Short post here because it’s late, but I don’t want to fall behind.
I’ve decided when I finish the whole flood story I’m going to do a little comparison table of “God” and “LORD” passages in these chapters. I can understand, if you weren’t aware of the two-source hypothesis, trying to figure out why the story constantly repeats and contradicts itself. But if you are aware, I can’t see how you can read this any way other than what it is: two difference versions of the same story told side-by-side.
Reading about the flood is a rather disconcerting thing right now. Look at the date – the Frankenstorm of Hurricane Sandy has just passed over New York City, and millions of people are without power and already 16 are reported dead. The images are pretty terrifying. They’ve never had hurricanes in the Levant, but parts of this chapter remind me a lot of storm surges.
But of course, the story in the Bible isn’t really talking about a flood. It’s talking about the End of the World. God is taking out stops he put on the world, the fountains in the deep and the windows in the heavens (v 12), to keep the waters of chaos at bay. God is scrapping his creation, but not entirely. The ark is his seed to replant it and try again.
The disturbing thing to me in the flood story is thus not the imagine of countless living things dying. It’s the idea that God might come to regret creating the world in the first place.
This was another slow read in Japanese, with a ton of words or characters to look up: shison (offspring), minagiru (to swell up, rise, or fill completely), manukareru (to escape from), oou (to cover), shidai ni (gradually, from one stage to another), tadayou (to float), ikioi (forcefully, mightily), kuwaeru (to add to, to increase), oyoso (approximately), and ikitaeru (to die, lit. to “run out of breath”). I take some reassurance in that I seem to retaining my comprehension from chapter to chapter, as I recognized and understood a number of words that I’ve only learned since starting this project.