Uncle Aaron’s Bible Stories – A Cynical Take on Noah’s Flood – Part 1
It came to pass that humanity had spread across all of the earth. Girl children began to be born almost immediately, but it took some time for people to acknowledge their existence.
Life on earth was that of constant hard work and toil. This hard work combined with adequate nutrition guaranteed that a great number of these girl children grew up to be hot women. Their hotness was probably what got them noticed in the first place.
With all the running around farms and ranches and the bouncing this caused, the daughters of men unknowingly garnered the notice of the Sons of God. Angels, as the Sons of God would later be called, descended from heaven to get a better look at the daughters of men.
Because of this creepy ‘watching’ the sons of God became known as ‘Watchers’.
Eventually the Watchers egged each other on until a few of them worked up enough courage to approach the women. Most of them found it wasn’t terribly difficult to talk to women, and soon most of the Watchers had a wife.
The Watchers had sex with their wives and children were born. The boys grew up tall and strong. They were the heroes and giants of the primordial age. Their deeds brought them great renown. No mention is given to the girls, one can safely assume they were equally heroic and prone to being smoking hot.
All human society eventually falls into decadence as a result of their success. The primordial civilizations were no different. The corruption was only made worse by a thousand year life span, and the divine blood coursing through some people’s veins.
Eventually God began to regret every life decision that led Him to create not only man, but everything that lives on the ground and in the air. Fish and marine mammals and reptiles had not pissed him off. Everyone, even God, loves seals, especially killer whales. Everyone loves killer whales. Except seals, they hate killer whales. This is probabably because seals are just nature’s protein bars.
Noah, however was a good man, and more importantly a skilled grill master, which God appreciated above all else. Noah, you see, had found grace in the stomach of the Lord. So God decided to hold off for a hundred and twenty years, giving Noah plenty of time to execute the manual labor portions of his plan.
“So, Noah, we really need to talk,” God said, while finishing off a rib.
“Sure God what’s up?” Noah asked, polishing off his last steak.
“The world is a really shitty place. There’s fighting all the time, people are doing really weird shit with animals and other things. Cross breeding horses with donkies and killing any of their livestock that aren’t different than what I created. My ‘grandchildren’ are also kind of a pain in the ass,” God replied, “I think we need a fresh start, I’m going to wipe everyone out.”
Noah stared at God for a moment, “Is this because of that idiot Krolv guy that’s been hiding in the mountains, eating his own babies and recruiting a cannibal army? Drogreb the Valiant and his clan are going to kill him and his clan next month when the river recedes a bit. Most of the giants are pretty nice too. For example, Ug the Simple does odd jobs for the villages around here in exchange for food. I feed him on the weekends, he doesn’t charge the villagers enough. Great guy, Ug.”
“Ok some of the grandkids are fine. But the vast majority aren’t doing what I asked. Just fighting all the time, no sacrifices. It’s pretty bad. Definitely need a fresh start. I’m going to have to ask you to build a giant boat and load some of all the animals on it,” God said, taking another beer.
“What’s a boat?” Noah asked.
“A giant floating box.”
“Float on what? The sea is miles and miles from here. Should I move?”
“No, I’m going to make it rain and flood the earth and wipe everything clean. Everyone’s and everything is going to drown. Get your three sons and their wives to help. Boat is going to be four hundred and fifty feet long, a tenth as tall and about a fifth as wide. Make some rooms in it, three decks, a few windows and a big door on the side. Construct it out of planed wood, and cover the whole thing in pitch to water-proof it. You’re going to fill it with food, and load two of every animal. I’ll get Enoch to some plans drawn up so you can remember it.”
“That’s huge. That’ll take like, a hundred years to build with just the eight of us,” Noah mused, stroking his beard, “I know, I’ll get grandpa, dad, mom, grandma, my father and grandfather in law, their families. Oh! And my cousins Jubal, Jabal, Tubal-Cain and their sister Naamah involved. They’re good at building things, and Tubal-Cain and his students can make the tools we need. I know cousin Lamech is a ruthless bastard, but he’s family and always did right by us when we needed him. Made those bandits fifty years ago crap themselves just by showing up. Might take a few years with all of us.”
“No, just your wife, three sons, the wives of your sons and any kids they pop out between now and then,” God replied, “Everyone else sucks and I hate them.”
“Even grandpa Methuselah? What did he do? And my dad Lamech? He’s not like my cousin Lamech at all, he’s always followed you. My brothers and sisters aren’t bad people either. I know you don’t care for my cousins on uncle Cain’s side, they aren’t bad people. If anyone can figure out how to build this thing, it’s Tubal-Cain. Plus you know, that cow you just ate is descended from Jabal’s own stock.”
“I said they all suck and I hate them. Especially the other Lamech, he’s a polygamist. Just eight people, that’s all I’m saving,” God said, folding His arms across his chest.
“Ok God, whatever you say.”
So Noah and his sons began building the boat. Secretly they reached out to their extended families for help and in a remarkably short time the project came together.
In the time it took to build the ark, Noah’s father Lamech had passed on at the young age of seven hundred and seventy seven. Noah’s grandfather Methuselah had not passed on, the boat was complete and the animals had nearly all been loaded.
There was still much room on the ark, especially on the secret fourth deck Noah and his cousins had built to smuggle family members on board. Japheth and the women folk had sewed intricate animal costumes for years leading up to the finishing of the ark.
A week before Flood Day God came back down to Noah with a change of plans. “Noah, I changed my mind. You are going to have to take seven pairs of clean animals with you. It will be half a year without your barbecue, and I am going to be craving it like you would not believe when this is all over,” God said, looking over the ark. He did not notice the extra floor.
Noah rounded up a few dozen more pairs of animals. Complaining the whole time about how his boss keeps changing his mind once the project is nearly complete.
God then caused it to rain and at first no one cared. Water falling from the sky was not that big a deal. Unfortunately it kept raining for forty whole days. Not just light rain either, sweeping torrents of rain that caused the sea levels to rise. It didn’t help that God had also decided to punch a hole in the earth and caused massive underground aquifers to release their water.
People started to panic around day thirty-five and beg to be let into the ark. Noah wanted to let them in, but the door to the ark was sealed with God’s own hand, and thus impossible to open.
So it was Noah and his family hunkered down for a long wait in the ark, waiting for the whole thing to be over with.
Continued in part 2…
Lot of notes for this one. I’m going to place my thoughts on the Sons of God and Nephilim as a separate post, otherwise this is turning into twenty five hundred word essay.
A few things about the story never made sense to me until recently. It’s not just the sheer unlikelihood of a global flood, but how the story is told. What I discovered in the last few years by reading and listening to scholarly works on the Old Testament is that the flood narrative is actually two stories that have been woven together. The best way to tell is when something is repeated but changed slightly, you’re seeing a part of two stories.
The most obvious place to see this is the number of animals Noah is supposed to take. In Genesis 6:19-21 He clearly tells Noah to take a pair of every kind of animal. He even gets specific that He wants birds and the ‘creeping things’ to be loaded in pairs.
Later in chapter seven, He tells Noah to take seven pairs of clean animals, and one pair of every other animal. Did He change his mind? No this is an element of a different story being included.
Why are there two stories? I suspect it was because the person compiling this had two groups of people he had to please. When a new translation of the Bible comes out, people tend to look up their favorite couple of verses to see if ‘they got it right’. I do not know if modern translators do this on purpose, but some translations appear to word certain key verses the same, sometimes even if the wording of nearly everything else is different.
The ancient compiler must have had a similar issue with people saying, “You blasphemer, Noah used a raven not a dove. Please go burn yourself at the stake. Then go to hell, which you do not believe exists but we do.” So to solve the problem he wove both stories together as best he could.
In spite of the text being relatively clear as to why God decides to flood the earth, there are many differing theories. Here they are in outline form:
- People became universally depraved and wicked.
- God decided He needed a do-over.
- The half-divine Nephilim were an abomination and God decided to purge them.
- The problem was the mingling of mortal and divine flesh.
These two theories lead to their own reasons why God chose to save Noah.
- Noah and his family were the only righteous people left.
- Noah and his family were the only people left who were totally human.
These ideas are not mutually exclusive, however there are problems with the Nephilim as reason for deluge hypothesis, but only if you discount extra-biblical works. Here’s my breakdown of the problem.
- It specifically states the Nephilim existed on earth after the flood.
- Where did they come from if Noah was purely human?
- Noah or some of his family simply were not purely human and the hypothesis is wrong.
- The Sons of God just resumed marrying human women after the flood and produced more Nephilim.
- Why did God allow this intermingling to continue after the flood?
- Simple answer: The Nephilim and their parents were not the reason for the flood.
- The only other logical answer is that God was/is incapable of preventing these unions and simply reduced the lifespan of people to lessen the damage they caused. Most people would find this a distasteful explanation
It’s possible that one group thought the giants were the reason for the flood in their story. The other group might have thought it was sin and the giants either had nothing to do with it, or they did not even believe in giants. One of these ideas probably came later than the other as ideas, culture, and theology evolved. The compiler probably belonged to the later, and did the best he could to make both groups happy.
A note on gopher wood.
Gopher wood in Genesis has nothing to do with gophers, which for people who don’t live in North America, they’re a pest rodent that digs tunnels under gardens and farms. Gopher is a transliterated word that the early translators into English might have thought was a species. As a kid I was told this was probably a treated wood of some kind, probably to prevent rot. My research for this post indicates the word means “planed”. So God really just tells Noah to build an ark out of planks. One source claimed it might have meant ‘reeds’ and that the ark was a giant reed boat. I like the former, but I’ve definitely seen old pictures of the ark drawn like a reed boat.
Noah is not shown in scripture to have smuggled family members on board. This is my way of resolving the problem with Nephilim being around after the flood. Noah simply smuggled his extended family and a few giants on board and they snuck off when the ark landed. Also it makes sense he’d attempt to try this. His grandfather died the same year as the flood, probably drowning in it.
Anyway, part two is coming soon.