Sodom and Gomorrah and The Flood: Parallels in Story and Structure

A while back I was opened up to the idea that the whole of scripture is ultimately hyperlinking back to Genesis 1-9, and then later on to th Exodus story (which functions as a hyperlink back to Genesis 1-9).

I was taught that to properly meditate on the scriptures and the biblical story it involves being so familiar with Genesis 1:9 that we are attune to the patterns and symbols and references. I try to spend time in Genesis 1-9 every week for that reason.

I can’t believe that I had never seen this before, but this observation from a recent episode of The Bible Project Podcast kind of flipped my understanding of these stories upside down. It has to do with the relationship between Sodom and Gomorrah and the Flood narrative.

There are a ton more hyperlinks, but this is one small example of how the patterns work from story to story.

So consider that preceding the flood story we have a story of spiritual beings coming down and having sex with humans. The text says that this becomes the root of the evil that fills the earth. Also note how the flood story ends, with the planting of a vineyard (Eden), getting drunk on the fruit (the fall) and Noah’s sons coming into his tent and finding him naked (a hyperlink back to Adam and Eve) and then taking advantage of him by having sex with his wife (scholarship seems to suggest that this is the meaning of “saw his father’s nakedness) and then Noah getting covered (Genesis 3 callback to Adam and Eve being covered).

Now here is where it gets near.
Notice how in the Sodom and Gomorrah story it is the humans who are looking to have sex with the spiritual beings (the two strangers who go to Lots house). And then notice how Lot ends up getting drunk, is naked, and his daughters take advantage of him just like Ham did Noah.

Huge parallels. What I’m still mulling over right now is the connection between the righteous figures: Noah, who is seen to be the one, Abraham who is called righteous and bargains God down to 10 (why not down to 1?). And of course later Moses, who is presented as a righteous intercessor in the way of Abraham.

Published by davetcourt

I am a 40 something Canadian with a passion for theology, film, reading writing and travel.

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