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Program Descriptions Apocalypse

Sunday, November 3, 1996 at 6 p.m. (E.T.)
(Check local listings.)

God, dismayed by the world's corruption and violence, destroys the world, saving only Noah, his family and two of every animal to make a new beginning. Says Bill Moyers: "We have all heard the cry: 'Why did I survive the war and my buddy didn't?' 'Why was I the only one to walk away from the crash?' 'Why did cancer take her and not me?' Surviving a catastrophe is a complex and painful destiny. Just look at Noah. His response to the Great Flood in the Book of Genesis is to build an altar and get drunk. In a way we are all survivors of that ordeal, and it doesn't make us feel any better knowing that the author of the Apocalypse was none other than God."

Featuring Karen Armstrong, Byron E. (Barney) Calame, Alexander Di Lella, Carol Gilligan, Blu Greenberg, Samuel Proctor, Burton L. Visotzky. See Biographies for more information about the participants.

Carol Gilligan

Audio Tales:

©Duane Michals
Alfre Woodard
Play: RealAudio

See more information on audio downloads or on obtaining a RealAudio player. For RealAudio, we recommend 2.0 or later.

Actress Alfre Woodard has lent her voice to the GENESIS television series as a storyteller. You may listen to the actual sound recording of this story either as RealAudio or as a download.
Narrative written by Elizabeth Swados.

One day God looked down on the earth and all God saw was the wickedness of human beings. And God regretted having created human beings, and God's heart was saddened. So God decided to wipe all living things off the face of the earth. But there was one righteous man named Noah, blameless in his time, who walked with God. God said to Noah, "The earth is filled with violence and I will destroy it. Make yourself an ark of wood. Make it with reeds. Cover it with pitch. And bring your wife and your sons and your sons' wives inside this ark. And bring two of every living creature."

Noah did as God commanded. He loaded in every sort of fowl, cattle, and creeping thing. Clean and unclean, two by two, male and female, they came into Noah's ark. And on the seventh day the floodgates of the sky and the fountains of the earth burst open. And for forty days and forty nights it rained, until the mountains on earth were covered with swirling waters and all life outside the ark was dead and every living creature drowned.

But God remembered Noah. God made a wind pass over the earth and the waters subsided and the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Noah released a raven and it flew back and forth but found no dry land. Then Noah sent out a dove, and when it returned with an olive leaf, Noah knew the flood was over.

God spoke to Noah and said, "You and your wife and your sons and your sons' wives must leave the ark. Bring all the living creatures with you." And Noah emptied the ark and built an altar and made burnt offerings to God. And the Lord smelled a sweet smell and said, "Never again will I destroy all living creatures, or doom the earth because of man."

And God said to Noah and his family, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. A rainbow appeared in the clouds and God said to Noah, "My bow shall serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. When rainclouds gather I will see the bow and remember the covenant with Noah." God blessed Noah and blessed his sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth. And Noah planted a vineyard. He drank the wine, got drunk, and lay naked in his tent. And Ham, his son, looked at his father's nakedness, but his two brothers turned their faces away and covered him with a garment. And when Noah woke from his drunken sleep and realized what Ham had done, he cursed the son of Ham, Canaan, saying, "Damned be Canaan. He shall be servants of the servants to his brothers." And Noah blessed Shem and Japheth and lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood.
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