Noah & Babel

Week 3: Hebrew Bible - Assignments - Reading - Resources - Images

GENESIS: Noah and the Ark (Tyndale, 16th century)

Reading time: 3 minutes. Word count: 500 words.

Here's another note about Roman numerals, if you are interested. Roman numerals are not made up of letters "i" "v" and "x". Instead, they are just a fancy way or representing counting on your fingers: the Roman numeral "v" is not really the letter "v" - it is a shorthand form for a hand with all five fingers extended, showing only the two outside fingers. So when you see the Roman numeral here for 7 - vii - that is really one hand with all the fingers, plus two fingers fro the other hand. The Roman numeral "x" is not the letter "x" but two hands ("v" and "v"), one on top of the other. Not only did the Romans count on their fingers, they also used their fingers to do multiplication.

And the LORde sayd vnto Noe: goo in to the arcke both thou and all thy houssold. For the haue I sene rightuous before me in thys generacion. Of all clene beastes take vnto the .vij. of every kynde the male and hys female And of vnclene beastes a payre the male and hys female: lykewyse of the byrdes of the ayre vij. of every kynde male and female to save seed vppon all the erth. For .vij. dayes hence wyll I send rayne vppo the erth .xl. dayes & .xl. nyghtes and wyll dystroy all maner of thynges that I haue made from of the face of the erth..

And Noe dyd acordynge to all yt the lorde comaunded hym: and Noe was .vi. hundred yere olde when the floud of water came vppon the erth: and Noe went and his sonnes and his wyfe and his sonnes wyves wyth hym in to the arke from the waters of the floud. And of clene beastes and of beastes that ware vnclene and of byrdes and of all that crepeth vppo the erth came in by cooples of every kynde vnto Noe in to the arke: a male and a female: even as God commaunded Noe.

And the seventh daye the waters of the floud came vppon the erth. In the .vi. hundred yere of Noes lyfe in the secode moneth in the .xvij daye of the moneth yt same daye were all the founteynes of the grete depe broken vp & the wyndowes of heave were opened ad there fell a rayne vpon the erth .xl. dayes and .xl. nyghtes.

And the selfe same daye went Noe Sem Ham and Iapheth Noes sonnes and Noes wyfe and the .iij. wyues of his sonnes wyth them in to the arke: both they and all maner of beastes in their kide & all maner of catell in their kynde & all maner of wormes that crepe vppon the erth in their kynde and all maner of byrdes in there kynde. and all maner off foules what soever had feders. And they came vnto Noe in to the arke by cooples of all flesh yt had breth of lyfe in it. And they that came came male ad female of every flesh acordige as God comaunded hym: & ye LORde shytt the dore vppo him

And the floud came .xl. dayes & .xl. nyghtes vppon the erth & the water increased and bare vp the arcke ad it was lifte vp from of the erth And the water prevayled and increased exceadingly vppon the erth: and the arke went vppo he toppe of the waters. And the waters prevayled excedingly above mesure vppo the erth so that all the hye hylles which are vnder all the partes of heaven were covered: eve .xv. cubytes hye prevayled the waters so that the hylles were covered. And all fleshe that moved on the erth bothe birdes catell and beastes perisshed with al that crepte on the erth and all men: so that all that had the breth of liffe in the nostrels of it thorow out all that was on drye lond dyed.

Thus was destroyed all that was vppo the erth both man beastes wormes and foules of the ayre so that they were destroyed from the erth: save Noe was reserved only and they that were wyth hym in the arke. And the waters prevayled vppon the erth an hundred and fyftye dayes.

Questions. Make sure you can answer these questions about what you just read:

  • what animals did Noah take with him into the ark?
  • who were the people who came with Noah into the ark?
  • what happened to the people and animals outside of the ark?

Source: William Tyndale's Pentateuch (1530-1534).

Modern Languages / Anthropology 3043: Folklore & Mythology. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
Page last updated: October 9, 2004 12:52 PM