Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Various Noah Notes

Gen 6:19: וּמִכָּל-הָחַי מִכָּל-בָּשָׂר שְׁנַיִם מִכֹּל, תָּבִיא אֶל-הַתֵּבָה--לְהַחֲיֹת אִתָּךְ: זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, יִהְיוּ
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 

On the spot Rashi says that shadim, or demons, were included, too. Why? Perhaps, because the verse says וּמִכָּל-הָחַי מִכָּל-בָּשָׂר suggesting that things that were alive, but not flesh, were brought on board as well. Rashi's source for this is Beraysis Raba, and I am quick to note that not all of BR found its way into Rashi's commentary. He includes only what can be used to address a perceived textual anomaly.

Gen 7:17 : וַיְהִי הַמַּבּוּל אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, עַל-הָאָרֶץ; וַיִּרְבּוּ הַמַּיִם, וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת-הַתֵּבָה, וַתָּרָם, מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ.

The identical verb appears here, and earlier when God instructs the animals to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת-הָאָרֶץ) Says Alter (paraphrase): "The multiplying waters are made to destroy the living creatures who were enjoined to proliferate with the same verb.

Gen 7:11 tells us "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." 

This sounds like a reversal of the second day of creation, when "God said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so."

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