Genesis 7:17-24*

Note: Development of a proposal by Lund, 1930. The centre indicates the syntax of the Hebrew. Curiously the two lists of  living things destroyed are not in  regular or inverted parallel unless we group the land  animals into one set. The structure serves to emphasise the contrast between “all flesh” and Noah. 

A. 17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth;

B. and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.

A’. 18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth;

B’. and the ark went upon the face of the waters. 

A”. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

B. 21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth,

C.i. both of fowl,

ii. and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,

iii. and every man:

D. 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life,
of all that was in the dry land,

E. died.
E’. [and was destroyed]

D’. 23 … every living substance [ … ]
which was upon the face of the ground,

C’. iii. both man,

ii. and cattle, and the creeping things,

i. and the fowl of the heaven;

B’. and they were destroyed from the earthand Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

A'”. 24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

One thought on “Genesis 7:17-24*”

  1. A sub-chiasm, within ‘The Flood,’ Gen. 7:21-23:
    A Every living thing that moved on the earth perished
    B birds,
    C livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth,
    D and all mankind.
    E Everything on dry land
    that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.
    E’ Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out;
    D’ men
    C’ and animals and the creatures that move along the ground
    B’ and the birds of the air
    A’ were wiped from the earth.

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