Noah, the Ark and the Flood

Drunken Noah by Michelangelo (Sistine Chapel ceiling)

The story of a man named Noah (actually the Egyptian god Osiris) who built a boat to save animals is a worldwide myth and found in every culture, but with slight variations.  According to the Jewish and Christian bibles, this 600 year old man (Genesis 7:6) was able to coax from two (Genesis 6:19) – or seven (Genesis 7:2) of every living animal on to his wooden ship that was to be the home even to termites, depending on which scripture in the “infallible Word of God” one reads. as well as his family to survive an enormous global flood that slaughtered millions of innocent animals as well as people who did not confess to the same agricultural gods (elohim is a plural noun) as worshipped in fear by Noah. 

God Osiris is enclosed in his Ark

Interestingly, Noah was “shut up in” the Ark on the same day that the Egyptian God Osiris was enclosed in his boat to survive a worldwide flood (Acharya S [D.M. Murdock] c(2004). Suns of God : Krishna, Buddha, and Christ unveiled. Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, p. 90) along with eight passengers reflecting the solar system. These eight are equivalent to the Egyptian octet of gods, who sail the ocean in a ship.

While Christian conservative biblical literalists claim that the ark rested (when the waters subsided) on a ‘Mount Ararat,’ the Bible actually stating that the Ark came to land on the “mountains of Ararat.” (Genesis 8:4: הָרֵי אֲרָרָט it is plural). The distinction is unique and significant, as one is a rock and the other a range of mountains.  These barren mountains produced a vineyard that Noah planted (the vines were on the ark) which miraculously (overnight) with fully grown and ripe grapes that miraculous turned into wine–a wine so good that Noah gets drunk, strips off his clothes, and falls into a drunken stupor. It is at that time that Noah is seen naked by his son Ham, who runs to tell his two brothers (Sem and Japheth), who return with Ham and see the naked “loins” (the penis and testicles) and only after looking at them, cover up their father and walk out backwards from the tent that covered Noah (even though it did not exist on the ark). The act of Ham seeing Noah naked (cp. http://www.salvationhistory.com/documents/scripture/JBL%20Gen9.pdf and an apologetic at http://www.ukapologetics.net/canaan.html) and laughing at his sex organ so infuriated the drunk patriarch that he curses allowed–not his son Ham who saw the penis and testicles, but Ham’s son Canaan for all eternity (Genesis 9:21-27):

כ  וַיָּחֶל נֹחַ, אִישׁ הָאֲדָמָה; וַיִּטַּע, כָּרֶם. 20 And Noah the husbandman began, and planted a vineyard.
כא  וַיֵּשְׁתְּ מִן-הַיַּיִן, וַיִּשְׁכָּר; וַיִּתְגַּל, בְּתוֹךְ אָהֳלֹה. 21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
כב  וַיַּרְא, חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן, אֵת, עֶרְוַת אָבִיו; וַיַּגֵּד לִשְׁנֵי-אֶחָיו, בַּחוּץ. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
כג  וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת-הַשִּׂמְלָה, וַיָּשִׂימוּ עַל-שְׁכֶם שְׁנֵיהֶם, וַיֵּלְכוּ אֲחֹרַנִּית, וַיְכַסּוּ אֵת עֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם; וּפְנֵיהֶם, אֲחֹרַנִּית, וְעֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם, לֹא רָאוּ. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
כד  וַיִּיקֶץ נֹחַ, מִיֵּינוֹ; וַיֵּדַע, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לוֹ בְּנוֹ הַקָּטָן. 24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done unto him.
כה  וַיֹּאמֶר, אָרוּר כְּנָעַן:  עֶבֶד עֲבָדִים, יִהְיֶה לְאֶחָיו. 25 And he said: Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
כו  וַיֹּאמֶר, בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי שֵׁם; וִיהִי כְנַעַן, עֶבֶד לָמוֹ. 26 And he said: Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be their servant.
כז  יַפְתְּ אֱלֹהִים לְיֶפֶת, וְיִשְׁכֹּן בְּאָהֳלֵי-שֵׁם; וִיהִי כְנַעַן, עֶבֶד לָמוֹ. 27 God enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents

This lay the ground for hatred that has since then caused an enormous amount of racism and suffering based on a pernicious and deleterious biblical fable.  Much of this legend comes from the twisted tales centered around Japheth. As Oxford University Hebrew professor George Henry Bateson Wright has written (Wright, George Henry Bateson (1985). Was Israel ever in Egypt? London: Williams & Norgate, page 51):

JAPHETH – Ewald…shows, with great probability, that this was a god of the north, as Ham was of the south, once again in imitation of Hindu mythology. Moreover, the fact, that in the Armenian legend, derived from “Assyrian or Babylonian documents,” the three sons of Xisuthros, who corresponds to Noah, are Zervin, Titan, and Japetosthe, is very instructive, suggesting that the unknown foreign word was retained in its original form…

While the bible does condemn seeing a parent’s “nakedness”, the word “nakedness” does not mean nudity; rather it refers to a sexual act.  The phrase “exposing or uncovering nakedness” is used several times elsewhere in the Pentateuch as a euphemism for sexual relations: the story may therefore be obliquely describing Canaan’s origin as the result of an incestuous relationship between Ham and Noah’s wife (his own mother–plagiarized from the account of Oedipus.

Oedipus slaying the Sphinx (British Museum Vase E696)

Oedipus (in Greek: Οἰδίπους which means “swollen foot” symbolic of fertility and excessive sexuality) had a daughter by a women he did not know was his mother, Jocasta {they had four children: two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, and two daughters, Antigone and Ismene which helped enrich the land and bring prosperity} slaying her husband, and marrying her to gain the kingdom, as was common in that epoch. Oedipus became especially popular when he slew the sphinx, and there was no concern about his marriage until much later.

The relationship or marriage between Oedipus and Jocasta was declared a curse only when the kingdom fell under a plague. Being a superstitious people, many believed that the marriage was against the will of the gods since Jocasta was much older than the new king. This popular concept became the foundation for tragedy written in 467 BCE by the Athenian playwright, Aeschylus.

It does follow the script put out in the various redactions of the book Genesis–including the rather hidden sexual side. Seeing the nakedness of a parent was forbidden, but not an action cursed. That is because “seeing the nakedness” implied illicit (or priestly prohibited) sexuality.  The Genesis story may easily have been describing Ham sodomising his father (or in his drunkenness, unknowingly as was the case with Lot whose daughters made him drunk so they could have sex with him and conceive his children (Genesis 19:33ff), Noah unwittingly sodomising Ham. Sodomy was wrong inasmuch as an emerging nation needed soldiers and to stop the act of procreation was considered more of a crime against the nation than any of that nation’s gods (in Genesis, “god” is elohim which is a plural noun for gods and goddesses). Worse yet for later generations, sodomy was considered a pagan act of worship reserved for “false” gods (see: Ide, Arthur Frederick (1991). Yahweh’s Wife: Sex in the Evolution of Monotheism; A Study of Yahweh, Asherah, Ritual Sodomy and Temple Prostitution. Las Colinas: Monument). The possibility of Genesis 9:20-27 is a concept that has been pushed through by a more radical Jewish rabbinical group, who created the original racist overtones. The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 108b states: “Our Rabbis taught: Three copulated in the ark, and they were all punished—the dog, the raven, and Ham. The dog was doomed to be tied, the raven expectorates [his seed into his mate’s mouth], and Ham was smitten in his skin.” {Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 108b} The nature of Ham’s “smitten” skin is unexplained, but later commentaries described this as a darkening of skin. A later note to the text states that the “smitten” skin referred to the blackness of descendants, and a later comment by rabbis in the Bereshit Rabbah asserts that Ham himself emerged from the ark black-skinned while the Zohar states that Ham’s son Canaan “darkened the faces of mankind”. (cp.  בראשית רבה and Book of Jubilees  7:7-13; cf. Solors, Werner (1997), Neither Black nor White Yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature, Oxford University Press, p. 87; cf. Ide, Arthur Frederick (1992). Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homophobia & Heterosexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument). Much of this comes from each more ancient Egyptian legends, which depict a select group of military (each of the men represented a zodiac symbol) carrying the ark so that no sexuality can take place until after the flood and then only among the chosen pairs.

Carrying the Ark over the turbulence of the flood (Egyptian)

The biblical account was neither new nor unique, but like most parts of the Old and New Testament, plagiarized from far older scriptures of far older civilizations from Egypt to Akkadia and beyond.  The Sumero-Armenian Ziusudra/Xisuthros had three sons, including one named “Japetosthes,” essentially the same as Noah’s son Japheth, also related to Pra-japati or Jvapeti, son of the Indian Menu, whose other sons possessed virtually the same names as those of Noah, i.e., Shem/Sem (the ancestor to all people who speak a semitic language: Akkadian, arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Hebrew, and Phoenician; the semitic language actually is a subfamily of Afroasiatic languages) and Ham. None of it is original. The story can be found in every illiterate community that has existed anywhere on this planet.

2 Comments

Filed under Ancient Egypt, Bible

2 responses to “Noah, the Ark and the Flood

  1. Pingback: Adam and Eve | Arthur Frederick Ide's Blog

  2. Pingback: Rape, Incest, Rep. Steven King (R-IA) and abortion | Arthur Frederick Ide's Blog

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