Myth-Folklore Unit: Noah and the Ark

Overview. In this unit, you will read the story of the Flood and also the story of the Tower of Babel from the Biblical Book of Genesis. Then, you will read a wide variety of legends reported by Louis Ginzberg in his monumental collection,  Legends of the Jews. There are stories about the creation of the ark as well as about life on the ark during the flood, including strife and intrigue among the animals. The peculiar relationship between Noah and the crow is especially surprising! You will also find out just how Noah got the details he needed to build the ark (a story that begins with some shocking revelations about Adam and Eve), and you will see just what role Satan played in the Biblical story of Noah's drunkenness.

Language. This unit consists of two types of material. The first part comes from Genesis, King James Version of the Bible, but you can choose to use any Bible translation you want. The rest of the unit consists of Jewish legends collected by Louis Ginzberg and retold in contemporary English; these should not pose any real language problem.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: Noah. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

Notes. This unit does not have notes on every page yet, so please feel free to ask questions if something is not clear — and your questions will help me write better notes, too! You can ask your question by leaving a comment, just like at any other blog. You can also rate each page with the star ratings checkbox at the bottom of each post. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated!

Connecting Units. If you are interested in Biblical legends, I strongly recommend the Folklore of the Holy Land unit coming up in the Middle East module, which features Jewish, Christian and Islamic folklore, centered on the city of Jerusalem.

Read More. In this unit, you read only part of Ginzberg's remarkable collection of Jewish Biblical legends; it is a book (four volumes!), that I can highly recommend in its entirety! If you want to read more of this book, you can find it online in various formats: Legends of the Jews.

Additional Resources. Wikipedia has a marvelous article on Noah (including a section on the Noah legend in Islam), and you can also find an informative article there about Flood Myths and Legends from around the world, with a long list of links to articles about specific flood myths.

Free audiobooks available!

  1. The Ark (Genesis)
  2. The Flood (Genesis)
  3. After the Flood (Genesis)
  4. Noah: Noah's Sons (Genesis)
  5. The Tower of Babel (Genesis)
  6. The Birth of Noah
  7. The Punishment of the Fallen Angels
  8. The Generation of the Deluge
  1. The Holy Book
  2. The Inmates of the Ark
  3. The Flood
  4. Noah Leaves the Ark
  5. The Curse of Drunkenness
  6. Noah's Descendants Spread Abroad
  7. The Depravity of Mankind
  8. Nimrod
  9. The Tower of Babel

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