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Section IV.

On Gen. vii. 6

Hippolytus, the Syrian expositor of the Targum, has said: We find in an ancient Hebrew copy that God commanded Noah to range the wild beasts in order in the lower floor or storey, and to separate the males from the females by putting wooden stakes between them.

And thus, too, he did with all the cattle, and also with the birds in the middle storey. And God ordered the males thus to be separated from the females for the sake of decency and purity, lest they should perchance get intermingled with each other.

Moreover, God said to Moses: Provide victuals for yourself and your children. And let them be of wheat, ground, pounded, kneaded with water, and dried. And Noah there and then bade his wife, and his sons’ wives, diligently attend to kneading dough and laying it in the oven. They kneaded dough accordingly, and prepared just about as much as might be sufficient for them, so that nothing should remain over but the very least.

And God charged Noah, saying to him:  Whosoever shall first announce to you the approach of the deluge, him you shall destroy that very moment. In the meantime, moreover, the wife of Cham was standing by, about to put a large piece of bread into the oven. And suddenly, according to the word of the Lord, water rushed forth from the oven, and the flow of water penetrated and destroyed the bread. Therefore the wife of Cham exclaimed, addressing herself to Noah: Oh, sir, the word of God is come good: “that which God foretold is come to pass;” execute, therefore, that which the Lord commanded. And when Noah heard the words of the wife of Chain, he said to her: Is then the flood already come? The wife of Cham said to him: Thou hast said it. God, however, suddenly charged Noah, saying:  Destroy not the wife of Cham; for from thy mouth is the beginning of destruction—“thou didst first say, The flood is come.” At the voice of Noah the flood came, and suddenly the water destroyed that bread. And the floodgates of heaven were opened, and the rains broke upon the earth. And that same voice, in sooth, which had said of old, “Let the waters be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear,”13701370    Gen. i. 9. gave permission to the fountain of waters and the floods of the seas to break forth of their own accord, and brought out the waters.

Consider what God said about the world: Let all its high places be brought low, and they were brought low; and let its low places be raised from its depths.

And the earth was made bare and empty of all existence, as it was at the beginning.

And the rain descended from above, and the earth burst open beneath. And the frame of the earth was destroyed, and its primitive order was broken. And the world became such as it was when desolated at the beginning by the waters which flowed over it. Nor was any one of the existences upon it left in its integrity.

Its former structure went to wreck, and the earth was disfigured by the flood of waters that burst upon it, and by the magnitude of its inundations, and the multitude of showers, and the eruption from its depths, as the waters continually broke forth.  In fine, it was left such as it was formerly13711371    Gen. i. 9..


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