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Noah

god ark christian dove

Noah appears in Genesis 6:8-9, introduced as a “just man” who found favor with *God. God instructed him in the construction of an ark (or boat) within which Noah, his family, and groups of *animals sought refuge during the great and destructive *Deluge caused by God. When the storms and flooding subsided, these chosen survivors emerged from the ark, assured both by God that the land was habitable and by a dove, which returned with an olive branch when sent out from the ark; Noah gave thanks and made sacrifices to God. All of these subjects appear regularly in early Christian and medieval art, especially the scene of Noah’s ark surviving the Deluge, which appears frequently in the early Christian period (e.g., in catacomb frescoes and on sarcophagi) as a symbol of salvation. The image may be extremely simple, showing an *orant Noah floating in a little box or later, a more elaborate and properly boatlike structure filled with people and animals is indicated. God instructing Noah in the building of the ark, Noah sending out the dove, the return of the dove, the survivors emerging from the ark, and the sacrifices offered in thanks to God after the Deluge also appear in art through the Middle Ages. Noah is generally represented as an elderly bearded figure wearing a long robe. An incident described in Genesis 9:21-27 also appears in art from the early Christian period onward; here, Noah became intoxicated with wine (he had planted a *vineyard) and fell asleep, naked, in his tent. His son Ham (Canaan) ran to tell his brothers about this humiliating sight; the brothers Shem and Japheth walked backward into the tent and covered Noah who, when he later awoke, cursed Ham and blessed Shem and Japheth for their more respectful behavior.
Nobel, Alfred Bernhard [next] [back] No Way Out (1950) - Overview, Synopsis, Critique

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