Exhortation Based on the Flood

The Dead Sea Scrolls: Exhortation Based on the Flood


Paraphrase and comments by Andrea Dennis


This portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 4Q370, tells much the same story that was told in Genesis Chapter 6. It does not tell the story of Noah and his ark, but rather explains how God felt that the people of the earth were evil, and therefore flooded the earth. Also, this portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls is similar to the story in the Bible when it tells of God’s promise to not flood the earth again. Column I of the text gives a description of the Flood, while the second column tells the intention of the story. The application of the text is that at Creation the Lord gave so much t the people that it caused corruption. (Wise, Abegg and Cook 330)


Col. I

1 And the Lord covered the land with fruits and gave them plenty of food and made every living thing content with the fruit. “May everyone who does as I ask be filled with food and be satisfied
[1],” said the Lord, “and show devotion to
my [holy] name.” “But now they have done things that I believe are evil
[2],” God said. And they went against what God asked through their actions. And God judged them according to their actions and their thoughts of the [immoral] tendency of their evil hearts and thundered against them with through his power. And the entire earth shook, and the waters overflowed from the gorges; all the entrance gates of the heavens opened up and the abysses overflowed with strong waters; 5 and the entrance gates of the heavens poured rain. And they were destroyed by the flood.[…] everyone
[3] died in the waters…[…] This is why everything that was on land [disappeared,] and men, the [animals and all the] birds, everything with wings [died.] Not even the strongest escaped. […]…And God made [a contract] and put the rainbow [in the clouds] to remember the contract he made with the people […and never again will] a flood [come] for
[destruction, or] will the chaos of the waters be opened. […] they made, and clouds […] for (the) waters […] 10 […]

Col. II

1 Because they felt guilt from their sin, they will ask […] God will justify […] and he will purify them of their sins […] their evil from their knowledge […] 5 They grow, but their days are like a shadow […] and he will always be caring […] God’s marvels; remember the mira[cles of the Lord…] due to his fear and your awe of him your heart will celebrate because he is good[4] […] those who support you. Do not disobey what [God] asks you to do…


[1] In 11Q5 The Apocryphal Psalms of David Col. 251.13, it is also mentioned how the Lord provided a surplus for the people. (Wise, Abegg, Cook 330, 451)
[2] According to the Bible, God felt that the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11).
[3] The Bible states that the Lord made a contract with Noah, that he, his sons, his wife, his sons’ wives, and two of every kind of living thing be saved in the ark (Genesis 6:18-19); thus this portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls differs with
the Bible.
[4] In 4Q185 In Praise of Wisdom it also says how your hearts will shiver because of the Lord’s impressiveness. (Vermes 518).


Martinez, Florentino Garcia. The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated. Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Willaim B. Eerdmans, 1996.
Holy Bible: The New Revised Standard Version. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas
Nelson, Inc., 1989.
Wise, Michael, Abegg, Martin, Jr. and Cook, Edward. The Dead Sea Scrolls, A New
Translation. San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishing. 1996. Pp. 199-204.
Vermes, Geza. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. New York, New York:
Allen Lane The Penguin Press. 1997. Pp. 429, 442-443.

December 7, 1998

prepared for Intro. to the Hebrew Bible
by Andrea Dennis

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