Noah ' s Ark Essay

Submitted By cmh613
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Genesis 9: 1-17 Response Paper This passage opens immediately after Noah, his three sons and wives and all the animals he carried onboard of the ark throughout the flood have returned to dry land. The Lord has wiped all of mankind and every animal off the face of the Earth. After the Lord alerts Noah that they can return to “land”, he tells Noah to build an alter and make burnt offerings. In this passage, the Lord blesses Noah and his sons and promises them a life without another flood to destroy the entirety of land and humankind.
The Lord starts with a call for a new beginning, life post flood that must be different than life before the great flood. With this new beginning, God interweaves the first laws to Noah and his sons. He outlines that humans cannot “eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood (Harper Collins Study Bible Gen. 9:4). Essentially, humans should eat any animal that they desire but withstand from eating its blood. Then God outlines the rule pertaining to the killing of other humans saying that “whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person’s blood be shed” (Gen. 9:6). The Lord creates these laws in the hope that this new era of life will be without violence, which would be a complete change from the life that God purposefully wiped out with the great flood. God continues on to establish his covenant with Noah. This covenant however, is made with all of mankind and the animals, not just Noah. He promises that a flood will never occur again and that mankind will not be wiped once more. A rainbow then appears and becomes the formal symbol of the covenant between Noah, the Lord and every living thing. The original audience of this passage was probably a community of people in exile; therefore, we can assume this was written during or shortly after the Babylonian exile. As stated in Understanding the Bible, “the Genesis stories of wandering families…would [have] str[uck] a responsive chord among exiles whom the Babylonian invasion had driven to these very locations” (Harris 78). This covenant between all mankind and God would have symbolized for the original audience that the Lord is present with them right now, He is watching over them and good things can only be in the horizon if they follow the laws outlined in the story. The story of Noah and the ark is a reminder that if you complete tasks given by the Lord in the order in which he desires while continuing to lead a fruitful and positive life, you will receive a life full of prosperity and happiness with the ones you love. The exiles might treat their situation similar to that of Noah’s with God. If they continue to live and carry out the covenant of the Lord, their lives might take an interesting turn towards something more positive. Therefore, the original audience might have viewed this passage as a beacon of hope. Perhaps the Lord has a plan for their future, something bountiful and worthwhile. This passage, the story of the covenant between the Lord, Noah and all of mankind has relevance to a specific issue in our modern world today. As a nation, we almost drowned in a flood of debt this past summer. Congress made the citizens of the United States of America a promise that they would never allow us as a nation to go down that dark path ever again. Similar to the covenant made between God and mankind through the flood, the Lord promised never again to “wipe” out the Earth with a flood of greater magnitude.