According to Abrahamic tradition
, Noah's Ark
was a vessel
built at God
's command to save Noah
, his family, and a core stock of the world's animals
from the Great Flood
. The story is contained in the Hebrew Bible
, Christian Old Testament
's Book of Genesis
, chapters 6 to 9 and in the Quran
According to the documentary hypothesis, the Ark story told in Genesis may represent several originally quasi-independent sources, and the process of composition over many centuries may help to explain apparent confusion and repetition in the text. Many Orthodox Jews and Christians reject this hypothesis, holding that the Ark story is true, that it has a single author, and that any perceived inadequacies can be explained rationally.
The Ark story told in Genesis has parallels in the Sumerian myth of Ziusudra, which tells how Ziusudra was warned by the gods to build a vessel in which to escape a flood which would destroy mankind. Less exact parallels are found in other cultures from around the world. Indeed, the deluge story is one of the most common folk stories throughout the world.
The Kebra Nagast (var. Kebra Negast', Ge'ez ,ክብረ ነገሥት, kəbrä nägäst), or the Book of the Glory of Kings, is an account written in Ge'ez of the origins of the Solomonic line of the Emperors of Ethiopia. The text, in its existing form, is at least seven hundred years old, and is considered by many Ethiopian Christians and Rastafarians to be an inspired and a reliable account. Not only does it contain an account of how the Queen of Sheba met Solomon, and about how the Ark of the Covenant came to Ethiopia with Menelik I, but contains an account of the conversion of the Ethiopians from the worship of the sun, moon, and stars to that of the "Lord God of Israel".
The Kebra Nagast is divided into 117 chapters, and even after a single reading it is clearly a composite work. The document is presented in the form of a debate by the 318 "orthodox fathers" of the Council of Nicaea. These fathers pose the question, "Of what doth the Glory of Kings consist?" One Gregory answers with a speech (chapters 3-17) which ends with the statement that a copy of the Glory of God was made by Moses and kept in the Ark of the Covenant. After this, the archbishop Domitius reads from a book he had found in the church of "Sophia" (possibly Hagia Sophia), which introduces what Hubbard calls "the centerpiece" of this work, the story of Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon, Menelik I, and how the Ark came to Ethiopia (chapters 19-94).
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