This article is a discussion, from a Hebrew-Christian perspective, on the Hindu flood story in which Matsya (a fish avatar) rescues Manu and earthly existence from a great deluge. Manu in Hinduism refers to the archetypal man, or to the first man. The early followers of Jesus (Yehoshua) may have believed that Jesus (Yehoshua) was a reincarnation of the Primal Adam (the first man). If you prefer to listen, I discuss this article in the video at the end of this post.
What is an Avatar?
In Hindu mythology an avatar is a “god” that has incarnated into a body. When we are anointed with YHWH’s Holy Spirit, He comes to live inside of us.
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Exodus 29:45 I will dwell inside the Israelites and be their God.
The bible actually suggests we, the anointed, are all bodies/souls with YHWH’s spirit incarnating us (1 Corin. 3:16, 1 Corin. 6:19). Jesus was considered YHWH’s Messiah / Christ (anointed one). This is why Jesus (Yehoshua) spoke of his body as the temple of God (John 2:21). And, as discussed on the Souls vs Spirits page, animals are souls that were given the same breath of life as we were. The word for “breath” is the same word for “spirit.” The spirit inside of animals (and us) is YHWH’s Spirit.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
There are stories in the bible (and extra-biblical sources) of talking animals, such as the talking donkey and serpent. The book of Jasher has some men (who were building the tower of Babel) turned into animals such as the ape and elephant.
Jasher 9:35 And the Lord smote the three divisions that were there, and he punished them according to their works and designs; those who said, We will ascend to heaven and serve our gods, became like apes and elephants; and those who said, We will smite the heaven with arrows, the Lord killed them, one man through the hand of his neighbor; and the third division of those who said, We will ascend to heaven and fight against him, the Lord scattered them throughout the earth.
It’s been theorized that was where the Hindu gods Ganesha (part human / part elephant) and Hanuman (part human / part ape) came from. Though that may have been symbolic language like how, when we sin, we’re likened to dogs returning to vomit and pigs wallowing in the mire (2 Peter 2:22).
The Spirit of God inside of us is what gives us life. A body without the spirit is referred to as a dead soul, rather than a living soul. And Jesus (Yehoshua) said that even the rocks would cry out once… in the book of Jasher a baby is seen talking.
Jasher 44:64 And whilst Potiphar’s men were beating Joseph, he continued to cry out and weep, and there was a child there eleven months old, and the Lord opened the mouth of the child, and he spake these words before Potiphar’s men, who were smiting Joseph, saying, 65 “What do you want of this man, and why do you do this evil unto him? my mother speaketh falsely and uttereth lies; thus was the transaction.” 66 And the child told them accurately all that happened, and all the words of Zelicah to Joseph day after day did he declare unto them. 67 And all the men heard the words of the child and they wondered greatly at the child’s words, and the child ceased to speak and became still. 68 And Potiphar was very much ashamed at the words of his son, and he commanded his men not to beat Joseph any more, and the men ceased beating Joseph.
So, the Spirit of God is what can allow animals, rocks, or babies to speak.
These may have just been allegorical stories, but if they’re not, the reason these animals (and/or Potiphar’s baby) could speak is because YHWH used them as an avatar, just as He used all His prophets. For example, Noah was a prophet who YHWH sent to warn people about the flood. He was sent as a savior to the people. If they would listen to him, they would get on the ark and be saved.
2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
If they had believed he was YHWH’s savior / messiah when he preached, they would repented and turned to a path of righteousness. But, they rejected him, as many people over time rejected YHWH’s saviors.
So, when the Hindus speak of an avatar, the Hebrew-Christian related term would be: “Messiah,” “Anointed,” and, “Christ”.
Matsya the Fish Avatar
The earliest still existing text that mentions Matsya and the flood myth, Shatapatha Brahmana, identifies the fish with Prajapati-Brahma, the creator. If you look into all the “gods” of Hinduism, you may think they have more than one creator “god” but it may have just been one who got split into multiple personifications, just as Christians and Kabbalists personified YHWH into “persons” or “sefirot”. Even the Israelites wrote about YHWH’s consort “Lady Wisdom” in Proverbs., but they were very clear that they didn’t believe YHWH, the creator, was multiple persons. And we have to be careful to use the word creator, because, of course, the word “god” was used for humans like Moses, Jesus, and believers.
The Hindu texts seem to be understood to be parabolic in nature. Though there may have been a literal flood, the story concerning Matsya is not taken literally. There are many interpretations as we’ll see. This is interesting because if it is referring to the flood story from the bible, we might get a deeper understanding from a Hebrew-Christian perspective.
Matsya: The Fish and the Flood in the Work of the Mythic Imagination
From Asian Mythologies compiled by Yves Bonnefoy (Page 79-80)
Matsya, the Fish, is the name of one of the classical avatars of Visnu. This myth has a Vedic prehistory in which the principal role is played by Manu, the legislator and mythical ancestor of the two great royal dynasties of the Tradition. It is the Indian version of the myth of the flood.
The Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (184.108.40.206-10) gives a complete account of the Vedic myth, in which there is no mention of Viṣṇu at all. Manu is brought water for his morning ablutions. In this water is a little fish, who asks Manu to protect him, promising in return to save Manu from an imminent flood. Fearing that he will be swallowed by other fish, the little fish asks for shelter. Manu first puts the fish in a pot full of water, and then, as it continues to grow, he transfers it into a ditch and then finally into the ocean, once it is big enough to escape all danger. The fish reveals to Manu the date of the flood, and counsels him to call him when he has finished building a boat. When Manu appears in his boat, the fish draws near and allows Manu to attach his boat to his horn; then he leads him to the north slope of the mountains where he will watch over the receding waters. As the sole survivor of the flood, Manu must engender a new human race, and for that purpose he practices austerity and performs sacrifices.
This flood is thoroughly Indian, despite the universal character of the theme. Manu is a prajapati, a progenitor of the human race who alone escapes the flood. His boat is not the equivalent of Noah’s Ark, though it is still the symbol of salvation: it is what enables one to cross over. The Himalayas, which border India on the north, are the impassable frontier that separates ordinary mankind from the world of salvation. The land of salvation lies beyond the mountain to the north, and the fish will guide the boat there, thereby indicating that Manu is saved from the flood.
Why a fish? Clearly the flood theme calls for one, and it is risky to apply to the Vedic myth that would be true for the classical period. The text does, however, tempt us to do so, since the fish evokes the danger of being devoured by another fish: classical India indeed speaks of the “law of the fishes” to designate what we would call the “law of the jungle.” The law of the fishes is set against the order imposed by a good king, an order in which the weak are protected from the strong and in which dharma rather than individual force is the organizing principle. Manu, who is in essence the legislator and the father of the traditional royal dynasties, has an obvious connection with royal power (though he cannot be reduced to this function alone). Thus it is logical that the little fish should appeal to him in order to escape the law of the fishes.
But this is not just any fish. Its horn designates it a bearer of sacrificial values, and it is undoubtedly as such that it is able to guide Manu toward the region of salvation and allow him to recreate the human race through sacrifice. Its identity, however, is not precisely defined by the symbolic trait of its horn.
The version of the myth provided by the Mahābhārata (3.187) identifies the fish with Brahmā. This text’s reference to the law of the fishes is even more explicit than that in the Vedic account. As for the flood, it is clearly described as the advent of the cosmic night. Manu must bring aboard with him the seven ṛṣis and all the known grains. Guided by the fish during the stormy flood, his boat represents “The remnant” that must survive the cosmic night to make possible the dawn of a new cosmic era. After the waters have receded, Manu recreates living beings through his acts of austerity.
It is not necessary to arrange the different versions of the myth in historical order to see how clearly the mythical imagination works in the myth of the Fish: Brahmā is close to Viṣṇu; in the Purāṇas, Viṣṇu becomes Brahmā when he awakes to create the world. But the epic does not yet make the fish into an avatar of Viṣṇu. In the Matsya Purāṇa 1.12ff., this step is finally taken. Manu recognizes Viṣṇu Vāsudeva in the Fish, and the Fish, speaking of the flood to come, evokes the end of a yuga, which he describes as the end of a kalpa complete with fire and flood. The fish avatar is always equipped with a horn of salvation. Manu no longer has to build his boat, which the gods provide for the salvation of creatures, and he must bring aboard all living creatures. A little further into the text he only has to take every species of grain with him. By spiritual concentration on the divine Fish he ties his boat to the horn, and the mooring rope is made of the snake Ananta (Śeṣa, the serpent that symbolizes the cosmic residue between two kalpas).
The theme of the avatar is rendered entirely banal in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa 8:24.7-58, when the story of Manu and the flood receives a heavenly preamble: while Brahmā is asleep, the asura hayagrīva takes advantage of the situation to steal the Veda. Viṣṇu then becomes incarnate as a fish. The story takes place in a previous kalpa, and Manu, the son of Vivasvat (the Sun), is replaced by one of his predecessors in the role of Manu, the royal ṛṣi Satyavrata. This is the typical pattern of an avatar narrative, where the disappearance of dharma is provoked by an asura who takes what does not belong to him. Viṣṇu alone can reestablish the cosmic order, and he does this in the form of a fish. And Manu clearly has a royal function that associates him with the work of the avatar.
We thus have an exemplary myth: at the Vedic level, it can be seen as a cosmogony, as one of the many cosmogonic accounts of Revelation. But the Tradition has regarded it as secondary in comparison with the myth of Puruṣa and has used it again at the level of the avatar, where the cosmogonic theme is subordinated to the salvific function of Viṣṇu’s “descents.” Moreover, the story of creation per se is not told and indeed becomes unnecessary as the royal character of Manu enables him to establish dharma and not to beget Brahmans. Although there is no explicit combat with the asura, the martial function of the king lies just beneath the surface, and that is why Manu must be king.
There is a Hindi epic poem titled Kamayani. It was written in 1936, and according to Wikipedia, it “depicts the interplay of human emotions, thoughts, and actions by taking mythological metaphors,” and the page goes on to say:
The plot is based on the Vedic story where Manu, the man surviving after the deluge (Pralaya), is emotionless (Bhavanasunya). Manu starts getting involved in various emotions, thoughts and actions. These are sequentially portrayed with Shraddha, Ida, Kilaat and other characters playing their part, contributing in them. The chapters are named after these emotions, thoughts or actions. Some people consider that the sequence of chapters denotes the change of personality in a man’s life with age.
Following is the sequence:
- Chinta (Anxiety)
- Asha (Hope)
- Shraddha (Reverential belief, Faith, Virtue of being a woman)
- Kama (Sexual love)
- Vasna (Passion for material pleasure)
- Lajja (Shyness)
- Karma (Action)
- Irshyaa (Jealousy)
- Ida (Logic, Intellect)
- Swapna (Dream)
- Sangharsh (Internal conflict)
- Nirved (Disregard of worldly things, Renunciation)
- Darshan (Philosophy, Vision)
- Rahasya (Hidden knowledge, Mystery,chupa hua)
- Anand (Bliss, Self-realization, Shiva)
Even though this is a recent work, it illustrates the interpretation the Hindus have concerning this story. It’s not taken literally, but, rather, it’s focused on a spiritual and emotional state of Manu (which represents the first man, or mankind) during the time of the flood.
Adam & Eve
There are multiple versions of this story, one in which Manu gets on an ark with seven sages, and another where he is alone. In the version where he’s alone he starts to create offspring with “butter, sour milk, whey, and curds” which he put into the water. At this point, it should be quite obvious this is a parable.
YHWH creates with the power of His Holy Spirit, which is personified as “Lady Wisdom” and this is why it says, “Let us make man in OUR image,” “Male and female He created them.” That’s discussed further in the Primal Adam doctrine article, but the important part is the Primal Adam (with Eve inside) was the image of YHWH. Based on that comparison, Eve is how Adam creates. Adam would create physically by having intercourse with Eve, but Eve is how Adam’s “creation” would be formed and shows up in the world.
In the same way, mankind may place seeds into their subconscious and when they do that, those seeds show up in their life at a later point of time. So this can be taken spiritually or physically. When taken spiritually, the subconscious would be represented by water in this story.
Manu deposits “butter, sour milk, whey, and curds” into the water and a year later a woman comes out of the water.
Thence a woman was produced in a year: becoming quite solid she rose; clarified butter gathered in her footprint. Mitra and Varuna met her. They said to her, ‘Who art thou?’ ‘Manu’s daughter,’ she replied. ‘Say (thou art) ours,’ they said. ‘No,’ she said, ‘I am (the daughter) of him who begat me. THE IDÂ 8-9
When taken physically, a man deposits his sperm into a woman’s waters, and the creation is enveloped in these waters for 9 months. We can learn a lot about creation by looking for shadows such as these.
There was a question on Brainly, “In the story of Manu, what was it about Manu that pleased the god Brahma so much?” and the answer given was, “This story is like a parallel to adam and eve – so it was probably the fact that Manu listened to the fish (god Brahma) and obeyed him in order to create a vessel in which the fish could survive along with many other creatures. Manu listened and helped the god and therefore in return the god Brahma was pleased and gave him a wife.”
That is obviously just one person’s opinion, but it shows that some do believe this flood story to be more about Adam & Eve than about Noah and the flood. The reason for that, of course, is multiple versions, as mentioned above.
Why Would There Be Multiple Versions?
If this story was about Noah and the flood, why would there be a version that resembles the story of creation? And, if the story was about the first man, Manu, being created why is there a version similar to Noah and the flood where multiple people are on the ark? It seems like time is cyclical and there are certain events that keep happening over and over.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Matthew 24:37 As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the son of man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark.
Matthew 12:40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so the son of man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
It’s likely there’s a symbolic meaning that connects these stories together. After the flood and at the beginning of creation, things were brand new and clean. The people on the earth were good (rather than “evil”) and they were ready to procreate. When Jonah was in the great fish, he came out obedient and thankful and went to convert the people of Ninevah. When the disciples saw Christ risen from the grave, they also were obedient, and in both cases they were gaining “souls.” Jonah and Jesus (Yehoshua), rather than making children (like Noah and Adam), were evangelizing and converting people into becoming “born again” of YHWH.
In the stories of Adam & Noah they were creating more children. In the stories of Jonah and Jesus (Yehoshua), they were getting people “born again” to YHWH, thus, creating more children of YHWH. There’s another thread that ties the story of Jesus (Yehoshua) to Jonah, and that’s Jesus (Yehoshua) being referred to as a fish.
What Does It Mean?
The Fish Speaks The Word of Salvation
It starts with Manu having a morning ablution. The early followers of Jesus (Yehoshua) used to have daily mikvahs (aka baptism, ablutions) also. If we consider the morning wash a baptism, it’s interesting that this is when Manu sees the fish, in the water. This is similar to when Jesus (Yehoshua) was having his baptism and the Spirit of YHWH, the Father, descended down like a dove. In that baptism, the people heard YHWH say, “This is my beloved son.” They may have heard that in their spirits, rather than out-loud. In this same way, the fish may be a similar situation.
1. In the morning they brought to Manu water for washing, just as now also they (are wont to) bring (water) for washing the hands. When he was washing himself, a fish came into his hands. 2 It spake to him the word, ‘Rear me, I will save thee!’ ‘Wherefrom wilt thou save me?’ ‘A flood will carry away all these creatures, from that I will save thee!’ ‘How am I to rear thee?’ 3. It said, ‘As long as we are small, there is great destruction for us: fish devours fish. Thou wilt first keep me in a jar. When I outgrow that, thou wilt dig a pit and keep me in it. When I outgrow that, thou wilt take me down to the sea, for then I shall be beyond destruction.’ THE IDÂ 8-9
YHWH’s “word” is a reference to something spoken, that we hear in the spirit. He continually tries to get us to follow His commandments that lead to life. So, just as the dove represented YHWH’s Spirit telling people how to be saved at Christ’s baptism (listen to him), so, too, does this fish tell Manu (mankind) how to be saved from a flood that’s coming.
In Matthew 13, Jesus (Yehoshua) shares the parable of the sower. A sower went forth to sow and deposited seeds in many places. We’re told the “seed” was the “word of the kingdom” in verse 19. In the article on YHWH’s word, the Holy Spirit is shown to be “the Word of God” and also, “God’s seed.” It’s also the sword of God that we speak to others when we spread the “word of the kingdom.” In the book of Luke there is a parallel passage:
Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved
In this story of Manu, he hears “the word” that would lead to salvation, if he would only take care of the little fish, (representative of the Holy Spirit seed). The larger fish that might eat up the small fish is representative of the devil coming in and taking away the “word” out of their hearts.
Many hear “the word” and don’t do what it takes to be saved.
Matthew 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. 33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
The kingdom of heaven is likened to the smallest of all seeds, just like the small fish, but when it is grown it turns into the greatest among herbs, and grows like leaven. This is represented by the fish being allowed time to grow without worry about being eaten up by the larger fish (the devil). By the time it’s full grown it doesn’t have to worry about the other fish killing it anymore.
Because the fish (YHWH’s Holy Spirit) was allowed time to grow, he repays Manu by letting him know how to escape the destruction to come. In this example, other people may be told that there will be destruction, but if they haven’t allowed the Holy Spirit to grow, they won’t be given the knowledge of how to escape the destruction.
You could also compare this to the parable of the wise virgins and oil. If the oil is the Holy Spirit, some have filled up their lamps (allowed the small fish to get big), whereas others haven’t taken care of the fish and have very little oil. You can’t see your way in the dark without having a full oil lamp, so, too, do we need to allow the small fish to get big in order to have knowledge of how to be saved.
The Ark & The Tree of Life
So, just as Noah was saved by the Ark, Manu builds a boat and is saved on it. What is the significance of the boat? While I was recording the following video I was thinking of how the tree of life is our salvation. When we are anointed with the Holy Spirit, we thrive on the vine that is Christ. We are the branches, and he is the vine. When you think of this example as the Tree of Life, we are the branches, and he is the tree, the Holy Spirit that flows through us would be the water of life. We see these parables in the bible, but usually don’t think about what that meant for the ark. The ark was build of wood, from a tree.
When we’re anointed with the Holy Spirit, we are abiding in the tree of life (Christ). The ark is wood, and may represent the tree of life floating on the waters.
From the Wikipedia article on the Tree of Life:
The concept of the tree of life appears in the writings of the Baha’i Faith, where it can refer to the Manifestation of God, a great teacher who appears to humanity from age to age.
Also, in the Tablet of Ahmad, of Bahá’u’lláh: “Verily He is the Tree of Life, that bringeth forth the fruits of God, the Exalted, the Powerful, the Great”.
Bahá’u’lláh refers to his male descendants as branches (Aghsán) and calls women leaves.
The Horn of Salvation
After Huma makes the boat he tied himself to the horn of the large fish.
5. After he had reared it in this way, he took it down to the sea. And in the same year which the fish had indicated to him, he attended to (the advice of the fish) by preparing a ship; and when the flood had risen, he entered into the ship. The fish then swam up to him, and to its horn he tied the rope of the ship, and by that means he passed swiftly up to yonder northern mountain. 6. It then said, ‘I have saved thee. Fasten the ship to a tree; but let not the water cut thee off, whilst thou art on the mountain… THE IDÂ 8-9
If the boat wasn’t referring to the tree of life, this other tree may be. The “horn of salvation” is also seen in the Abrahamic religions.
Luke 1:69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, 70 as He spoke through His holy prophets, those of ages past
2 Samuel 22:2 and said: “YHWH is my rock, my fortress and deliverer. 3 My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation. My stronghold, my refuge, and my Savior, You save me from violence. 4 I will call upon YHWH, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies
1 Samuel 2:1 At that time Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in YHWH in whom my horn is exalted. My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, for I rejoice in Your salvation. 2 There is no one holy like YHWH. Indeed, there is no one besides You! And there is no rock like our God
Psalm 18:2 YHWH is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call to YHWH, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
The word for “rock” may also mean “cliff” and these were written in different languages. The mountain where the ship was tied to a tree, could have been like a cliff.
Isaiah speaks of the mountain in the New Age (Messianic / Millennium Age) and then Revelation equates the New Jerusalem to the mountain.
Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots 2 And the spirit of YHWH shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of YHWH 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of YHWH and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of YHWH, as the waters cover the sea. 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband… 9 Then one of the seven angels with the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 shining with the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious jewel, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal
We see the branch and vine references in Isaiah. In Revelation, the earth has passed away and the sea was no more. Could this be a reference to the waters receding from the mountain after the flood? Notice there were seven angels. In one of the stories of Huma, he has seven ṛṣis (sages) with him. (In Exodus 2 Moses met 7 sisters and helped them with water, and Christ helps 7 disciples fish in a boat in John 21)
I’m sure there are many more connections. There’s an extreme likelihood that the belief in Brahma is connected to the A-Braham-ic religion. If you’d like to know more about that connection, please see this video:
It seems like our Father has constantly been spreading His message of salvation to those with ears to hear. His message keeps popping up in other religions, but we have to try to sift through the lies that got added in by men. Plus, people just understood things differently in the past. What used to be considered parables, got turned into literal events over time.
The story of Huma has him sacrificing as soon as the flood is over. We see the New Jerusalem is supposed to have sacrifices too. But Huma was considered pious and when seen as a parable, we see he’s sacrificing parts of himself. When he offers “butter, sour milk, whey, and curds” he made offspring with it. His offspring wouldn’t be his if that “butter, sour milk, whey, and curds” came from a cow. In that case it would be the cow’s offspring. Obviously these things are a part of Huma. I’d be interested to hear other people’s opinions on what they represent. I haven’t found too much information on this story online, in English, anyway.
Noah And Og
Og appears in various texts, including the bible in the books of Joshua, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
From The Giant of the Flood:
Just before the world was drowned all the animals gathered in front of the Ark and Father Noah carefully inspected them. “All ye that lie down shall enter and be saved from the deluge that is about to destroy the world,” he said. “Ye that stand cannot enter.” Then the various creatures began to march forward into the Ark. Father Noah watched them closely. He seemed troubled.
“I wonder,” he said to himself, “how I shall obtain a unicorn, and how I shall get it into the Ark.”
“I can bring thee a unicorn, Father Noah,” he heard in a voice of thunder, and turning round he saw the giant, Og. “But thou must agree to save me, too, from the flood.”
“Begone,” cried Noah. “Thou art a demon, not a human being. I can have no dealings with thee.”
“Pity me,” whined the giant. “See how my figure is shrinking. Once I was so tall that I could drink water from the clouds and toast fish at the sun. I fear not that I shall be drowned, but that all the food will be destroyed and that I shall perish of hunger.”
Noah, however, only smiled; but he grew serious again when Og brought a unicorn. It was as big as a mountain, although the giant said it was the smallest he could find. It lay down in front of the Ark and Noah saw by that action that he must save it. For some time he was puzzled what to do, but at last a bright idea struck him. He attached the huge beast to the Ark by a rope fastened to its horn so that it could swim alongside and be fed.
Og seated himself on a mountain near at hand and watched the rain pouring down. Faster and faster it fell in torrents until the rivers overflowed and the waters began to rise rapidly on the land and sweep all things away. Father Noah stood gloomily before the door of the Ark until the water reached his neck. Then it swept him inside. The door closed with a bang, and the Ark rose gallantly on the flood and began to move along. The unicorn swam alongside, and as it passed Og, the giant jumped on to its back.
“See, Father Noah,” he cried, with a huge chuckle, “you will have to save me after all. I will snatch all the food you put through the window for the unicorn.”
Noah saw that it was useless to argue with Og, who might, indeed, sink the Ark with his tremendous strength.
“I will make a bargain with thee,” he shouted from a window. “I will feed thee, but thou must promise to be a servant to my descendants.”
Og was very hungry, so he accepted the conditions and devoured his first breakfast.
The rain continued to fall in great big sheets that shut out the light of day. Inside the Ark, however, all was bright and cheerful, for Noah had collected the most precious of the stones of the earth and had used them for the windows. Their radiance illumined the whole of the three stories in the Ark. Some of the animals were troublesome and Noah got no sleep at all. The lion had a bad attack of fever. In a corner a bird slept the whole of the time. This was the phoenix.
“Wake up,” said Noah, one day. “It is feeding time.”
“Thank you,” returned the bird. “I saw thou wert busy, Father Noah, so I would not trouble thee.”
“Thou art a good bird,” said Noah, much touched, “therefore thou shalt never die.”
One day the rain ceased, the clouds rolled away and the sun shone brilliantly again. How strange the world looked! It was like a vast ocean. Nothing but water could be seen anywhere, and only one or two of the highest mountain tops peeped above the flood. All the world was drowned, and Noah gazed on the desolate scene from one of the windows with tears in his eyes. Og, riding gaily on the unicorn behind the Ark, was quite happy.
“Ha, ha!” he laughed gleefully. “I shall be able to eat and drink just as much as I like now and shall never be troubled by those tiny little creatures, the mortals.”
“Be not so sure,” said Noah. “Those tiny mortals shall be thy masters and shall outlive thee and the whole race of giants and demons.”
The giant did not relish this prospect. He knew that whatever Noah prophesied would come true, and he was so sad that he ate no food for two days and began to grow smaller and thinner. He became more and more unhappy as day by day the water subsided and the mountains began to appear. At last the Ark rested on Mount Ararat, and Og’s long ride came to an end.
“I will soon leave thee, Father Noah,” he said. “I shall wander round the world to see what is left of it.”
“Thou canst not go until I permit thee,” said Noah. “Hast thou forgotten our compact so soon? Thou must be my servant. I have work for thee.”
Giants are not fond of work, and Og, who was the father of all the giants, was particularly lazy. He cared only to eat and sleep, but he knew he was in Noah’s power, and he shed bitter tears when he saw the land appear again.
“Stop,” commanded Noah. “Dost thou wish to drown the world once more with thy big tears?”
So Og sat on a mountain and rocked from side to side, weeping silently to himself. He watched the animals leave the Ark and had to do all the hard work when Noah’s children built houses. Daily he complained that he was shrinking to the size of the mortals, for Noah said there was not too much food.
One day Noah said to him, “Come with me, Og. I am going around the world. I am commanded to plant fruit and flowers to make the earth beautiful. I need thy help.”
For many days they wandered all over the earth, and Og was compelled to carry the heavy bag of seeds. The last thing Noah planted was the grape vine.
“What is this–food, or drink?” asked Og.
“Both,” replied Noah. “It can be eaten, or its juice made into wine,” and as he planted it, he blessed the grape. “Be thou,” he said, “a plant pleasing to the eye, bear fruit that will be food for the hungry and a health-giving drink to the thirsty and sick.”
“I will offer up sacrifice to this wonderful fruit,” he said. “May I not do so now that our labors are over?”
Noah agreed, and the giant brought a sheep, a lion, a pig and a monkey. First, he slaughtered the sheep, then the lion.
“When a man shall taste but a few drops of the wine,” he said, “he shall be as harmless as a sheep. When he takes a little more he shall be as strong as a lion.”
Then Og began to dance around the plant, and he killed the pig and the monkey. Noah was very much surprised. “I am giving thy descendants two extra blessings,” said Og, chuckling.
He rolled over and over on the ground in great glee and then said:
“When a man shall drink too much of the juice of the wine, then shall he become a beast like the pig, and if then he still continues to drink, he shall behave foolishly like a monkey.”
And that is why, unto this day, too much wine makes a man silly.
Og himself often drank too much, and many years afterward, when he was a servant to the patriarch Abraham, the latter scolded him until he became so frightened that he dropped a tooth. Abraham made an ivory chair for himself from this tooth. Afterwards Og became King of Bashan, but he forgot his compact with Noah and instead of helping the Israelites to obtain Canaan he opposed them.
“I will kill them all with one blow,” he declared.
Exerting all his enormous strength he uprooted a mountain, and raising it high above his head he prepared to drop it on the camp of the Israelites and crush it.
But a wonderful thing happened. The mountain was full of grasshoppers and ants who had bored millions of tiny holes in it. When King Og raised the great mass it crumbled in his hands and fell over his head and round his neck like a collar. He tried to pull it off, but his teeth became entangled in the mass. As he danced about in rage and pain, Moses, the leader of the Israelites, approached him.
Moses was a tiny man compared with Og. He was only ten ells high, and he carried with him a sword of the same length. With a mighty effort he jumped ten ells into the air, and raising the sword, he managed to strike the giant on the ankle and wound him mortally.
Thus, after many years, did the terrible giant of the flood perish for breaking his word to Father Noah.
Manu was “saved” by the fish telling him to build the boat and Noah was “saved” by Og for where to get a unicorn. Manu tied the boat to the horn of the fish, but Noah tied the boat to the horn of the unicorn. In the Noah and Og story, the floating animal was a large unicorn with a giant on its back. Someone else looking on or seeing images portraying this story may have thought it was a really large half-human, half-fish (with a horn).
From Asian Mythologies concerning the Manu story variant: “A little further into the text he only has to take every species of grain with him. By spiritual concentration on the divine Fish he ties his boat to the horn, and the mooring rope is made of the snake Ananta (Śeṣa, the serpent that symbolizes the cosmic residue between two kalpas).”
The tying with a cord to the horn of salvation is symbolic of concentrating on the divine. The connection is seen as a serpent, which may be referring to the Kundalini serpent that Moses held up rather than the coiled, cursed serpent. The character of Og could have represented that serpent that could either be coiled and cursed, or it could be standing upright, and lead to (the horn of) salvation. Perhaps this stretched out cord is the “silver cord” mentioned in Eccl. 12:6.
When Og is being a good servant, things go well for him, as he’s being given food and taken care of. When Og rebels, he ends up dead. He may represent the Spirit that is the double-edged sword that can lead to life or death. The wages of sin is death.
In the beginning of the story with Noah, Og is small and worried about dying, just as the fish is small and worried about dying in Manu’s story. Of course, Og is afraid of the flood, and the fish, Matsya, has no problems in the flood. The parallels here are not perfect. But, it’s obvious, to me, that these stories are connected in some way. They may have come from a specific event that actually happened, or YHWH’s Spirit may be using this parable in different religions to get whatever message He wants to the people, the best way they’ll understand.
Getting Drunk From Wine
In the story of Noah and Og, Noah plants the vineyard, but Og is the one who gets drunk. Notice the difference from the Tanakh (OT):
Genesis 9:20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.
But the early followers of Jesus (Yehoshua) didn’t believe Noah actually got drunk:
Clementine Homilies II, Chapter LII: Sins of the Kiddoshim (Saints) Denied Then Kefa answered: With good reason, I neither believe anything against Elohim, nor against the just men recorded in the Torah, taking for granted that such are impious imaginations. For I am persuaded that Adam was neither a transgressor (he who was fashioned by the hands of Elohim), nor was Noah drunken, who was found righteous above all the world.
So, it seems that they believed the story of Noah getting drunk was made up, either because someone wanted to change it on purpose, or it was changed accidentally, or that it was meant to be taken as a parable from the very beginning.
If someone was drunk, it would have been more likely that the drunk was Og, but why would they blame Noah? If it was literal, the early followers of Jesus (Yehoshua) did believe that people could change their appearances with magic, so then maybe Og transformed to look like Noah and got drunk. It’s really hard to know from our vantage point.
And while he was speaking my father came in, and found Kefa speaking to us about him. And when he had saluted he began to apologize, and to explain the reason why he had remained abroad. But we, looking at him, were horrified; for we saw on him the face of Shimon, yet we heard the voice of our father. And when we shrank from him, and cursed him, my father was astonished at our treating him so harshly and barbarously. Yet Kefa was the only one who saw his natural countenance; and he said to us: “Why do you curse your father?” And we, along with our mother, answered him: “He appears to us to be Shimon, though he has our father’s voice.” Then Kefa: “You indeed know only his voice, which has not been changed by the sorceries; but to me also his face, which to others appears changed by Shimon’s art, is known to be that of your father Faustinianus.” And looking at my father, he said: “The cause of the dismay of your wife and your sons is this—the appearance of your countenance does not seem to be as it was, but the face of the detestable Shimon appears in you. Nazarene Acts (AKA Recognitions of Clement) Chapter LIII: A Transformation
In that example their father goes and pretends to be Simon the magician, who had bad-mouthed Kefa (Apostle Peter) to a city and then extols him instead (so they won’t kill him as soon as he enters the city). Then the father gets turned back into looking like himself.
The reason I bring it up is because it’s not impossible to think that someone else impersonated Noah and got drunk if it was literal. Or perhaps the whole thing was a parable we’re just not understanding because most people look at it too literally.
Perhaps if we look into all these different flood stories as parables we might find they have more in common and start to understand them better. This is important, because as in the days of Noah, so too shall the coming of the son of man be. There may be spiritual guidance to be found in these other stories that didn’t make it into our bible. We know that after the flood the one language got split into many, so the stories may have different names, but the stories can still be helpful in understanding the biblical stories.
Was the Fish a Narwhal or Leviathan?
All we have is speculation, but the Narwhal whale looks like it has a horn. Even though the long protrusion is a tooth, it doesn’t stop people from thinking of it as a horn, so they are often referred to as the “unicorns of the sea” according to World Wildlife Fund.
It’s also been called a Mandela Effect by some people who don’t remember hearing about Narwhals while growing up. Some believed them to be just as mythical as the unicorns that look like horses.
In the story of Noah and Og, Og’s voice is like thunder. If Og is an avatar, through whom YHWH speaks (like Matsya the fish), it’s interesting that in Psalm 104, YHWH’s voice is like thunder (v. 7), and the sea creature Leviathan is mentioned in verse 26, and the context of the psalm could be interpreted to be the flood receding.
Psalm 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. 6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. 8 They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them
That could be about the act of creation, though according to the variations on the Mastya and Manu story, it may also have been about the creation of the earth, depending on what version you read.
Leviathan is sometimes described in negative terms, but in this case it’s a very positive one as Leviathan is seen playing in the water.
Psalm 104:25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. 26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
All of this is speculation, but I think it’s worth considering. There seem to be many parallels found in these flood stories and if there is nothing new under the sun, to know what our future looks like, we should look at the past.