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Genesis 7:17-24 and 8:1-4
Last week I mentioned that some of the material we were going to cover was not actually found in scripture, but rather were theories developed by Christian men who have searched the scriptures and also observed the world around them.
I am sure you realize that it is my intention to teach the Word of God rather than the theories of men. However, in this case, I believe it is to our advantage to be knowledgeable about these studies, even though we should not look upon them as inspired.
The book of Genesis gives us a great many details about creation and the flood of Noah's day that are not available anywhere else.
It is a record of history that goes back to the earliest times, and because it is inspired, we can rely upon its accuracy.
Yes, in Genesis we do have the inspired record of the beginning of our earth, but God has also left us with a physical record, that is, a fossil record, literally written in stone, that testifies to His judgment of sin.
However, this fossil record does require some interpretation, and, unfortunately, just as man has misinterpreted the inspired Word to suit his own purposes, so he has misinterpreted the fossil record to supposedly prove his evolutionary theories.
The Christian geologist must also interpret the message in the fossil record to the best of his ability, for the subject of fossils is not mentioned in scripture.
However, he has the decided advantage of being able to refer to the Word of God as his guidebook, and so is given many details about Noah's flood.
His conclusions are still theoretical, and might not be correct in every detail. However, they represent a careful and honest study of the subject, and I think we should be armed with this knowledge so we will be better able to defend the inspired Genesis record.
So I will be continuing to make reference to these theories in the next few lessons, and I hope they will be of benefit to you.
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Genesis 7:11-13 "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.
As we closed our lesson last week, Noah and his family had just entered the ark.
God had shut the door and sealed it forever.
Outside, something of mammoth proportions was taking place.
The "fountains of the great deep," which no doubt were giant underground reservoirs, were suddenly "broken up."
Probably this wonderful system of water reservoirs had been powered by subterranean heat, and had pumped water through underground channels to supply the earth’s rivers.
So, God would only need to increase the intensity of these volcanic forces to blow the lid off!
Next, the canopy of water vapour that had protected the earth from the sun's rays began to condense and pour down from "the windows of heaven" without abating.
As God had divided the waters on the second day of creation, He now combined them again, as they had been when "darkness was upon the face of the deep."
The Antediluvian age was over.
God was wiping the slate clean to make a new beginning.
But it would be a new beginning without the benefits provided on the second day of creation.
No more would the firmament divide the waters in the midst.
The vapour canopy that had been so beneficial to the earth--a virtual tent to live in--would now give us ice caps and larger oceans.
We would shiver at the poles, and bake at the equator, and complain about the weather in between.
Instead of streams far under our feet to supply our rivers, we would have rain on our heads, and snow in our face.
But it would be a new beginning after all, which was far more than the human race deserved.
And it would be a new beginning with a cleansed earth, a rainbow, and a sacrifice that promised better things ahead.
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The word "prevailed" is used three times in this chapter.
Twice it is used between verses 17 to 20, and literally means were overwhelmingly mighty.
Let's look at these verses, V 17-20: "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.
Verse 17 indicates the steady rising of the water level during the first 40 days.
That is, "the waters increased, and bare up the ark."
So, during those first 40 days, the water level had at least risen sufficiently to cause the ark to float.
Since the ark was 30 cubits high and fully loaded, I believe it would need about 15 cubits (or approximately 22-1/2 feet of water) to cause that to happen.
And after the word "prevailed" in verse 18, we see the words "increased greatly."
This doesn't seem to indicate a slow and steady increase in water level, but rather a flood that was overwhelmingly mighty.
The flood poured in with a vengeance, and now the ark was moving about upon the waters.
Then comes verse 19, which says, "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered."
First, the flood had "increased," and then it "increased greatly," and, finally, it "prevailed exceedingly."
So it was a turbulent, mighty flood, capable of eroding the hills and mountains, and uprooting the trees as it "prevailed" to the point that "all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered."
And then in V 20, we read, "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered."
No, there is no possibility that this was a local flood, as some would maintain.
Verse 20 says the waters were 15 cubits higher than the mountains.
And why must the waters prevail 15 cubits above the mountains?
Well, for one thing, it left no avenue of escape for the godless Antediluvian generation.
But, for another, since the ark was 30 cubits high, it would need that extra 15 cubits to prevent it from being ripped open on the jagged mountain peaks.
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So the flood was overwhelming in its coverage and in its depth, and, as we skip down to verse 24, we will find that it was also overwhelming in its time span.
V 24 "And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days."
Then after those 150 days, God ceased its upward climb by stopping the sources of supply.
Genesis 8:2 "The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained."
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However, once again, creation had paid an awful price for man’s sin.
Genesis 7: 21-23 says, "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:
Judgment Day had come.
Man and every land-based creature had died.
The bottom line then was this--"Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."
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I think this is a good time for us to look at the wonderful provision that God had supplied to preserve life, namely, Noah's ark.
I don't think there has been anything in God's Word so maligned and made fun of as Noah's ark has been.
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I remember one day, years ago, when I was discussing the Bible with a man at work, and I happened to mention Noah's ark.
He looked at me in surprise, and said, "you don't really believe in Noah's ark, do you?"
When I told him I certainly did, he just shook his head in disbelief.
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Now, of course, God has not given us all the details concerning the manner in which the animals and their food supply were accommodated in the ark.
But He did give us the exact dimensions of that ark, and also He gave us other hints that Christian men have pondered, and, overtime, they have built up very logical theories.
One of these men is John Woodmorappe, who has made a great many mathematical calculations concerning the ark.
And he has written a book on the subject called "Noah's ark: a Feasibility Study.”
By the way, you can find a great deal of information about the ark, etc., on the web site answersingenesis.org, where, incidentally, I have found some of the information that I am using for this lesson.
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Of course, the question that always comes up is, How did Noah get all those animals into the ark?
To answer this question, we must first of all estimate how many animals were needed to replenish the earth.
Now Noah only had to be concerned with the land-based animals--"All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land--."
Although there must have been great devastation of sea life and plant life because of the violence of the waters, no doubt some sea animals would survive the turbulence, and vegetation could repopulate from seeds and cuttings, and also from floating masses of vegetation.
So our concern here is with the land-based animals, seven of each clean animal, two of the unclean, and seven of each kind of fowl.
Genesis 7:2-3 "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and
his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
Now, Genesis 6:20 notes that each animal was "after his kind.”
V 20 "Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive."
This phrase, "after his kind," refers to the fact that God has locked animals into their species.
This is something that the evolutionist has chosen to ignore.
However, even though different species cannot crossbreed, God has given them the capacity in their genes for variation within certain limits.
So, without getting into a lot of detail, let me say that Mr. Woodmorappe has come up with a figure of 16,000 individual animals that would be needed aboard the ark to repopulate the earth and then develop into the various breeds that we have today.
Now that still seems like a lot of animals, considering the fact that the largest dinosaur could weigh 85 tons and be as much as 90 feet long.
By the way, although we will not have time to discuss it here, creationists do believe that dinosaurs did exist both before and, for a short time, after the flood.
However, concerning the dinosaurs, of the 668 supposed types, only 106 weighed more than 10 tons when fully grown.
Another factor to consider is the fact that God never actually said the ark was filled with adult animals.
If we suppose for a moment that Noah had taken in children or teenagers of the species, then it would be quite a different story.
In fact, the average size of all animals, if juvenile, would be quite small, with only 11% being much larger than a sheep.
Of course, we don't really know what age of animal went into the ark. God did not tell us that.
However, this is at least an interesting possibility.
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Also, we must carefully consider the size of the ark that needed to accommodate all these animals.
This is quite easily done because the dimensions are given in scripture.
The ark was 300x50x30 cubits, so taking the very conservative assumption of 1 cubic equalling 17.5 inches, the dimensions would be 438 feet long, 72.9 feet wide and 43.8 feet high, giving it a total capacity of approximately 1,400,000 cubic feet.
I'm glad I didn't have to figure that out.
Or to give you a better idea of the capacity of the ark, 1,400,000 cubic feet would be equivalent to 522 standard railway cars, each with a capacity of holding 240 sheep.
I'm glad I didn't have to figure that out either.
From this point, Mr. Woodmorappe goes into great detail, which I cannot get into here in this lesson, but his conclusions are these:
The 16,000 animals could be housed in the ark, and there would be additional space left over for food, and for Noah and his family.
And there would be extra room to provide good ventilation, and room to move about.
It would have also been possible to stack up cages, but even if this was not done, there would still be plenty of floor space in the three-storey ark to accommodate everyone.
I know that I have not supported this argument with many details here, but if you are interested, I am sure that Mr. Woodmorappe’s book will fill in any gaps.
Also, as we have mentioned in previous lessons, the animals at the time of creation, and no doubt throughout the Antediluvian age, were vegetarian.
So no refrigeration would be required to preserve their food supply, and they would not be in danger of being eaten by each other.
Genesis 1:30 "And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat (or food): and it was so."
Drinking water would be no problem, as Mr. Woodmorappe has estimated that if it needed to be stored on board, it would only take up 9.4% of the volume of the ark.
And this space would not even be required if rainwater was collected for that purpose.
They did have plenty of that, you know.
And even though there seems to be no need to do so, there is also the possibility that God could have caused some of the animals to go into hibernation, and so consume less food.
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So the bottom line is this: Christians do not need to be embarrassed by the account of Noah's ark.
Even though God could have supplied the world miraculously with a whole new set of animals, He chose instead to preserve them in Noah's ark, and He chose to do it within the realm of physical possibility.
So then, all peoples who now live upon this earth are descended from Noah’s three sons.
Likewise all land-based animals are descended from those specially selected by God to enter the ark.
God's purposes had been fully accomplished.
The world had been cleansed, and a new beginning was now possible.
V 1-2 " And God remembered Noah, and every living
thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to
pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;
After the flood had "prevailed" for 150 days, great changes would have occurred under those waters.
The violence of the storm would have eroded mountains and hills, and the remains of multitudes of dead bodies now buried in the resulting sediments, would be washed into the Antediluvian seas and oceans, the lowest spots on the earth.
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Verse 1 says, "God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark.” Not that God had ever forgotten them, but this is merely a Hebraism to indicate that He "began again to act on their behalf.”
So in order to make the earth suitable for habitation once again, God did three things:
He caused a wind to pass over the earth, He stopped the fountains of the deep from further eruptions, and He closed the windows of heaven.
No doubt this phenomenon of wind was something new to the earth, as under the old conditions, where the earth’s canopy had provided an even temperature worldwide, there would have been no great movements of air.
So now, with this vapour-shield dissipated, there would be sharp temperature differences between the equator and the poles, and, consequently, great air movements would have begun.
With the rotation of the earth influencing these movements of air, and with no land mass to impede the sweep of the wind over the shoreless ocean, it's effects would be quite violent.
This fierce wind would have caused tremendous waves and currents, and, consequently, vast quantities of water would be evaporated, especially in the region of the equator.
All of this activity is suggested by the words, "and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged."
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However, wind, waves, and evaporation could hardly account for more than the minor lowering of the water level.
If continents were again to appear on an earth that had been so eroded by the flood waters, there would need to be a drastic rearrangement of the earth's surface.
Continental land mass would need to rise from the waters, and ocean basins would need to deepen and widen to receive the now tremendous supply of water.
Once again, let me emphasize that these details are the theories of Christian men who have studied the Word and observed the earth we now live in.
However, this process of land movement is not all
theoretical, as we can see quite a vivid description of this very thing in Psalm
104:6-9. "Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood
above the mountains.
No doubt during the flood, and the breaking up of the "great deep" there would have been a great deal of volcanic action that would have left the earth's crust in a highly unstable condition.
Furthermore, the erosion of the Antediluvian continents would have resulted in large amounts of sediment being deposited into the seas and oceans.
Also, it would seem logical that the great subterranean caverns that had collected water from the seas and oceans and supplied the land-based rivers would have been located under the Antediluvian continents.
So the theory is that these great subterranean caverns, now empty, and with the enormous weight of a universal flood above them, would collapse, forming deep basins, to become our present-day oceans and seas.
At the same time that the subterranean caverns were collapsing to form the depressions for seas and oceans, the former seas and oceans which would then be the higher ground would become the new continents.
So it seems that our present-day continents, with their load of sediment and fossils, were once the Antediluvian seas and oceans.
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V 3-4 " And the waters returned from off the earth
continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were
Once the earth’s crust began to move, that is, move the previous land surfaces downward to form the new ocean basins--and the previous sea bottoms upward to form the new continents--the waters would begin to run off these emerging continents---"returned from off the earth continually.”
Because of the run-off of all that water, probably in quite violent fashion, deep gorges and canyons would have been carved into the land’s surface.
So, in view of that fact, it is quite significant to note that today, all over the world, interior lakes and seas often show evidence that that they used to contain a much higher level of water.
Also, many rivers show signs that they once carried a much greater quantity of water than they do today, giving mute testimony to the existence of the great world-wide flood spoken of in Genesis.
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Some of the tremendous volcanic action that would have occurred when the fountains of the deep were broken up, no doubt would have raised mountains ranges where they had not been previously.
In the Ararat region, including
Also found in that mountain are certain sedimentary formations containing marine fossils, indicating, of course, that this ground was once at the bottom of a sea.
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It was apparently on this mountain that the ark came to rest as the flood waters began to abate.
The ark had finally come to rest, but it still wasn't the right time for Noah to leave the ark, as the world was not yet suitable for man or beast.
In fact, Noah and his family would spend 371 days in the ark before they stepped into the new world.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So, we are going to leave Noah and his family right there.
The motion of the water had finally ceased, the ark rested on solid ground, but life inside the ark went on much as it had before.
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