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According to one Midrash, it was God, or the angels, who gathered the animals to the ark, together with their food.As there had been no need to distinguish between clean and unclean animals before this time, the clean animals made themselves known by kneeling before Noah as they entered the ark.The parallels – both similarities and differences – between Noah's Ark and the boat of the Babylonian flood-hero Atrahasis have often been noted.
But in fact, the myth of the global flood that destroys all life only begins to appear in the Old Babylonian period (20th–16th centuries BCE).
The reasons for this emergence of the typical Mesopotamian flood myth may have been bound up with the specific circumstances of the end of the Third Dynasty of Ur around 2004 BCE and the restoration of order by the First Dynasty of Isin.
The story of the flood closely parallels the story of the creation: a cycle of creation, un-creation, and re-creation, in which the ark plays a pivotal role.
In Genesis 1, God created the three-level world as a space in the midst of the waters for humanity; in Genesis 6–8 (the flood story) he fills that space with waters again, saving only Noah, his family and the animals with him in the ark.
to emend this to qanim (reeds), the material used for the boat of Atrahasis, the Babylonian flood-hero.