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great in the earth, and because every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." And he promised for the same reason not to destroy him again. Will some gentleman skilled in theology give us an explanation?

After God had smelled the sweet savor of sacrifice, he seems to have changed his idea as to the proper diet for man. When Adam and Eve were created they were allowed to eat herbs bearing seed, and the fruit of trees. When they were turned out of Eden, God said to them "Thou shalt eat the herb of the field." In the first chapter of Genesis the

green herb" was given for food to the beasts, fowls and creeping things. Upon being expelled from the garden, Adam and Eve, as to their food, were put upon an equality with the lower animals. According to this, the ante-deluvians were vegetarians. This may account for their wickedness and longevity.

After Noah sacrificed, and God smelled the sweet savor; he said-" Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things." Afterwards this same God changed his mind again, and divided the beasts and birds into clean and unclean, and made it a crime for man to eat the unclean. Probably food was so

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scarce when Noah was let out of the ark that Jehovah generously allowed him to eat anything and everything he could find.

According to the account, God then made a covenant with Noah to the effect that he would not again destroy the world with a flood, and as the attesting witness of this contract, a rainbow was set in the cloud. This bow was placed in the sky so that it might perpetually remind God of his promise and covenant. Without this visible witness and reminder, it would seem that Jehovah was liable to forget the contract, and drown the world again. Did the rainbow originate in this way? Did God put it in the cloud simply to keep his agreement in his memory?

For me it is impossible to believe the story of the deluge. It seems so cruel, so barbaric, so crude in detail, so absurd in all its parts, and so contrary to all we know of law, that even credulity itself is shocked.

Many nations have preserved accounts of a deluge in which all people, except a family or two, were destroyed. Babylon was certainly a city before Jerusalem was founded. Egypt was in the height of her power when there were only seventy Jews in the

world, and India had a literature before the name of Jehovah had passed the lips of superstition. An account of a general deluge. "was discovered by George Smith, translated from another account that was written about two thousand years before Christ." Of course it is impossible to tell how long the story had lived in the memory of tradition before it was reduced to writing by the Babylonians. According to this account, which is, without doubt, much older than the one given by Moses, Tamzi built a ship at the command of the god Hea, and put in it his family and the beasts of the field. He pitched the ship inside and outside with bitumen, and as soon as it was finished, there came a flood of rain and "destroyed all life from the face of the whole earth. On the seventh day there was a calm, and the ship stranded on the mountain Nizir." Tamzi waited for seven days more, and then let out a dove. Afterwards, he let out a swallow, and that, as well as the dove returned. Then he let out a raven, and as that did not return, he concluded that the water had dried away, and thereupon left the ship. Then he made an offering to god, or the gods, and "Hea interceded with Bel," so that the earth might never again be drowned.

This is the Babylonian story, told without the contradictions of the original. For in that, it seems, there are two accounts, as well as in the bible. Is it not a strange coincidence that there should be contradictory accounts mingled in both the Babylonian and Jewish stories?

In one

In the bible there are two accounts. account, Noah was to take two of all beasts, birds, and creeping things into the ark, while in the other, he was commanded to take of clean beasts, and all birds by sevens of each kind. According to one account, the flood only lasted one hundred and fifty days—as related in the third verse of the eighth chapter; while the other account fixes the time at three hundred and seventy-seven days. Both of these accounts cannot be true. Yet in order to be saved, it is not sufficient to believe one of them— you must believe both.

Among the Egyptians there was a story to the effect that the great god Ra became utterly maddened with the people, and deliberately made up his mind that he would exterminate mankind. Thereupon he began to destroy, and continued in the terrible work until blood flowed in streams, when suddenly he ceased, and took an oath that he would not again

destroy the human race. This myth was probably thousands of years old when Moses was born.

So, in India, there was a fable about the flood. A fish warned Manu that a flood was coming. Manu built a "box" and the fish towed it to a mountain and saved all hands.

The same kind of stories were told in Greece, and among our own Indian tribes. At one time the christian pointed to the fact that many nations told of a flood, as evidence of the truth of the Mosaic account; but now, it having been shown that other accounts are much older, and equally reasonable, that argument has ceased to be of any great value.

It is probable that all these accounts had a common origin. They were likely born of something in nature visible to all nations. The idea of a universal flood, produced by a god to drown the world on account of the sins of the people, is infinitely absurd. The solution of all these stories has been supposed to be, the existence of partial floods in most. countries; and for a long time this solution was satisfactory. But the fact that these stories are greatly alike, that only one man is warned, that only one family is saved, that a boat is built, that birds are sent out to find if the water had abated, tend to show

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