[On the Biblical Chronology of Noah’s Flood]
Theosophist, May, 1880
Article selection from “Puzzles for the Philologists”, by M. Gracias | Note by H.P.B.
In a somewhat lengthy article which appears in the March number of the Theosophist under the above heading, an attempt it made to revive the question which has hitherto been deemed settled among philologists and ethnologists, viz., that centuries ago, in the dim past, at a period long antecedent to all profane history, there took place at different intervals those emigrations of people from their primeval seats in the great tableau or table-land of Central Asia, which overflowed Europe up to the shores of the Atlantic, and, extending southward, overran Persia and passed beyond the Himalayas into India till they reached the margins of the Indian Ocean. . . .
. . . there are several points in the article referred to . . . for which there appears to be no valid foundation whatever . . .
[Here follows a length examination of the subject.]
. . . The exact period of these emigrations . . . is not now ascertainable; but if we may accept the Biblical statement, the period would seem distinctly to refer to that immediately following the Noachian deluge, which by Scriptural chronologists is said to have occurred about 2,343 years before the Christian era; and the separation of three sons of Noah with their children and families would appear to explain the several emigrations in question,1 viz., that Cham went to Africa, and Japhet to Europe, Sem remaining at home in Asia.
Of course, further consideration on this subject would lead us to the vexed and unsettled question of the unity and common origin from Adam of the human race. . . .
1. The able young writer acts prudently in prefacing his Biblical reference with the conjunction “if.” That there never was nor could have been a “universal deluge” in 2,343 B.C. is proved beyond any doubt or cavil by geology. Baron Bunsen in “Egypt’s Place in Universal History” allows a partial deluge more than 10,000 years B.C. “Cham” or Ham is now shown by anthropology to have had nothing to do with the Egyptian race, the skulls of whose mummies have been proved Indo-Caucasian and whose high civilization antedated the Noachian deluge as the waters of the Red Sea antedate the Suez Canal.—ED. THEOS. [H.P.B.]