Noah (mythological character from the Bible

Noah ―in Hebrew נוח (Nóaḥ: ‘consolation’) – is a mythological character from the Bible , descendant of Adam (the mythical first human being) by the line of Set , son of Lamech. According to the Bible , Noah was chosen by the god Yahweh to survive the universal flood .


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  • 1 Origin
  • 2 Noah’s Ark
  • 3 Universal Flood
  • 4 Contradictions between two stories
  • 5 Offspring of Noah
  • 6 Sources


Its complete legend is narrated in chapters 5 to 10 of the Book of Genesis .

Its myth is based on the Sumerian myth of Utnapishtim , [1] that is told in all versions of the Gilgamesh Poem (composed between 2500 and 2000 a. N. E.). [2] Possibly the Hebrews had contact with this myth during their captivity in Babylon .

Noah’s ark

Noah was the only just man found of the entire generation contemporaneous with him, since the rest, influenced by the fallen angels , were plunged into sin and because of him the world “was filled with violence.”

Noah was also the father of Shem, Cam and Japheth, with whom the entire Earth was repopulated after the god Yahweh killed all of humanity through the flood.

Noah was 480 years old when the god Yahweh ordered him to build an ark in which he, his family and every species of clean and unclean animals were safe from the destructive waters during forty days of rain.

Noah had neither the knowledge nor the tools to build a ship, but Jehovah supplies him with both elements and the ship was built over the course of approximately 3 years. While Noah and his family were building the Ark, the residents and inhabitants mocked their company to build a ship. Noah, his family, and the animals entered the ark 120 years later.

Universal Flood

And Yahweh saw the great evil of man on earth and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only wicked all the time.
And Yahweh repented of having made man on earth, and lamented in his heart.
And Yahweh said: I will destroy from the face of the earth the man I have created, and the animals and those who crawl and the birds that fly because I regret having done them.

Book of Genesis 6: 5-7) [3]

The flood began the 600th year of Noah’s life, and lasted for 40 or 150 days (according to the version of the two authors of Genesis ), during which the whole world was underwater, destroying all traces of animal and human life, except for the animals that together with Noah, a year later the waters dropped, the ark rested on Mount Ararat.

Noah sent a raven which came out, and it was going and coming until the waters dried up on the earth, Noah did not give up, so he sent a dove, “in the afternoon”, with what Noah understood that the process of removing water from the earth was progressing. Seven days later the patriarch sent the pigeon again , which did not return, implying that the flood stopped.

In the year 601 of Noah’s life the Earth dried up, and despite their desire to leave the ark, Noah and his family waited another month, until the god Yahweh ordered them to leave.

A month later, he and his family and the animals came out of the ark, Noah killed a couple of each species of pure animal (such as goats and cows) and burned them on an altar. Yahweh liked that burning smell and gave him the rainbow as a symbol of his promise not to destroy the earth again with water. Noah lived 350 years after the flood and died at the age of 950 years.

Contradictions between two stories

The story of Noah that is presented in the Bible is a composition of two legends about a universal flood: one written by an author of the J school (tradition j ehovahista, composed around 950 BC) and the other written by a writer of the school P (tradition p resbiterial [priestly], composed around 450 a. n. e.). [4]

  • Number of Animals: In Book of Genesis 6:19, author P states that the god Yahweh ordered Noah to save a pair of specimens of each species on Earth. Instead, five verses later ( Genesis  7: 2) a phrase from writer J appears, stating that the god Yahweh ordered Noah to save one pair of specimens of each impure species and seven pairs of specimens of the pure species. [4]
  • Anachronism: In the time of Noah the god Yahweh had not yet given the Hebrews the definition of which animals are pure and which are impure. That ritual information is found in the Book of Leviticus , which according to Moses, was revealed directly to him by the god Yahwe – in fact it was composed by priest authors of the P tradition possibly in the following generations after Moses , that is, between 800 and 1000 years after the supposed time of the flood. Therefore Noah had no way of knowing which animals were pure and which were impure. [4]
  • Water Source: Writer J claims that the Flood was simply caused by rain. Instead the writer P claims that “the floodgates of the sky and the fountains of the deep were opened” (these writers, despite being priests, were completely ignorant about the process of evaporation of water and the formation of rain clouds: they believed that the sky was a huge tank of water on top of the flat world ). [4]
  • Duration of the Flood: Writer J claims that the flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights ( Genesis  7:12). Instead the writer P affirms that it lasted 150 days ( Genesis  7:24) and that only then “the fountains of the abyss and the waterfalls of the heavens were closed; and the rain from heaven was stopped “( Genesis  8: 2). [4]
  • Sacrifice: Author J claims that after the flood, Noah took a couple of specimens of the clean species, and killed them on a sacrificial altar for the bloodthirsty god Yahwe. This sacrifice only made sense to writer J, since according to his account Noah had brought up seven pairs of clean animals ( Genesis  7: 2), but if he had brought only one pair of each pure species, as author P clearly specified ( Genesis  6:19), Noah would have caused the extinction of all pure animals and birds. [4]
  • Rainbows: Neither author had any idea why rainbows formed. They only knew they formed after a rain. For shepherds who lived practically out in the open, storms were a very scary thing, and since the rainbow always appeared when the storm ended and the sun rose, the ignorant Hebrews considered it a divine sign of forgiveness of the sins that had caused the rain torrential, always accompanied by destruction. [4]
  • Anachronism: In the time of Noah the god Yahweh had not yet given the Hebrews the definition of which animals are pure and which are impure. This ritual information is found in the Book of Leviticus , which was composed by priest authors of the P tradition in the time of Moses , that is, about 800 years after the supposed universal flood. Therefore Noah had no way of knowing which animals were pure and which were impure. [4]
  • Evil of human beings: In writer J’s story there is an internal contradiction: when the god Yahweh smells the smell of burned meat (another anthropomorphism characteristic of J), [5] he repents of his actions and promises that he will never kill again to complete humanity, since he has created human beings with that natural inclination towards evil. However, that was the reason why he killed all men, women and children. He first decided to kill them because of the inherent evil in his created beings, but later he promised not to kill them again because he knows that his created beings inherently possess evil ( Genesis  8:21). [4]
  • Giants: In Genesis  6: 4) it is stated that giants (the Nephilim) lived on earth and that because of the wickedness of these men, the god Yahweh decided to send the flood to eliminate them. However, after the flood these giant Nephilim are still alive in the time of Moses in the land of Canaan ( Book of Numbers  13:33). [4]

Noah’s offspring

Shem: (from the Hebrew שֵׁם Shem, Šem | Šēm; literally name; popularity and by extension prosperity, fame) was one of the three sons of Noah and the elder brother of Cam and Japheth, as has been popularly believed by Christians. It is said that he was saved from the Flood with his brothers and his father and that he lived 600 years.

Cam: son of Noah, from whose four sons peoples like Canaan, Mizraim ( Egypt ) and other African peoples like Cush and Fut arose . For making fun of Noah, his father, when he was drunk, Noah cursed the son of Cam, Canaan and all his descendants. Along with Shem are the patriarchs of the Asyro-Babylonian races and the black race.

Japheth: He was the third son of Noah and father of Gomer (the ancestor of the Cimmerians), Magog, Madai (or Medos), Javan, Tubal, Moixec (or Mesec) and Tiras.

Noah’s sons were the progenitors of a new humanity. Yet this was not a morally renewed humanity. Babel would come to prove it. The inclination of the human heart would continue to be towards sin, since it was thus created by the god Yahwe.


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