Bruce Jones – Is Genesis 1-11 Historical and Accurate?
Written by Teddy on June 4, 2016
Part Four – “A Universal Flood or a Local Flood-Part Two”
Today we continue our series on a Biblical Defense of Genesis 1-11 by examining again the actual extent of the flood, having looked at the intent of the flood.
THE EXTENT OF THE FLOOD (Genesis 6:14-9:17) It would be sufficient for me to see in these first 13 verses that since all of mankind that God created had corrupted themselves so that “the wickedness of man was great on the earth (not a part of the earth) and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” that God’s judgment would be universal. Except of course as we are told Noah and his family would survive but no one else! In the verses that follow that fact is clear again and again. Here’s a few examples;
– Genesis 6:17 God says “I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth (a) to destroy all life under the heavens, (2) every creature that has the breath of life in it. (c)Everything on earth will perish. (2) Genesis 7:4 God says “every living substance that I have made I will destroy from the face of the earth” (3) Genesis 7:21-23 God says againAnd all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. So the sum total of this destruction by a flood is (a) ‘all life under the heavens”, (b) “every living substance” (which in the Hebrew means vegetation) (c) “all flesh” (which then includes animals) (d) “every man” (e) in fact to sum it up the flood destroyed “all living things” including the birds of the air. How anyone can twist it to say it was a local flood is guilty of superimposing a scientific world view on the text, and distorts it and misrepresents God and the truth He made clear in theses texts. One more observation. I counted the word “earth” (contrasted to “heavens”) 40 times. The whole earth!
THE ESCAPE FROM THE FLOOD-In chapter 6 God told Noah “the end of ALL flesh has come before Me for the earth is filled with violence and behold I am about to destroy them with the earth” What follows in verses 14-22 is God’s instructions for he and his family to build the Ark because He said “I’m bringing the flood of water upon the earth to destroy ALL flesh from under heaven (which again I want to underscore that there is absolutely no way this can be twisted to mean under a section under heaven, or region if you will.) And the results are commensurate with the judgment in that “everything that is on earth will perish” (verse 17). Then God makes a covenant with Noah that He and all the occupants of the Ark would survive the flood. Chapter seven includes the specific instructions God gave Noah for the Ark which he built as instructed (6:22) and after 120 years it was ready. Then on a very specific day (vs 11) God opened the floodgates of the sky (See Genesis 1:2 and the “waters above the earth”) as well as the “fountains of the great deep,” to create a universal flood. It’s important that we examine the text carefully to see various features that demonstrate it cannot be a local flood. As we examine the building of the ark and its residents it seems plain these instructions become nonsense if the flood is only local.
The Construction of the Ark-In Genesis 6:14-16 God instructs Noah how he and his family will survive the soon coming flood and tells him to build an Ark with specific dimensions and design. It is to be covered with pitch and gopher wood to withstand water seepage into the Ark. It was to be three stories high and filled with rooms I suspect to quarter the animals according to their kind. Given a Hebrew measurement of cubits (estimated to each be 18 inches long) it means the dimensions were to be about 450-500 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high, all in the shape of a long flatboat. It had a total capacity of 100,000 square feet or the capacity of over five hundred modern railroad cars. To help envision the size of the Ark commentators have made it like unto (a) twenty standard size basketball courts, or (b) or one and half football fields. Others have likened the size to (a) half the length of a modern Nimitz aircraft carrier or (b) big enough for NASA to lay three space shuttles on a deck space. Modern shipbuilders say it would be impossible to tip over as it was not made to be a sailboat, but more like a barge. And in the history of ships it wasn’t until 1843 that a modern steamship The Great Britain was built that almost had the same proportions. No wonder it maybe took as much as 100 years to build. All the while people no doubt mocked Noah’s folly, but he faithfully preached righteousness to them (2 Peter 2:5). Unfortunately no one repented so God “brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly” who would perish outside the ark when the flood came. I want to point out that there has now been several replicas made. One by a Christian young earth organization here in America and the other by a European business man who spent four years building a replica and plans somehow to bring it across to Atlantic though I am not sure how since the Ark resembles a long flatboat or barge without sails or power. Which underscore the mammoth task Noah had.
The Content of the Ark-So who alone did survive? As 2 Peter confirms and Genesis 7 tells us when the time came God said to Noah “Enter the ark, you and all your household” But then there are animals that need to survive for obviously outside the Ark they would all die (not migrate somewhere else) and if you doubt that listen again to what God said to Noah. (a) Genesis 6 says“And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. Take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them”. Pardon my redundancy but please note this is not a local flood. It’s intent is to “destroy ALL flesh wherein is the breath of life But in order to start fresh God is going to rescue representatives from the animal kingdom for after the flood they shall reproduce “after their kind” to repopulate the earth. (b) Genesis 7:1-3, “Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.” Now please underscore again that it is Noah ALONE and family are to be the only survivors of the flood. But also as I said, there will be survivors from the animal kingdom and the birds. (c) Genesis 7:13-17 On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, ]all sorts of birds. They went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed it behind him. In the interests of our main focus lets us not forget that God had warned the world for 120 years this was going to happen but then the entire “ungodly world” would perish and we can only imagine the horror and despair those outside the ark of salvation who refused to listen to Noah’s faithful preaching all that time. Just try and substitute a regional or local terminology where these multiple universal terms are used and see if it makes sense or nonsense. It will not only be grossly inconsistent but in reality a perversion of the Word of God who orchestrated the events and authored the record.