Skip to main content

In the Beginning, God - Part 17

in-tge-beginning-god-part-17

From Part 16

How did all these animals, plus food and other cargo, fit into the ark? Surely, there would not be enough room! As mentioned before, there was more than enough room. Consider this: At the very most, about 35,000 vertebrates would have been onboard the ark. Considering the average size to be that of a sheep, 240 sheep can be transported in 75 double-deck train stock cars. The total cubic size of the ark was equal to 522 train cars. Keep in mind the ocean creatures would not have been included and probably the insect world was not included. It is likely young adults were taken onboard the ark. They would have been smaller and would have had a longer reproductive cycle for repopulating the earth after the flood.

No doubt, young dinosaurs would have been included. Very few dinosaurs were large, but even the large dinosaurs were born in a size comparable to other animal's offspring.

in-tge-beginning-god-part-17

Continuing

Folks sometime scoff at the idea of a universal flood, but there is much geological evidence to support a worldwide flood. I am not a scientist, so I will refer you to other sources. Answers in Genesis has many good articles explaining the geological evidence, as does the Institution of Creation Research.

There is countless evidence that the account in Genesis 7 is describing a universal flood, but scoffers deliberately overlook the facts. Some evidences for the Flood includes the evidence of tradition. Both the Christian Church and the Jewish population have historically maintained that Genesis describes a universal flood.

What about the cultural evidence? There are literally hundreds of different accounts of a global flood in nearly every culture that we have discovered. These have remarkable parallels to the Genesis account, such as raining for many days, and the hero is saved in a giant boat with all the animals. Is it more realistic to assume that every culture has had a local flood in which someone was only saved by an ark with all the animals, or that one universal flood occurred, and every culture has some memory of it?

Textual Evidence speaks of a universal flood. Stephen Schrader argues that “water, which seeks its own level, could not continue to rise for 150 days in a local Mesopotamian valley flood.” And John Davis points out, “If the flood were local, why would an ark be necessary at all? God could have directed Noah, his family, and the animals to a safe place before the flood came. The argument that the ark was merely a test of Noah’s faith seems to beg the question.” Couldn’t God have tested Noah’s faith by calling him, like Abram, to leave his home and travel to a faraway land that would be safe from the flood?

Of course, the truth is found in the Bible. There was a universal flood not because of geological evidence, not because of cultural evidence, not because of textual evidence, but because of biblical evidence.

Of the second day of Creation (Genesis 1:6-8), we read, “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says this of the word firmament - “The region of the air; the sky or heavens. In scripture, the word denotes an expanse, a wide extent; for such is the signification of the Hebrew word, coinciding with regio, region, and reach. The original therefore does not convey the sense of solidity, but of stretching, extension; the great arch or expanse over our heads, in which are placed the atmosphere and the clouds, and in which the stars appear to be placed, and are really seen.”

It would seem God originally placed the atmosphere between two layers of water, the waters below the firmament and the waters above the firmament. A canopy of water, if you will, existed above the earth’s atmosphere. Keep this in mind as we go to Genesis 7:11, 12 - “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”

Scroll to Continue

The flood was universal. But how was it caused? “The fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened” (7:11).

To further understand the canopy of water from above, we must first understand the fountains of the great deep.

in-tge-beginning-god-part-17

The fountains of the great deep probably refers to vast stores of subterranean and suboceanic waters. God caused the Earth’s crust to shift and these waters to burst forth. The shifting of the earth’s crust would have produced numerous volcanic explosions that would have launched magma, dust, water, gas and air into the atmosphere. These explosions would have opened up the windows of the heavens, and the celestial waters would join with the terrestrial waters to flood the earth.

While there is not enough water in the atmosphere today to flood the earth for forty days and forty nights, during the time of Adam through Noah, there was likely a great canopy that circled the earth. This is the “expanse” that God made on the second day, and it remained in place until His great judgment in Genesis chapter 7. It would have provided more than enough water to flood the earth, and, once the flood waters receded, they are now contained in our oceans, glaciers, rivers, and water cycle of precipitation.

As Peter reminds us, when God created the earth, He simply spoke all of creation into existence. Here, we see that He worked through nature to utterly destroy that same creation. God is worthy to be feared, and He is worthy of awe. He completely wiped out all of creation—except for Noah, his family, and the animals. God Himself shut Noah in the ark.

Genesis 7:17-23 gives us the sad commentary of the destruction of the earth - “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. “

We have talked about biblical numerology before. Here we have the ark suspended in the flood for forty days, the number of testing and trials. In reality, Noah’s trial began with the building of the ark. For 120 years (Genesis 6:3), Noah preached to the rebellious crowds. Filled with heartache for his people, he faithfully gave out the word of God to a mocking, cynical humanity filled with hate and animosity toward himself. All rejected his warning.

But Noah’s trial would continue much longer than forty days as well for we learn in chapter seven, verse 24 that Noah and his family would be on board the ark for another 150 days.

We'll continue on in the to the next part soon.

© 2022 William Kovacic

Related Articles