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Chapter XVII.—The Flood.

“But by the shedding of much blood, the pure air being defiled with impure vapour, and sickening those who breathed it, rendered them liable to diseases, so that thenceforth men died prematurely.  But the earth being by these means greatly defiled, these first teemed with poison-darting and deadly creatures.  All things, therefore, going from bad to worse, on account of these brutal demons, God wished to cast them away like an evil leaven, lest each generation from a wicked seed, being like to that before it, and equally impious, should empty the world to come of saved men.  And for this purpose, having warned a certain righteous man,11021102    [Comp. Recognitions, v. 12.—R.] with his three sons, together with their wives and their children, to save themselves in an ark, He sent a deluge of water, that all being destroyed, the purified world might be handed over to him who was saved in the ark, in order to a second beginning of life.  And thus it came to pass.


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