10 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 : NOAH
Genesis says that Noah was a good and a righteous man among the people of his time and that he walked with God. However, as soon as he left the Ark, he offered a burnt offering of pure animals. When Yahweh noticed this, He exclaimed: “Never again will I curse the earth because of human beings, because their hearts contrive evil from childhood …”
Immediately afterwards, Yahweh gave Noah a new food law: “Everything living thing that moves will be yours to eat.” If God prescribed Adam a vegetarian diet, why did Yahweh allow people to eat other creatures? Does it make sense to accept a God who changes His mind? If Yahweh asked Noah to take seven pairs of each species of pure animals with him on the Ark so that their caste could survive on earth, did it make sense that Noah offered a holocaust of some of the pure animals? By exclaiming that the human heart contrives evil from childhood, doesn’t Yahweh let us understand that He is disappointed with Noah and his family?
Although God prescribed Adam a vegetarian diet, and the Bible thus associates living in harmony (paradise) with a vegetarian diet, Jews and Christians justify eating other creatures based on the dietary law given to Noah. But they can also justify eating other humans because the law says: “Everything living thing that moves will serve as food.”
After blessing Noah and his children, Yahweh told them: “Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. The fear and the dread of you will fall on all the animals of the earth and on all the birds in the sky, and on every creature that crawls on the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are at your disposal. Everything living thing that moves will serve as food: I give everything to you, just as I gave you the green grass. You will only stop eating the meat with its soul, that is, with its blood, and I promise to claim your own blood: I will claim it from every animal and from man: from each and every one I will claim the human soul. Whoever sheds the blood of man, for another man will be his blood shed, because in the image of God He made man. You, then, be fruitful and multiply; swarm in the earth and dominate in it.”
The mention “I give everything to you, just as I gave you the green grass” in this second food law refers to the first food law. When we read it again, we find that the green grass was not given to humans, but to animals. Therefore, when God spoke with Noah, He no longer recognized in him someone created in His image, but an animal.
When He tells Noah: “you will only stop eating the meat with its soul, that is, with its blood, and I promise to claim your own blood: I will claim it from each animal and from each man: from each and every one I will claim the human soul ” God points out that the survivors of the flood have to recover their human soul by eating other creatures. Vegetarians have already done so; omnivores still have to do so.
The first food law doesn’t forbid eating other creatures for two reasons: one is that as long as people stayed away from the forbidden fruit there was no need for other laws (for this reason, God didn’t forbid killing either); another is that if the Bible had forbidden eating other creatures, lots of people would have rejected it, and neither Judaism nor Christianity would have been able to prosper.
An unwillingness to ask why God changed His mind –or not daring to question God’s decisions or to question the significance of an omnivorous diet– means that lots of people have overlooked this hidden wisdom –gnosis– in Genesis.
Since Yahweh didn’t recognize Noah and his family as human beings made in His image, but saw them as animals, and He had previously asked to take 7 pairs of each species of pure animals and 1 pair of each species of impure animals in the ark, to discover whether He considered them pure or impure animals, we only have count the pairs of human beings on the ark: Noah and his wife and his three children with their wives: 4, a figure right between pure and impure
After the flood, 6 male lineages were missing (Noah and his three sons belonged to the same lineage) and 3 female lineages (we assume that the 4 women didn’t belong to the same lineage). However, their genetic material wasn’t completely lost because in the past each male lineage had successively ‘crossed’ with each of the female lineages, and each female lineage had successively ‘crossed’ with each of the male lineages. Therefore, to recover the genetic material of the lost lineages, the surviving male and the 4 surviving female lineages now had to ‘cross’ each other in a different way.
Let us reflect upon the different possibilities that the survivors of the flood had to repopulate the Earth and upon how they could recover the lost genetic material of the missing lineages. If Noah’s wife was the mother of his 3 sons, to avoid incest, she could maintain a relationship only with her husband, while each of the 3 other women could maintain them with her husband, with her 2 brothers-in-law and with her father-in-law. This entails 13 different types of relationships and explains why, while between God and Enoch there are 7 generations, there are 13 between Enoch and Abraham.
After leaving the Ark, Noah devoted himself to farming, planted a vineyard, drank the wine, got drunk and was found naked in the middle of his tent by his son Ham, who was the father of Canaan. Seeing the nakedness of his father, Ham warned his two brothers. They took his cloak, threw it on their shoulders, and walking backwards, their faces turned away, covered the nakedness of their father without seeing it. When Noah awoke from his drunkenness and learned what his youngest son had done to him, he said: “Cursed be Canaan! The slave of slaves will he be to his brothers!”
What was wrong with seeing Noah’s nakedness and why did Noah curse Canaan instead of Ham? In the next chapter we read: “Canaan begot Sidon, his first-born, and Het, the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Later the Canaanite clans scattered and the borders of Canaan ran from Sidon, in the direction of Gerar, as far as Gaza; and then in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboyim, as far as Lasha. ” By associating Canaan with Sodom, Genesis associates him as well with homosexuality. Calling Canaan “Servant of servants” also seems to refer to homosexuality.
The first reference to drunkenness in Genesis has to do with Noah, while the second has to do with Lot who slept first with his eldest daughter and later with his youngest daughter.
Although it is unfair to punish a son for something his father did, incest has cause and effect. Those born from an incestuous relationship later suffer the consequences; This is why one of the Ten Commandments says, “I Yahweh, your God, am a jealous God, who punishes the iniquity of parents in their children up to the third and fourth generation …”
When Ham told his brothers covered that Noah was naked in his tent, they covered his nakedness while looking the other way, and thus behaved in a similar way as how people usually behave when a respected and beloved person is accused of having committed sexual abuse.
The next 10 articles are:
11 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 Evil since childhood
12 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 Repopulating the Earth
13 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 The tower of Babel
14 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 An only language
15 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 Whores
16 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 20 patriarchs
17 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 Abraham and Sarah
18 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 Melchizedek
19 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 Circumcision
20 PHILOSOPHY versus THEOLOGY 0 Sodom