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Who Was Noah & Why Did He Build An Ark? Genesis 6:1 – 9:17 Noah’s Ark and the Flood – Story Summary: God saw how great wickedness had become and decided to wipe mankind from the face of the earth. However, one righteous man among all the people of that time, Noah, found favor in God’s eyes. With very specific instructions, God told Noah to build an ark for him and his family in preparation for a catastrophic flood that would destroy every living thing on earth. God also instructed Noah to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, both male and female, and seven pairs of all the clean animals, along with every kind of food to be stored for the animals and his family while on the ark. Noah obeyed everything God commanded him to do. After they entered the ark, rain fell on the earth for a period of forty days and nights. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days, and every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out. As the waters receded, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Noah and his family continued to wait for almost eight more months while the surface of the earth dried out. Finally after an entire year, God invited Noah to come out of the ark. Immediately, he built an altar and worshiped the Lord with burnt offerings from some of the clean animals. God was pleased with the offerings and promised never again to destroy all the living creatures as he had just done. Later God established a covenant with Noah: “Never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” As a sign of this everlasting covenant God set a rainbow in the clouds. Points of Interest from the Story: • God’s purpose in the flood was not to destroy people, but to destroy wickedness and sin. source
Did you know that Noah’s Grandfather was Methuselah who was the oldest man to ever lived at 969?
Did you know that Noah’s Great Grandfather was Enoch who was the only man to live who did not die?
Did you know that the ark measured 525 feet in length and the beam measured 87.5 feet
Did You Know
- The ark was made of Gopher wood
- The ark had 3 floors filled with rooms
- God put a rainbow in the sky as a covenant and promise to remind His people that He would never destroy all mankind by water again.
- It rained 40 days and 40 nights
- Noah had 3 sons named SHEM, HAM, AND JAPHETH
- Noah was 600 years old when he went on the ark
• With more detail in Genesis 7:2-3, God instructed Noah to take seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, and two of every kind of unclean animal
. Bible scholars have calculated that approximately 45,000 animals might have fit on the ark.
• Genesis 7:16 interestingly points out that God shut them in the ark, or “closed the door,” so to speak.
• The ark was exactly six times longer than it was wide.
OBJECTIONS TO THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNT
- The story is a myth based on other flood fables told by various ethnic groups who populated the Middle East at the time of Moses.
- There are many cultures all over the world which have tales of a flood that completely covered the earth and destroyed all but a few people. I argue that the reason that there is so much similarity between the myths and the Genesis account is that this was a real event. All men and women being descendants of Noah, they passed down the story of this major episode in the life of their ancestor. The only truly accurate account is the one which God reveals to us in Genesis through the pen of Moses.
- By the days of Noah there were not enough people on the earth to require a worldwide flood.
- I estimate that 12 to 15 generations had been born on the earth by the time of the flood. (Genesis chapter 5 tells us that Noah was the ninth generation from Adam.) Easily, there could have been a billion people alive on the earth by the 600th birthday of Noah.
- The flood was only a local flood and not worldwide.
- I see two major problems with the local flood theories. You cannot cover the highest mountains with water for several months if the flood was only regional. (Gen. 7:20). Secondly, and even more significant is the covenant which God made after the Flood. God promised, “Never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Gen. 9:11). If the flood of Noah was merely a local flood, then God would have broken that promise hundreds of times since then. Other problems include that a population as large as one billion would not likely be contained within a single valley that would be amenable to local flooding. Besides, some people and animals could have simply gone to higher ground as happens during local flooding today. Even if the world’s human population was not widely spread, nothing would have kept the birds and all the animals confined within that local flood area. Genesis 7:21-23 says that all creatures outside the Ark who lived on the land were destroyed. I also object to the possibility of a local flood because God could have merely instructed Noah and his family, along with the animals to be saved, to migrate out of the area that would be flooded.
- There is not enough water to cover the entire earth.
- There is nothing to convince us that the oceans were as deep or that the mountains were as high prior to the flood. Consider Psalm 104:5-9. “You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever, You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. The mountains rose; the valleys sank down to the place which You did establish for them. You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not return to cover the earth.” From these verses we might reasonably conclude that God made the mountains higher and the valleys deeper to make adjustments for the greater quantity of water on the earth after the Flood.
- There was not enough extra water to cover the entire planet.
- The Bible says, “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened,” in Genesis 7:11. This is consistent with saying that volcanoes erupted and that previously stored water high in the atmosphere was released. A great quantity of water is released with a volcanic eruption. If hundreds of volcanoes erupted both above and below the surface of the oceans, then the amount of water spewing forth on the earth is unimaginable to me. Genesis 1:7 tells us that the earth originally had water above the sky. With the greater surface area at a very high altitude in the earth’s atmosphere, the thickness of water, probably in a gaseous state, would not have to be very great to store an incredible quantity of water which God could release upon the earth. This water would have been thin enough to allow adequate sunlight through. Also, the weight of this water would have caused there to be a greater barometric pressure prior to the Flood. Worldwide atmospheric barometric pressure drops and increased sunlight penetration would have created a world that was very different after the Flood. These changes provide reasonable theories about the decreasing life spans and the extinction of numerous species after the Flood.
- Noah and his family could not have traveled to all lands and caught all those animals.
- Fortunately for Noah, he did not have to search the world and capture them. God caused these animals and birds to come to Noah. (Gen. 6:20).
- The animals could not have all migrated to the Ark because of natural barriers like high mountains, rivers, and seas.
- We cannot be sure what the earth’s geography was like prior to the Flood. Five or six generations after Noah, we can read in Genesis 10:25 that in the days of Peleg (which means “division”) that “the earth was divided.” Many believe that this means that God divided the earth into the continents we now see (though, I have to admit, it might instead mean that God divided people by language). If the land prior to the Flood was one big continent, this would indeed have facilitated the migration of animals to Noah’s location. After the Flood it would have provided a way for the animals unique to Australia to get there.
- The Ark was not big enough to hold all those animals and carry enough food for a year.
- A very real possibility was that the animals Noah put in the Ark were not full grown. It would not take as much food for young samples of each species. According to calculations in The Genesis Flood, by Whitcomb and Morris, 1961, page 69, the Ark could hold the equivalent of 522 standard two-decked railroad stock cars. To carry the no more than 35,000 estimated individual vertebrate animals, the average size being that of a sheep, would require no more than 146 such railroad cars.
- The animals would be out of control in the Ark during the rough weather.
- We must remember that God did not abandon Noah in the Ark. The Lord did not say get into the Ark at the beginning of the trip, nor come out of the Ark at the end. God told Noah to join Him in the Ark. (Note “Come into the Ark” in Genesis 7:1 and “Go out of the Ark” in chapter 8:16.) There is no doubt in my mind that God could have calmed the animals during the storm, as easily as Christ calmed the Sea of Galilee. (Mark 4:37-41). It is entirely possible that God even caused many of the animals to hibernate throughout much of the trip.
- The Ark could not have carried enough fresh water for a year.
- This is clearly not true when we consider that the Ark’s cargo space was equivalent to 522 railroad cars, as mentioned above. Also, the Ark was surrounded by drinkable water. If we assume that the ocean’s salt content was the same as today, then the excess Flood water likely diluted it sufficiently for drinking.
- Saltwater fish could not have survived in fresh or less salty water.
- Freshwater fish certainly cannot survive in saltwater. But, there are numerous examples of saltwater fish being able to survive for extended periods in fresh water. Keep in mind that the whole Flood period was a miracle of God, and I see no reason not to believe that He could keep saltwater fish alive during the event.
- There wouldn’t be enough oxygen for them at the high altitude at the peak of the flood.
- Atmospheric pressure and oxygen concentration are relative to sea level. As the sea rose, so also did the air we breathe. No matter if the Flood waters were as high as Mount Everest (which isn’t likely, as I explained above based on Psalm 104:5-9), the oxygen necessary to sustain life would have been more than adequate.
- The Ark had no rudder or sails.
- The Ark needed no means of propulsion or steering. There was no particular place that it needed to go. After exposing the land to the incredible Flood waters, it is unlikely that Noah’s family could have recognized any landmarks after the Flood. The Ark came to rest where God wanted it to come to rest.
- Noah and 7 other people would not be able to care for that many animals.
- This might be true if they were out of control or if they were all fully grown or if they were always awake or if they had no assistance from their Creator. The God who was powerful enough to destroy the earth with a massive Flood, was unquestionably able to care for those in the Ark for a year.
- God would not have killed innocent children in the Flood.
- History is filled with examples where children were destined to suffer because of the choices of their parents. If we believe these children were innocent, then we should be comforted to know that by their drowning, God removed them from a wicked society and took their souls to eternal peace and rest.
- There is not enough evidence that the whole earth was under water.
- I am told that prior to the theories of Charles Darwin, most educated men explained the vast quantities of fossils as evidence of the global Flood from the days of Noah. In spite of what you may have heard elsewhere, animals and plants decay rapidly under normal circumstances, rarely leaving any trace for very long that they ever even existed on the planet. The mechanism for creating fossils requires unusual circumstances where an organism is buried before it can be eaten by other animals and bacteria. It is my opinion that the fossil record and sedimentary layers are best explained by a worldwide Flood. The Bible tells us that this Flood occurred during the life of Noah to destroy evil men who refused to walk in the righteous ways of their Creator. source