The corruption increases and civilization will soon destroy itself. To keep the world in its course towards completion, G-d determines that it is necessary to intervene and destroy all but a chosen few people. They will re-established society.
Even the environment needs to be refreshed.
G-d directs Noah and his family to take shelter within the Ark. Miraculously, representatives of every form of non-aquatic life gather together, enter, and all fit inside. They have provisions to live for an entire year.
Astronomical cycles are halted during this period. Nature is modified by the Great Flood. Giant species become extinct.
At the end of this ordeal, G-d makes a commitment to Noah that the world will never again be destroyed in this manner.
A fear of natural disaster is now firmly implanted within Mankind.
Noah becomes the founder of Mankind in the physical sense, as we are all his descendants.
G-d foresees that Noah will have a descendent upon whom the world and the plan of creation can be firmly established.
This will be Avraham (Abraham), who will appear ten generations later. He will earn the role as a world founder in the spiritual sense.
There is no story as widespread in human folklore as is the Great Flood.
There are many version of this episode. Every version contains the common thread that there was a great flood and Mankind derived from a boat family that survived.
Apart from the Torah, the oldest record of this story is a nineteenth-century BCE Babylonian text. It blames the flood on the pagan God of Water.
Accounts of the flood are found in such diverse cultures as those of the:
- American Indians
- Indian Indians
- Sri Lancans
- Tribes of South America
Illustration: Artist conception of Noah's Ark.
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