The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 1 (part 4)

Now the flood…

7.  The corruption was now great upon the earth, for the sons of Shīt had intermingled with the sons of Cain, the accursed, performing sins and every sort of immorality and giving themselves only to entertainment, so God spoke to Noah and said to him: “I will send the flood upon the earth and I will exterminate everything on it”.  He then ordered him to come down from the holy mountain, he, his sons, his wife and the wives of his children.  He also ordered him to build a square-shaped wooden ark.  Some have said that it was of Indian oak.  The length of the ark had to be three hundred cubits, the width was fifty and the height was thirty.  He had to smear it, inside and out, with tar and pitch, and setting up three floors: the lower floor for the wild beasts and for the quadrupeds; the middle floor for the birds and the upper floor for himself and his children.  He ordered him to make the door on the eastern side, to provide receptacles for water and one for food.  Noah entered the Cave of Treasures, kissed the bodies of Shīt, of Anūsh, of Qīnān, of Mahlali’īl, of Yārid, of Mātūshālikh, and of Lāmikh and took with him the body of Adam and the offerings.  Sām took in his turn the gold, Hām the myrrh and Yāfit the incense.  As they descended from the holy mountain, they had one last look at the holy paradise and wept saying: “Goodbye, holy paradise!” and they kissed the rocks and hugged the trees.  Then they came down from the holy mountain and Noah began to build the ark.  God told him to make a nāqūs[1] of Indian oak three cubits long and a cubit and a half wide; the clapper had to be of the same wood. He sounded it three times a day: in the morning, to summon the workers; at noon, for the meal and in the evening for the end of the work.  [God] again told him: ‘When they hear you play the nāqūs and they ask: “What are you doing?” say to them: “God will send the flood”‘.  Noah did everything that God had commanded him to do.  God sent him all kinds of animals, sheep, birds, wild beasts and reptiles and told him: “Of these animals, of those which are pure and clean [species], let seven couples, that is seven males and seven females, enter with you; of the unclean, two couples, male and female”.

8. Noah entered the ark with his wife, his sons, and his sons’ wives.  Noah brought the body of Adam with him and placed it in the centre of the ark, placing the offerings on it.  Noah and his sons settled down in the eastern part of the ark, while his wife and the wives of his sons settled in the western part of the ark so that then men would not approach the women, or the women the men.  Noah had brought with him everything that God had ordered him to bring.  God then opened the springs of the waters, the earth flooded and the seas flowed into each other and God made the waters of the sky rain down.  Noah was six hundred years old when the flood occurred and his son Sām a hundred. Water spurted from the earth and the rains fell for forty days and forty nights.  The waters covered the surface of the earth, exceeding the highest mountain by fifteen cubits and remained high upon the earth for one hundred and fifty days.  On the earth there remained no animal nor was there any plant that did not die.  From Adam to the flood passed two thousand, two hundred and sixty-five years.  One hundred and fifty days after the flood, God sent a wind that blew upon the earth and the waters subsided, the springs ceased to flow and the rain stopped.  The waters began to run away, to decrease and to fall until the seventh month.  On the 17th day of the seventh month after the flood, that is the month of Aylūl, or Tūt, the ark grounded on a mountain called Arārāt, which is Mount al-Gūdī (22) near Mosul (23), in the region of Diyār Rabī`a (24), in a village called Fardā (25), today known as the region of Thamanīn (26) and Gazīrat Banī ‘Umar (27). The waters continued to lessen and drain away until the tenth month.  On the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains were seen.  Forty days later, Noah opened the door of the ark and sent the crow out to see if the waters had disappeared from the earth.  The crow flew away but did not return.  He then sent out the dove, which came back soon after with wet feet.  Noah understood then that the waters still covered the surface of the earth.  Seven days later he sent out the dove again, which returned in the evening, carrying an olive leaf in its beak.  Noah waited some more days, then sent out the dove, which went away without returning.  Noah waited another seven days, then opened the door of the ark and looked out: the earth was green and the water was gone.  Then Noah came out of the ark together with his sons Sām, Hām and Yāfit, together with his wife and the wives of his sons and with all the animals that were with him in the ark, after a year and two months, on the 17th of the second month, that is Nīsān, or Barmūdah (28).

  1. [1](21) The nāqūs was usually a wooden board or tablet which was struck with a wooden stick or a hammer to make a noise. For Eutychius’ source for this story, cf. Koran, Sura VII.

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