Moses 8: Noah and the Flood
In Moses 8 we move from the story of Enoch to Noah and a prelude to the Flood. With Zion “fled” and the righteous taken up into heaven, the earth was enveloped in wickedness. But God had not abandoned his efforts to save his children over whom he had wept, and Noah was going to become that beacon of hope amid hopelessness. Moses 8 illuminates Noah’s and the Lord’s efforts to call people to repentance. Noah becomes a pivotal figure in the Lord’s revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith. After a short pause while he and Church members began to gather in Ohio, Joseph, with Sidney Rigdon as his scribe, resumed translation of the Old Testament and Moses 8 sometime around February 1831.
Moses 8 acts as something like an introduction or transition to the story of the Flood as contained in Genesis and links the narratives of Enoch and Noah in ways absent from the Bible. It speaks of Noah’s progenitors, his ordination and ministry, and his efforts to call the people of his day to repentance. We learn that even though Noah was baptizing and people were receiving the Holy Ghost, the earth continued to become corrupted and filled with violence. Some people even sought Noah’s life (see v. 26).
The earliest editions of the Book of Moses did not contain the full story of the Flood. Of this brevity and the incomplete nature of this Noah narrative in relation to the Genesis account and the fuller Joseph Smith Translation project as a whole, Jeffrey Bradshaw and David Larsen note the following:
With the close of Moses 7 we begin the story of Noah, which continues to the end of Moses 8 and on through Genesis 6:14–9:29. The abrupt ending of the book of Moses in the middle of the story of Noah was because, in the original 1851 publication of the Pearl of Great Price, Elder Franklin D. Richards did not have access to the original manuscripts of the JST, but only to early versions of the JST published in church periodicals and to an incomplete, handwritten portion of some portions of JST Genesis. Elder Richards simply published everything he had at the time.
In terms of Noah and the larger, broader account situated in Genesis, including the rest of the Flood story and Joseph Smith’s translation of it, nothing beyond the Lord’s decree “behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth” (v. 31) has been included in Moses 8. Nevertheless, a continuation of the expanded story (see, e.g., the textual expansions in JST Genesis 9) can be found in the OT1 and OT2 translation copies.
This chapter explores the significance of the genealogical and historical data given at the beginning of Moses 8. It also considers how Moses came to understand the guiding importance of the comfort/
Noah and his sons’ status and behavior as “sons of God” starkly contrasts with the “sons of men” and the “daughters of [Noah’s] sons” (vv. 13–15) whose violence, continuous evil, and corruption were precipitating the Flood (see vv. 22, 28–30). We thus view the struggle between good and evil through the lens of obedience and disobedience to the covenant. “Although sin will be ever present, each life is still valuable, made in the image of God. [And although] Saints and sinners . . . will express that image differently . . . , both have value in God’s sight as his image bearers.” Thus Noah will teach his people in an effort to save and preserve them. Toward that end, teachings about repentance, covenants, and ordinances (namely, baptism, bestowal of the Holy Ghost, and ordination after the order of God) were of utmost importance, and Moses 8 specifically addresses this.
Covenants are a significant theme in the Flood story in Genesis and must have had a profound effect on Moses as a receiver of the covenant in his day. In Moses 8 we witness more clearly the people’s rejection of Noah and the doctrine of Christ and the growing wickedness that had been triggering the planned divine response in the form of a flood for generations. In spite of the abysmal state of human depravity that demanded wholesale divine destruction, Moses would learn that, in light of the plan of salvation revealed to Enoch in Moses 7, the Flood was really an expression of divine justice, mercy, and love.
From Enoch to Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah
The importance of the continuance of the righteous line from Adam through Seth down to Enoch, and further down to Noah and his sons, Japheth, Shem, and Ham, takes center stage at the beginning of Moses 8.
1 And all the days of Enoch were four hundred and thirty years.
2 And it came to pass that Methuselah, the son of Enoch, was not taken, that the covenants of the Lord might be fulfilled, which he made to Enoch; for he truly covenanted with Enoch that Noah should be of the fruit of his loins.
3 And it came to pass that Methuselah prophesied that from his loins should spring all the kingdoms of the earth (through Noah), and he took glory unto himself.
4 And there came forth a great famine into the land, and the Lord cursed the earth with a sore curse, and many of the inhabitants thereof died.
5 And it came to pass that Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begat Lamech;
6 And Methuselah lived, after he begat Lamech, seven hundred and eighty-two years, and begat sons and daughters;
7 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.
8 And Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and begat a son,
9 And he called his name Noah, saying: This son shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.
10 And Lamech lived, after he begat Noah, five hundred and ninety-five years, and begat sons and daughters;
11 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died.
12 And Noah was four hundred and fifty years old, and begat Japheth; and forty-two years afterward he begat Shem of her who was the mother of Japheth, and when he was five hundred years old he begat Ham.
In line with the Lord’s covenant with Enoch regarding Noah and his posterity—posterity that included Jesus Christ himself (see Moses 7:51–53, 59–64)—Moses learned that Methuselah, the son of Enoch, was not taken to heaven with the rest of Zion in order that this covenant might be fulfilled in the birth of Noah and the preservation of his seed. Noah’s birth and naming in terms of divine comfort (Moses 8:9) and rest is particularly significant in light of the promises the Lord concerning Noah and his posterity. Moreover, Noah begat three sons: Japheth, Shem, and Ham. The order of their birth differs from the order given in the biblical text, where it lists Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Shem, the second-born son, apparently became the birthright son, beginning a pattern that we see later in the stories about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Ephraim. The Book of Moses clarifies that Ham was born later to a different mother than Japheth and Shem were born to.
“This Son Shall Comfort Us”: The Thematic Significance of Naming Noah
Genesis 5:29 (Moses 8:9) offers the following explanation for Noah’s naming that presents a powerful play on words and alliteration of the etymological root of Noah’s name, connecting it to the theme of comfort: “And he [Lamech] called his name Noah [nōaḥ], saying, This son shall comfort us [yĕnaḥămēnû] concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” This prophetic naming seems to primarily have in view the spiritually, long-running curse of the ground going back to the Fall and reiterated throughout the Book of Moses. However, the horizons of the etiology for Noah’s naming may encompass both physical and spiritual “work” and “toil” looking backward and forward. This expanded etiology gives us a much better sense of how Noah would provide comfort and to whom.
Noah’s “name and its poetic etymology introduce some of the verbal motifs and theological themes that dominate the next four chapters” of the Genesis Flood story. What is clear is that in the vision of Enoch, the Lord showed him the coming of Noah and the temporal salvation of his family in the ark. The contextualized explanation that Noah’s father, Lamech, gave for Noah’s naming referred back to the words of Enoch when he saw Noah, the ark, and all of the souls who were destroyed in the Flood. The Book of Moses text explains the “us” to whom Lamech referred and the “us” whom Noah “comforted.” It also helps us understand why they needed to be comforted, particularly Enoch, who experienced such misery over perishing human souls that his “heart swelled wide as eternity” (Moses 7:41). Their “work” and “toil” went far beyond livelihoods of farming and herding. It also included the preaching of the gospel and the salvific effects the covenant would have on preserving Noah’s family through the Flood.
Noah’s naming is significant for another major reason within the Flood narrative: the theme of divine rest. Although the biblical text and the Book of Moses explain the name nōaḥ in terms of the similar-sounding verb nḥm (“comfort/
In the Book of Moses, the theme of divine “rest” is much more expansive than in Genesis. We recall that after Enoch’s soul “refuse[d] to be comforted” and he saw “the coming of the Son of Man” in Moses 7, he saw the earth weeping and crying out for rest: “When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?” (v. 48). Noah’s name constituted a promise of divine rest. However, this rest would come only in the ultimate sense when Christ came “in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah; and the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve” (vv. 60–61; emphasis added). Noah would be preserved through the Flood, bringing peace and rest to his progenitors, and it was his posterity, specifically the Savior, who would bring eternal peace and rest to all humankind. The earth’s permanent “rest” could not come until the “son of Man,” the divine descendant of both Enoch and Noah, would come again. The Savior’s second coming and the coming together of Zion from beneath and Enoch’s Zion from above would finally result in divine rest for the earth (v. 64). Moses 7–8 thus provide the lens through which to view the story of the Flood. Returning to Noah’s naming in Moses 8:9—“this son shall comfort us”—we can now see Noah as a type or foreshadower of the mission of Jesus Christ.
Noah and His Sons Receive the Priesthood, Declare the Gospel
Following the genealogical and historical information that introduces Moses 8, the text takes us back thematically to the previous chapters that recount the struggles of preaching and believing.
13 And Noah and his sons hearkened unto the Lord, and gave heed, and they were called the sons of God.
14 And when these men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, the sons of men saw that those daughters were fair, and they took them wives, even as they chose.
15 And the Lord said unto Noah: The daughters of thy sons have sold themselves; for behold mine anger is kindled against the sons of men, for they will not hearken to my voice.
16 And it came to pass that Noah prophesied, and taught the things of God, even as it was in the beginning.
17 And the Lord said unto Noah: My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for he shall know that all flesh shall die; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years; and if men do not repent, I will send in the floods upon them.
18 And in those days there were giants on the earth, and they sought Noah to take away his life; but the Lord was with Noah, and the power of the Lord was upon him.
19 And the Lord ordained Noah after his own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch.
20 And it came to pass that Noah called upon the children of men that they should repent; but they hearkened not unto his words;
21 And also, after that they had heard him, they came up before him, saying: Behold, we are the sons of God; have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men? And are we not eating and drinking, and marrying and giving in marriage? And our wives bear unto us children, and the same are mighty men, which are like unto men of old, men of great renown. And they hearkened not unto the words of Noah.
The statement that Noah and his sons “were called the sons of God” takes us back to Moses 6:68 and Adam’s reception of the priesthood by oath and covenant: “Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons.” Noah and his sons became covenant sons of God and holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Moses 8:19 mentions that the Lord not only “ordained Noah after his own order”—that is, “after the order of the Son of God”—but also commissioned him to preach the everlasting “Gospel” as a preacher of righteousness and a prophet, just as he had commissioned Enoch in Moses 6. Noah was preaching to save souls, not condemn them, and the decisions of the people were bringing about their own condemnation. As part of the covenant that was about to save him and his family through the Flood, Noah sought desperately to help others onto that path of salvation. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained:
Now taking it for granted that the scriptures say what they mean, and mean what they say, we have sufficient grounds to go on and prove from the bible that the gossel [gospel] has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfil its requirements, the same; and the officers to officiate, the same; and the signs and fruits resulting from the promises, the same: therefore, as Noah was a preacher of righteousness he must have been baptised and ordained to the priesthood by the laying on of the hands, &c.
Noah comprehended what this all meant, but although he ministered to save people from spiritual and physical suffering, they paid him no heed. A statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith helps explain why Noah preached so passionately to save lives. After citing Genesis 6:13, Joseph noted, “[T]hus we behold the keys of this priesthood consisted in obtaining the voice of Jehovah that he talked with him [Noah] in a familiare and friendly manner, that he continued to him the keys, the covenants, the power and the glory with which he blessed Adam at the beginning.” The Lord’s direct, personal involvement in Noah’s ordination and prophetic commission to save souls speaks volumes about his concern for Noah’s generation who, having lost their way and become “only evil continually” (Moses 8:22), were about to perish in the Flood. Noah came to see what Enoch had come to see: the worth of souls in the eyes of God.
Noah’s Preaching and Calls to Repentance
22 And god saw that the wickedness of men had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually.
23 And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words;
24 Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not.
The Lord and Noah were tireless in their efforts to call people to repent. Noah and his sons prophesied, preached repentance, and taught the people the Lord’s plan. This consisted of the Lord’s immediate plan concerning them and the broader plan of salvation. Moses 8:23–24 makes it clear that teaching the plan of salvation emphasized the doctrine of Christ in all its essentials—faith in Jesus Christ; repentance; baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; reception of the Holy Ghost; enduring to the end in faith, hope, and charity; and exaltation. Those principles constituted the true plan of happiness.
While many during Enoch’s time repented after hearing his preaching and “the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion” (Moses 7:27), the people’s response to the preaching of Noah and his sons was almost universally negative: “they sought Noah to take away his life” (Moses 8:18), and “they hearkened not” unto Noah’s words (Moses 8:20, 21, 24). This appears to have broken Noah’s heart (see v. 25), and he may have felt as the Lord did when Enoch saw him lamenting: “Unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood; and the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them” (Moses 7:33–34). The Lord had told Enoch, “There has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren” (v. 36). That condition, too, had only worsened by the time of Noah.
On the Threshold of the Flood: Grieved at Heart
The final verses of Moses 8 convey how difficult this time of imminent destruction was for God and Noah. The account describes an awful scene of wickedness, violence, and the continuously evil state of the thoughts and hearts of the people. Such behavior might suggest that the actions of the people had undone creation (v. 26 is replete with creation language) and its divine purpose to make possible their immortality and eternal life (Moses 1:39). “Indeed, ‘what God decided to “destroy” [Genesis 6:13] had been virtually self-destroyed already.’” Yet we also see in Moses 8 the hope that Noah and God’s covenant would bring after the Flood by way of a new creation with Noah and his family at its head.
26 And the Lord said: I will destroy man whom I have created, from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Noah that I have created them, and that I have made them; and he hath called upon me; for they have sought his life.
28 The earth was corrupt before God, and it was filled with violence.
29 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its away upon the earth.
30 And God said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth.
From the fall in the Garden of Eden and Cain’s murder of Abel to the wickedness and violence that prevailed in the wake of secret combinations and apostasy by the time of the Flood, repentance was not pursued and earth’s inhabitants were now ripening for destruction. All that God had declared “good” in the Creation was being reversed and undone through wickedness.
“The Lord saw” is a reversal of the positive evaluation of everything God created [Genesis 1:31]: “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” Reference to the human “heart” (lēb, lēbāb) denotes more than one’s emotions, as is often asserted, since the heart is also the seat of one’s intellect and will.
Humanity’s heart is evil, and Yahweh’s heart is broken [6:6]. The narrator exposes Yahweh’s inner life as painfully grief-stricken and deeply distressed. “Pain” has become the common experience of all humans in this world (iṣṣābôn in 3:16, 17 and 5:29) and is paralleled by the anguish of God (the verb ʿṣb, “it grieved him,” [6:6]). The Bible’s emotive language portrays no Aristotelian unmoved Mover, but a passionate and zealous Yahweh moved by his pathos into action. NRSV’s “so the Lord said” might be better translated, “so the Lord decided” (v. 7), thus introducing his measured decree. Specific terms and themes of v. 7 combine the creation account of Gen 1 with the “man”-“ground” emphases of the Eden narrative, in order to show that all has been undone. The result is a divine decree that is both devastating and undeniably just. God’s magnificent creation has been irrevocably ruined, and his passion and sorrow drive God into action.
“All Flesh Had Corrupted His Way upon the Earth”
The final three verses of the Book of Moses take us back to what had become of God’s creations: “And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt.” Regarding this language in Genesis 6:12, Gordon Wenham writes, “The deliberate echo of [Genesis] 1:31 here heightens our sense of the tragedy that has overtaken the world since its creation. Then God was pleasantly surprised by his creation: here he is shocked by its corruption.” In the creation account, where God “saw everything that [he] had made, and behold, all things which I made were very good” (Moses 2:31) or “very obedient” (Abraham 4:31), he sees that it has now become the opposite. In a real sense the Flood would constitute an uncreation of the earth and a return to the unorganized state wherein it existed before the completion of God’s creations. This all comes as the people defy and reject God’s ways. As a result of the people’s wickedness and impenitence, the Lord would need to “uncreate” and “re-create” the earth through the Flood.
“I Will Destroy All Flesh from Off the Earth”
In stating that “the end of all flesh is come before me,” the Lord asserted that he had decided to take action. Wenham observes, “The phrasing of the divine decree ‘The end of all flesh has been determined by me’ (literally, ‘come before me’) suggests its irrevocability. The issue has been brought before the divine king and he has decided to act (cf. Esth 9:11).” President John Taylor suggested that the Flood was an act of both divine justice and mercy, allowing the Lord’s justice to “overtake” the wicked (after their complete rejection of Noah and his prophecies) and constituting a merciful action toward the unborn:
This antediluvian people were not only very wicked themselves, but having the power to propagate their species, they transmitted their unrighteous natures and desires to their children, and brought them up to indulge in their own wicked practices. And the spirits that dwelt in the eternal worlds knew this, and they knew very well that to be born of such parentage would entail upon themselves an infinite amount of trouble, misery and sin. And supposing ourselves to be of the number of unborn spirits, would it not be fair to presume that we would appeal to the Lord, crying, “Father, do you not behold the condition of this people, how corrupt and wicked they are?” “Yes.” “Is it then just that we who are now pure should take of such bodies and thus subject ourselves to most bitter experiences before we can be redeemed, according to the plan of salvation?” “No,” the Father would say, “it is not in keeping with my justice.” “Well, what will you do in the matter; man has his free agency and cannot be coerced, and while he lives he has the power of perpetuating his species?” “I will first send them my word, offering them deliverance from sin, and warning them of my justice, which shall certainly overtake them if they reject it, and I will destroy them from off the face of the earth, thus preventing their increase, and I will raise up another seed.” Well, they did reject the preaching of Noah, the servant of God, who was sent to them, and consequently the Lord caused the rains of heaven to descend. . . . But, says the caviller, is it right that a just God should sweep off so many people? Is that in accordance with mercy? Yes, it was just to those spirits that had not received their bodies.
When we consider how a just and merciful God could allow the destruction of so many of his children at one time, we should bear in mind the unfathomable, eternal characteristic of Jesus Christ and his Father who sent him, as described by Nephi: “He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation” (2 Nephi 26:24). The Lord’s love for those souls who were perishing came through clearly in his conversation with Enoch. Both the Lord and later Enoch wept. Their grasp of the big picture and overall plan of salvation was their source of comfort in a seemingly hopeless situation. Secured within the framework of salvation for the dead, as witnessed by Enoch, the Flood, like the Savior’s atonement itself, constituted a divine act of divine justice, mercy, and ultimately love. Regarding everything that God does, perhaps Eliza R. Snow said it best:
How great, how glorious, how complete
Redemption’s grand design,
Where justice, love, and mercy meet
In harmony divine!
For the world at large and its wickedness specifically, the Flood story brought a temporary end. For Noah, his family, and the covenant that the Lord would continue to honor after the Flood, the story constituted a new beginning, a second creation with God’s plan of redemption at the forefront. The Flood would cover the earth, but Christ’s atonement would reveal the overarching love of God and his plan of salvation for all his children. Through Noah, his forefathers would receive comfort. Through Christ, the world would be comforted by his redemptive mercy. For Moses, through whom the Lord revealed ordinances and covenants pertaining to the temple and the law of sacrifice, these lessons revolving around the covenant must have been profound, just as they were for the Prophet Joseph Smith and the early Saints of the present dispensation—and just as they can be for us today. The remainder of JST Genesis continues the story that ends with Moses 8. Indeed, Moses 1–8 offers the Latter-day Saints and the world a unique lens through which to view, interpret, and understand the rest of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. We now come to the last chapter, which will focus on the effect the Book of Moses had on the development of temple ritual within the restored Church.
 For example, the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “The priesthood was first given to Adam, he obtained the first presidency and held the keys of it from generation to generation; he obtained it in the creation before the world was formed as in Gen. 1— 26, 28, he had dominion given him over every living creature. He is Michael the Archangel spoken of in the scriptures. Then to Noah who is Gabriel, he stands next in authority to Adam in the priesthood. He was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in his day and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth and then in heaven. The priesthood is an everlasting principle and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years. The keys have to be brought from heaven whenever the gospel is sent.” Discourse, between circa 26 June and circa 4 August 1839–A, as Reported by William Clayton, pp. 11–12, The Joseph Smith Papers; emphasis added. This concept of Noah as the father of all living in his day became a promise for which Enoch and Methuselah would rejoice (see Moses 8:2–3).
 Moses 8:1–30 was probably completed between February 1 and March 7, 1831 (just before Doctrine and Covenants 45 when the revelation to start the New Translation was received). See Faulring, Jackson, and Matthews, Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 57; Matthews, “A Plainer Translation,” 96; and Jackson, Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts, 3. According to Muhlestein in “Revelations Surrounding the ‘New Translation,’” 47, Moses 7:2–8:12 was received after December 12, 1830, and Moses 8:12–30 was received in February 1831.
 Bradshaw and Larsen, In God’s Image, 2:199. “The earliest printing of Book of Moses material took place in August 1832, when Moses 7 was printed in its entirety in the Church’s Independence, Missouri, newspaper, The Evening and the Morning Star. . . . In March 1833, Moses 6:43–68 was printed in the same newspaper, and Moses 5:1–16 and 8:13–30 appeared the following month.” Jackson, Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts, 12–14. See Editor, “The Gospel,” The Evening and the Morning Star 1, no. 11 (April 1833): 81–82.
 See Faulring, Jackson, and Matthews, Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 109–18, 622–31; and Matthews, “Plainer Translation,” 377–81. For a more in-depth treatment of the Flood as portrayed in the Genesis and Moses accounts, see Schade, “Flood Story.”
 Many Bible scholars recognize the role of flood narratives in portraying the theme of salvation. See, e.g., Waltke, Genesis, 156; Moberly, Theology of the Book of Genesis, 110, 120; Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 156–57, 206–7; Hartley, Genesis, 100; and Arnold, Genesis, 104.
 Waltke, Genesis, 119–20.
 The word covenant (berit) is repeated throughout the Flood narrative. See, e.g., Sarna, Genesis, 62; Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 175; and Arnold, Genesis, 110. Obedience to the covenant was a mechanism of salvation for Noah and his family. God was saving them through the covenant. For various components of the covenant in the Enoch and Flood stories, see Jackson, Restored Gospel and the Book of Genesis, 114–18.
 For a possible link between a Flood theology and covenant renewal in ancient Israel, see Sailhamer, Genesis, 131, where Genesis 8–9 is compared to Exodus 24:4–18 with a focus on creation, salvation, deliverance, blessings, signs, and covenant renewal.
 For the Flood as an act of love, see “The Flood Was an Act of Love,” in Old Testament Student Manual: Genesis–2 Samuel, 55–56. Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople (fl. 386–407), referred to the destruction of the Flood as “a strange form of loving kindness.” Moberly, Theology of the Book of Genesis, 111. According to Chrysostom, God said, “I brought on the deluge out of love, so as to put a stop to their wickedness and prevent their going to further extremes.” Louth, Genesis 1–11, 154. See also discussion in Schade, “Flood Story,” 132–34.
 Genealogies in the Bible establish quintessential information and serve important functions in establishing identities—in this case, identification with God and righteousness as keepers of covenants. “Rather than seeing the genealogies as unfortunate necessities, we must read them as essential components of our story.” Arnold, Genesis, 83. The significance of the genealogical structure of Genesis 5 has been described as follows: “In another significant deviation, the records of the godly Enoch and Noah do not end with the refrain of death. Enoch’s unusual ending is a testimony to the hope of righteousness in the line of Seth. Noah’s unfinished record leaves an opening for the story of the Flood. The narrator also highlights great moments in history and important personages by creatively schematizing his genealogies. By presenting ten generations both before and after the Flood, the narrator sets the Flood as the great divide between Adam and Abraham. Noah is the savior at the end of the antediluvian history, and Abraham is the savior at the close of the postdiluvian history. With Noah, the Creator makes a covenant to save his creation; with Abraham, the Lord of history makes a covenant to save the nations. The number ten indicates simple completeness and a convenient round number.” Waltke, Genesis, 111.
 “KJV reads: ‘three hundred sixty and five years.’ The difference can be accounted for by adding Enoch’s age of sixty-five years in Moses 6:25—the age at which Methuselah was born to him and at which he received his prophetic call—to the three hundred sixty-five years representing the length of Enoch’s ministry during the ‘days of Zion.’” Bradshaw and Larsen, In God’s Image, 2:223. This information is consistent with a later revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith that gives a more detailed breakdown of Enoch’s earthly lifespan: “Enoch was twenty-five years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam; and he was sixty-five and Adam blessed him. And he saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually; and he walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years, making him four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:48–49).
 The Prophet Joseph Smith learned in an 1835 revelation of the priesthood ordinations of these men. He was also given to know that “Methuselah was 100 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam. Lamech was 32 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Seth. Noah was 10 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Methuselah. Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch and Methuselah, who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity, who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing. And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the Prince, the Archangel.” Instruction on Priesthood, between circa 1 March and circa 4 May 1835 [D&C 107], p. 86, The Joseph Smith Papers. We also learn that Methuselah “prophesied” concerning his posterity (Moses 8:3) and that he would be a progenitor of the human family “from Noah.” Joseph Smith explained that “the Priesthood continued from Lamech to Noah.” History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842], p. 18 [addenda], The Joseph Smith Papers.
 The text mentions “a great famine in the land” during this period of time and that the Lord renewed his “curse” upon the earth in continuance of an ongoing theme. Note that the earth/
 At age 187, Methuselah the son of Enoch sired Lamech, the father of Noah. Joseph Smith said of Lamech: “The next great grand patriarch who held the keys of the priesthood was Lamech See Gen 5 Chap 28 & 29 verses— [‘]And Lamech lived 182 years and begat a Son and he called his name Noah saying this same shall comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands because of the ground which the Lord has Curst.[’]” Instruction on Priesthood, circa 5 October 1840, p. 8, The Joseph Smith Papers.
 According to the book of Genesis and Book of Moses chronologies, Methuselah lived the longest of all the antediluvian people at 969 years. The genealogies hereafter feature decreasing life spans. See Arnold, Genesis, 86–87.
 There is a thematic wordplay on Noah between the terms comfort and rest throughout Moses 7‒8. Bowen, in “Onomastic Tale of Two Noahs,” 266, explains: “In the context of the narrative, Enoch’s declaration ‘I will refuse to be comforted’ clearly anticipates the formal etiology subsequently proffered in Genesis 5:29/
 In a September 1832 revelation, Joseph Smith learned that Noah bestowed the priesthood upon his posterity. See Revelation, 22–23 September 1832 [D&C 84],” p. , The Joseph Smith Papers; compare Doctrine and Covenants 84:14–15. Moses 8:27 seems to imply that Noah’s sons also “walked with God.”
 See Jackson, Restored Gospel and the Book of Genesis, 112.
 See discussion in Bradshaw and Larsen, In God’s Image, 2:225.
 See Schade, “Isaac and Jacob,” 349–55.
 This explanation in the paratactic Genesis narrative leaves one with the impression that Noah would simply offer “comfort” to the human family in terms of easing the burdens of agriculture. Exegetes frequently connect this explanation forward to Noah’s postdiluvian wine-making activities as described in Genesis 9:20–21. See, e.g., Waltke, Genesis, 115; and Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 129. If there is an agricultural component to the reference, the text does not specifically answer the question as to how Noah might offer relief from the cursing of the ground from this agricultural perspective. However, Genesis 9 may offer some explanation of Noah’s successful abilities at viniculture. The passage does seem to express human suffering: “This is the first statement in Genesis that humans experienced such agonizing pain and distress that they longed for relief. It also discloses that even those who worshiped God were experiencing God’s curse on the ground. Such agony resulted from God’s general curse; it was not punishment for specific wrongdoing by members of Seth’s line. Lamech’s hope for relief was realized when Noah grew the first vineyard and made wine ([Genesis] 9:20).” Hartley, Genesis, 92–93. The major focus of the text appears to rest on the spiritual labors and consequences associated with the Flood and spiritual downfall detailed in Moses 8. The Book of Moses etiology may have a more immediate and serious “cursing” of the land in view, namely, the “great famine” that had killed so many people (see Moses 8:4) and from which Noah will offer some relief through his toil.
 Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 128.
 See Bowen, “Onomastic Tale of Two Noahs,” 263–98. Noah’s name is first mentioned in relation to Moses 7:42–43 (three times), where the text records: “And as Enoch saw this, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch: Lift up your heart, and be glad; and look. And it came to pass that Enoch looked; and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the Lord, saying: When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?” (Moses 7:44–45; emphasis added).
 See Szink, “Vision of Enoch,” 13‒14, 18. This subject is treated in greater depth in Bowen, “Onomastic Tale of Two Noahs,” 264–74.
 It is appropriate that Noah—whose name means “to rest, give rest, settle, provide quiet, appease,” and perhaps by extension “to comfort”—is called to cry repentance to the people. Genesis 6:8 employs an additional wordplay on nōaḥ in terms of Hebrew ḥēn, “grace”: “But Noah [nōaḥ] found grace [ḥēn] in the eyes of the Lord.” See Moses 8:27. Levenson, in “Genesis: Introduction and Annotations,” 21, states, “The sudden mention of Noah (v. 8)—whose Heb name (‘n-ḥ’) is ‘favor’ (‘ḥ-n’) spelled backwards—indicates that human perversion and divine grief will not be the last word.” Noah’s father had given him the name because “this same shall comfort us concerning our work” (Genesis 5:29), and Noah’s great-grandfather Enoch, who after viewing the flood that would come upon Noah’s generation “refuse[d] to be comforted” (Moses 7:44), did indeed find some comfort in witnessing the day of the Lord and the redemption of the world.
 See discussion in Moses 8:25.
 “After the waters abated, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat ([Genesis] 8:4). The picture of the ark resting creates an interesting wordplay since the verb used here (‘rest’ nwḥ) is the same from which Noah’s name is derived. In a similar play on his name, he brings ‘relief’ to humanity (yěnaḥămēnû, 5:29), and now Noah, whose name itself means ‘rest,’ rides the ark to its resting place. Noah’s righteousness blesses humanity with relief and preserves its remnant, along with the animals, in the resting ark in Ararat.” Arnold, Genesis, 104. “At the close of the flood account, the author makes a direct reference to the sacrificial importance of these ‘clean animals.’ They were taken into the ark to be used as offerings ([Genesis] 8:20–21). The Lord’s acceptance of these offerings (wayyāraḥ yhwh ʾet -rêaḥ hannîḥōaḥ, ‘the pleasing aroma,’ 8:21) is cast in the terminology of Leviticus 1:17 (rêaḥ nîḥōaḥ layhwh, ‘an aroma pleasing to the lord’). As we might expect, these same events at the end of the flood are tied specifically to the notion of a covenant (9:8, 11). The author of the Pentateuch uses the ark in the flood narrative to foreshadow the salvation that comes through the tabernacle and the covenant.” Sailhamer, Genesis, loc. 4424–29.
 Passages throughout the scriptures will reflect these themes of divine comfort. While Noah “comforted” Enoch and the patriarchs as the one through whom the Messiah would come (Moses 7:53), Jesus Christ is the true “comforting” Son who would not only comfort Enoch, Noah, and Zion and the Saints of all ages, but also give the earth her millennial rest (see, e.g., Isaiah 51:3; 52:9; 54:9–13; Mosiah 12:23; 15:30; compare 15:18; 3 Nephi 16:16–20; 3 Nephi 22:9–13).
 The phrases “sons of God” and “daughters of men” in these passages have led to theories paralleling Greek mythology and unions between divine beings and human beings. See, e.g., Bandstra, Reading the Old Testament, 74. Others view “sons of God” as symbolic. Parker, in “Sons of (the) God(s),” in Van der Toorn, Becking, and Van der Horst, Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 796, surmises, “It is clear that the author is summarizing traditional mythical material about divine-human unions as an illustration of the disorder that prevailed immediately before the flood.” A possible solution is to see these phrases as referring to people who were associated with either keeping (sons or daughters of God) and breaking (sons or daughters of men) their covenants with God. See Moses 8:13–15 and the contrast used in these designations describing hearkening and not hearkening to the voice of God. An apocryphal Dead Sea Scrolls text, Genesis Apocryphon (1Q20 1QapGen VI, 20), uses the term “holy ones” in contrast with “daughters of man” in the account about Noah. See Vermes, Complete Dead Sea Scrolls, 482. These verses appear to describe a situation based on obedience and disobedience to the laws of God. See discussion in Hartley, Genesis, 95–96; and Day, Studies in Genesis 1–11, 77–80.
 The language of these passages is focused on people’s behavior (forsaking covenants and pursuing destructive paths) that led to wickedness and its consequences (both spiritual and physical), rather than on obedience and its consequences. “Selling oneself” in scripture is found in statements such as “[They have ]sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger” (2 Kings 17:17) and “When these things have passed away a speedy destruction cometh unto my people; for, notwithstanding the pains of my soul, I have seen it; wherefore, I know that it shall come to pass; and they sell themselves for naught; for, for the reward of their pride and their foolishness they shall reap destruction; for because they yield unto the devil and choose works of darkness rather than light, therefore they must go down to hell” (2 Nephi 26:10). These passages in Moses address the behavior of people within and without the covenant who forsook or disregarded their own covenants of eternity in exchange for the wickedness of Noah’s day. In the story of Noah there appears to be no in-betweens—the thoughts of the people were evil continually (Moses 8:22). The covenant would save Noah and his family, and the focus here is that people were forsaking the Lord’s covenant and Noah was trying to reclaim them. The covenant was meant to keep people on the path of safety and prevent the societal corrosion that had overtaken the people of Noah’s day in disastrous proportions. God was not sending the Flood because a few things had gone wrong with society; he was sending it because all things had gone wrong (for former covenant keepers and all other people alike). Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained that God intervened “when corruption had reached an agency-destroying point that spirits could not, in justice, be sent to earth.” Maxwell, We Will Prove Them Herewith, 58. According to President John Taylor, “God destroyed the wicked of that generation with a flood. Why did He destroy them? He destroyed them for their benefit, if you can comprehend it.” Taylor, in Journal of Discourses, 24:291.
 In the Moses account we read of warnings, calls to repentance, and the declaration that the Flood could be averted by repenting of wickedness and turning back to the covenant. Perhaps this turmoil is highlighted in the term giants, which may refer not to tall people but rather to apostates who had fallen away from the covenant and were seeking Noah’s life. The Hebrew word used in the Genesis text to describe “giants” is נפל (npl), a root meaning “to fall,” perhaps as in “fallen ones,” and may refer to such apostate behavior. The translation of this word in the Bible has been notoriously problematic and is charged with mythological meaning. See discussion in Mangum, Custis, and Widder, Genesis 1–11, at Genesis 6:1–22. Hebrew נְפִלִים and Greek γίγαντες are generally translated as “giants” (Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon, 658) and are often viewed through traditions associated with Greek mythology and a race of giant warriors or even semi-gods who were lost in major battles and imprisoned in the region of the dead. However, “the term in Hebrew implies not so much the idea of great stature as of reckless ferocity, impious and daring characters who spread devastation and carnage far and wide.” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory, 21. The interpretation of the Hebrew Nephilim as “fallen ones” seems to work in terms of those who had “fallen and were no more” (Day, Studies in Genesis 1–11, 83), in this case fallen spiritually. Whatever the etymology, the term in the Flood story implies that the Nephilim “contributed to the increasing state of wickedness” (Hartley, Genesis, 97), and it generally refers to these people in a negative light. In the Old Testament they are generally described as great people (kings, warriors) who act in opposition to God or his people. See Walton, Genesis (NIV Application Commentary), 296.
 “The Lord ordained Noah after his own order. In other words, the Lord ordained Noah to ‘the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God’ (D&C 107:3. Cf. Alma 13:1–2, 9; JST Genesis 14:28).” Bradshaw and Larsen, In God’s Image, 2:228.
 Compare “Noah called upon men” (OT1; compare Moses 8:20) and “Noah called upon the children of men” OT2). Jackson, Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts, 11.
 Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:28 and Hebrews 7:3; Doctrine and Covenants 107:3.
 Times and Seasons, 1 September 1842, p. 904, The Joseph Smith Papers.
 Instruction on Priesthood, circa 5 October 1840” p. 8, The Joseph Smith Papers.
 OT1 reads “and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (compare Moses 8:24). OT2 has “and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost.” Jackson, Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts, 11.
 Emphasizing God’s desires, “Noah’s story becomes the occasion for the rabbis to highlight God’s compassion. Taking 120 years to build the ark, Noah has ample time to warn his hard-hearted compatriots of their doom. In hopes they would repent, God even tacks on an additional week at the end to give one last chance for repentance.” Pleins, “Flood,” in Sakenfeld, New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 2:467.
 See, e.g., Reynolds, “True Points of My Doctrine,” 26–56.
 Clines, “Theology of the Flood Narrative,” 135. It is commonly accepted in biblical studies that the Flood constituted a re-creation of life, paralleling the context and language of the creation stories in Genesis. See, e.g., Sailhamer, Genesis, loc. 4282, which discusses the Flood story with the reversal of creation as given in its Edenic state, but also its immediate connections with the conditions of the Fall in Genesis 3. “The Flood defaces the original creation headed by Adam and cleanses the earth for its re-creation headed by Noah. Warren Gage notes striking parallels between the prediluvian and postdiluvian worlds, making Adam the father of humanity and Noah its father in the postdiluvian world.” Waltke, Genesis, 127. The Flood’s preoccupation is with hope, salvation, and covenantal responsibility, rather than a total concentration on judgment and destruction. Later prophets in the Bible drew upon language of the Flood (polluting and violence) to foreshadow and describe Judah’s impending destruction and exile, but they also used the story to highlight hope for a new start and “a ‘new order,’ introducing a ‘radical change in the mechanism of sin.’ Gen 8:15–9:17 thus parallels prophetic descriptions of a new solution to the sin-punishment cycle that caused Judah’s destruction.” Huddleston, Eschatology in Genesis, 141. “The creation has refused to be God’s creation. That essential fracture between creator and creation is the premise and agenda of the flood narrative. This text provides a way to reflect on the meaning and cost of that fracture and upon the future that is yet in prospect between God and God’s world.” Brueggemann, Genesis, 74. The story is about loss but also about gain.
 The King James text of Genesis 6:6–7 reads “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (emphasis added). The verb used in expressing repenting (“it repented the Lord that he had made man on earth”) is from the root “נחם” (Brown, Driver, and Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon, 905–6) which, besides repenting, has meanings such as to be sorry, to be moved to pity, to have compassion (for others), or to suffer grief or distress. See Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages. The Arabic term نَحَمَ (naḥama) can mean “to breathe pantingly” and may help describe the exasperated anguish of both God and Noah, highlighting the compassion being depicted in the account where repentance is the desired outcome. The Lord and Noah are not repenting for God’s having created and brought life to his children; rather, they are expressing compassion for them and the state they have created for themselves through their own wickedness. Genesis 6:6 uses parallel verbs pertaining to the fact that the Lord “was grieved to his heart” and was experiencing “emotional pain.” Biblical Studies Press, NET Bible, at Genesis 6:6. See discussion in Schade, “Flood Story,” 128.
 The Book of Moses associates the emotion of “repentance” or “regret” (wayyinnāḥem) with Noah, rather than with the Lord, strengthening the force of the intended Hebrew wordplay. See Joseph Smith’s comments in History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844], p. 1755, The Joseph Smith Papers. The Book of Moses articulates the difficulty that God and Noah experience. The Lord appears to have taken Noah’s reaction to the human corruption and violence very seriously.
 “As Paul writes, ‘If I were still pleasing to men, I should not be servant of Christ’ (Gal. 1:10). Noah is not pleasing to his generation, but he finds favor with God.” Reno, Genesis, 116.
 “Noah was a perfect man, and his knowledge or revelation of what was to take place upon the earth, gave him power to prepare and save himself and family from the destruction of the flood. This knowledge, or revelation, like the preceeding one to Abel, was not believed by the inhabitants of the earth. They knew Adam was the first man, made in the image of God; that he was a good man: that Enoch walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years, and was translated to heaven without tasting death: but they could not endure the new revelation: the old we believe because our fathers did, but away with new revelations—and the flood swept them away.” Times and Seasons, 15 August 1842, pp. 889–90, The Joseph Smith Papers.
 “By inserting the heading of Noah’s genealogy before the flood, the explanation for Enoch’s deliverance from death (‘he walked with God,’ 5:22) is made the basis for Noah’s rescue from the flood: ‘he walked with God’ (6:9). Thus in the story of Noah and the flood, the author repeats the lesson of Enoch: Life comes through ‘walking with God.’” Sailhamer, Genesis, loc. 4028–30. Noah was not only a “righteous man,” but a man of perfect integrity and one who, along with his sons, appears to have “walked with God” in the same way that Enoch and his people walked with God. Elder Robert L. Simpson observed, “Noah tasted of the joy of life because he adhered firmly to the principles of righteousness.” In Conference Report, October 1968, 97.
 “When speaking about the blessings pertaining to the gospel, and the consequences connected with disobedience to its requirements, we are frequently asked the question, what has become of our Fathers? will they all be damned for not obeying the gospel, when they never heard it? certainly not. But they will possess the same privilege that we here enjoy, through the medium of the everlasting priesthood, which not only administers on earth but in heaven, and the wise dispensations of the great Jehovah; hence those characters referred to by Isaiah will be visited by this priesthood, and come out of their prison, upon the same principle as those who were disobedient in the days of Noah, were visited by our Saviour, -[who possessed the everlasting, Melchizedec priesthood,]- and had the gospel preached to them, by him.” Times and Seasons, 15 April 1842, p. 760, The Joseph Smith Papers.
 Arnold, Genesis, 91. “God is aware that something is deeply amiss in creation, so that God’s own dream has no prospect of fulfillment. With that perverted imagination, God’s world has begun to conjure its own future quite apart from the future willed by God (cf. 11:6). As a result, verse 6 shows us the deep pathos of God. God is not angered but grieved. He is not enraged but saddened. God does not stand over against but with his creation. Tellingly, the pain he bequeathed to the woman in 3:16 is now felt by God. Ironically, the word for ‘grieve’ (‘asaυ) is not only the same as the sentence on the woman (‘pain’ 3:16), but it is also used for the state of toil from which Noah will deliver humanity (5:29). The evil heart of humankind (v. 5) troubles the heart of God (v. 6). This is indeed ‘heart to heart’ between humankind and God. How it is between humankind and God touches both parties. As Ernst Würthwein suggests, it is God who must say, ‘I am undone’ (cf. Isa. 6:5; Wort und Existenz, 1970, pp. 313).” Brueggemann, Genesis, 77.
 Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 171.
 Genesis 6:12 reads “all flesh had corrupted his way [Heb. darkô] upon the earth.” The reading of the pronoun is ambiguous in the Hebrew (it or his). OT1 manuscript contains an interesting variation from the KJV text. Moses 8:29b reads “all flesh had corrupted its way.” Old Testament Revision 1, p. 20, The Joseph Smith Papers. Given the early themes of Genesis and especially the Book of Moses, perhaps the reading “his” (referring to God) is to be preferred. Elder Harold B. Lee explained, “To Noah the Lord declared that because all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth, that he proposed to destroy man from the face of the earth [see Genesis 6:5–13]. So, in a lesser degree, in every dispensation, the Lord has commanded that if members of his Church, having taken upon them his name, should sin grievously and refuse to repent, they should be cut out from among his people, lest they be a stumbling block to the world. To continue all such in membership would be to reflect discredit and dishonor upon the work of our Heavenly Father.” In Conference Report, October 1945, 47.
 Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 172.
 Taylor, in Journal of Discourses, 19:158; punctuation corrected.
 See discussion in Schade, “Flood Story,” 149–52.
 “How Great the Wisdom and the Love,” Hymns, no. 195.