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Chapter One: The Causes of the Flood

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Chapter Summary

E.M. Good has suggested that the theme of Genesis 1-11 is the failure of humanity to live up to the aims of creation. This chapter examines the cause of the flood in J and P. The context of Cain's killing of his brother is the jealousy which is aroused by God's acceptance of Abel's sacrifice and his rejection of Cain's. The Priestly writer describes the sin which caused the flood more specifically than J since he speaks of violence. The Yahwist sees the cause of the flood as the evil of man's heart, and he provides a reflection on the state of sin which has overtaken humanity. Both J and P parallel each other but each offers a distinct perspective, and the second is by no means a simple repetition of the first, though they do have aspects in common.

Keywords: Cain; flood; Genesis; humanity; Yahwist



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