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The Biblical Account of the Post-Diluvian Generation (Gen. 9:20-10:32) in the Light of Greek Genealogical Literature*

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AbstractDespite the fact that the Flood narrative originates in Mesopotamia, neither of the two principal motifs discussed in this paper—the representation of the Flood hero and his offspring as the progenitors of the nations (Genesis 10) and the planting of the first vineyard in the first post-diluvian generation (Gen 9:20-27)—occur in the Mesopotamian versions of the Flood story. Scholars have thus opined that these two units constitute original Israelite literary creations penned by the biblical authors. A similar juxtaposition of material does appear, however, in the early Greek genealogical writings, that began to be committed to writing during the Archaic period (C7-6 b.c.e.). The relationship this literature bears to the biblical texts has yet to be examined. This article analyzes the parallels between the Greek genealogical writings and the biblical texts regarding the Flood hero and his descendants in the first post-diluvian generations and the central place these hold in both sets of literature. The results possess great significance for the question of the genre and development of the literary threads in the opening chapters of Genesis, as also for our understanding of the literary patterns and motifs prevalent in the ancient eastern Mediterranean cultures during the first third of the first millennium b.c.e. and the interest the latter exhibit in issues relating to ethnic identity.

Affiliations: 1: University of


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