the Mesopotamian gods are enraged by the noise that man has raised from the earth. To quiet them they decide to send a great flood to silence mankind. Various correlations between the stories of Noah and Gilgamesh (the flood, the construction of the ark, the salvation of animals, and the release of birds following the flood) have led to this story being seen as the inspiration for the story of Noah. The few variations include the number of days of the deluge, the order of the birds, and the name of the mountain on which the ark rests. The flood story in Genesis 6–8 matches the Gilgamesh flood myth so closely that "few doubt that [it] derives from a Mesopotamian account."[29] What is particularly noticeable is the way the Genesis flood story follows the Gilgamesh flood tale "point by point and in the same order", even when the story permits other alternatives.[30]

The earliest written flood myth is found in the Mesopotamian Epic of Atrahasis and Epic of Gilgamesh texts. The Encyclopædia Britannica says "These mythologies are the source of such features of the biblical Flood story as the building and provisioning of the ark, its flotation, and the subsidence of the waters, as well as the part played by the human protagonist."[31] The Encyclopedia Judaica adds that there is a strong suggestion that "an intermediate agent was active. The people most likely to have fulfilled this role are the Hurrians, whose territory included the city of Haran, where the Patriarch Abraham had his roots. The Hurrians inherited the Flood story from Babylonia".[32] The encyclopedia mentions another similarity between the stories: Noah is the tenth patriarch and Berossus notes that "the hero of the great flood was Babylonia’s tenth antediluvian king." However, there is a discrepancy in the ages of the heroes. For the Mesopotamian antecedents, "the reigns of the antediluvian kings range from 18,600 to nearly 65,000 years." In the Bible, the lifespans "fall far short of the briefest reign mentioned in the related Mesopotamian texts." Also, the name of the hero differs between the traditions: "The earliest Mesopotamian flood account, written in the Sumerian language, calls the deluge hero Ziusudra."[32]

Gilgamesh’s historical reign is believed to have been approximately 2700 BC,[33] shortly before the earliest known written stories. The discovery of artifacts associated with Aga and Enmebaragesi of Kish, two other kings named in the stories, has lent credibility to the historical existence of Gilgamesh.[34]

The earliest Sumerian Gilgamesh poems date from as early as the Third dynasty of Ur (2100–2000 BC).[35] One of these poems mentions Gilgamesh’s journey to meet the flood hero, as well as a short version of the flood story.[36] The earliest Akkadian versions of the unified epic are dated to ca. 2000–1500 BC.[37] Due to the fragmentary nature of these Old Babylonian versions, it is unclear whether they included an expanded account of the flood myth; although one fragment definitely includes the story of Gilgamesh’s journey to meet Utnapishtim. The "standard" Akkadian version included a long version of the flood story and was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni sometime between 1300 and 1000 BC.[38]

Ancient Greek

Noah has often been compared to Deucalion, the son of Prometheus and Pronoia in Greek mythology. Like Noah, Deucalion is warned of the flood (by Zeus and Poseidon); he builds an ark and staffs it with creatures – and when he completes his voyage, gives thanks and takes advice from the gods on how to repopulate the Earth. Deucalion also sends a pigeon to find out about the situation of the world and the bird returns with an olive branch.[39][40] Deucalion, in some versions of the myth, also becomes the inventor of wine, like Noah.[41] Philo[42] and Justin equate Deucalion with Noah, and Josephus used the story of Deucalion as evidence that the flood actually occurred and that, therefore, Noah existed.[43][44]

Religious views


A Jewish depiction of Noah
A Jewish depiction of Noah

The righteousness of Noah is the subject of much discussion among rabbis.[45] The description of Noah as "righteous in his generation" implied to some that his perfection was only relative: In his generation of wicked people, he could be considered righteous, but in the generation of a tzadik like Abraham, he would not be considered so righteous. They point out that Noah did not pray to God on behalf of those about to be destroyed, as Abraham prayed for the wicked of Sodom and Gomorrah. In fact, Noah is never seen to speak; he simply listens to God and acts on his orders. This led some commentators to offer the figure of Noah as "the man in a fur coat," who ensured his own comfort while ignoring his neighbour.[46] Others, such as the medieval commentator Rashi, held on the contrary that the building of the Ark was stretched over 120 years, deliberately in order to give sinners time to repent. Rashi interprets his father's statement of the naming of Noah (in Hebrew נֹחַ) "This one will comfort us (in Hebrew– yeNaHamainu יְנַחֲמֵנו) in our work and in the toil of our hands, which come from the ground that the Lord had cursed",[47] by saying Noah heralded a new era of prosperity, when there was easing (in Hebrew – nahah – נחה) from the curse from the time of Adam when the Earth produced thorns and thistles even where men sowed wheat and that Noah then introduced the plow.[48]

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, "The Book of Genesis contains two accounts of Noah." In the first, Noah is the hero of the flood, and in the second, he is the father of mankind and a husbandman who planted the first vineyard. "The disparity of character between these two narratives has caused some critics to insist that the subject of the latter account was not the same as the subject of the former." Perhaps the original name of the hero of the flood was actually Enoch.[49]

The Encyclopedia Judaica notes that Noah's drunkenness is not presented as reprehensible behavior. Rather, "It is clear that ... Noah’s venture into viticulture provides the setting for the castigation of Israel’s Canaanite neighbors." It was Ham who committed an offense when he viewed his father’s nakedness. Yet, "Noah’s curse, strangely aimed at Canaan rather than the disrespectful Ham." (p. 288)[32]


An early Christian depiction showing Noah giving the gesture of orant as the dove returns
An early Christian depiction showing Noah giving the gesture of orant as the dove returns

2 Peter 2:5 refers to Noah as a "preacher of righteousness". In the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, Jesus compares Noah's flood with the coming Day of Judgement: "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."[50][51]

The First Epistle of Peter compares the saving power of baptism with the Ark saving those who were in it. In later Christian thought, the Ark came to be compared to the Church: salvation was to be found only within Christ and his Lordship, as in Noah's time it had been found only within the Ark. St Augustine of Hippo (354–430), demonstrated in The City of God that the dimensions of the Ark corresponded to the dimensions of the human body, which corresponds to the body of Christ; the equation of Ark and Church is still found in the Anglican rite of baptism, which asks God, "who of thy great mercy didst save Noah," to receive into the Church the infant about to be baptised.[52]

In medieval Christianity, Noah's three sons were generally considered as the founders of the populations of the three known continents, Japheth/Europe, Shem/Asia, and Ham/Africa, although a rarer variation held that they represented the three classes of medieval society – the priests (Shem), the warriors (Japheth), and the peasants (Ham). In medieval Christian thought, Ham was considered to be the ancestor of the people of black Africa. So, in racialist arguments, the curse of Ham became a justification for the slavery of the black races.[53]

Isaac Newton, in his religious works on the development of religion, wrote about Noah and his offspring. In Newton's view, while Noah was a monotheist, the gods of pagan antiquity are identified with Noah and his descendants.[54]

Mormon theology

In Mormon theology, Noah plays an important role, prior to his birth, as the angel Gabriel, and then lived in his mortal life as the patriarch-prophet Noah. Gabriel and Noah are regarded as the same individual under different names.[55][56] Mormons also believe that Noah returned to earth as Gabriel after his earthly life[57] and appeared to Daniel to teach him about the Second Coming; to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist; and to Mary, the mother of Jesus.[58]

Noah is considered the head of a dispensation along with Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Joseph Smith. A dispensation is a period of time in which the Lord has at least one authorized servant on earth who bears the keys of the holy priesthood.[59] Noah became the means by which the gospel of Jesus Christ— the plan of salvation —is revealed anew, the means by which divine transforming powers, including saving covenants and ordinances, are extended to people during an age of time called a dispensation.[60]


An Islamic depiction of Noah in a 16th-century Mughal miniature.
An Islamic depiction of Noah in a 16th-century Mughal miniature.

Noah is a highly important figure in Islam and he is seen as one of the most significant of all prophets. The Quran contains 43 references to Noah, or Nuḥ, in 28 chapters, and the seventy-first chapter, Sūrat Nūḥ (Arabic: سورة نوح‎), is named after him. His life is also spoken of in the commentaries and in Islamic legends.

Noah's narratives largely cover his preaching as well the story of the Deluge. Noah's narrative sets the prototype for many of the subsequent prophetic stories, which begin with the prophet warning his people and then the community rejecting the message and facing a punishment.

Noah has several titles in Islam, based primarily on praise for him in the Qur'an, including "True Messenger of God" (XXVI: 107) and "Grateful Servant of God" (XVII: 3).[32][61]

The Qur'an focuses on several instances from Noah's life more than others, and one of the most significant events is the Flood. God makes a covenant with Noah just as he did with Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad later on (33:7). Noah is later reviled by his people and reproached by them for being a mere human messenger and not an angel (10:72–74). Moreover, the people mock Noah's words and call him a liar (7:62), and they even suggest that Noah is possessed by a devil when the prophet ceases to preach (54:9). Only the lowest in the community join Noah in believing in God's message (11:29), and Noah's narrative further describes him preaching both in private and public. Noah prays to God, "Lord, leave not one single family of Infidels from the land: / For if thou leave them they will beguile thy servants and will beget only sinners, infidels."[dead link][62] The Qur'an narrates that Noah received a revelation to build an Ark, after his people refused to believe in his message and hear the warning. The narrative goes on to describe that waters poured forth from the Heavens, destroying all the sinners. Even one of his sons disbelieved him, stayed behind, and was drowned. After the Flood ended, the Ark rested atop Mount Judi (Quran 11:44).

Noah's ark and the deluge from Zubdat-al Tawarikh
Noah's ark and the deluge from Zubdat-al Tawarikh

Also, Islamic beliefs deny the idea of Noah being the first person to drink wine and experience the aftereffects of doing so.[32][61]

Quran 29:14 states that Noah had been living among the people who he was sent to for 950 years when the flood started.

And, indeed, [in times long past] We sent forth Noah unto his people, and he dwelt among them a thousand years bar fifty; and then the floods overwhelmed them while they were still lost in evildoing.

According to the Ahmadiyya understanding of the Quran, the period described in the Quran is the age of his dispensation, which extended until the time of Ibrahim (Abraham, 950 years). The first 50 years were the years of spiritual progress, which were followed by 900 years of spiritual deterioration of the people of Noah.[63]


An important Gnostic text, the Apocryphon of John, reports that the chief archon caused the flood because he desired to destroy the world he had made, but the First Thought informed Noah of the chief archon's plans, and Noah informed the remainder of humanity. Unlike the account of Genesis, not only are Noah's family saved, but many others also heed Noah's call. There is no ark in this account. According to Elaine Pagels, "Rather, they hid in a particular place, not only Noah, but also many other people from the unshakable race. They entered that place and hid in a bright cloud."[64]


The Bahá'í Faith regards the Ark and the Flood as symbolic.[65] In Bahá'í belief, only Noah's followers were spiritually alive, preserved in the ark of his teachings, as others were spiritually dead.[66][67] The Bahá'í scripture Kitáb-i-Íqán endorses the Islamic belief that Noah had a large number of companions, either 40 or 72, besides his family on the Ark, and that he taught for 950 (symbolic) years before the flood.[68]

See also


  1. ^ Hebrew: נוֹחַ or נֹחַ, Modern: Nōaẖ, Tiberian: Nōaḥ; Syriac: ܢܘܚNukh; Amharic: ኖህ, Noḥ; Arabic: نُوحNūḥ; Ancient Greek: Νῶε


  1. ^ "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «nō´a»
  2. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 9781405881180.
  3. ^ Fullom, S.W. (1855). The History of Woman, and Her Connexion with Religion, Civilization, & Domestic Manners, from the Earliest Period. p.10
  4. ^ Silverman, Jason (2013). Opening Heaven's Floodgates: The Genesis Flood Narrative, Its Context, and Reception. Gorgias Press.
  5. ^ Barry L. Bandstra (2008). Reading the Old Testament: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Cengage Learning. p. 61. ISBN 0-495-39105-0.
  6. ^ Cotter 2003, pp. 49, 50.
  7. ^ Genesis 9:28–29
  8. ^ Genesis 6:3; Deuteronomy 31:22; 34:37
  9. ^ Genesis 9:20–27
  10. ^ Ellens & Rollins. Psychology and the Bible: From Freud to Kohut, 2004, (ISBN 027598348X, 9780275983482), p.52
  11. ^ Hamilton, 1990, pp. 202–203
  12. ^ Philo, 1971, p. 160
  13. ^ Gen. Rabbah 36:3
  14. ^ – NOAH
  15. ^ Speiser, 1964, 62
  16. ^ T. A. Bergren. Biblical Figures Outside the Bible, 2002, (ISBN 1563384116, ISBN 978-1-56338-411-0), p. 136
  17. ^ Ellens & Rollins, 2004, p.53
  18. ^ Levenson, 2004, 26
  19. ^ Bandstra, B. (2008), Reading the Old Testament: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Cengage Learning, pp. 67–68
  20. ^ Collins, John J. (2004). Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. pp. 56–57. ISBN 0-8006-2991-4.
  21. ^ Friedman, Richard Elliotty (1989). Who Wrote the Bible?. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 59. ISBN 0-06-063035-3.
  22. ^ The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 318.
  23. ^ Lewis, Jack Pearl, A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature, BRILL, 1968, p. 14.
  24. ^ "Chapter X". The Book of Enoch. translated by Robert H. Charles. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. 1917.
  25. ^ Peters, DM., Noah Traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Conversations and Controversies of Antiquity, Society of Biblical Lit, 2008, pp. 15–17.
  26. ^ Schiffman, LH., Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Volume 2', Granite Hill Publishers, 2000, pp. 613–614.
  27. ^ Lewis, Jack Pearl, A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature, BRILL, 1968, p. 11. "the offspring of the Watchers"
  28. ^ Frazer, JG., in Dundes, A (ed.), The Flood Myth, University of California Press, 1988, pp. 121–122.
  29. ^ George, =A. R. (2003). The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts. Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-19-927841-1. Retrieved 8 November 2012 – via Google Books.
  30. ^ Rendsburg, Gary. "The Biblical flood story in the light of the Gilgamesh flood account," in Gilgamesh and the world of Assyria, eds Azize, J & Weeks, N. Peters, 2007, p. 117
  31. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica: Noah.
  32. ^ a b c d e Skolnik, Fred; Berenbaum, Michael (2007). Encyclopaedia Judaica. Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 287–291. ISBN 978-0-02-865943-5.
  33. ^ Georges Roux, Ancient Iraq, pages 123, 502
  34. ^ Dalley, Stephanie, Myths from Mesopotamia, Oxford University Press (1989), p. 40–41
  35. ^ Andrew George, page xix
  36. ^ "The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature; The death of Gilgameš (three versions, translated)".
  37. ^ Andrew George, page 101, "Early Second Millennium BC" in Old Babylonian
  38. ^ Andrew George, pages xxiv–xxv
  39. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Deucalion.
  40. ^ Wajdenbaum, P., Argonauts of the Desert: Structural Analysis of the Hebrew Bible, Routledge, 2014, pp. 104–108.
  41. ^ Anderson, G., Greek and Roman Folklore: A Handbook, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. pp. 129–130.
  42. ^ Lewis, JP.; Lewis, JP., A Study of the Interpretation of Noah and the Flood in Jewish and Christian Literature, BRILL, 1968, p. 47.
  43. ^ Peters, DM., Noah Traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Conversations and Controversies of Antiquity, Society of Biblical Lit, 2008, p. 4.
  44. ^ Feldman, LH., Josephus's Interpretation of the Bible, University of California Press, 1998, p. 133.
  45. ^ " – Noah – His Marriage".
  46. ^ Mamet, D., Kushner, L., Five Cities of Refuge: Weekly Reflections on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, Schocken Books, 2003, p. 1.
  47. ^ Genesis 5:29
  48. ^ Frishman, J., Rompay, L. von, The Book of Genesis in Jewish and Oriental Christian Interpretation: A Collection of Essays, Peeters Publishers, 1997, pp. 62–65.
  49. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia: Noah. Critical View
  50. ^ Matthew 24:38
  51. ^ Luke 17:26
  52. ^ Peters, DM., Noah Traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Conversations and Controversies of Antiquity, Society of Biblical Lit, 2008, pp. 15–17.
  53. ^ Jackson, JP., Weidman, NM., Race, Racism, and Science: Social Impact and Interaction, ABC-CLIO, 2004, p. 4.
  54. ^ Force, J E (1999), "Essay 12: Newton, the "Ancients" and the "Moderns"", in Popkin, RH; Force, JE, Newton and Religion: Context, Nature, and Influence, International Archive of the History of Ideas (No 161), Kluwer, pp. 253–254 – via Google Books
  55. ^ "Noah", Bible Dictionary, KJV (LDS), LDS Church
  56. ^ "Noah, Bible Patriarch", Study Helps: The Guide to the Scriptures, Standard works, LDS Church
  57. ^ "Chapter 8: The Everlasting Priesthood", Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, LDS Church, 2001, pp. 101–113
  58. ^ "Old Testament Prophets: Noah", Ensign, February 2014
  59. ^ "Dispensation", Study Helps: The Guide to the Scriptures, Standard works, LDS Church
  60. ^ Millet, Robert L. (June 1994), "Joseph Smith among the Prophets", Ensign
  61. ^ a b Gibb, Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen (1995). The Encyclopaedia of Islam: NED-SAM. Brill. pp. 108–109.
  62. ^ 71:26–27 Rodwell 1876 version[permanent dead link]
  63. ^ Rashid Ahmad Chaudhry. Hadhrat Nuh (PDF). Islam International Publications. ISBN 1-85372-758-X.
  64. ^ Pagels, Elaine (2013). The Gnostic Gospels. Orion. p. 163. ISBN 978-1-78022-670-5.
  65. ^ From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, October 28, 1949: Bahá'í News, No. 228, February 1950, p. 4. Republished in Compilation 1983, p. 508
  66. ^ Poirier, Brent. "The Kitab-i-Iqan: The key to unsealing the mysteries of the Holy Bible". Retrieved 2007-06-25.
  67. ^ Shoghi Effendi (1971). Messages to the Bahá'í World, 1950–1957. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. p. 104. ISBN 0-87743-036-5.
  68. ^ From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 25, 1950. Published in Compilation 1983, p. 494


External links

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