Mythology: The Great Flood

A Chapter from Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning by T. W. Doane.

As a work of comparative theology, it offers useful links to various cultures and the many parallels to be found. The Great Flood legend has echoes in every corner of the Earth.

There is unfortunately no biographical information on the author.
— Orly


After "man's shameful fall," the earth began to be populated at a very rapid rate. "The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. . . . . There were giants in the earth in those days,[19:2] and also . . . mighty men . . . men of renown."

But these "giants" and "mighty men" were very wicked, "and God saw the wickedness of man . . . and it repented the Lord that he had made man upon the earth,[19:3] and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said; I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (for) Noah was a just man . . . and walked with God. . . . And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them, and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood, rooms shalt thou make in the ark, (and) a window shalt thou make to the ark; . . . . And behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven, and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee shall I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives, with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come in to thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee and for them. Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded him."[20:1]

When the ark was finished, the Lord said unto Noah:

"Come thou and all thy house into the ark. . . . Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female; and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female."[20:2]

Here, again, as in the Eden myth, there is a contradiction. We have seen that the Lord told Noah to bring into the ark "of every living thing, of all flesh, two of every sort," and now that the ark is finished, we are told that he said to him: "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens," and, "of fowls also of the air by sevens." This is owing to the story having been written by two different writers—the Jehovistic, and the Elohistic—one of which took from, and added to the narrative of the other.[20:3] The account goes on to say, that:

"Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark. . . . Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two, unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah."[20:4]

We see, then, that Noah took into the ark of all kinds of beasts, of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth, two of every sort, and that this was "as God had commanded Noah." This clearly shows that the writer of these words knew nothing of the command to take in clean beasts, and fowls of the air, by sevens. We are further assured, that, "Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him."

After Noah and his family, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, the fowls of the air, and every creeping thing, had entered the ark, the Lord shut them in. Then "were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. . . . . And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man. And Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."[21:1] The object of the flood was now accomplished, "all flesh died that moved upon the earth." The Lord, therefore, "made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. The fountains of the deep, and the windows of heaven, were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters decreased continually. . . . . And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark, which he had made. And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. He also sent forth a dove, . . . but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark." . . .

At the end of seven days he again "sent forth the dove out of the ark, and the dove came in to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf, plucked off."

At the end of another seven days, he again "sent forth the dove, which returned not again to him any more."

And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. Then Noah and his wife, and his sons, and his sons' wives, and every living thing that was in the ark, went forth out of the ark. "And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord, . . . and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour, and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake."[21:2]

We shall now see that there is scarcely any considerable race of men among whom there does not exist, in some form, the tradition of a great deluge, which destroyed all the human race, except their own progenitors.

The first of these which we shall notice, and the one with which the Hebrew agrees most closely, having been copied from it,[22:1] is the Chaldean, as given by Berosus, the Chaldean historian.[22:2] It is as follows:

"After the death of Ardates (the ninth king of the Chaldeans), his son Xisuthrus reigned eighteen sari. In his time happened a great deluge, the history of which is thus described: The deity Cronos appeared to him (Xisuthrus) in a vision, and warned him that upon the fifteenth day of the month Desius there would be a flood, by which mankind would be destroyed. He therefore enjoined him to write a history of the beginning, procedure, and conclusion of all things, and to bury it in the City of the Sun at Sippara; and to build a vessel, and take with him into it his friends and relations, and to convey on board everything necessary to sustain life, together with all the different animals, both birds and quadrupeds, and trust himself fearlessly to the deep. Having asked the deity whither he was to sail, he was answered: 'To the Gods;' upon which he offered up a prayer for the good of mankind. He then obeyed the divine admonition, and built a vessel five stadia in length, and two in breadth. Into this he put everything which he had prepared, and last of all conveyed into it his wife, his children, and his friends. After the flood had been upon the earth, and was in time abated, Xisuthrus sent out birds from the vessel; which not finding any food, nor any place whereupon they might rest their feet, returned to him again. After an interval of some days, he sent them forth a second time; and they now returned with their feet tinged with mud. He made a trial a third time with these birds; but they returned to him no more: from whence he judged that the surface of the earth had appeared above the waters. He therefore made an opening in the vessel, and upon looking out found that it was stranded upon the side of some mountain; upon which he immediately quitted it with his wife, his daughter, and the pilot. Xisuthrus then paid his adoration to the earth, and, having constructed an altar, offered sacrifices to the gods."[22:3]

This account, given by Berosus, which agrees in almost every particular with that found in Genesis, and with that found by George Smith of the British Museum on terra cotta tablets in Assyria, is nevertheless different in some respects. But, says Mr. Smith:

"When we consider the difference between the two countries of Palestine and Babylonia, these variations do not appear greater than we should expect. . . . It was only natural that, in relating the same stories, each nation should color them in accordance with its own ideas, and stress would naturally in each case be laid upon points with which they were familiar. Thus we should expect beforehand that there would be differences in the narrative such as we actually find, and we may also notice that the cuneiform account does not always coincide even with the account of the same events given by Berosus from Chaldean sources."[23:1]

The most important points are the same however, i. e., in both cases the virtuous man is informed by the Lord that a flood is about to take place, which would destroy mankind. In both cases they are commanded to build a vessel or ark, to enter it with their families, and to take in beasts, birds, and everything that creepeth, also to provide themselves with food. In both cases they send out a bird from the ark three times—the third time it failed to return. In both casesthey land on a mountain, and upon leaving the ark they offer up a sacrificeto the gods. Xisuthrus was the tenth king,[23:2] and Noah the tenth patriarch.[23:3]Xisuthrus had three sons (Zerovanos, Titan and Japetosthes),[23:4] and Noah had three sons (Shem, Ham and Japhet).[23:5]

As Cory remarks in his "Ancient Fragments," the history of the flood, as given by Berosus, so remarkably corresponds with the Biblical account of the Noachian Deluge, that no one can doubt that both proceeded from one source—they are evidently transcriptions, except the names, from some ancient document.[23:6]

This legend became known to the Jews from Chaldean sources,[23:7] it was not known in the country (Egypt) out of which they evidently came.[23:8] Egyptian history, it is said, had gone on uninterrupted for ten thousand years before the time assigned for the birth of Jesus.[24:1] And it is known as absolute fact that the land of Egypt was never visited by other than its annual beneficent overflow of the river Nile.[24:2] The Egyptian Bible, which is by far the most ancient of all holy books[24:3], knew nothing of the Deluge.[24:4] The Phra (or Pharaoh) Khoufou-Cheops was building his pyramid, according to Egyptian chronicle, when the whole world was under the waters of a universal deluge, according to the Hebrew chronicle.[24:5] A number of other nations of antiquity are found destitute of any story of a flood,[24:6] which they certainly would have had if a universal deluge had ever happened. Whether this legend is of high antiquity in India has even been doubted by distinguished scholars.[24:7]

The Hindoo legend of the Deluge is as follows:

"Many ages after the creation of the world, Brahma resolved to destroy it with a deluge, on account of the wickedness of the people. There lived at that time a pious man named Satyavrata, and as the lord of the universe loved this pious man, and wished to preserve him from the sea of destruction which was to appear on account of the depravity of the age, he appeared before him in the form of Vishnu (the Preserver) and said: In seven days from the present time . . . the worlds will be plunged in an ocean of death, but in the midst of the destroying waves, a large vessel, sent by me for thy use, shall stand before thee. Then shalt thou take all medicinal herbs, all the variety of feeds, and, accompanied by seven saints, encircled by pairs of all brute animals, thou shalt enter the spacious ark, and continue in it, secure from the flood, on one immense ocean without light, except the radiance of thy holy companions. When the ship shall be agitated by an impetuous wind, thou shalt fasten it with a large sea-serpent on my horn; for I will be near thee (in the form of a fish), drawing the vessel, with thee and thy attendants. I will remain on the ocean, O chief of men, until a night of Brahmashall be completely ended. Thou shalt then know my true greatness, rightly named the Supreme Godhead; by my favor, all thy questions shall be answered, and thy mind abundantly instructed."

Being thus directed, Satyavrata humbly waited for the time which the ruler of our senses had appointed. It was not long, however, before the sea, overwhelming its shores, began to deluge the whole earth, and it was soon perceived to be augmented by showers from immense clouds. He, still meditating on the commands of the Lord, saw a vessel advancing, and entered it with the saints, after having carried into effect the instructions which had been given him.

Vishnu then appeared before them, in the form of a fish, as he had said, and Satyavrata fastened a cable to his horn.

The deluge in time abated, and Satyavrata, instructed in all divine and human knowledge, was appointed, by the favor of Vishnu, the Seventh Menu. After coming forth from the ark he offers up a sacrifice to Brahma.[25:1]

The ancient temples of Hindostan contain representations of Vishnu sustaining the earth while overwhelmed by the waters of the deluge. A rainbow is seen on the surface of the subsiding waters.[25:2]

The Chinese believe the earth to have been at one time covered with water, which they described as flowing abundantly and then subsiding. This great flood divided the higher from the lower age of man. It happened during the reign of Yaou. This inundation, which is termed hung-shwuy (great water), almost ruined the country, and is spoken of by Chinese writers with sentiments of horror. The Shoo-King, one of their sacred books, describes the waters as reaching to the tops of some of the mountains, covering the hills, and expanding as wide as the vault of heaven.[25:3]

The Parsees say that by the temptation of the evil spirit men became wicked, and God destroyed them with a deluge, except a few, from whom the world was peopled anew.[25:4]

In the Zend-Avesta, the oldest sacred book of the Persians, of whom the Parsees are direct descendants, there are sixteen countries spoken of as having been given by Ormuzd, the Good Deity, for the Aryans to live in; and these countries are described as a land of delight, which was turned by Ahriman, the Evil Deity, into a land of death and cold, partly, it is said, by a great flood, which is described as being like Noah's flood recorded in the Book of Genesis.[26:1]

The ancient Greeks had records of a flood which destroyed nearly the whole human race.[26:2] The story is as follows:

"From his throne in the high Olympos, Zeus looked down on the children of men, and saw that everywhere they followed only their lusts, and cared nothing for right or for law. And ever, as their hearts waxed grosser in their wickedness, they devised for themselves new rites to appease the anger of the gods, till the whole earth was filled with blood. Far away in the hidden glens of the Arcadian hills the sons of Lykaon feasted and spake proud words against the majesty of Zeus, and Zeus himself came down from his throne to see their way and their doings. . . . Then Zeus returned to his home on Olympos, and he gave the word that a flood of waters should be let loose upon the earth, that the sons of men might die for their great wickedness. So the west wind rose in its might, and the dark rain-clouds veiled the whole heaven, for the winds of the north which drive away the mists and vapors were shut up in their prison house. On hill and valley burst the merciless rain, and the rivers, loosened from their courses, rushed over the whole plains and up the mountain-side. From his home on the highlands of Phthia, Deukalion looked forth on the angry sky, and, when he saw the waters swelling in the valleys beneath, he called Pyrrha, his wife, and said to her: 'The time has come of which my father, the wise Prometheus, forewarned me. Make ready, therefore, the ark which I have built, and place in it all that we may need for food while the flood of waters is out upon the earth.' . . . Then Pyrrha hastened to make all things ready, and they waited till the waters rose up to the highlands of Phthia and floated away the ark of Deukalion. The fishes swam amidst the old elm-groves, and twined amongst the gnarled boughs on the oaks, while on the face of the waters were tossed the bodies of men; and Deukalion looked on the dead faces of stalwart warriors, of maidens, and of babes, as they rose and fell upon the heavy waves."

When the flood began to abate, the ark rested on Mount Parnassus, and Deucalion, with his wife Pyrrha, stepped forth upon the desolate earth. They then immediately constructed an altar, and offered up thanks to Zeus, the mighty being who sent the flood and saved them from its waters.[26:3]

According to Ovid (a Grecian writer born 43 B. C.), Deucalion does not venture out of the ark until a dove which he sent out returns to him with an olive branch.[26:4]

It was at one time extensively believed, even by intelligent scholars, that the myth of Deucalion was a corrupted tradition of the Noachian deluge, but this untenable opinion is now all but universally abandoned.[27:1]

The legend was found in the West among the Kelts. They believed that a great deluge overwhelmed the world and drowned all men except Drayan and Droyvach, who escaped in a boat, and colonized Britain. This boat was supposed to have been built by the "Heavenly Lord," and it received into it a pair of every kind of beasts.[27:2]

The ancient Scandinavians had their legend of a deluge. The Edda describes this deluge, from which only one man escapes, with his family, by means of a bark.[27:3] It was also found among the ancient Mexicans. They believed that a man named Coxcox, and his wife, survived the deluge. Lord Kingsborough, speaking of this legend,[27:4] informs us that the person who answered to Noah entered the ark with six others; and that the story of sending birds out of the ark, &c., is the same in general character with that of the Bible.

Dr. Brinton also speaks of the Mexican tradition.[27:5] They had not only the story of sending out the bird, but related that the ark landed on a mountain. The tradition of a deluge was also found among the Brazilians, and among many Indian tribes.[27:6] The mountain upon which the ark is supposed to have rested, was pointed to by the residents in nearly every quarter of the globe. The mountain-chain of Ararat was considered to be—by the Chaldeans and Hebrews—the place where the ark landed. The Greeks pointed to Mount Parnassus; the Hindoos to the Himalayas; and in Armenia numberless heights were pointed out with becoming reverence, as those on which the few survivors of the dreadful scenes of the deluge were preserved. On the Red River (in America), near the village of the Caddoes, there was an eminence to which the Indian tribes for a great distance around paid devout homage. The Cerro Naztarny on the Rio Grande, the peak of Old Zuni in New Mexico, that of Colhuacan on the Pacific coast, Mount Apoala in Upper Mixteca, and Mount Neba in the province of Guaymi, are some of many elevations asserted by the neighboring nations to have been places of refuge for their ancestors when the fountains of the great deep broke forth.

The question now may naturally be asked, How could such a story have originated unless there was some foundation for it?

In answer to this question we will say that we do not think such a story could have originated without some foundation for it, and that most, if not all, legends, have a basis of truth underlying the fabulous, although not always discernible. This story may have an astronomical basis, as some suppose,[28:1] or it may not. At any rate, it would be very easy to transmit by memory the fact of the sinking of an island, or that of an earthquake, or a great flood, caused by overflows of rivers, &c., which, in the course of time, would be added to, and enlarged upon, and, in this way, made into quite a lengthy tale. According to one of the most ancient accounts of the deluge, we are told that at that time "the forest trees were dashed against each other;" "the mountains were involved with smoke and flame;" that there was "fire, and smoke, and wind, which ascended in thick clouds replete with lightning." "The roaring of the ocean, whilst violently agitated with the whirling of the mountains, was like the bellowing of a mighty cloud, &c."[28:2]

A violent earthquake, with eruptions from volcanic mountains, and the sinking of land into the sea, would evidently produce such a scene as this. We know that at one period in the earth's history, such scenes must have been of frequent occurrence. The science of geology demonstrates this fact to us. Local delugeswere of frequent occurrence, and that some persons may have been saved on one, or perhapsmany, such occasions, by means of a raft or boat, and that they may have sought refuge on an eminence, or mountain, does not seem at all improbable.

During the Champlain period in the history of the world—which came after the Glacial period—the climate became warmer, the continents sank, and there were, consequently, continued local floods which must have destroyed considerable animal life, including man. The foundation of the deluge myth may have been laid at this time.

Some may suppose that this is dating the history of man too far back, making his history too remote; but such is not the case. There is every reason to believe that man existed for ages before the Glacial epoch. It must not be supposed that we have yet found remains of the earliest human beings; there is evidence, however, that man existed during the Pliocene, if not during the Miocene periods, when hoofed quadrupeds, and Proboscidians abounded, human remains and implements having been found mingled with remains of these animals.[29:1]

Charles Darwin believed that the animal called man, might have been properly called by that name at an epoch as remote as the Eocene period.[29:2] Man had probably lost his hairy covering by that time, and had begun to look human.

Prof. Draper, speaking of the antiquity of man, says:

"So far as investigations have gone, they indisputably refer the existence of man to a date remote from us by many hundreds of thousands of years," and that, "it is difficult to assign a shorter date from the last glaciation of Europe than a quarter of a million of years, and human existence antedates that."[29:3]

Again he says:

"Recent researches give reason to believe that, under low and base grades, the existence of man can be traced back into the Tertiarytimes. He was contemporary with the Southern Elephant, the Rhinoceros-leptorhinus, the great Hippopotamus,  perhaps even in the Miocene, contemporary with the Mastodon."[29:4]

Prof. Huxley closes his "Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature," by saying:

"Where must we look for primeval man? Was the oldest Homo Sapiens Pliocene or Miocene, or yet more ancient? . . . If any form of the doctrine of progressive development is correct, we must extend by long epochs the most liberal estimate that has yet been made of the antiquity of man."[30:1]

Prof. Oscar Paschel, in his work on "Mankind," speaking of the deposits of human remains which have been discovered in caves, mingled with the bones of wild animals, says:

"The examination of one of these caves at Brixham, by a geologist as trustworthy as Dr. Falconer, convinced the specialists of Great Britain, as early as 1858, that man was a contemporary of the Mammoth, the Woolly Rhinoceros, the Cave-lion, the Cave-hyena, the Cave-bear, and therefore of the Mammalia of the Geological period antecedent to our own."[30:2]

The positive evidence of man's existence during the Tertiary period, are facts which must firmly convince every one—who is willing to be convinced—of the great antiquity of man. We might multiply our authorities, but deem it unnecessary.

The observation of shells, corals, and other remains of aquatic animals, in places above the level of the sea, and even on high mountains, may have given rise to legends of a great flood.

Fossils found imbedded in high ground have been appealed to, both in ancient and modern times, both by savage and civilized man, as evidence in support of their traditions of a flood; and, moreover, the argument, apparently unconnected with any tradition, is to be found, that because there are marine fossils in places away from the sea, therefore the sea must once have been there.

It is only quite recently that the presence of fossil shells, &c., on high mountains, has been abandoned as evidence of the Noachic flood.

Mr. Tylor tells us that in the ninth edition of "Horne's Introduction to the Scriptures," published in 1846, the evidence of fossils is confidently held to prove the universality of the Deluge; but the argument disappears from the next edition, published ten years later.[30:3]

Besides fossil remains of aquatic animals, boats have been found on tops of mountains.[30:4] A discovery of this kind may have given rise to the story of an ark having been made in which to preserve the favored ones from the waters, and of its landing on a mountain.[30:5]

Before closing this chapter, it may be well to notice a striking incident in the legend we have been treating, i. e., the frequent occurrence of the number sevenin the narrative. For instance: theLord commands Noah to take into the ark clean beasts by sevens, and fowls also by sevens, and tells him that in seven days he will cause it to rain upon the earth. We are also told that the ark rested in the seventh month, and the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. After sending the dove out of the ark the first time, Noah waited seven days before sending it out again. After sending the dove out the second time, "he stayed yet another seven days" ere he again sent forth the dove.

This coincidence arises from the mystic power attached to the number seven, derived from its frequent occurrence in astrology.

We find that in all religions of antiquity the number seven—which applied to the sun, moon and the five planets known to the ancients—is a sacred number, represented in all kinds and sorts of forms;[31:1] for instance: The candlestick with seven branches in the temple of Jerusalem. The seven inclosures of the temple. The seven doors of the cave of Mithras. The seven stories of the tower of Babylon.[31:2] The seven gates of Thebes.[31:3] The flute of seven pipes generally put into the hand of the god Pan. The lyre of seven strings touched by Apollo. The book of "Fate," composed of seven books. The seven prophetic rings of the Brahmans.[31:4] The seven stones—consecrated to the seven planets—in Laconia.[31:5] The division into seven castes adopted by the Egyptians and Indians. The seven idols of the Bonzes. The seven altars of the monument of Mithras. The seven great spirits invoked by the Persians. The sevenarchangels of the Chaldeans. The seven archangels of the Jews.[31:6]

The seven days in the week.[32:1] The seven sacraments of the Christians. The seven wicked spirits of the Babylonians. The sprinkling of blood seven times upon the altars of the Egyptians. The seven mortal sins of the Egyptians. The hymn of seven vowels chanted by the Egyptian priests.[32:2] The seven branches of the Assyrian "Tree of Life." Agni, the Hindoo god, is represented with seven arms. Sura's[32:3] horse was represented with seven heads. Seven churches are spoken of in the Apocalypse. Balaam builded seven altars, and offered seven bullocks and seven rams on each altar. Pharaoh saw seven kine, &c., in his dream. The "Priest of Midian" had seven daughters. Jacob served seven years. Before Jericho seven priests bare seven horns. Samson was bound with sevengreen withes, and hismarriage feast lasted seven days, &c., &c. We might continue with as much more, but enough has been shown to verify the statement that, "in all religions of antiquity, the number SEVEN is a sacred number."


[19:1]See "The Deluge in the Light of Modern Science," by Prof. Wm. Denton: J. P. Mendum, Boston.

[19:2]"There were giants in the earth in those days." It is a scientific fact that most races of men, in former ages, instead of being larger, were smaller than at the present time. There is hardly a suit of armor in the Tower of London, or in the old castles, that is large enough for the average Englishman of to-day to put on. Man has grown in stature as well as intellect, and there is no proof whatever—in fact, the opposite is certain—that there ever was a race of what might properly be called giants, inhabiting the earth. Fossil remains of large animals having been found by primitive man, and a legend invented to account for them, it would naturally be that: "There were giants in the earth in those days." As an illustration we may mention the story, recorded by the traveller James Orton, we believe (in "The Andes and the Amazon"), that, near Punin, in South America, was found the remains of an extinct species of the horse, the mastodon, and other large animals. This discovery was made, owing to the assurance of the natives that giants at one time had lived in that country, and that they had seen their remains at this certain place. Many legends have had a similar origin. But the originals of all the Ogres and Giants to be found in the mythology of almost all nations of antiquity, are the famous Hindoo demons, the Rakshasas of our Aryan ancestors. The Rakshasas were very terrible creatures indeed, and in the minds of many people, in India, are so still. Their natural form, so the stories say, is that of huge, unshapely giants, like clouds, with hair and beard of the color of the red lightning. This description explains their origin. They are the dark, wicked and cruel clouds, personified.

[19:3]"And it repented the Lord that he had made man." (Gen. iv.) "God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent." (Numb. xxiii. 19.)

[20:1]Gen. iv.

[20:2]Gen. vi. 1-3.

[20:3]See chapter xi.

[20:4]The image of Osiris of Egypt was by the priests shut up in a sacred ark on the 17th of Athyr (Nov. 13th), the very day and month on which Noah is said to have entered his ark, (See Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 165, and Bunsen's Angel Messiah, p. 22.)

[21:1]Gen. vi.

[21:2]Gen. viii.

[22:1]See chapter xi.

[22:2]Josephus, the Jewish historian, speaking of the flood of Noah (Antiq. bk. 1, ch. iii.), says: "All the writers of the Babylonian histories make mention of this flood and this ark."

[22:3]Quoted by George Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 43-44; see also, The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 211; Dunlap's Spirit Hist. p. 138; Cory's Ancient Fragments, p. 61, et seq. for similar accounts.

[23:1]Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 285, 286.

[23:2]Volney: New Researches, p. 119; Chaldean Acct. of Genesis, p. 290; Hist. Hindostan, vol. i. p. 417, and Dunlap's Spirit Hist. p. 277.


[23:4]Legends of the Patriarchs, pp. 109, 110.

[23:5]Gen. vi. 8.

[23:6]The Hindoo ark-preserved Menu had three sons; Sama, Cama, and Pra-Japati. (Faber: Orig. Pagan Idol.) The Bhattias, who live between Delli and the Panjab, insist that they are descended from a certain king called Salivahana, who had three sons, Bhat, Maha and Thamaz.(Col. Wilford, in vol. ix. Asiatic Researches.) The Iranian hero Thraetona had three sons. The Iranian Sethite Lamech had three sons, and Hellen, the son of Deucalion, during whose time the flood is said to have happened, had three sons. (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, pp. 70, 71.) All the ancient nations of Europe also describe their origin from the three sons of some king or patriarch. The Germans said that Mannus (son of the god Tuisco) had three sons, who were the original ancestors of the three principal nations of Germany. The Scythians said that Targytagus, the founder of their nation, had three sons, from whom they were descended. A tradition among the Romans was that the Cyclop Polyphemus had by Galatea three sons. Saturn had three sons, Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto; and Hesiod speaks of the three sons which sprung from the marriage of heaven and earth. (See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 509.)

[23:7]See chap. xi.

[23:8]"It is of no slight moment that the Egyptians, with whom the Hebrews are represented as in earliest and closest intercourse, had no traditions of a flood, while the Babylonian and Hellenic tales bear a strong resemblance in many points to the narrative in Genesis." (Rev. George W. Cox: Tales of Ancient Greece, p. 340. See also Owen: Man's Earliest History, p. 28, and ch. xi. this work.)

[24:1]See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 198, and Knight's Ancient Art and Mythology, p. 107. "Plato was told that Egypt had hymns dating back ten thousand years before his time." (Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 185.) Plato lived 429 B. C. Herodotus relates that the priests of Egypt informed him that from the first king to the present priest of Vulcan who last reigned, were three hundred forty and one generations of men, and during these generations there were the same number of chief priests and kings. "Now (says he) three hundred generations are equal to ten thousand years, for three generations of men are one hundred years; and the forty-one remaining generations that were over the three hundred, make one thousand three hundred and forty years," making eleven thousand three hundred and forty years. "Conducting me into the interior of an edifice that was spacious, and showing me wooden colossuses to the number I have mentioned, they reckoned them up; for every high priest places an image of himself there during his life-time; the priests, therefore, reckoning them and showing them to me, pointed out that each was the son of his own father; going through them all, from the image of him who died last until they had pointed them all out." (Herodotus, book ii. chs. 142, 143.) The discovery of mummies of royal and priestly personages, made at Deir-el-Bahari (Aug., 1881), near Thebes, in Egypt, would seem to confirm this statement made by Herodotus. Of the thirty-nine mummies discovered, one—that of King Raskenen—is about three thousand seven hundred years old. (See a Cairo [Aug. 8th,] Letter to the London Times.)

[24:2]Owen: Man's Earliest History, p. 28.

[24:3]Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 185.

[24:4]Ibid. p. 411.

[24:5]Owen: Man's Earliest History, pp. 27, 28.

[24:6]Goldzhier: Hebrew Mytho. p. 319.

[24:7]Ibid. p. 320.

[25:1]Translated from the Bhagavat by Sir Wm. Jones, and published in the first volume of the "Asiatic Researches," p. 230, et seq. See also Maurice: Ind. Ant. ii. 277, et seq., and Prof. Max Müller's Hist. Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 425, et seq.

[25:2]See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 55.

[25:3]See Thornton's Hist. China, vol. i. p. 30, Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 205, and Priestley, p. 41.

[25:4]Priestley, p. 42.

[26:1]Bunce: Fairy Tales, Origin and Meaning, p. 18.

[26:2]The oldest Greek mythology, however, has no such idea; it cannot be proved to have been known to the Greeks earlier than the 6th century B. C. (See Goldzhier: Hebrew Mytho., p. 319.) This could not have been the case had there ever been a universal deluge.

[26:3]Tales of Ancient Greece, pp. 72-74. "Apollodorus—a Grecian mythologist, born 140 B. C.,—having mentioned Deucalion consigned to the ark, takes notice, upon his quitting it, of his offering up an immediate sacrifice to God." (Chambers' Encyclo., art, Deluge.)

[26:4]In Lundy's Monumental Christianity (p. 209, Fig. 137) may be seen a representation of Deucalion and Pyrrha landing from the ark. A dove and olive branch are depicted in the scene.

[27:1]Chambers' Encyclo., art. Deucalion.

[27:2]Baring-Gould: Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 114. See also Myths of the British Druids, p. 95.

[27:3]See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 99.

[27:4]Mex. Antiq. vol. viii.

[27:5]Myths of the New World, pp. 203, 204.

[27:6]See Squire: Serpent Symbol, pp. 189, 190.

[28:1]Count de Volney says: "The Deluge mentioned by Jews, Chaldeans, Greeks and Indians, as having destroyed the world, are one and the same physico-astronomical event which is still repeated every year," and that "all those personages that figure in the Deluge of Noah and Xisuthrus, are still in the celestial sphere. It was a real picture of the calendar." (Researches in Ancient Hist., p. 124.) It was on the same day that Noah is said to have shut himself up in the ark, that the priests of Egypt shut up in their sacred coffer or ark the image of Osiris, a personification of the Sun. This was on the 17th of the month Athor, in which the Sun enters the Scorpion. (See Kenrick's Egypt, vol. i. p. 410.) The history of Noah also corresponds, in some respects, with that of Bacchus, another personification of the Sun.

[28:2]See Maurice's Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 268.

[29:1]"In America, along with the bones of the Mastodon imbedded in the alluvium of the Bourbense, were found arrow heads and other traces of the savages who had killed this member of an order no longer represented in that part of the world." (Herbert Spencer: Principles of Sociology, vol. i. p. 17.)

[29:2]Darwin: Descent of Man, p. 156. We think it may not be out of place to insert here what might properly be called: "The Drama of Life," which is as follows:

Act i.Azoic: Conflict of Inorganic Forces.

Act ii.Paleozoic: Age of Invertebrates.


Scene   i. Eozoic: Enter Protozoans and Protophytes.
Scene  ii. Silurian: Enter the Army of Invertebrates.
Scene iii. Devonian: Enter Fishes.
Scene  iv. Carboniferous: (Age of Coal Plants) Enter First Air breathers.

Act iii.Mesozoic: Enter Reptiles.


Scene   i. Triassic: Enter Batrachians.
Scene  ii. Jurassic: Enter huge Reptiles of Sea, Land and Air.
Scene iii. Cretaceous: (Age of Chalk) Enter Ammonites.

Act iv.Cenozoic: (Age of Mammals.)


Scene   i. Eocene: Enter Marine Mammals, and probably Man.
Scene  ii. Miocene: Enter Hoofed Quadrupeds.
Scene iii. Pliocene: Enter Proboscidians and Edentates.

Act v.Post Tertiary: Positive Age of Man.

Post Tertiary

Scene   i. Glacial: Ice and Drift Periods.
Scene  ii. Champlain: Sinking Continents; Warmer; Tropical Animals go North.
Scene iii. Terrace: Rising Continents; Colder.
Scene  iv. Present: Enter Science, Iconoclasts, &c., &c.

[29:3]Draper: Religion and Science, p. 199.

[29:4]Ibid. pp. 195, 196.

[30:1]Huxley: Man's Place in Nature, p. 184.

[30:2]Paschel: Races of Man, p. 36.

[30:3]Tylor: Early History of Mankind, p. 328.

[30:4]Ibid. pp. 329, 330

[30:5]We know that many legends have originated in this way. For example, Dr. Robinson, in his "Travels in Palestine" (ii. 586), mentions a tradition that a city had once stood in a desert between Petra and Hebron, the people of which had perished for their vices, and been converted into stone. Mr. Seetzen, who went to the spot, found no traces of ruins, but a number of stony concretions, resembling in form and size the human head. They had been ignorantly supposed to be petrified heads, and a legend framed to account for their owners suffering so terrible a fate. Another illustration is as follows:—The Kamchadals believe that volcanic mountains are the abode of devils, who, after they have cooked their meals, fling the fire-brands out of the chimney. Being asked what these devils eat, they said "whales." Here we see, first, a story invented to account for the volcanic eruptions from the mountains; and, second, a story invented to account for the remains of whales found on the mountains. The savages knew that this was true, "because their old people had said so, and believed it themselves." (Related by Mr. Tylor, in his "Early History of Mankind," p. 326.)

[31:1]"Everything of importance was calculated by, and fitted into, this number (SEVEN) by the Aryan philosophers,—ideas as well as localities." (Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 407).

[31:2]Each one being consecrated to a planet. First, to Saturn; second, to Jupiter; third, to Mars; fourth, to the Sun; fifth, to Venus; sixth, to Mercury; seventh, to the Moon. (The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 269. See also The Angel Messiah, p. 106.)

[31:3]Each of which had the name of a planet.

[31:4]On each of which the name of a planet was engraved.

[31:5]"There was to be seen in Laconia, seven columns erected in honor of the seven planets." (Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 34.)

[31:6]"The Jews believed that the Throne of Jehovah was surrounded by his seven high chiefs: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Uriel, &c." (Bible for Learners, vol. iii. p. 46.)

[32:1]Each one being consecrated to a planet, and the Sun and Moon. Sunday, "Dies Solis," sacred to the SUN. Monday, "Dies Lunae," sacred to the MOON. Tuesday, sacred to Tuiso or Mars. Wednesday, sacred to Odin or Woden, and to Mercury. Thursday, sacred to Thor and others. Friday, sacred to Freia and Venus. Saturday, sacred to Saturn. "The (ancient) Egyptians assigned a day of the week to the SUN, MOON, and five planets, and the number SEVEN was held there in great reverence." (Kenrick: Egypt, i. 238.)

[32:2]"The Egyptian priests chanted the seven vowels as a hymn addressed to Serapis." (The Rosicrucians, p. 143.)

[32:3]Sura: the Sun-god of the Hindoos.




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