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A more detailed flood myth was included in the Babylonian story (second millennium B. E.) of a legendary King of Uruk named Gilgamesh, who learned of the flood from an ancestor named Utnapishtim. Literary comparisons make it clear that the biblical flood stories are borrowed from older versions of the tale.

Warned by the Babylonian earth-god Ea that the gods were about to destroy all life by a flood, Utnapishtim was instructed to build an ark in the form of a cube, 120 cubits (180 feet) in length, breadth, and depth, with seven floors each divided into nine compartments, and to take aboard one pair of each living creature. Archaeological researchers have suggested that the Near Eastern flood myth may have its origin in the actual flooding by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

We have, after all, learned a few things about nature in the past 3,500 years!

They seek to know when a writing was composed, where, under what circumstances, for what purpose, and, when possible, by whom or for whom.

They also seek to understand the nature of the writing—is it history, legend, myth, a psalm, a letter and so on. William Dever has noted in It has been demonstrated that the Bible is a composite of diverse genres including, myths, folktales, epics, prose and poetic narratives, court annals, nationalistic propaganda, historical novellas, genealogies, cult legends, liturgical formulas, songs and psalms, private prayers, legal . Noah is told to bring one pair of each creature into the ark, but in Gen. The Noah cycle in J includes Gen, 6:5–8; 7:1–5, 7–10, 12, 16b, 22–23; 8:2b–3a, 6–12, 13b, 20–22; –27; 10:8–19, 21, 24–30. 6:9–22; 7:6, 11, 13–16a, 17–21, 24; 8;1–2a, 3b–5, 13a, 14–19; 9:1–17, 28–29; 10:1–7, 20, 22–23, 31–32.

So much attention is given to the story of Noah and his ark that a most interesting notation about Noah’s contribution to the alleviation of the burdens of humankind is often overlooked.

The reference is found in Genesis where, we are told Noah’s father named him and commented: “Out of the ground which Yahweh has cursed, this (one) shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands.” Genesis –21 tells us what Noah brought from the ground.

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