Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative

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The Flood
Documentary Hypothesis Example 2

In this example, the verse assignments are arranged so that the doublets can be seen by their hypothetical sources. The sources are color-coded Jawist (J) and Priestly (P).

Note: the verse assignments in Example 1 does vary with Example 2, which indicates that there are differences in what verses are assigned to J and P among destructive critics.

Source critics explain that the differences are the result of P's extensive use of J which results in the difficult separation of P from J.

It must be emphasized that there is no evidence or historical record suggesting that a Jawist or Priestly source ever existed and that the division of the biblical text is purely arbitrary.


The LORD plans the Flood

God plans the Flood

Genesis 6:5-8 [J source]

5) Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6) The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7) The LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." 8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Genesis 6:11-16 [P source]

6) The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7) The LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." 8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. 9) These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God. 10) Noah became the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11) Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12) God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. 13) Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14) "Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. 15) "This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16) "You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.

Noah's special status

Noah's special status

Genesis 7:1 [J source]

1) Then the LORD said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.

(Gen 6:17-18) [P source]

17) "Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. 18) "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark--you and your sons and your wife, and your sons' wives with you.

Animals by pairs / 7 pairs

Animals by pairs

(Gen 7:2-5) [J source]

2) "You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; 3) also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4) "For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made." 5) Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him.

(Gen 6:19-22) [P source]

19) "And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20) "Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21) "As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them." 22) Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did.

Noah enters the Ark

Noah enters the Ark

(Gen 7:7) [J source]

7) Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood.

(Gen 7:13) [P source]

13) On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark,

Beginning of the Flood

Beginning of the Flood

(Gen 7:10) [J source]

10) It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth.

(Gen 7:11) [P source]

11) In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.

Duration of the Flood

Duration of the Flood

(Gen 7:12) [J source]

12) The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.

(Gen 7:24) [P source]

24) The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

End of the Flood

End of the Flood

(Gen 8:6-12) [J source]

6) Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; 7) and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. 8) Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; 9) but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. 10) So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. 11) The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. 12) Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

(Gen 8:13-16) [P source]

13) Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. 14) In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. 15) Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16) "Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons' wives with you.

The LORD's promise never to curse the earth

God's promise: the covenant of the rainbow

(Gen 8:20-22) [J source]

20) Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21) The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. 22) "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

(Gen 9:8-17) [P source]

8) Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 9) "Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; 10) and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. 11) "I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth." 12) God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; 13) I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14) "It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, 15) and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16) "When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." 17) And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."

Reference:

Gunther WP, ed., The Torah: A Modern Commentary, New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations (1981).

Boadt L, Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction, New York: Paulist Press (1984)



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Literary analysis of the Flood (Genesis 6-8)

How the Documentary Hypothesis analyzes the Flood:

Documentary Hypothesis Example 1


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