Monday, June 09, 2008

Chiasmus I - Noah, the Flood, and Hebrew Poetry

In my third post about Darwinism (untrue, dishonest, and immoral), Science & Religion (not necessarily at odds), and Truth & Falsehood (fundamentally opposed), I talked about the apparent cultural continuity across the 2346 BC date traditionally assigned to the Flood. I bore witness that this does not weaken my faith. In this article I'm going to talk a little more about the Biblical account of the Flood from a literary point of view.

Another post was about some interesting arithmetic associated with the ages of the four patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The account of The Flood also has some interesting numbers.

   Genesis 7:10 - And it came to pass after seven days, 
that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
Genesis 7:12 And the rain was upon the earth forty
days and forty nights.
Genesis 7:24 And the waters prevailed upon
the earth an hundred and fifty days.
Genesis 8:3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually:
and after the end of the hundred and fifty days
the waters were abated.
Genesis 8:6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days,
that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
Genesis 8:10 And he astayed yet other seven days;
and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;

Notice the pairing of the numbers of days: 7, 40, 150, 150, 40, and 7. What do you suppose is the significance?

Also take note that Noah and his family were on the ark for 394 days - more than a year. That's a lot of manure to shovel out.

A few years ago I collected all the examples of Hebrew poetry I could find on the internet and in the library. Michael Buining had some poems from Genesis in the Old Testament that I "snagged". I've learned that if you find something you like on the internet you'd better get a copy. It probably won't be there the next time you go looking for it. Buining has now put his material into a book, As the Author Intended...Discovering Structure and Meaning in the Bible, and it is no longer available in electronic format. Here's Michael Buining's outline of the story of the Flood.

Noah and the Ark

I'm going to assume Hebrew Poetry and Chiasmus are new to you and try to explain them. In my next post.

To wrap up this post, here are some other examples of Hebrew Poetry from Genesis. These all came from the same Michael Buining article.

Adam and Eve Created

The Fall

Cain and Abel

The Tower of Babel

To be continued...


At 12/15/10, 11:14 PM, Blogger thewordofme said...

Do you believe that Noah's flood was a real historical event?

At 9/18/12, 9:38 PM, Blogger mbuining said...

Hi! It's michael buining here--- i was just googling myself (as one does!) and saw that you'd enjoyed my book....i enjoyed writing it and studying everything behind it-- very glad you liked it to....


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