The Flood As Re-Creation

Writes Gary V. Smith in his article “Structure And Purpose In Genesis 1–11” [JETS 20:4 (1977), 310-11]:

When Genesis 1 and 2 are compared with 8 and 9, one begins to perceive the extent to which the author uses repeated phrases and ideas to build the structural relationships within the units. The following relationships are found:

(a) Since man could not live on the earth when it was covered with water in chaps. 1 and 8, a subsiding of the water and a separation of the land from the water took place, allowing the dry land to appear (1:9–10; 8:1–13).

(b) “Birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” are brought forth to “swarm upon the earth” in 1:20–21, 24–25 and 8:17–19.

(c) God establishes the days and seasons in 1:14–18 and 8:22.

(d) God’s blessing rests upon the animals as he commands them to “be fruitful and multiply on the earth” in both 1:22 and 8:17.

(e) Man is brought forth and he receives the blessing of God: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” in 1:28 and 9:1, 7.

(f) Man is given dominion over the animal kingdom in 1:28 and 9:2.

(g) God provides food for man in 1:29–30 and 9:3 (this latter regulation makes a direct reference back to the previous passage when it includes the statement, “As I have given the green plant”).

(h) In 9:6 the writer quotes from 1:26–27 concerning the image of God in man.

The author repeatedly emphasizes the fact that the world is beginning again with a fresh start. But Noah does not return to the paradise of Adam, for the significant difference is that “the intent of man’s heart is evil” (Gen 8:21).

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