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Noah: The Flood and the Rainbow
Video 2 of 22
The only way you'd know if it's not a coincidence is if you saw the patterns continuing. If you kept on reading Genesis Chapter 1 and you keep on reading it in connection to Genesis Chapter 8, if one thing after another, after another, just kind of continued to fit the pattern, then you'd have to ask what's going on? So is that the case or not? So let's read - we're going to take a look at Genesis Chapter 1 and we're going to see, are there correspondences between that and the post-flood world, Genesis Chapter 8? So let's take a look right now.
So I've set this up so we can create a kind of visual log of some of these creation events as they take place in Chapter 1. As we read through this chapter and sort of summarize what we see here really quickly, just keep in mind it's not going to bear that much of a similarity to what you're learning about in chemistry class or physics or anything like that, about how the world and the universe came to be. This is the Bible's account of it, the Bible is using its own language with its own way of storytelling. So it's not going to sound like a scientific retelling of things; you'll be hearing about stars appearing after the earth, and waters in strange places, and things. Just put that aside in your head, you just want to get a clear vision of what it is that the text is saying.
So let's look again, Day 1, we talked about is this seemingly this water world, water everywhere, this chaotic scene, wind or spirit of G-d hovering over the waters. Then there's Day 2, and Day 2 is also very hard to visualize. G-d makes the Rakiyah - which means sky, and He does this divide between what's called the upper waters and the lower waters. So it's as if there's waters below the sky and waters above the sky. I know what you're thinking, waters below the sky I understand, that would be oceans, but waters above the sky, what would that be, waters above the sky? Water doesn't go above the sky. Okay, I get that, I understand, hard to figure out, but let's just keep this in mind, this is our Day 2 scene, water, sky, water - sky dividing between water and water, whatever it is that that means.
If we move on, the next thing that we find on Day 3 is a division between land and water. The waters begin to recede, these things are going to be called oceans - the bodies of water, and there's going to be dry land over here, these continents, and this is what happens on Day 3. Another thing that happens on Day 3 is you get the appearance of vegetative life, the appearance of trees and things like that. On Day 4 - this is what I mentioned before - you get these stars placed in the heavens. Seem strange that they would show up now, but that's Day 4 according to this account in Genesis 1. In Day 5 - in Day 5 you've got the creation of bird life; birds and insects and actually fish all come into the world on Day 5. On Day 6 you have the creation of animal life and man.
So these are basically your days; Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 over here along with over here Day 4, Day 5 and Day 6. This is your sort of quickie primer on the order of creation.
Now the question is, as we read Genesis Chapter 8; the world after the flood, are we hearing any other correspondences to this kind of developing world? So what I'm going to do is just put some of the language from Genesis Chapter 8 on the screen, you can do this on your own in the text, but here's what it is that I came up with. So we talked about Genesis Chapter 8, verse 1 over here and we mentioned that this seems to remind us of this water world, when G-d has this wind passing over the earth and there's this floodwaters raging all over the place.
But I want to direct your attention to this verse over here, verse 2, and you find something interesting. Remember back in Day 2 we had these upper waters and we had these lower waters, and we had sky in between the upper waters and lower waters? We didn't really know what any of this meant, what are upper waters and lower waters? I think now we get a clue. Listen to the world after the flood. Vayisachru ma'ayanot tehom - G-d caused the fountains of the deep, well water, to be stopped up. Evidently, the way that G-d created the flood was not just by having rain descend upon the ground, but also by having the Ma'ayanot tehom - well water coming up and - which is normally underneath the ground - and inundating the world. In addition to that, there is also rain coming from the clouds, and G-d brought these two things together. There was water from the clouds and formed rain, and well waters, and when they met they inundated the world.
Well now listen to what you're hearing now, that as G-d finished - as G-d is causing the flood to recede, so G-d causes the fountains of the deep to be stopped up - which is to say the well water - and the windows of the heaven - which is just a poetic way of saying clouds. G-d stopped up the windows of the heaven and the rain from the heaven was restrained. But if you think about that, what was G-d doing? G-d was taking the upper water and putting it back in water vapor, into the clouds, and the lower water and putting it down a well water, and now what would there be in between clouds after a storm and well water going back down? You'd sort of see sky one more time. It's kind of this sort of image. Your upper waters; clouds, water vapor, your lower waters; ocean, and over here sky in between. It's almost like now we have a vision of what this meant with the upper waters and the lower waters and the sky in between. That same image is now being re-created over here in Genesis Chapter 8, fascinating, in the world after the flood.
But the neat thing is that this continues. Not just in Day 1 over here, not just in Day 2, but it continues. So let's go a little bit further. Remember how the next event in Day 3 was over here, how you had the waters were receding and the dry land was appearing? Well look at the next verses in the Noah story, after the flood. Vayashuvu hamayim me'al ha'aretz haloch vashov, vayachseru hamayim miktzei chamishim u'me'at yom. Vatanach hateivah bachodesh hashevi'i - the water is returning from the earth and the waters are receding and the ark is resting on dry land, on the mountains. You have the appearance of dry land over here, all these dry land, and then the water is receding, just like you had in the next event back in our creation story.
Then the pattern actually continues. If you go to the next thing, the next thing that happens is that Noah has this dove, he sends out this dove and the dove comes back with an olive leaf, freshly plucked, and what does that tell Noah? It tells Noah this, it tells Noah that there is tree life back in the world. It's the next event in the creation story re-happening in the world after the flood. Then lo and behold what does Noah do? He waits another seven days, sends out the dove, and the dove doesn't return to him anymore. Well the dove doesn't return to him anymore, how is the world different? The world now has birds in it, and that's over here, Day 5.
What we don't seem to see is any correspondence to Day 4, and nothing having to do with the stars in the heavens, but we seem to skip that, but we're going to this event on Day 5 with birds in the world. Then lo and behold, wouldn't you know it, the next thing that happens is G-d tells Noah to open up the ark and let out the animals and humans, corresponding to what we saw before was Day 6.
It's really kind of remarkable, you can color code all of these correspondences if you want. If you look at the creation story on the left side and the post-flood story on the other side, so remember we had the dark, chaotic water world, well after the flood we've also got this dark, chaotic water world with the floodwaters raging. In the creation story we had this spirit of G-d, the Ruach Elokim, the wind of G-d hovering over the waters; in the post-flood world we've also got - G-d makes this wind blow; Vaya'aver Elokim ruach al ha'aretz - there's this wind blowing over the waters in the post-flood world. We've got the sky dividing between the upper waters and lower waters, a strange kind of thing, it's almost like it's explained for us in the corresponding event that happens in the post-flood world, when one more time you have sky dividing between water vapor up above and lower water - inundated water world, the oceans down below.
Then you have the recession of the waters, the waters gathering into one place, dry land appearing in the creation story. Same thing happening in the post-flood story. Then you've got trees and vegetation appear on the earth in the Noah story, you have the dove bringing back the olive branch signifying to Noah that trees and vegetation are back on the earth. You have lights placed in heaven - we don't seem to have anything like that in the post-flood world. But the next event which is the appearance of bird life on the world, you have the dove of Noah entering the world and actually staying there after the dove brought back the olive branch. Finally, in Day 6, animals and human life appearing on the earth, and lo and behold, animals and humans leave the ark.
It is kind of remarkable; one, two, three, four, five - not six - seven, eight - you're batting, what? Six out of seven over here - with the exception of this. So the question is, so it seems like something is going on here, not quite sure, but I guess we have two questions going forward. Question number 1 is, is this for real? It seems like it, but are we sure? Is there any way that we can further verify? Is this coincidental? Is this just our imagination? Question number 2 is, if it is for real that the creation story is mirroring itself in the post-flood story, that we have these intertextual connections between them, if we're seeing not just a bunch of a rocks but we are seeing that skeleton in the ground, if the paleontologist has found something real and we're beginning to dust off what seems to be a real find here, what does this find mean? What does it mean that the creation story is paralleling itself in the post-flood story? What sort of theory could we advance as a possible explanation of what this might mean? Not a fancy theory, just a very conservative theory, what's the least we would surmise from these connections if they are real?
We'll talk about that when we come back next time, I'll see you then.
1. Water, Water Everywhere
2. Parallel Universes
4. The Sixth Day
5. Brave New World
6. Noah's World
7. Is There a 'Sabbath' in Noah's World?
8. Sabbath Echoes
9. Rainbows Have Seven Colors
10. A Bow In the Clouds
12. Chiasms: More Than Just a Pretty Face
13. Colors of the Rainbow
14. Numeric Centers; Thematic Centers
15. Taking Stock: Where Are We Now?
16. Sabbath's Center
17. How Tiring Was It To Create a World?
18. Rest As the Purpose of Work?
19. Positive Rest
20. What If a Parent Never Lets Go?
21. Conclusion: Two Ways to Destoy a World
22. Epilogue: Why the Rainbow Covenant is a Two-Way Street (Premium)
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