The Story: "I Set My Bow in the Heavens"

 

Last we heard, the offspring of Cain, Lamech, has boasted of abusing God’s sign of protection. The offspring of Seth, also named Lamech, had a son he named Noah, in hopes that he would console the world.

 

Now it was once said, in the time of Noah, the earth was full of beautiful daughters that the sons of God came down to choose. This was the time of giants, when the daughters bore from the sons of God all the heroes of old, the masterful mortals of renown.

 

But God saw the earth was also full of those whose hearts only imagined evil all through the day. Yahweh regretted making humankind and set to destroy all of creation.

 

Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh. Noah walked with God and had three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth. Still, the earth was ruined before God, filled with violence. God told Noah of his intention to destroy all creation, and commanded him to make an ark, giving him the instructions and dimensions for its building.


“I shall bring a flood,” God said, “but with you I will establish my covenant, and you and your family will come into the ark. Also bring two of every living thing, male and female. And gather enough food that both you and they may be kept alive.”

 

And Noah did all that God commanded.

 

Still another said that Yahweh commanded Noah into the ark because of his righteousness, and told Noah to only take one pair each of the unclean beasts, but to take seven pairs each of the clean beasts. The birds, too, were to be collected in pairs of seven.

 

He would have seven days before the rains came down for forty days and nights. And so they all gathered into the ark Noah’s family, the clean and unclean animals, and the birds, and after seven days the waters came.

 

Noah was 600 years old when the rains began to come down for forty days and forty nights, and all that had the breath of life came in twos into the ark.The ark was lifted up upon the earth and went upon the face of the water, just as the spirit of God had once hovered over the deep.

 

All with the breath of life on the earth perished, save those in the ark. God remembered those in the ark and blew a wind to subside the waters. All water was held in check, though the waters returned continually. After one hundred and fifty days, the water abated.

 

 

The ark found itself on Mount Ararat, and in time the tops of the  mountains began to appear. On the fortieth day, Noah had sent out a raven, which did not return but flew until the waters dried. He also sent out a dove, which when it did not find dry land, came back to Noah and was brought back into the ark. After seven days, he sent the dove out again, and this time, it returned with a torn olive leaf in it’s beak. Noah knew this way that the water was subsiding. After another seven days he sent out the dove again for a third time, and this time it did not return.

 

God spoke to Noah, saying that all should leave the ark, and Noah built an altar to Yahweh offering clean sacrifices. Then Yahweh smelled the offerings and said that never again would the ground be cursed for humankind, nor would all living things be killed. For as long as the earth exists there will be summer, winter, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, and day and night.

 

 

God commissioned humankind to once again be fruitful and multiply, and eat meat now as well as herb. Moreover humans must not shed one another’s blood, for in the image of God they all were made. And again, God established the covenant with all living things. Never again would a flood destroy the earth, and as a token of this covenant, God’s bow was set in the sky. Whenever there was a cloud in the sky, so too would there be the bow, that God would remember the covenant.

 

But humankind would suffer from blame and division again. As they moved over all the earth, Noah grew a vineyard and made wine. One time he became too drunk, and rather than help him, his son Ham saw him and told his other brothers. Shem and Japheth instead did not view their father in his state, but walking backwards covered him with a blanket.

 

Noah became angry at Ham, and cursed his descendants, the Canaanites, invoking God to make them servants of the descendents of his other two sons. Thus from these divides other nations formed, the Canaanites, the islands of the Gentiles, the mighty cities of Nineveh, Ashur, and what would later become Philistin, the kingdoms of Cush and Babel.

 

Babel seemed to be a kingdom of unity, all speaking the same language, using brick and mortar to make a tower up to the height of heaven. They hoped to make for themselves a name in case of being scattered all over the earth. But Yahweh saw in their working that they would be limitless together, and confused their language, scattering them all over the earth before they could make their name.

 

Still, God’s bow hangs in the sky.

 

But this is just one interpretation.

 

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