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Translation from The Torah: A Modern Commentary (CCAR Press)

Noach6:9] This is Noah’s chronicle. Noah was a righteous man; in his generation, he was above reproach; Noah walked with God. 10] Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11] The earth became corrupt before God; the earth was filled with violence, 12] and when God saw how corrupted the earth was, how all flesh was acting in a corrupt way upon the earth, 13] God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come [to mind] before Me, because the earth is full of violence on their account; look, now—I am going to wipe them off the earth. 14] Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make the ark with rooms, and cover it with tar inside and out. 15] This is how to make it: 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. 16] Make a roof for the ark, making it overhang from above by a cubit. Put the ark’s door in its side, and make a bottom, a second, and a third deck.

17] “As for Me, I am going to bring the floodwaters upon the earth to destroy all that lives under the heavens, [all] that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth shall expire. 18] With you, though, I will establish My covenant: go then into the ark—you, your wife, your sons, and their wives with you. 19] And take two each of every living creature—of all flesh—into the ark, male and female, to keep them alive along with you: 20] every type of bird, every type of beast, every type of creeping thing—let two of each come to you to keep them alive, 21] and take along edible foodstuffs of every kind; gather them up so that there is food for yourself and for them.” 22] And Noah did just as God had commanded him: that is what he did.

7:1] The Eternal One then said to Noah, “Go into the ark with all your household, for I see that you [alone] in this age are righteous before Me. 2] Take seven pairs of every pure beast, a male and its mate, and two of every impure beast, a male and its mate. 3] Of the birds of the sky, too, take seven pairs, male and female, to give life to offspring on the face of the earth. 4] For in another seven days I will pour rain upon the earth for forty days and nights and wipe all that exists—all that I have made—off the face of the earth.” 5] Noah then did just as the Eternal had commanded him.

6] Noah was 600 years old when the flood came—waters upon the earth. 7] Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives came into the ark on account of the deluge. 8] Of the pure beasts and the beasts that were not pure, of the birds and all that creep on the earth, 9] two by two they came to Noah to the ark, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.

10] After seven days, the floodwaters covered the earth. 11] In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day, all the springs of the great deep broke out, and the sky’s floodgates opened. 12] Rain fell upon the earth for forty days and nights.

13] That very day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons, came to the ark, with Noah’s wife and with his sons’ three wives. 14] They, and every type of animal, every type of beast, every type of creature that creeps on the earth, every type of fowl, every bird, every winged creature— 15] they came to Noah, to the ark, two by two, all flesh that had in it the breath of life. 16] Those who came were male and female; some of every species entered, just as God had ordered him; then the Eternal shut [the door] after him.

17] Forty days the flood was upon the earth; the waters increased and lifted the ark, and so it rose over the ground. 18] The waters gained in strength, increasing upon the earth, as the ark coursed on the waters’ surface. 19] High, high above the earth towered the waters, so that the tallest mountains that stand beneath the heavens were submerged. 20] Fifteen cubits higher the waters towered, as the mountains were submerged. 21] Then all flesh that swarmed upon the earth perished—whether bird, cattle, or wild animal, or that which teemed over the earth, or human being. 22] Whatever on dry land had the breath of life in its nostrils, died. 23] [God] wiped out all that existed on the face of the earth—human, beast, reptile, birds of the sky—they were wiped off the earth; there remained only Noah and those with him in the ark.

24] And the waters towered over the earth a hundred and fifty days. 8:1] God then remembered Noah and all the animals and all the beasts that were with him in the ark, so God caused a wind to sweep over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2] The springs of the deep and the sky’s floodgates closed up, and the rain was stopped up from the sky. 3] The waters diminished apace, ebbing and flowing, [draining] from the earth, and at the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters had receded. 4] In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest atop one of the mountains of Ararat. 5] The waters kept on ebbing away until the tenth month; on the first day of the tenth [month], the mountain peaks could be seen.

6] Forty days later, Noah opened the ark’s window that he had made 7] and sent out the raven, who went winging to and fro waiting for the water to dry up from upon the earth. 8] Then he sent out the dove, to see whether the water had eased from off the surface of the soil, 9] but the dove could not find a resting-place for her foot, so she returned to the ark, for [still] there was water on the face of the earth: he reached out his hand and took her, bringing her back to him into the ark. 10] He waited yet another seven days, and again sent the dove out of the ark. 11] Toward evening, the dove came to him, and look—a freshly-plucked olive branch in her beak! So Noah knew that the water had eased from off the earth. 12] He waited yet another seven days and sent the dove out; this time she no longer came back to him.

13] In [Noah’s] six hundred and first year, on the first day of the first month, the water had receded from over the earth. When Noah removed the covering of the ark, he saw that the earth’s surface was beginning to dry, 14] and by the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth had dried up.

15] God then spoke to Noah, saying, 16] “Go out of the ark with your wife, your sons, and their wives. 17] Take every animal that is in your care—bird and beast, and all that creep over the earth; let them swarm on the earth; let them be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18] So Noah went out, together with his wife, his sons, and their wives. 19] The animals, the reptiles, the birds, everything that teems upon the earth—all departed from the ark in family groups.

20] Noah then built an altar in honor of the Eternal; taking some pure beasts and some pure birds, he offered up whole burnt-offerings on the altar. 21] The Eternal, inhaling the soothing fragrance, thought: “Never again will I bring doom upon the world on account of what people do, though the human mind inclines to evil from youth onward; never again will I destroy all living beings, as I have [just] done. 22] As long as the world exists, / planting and harvesting, / cold and heat, / summer and winter, / day and night / will never end.”

9:1] God then blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, 2] and let the awe and dread of you be upon all the land animals, and all the birds of the sky, and all that creep on the ground, and all the fish of the sea: they are given into your hands. 3] Any small animal that is alive shall be food for you, like green grasses—I give you [them] all. 4] But flesh whose lifeblood is [still] in it you may not eat. 5] Moreover, for your own bloodguilt I will require your lives; I will require it by means of beasts or by means of human beings—by means of a fellow human being will I require a [guilty] person’s life. 6] The shedder of human blood, / that person’s blood shall be shed by [another] human; / for human beings were made / in the image of God. 7] As for you, be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth and increase in it.”

8] God then said to Noah and his sons who were with him, 9] “As for Me, I am going to establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 10] and with every living being in your care—the birds, the beasts, and all the land animals in your care—all who have gone out of the ark, all earth’s animals. 11] I am establishing My covenant with you; never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

12] And God said, “Here is the sign I am giving you of the covenant between Me and you, and every living being with you, down to the last generation: 13] I have placed My bow in the cloud—it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14] And when I cause clouds to form over the earth, and the bow appears in the cloud, 15] I will remember My covenant between Me and you and all living beings, all flesh, and never again shall the waters become a flood, to destroy all flesh. 16] When the bow is in the cloud, and I see it, I will remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living beings, all that live upon the earth.”

17] And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and all that live upon the earth.”

18] Noah’s sons who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham—he was the father of Canaan. 19] These three were Noah’s sons; from these the whole earth was populated. 20] Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. 21] He drank of the wine and grew drunk; and exposed himself under his tent. 22] Ham—Canaan’s father—saw his father’s nakedness, and, outside, told his two brothers. 23] Shem and Japheth took a cloak and put it on both their shoulders. They walked backward and covered their father’s nakedness. Facing backward, they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24] Noah awakened from his wine and understood what his youngest son had done to him, 25] so he said, “Damned be Canaan! To his brothers he shall be the basest of slaves!” 26] And he said, “Praised be the Eternal, God of Shem; and Canaan shall be a slave to him. 27] For Japheth, God will make ample room; he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be a slave to him.”

28] After the flood Noah lived 350 years; 29] the years of Noah’s life came to 950; then he died.

10:1] This is the line of Noah’s sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth: sons were born to them after the flood. 2] Japheth’s sons were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3] Gomer’s sons were Ashkenaz, Riphat, and Togarmah. 4] Javan’s sons were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5] From them the nations of the coastal islands spread out, each with its own tongue, in their clan and their peoples.

6] Ham’s sons were Cush, Mitzraim, Put, and Canaan. 7] Cush’s sons were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca; and Raamah’s sons were Sheba and Dedan. 8] And Cush begot Nimrod; he was first among the earth’s heroes. 9] He was a mighty hunter before the Eternal, for which reason it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Eternal.” 10] His choice domains were Babylon, Erech, and Akkad, all of them in the land of Shinar. 11] From that land came Ashur, who founded Nineveh, Rechovot-ir, and Calah, 12] and Resen, between Nineveh and Calah—the largest city. 13] Mitzraim begot Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14] Pathrusim, and Casluhim, from whom descended [the] Philistines and Cretans. 15] Canaan begot Sidon his first-born and Heth, 16] and the Jebusites, the Amorites, and the Girgashites, 17] and the Hivites, the Arkites, and the Sinites, 18] and the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites; afterwards the Canaanite clans spread out. 19] The Canaanite border reached from Sidon, as far as Gerar, up to Gaza, as far as Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim up to Lasha. 20] These are Ham’s sons by their clans, their tongues, in their lands and their nations.

21] And Shem too had progeny; [he was] the ancestor of all the sons of Eber, brother of Japheth the Great. 22] Shem’s sons were Elam, Ashur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23] Aram’s sons were Utz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24] Arpachshad begot Shelah, and Shelah begot Eber. 25] And to Eber were born two sons; the first was named Peleg [“Division”], for in his time the earth was divided; his brother’s name was Joktan, 26] And Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmavet, Jerah, 27] Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28] Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29] Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab—all these were Joktan’s sons. 30] Their dwelling was near Masha, as you come to S’phara, the eastern mountain. 31] These are Shem’s sons by their clans, their tongues, in their lands and their nations.

32] These are the clans of Noah’s sons by their generations, by their peoples; from these the peoples of the earth spread out after the flood.

11:1] All the earth had the same language and the same words. 2] As they wandered from the east, they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3] Then people said to one another: “Come, let us make bricks and fire them hard.” So they had bricks to build with, and tar served them as mortar. 4] Then they said, “Come, let us build a city with a tower that reaches the sky, so that we can make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over all the earth!” 5] Then the Eternal came down to look at the city and tower the people had built, 6] and the Eternal One said, “Look—these are all one people with one language, and this is just the beginning of their doings; now no scheme of theirs will be beyond their reach! 7] Let us go down there and confuse their speech, so that no one understands what the other is saying.” 8] So it came about that the Eternal scattered them over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9] That is why it was called Babel, because there the Eternal confused the speech of all the earth; and from there the Eternal scattered them over the face of the earth.

10] This is the line of Shem: Shem was 100 years when he begot Arpachshad, 2 years after the flood. 11] After begetting Arpachshad, Shem lived 500 years; and he begot sons and daughters. 12] Arpachshad had lived 35 years when he begot Shelah. 13] After begetting Shelah, Arpachshad lived 403 years; and he begot sons and daughters. 14] Shelah had lived 30 years when he begot Eber. 15] After begetting Eber, Shelah lived 403 years; and he begot sons and daughters. 16] Eber had lived 34 years when he begot Peleg. 17] After begetting Peleg, Eber lived 430 years; and he begot sons and daughters. 18] Peleg had lived 30 years when he begot Reu. 19] After begetting Reu, Peleg lived 209 years; and he begot sons and daughters. 20] Reu had lived 32 years when he begot Serug. 21] After begetting Serug, Reu lived 207 years; and he begot sons and daughters. 22] Serug had lived 30 years when he begot Nahor. 23] After begetting Nahor, Serug lived 200 years; and he begot sons and daughters. 24] Nahor had lived 29 years when he begot Terah. 25] After begetting Terah, Nahor lived 119; and he begot sons and daughters. 26] Terah had lived 70 years when he begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

27] This is the chronicle of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begot Lot. 28] Then Haran died in the presence of Terah his father, in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29] Then Abram and Nahor took wives: Abram’s wife was named Sarai, and Nahor’s wife was named Milcah daughter of Haran father of Milcah and of Yiscah. 30] And Sarai was barren; she had no offspring.

31] Then Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot son of Haran and his daughter-in-law Sarai, and they all left Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; but they got as far as Haran and settled there. 32] The years of Terah’s life came to 205; then Terah died in Haran.

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