Re: Noah's Ark... the Book

Dick Fischer (
Tue, 09 Nov 1999 20:31:02 -0500

Considering the book by Robert Best, here are a few of comments.

>The archaic number
>signs in which the Genesis 5 numbers and Noah's age were recorded, were
>mistranslated which made them about ten times their original value.

The ages of the patriarchs has been continually debated. But how did Shem
live 600 years? How can you explain the longevity of Shem's descendents,
Arphaxad, Salah and Eber who all lived over 400 years? The numbers of
years dwindle down for succeeding generations which is indicative that
there is no ten-fold mistake in recording Noah's age.

Noah was sought out by Gilgamesh, according to the legend, because it was
believed he held the key to long life. The name Utnapistim means, "he who
found long life." These are indications within the legend that help
confirm Noah's old age. If the author gives credibility to the legends at
all how does he overlook these corroborative details?

>Then as now, river barges were used for transporting cargo on the Euphrates
>River. This cargo included livestock, beer, wine, textiles, lumber, stone,
>metals, dried fish, vegetable oil, and other cargo. In June about 2900 BC
>during the annual inundation of the Euphrates River, the river was at crest
>stage. A six-day thunderstorm caused the river to rise about 15 cubits (22
>feet) higher and overflow the levees. By the time the river began to rise,
>it was already too late to evacuate to the foothills of the mountains 110
>miles away. Ziusudra boarded one the the barges that was already loaded with
>cargo being transported to market.

One element of these stories is fairly consistent. Ziusudra (Atrahasis,
Utnapishtim, Noah) was forewarned long ahead of the flood itself.
Atrahasis sits in the ark for months while the land suffers drought waiting
for the rain. To suggest that a barge was commandeered at the last moment
ignores a principle part in every one of the flood stories.

>The runaway barge floated down the
>Euphrates River into the Persian Gulf and grounded in an estuary at the
>mouth of the river. After moving to dry land, Ziusudra offered a sacrifice
>to a Sumerian god on an alter at the top of a temple ziggurat, an artificial

Point of order. The mud brick mounds were built after the flood in many of
the Sumerian and Accadian cities as a means of surviving future floods.
They did not become alters and ziggurats until hundreds of years later.

These criticisms aside, much of the rest appears to be within the bounds of

Dick Fischer - The Origins Solution -
"The answer we should have known about 150 years ago."