sailed sometime in the 1980s.
The animals went in two by two
by seven depending on which source takes precedence:
its motley cargo—Jonah's fish, Job's friends,
Goliath, Balaam's talking ass,
limping Jacob, branded Cain, the subtil snake, even
primal pair themselves, naked and unashamed—
all herded in with Noah and his sons.
clear blue evangelical assurance
clouded over with the cumulus
archaeology and reasoned common sense
in ever-darkening folds; beneath its weight
heavens bowed. The muddy deluge broke. The ark
sailed out of history and into myth.
The first turning point of the sequence: the ark’s departure becomes the defining image for the abandonment of a literalistic faith.
two by two cf Genesis 7:8.
seven by seven cf Genesis 7:2. The inconsistencies of the Flood stories seem most readily explained by the existence of two separate versions edited together. There are, of course, conflicting views about this.
subtil The King
adjective to describe the serpent in
into myth "Myth" is not used dismissively (as “something untrue”), but with its more potent meaning of a story that contains profound truth regardless of its historic status.