The juxtaposition of 'favour' and 'righteousness' in the flood narrative raises an interpretative and theological problem: Is Noah chosen because of divine favour or because of his piety ? Source-critical scholars identify two different theologies by J and P: J understands Noah's election to be an act of grace whereas P emphasizes Noah's righteousness as the basis for his election. Scholars who interpret the flood narrative according to its final form argue that Noah is chosen because he is righteous. This view is problematic, however, since in the primaeval history grace is shown to the 'undeserving', thus it is characteristically unmerited.
This book entails an exegetical analysis of, and according to, the final form of the text, with particular attention being given to the meaning and function of these verses in the Toledot structure. Kaminski argues against the commonly held view that Noah finds favour because he is righteous, and seeks to demonstrate that divine favour is unmerited in accordance with the theme of grace in the primaeval history and in Genesis as a whole. Thus what sets the flood story in motion is not Noah's righteousness, but the divine favour he finds.
Carol M. Kaminski (Ph.D., Cambridge) is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Massachusetts, USA. She is the author of From Noah to Israel: Realization of the Primaeval Blessing After the Flood (T&T Clark, 2004).