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Comparison of Flood Stories

Updated on August 31, 2016

It is fascinating to observe that there are many similarities between the different flood myths found in the different religions from around the world. This hub will be examining the similarities between the ancient Hebrew and the ancient Pima flood myths. Honestly, I am a Christian and I feel the Old Testament version of the flood story is what inspired both, but you are welcome to share your comments below if you disagree. Thus, I do not believe that the story of Noah's Ark was a myth, but for the purposes of this comparison, I will call them both myths.

Noah's Ark:

In chapter seven of Old Testament book of Genesis, the angels have come to earth and begin having children with mortal women. God is very upset and decides to limit life expectancy to the age of a hundred and twenty, which is still old by today's standards. However, the humans do not heed God's warnings and he decides that a stronger act is needed to rid the world of wicked people.

God decides to flood the earth and tells Noah, his loyal subject, to build an ark made of cypress wood. Noah creates an ark that will contain enough room for his wife, three sons, their wives, and a pair of each of the animals on earth. Noah was an extraordinary man even for his time because he had reached the age of 600, which showed he had found favor with God. Noah had six days to build his ark because on the seventh day the flood would begin. Even though people some people interpret the Bible literally and believe that a Biblical day a day is a twenty-four hour day, I just wanted to point out this is more figurative than people think. There are some Biblical researchers that pointed out that a Biblical day could be an indefinite amount of time. So before you go arguing that the world was not created in seven short human days, or that Noah built the ark seven short human days, please stop to consider that many theologians and Biblical experts have noted that a day in the Bible is not always a twenty-four hour day, but a longer and not an easily definable about of time.

The flood destroyed all life on earth and the rain remained constant for forty day and forty nights as the occupants of the ark were jostled back and forth. When the rain stopped it took a hundred and fifty days for the water to recede. The ark came to rest upon Mount Ar-rat seventeen days after the waters began to drain back into the earth, but the occupants were only able to see the mountains in the distance. When forty days had passed Noah sent a dove out to see if there was any dry land nearby. The first time the dove came back with an empty beak, but seven days later he returned with an olive branch. Noah tried the same thing a week later and this time, the dove flew away and never came back. After this, Noah's family was able to leave the ark and spotted a rainbow streaking across the sky, which stood for God's promise to never flood the earth again. Every time we see a rainbow in the sky we are reminded of the promise God made to Noah long ago, but which is still pertinent to our lives today.

The Pima Flood Myth:

The Pima legend goes on to state that a man and his wife were in the ark when rain drenched the earth for many days. The Pima did not have a counting system, which explains why there was no timetable given for the flood. Other Native American cultures such as the Aztecs and the Mayans have flood stories which do list the days as they had counting systems.

At the end of the flood the Pima couple open the ark and eat a red cactus flower, which is the first sign of land. The couple left the ark on the mountain and went on to live in their beautiful valley for a thousand years. It is interesting to note that the main characters in the flood stories always go on to live long lives.

There are many similarities between the flood stories around the world, which is just a thought to open the discussion. However, I must add I feel there are so many similarities because these are all based on the events we read about in the Bible. Today it is popular to say God does not exist and atheism is the only true and enlightened way, but I have noticed the people who embrace atheism rarely have the answers. However, in the Bible we can find many answers about such topics such as: family, children, death, sex, murder, and many more. So before you decide there is no God, I encourage you to keep an open mind. I seek the middle way between extreme religionist fervor, and atheist fervor. I do believe there is a God.


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