פָּרָשַׁת נֹחַ | Parashat Noaḥ (Genesis 6:9-11:32), color-coded according to its narrative layers

According to the poetry of the Midrash Tanchuma, Bereshit 1:1, the words of the Torah were inscribed “black fire on white fire.” For many years, I’ve wanted to look deeply into the black fire and visualize the full spectrum of the Torah’s sources, hidden within the black fire but revealed through a critical analysis of its layers of redaction. Below, I’ve set the text of the first Torah portion in the annual Torah reading cycle, using color-coding to distinguish the stratigraphic layers forming the composition of the Masoretic text according to the Supplementary Hypothesis presented by Tsemaḥ Yoreh in his Kernel to Canon series of books (2013-2017). As Dr. Yoreh explains,

The Supplementary Hypothesis asserts that the Pentateuch was composed by several different writers. This reflects an overwhelming academic consensus on Biblical authorship, even among scholars who do not subscribe to the Supplementary Hypothesis in particular.[….] According to the Supplementary Hypothesis, Biblical narrative is layered. No editor took a blowtorch to the parts of the Bible he disagreed with and destroyed them; if he had, we would not find these repetitions and contradictions. Instead, Biblical narrative began with a coherent, foundational bedrock, which over time accreted more and more storylines. Unlike geological processes, though, this process of addition was deliberate. What happened if one author disagreed with his predecessor’s storyline or worldview? He did not simply take an axe to the narrative; instead, he attempted to bury his predecessor’s point of view by repeating his own over and over again, thus skewing our understanding of the story in new ways. Every generation of readers sees the world differently, and thus every generation of writers seeks to adapt their predecessors’ cultural heritage to their own situation. We are not meant simply to dismiss earlier stories; rather, the intention of later writers is to transform our understanding of those stories via their additions.

⬛ The earliest of the three strata in Parashat Noaḥ was composed in the late eighth or early seventh century BCE in the southern Kingdom of Judah. This layer is indicated with a BLUE text, and is commonly known as the “J.” (The oldest layer in the Torah, “E,” does not appear in Parashat Noaḥ.)

⬛ Text in GREEN indicates the “P” (i.e. Priestly) layer, and is, as Dr. Yoreh explains, “responsible for supplementing the ‘J’ narrative with dates, names, and numbers, thus ‘ordering’ and authenticating J’s account.” This strata dates from the exilic period, 571–486 BCE.

⬛ Presented here in FUCHSIA is the final redactor of the text, a post-exilic (pre-3rd c. BCE) source that Dr. Yoreh refers to as the “Bridger.” B supplements earlier strata with genealogies and popular myths, providing narrative bridges between distant story cycles.

Parashat Noaḥ (Genesis 6:9-11:32) in the annual Torah reading cycle, is read on the first shabbat of the month of Marḥeshvan (a/k/a Bul), which due to the onset of the rainy season, is most closely associated with floods. The parashah is preceded by Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8); parashat Lekh Lekha (Genesis 12:1-17:27) follows it.

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

6 ט אֵ֚לֶּה תּוֹלְדֹ֣ת נֹ֔חַ נֹ֗חַ אִ֥ישׁ צַדִּ֛יק תָּמִ֥ים הָיָ֖ה בְּדֹֽרֹתָ֑יו אֶת־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים הִֽתְהַלֶּךְ־נֹֽחַ׃ י וַיּ֥וֹלֶד נֹ֖חַ שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה בָנִ֑ים אֶת־שֵׁ֖ם אֶת־חָ֥ם וְאֶת־יָֽפֶת׃ יא וַתִּשָּׁחֵ֥ת הָאָ֖רֶץ לִפְנֵ֣י הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים וַתִּמָּלֵ֥א הָאָ֖רֶץ חָמָֽס׃ יב וַיַּ֧רְא אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וְהִנֵּ֣ה נִשְׁחָ֑תָה כִּֽי־הִשְׁחִ֧ית כׇּל־בָּשָׂ֛ר אֶת־דַּרְכּ֖וֹ עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
6 9 These are the progeny of Noaḥ. Noaḥ was a righteous, wholehearted man in his generation, in accord with Elohim did Noaḥ walk. 10 Noaḥ fathered three sons: Shem, Ḥam, and Yafet. 11 Now the earth had gone to ruin before Elohim, the earth was filled with wrongdoing. 12 Elohim saw the earth, and here: it had gone to ruin, for all flesh had ruined its way upon the earth.

יג וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֜ים לְנֹ֗חַ קֵ֤ץ כׇּל־בָּשָׂר֙ בָּ֣א לְפָנַ֔י כִּֽי־מָלְאָ֥ה הָאָ֛רֶץ חָמָ֖ס מִפְּנֵיהֶ֑ם וְהִנְנִ֥י מַשְׁחִיתָ֖ם אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ יד עֲשֵׂ֤ה לְךָ֙ תֵּבַ֣ת עֲצֵי־גֹ֔פֶר קִנִּ֖ים תַּֽעֲשֶׂ֣ה אֶת־הַתֵּבָ֑ה וְכָֽפַרְתָּ֥ אֹתָ֛הּ מִבַּ֥יִת וּמִח֖וּץ בַּכֹּֽפֶר׃ טו וְזֶ֕ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּֽעֲשֶׂ֖ה אֹתָ֑הּ שְׁלֹ֧שׁ מֵא֣וֹת אַמָּ֗ה אֹ֚רֶךְ הַתֵּבָ֔ה חֲמִשִּׁ֤ים אַמָּה֙ רׇחְבָּ֔הּ וּשְׁלֹשִׁ֥ים אַמָּ֖ה קוֹמָתָֽהּ׃ טז צֹ֣הַר ׀ תַּֽעֲשֶׂ֣ה לַתֵּבָ֗ה וְאֶל־אַמָּה֙ תְּכַלֶּ֣נָּה מִלְמַ֔עְלָה וּפֶ֥תַח הַתֵּבָ֖ה בְּצִדָּ֣הּ תָּשִׂ֑ים תַּחְתִּיִּ֛ם שְׁנִיִּ֥ם וּשְׁלִשִׁ֖ים תַּֽעֲשֶֽׂהָ׃
13 Elohim said to Noaḥ: “An end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with wrongdoing through them; here, I am about to bring ruin upon them, along with the earth. 14 Make yourself an Ark of gofer wood, with reeds make the Ark, and cover it within and without with a covering-of-pitch. 15 And this is how you are to make it: Three hundred amot the length of the Ark, fifty amot its breadth, and thirty amot its height. 16 A tsohar/skylight you are to make for the Ark, finishing it to an amah upward. The entrance of the Ark you are to set in its side; with a lower, a second, and a third deck you are to make it.”

יז וַאֲנִ֗י הִנְנִי֩ מֵבִ֨יא אֶת־הַמַּבּ֥וּל מַ֙יִם֙ עַל־הָאָ֔רֶץ לְשַׁחֵ֣ת כׇּל־בָּשָׂ֗ר אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ֙ ר֣וּחַ חַיִּ֔ים מִתַּ֖חַת הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם כֹּ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־בָּאָ֖רֶץ יִגְוָֽע׃ יח וַהֲקִמֹתִ֥י אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֖י אִתָּ֑ךְ וּבָאתָ֙ אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֔ה אַתָּ֕ה וּבָנֶ֛יךָ וְאִשְׁתְּךָ֥ וּנְשֵֽׁי־בָנֶ֖יךָ אִתָּֽךְ׃ יט וּמִכׇּל־הָ֠חַ֠י מִֽכׇּל־בָּשָׂ֞ר שְׁנַ֧יִם מִכֹּ֛ל תָּבִ֥יא אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֖ה לְהַחֲיֹ֣ת אִתָּ֑ךְ זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה יִֽהְיֽוּ׃ כ מֵהָע֣וֹף לְמִינֵ֗הוּ וּמִן־הַבְּהֵמָה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ מִכֹּ֛ל רֶ֥מֶשׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה לְמִינֵ֑הוּ שְׁנַ֧יִם מִכֹּ֛ל יָבֹ֥אוּ אֵלֶ֖יךָ לְהַֽחֲיֽוֹת׃ כא וְאַתָּ֣ה קַח־לְךָ֗ מִכׇּל־מַֽאֲכָל֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יֵֽאָכֵ֔ל וְאָסַפְתָּ֖ אֵלֶ֑יךָ וְהָיָ֥ה לְךָ֛ וְלָהֶ֖ם לְאׇכְלָֽה׃ כב וַיַּ֖עַשׂ נֹ֑חַ כְּ֠כֹ֠ל אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֥ה אֹת֛וֹ אֱלֹהִ֖ים כֵּ֥ן עָשָֽׂה׃
17 As for me, here, I am about to bring on the Deluge, water upon the earth, to bring ruin upon all flesh that has rush of life in it, from under the heavens, all that is on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you: you are to come into the Ark, you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you, 19 and from all living-things, from all flesh, you are to bring two from all into the Ark, to remain alive with you. They are to be a male and a female (each), 20 from birds after their kind, from herd-animals after their kind, from all crawling things of the fertile-ground after their kind, two from all are to come to you, to remain alive. 21 As for you, take for yourself from all edible-things that are eaten and gather it to you, it shall be for you and for them, for eating. 22 Noaḥ did it, according to all that Elohim commanded him, so he did.

שני 7 א וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ לְנֹ֔חַ בֹּֽא־אַתָּ֥ה וְכׇל־בֵּיתְךָ֖ אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֑ה כִּֽי־אֹתְךָ֥ רָאִ֛יתִי צַדִּ֥יק לְפָנַ֖י בַּדּ֥וֹר הַזֶּֽה׃ ב מִכֹּ֣ל ׀ הַבְּהֵמָ֣ה הַטְּהוֹרָ֗ה תִּֽקַּח־לְךָ֛ שִׁבְעָ֥ה שִׁבְעָ֖ה אִ֣ישׁ וְאִשְׁתּ֑וֹ וּמִן־הַבְּהֵמָ֡ה אֲ֠שֶׁ֠ר לֹ֣א טְהֹרָ֥ה הִ֛וא שְׁנַ֖יִם אִ֥ישׁ וְאִשְׁתּֽוֹ׃ ג גַּ֣ם מֵע֧וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֛יִם שִׁבְעָ֥ה שִׁבְעָ֖ה זָכָ֣ר וּנְקֵבָ֑ה לְחַיּ֥וֹת זֶ֖רַע עַל־פְּנֵ֥י כׇל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ ד כִּי֩ לְיָמִ֨ים ע֜וֹד שִׁבְעָ֗ה אָֽנֹכִי֙ מַמְטִ֣יר עַל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֔וֹם וְאַרְבָּעִ֖ים לָ֑יְלָה וּמָחִ֗יתִי אֶֽת־כׇּל־הַיְקוּם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשִׂ֔יתִי מֵעַ֖ל פְּנֵ֥י הָֽאֲדָמָֽה׃
7 1 YHVH said to Noaḥ: “Come, you and all your household, into the Ark! For you I have seen as righteous before me in this generation. 2 From all (ritually) pure animals you are to take seven and seven (each), a male and his mate, and from all the herd-animals that are not pure, two (each), a male and his mate, 3 and also from the birds of the heavens, seven and seven (each), male and female, to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. 4 For in yet seven days I will make it rain upon the earth for forty days and forty nights and will blot out all existing-things that I have made, from the face of the fertile-ground.”[1]Note the 40 day period in J versus the 150 extra days of water in P’s vs. 24.

ה וַיַּ֖עַשׂ נֹ֑חַ כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֖הוּ יְהֹוָֽה׃
5 Noaḥ did it, according to all that YHVH had commanded him.[2]Vs. 5 is a typical priestly insertion of age, and note the dates inserted by P in vs. 11 and in 8:4, 5, 13 – exact numbers impart authenticity.

ו וְנֹ֕חַ בֶּן־שֵׁ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וְהַמַּבּ֣וּל הָיָ֔ה מַ֖יִם עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ ז וַיָּ֣בֹא נֹ֗חַ וּ֠בָנָ֠יו וְאִשְׁתּ֧וֹ וּנְשֵֽׁי־בָנָ֛יו אִתּ֖וֹ אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֑ה מִפְּנֵ֖י מֵ֥י הַמַּבּֽוּל׃ ח מִן־הַבְּהֵמָה֙ הַטְּהוֹרָ֔ה וּמִ֨ן־הַבְּהֵמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵינֶ֖נָּה טְהֹרָ֑ה וּמִ֨ן־הָע֔וֹף וְכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־רֹמֵ֖שׂ עַל־הָֽאֲדָמָֽה׃ ט שְׁנַ֨יִם שְׁנַ֜יִם בָּ֧אוּ אֶל־נֹ֛חַ אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֖ה זָכָ֣ר וּנְקֵבָ֑ה כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־נֹֽחַ׃ י וַֽיְהִ֖י לְשִׁבְעַ֣ת הַיָּמִ֑ים וּמֵ֣י הַמַּבּ֔וּל הָי֖וּ עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ יא בִּשְׁנַ֨ת שֵׁשׁ־מֵא֤וֹת שָׁנָה֙ לְחַיֵּי־נֹ֔חַ בַּחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י בְּשִׁבְעָֽה־עָשָׂ֥ר י֖וֹם לַחֹ֑דֶשׁ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֗ה נִבְקְעוּ֙ כׇּֽל־מַעְיְנֹת֙‏[3]In Ashkenazi and Sefaradi Torah scrolls, “מַעְיְנוֹת֙ תְּה֣וֹם רַבָּ֔ה וַאֲרֻבֹּ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם נִפְתָּֽחוּ׃ יב וַֽיְהִ֥י הַגֶּ֖שֶׁם עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֔וֹם וְאַרְבָּעִ֖ים לָֽיְלָה׃
6 Noaḥ was six hundred years old when the Deluge occurred, water upon the earth; 7 and Noaḥ came, his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him, into the Ark before the waters of the Deluge.[4]Vs 5 tells us that Noah did all that the Lord commanded him, parallel to the final verse of Chapter 6, but no further description of the compliance appears in J, except for the terse notice that Noah and his family went into the ark in vs. 7. P, however, is not content with such terse notices and details Noah’s compliance in the following verse. 8 From the pure animals and from the animals that are not pure and from the birds and all that crawls about on the fertile-ground – 9 two and two (each) came to Noaḥ, into the Ark, male and female, as Elohim had commanded Noaḥ.[5]In Chapter 6 above we noted the disagreement between P and J regarding the amount of animals entering the ark. In this verse P highlights the 2 by 2 count, emphasizing that the dichotomy between pure and impure does not apply in this case. 10 After the seven days it was that the waters of the Deluge were upon the earth.[6]The exact date of the flood relative to Noah’s age is inserted by P, note P’s poesy here: “On that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened”. In J there is no mention of the deep, as opposed to P who mentions the deep in the creation account (first day). 11 In the six hundredth year of Noaḥ’s life, in the second New-moon, on the seventeenth day after the New-moon, on that day: then burst all the well-springs of the great Ocean and the sluices of the heavens opened up.[7]Once again J’s 40 day flood is mentioned as opposed to the much longer flood in P. 12 The torrent was upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.[8]Vss. 13-16 repeat the chronological and genealogical details as well as Noah’s compliance. Emphasis of P’s divergent viewpoint regarding the length of the flood is served by providing exact dates and swerves the reader to P’s version of events. Note the repetition of the number of Noah’s children, emphasis through repetition is a common vehicle of supplementary editors, and three children is what we remember, though in J’s account there are four, and see below in Chapter 9.

יג בְּעֶ֨צֶם הַיּ֤וֹם הַזֶּה֙ בָּ֣א נֹ֔חַ וְשֵׁם־וְחָ֥ם וָיֶ֖פֶת בְּנֵי־נֹ֑חַ וְאֵ֣שֶׁת נֹ֗חַ וּשְׁלֹ֧שֶׁת נְשֵֽׁי־בָנָ֛יו אִתָּ֖ם אֶל־הַתֵּבָֽה׃ יד הֵ֜מָּה וְכׇל־הַֽחַיָּ֣ה לְמִינָ֗הּ וְכׇל־הַבְּהֵמָה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ וְכׇל־הָרֶ֛מֶשׂ הָרֹמֵ֥שׂ עַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ לְמִינֵ֑הוּ וְכׇל־הָע֣וֹף לְמִינֵ֔הוּ כֹּ֖ל צִפּ֥וֹר כׇּל־כָּנָֽף׃ טו וַיָּבֹ֥אוּ אֶל־נֹ֖חַ אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֑ה שְׁנַ֤יִם שְׁנַ֙יִם֙ מִכׇּל־הַבָּשָׂ֔ר אֲשֶׁר־בּ֖וֹ ר֥וּחַ חַיִּֽים׃ טז וְהַבָּאִ֗ים זָכָ֨ר וּנְקֵבָ֤ה מִכׇּל־בָּשָׂר֙ בָּ֔אוּ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה אֹת֖וֹ אֱלֹהִ֑ים וַיִּסְגֹּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה בַּֽעֲדֽוֹ׃
13 On that very day came Noaḥ, and Shem, Ḥam, and Yafet, Noaḥ’s sons, and Noaḥ’s wife and his three sons’ wives with them, into the Ark, 14 they and all wildlife after their kind, all herd-animals after their kind, all crawling things that crawl upon the earth after their kind, all birds after their kind, all chirping-things, all winged-things; 15 they came to Noaḥ, into the Ark, two and two (each) from all flesh in which there is the rush of life. 16 And those that came, male and female from all flesh they came, as Elohim had commanded him.[9]Note the sudden textual swerve in divine names, in vs. 16a it was “God”[Elohim] in vs. 16b it is “the Lord” [Yhwh]. YHVH closed (the door) upon him.[10]Since everyone is in the Ark only J’s relatively anthropomorphic Yhwh can close it, as opposed to P’s more distanced God.

שלישי יז וַֽיְהִ֧י הַמַּבּ֛וּל אַרְבָּעִ֥ים י֖וֹם עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיִּרְבּ֣וּ הַמַּ֗יִם וַיִּשְׂאוּ֙ אֶת־הַתֵּבָ֔ה וַתָּ֖רׇם מֵעַ֥ל הָאָֽרֶץ׃ יח וַיִּגְבְּר֥וּ הַמַּ֛יִם וַיִּרְבּ֥וּ מְאֹ֖ד עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַתֵּ֥לֶךְ הַתֵּבָ֖ה עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַמָּֽיִם׃ יט וְהַמַּ֗יִם גָּ֥בְר֛וּ מְאֹ֥ד מְאֹ֖ד עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיְכֻסּ֗וּ כׇּל־הֶֽהָרִים֙ הַגְּבֹהִ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־תַּ֖חַת כׇּל־הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃ כ חֲמֵ֨שׁ עֶשְׂרֵ֤ה אַמָּה֙ מִלְמַ֔עְלָה גָּבְר֖וּ הַמָּ֑יִם וַיְכֻסּ֖וּ הֶהָרִֽים׃ כא וַיִּגְוַ֞ע כׇּל־בָּשָׂ֣ר ׀ הָרֹמֵ֣שׂ עַל־הָאָ֗רֶץ בָּע֤וֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָה֙ וּבַ֣חַיָּ֔ה וּבְכׇל־הַשֶּׁ֖רֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵ֣ץ עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וְכֹ֖ל הָאָדָֽם׃ כב כֹּ֡ל אֲשֶׁר֩ נִשְׁמַת־ר֨וּחַ חַיִּ֜ים בְּאַפָּ֗יו מִכֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר בֶּחָֽרָבָ֖ה מֵֽתוּ׃ כג וַיִּ֜מַח אֶֽת־כׇּל־הַיְק֣וּם ׀ אֲשֶׁ֣ר ׀ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י הָֽאֲדָמָ֗ה מֵאָדָ֤ם עַד־בְּהֵמָה֙ עַד־רֶ֙מֶשׂ֙ וְעַד־ע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וַיִּמָּח֖וּ מִן־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיִּשָּׁ֧אֶר אַךְ־נֹ֛חַ וַֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר אִתּ֖וֹ בַּתֵּבָֽה׃ כד וַיִּגְבְּר֥וּ הַמַּ֖יִם עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים וּמְאַ֖ת יֽוֹם׃
17 The Deluge was forty days upon the earth.[11]Vs. 17 is an editorial resumptive repetition following the P digression of chronology and dates in vss. 13-16, and thus the J timeline is repeated. Since P’s flood-time is longer he simply divides the flood into two periods the first a period of rain which he borrows from J, then a period of water swelling up from the ground. The waters increased and lifted the Ark, so that it was raised above the earth; 18 the waters swelled and increased exceedingly upon the earth, so that the Ark floated upon the face of the waters. 19 When the waters had swelled exceedingly, yes, exceedingly over the earth, all high mountains that were under all the heavens were covered.[12]J mentions the swelling of the waters, this logically occurred as a result of the rain. P, however, explains that the swelling was result of the “fountains of the deep” in vs. 11. 20 Fifteen amot upward swelled the waters, thus the mountains were covered. 21 Then expired all flesh that crawls about upon the earth – birds, herd-animals, wildlife, and all swarming things that swarm upon the earth, and all Earthlings; 22 all that had the breath of the rush of life in their nostrils, all that were on firm-ground, died.[13]Note the different verbs used in J and in P for the blotting out of life. For J it is וימח – “he blotted out” in vs. 23, and earlier on in 6:7. For P, the description of life’s termination is typically less anthropomormphic and the words used are גוע, מות, relating to the death of the animals, rather than to any direct action on God’s part. The exact details of how high the waters rose are typical of the quantitative minutiae P likes to add to the text. 23 He blotted out all existing-things that were on the face of the fertile-ground, from man to herd-animal, to crawling thing and to birds of the heavens, they were blotted out from the earth. Noaḥ alone remained, and those who were with him in the Ark.[14]See comments on vs. 12 for the difference between J and P terminology regarding the blotting out of life. 24 The waters swelled upon the earth for a hundred and fifty days. [15]P’s 150 days are mentioned here as opposed to the 40 day period in J.

8 א וַיִּזְכֹּ֤ר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־נֹ֔חַ וְאֵ֤ת כׇּל־הַֽחַיָּה֙ וְאֶת־כׇּל־הַבְּהֵמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר אִתּ֖וֹ בַּתֵּבָ֑ה וַיַּעֲבֵ֨ר אֱלֹהִ֥ים ר֙וּחַ֙ עַל־הָאָ֔רֶץ וַיָּשֹׁ֖כּוּ הַמָּֽיִם׃ ב וַיִּסָּֽכְרוּ֙ מַעְיְנֹ֣ת תְּה֔וֹם וַֽאֲרֻבֹּ֖ת הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם וַיִּכָּלֵ֥א הַגֶּ֖שֶׁם מִן־הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃ ג וַיָּשֻׁ֧בוּ הַמַּ֛יִם מֵעַ֥ל הָאָ֖רֶץ הָל֣וֹךְ וָשׁ֑וֹב וַיַּחְסְר֣וּ הַמַּ֔יִם מִקְצֵ֕ה חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים וּמְאַ֖ת יֽוֹם׃ ד וַתָּ֤נַח הַתֵּבָה֙ בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י בְּשִׁבְעָה־עָשָׂ֥ר י֖וֹם לַחֹ֑דֶשׁ עַ֖ל הָרֵ֥י אֲרָרָֽט׃ ה וְהַמַּ֗יִם הָיוּ֙ הָל֣וֹךְ וְחָס֔וֹר עַ֖ד הַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הָֽעֲשִׂירִ֑י בָּֽעֲשִׂירִי֙ בְּאֶחָ֣ד לַחֹ֔דֶשׁ נִרְא֖וּ רָאשֵׁ֥י הֶֽהָרִֽים׃
8 1 But Elohim paid mind to Noaḥ and all living-things, all the animals that were with him in the Ark, and Elohim brought a rushing-wind across the earth, so that the waters abated. 2 The well-springs of Ocean and the sluices of the heavens were dammed up, and the torrent from the heavens was held back. 3 The waters returned from upon the earth, continually advancing and returning, and the waters diminished at the end of a hundred and fifty days. 4 And the Ark came to rest in the seventh New-moon, on the seventeenth day after the New-moon, upon the mountains of Ararat. 5 Now the waters continued to advance and diminish until the tenth New-moon. On the tenth, on the first day of the New-moon, the tops of the mountains could be seen.[16]Note the very orderly chain of events in P: 1. On the 17th day of the 2nd month, the flood begins with rain and underground water for 40 days. 2. The flood lasts for 150 days until the 17th day of the 7th month – the peak of the flood being 15 cubits above mountain level. 3. On the 17th day of the 7th month the ark rests upon mount Ararat; 4. The water continues to ebb until the tops of the mountains are visible on the 1st day of the 10th month. 5. On the 1st day of the 1st month of the following year the ground is visible and drying. 6. On the 17th day of the 2nd month, exactly a year after the flood began the land was dry and Noah’s family leaves the ark. ¶ In J the flood lasts for 40 days, then Noah tests to see if there is dry land with two different birds, and when he finds out that there is indeed dry land he leaves the ark. ¶ J tells Noah’s story (and thus is sparse regarding dates), whereas P chronicles events (and thus is heavy in quantitative details).

ו וַֽיְהִ֕י מִקֵּ֖ץ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֑וֹם וַיִּפְתַּ֣ח נֹ֔חַ אֶת־חַלּ֥וֹן הַתֵּבָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָֽׂה׃ ז וַיְשַׁלַּ֖ח אֶת־הָֽעֹרֵ֑ב וַיֵּצֵ֤א יָצוֹא֙ וָשׁ֔וֹב עַד־יְבֹ֥שֶׁת הַמַּ֖יִם מֵעַ֥ל הָאָֽרֶץ׃ ח וַיְשַׁלַּ֥ח אֶת־הַיּוֹנָ֖ה מֵאִתּ֑וֹ לִרְאוֹת֙ הֲקַ֣לּוּ הַמַּ֔יִם מֵעַ֖ל פְּנֵ֥י הָֽאֲדָמָֽה׃ ט וְלֹֽא־מָצְאָה֩ הַיּוֹנָ֨ה מָנ֜וֹחַ לְכַף־רַגְלָ֗הּ וַתָּ֤שׇׁב אֵלָיו֙ אֶל־הַתֵּבָ֔ה כִּי־מַ֖יִם עַל־פְּנֵ֣י כָל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח יָדוֹ֙ וַיִּקָּחֶ֔הָ וַיָּבֵ֥א אֹתָ֛הּ אֵלָ֖יו אֶל־הַתֵּבָֽה׃ י וַיָּ֣חֶל ע֔וֹד שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים אֲחֵרִ֑ים וַיֹּ֛סֶף שַׁלַּ֥ח אֶת־הַיּוֹנָ֖ה מִן־הַתֵּבָֽה׃ יא וַתָּבֹ֨א אֵלָ֤יו הַיּוֹנָה֙ לְעֵ֣ת עֶ֔רֶב וְהִנֵּ֥ה עֲלֵה־זַ֖יִת טָרָ֣ף בְּפִ֑יהָ וַיֵּ֣דַע נֹ֔חַ כִּי־קַ֥לּוּ הַמַּ֖יִם מֵעַ֥ל הָאָֽרֶץ׃ יב וַיִּיָּ֣חֶל ע֔וֹד שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים אֲחֵרִ֑ים וַיְשַׁלַּח֙ אֶת־הַיּוֹנָ֔ה וְלֹֽא־יָסְפָ֥ה שׁוּב־אֵלָ֖יו עֽוֹד׃
6 At the end of forty days it was: Noaḥ opened the window of 7 the Ark that he had made, and sent out a raven; it went off, going off and returning, until the waters were dried up from upon the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove from him, to see whether the waters had subsided from the face of the fertile-ground. 9 But the dove found no resting-place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the Ark, for there was water upon the face of all the earth. He sent forth his hand and took her, and brought her to him into the Ark. 10 Then he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove yet again from the Ark. 11 The dove came back to him at eventime, and here – a freshly plucked olive leaf in her beak! So Noaḥ knew that the waters had subsided from upon the earth. 12 Then he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, but she returned to him again no more.[17]In 8:6 the Yahwistic span of the flood is once again 40 days as in 7:10. P as a supplementary redactor incorporates these 40 days into his count, thus making it seem that the 40 days that are mentioned in 8:6 and the dove story are after the tops of the mountains are visible on the 1st day of the 10th month mentioned in 8:5. The events in J in 8:6-12 span 54 days, bringing us to the end of the 11th month (according to P’s count), and thus well before the next date in P – the 1st day of the 1st month of the following year.

יג וַֽ֠יְהִ֠י בְּאַחַ֨ת וְשֵׁשׁ־מֵא֜וֹת שָׁנָ֗ה בָּֽרִאשׁוֹן֙ בְּאֶחָ֣ד לַחֹ֔דֶשׁ חָֽרְב֥וּ הַמַּ֖יִם מֵעַ֣ל הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיָּ֤סַר נֹ֙חַ֙ אֶת־מִכְסֵ֣ה הַתֵּבָ֔ה וַיַּ֕רְא וְהִנֵּ֥ה חָֽרְב֖וּ פְּנֵ֥י הָֽאֲדָמָֽה׃ יד וּבַחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשֵּׁנִ֔י בְּשִׁבְעָ֧ה וְעֶשְׂרִ֛ים י֖וֹם לַחֹ֑דֶשׁ יָבְשָׁ֖ה הָאָֽרֶץ׃
13 And so it was in the six hundred and first year, in the beginning-month, on the first day of the New-moon, that the waters left firm ground upon the earth. Noaḥ removed the covering of the Ark and saw: here, the face of the fertile-ground was firm. 14 Now in the second New-moon, on the twenty-seventh day after the New-moon, the earth was (completely) dry.

רביעי טו וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶל־נֹ֥חַ לֵאמֹֽר׃ טז צֵ֖א מִן־הַתֵּבָ֑ה אַתָּ֕ה וְאִשְׁתְּךָ֛ וּבָנֶ֥יךָ וּנְשֵֽׁי־בָנֶ֖יךָ אִתָּֽךְ׃ יז כׇּל־הַחַיָּ֨ה אֲשֶֽׁר־אִתְּךָ֜ מִכׇּל־בָּשָׂ֗ר בָּע֧וֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָ֛ה וּבְכׇל־הָרֶ֛מֶשׂ הָרֹמֵ֥שׂ עַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ [הוצא] הַיְצֵ֣א אִתָּ֑ךְ וְשָֽׁרְצ֣וּ בָאָ֔רֶץ וּפָר֥וּ וְרָב֖וּ עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
15 Elohim spoke to Noaḥ, saying: 16 Go out of the Ark, you and your wife, your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 All living-things that are with you, all flesh – birds, herd-animals, and all crawling things that crawl about upon the earth, have them go out with you, that they may swarm on earth, that they may bear fruit and become many upon the earth.

יח וַיֵּ֖צֵא־נֹ֑חַ וּבָנָ֛יו וְאִשְׁתּ֥וֹ וּנְשֵֽׁי־בָנָ֖יו אִתּֽוֹ׃ יט כׇּל־הַֽחַיָּ֗ה כׇּל־הָרֶ֙מֶשׂ֙ וְכׇל־הָע֔וֹף כֹּ֖ל רוֹמֵ֣שׂ עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ לְמִשְׁפְּחֹ֣תֵיהֶ֔ם יָצְא֖וּ מִן־הַתֵּבָֽה׃
18 So Noaḥ went out, his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, 19 all living-things – all crawling things, and all birds, all that crawl about upon the earth, according to their clans they went out of the Ark.[18]See above in previous notes for comments regarding P’s dating in these verses. Note the repetitiveness in P. All those who entered the ark must leave the ark in orderly fashion. The exodus from the Ark is not mentioned in J and is simply assumed.

כ וַיִּ֥בֶן נֹ֛חַ מִזְבֵּ֖חַ לַֽיהֹוָ֑ה וַיִּקַּ֞ח מִכֹּ֣ל ׀ הַבְּהֵמָ֣ה הַטְּהֹרָ֗ה וּמִכֹּל֙ הָע֣וֹף הַטָּה֔וֹר וַיַּ֥עַל עֹלֹ֖ת בַּמִּזְבֵּֽחַ׃ כא וַיָּ֣רַח יְהֹוָה֮ אֶת־רֵ֣יחַ הַנִּיחֹ֒חַ֒ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־לִבּ֗וֹ לֹֽא־אֹ֠סִ֠ף לְקַלֵּ֨ל ע֤וֹד אֶת־הָֽאֲדָמָה֙ בַּעֲב֣וּר הָֽאָדָ֔ם כִּ֠י יֵ֣צֶר לֵ֧ב הָאָדָ֛ם רַ֖ע מִנְּעֻרָ֑יו וְלֹֽא־אֹסִ֥ף ע֛וֹד לְהַכּ֥וֹת אֶת־כׇּל־חַ֖י כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשִֽׂיתִי׃ כב עֹ֖ד כׇּל־יְמֵ֣י הָאָ֑רֶץ זֶ֡רַע וְ֠קָצִ֠יר וְקֹ֨ר וָחֹ֜ם וְקַ֧יִץ וָחֹ֛רֶף וְי֥וֹם וָלַ֖יְלָה לֹ֥א יִשְׁבֹּֽתוּ׃
20 Noaḥ built a place-for-slaughter to YHVH. He took from all pure animals and from all pure birds and offered up offerings upon the place-for-slaughter. 21 Now YHVH smelled the soothing savor and YHVH said in his heart: “I will never curse the fertile-ground again on the Earthling’s account, since what the Earthling mind forms is evil from its youth; I will never again strike down all living-things, as I have done; 22 (never) again, all the days of the earth, shall sowing and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night ever cease!”[19]The reason for the pure animals is now revealed; they were necessary so Noah would have what to sacrifice upon leaving the Ark. The Lord’s promise not to annihilate humanity once again is not articulated verbally to Noah in J, and thus P deems it necessary to verbalize it as a covenant in the following chapter.

9 א וַיְבָ֣רֶךְ אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֶת־נֹ֖חַ וְאֶת־בָּנָ֑יו וַיֹּ֧אמֶר לָהֶ֛ם פְּר֥וּ וּרְב֖וּ וּמִלְא֥וּ אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ ב וּמוֹרַאֲכֶ֤ם וְחִתְּכֶם֙ יִֽהְיֶ֔ה עַ֚ל כׇּל־חַיַּ֣ת הָאָ֔רֶץ וְעַ֖ל כׇּל־ע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם בְּכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר תִּרְמֹ֧שׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֛ה וּֽבְכׇל־דְּגֵ֥י הַיָּ֖ם בְּיֶדְכֶ֥ם נִתָּֽנוּ׃ ג כׇּל־רֶ֙מֶשׂ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הוּא־חַ֔י לָכֶ֥ם יִהְיֶ֖ה לְאׇכְלָ֑ה כְּיֶ֣רֶק עֵ֔שֶׂב נָתַ֥תִּי לָכֶ֖ם אֶת־כֹּֽל׃ ד אַךְ־בָּשָׂ֕ר בְּנַפְשׁ֥וֹ דָמ֖וֹ לֹ֥א תֹאכֵֽלוּ׃ ה וְאַ֨ךְ אֶת־דִּמְכֶ֤ם לְנַפְשֹֽׁתֵיכֶם֙ אֶדְרֹ֔שׁ מִיַּ֥ד כׇּל־חַיָּ֖ה אֶדְרְשֶׁ֑נּוּ וּמִיַּ֣ד הָֽאָדָ֗ם מִיַּד֙ אִ֣ישׁ אָחִ֔יו אֶדְרֹ֖שׁ אֶת־נֶ֥פֶשׁ הָֽאָדָֽם׃ ו שֹׁפֵךְ֙ דַּ֣ם הָֽאָדָ֔ם בָּֽאָדָ֖ם דָּמ֣וֹ יִשָּׁפֵ֑ךְ כִּ֚י בְּצֶ֣לֶם אֱלֹהִ֔ים עָשָׂ֖ה אֶת־הָאָדָֽם׃ ז וְאַתֶּ֖ם פְּר֣וּ וּרְב֑וּ שִׁרְצ֥וּ בָאָ֖רֶץ וּרְבוּ־בָֽהּ׃
9 1 Now Elohim blessed Noaḥ and his sons and said to them: “Bear fruit and be many and fill the earth! 2 Fear-of-you, dread-of-you shall be upon all the wildlife of the earth and upon all the birds of the heavens, all that crawls on the fertile-ground and all the fish of the sea – into your hand they are given. 3 All things crawling about that live, for you shall they be, for eating, as with the green plants, I now give you all. 4 However: flesh with its life, its blood, you are not to eat! 5 However, too: for your blood, of your own lives, I will demand-satisfaction – from all wild-animals I will demand it, and from the Earthling, from every man regarding his brother, demand-satisfaction for Earthling life. 6 Whoever now sheds Earthling blood, for that Earthling shall his blood be shed, for in Elohim’s image he made the Earthling. 7 As for you – bear fruit and be many, swarm on earth and become many on it!”

חמישי ח וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶל־נֹ֔חַ וְאֶל־בָּנָ֥יו אִתּ֖וֹ לֵאמֹֽר׃ ט וַאֲנִ֕י הִנְנִ֥י מֵקִ֛ים אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֖י אִתְּכֶ֑ם וְאֶֽת־זַרְעֲכֶ֖ם אַֽחֲרֵיכֶֽם׃ י וְאֵ֨ת כׇּל־נֶ֤פֶשׁ הַֽחַיָּה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתְּכֶ֔ם בָּע֧וֹף בַּבְּהֵמָ֛ה וּֽבְכׇל־חַיַּ֥ת הָאָ֖רֶץ אִתְּכֶ֑ם מִכֹּל֙ יֹצְאֵ֣י הַתֵּבָ֔ה לְכֹ֖ל חַיַּ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃ יא וַהֲקִמֹתִ֤י אֶת־בְּרִיתִי֙ אִתְּכֶ֔ם וְלֹֽא־יִכָּרֵ֧ת כׇּל־בָּשָׂ֛ר ע֖וֹד מִמֵּ֣י הַמַּבּ֑וּל וְלֹֽא־יִהְיֶ֥ה ע֛וֹד מַבּ֖וּל לְשַׁחֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃ יב וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים זֹ֤את אֽוֹת־הַבְּרִית֙ אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִ֣י נֹתֵ֗ן בֵּינִי֙ וּבֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם וּבֵ֛ין כׇּל־נֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתְּכֶ֑ם לְדֹרֹ֖ת עוֹלָֽם׃ יג אֶת־קַשְׁתִּ֕י נָתַ֖תִּי בֶּֽעָנָ֑ן וְהָֽיְתָה֙ לְא֣וֹת בְּרִ֔ית בֵּינִ֖י וּבֵ֥ין הָאָֽרֶץ׃ יד וְהָיָ֕ה בְּעַֽנְנִ֥י עָנָ֖ן עַל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וְנִרְאֲתָ֥ה הַקֶּ֖שֶׁת בֶּעָנָֽן׃ טו וְזָכַרְתִּ֣י אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֗י אֲשֶׁ֤ר בֵּינִי֙ וּבֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם וּבֵ֛ין כׇּל־נֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּ֖ה בְּכׇל־בָּשָׂ֑ר וְלֹֽא־יִֽהְיֶ֨ה ע֤וֹד הַמַּ֙יִם֙ לְמַבּ֔וּל לְשַׁחֵ֖ת כׇּל־בָּשָֽׂר׃ טז וְהָיְתָ֥ה הַקֶּ֖שֶׁת בֶּֽעָנָ֑ן וּרְאִיתִ֗יהָ לִזְכֹּר֙ בְּרִ֣ית עוֹלָ֔ם בֵּ֣ין אֱלֹהִ֔ים וּבֵין֙ כׇּל־נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֔ה בְּכׇל־בָּשָׂ֖ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ יז וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶל־נֹ֑חַ זֹ֤את אֽוֹת־הַבְּרִית֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הֲקִמֹ֔תִי בֵּינִ֕י וּבֵ֥ין כׇּל־בָּשָׂ֖ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
8 Elohim said to Noaḥ and to his sons with him, saying: 9 “As for me – here, I am about to establish my covenant with you and with your seed after you, 10 and with all living beings that are with you: birds, herd-animals, and all the wildlife of the earth with you; all those going out of the Ark, of all the living-things of the earth. 11 I will establish my covenant with you: All flesh shall never be cut off again by waters of the Deluge, never again shall there be Deluge, to bring the earth to ruin!” 12 And Elohim said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I set between me and you and all living beings that are with you, for ageless generations: 13 My rainbow I set in the clouds, so that it may serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 It shall be: when I becloud the earth with clouds and in the clouds the rainbow is seen, 15 I will call to mind my covenant that is between me and you and all living beings – all flesh: never again shall the waters become a Deluge, to bring all flesh to ruin! 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will look at it, to call to mind the age-old covenant between Elohim and all living beings – all flesh that is upon the earth.” 17 Elohim said to Noaḥ: “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”[20]In this section P elaborates upon the unverbalized divine promise in J that God would never again bring the flood. This is the first of four covenants between God and Humans in the P source; the second being the Abrahamic covenant regarding circumcision in Genesis 17; the third being the covenant with Israel regarding the Sabbath in Exodus 31:16; the fourth being the covenant with Phineas in Numbers 25 after saving Israel from God’s wrath following the sin of Baal Peor. Note the prohibition against spilling blood in vss. 5-6, echoed in the Priestly laws of sacrifice in Leviticus 17 and elsewhere. According to P and H, blood is the essence or the soul of living things and therefore should be treated reverently. Vs. 7 echoes the Priestly command to multiply in Chapter 1:22, 28.

ששי יח וַיִּֽהְי֣וּ בְנֵי־נֹ֗חַ הַיֹּֽצְאִים֙ מִן־הַתֵּבָ֔ה שֵׁ֖ם וְחָ֣ם וָיָ֑פֶת וְחָ֕ם ה֖וּא אֲבִ֥י כְנָֽעַן׃ יט שְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה אֵ֖לֶּה בְּנֵי־נֹ֑חַ וּמֵאֵ֖לֶּה נָֽפְצָ֥ה כׇל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
18 Noaḥ’s sons who went out of the Ark were Shem, Ḥam, and Yafet.[21]The four sons of Noah according to J are Shem, Ham, Japhet, and Canaan, this is contra P who repeatedly emphasizes that there were only three sons. P did not feel comfortable erasing Canaan from the list (erasure or deletion of material was rarely employed according to the supplementary way of thinking) and instead, adds three (Hebrew) words here “and Ham was the father of” to make it seem that Canaan was not the son of Noah, but rather the grandson. These same three words are once again added in vs. 22, making it seem that Ham was the perpetrator instead of Canaan. This, however, is problematic since Canaan is cursed rather than Ham, and why would Noah curse the son of the perpetrator rather than the perpetrator himself? Now Ḥam is the father of[22]See previous comment. Note also that the formulation “and Ham was the father of” does not fit well with verse, since none of the other sons’ progeny is mentioned. K’naan.[23]See penultimate comment. 19 These three were Noaḥ’s sons, and from these were scattered abroad all the earth-folk.[24]P once again emphasizes that Noah had three sons rather than the four in J.

כ וַיָּ֥חֶל נֹ֖חַ אִ֣ישׁ הָֽאֲדָמָ֑ה וַיִּטַּ֖ע כָּֽרֶם׃ כא וַיֵּ֥שְׁתְּ מִן־הַיַּ֖יִן וַיִּשְׁכָּ֑ר וַיִּתְגַּ֖ל בְּת֥וֹךְ אׇהֳלֹֽה׃ כב וַיַּ֗רְא חָ֚ם אֲבִ֣י כְנַ֔עַן אֵ֖ת עֶרְוַ֣ת אָבִ֑יו וַיַּגֵּ֥ד לִשְׁנֵֽי־אֶחָ֖יו בַּחֽוּץ׃ כג וַיִּקַּח֩ שֵׁ֨ם וָיֶ֜פֶת אֶת־הַשִּׂמְלָ֗ה וַיָּשִׂ֙ימוּ֙ עַל־שְׁכֶ֣ם שְׁנֵיהֶ֔ם וַיֵּֽלְכוּ֙ אֲחֹ֣רַנִּ֔ית וַיְכַסּ֕וּ אֵ֖ת עֶרְוַ֣ת אֲבִיהֶ֑ם וּפְנֵיהֶם֙ אֲחֹ֣רַנִּ֔ית וְעֶרְוַ֥ת אֲבִיהֶ֖ם לֹ֥א רָאֽוּ׃ כד וַיִּ֥יקֶץ נֹ֖חַ מִיֵּינ֑וֹ וַיֵּ֕דַע אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־עָֽשָׂה־ל֖וֹ בְּנ֥וֹ הַקָּטָֽן׃ כה וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אָר֣וּר כְּנָ֑עַן עֶ֥בֶד עֲבָדִ֖ים יִֽהְיֶ֥ה לְאֶחָֽיו׃ כו וַיֹּ֕אמֶר בָּר֥וּךְ יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹ֣הֵי שֵׁ֑ם וִיהִ֥י כְנַ֖עַן עֶ֥בֶד לָֽמוֹ׃ כז יַ֤פְתְּ אֱלֹהִים֙ לְיֶ֔פֶת וְיִשְׁכֹּ֖ן בְּאׇֽהֳלֵי־שֵׁ֑ם וִיהִ֥י כְנַ֖עַן עֶ֥בֶד לָֽמוֹ׃
20 Now Noaḥ was the first man of the fertile-ground; he planted a vineyard. 21 When he drank from the wine, he became drunk and exposed himself in the middle of his tent. 22 Ḥam, the father of[25]See first comment on verse 18. K’naan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Yafet took a cloak, they put it on the shoulders of the two of them, and walked backward, to cover their father’s nakedness. – Their faces were turned backward, their father’s nakedness they did not see. 24 Now when Noaḥ awoke from his wine, it became known (to him) what his littlest son had done to him. 25 He said: “Damned be K’naan, servant of servants may he be to his brothers!” 26 And he said: “Blessed be YHVH, Elohim of Shem, but may K’naan be servant to them! 27 May Elohim extend/yaft Yafet, let him dwell in the tents of Shem, but may K’naan be servant to them!”[26]According to J, Canaan, not Ham, revealed his father’s nakedness and was thus cursed.

כח וַֽיְחִי־נֹ֖חַ אַחַ֣ר הַמַּבּ֑וּל שְׁלֹ֤שׁ מֵאוֹת֙ שָׁנָ֔ה וַֽחֲמִשִּׁ֖ים שָׁנָֽה׃ כט וַיִּֽהְיוּ֙‏[27]In Sefaradi and Ashkenazi Torah scrolls, “וַֽיְהִי֙ כׇּל־יְמֵי־נֹ֔חַ תְּשַׁ֤ע מֵאוֹת֙ שָׁנָ֔ה וַחֲמִשִּׁ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיָּמֹֽת׃
28 And Noaḥ lived after the Deluge three hundred years and fifty years. 29 And all the days of Noaḥ were nine hundred years and fifty years, then he died.[28]Genealogical information common to P.

10 א וְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ תּוֹלְדֹ֣ת בְּנֵי־נֹ֔חַ שֵׁ֖ם חָ֣ם וָיָ֑פֶת וַיִּוָּלְד֥וּ לָהֶ֛ם בָּנִ֖ים אַחַ֥ר הַמַּבּֽוּל׃
10 1 Now these are the progeny of the sons of Noaḥ, Shem, Ḥam, and Yafet. Sons were born to them after the Deluge.

ב בְּנֵ֣י יֶ֔פֶת גֹּ֣מֶר וּמָג֔וֹג וּמָדַ֖י וְיָוָ֣ן וְתֻבָ֑ל וּמֶ֖שֶׁךְ וְתִירָֽס׃ ג וּבְנֵ֖י גֹּ֑מֶר אַשְׁכְּנַ֥ז וְרִיפַ֖ת וְתֹגַרְמָֽה׃ ד וּבְנֵ֥י יָוָ֖ן אֱלִישָׁ֣ה וְתַרְשִׁ֑ישׁ כִּתִּ֖ים וְדֹדָנִֽים׃ ה מֵ֠אֵ֠לֶּה נִפְרְד֞וּ אִיֵּ֤י הַגּוֹיִם֙ בְּאַרְצֹתָ֔ם אִ֖ישׁ לִלְשֹׁנ֑וֹ לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֖ם בְּגוֹיֵהֶֽם׃
2 The Sons of Yafet are Gomer and Magog, Madai, Yavan and Tuval, Meshekh and Tiras. 3 The Sons of Gomer are Ashkenaz, Rifat, and Togarma. 4 The Sons of Yavan are Elisha and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim.[29]The Priestly genealogy of Chapter 10 lists the descendants of Noah’s sons without employing the root ילד – to give birth. The Bridging source on the other hand uses this root in the qal, yalad (he gave birth), and the qal passive yulad (was born to). The P genealogy lists only the sons and the important grandsons of Noah’s children, whereas B’s list is much more prolific, since he wishes to arrive at the number 70, the number of the nations (and the gods) in Canaanite myth. 5 From these the seacoast nations were divided by their lands, each one after its own tongue: according to their clans, by their nations.[30]The summarizing verses for each of the sons (Shem Ham and Yephet) appear after two verses of naming their descendants, which is somewhat redundant. I posit that only the final verse (vs. 32): (These are the families of Noah’s sons, according to their genealogies, in their nations; and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood), which provides a fitting conclusion to the whole list, is original to the P genealogy. Such summarizing verses are appropriate to B’s supplemented genealogy, which is much longer (except in the case of Yephet). Note also that only B really goes into a list of these nations lands (e.g. vs. 30), whereas P provides just a barebones list, the summarizing verses thus make more sense as B additions.

ו וּבְנֵ֖י חָ֑ם כּ֥וּשׁ וּמִצְרַ֖יִם וּפ֥וּט וּכְנָֽעַן׃ ז וּבְנֵ֣י כ֔וּשׁ סְבָא֙ וַֽחֲוִילָ֔ה וְסַבְתָּ֥ה וְרַעְמָ֖ה וְסַבְתְּכָ֑א וּבְנֵ֥י רַעְמָ֖ה שְׁבָ֥א וּדְדָֽן׃ ח וְכ֖וּשׁ יָלַ֣ד אֶת־נִמְרֹ֑ד ה֣וּא הֵחֵ֔ל לִֽהְי֥וֹת גִּבֹּ֖ר בָּאָֽרֶץ׃ ט הֽוּא־הָיָ֥ה גִבֹּֽר־צַ֖יִד לִפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה עַל־כֵּן֙ יֵֽאָמַ֔ר כְּנִמְרֹ֛ד גִּבּ֥וֹר צַ֖יִד לִפְנֵ֥י יְהֹוָֽה׃ י וַתְּהִ֨י רֵאשִׁ֤ית מַמְלַכְתּוֹ֙ בָּבֶ֔ל וְאֶ֖רֶךְ וְאַכַּ֣ד וְכַלְנֵ֑ה בְּאֶ֖רֶץ שִׁנְעָֽר׃ יא מִן־הָאָ֥רֶץ הַהִ֖וא יָצָ֣א אַשּׁ֑וּר וַיִּ֙בֶן֙ אֶת־נִ֣ינְוֵ֔ה וְאֶת־רְחֹבֹ֥ת עִ֖יר וְאֶת־כָּֽלַח׃ יב וְֽאֶת־רֶ֔סֶן בֵּ֥ין נִֽינְוֵ֖ה וּבֵ֣ין כָּ֑לַח הִ֖וא הָעִ֥יר הַגְּדֹלָֽה׃ יג וּמִצְרַ֡יִם יָלַ֞ד אֶת־לוּדִ֧ים וְאֶת־עֲנָמִ֛ים וְאֶת־לְהָבִ֖ים וְאֶת־נַפְתֻּחִֽים׃ יד וְֽאֶת־פַּתְרֻסִ֞ים וְאֶת־כַּסְלֻחִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר יָצְא֥וּ מִשָּׁ֛ם פְּלִשְׁתִּ֖ים וְאֶת־כַּפְתֹּרִֽים׃ טו וּכְנַ֗עַן יָלַ֛ד אֶת־צִידֹ֥ן בְּכֹר֖וֹ וְאֶת־חֵֽת׃ טז וְאֶת־הַיְבוּסִי֙ וְאֶת־הָ֣אֱמֹרִ֔י וְאֵ֖ת הַגִּרְגָּשִֽׁי׃ יז וְאֶת־הַֽחִוִּ֥י וְאֶת־הַֽעַרְקִ֖י וְאֶת־הַסִּינִֽי׃ יח וְאֶת־הָֽאַרְוָדִ֥י וְאֶת־הַצְּמָרִ֖י וְאֶת־הַֽחֲמָתִ֑י וְאַחַ֣ר נָפֹ֔צוּ מִשְׁפְּח֖וֹת הַֽכְּנַעֲנִֽי׃ יט וַֽיְהִ֞י גְּב֤וּל הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ מִצִּידֹ֔ן בֹּאֲכָ֥ה גְרָ֖רָה עַד־עַזָּ֑ה בֹּאֲכָ֞ה סְדֹ֧מָה וַעֲמֹרָ֛ה וְאַדְמָ֥ה וּצְבֹיִ֖ם עַד־לָֽשַׁע׃ כ אֵ֣לֶּה בְנֵי־חָ֔ם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֖ם לִלְשֹֽׁנֹתָ֑ם בְּאַרְצֹתָ֖ם בְּגוֹיֵהֶֽם׃
6 The Sons of Ḥam are Kush and Mitsrayim, Phut and Kh’naan. 7 The Sons of Khush are SΣva and Ḥavila, Savtah, Ra’mah, and Savtekha; the Sons of Ra’mah – Shəva and D’dan.[31]In B’s genealogy of Chapter 25:1-6, Abraham was the grandfather of Sheva and Dedan, not Ham. 8 Kush fathered Nimrod; he was the first mighty man on earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before YHVH, therefore the saying is: Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before YHVH. 10 His kingdom, at the beginning, was Bavel, and Erekh, Akkad and 11 Khalné, in the land of Shinar; from this land Ashur went forth and built Nineveh – along with 12 the city squares and Kalaḥ, and Resen between Nineveh and Kalaḥ – that is the great city. 13 Mitsrayim fathered the Ludim, the Anamim, the Lehavim, and the Naftuḥim, 14 the Patrusim, and the Kasluḥim, from where the P’lishtim come, and the Kaftorim. 15 K’naan fathered Tsidon his firstborn and Ḥet, 16 along with the Yevusi, the Amori, and the Girgashi, 17 the Ḥivvi, the Arqi and the Sini, 18 the Arvadi, the Tsemari and the Ḥamati. Afterward the K’naani clans were scattered abroad. 19 And the K’naani territory went from Tsidon, then as you come toward Gerar, as far as Gaza, then as you come toward S’doma and Amora, Adma, and Ts’voyim, as far as Lasha. 20 These are the Sons of Ḥam after their clans, after their tongues, by their lands, by their nations.

כא וּלְשֵׁ֥ם יֻלַּ֖ד גַּם־ה֑וּא אֲבִי֙ כׇּל־בְּנֵי־עֵ֔בֶר אֲחִ֖י יֶ֥פֶת הַגָּדֽוֹל׃ כב בְּנֵ֥י שֵׁ֖ם עֵילָ֣ם וְאַשּׁ֑וּר וְאַרְפַּכְשַׁ֖ד וְל֥וּד וַֽאֲרָֽם׃ כג וּבְנֵ֖י אֲרָ֑ם ע֥וּץ וְח֖וּל וְגֶ֥תֶר וָמַֽשׁ׃ כד וְאַרְפַּכְשַׁ֖ד יָלַ֣ד אֶת־שָׁ֑לַח וְשֶׁ֖לַח יָלַ֥ד אֶת־עֵֽבֶר׃ כה וּלְעֵ֥בֶר יֻלַּ֖ד שְׁנֵ֣י בָנִ֑ים שֵׁ֣ם הָֽאֶחָ֞ד פֶּ֗לֶג כִּ֤י בְיָמָיו֙ נִפְלְגָ֣ה הָאָ֔רֶץ וְשֵׁ֥ם אָחִ֖יו יׇקְטָֽן׃ כו וְיׇקְטָ֣ן יָלַ֔ד אֶת־אַלְמוֹדָ֖ד וְאֶת־שָׁ֑לֶף וְאֶת־חֲצַרְמָ֖וֶת וְאֶת־יָֽרַח׃ כז וְאֶת־הֲדוֹרָ֥ם וְאֶת־אוּזָ֖ל וְאֶת־דִּקְלָֽה׃ כח וְאֶת־עוֹבָ֥ל וְאֶת־אֲבִֽימָאֵ֖ל וְאֶת־שְׁבָֽא׃ כט וְאֶת־אוֹפִ֥ר וְאֶת־חֲוִילָ֖ה וְאֶת־יוֹבָ֑ב כׇּל־אֵ֖לֶּה בְּנֵ֥י יׇקְטָֽן׃ ל וַֽיְהִ֥י מוֹשָׁבָ֖ם מִמֵּשָׁ֑א בֹּאֲכָ֥ה סְפָ֖רָה הַ֥ר הַקֶּֽדֶם׃ לא אֵ֣לֶּה בְנֵי־שֵׁ֔ם לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֖ם לִלְשֹׁנֹתָ֑ם בְּאַרְצֹתָ֖ם לְגוֹיֵהֶֽם׃
21 (Children) were also born to Shem, the father of all the Sons of Ever (and) Yafet’s older brother.[32]Note the addition of the short hero myth concerning Nimrod in vss. 8-11, this type of legend is similar to the sons of God text at the beginning of Chapter 6, and in my eyes is one of the defining features of late B texts. The hero myth is clearly connected to the secondary layer of this genealogy since it uses the root yalad (to give birth) as opposed to simply listing the sons, and see comment on verse 9:3. ¶ B is careful to note that although Shem appears at the end of this genealogy he is the eldest son. 22 The Sons of Shem are Elam and Ashur, Arpakhshad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The Sons of Aram are Utz and Ḥul, Geter and Mash.[33]The list of Shem’s children provides the background for the Semite line as listed in Chapter 11. 24 Arpakhshad fathered Shelaḥ, Shelaḥ fathered Ever. 25 Two sons were born to Ever: the name of the first one was Peleg/Splitting, for in his days the earth-folk were split up, and his brother’s name was Yoqtan. 26 Yoqtan fathered Almodad and Shalef, Ḥatsarmavet and Yaraḥ, 27 Hadoram, Uzal and Diqla, 28 Oval, Avimael and Sh’va, 29 Ofir, Ḥavila, and Yovav – all these are the Sons of Yoḥtan. 30 Now their settlements went from Mesha, then as you come toward Sfarah, to the mountain-country of the east. 31 These are the Sons of Shem after their clans, after their tongues, by their lands, after their nations.[34]The basis of some of this added genealogy is the Priestly list of the sons of Shem in the following chapter.

לב אֵ֣לֶּה מִשְׁפְּחֹ֧ת בְּנֵי־נֹ֛חַ לְתוֹלְדֹתָ֖ם בְּגוֹיֵהֶ֑ם וּמֵאֵ֜לֶּה נִפְרְד֧וּ הַגּוֹיִ֛ם בָּאָ֖רֶץ אַחַ֥ר הַמַּבּֽוּל׃
32 These are the clan-groupings of the Sons of Noaḥ, after their progeny, by their nations. From these the nations were divided on earth after the Deluge.[35]See comment on 9:5. Note the number of Joktan’s children; it is likely that B, realizing he needed to get to seventy, gave Joktan more children than anyone else.

שביעי 11 א וַֽיְהִ֥י כׇל־הָאָ֖רֶץ שָׂפָ֣ה אֶחָ֑ת וּדְבָרִ֖ים אֲחָדִֽים׃ ב וַֽיְהִ֖י בְּנׇסְעָ֣ם מִקֶּ֑דֶם וַֽיִּמְצְא֥וּ בִקְעָ֛ה בְּאֶ֥רֶץ שִׁנְעָ֖ר וַיֵּ֥שְׁבוּ שָֽׁם׃ ג וַיֹּאמְר֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵ֗הוּ הָ֚בָה נִלְבְּנָ֣ה לְבֵנִ֔ים וְנִשְׂרְפָ֖ה לִשְׂרֵפָ֑ה וַתְּהִ֨י לָהֶ֤ם הַלְּבֵנָה֙ לְאָ֔בֶן וְהַ֣חֵמָ֔ר הָיָ֥ה לָהֶ֖ם לַחֹֽמֶר׃ ד וַיֹּאמְר֞וּ הָ֣בָה ׀ נִבְנֶה־לָּ֣נוּ עִ֗יר וּמִגְדָּל֙ וְרֹאשׁ֣וֹ בַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וְנַֽעֲשֶׂה־לָּ֖נוּ שֵׁ֑ם פֶּן־נָפ֖וּץ עַל־פְּנֵ֥י כׇל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
11 1 Now all the earth was of one language and one set-of-words. 2 And it was when they migrated to the east that they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said, each man to his neighbor: “Come-now! Let us bake bricks and let us burn them well-burnt! So for them brick-stone was like building-stone, and raw-bitumen was for them like red-mortar.” 4 Now they said: “Come-now! Let us build ourselves a city and a tower, its top in the heavens, and let us make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered over the face of all the earth!”

ה וַיֵּ֣רֶד יְהֹוָ֔ה לִרְאֹ֥ת אֶת־הָעִ֖יר וְאֶת־הַמִּגְדָּ֑ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר בָּנ֖וּ בְּנֵ֥י הָאָדָֽם׃ ו וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהֹוָ֗ה הֵ֣ן עַ֤ם אֶחָד֙ וְשָׂפָ֤ה אַחַת֙ לְכֻלָּ֔ם וְזֶ֖ה הַחִלָּ֣ם לַעֲשׂ֑וֹת וְעַתָּה֙ לֹֽא־יִבָּצֵ֣ר מֵהֶ֔ם כֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר יָזְמ֖וּ לַֽעֲשֽׂוֹת׃ ז הָ֚בָה נֵֽרְדָ֔ה וְנָבְלָ֥ה שָׁ֖ם שְׂפָתָ֑ם אֲשֶׁר֙ לֹ֣א יִשְׁמְע֔וּ אִ֖ישׁ שְׂפַ֥ת רֵעֵֽהוּ׃ ח וַיָּ֨פֶץ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֹתָ֛ם מִשָּׁ֖ם עַל־פְּנֵ֣י כׇל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַֽיַּחְדְּל֖וּ לִבְנֹ֥ת הָעִֽיר׃ ט עַל־כֵּ֞ן קָרָ֤א שְׁמָהּ֙ בָּבֶ֔ל כִּי־שָׁ֛ם בָּלַ֥ל יְהֹוָ֖ה שְׂפַ֣ת כׇּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וּמִשָּׁם֙ הֱפִיצָ֣ם יְהֹוָ֔ה עַל־פְּנֵ֖י כׇּל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃
5 But YHVH came down to look over the city and the tower that the Earthlings were building. 6 YHVH said: “Here, (they are) one people with one language for them all, and this is merely the first of their doings – now there will be no barrier for them in all that they scheme to do! 7 Come-now! Let us go down and there let us baffle their language, so that no man will understand the language of his neighbor.” 8 So YHVH scattered them from there over the face of all the earth, and they had to stop building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Bavel/Babble, for there YHVH baffled the language of all the earth-folk, and from there, YHVH scattered them over the face of all the earth.[36]According to P the land has already been divided between the post-flood nations and they do not reside all in one place, as is assumed in the Babel narrative in vss. 1-9. These verses are a good precursor to concentrating on one particular genealogical line (vss. 10-31), since for one genealogical line to be special there need to be many lines. It can be argued that P is dependent upon J in this instance, since if P were independent of J, P would not have had to mention the sons of Shem again — they were mentioned by P in 10:22 — and thus it seems that vss. 10-11, function like a resumptive repetition following the interruption of the Babel Narrative.

י אֵ֚לֶּה תּוֹלְדֹ֣ת שֵׁ֔ם שֵׁ֚ם בֶּן־מְאַ֣ת שָׁנָ֔ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־אַרְפַּכְשָׁ֑ד שְׁנָתַ֖יִם אַחַ֥ר הַמַּבּֽוּל׃ יא וַֽיְחִי־שֵׁ֗ם אַֽחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־אַרְפַּכְשָׁ֔ד חֲמֵ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃
10 These are the progeny of Shem: Shem was a hundred years old, then he fathered Arpakhshad, two years after the Deluge, 11 and Shem lived after he fathered Arpakhshad five hundred years, and fathered (other) sons and daughters.

יב וְאַרְפַּכְשַׁ֣ד חַ֔י חָמֵ֥שׁ וּשְׁלֹשִׁ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־שָֽׁלַח׃ יג וַֽיְחִ֣י אַרְפַּכְשַׁ֗ד אַֽחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־שֶׁ֔לַח שָׁלֹ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֔ים וְאַרְבַּ֥ע מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃
12 Arpakhshad lived thirty-five years, then he fathered Shelaḥ, 13 and Arpakhshad lived after he fathered Shelaḥ three years and four hundred years, and fathered (other) sons and daughters.

יד וְשֶׁ֥לַח חַ֖י שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־עֵֽבֶר׃ טו וַֽיְחִי־שֶׁ֗לַח אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־עֵ֔בֶר שָׁלֹ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֔ים וְאַרְבַּ֥ע מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃
14 Shelaḥ lived thirty years, then he fathered Ever, 15 and Shelaḥ lived after he fathered Ever three years and four hundred years, and fathered (other) sons and daughters.

טז וַֽיְחִי־עֵ֕בֶר אַרְבַּ֥ע וּשְׁלֹשִׁ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־פָּֽלֶג׃ יז וַֽיְחִי־עֵ֗בֶר אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־פֶּ֔לֶג שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה וְאַרְבַּ֥ע מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃
16 When Ever had lived thirty-four years, he fathered Peleg, 17 and Ever lived after he fathered Peleg thirty years and four hundred years, and fathered other (sons) and daughters.

יח וַֽיְחִי־פֶ֖לֶג שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־רְעֽוּ׃ יט וַֽיְחִי־פֶ֗לֶג אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־רְע֔וּ תֵּ֥שַׁע שָׁנִ֖ים וּמָאתַ֣יִם שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃
18 When Peleg had lived thirty years, he fathered Re’u, 19 and Peleg lived after he fathered Re’u nine years and two hundred years, and fathered other (sons) and daughters.

כ וַיְחִ֣י רְע֔וּ שְׁתַּ֥יִם וּשְׁלֹשִׁ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־שְׂרֽוּג׃ כא וַיְחִ֣י רְע֗וּ אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־שְׂר֔וּג שֶׁ֥בַע שָׁנִ֖ים וּמָאתַ֣יִם שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃
20 When Re’u had lived thirty-two years, he fathered Serug, 21 and Re’u lived after he fathered Serug seven years and two hundred years, and fathered (other) sons and daughters.

כב וַיְחִ֥י שְׂר֖וּג שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־נָחֽוֹר׃ כג וַיְחִ֣י שְׂר֗וּג אַחֲרֵ֛י הוֹלִיד֥וֹ אֶת־נָח֖וֹר מָאתַ֣יִם שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃
22 When Serug had lived thirty years, he fathered Naḥor, 23 and Serug lived after he fathered Naḥor two hundred years, and fathered (other) sons and daughters.

כד וַיְחִ֣י נָח֔וֹר תֵּ֥שַׁע וְעֶשְׂרִ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־תָּֽרַח׃ כה וַיְחִ֣י נָח֗וֹר אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־תֶּ֔רַח תְּשַֽׁע־עֶשְׂרֵ֥ה שָׁנָ֖ה וּמְאַ֣ת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃
24 When Naḥor had lived twenty-nine years, he fathered Teraḥ, 25 and Naḥor lived after he fathered Teraḥ nineteen years and a hundred years, and fathered (other) sons and daughters.

כו וַֽיְחִי־תֶ֖רַח שִׁבְעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֙וֹלֶד֙ אֶת־אַבְרָ֔ם אֶת־נָח֖וֹר וְאֶת־הָרָֽן׃ כז וְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ תּוֹלְדֹ֣ת תֶּ֔רַח תֶּ֚רַח הוֹלִ֣יד אֶת־אַבְרָ֔ם אֶת־נָח֖וֹר וְאֶת־הָרָ֑ן וְהָרָ֖ן הוֹלִ֥יד אֶת־לֽוֹט׃ כח וַיָּ֣מׇת הָרָ֔ן עַל־פְּנֵ֖י תֶּ֣רַח אָבִ֑יו בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מוֹלַדְתּ֖וֹ בְּא֥וּר כַּשְׂדִּֽים׃ מפטיר כט וַיִּקַּ֨ח אַבְרָ֧ם וְנָח֛וֹר לָהֶ֖ם נָשִׁ֑ים שֵׁ֤ם אֵֽשֶׁת־אַבְרָם֙ שָׂרָ֔י וְשֵׁ֤ם אֵֽשֶׁת־נָחוֹר֙ מִלְכָּ֔ה בַּת־הָרָ֥ן אֲבִֽי־מִלְכָּ֖ה וַֽאֲבִ֥י יִסְכָּֽה׃ ל וַתְּהִ֥י שָׂרַ֖י עֲקָרָ֑ה אֵ֥ין לָ֖הּ וָלָֽד׃
26 When Teraḥ had lived seventy years, he fathered Avram, Naḥor, and Haran. 27 Now these are the progeny of Teraḥ: Teraḥ fathered Avram, Naḥor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lōt. 28 Haran died in the living-presence of Teraḥ his father in the land of his kindred, in Ur Kasdim. 29 Avram and Naḥor took themselves wives; the name of Avram’s wife was Sarai, the name of Naḥor’s wife was Milkah-daughter of Haran, father of Milka and father of Yiska. 30 Now Sarai was barren, she had no child.

לא וַיִּקַּ֨ח תֶּ֜רַח אֶת־אַבְרָ֣ם בְּנ֗וֹ וְאֶת־ל֤וֹט בֶּן־הָרָן֙ בֶּן־בְּנ֔וֹ וְאֵת֙ שָׂרַ֣י כַּלָּת֔וֹ אֵ֖שֶׁת אַבְרָ֣ם בְּנ֑וֹ וַיֵּצְא֨וּ אִתָּ֜ם מֵא֣וּר כַּשְׂדִּ֗ים לָלֶ֙כֶת֙ אַ֣רְצָה כְּנַ֔עַן וַיָּבֹ֥אוּ עַד־חָרָ֖ן וַיֵּ֥שְׁבוּ שָֽׁם׃ לב וַיִּהְי֣וּ יְמֵי־תֶ֔רַח חָמֵ֥שׁ שָׁנִ֖ים וּמָאתַ֣יִם שָׁנָ֑ה וַיָּ֥מׇת תֶּ֖רַח בְּחָרָֽן׃

31 Teraḥ took Avram his son and Lōt son of Haran, his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, wife of Avram his son, they set out together from Ur Kasdim, to go to the land of K’naan. But when they had come as far as Ḥarran, they settled there. 32 And the days of Teraḥ were five years and two hundred years, then Teraḥ died, in Ḥarran.[37]P mentions that Terah’s ultimate destination was Canaan (vs. 31) and that he doesn’t quite arrive, leaving the remainder of the journey to his son. This is contrary to J who has Abraham leaving the anonymous land of his birth after being commanded to do so by the Lord (Chapter 12). P wishes to further distinguish the Semite line from whence Abraham originated (and thus adds this genealogy), as opposed to J who begins Israelite history with Abraham.

The Masoretic text presented here is from Rabbi Dr. Seth (Avi) Kadish’s Miqra al pi ha-Mesorah. For the translation in English, I have adapted the translation of Everett Fox in the Schocken Bible (1997), mostly to re-Hebraize divine names, but I have made other changes. In place of Fox’s “humanity” and “the human” for the translation for “ha-Adam,” I have chosen “the Earthling.” In place of “begetting,” I have chosen “fathering” or “progeny.” In place of “slaughter-site,” I have offered “place-for-slaughter.” And in place of “soil” (for Adamah), I have chosen “fertile-ground” in almost every instance, as well as emphasizing the feminine gender of Adamah, which seems to me important for this mythopoetic narrative. Aside from these, I have made minor punctuation changes.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Note the 40 day period in J versus the 150 extra days of water in P’s vs. 24.
  2. Vs. 5 is a typical priestly insertion of age, and note the dates inserted by P in vs. 11 and in 8:4, 5, 13 – exact numbers impart authenticity.
  3. In Ashkenazi and Sefaradi Torah scrolls, “מַעְיְנוֹת֙
  4. Vs 5 tells us that Noah did all that the Lord commanded him, parallel to the final verse of Chapter 6, but no further description of the compliance appears in J, except for the terse notice that Noah and his family went into the ark in vs. 7. P, however, is not content with such terse notices and details Noah’s compliance in the following verse.
  5. In Chapter 6 above we noted the disagreement between P and J regarding the amount of animals entering the ark. In this verse P highlights the 2 by 2 count, emphasizing that the dichotomy between pure and impure does not apply in this case.
  6. The exact date of the flood relative to Noah’s age is inserted by P, note P’s poesy here: “On that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened”. In J there is no mention of the deep, as opposed to P who mentions the deep in the creation account (first day).
  7. Once again J’s 40 day flood is mentioned as opposed to the much longer flood in P.
  8. Vss. 13-16 repeat the chronological and genealogical details as well as Noah’s compliance. Emphasis of P’s divergent viewpoint regarding the length of the flood is served by providing exact dates and swerves the reader to P’s version of events. Note the repetition of the number of Noah’s children, emphasis through repetition is a common vehicle of supplementary editors, and three children is what we remember, though in J’s account there are four, and see below in Chapter 9.
  9. Note the sudden textual swerve in divine names, in vs. 16a it was “God”[Elohim] in vs. 16b it is “the Lord” [Yhwh].
  10. Since everyone is in the Ark only J’s relatively anthropomorphic Yhwh can close it, as opposed to P’s more distanced God.
  11. Vs. 17 is an editorial resumptive repetition following the P digression of chronology and dates in vss. 13-16, and thus the J timeline is repeated. Since P’s flood-time is longer he simply divides the flood into two periods the first a period of rain which he borrows from J, then a period of water swelling up from the ground.
  12. J mentions the swelling of the waters, this logically occurred as a result of the rain. P, however, explains that the swelling was result of the “fountains of the deep” in vs. 11.
  13. Note the different verbs used in J and in P for the blotting out of life. For J it is וימח – “he blotted out” in vs. 23, and earlier on in 6:7. For P, the description of life’s termination is typically less anthropomormphic and the words used are גוע, מות, relating to the death of the animals, rather than to any direct action on God’s part. The exact details of how high the waters rose are typical of the quantitative minutiae P likes to add to the text.
  14. See comments on vs. 12 for the difference between J and P terminology regarding the blotting out of life.
  15. P’s 150 days are mentioned here as opposed to the 40 day period in J.
  16. Note the very orderly chain of events in P: 1. On the 17th day of the 2nd month, the flood begins with rain and underground water for 40 days. 2. The flood lasts for 150 days until the 17th day of the 7th month – the peak of the flood being 15 cubits above mountain level. 3. On the 17th day of the 7th month the ark rests upon mount Ararat; 4. The water continues to ebb until the tops of the mountains are visible on the 1st day of the 10th month. 5. On the 1st day of the 1st month of the following year the ground is visible and drying. 6. On the 17th day of the 2nd month, exactly a year after the flood began the land was dry and Noah’s family leaves the ark. ¶ In J the flood lasts for 40 days, then Noah tests to see if there is dry land with two different birds, and when he finds out that there is indeed dry land he leaves the ark. ¶ J tells Noah’s story (and thus is sparse regarding dates), whereas P chronicles events (and thus is heavy in quantitative details).
  17. In 8:6 the Yahwistic span of the flood is once again 40 days as in 7:10. P as a supplementary redactor incorporates these 40 days into his count, thus making it seem that the 40 days that are mentioned in 8:6 and the dove story are after the tops of the mountains are visible on the 1st day of the 10th month mentioned in 8:5. The events in J in 8:6-12 span 54 days, bringing us to the end of the 11th month (according to P’s count), and thus well before the next date in P – the 1st day of the 1st month of the following year.
  18. See above in previous notes for comments regarding P’s dating in these verses. Note the repetitiveness in P. All those who entered the ark must leave the ark in orderly fashion. The exodus from the Ark is not mentioned in J and is simply assumed.
  19. The reason for the pure animals is now revealed; they were necessary so Noah would have what to sacrifice upon leaving the Ark. The Lord’s promise not to annihilate humanity once again is not articulated verbally to Noah in J, and thus P deems it necessary to verbalize it as a covenant in the following chapter.
  20. In this section P elaborates upon the unverbalized divine promise in J that God would never again bring the flood. This is the first of four covenants between God and Humans in the P source; the second being the Abrahamic covenant regarding circumcision in Genesis 17; the third being the covenant with Israel regarding the Sabbath in Exodus 31:16; the fourth being the covenant with Phineas in Numbers 25 after saving Israel from God’s wrath following the sin of Baal Peor. Note the prohibition against spilling blood in vss. 5-6, echoed in the Priestly laws of sacrifice in Leviticus 17 and elsewhere. According to P and H, blood is the essence or the soul of living things and therefore should be treated reverently. Vs. 7 echoes the Priestly command to multiply in Chapter 1:22, 28.
  21. The four sons of Noah according to J are Shem, Ham, Japhet, and Canaan, this is contra P who repeatedly emphasizes that there were only three sons. P did not feel comfortable erasing Canaan from the list (erasure or deletion of material was rarely employed according to the supplementary way of thinking) and instead, adds three (Hebrew) words here “and Ham was the father of” to make it seem that Canaan was not the son of Noah, but rather the grandson. These same three words are once again added in vs. 22, making it seem that Ham was the perpetrator instead of Canaan. This, however, is problematic since Canaan is cursed rather than Ham, and why would Noah curse the son of the perpetrator rather than the perpetrator himself?
  22. See previous comment. Note also that the formulation “and Ham was the father of” does not fit well with verse, since none of the other sons’ progeny is mentioned.
  23. See penultimate comment.
  24. P once again emphasizes that Noah had three sons rather than the four in J.
  25. See first comment on verse 18.
  26. According to J, Canaan, not Ham, revealed his father’s nakedness and was thus cursed.
  27. In Sefaradi and Ashkenazi Torah scrolls, “וַֽיְהִי֙
  28. Genealogical information common to P.
  29. The Priestly genealogy of Chapter 10 lists the descendants of Noah’s sons without employing the root ילד – to give birth. The Bridging source on the other hand uses this root in the qal, yalad (he gave birth), and the qal passive yulad (was born to). The P genealogy lists only the sons and the important grandsons of Noah’s children, whereas B’s list is much more prolific, since he wishes to arrive at the number 70, the number of the nations (and the gods) in Canaanite myth.
  30. The summarizing verses for each of the sons (Shem Ham and Yephet) appear after two verses of naming their descendants, which is somewhat redundant. I posit that only the final verse (vs. 32): (These are the families of Noah’s sons, according to their genealogies, in their nations; and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood), which provides a fitting conclusion to the whole list, is original to the P genealogy. Such summarizing verses are appropriate to B’s supplemented genealogy, which is much longer (except in the case of Yephet). Note also that only B really goes into a list of these nations lands (e.g. vs. 30), whereas P provides just a barebones list, the summarizing verses thus make more sense as B additions.
  31. In B’s genealogy of Chapter 25:1-6, Abraham was the grandfather of Sheva and Dedan, not Ham.
  32. Note the addition of the short hero myth concerning Nimrod in vss. 8-11, this type of legend is similar to the sons of God text at the beginning of Chapter 6, and in my eyes is one of the defining features of late B texts. The hero myth is clearly connected to the secondary layer of this genealogy since it uses the root yalad (to give birth) as opposed to simply listing the sons, and see comment on verse 9:3. ¶ B is careful to note that although Shem appears at the end of this genealogy he is the eldest son.
  33. The list of Shem’s children provides the background for the Semite line as listed in Chapter 11.
  34. The basis of some of this added genealogy is the Priestly list of the sons of Shem in the following chapter.
  35. See comment on 9:5. Note the number of Joktan’s children; it is likely that B, realizing he needed to get to seventy, gave Joktan more children than anyone else.
  36. According to P the land has already been divided between the post-flood nations and they do not reside all in one place, as is assumed in the Babel narrative in vss. 1-9. These verses are a good precursor to concentrating on one particular genealogical line (vss. 10-31), since for one genealogical line to be special there need to be many lines. It can be argued that P is dependent upon J in this instance, since if P were independent of J, P would not have had to mention the sons of Shem again — they were mentioned by P in 10:22 — and thus it seems that vss. 10-11, function like a resumptive repetition following the interruption of the Babel Narrative.
  37. P mentions that Terah’s ultimate destination was Canaan (vs. 31) and that he doesn’t quite arrive, leaving the remainder of the journey to his son. This is contrary to J who has Abraham leaving the anonymous land of his birth after being commanded to do so by the Lord (Chapter 12). P wishes to further distinguish the Semite line from whence Abraham originated (and thus adds this genealogy), as opposed to J who begins Israelite history with Abraham.

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