The Genesis Flood: Genesis 6-7

Glenn Addington By Glenn Addington, 13th Feb 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

While the Biblical account of the flood may be considered a myth by some, it demands critical examination. The realities of the flood surpass myth and legend, and the evidence of the flood exists worldwide.

Regarding the flood

The reality of the persons and events connected with the great flood described in the early chapters of Genesis are confirmed in six New Testament passages. In five of these six passages, the supernatural origin of the flood is either stated or implied. These passages are Matthew 24, verses 37 to 42 and in Luke 17, versus 26 through 27. Hebrews 11:7 tells of Noah being warned by God, implying the supernatural origin of the flood. In II Peter 2:4-5, we read that God brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. In II Peter 3:5-6, we are told that, “it was by the word of God that the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” We dare not ignore the statements of Scripture concerning the supernatural forces which God used to launch the great flood so that we do not think of it as a mere chance combination of natural and presently occurring processes. Scripture presents the flood as a unique, once for all, never to be repeated event of earth history. Secondly, some scientists and theologians choose to forget, as we read in II Peter 3:5 that God is completely capable of accomplishing exactly the kinds of miracles spoken of in His word. The refusal to accept the supernatural or miraculous as spoken of in God’s word makes it impossible for one to be a Christian. We must above all believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave following His crucifixion. We must accept the clear statements of the Bible text concerning the cause and effects of the flood. Scripture demands that we accept the doctrine of the flood, and believe in the divinely revealed design of the ark, the arrival and care of the animals, the uplift of ocean waters from beneath as well as the release of water from above as in rain, the formation of our present ocean basins, and the formation of our present continents and mountain ranges.

About the Ark

Noah’s Ark was the largest seagoing vessel ever built until the late 19th century when giant metal ships were first constructed. The ark was approximately 450’ long and 75 ’ wide. The Babylonian account which speaks of the ark as a cube shows complete ignorance, as it would have been unstable and would have spun around slowly, and been uncontrollable. The dimensions given for the ark guarantee the stability of the ark. The ratio of the ark, length to breadth, is 6 to 1. Modern ocean liners have somewhat similar ratios, but they’re designed for speed. This was not a consideration when it came to the ark.
The God-revealed dimensions recorded in Genesis are reasonable and appropriate in their proportions and importance in light of the purpose of the ark. Danish barges have been constructed, modeled after the ark, and these have shown that the ark had greater capacity than ships with curved or shaped sides. These are more seaworthy and almost impossible to capsize. A recent study of the stability of the ark concluded it would have to be turned completely vertical before it could be tipped over. The length being six times greater than the width would keep it from being subjected to wave action, since waves tend to occur in broken and varying patterns. In every way, the design of the ark made it highly stable, and well-suited for its purpose-to ride out the storms of the year of the great flood. Being a flat bottomed vessel, it was intended only to float, and had one third more carrying capacity than vessels with sloping sides with similar dimensions. Assuming the length of the cubit to have been 17 ½ inches, the available floor space of this three deck vessel was over 95,000 ft.², and its volume was 1,396,000 cubic feet. The amount of space available in the ark as described is equivalent to 520 modern railroad stock cars. It would have been more than sufficient to carry two of every species of air breathing animal in the world today, along with the necessary water and food for them. The remaining space would have been occupied by Noah’s family and five additional of each of the animals required for sacrifice. The supernatural revelation granted to Noah concerning the ark serves to emphasize the fact that the flood was not a natural providential event in earth history which could later be interpreted poetically as a miraculous judgment event. The hundred year advanced warning given to Noah with the required preparations puts the flood in the category of an ‘end of the world’ type event for those living at the time. The size and proportions of the ark constitute a strong argument for the divine inspiration of the book of Genesis. If the story had been an invention by Moses or the revision of some of the flood legends of his day, he could not have described the ark as we read about it in the book of Genesis. He would had no idea how large a structure would be required to fulfill that purpose. Another supernatural event associated with the flood is the gathering of 30 or 40,000 animals into the ark. Noah was not required to take only the domesticated animals, but Scripture plainly states that the totality of all air breathing animals in the world were required to be gathered.
If we insist on making the responsibility of the gathering of all the animals on Noah, and eliminating the supernatural elements, that makes the Bible account completely unreasonable. While some choose to ridicule the Bible account, speaking of the impossibility of gathering together all the animals, they’ve apparently not read the Genesis account. God says in chapter 6, verse 20, “of every kind will come to you.” This means it wasn’t God’s design that Noah and his sons and their wives all go out and capture them, but rather that God would send them to Noah. One author admits that the animals must have been prompted by an overruling divine direction because it’s nearly impossible for some creatures to simply come in pairs, male and female. Many want to ridicule the ark account because of the monumental task of taking care of the animals. Feeding the animals and carrying away their waste could have been an overwhelming task. It’s possible that God could have supernaturally imposed a year-long hibernation-type state on all the animals, so that their bodily functions would have been reduced to the minimum and would have lessened the responsibility of the care required. The reader is encouraged to find and read the book entitled, “Inside Noah’s Ark: Why It Worked”, edited by Laura Welch, copyright 2016 by Answers In Genesis – USA. The ISBN number is 9 780890 5 19325. Not until after Noah brought the creatures out of the ark did God command them to’ breed abundantly on the earth, to be fruitful and multiply’ in Genesis, chapter 8, verse 17. So there was no concern for newborn creatures on the ark.

The breaking up of the fountains of the great deep

In Genesis chapter 7, verse 11, were told of the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep. They were all broken up on the same day, the 17th day of the second month of the 600th year of Noah’s life. The resulting catastrophe was great. It completely upset the balance that had existed between the continents and the oceans. The result was what Peter described in II Peter 3:6 as’ the world that then was, was overflowed with water and perished.” Along with the rain of 40 days and 40 nights, caused by the destruction of the canopy there was over the earth, the geological upheavals that took place continued for six weeks until the flood was high enough to cover all the mountains. It was this way for 110 days, until the waters had destroyed every living thing on the whole surface of the earth. God acknowledges the severity of all this, when He says in Genesis 8:21 and 22 “neither will I again smite every living thing is I have done. As long as the earth remains seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night will never cease.”
He reinforces that thought in Genesis 9:8-17 with the rainbow covenant. The canopy spoken of earlier was not just the usual cloud cover that we see today, since it is described in Genesis chapter 7:11 as the floodgates of the sky. This justifies the continuous rain for 40 days and 40 nights. Not until after this are we told of great winds, in Genesis chapter 8, verse one. These winds would imply significant temperature differences between equatorial and Polar Regions for the first time. In these Polar Regions, where tropical plants and animals once lived in abundance, huge masses of snow and ice suddenly began to form.. We read of this in Genesis 8:2 and 3.
Gen 8:2 Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;
Gen 8:3 and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.
Ps 104:6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters were standing above the mountains.
Ps 104:7 At Your rebuke they fled, At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.
Ps 104:8 The mountains rose; the valleys sank down To the place which You established for them.
Ps 104:9 You set a boundary that they may not pass over, So that they will not return to cover the earth.
Psalm 104:6 speaks of the flood, while verse seven speaks of the receding of the waters. Verse eight tells of mountain building, or the geological and topographical changes to the earth. And in conjunction with the promise that floodwaters would not overwhelm the earth again, verse nine speaks of a boundary said the waters, they would not return and cover the earth. The mountains in the pre-flood world were probably less than six or 7000 feet high, because they were completely covered by the waters of the flood. Mount Ararat is now more than 3 miles high. It would have been very difficult to descend from by Noah and his family members and all the creatures that were on the ark. Verse eight tells us that it was not until after the flood that the mountains rose. While there is some disagreement on heights of the mountains, there’s no question as to how long the flood lasted. The flood reached mountain covering depth in six weeks and continue to cover all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven for an additional six weeks. 150 days after the flood began, the water starting to subside and the ark came to rest on one of the highest mountain peaks. 10 weeks later nothing could be seen above the water level except other mountains. Still another 21 weeks passed before Noah could safely leave the ark. The description of the duration and depth of the floodwaters does not allow the possibility that it was just a local flood. Many teachers and Bible study books tell us that the flood was only a local flood. Why can’t that be so? If it was just a local flood, as some say, why not just escape to higher ground? And those insistent that this is a local flood must face the Scripture text that speaks of the death of all living men outside the ark. And if it was just a local flood, why bother to build this monstrous vessel?
A careful reading of the Scripture text confirms the total destruction of the human race by the flood. Scripture plainly states that the purpose of the flood was to wipe out sinful and degenerate humanity and this could not have been accomplished unless the flood was worldwide. Scripture repeatedly states that Noah and his family were the only ones who escaped death due to the flood. We see this in Genesis chapter 6 verses eight and nine, verses 17 through 18, chapter 7 verse one, first Peter 3:20, in second Peter 2:5. The Lord Jesus stated that the flood destroyed all men except Noah and his family in Luke chapter 17 and Matthew 24. The covenant of the rainbow spoken of in Genesis 9 obviously applies to the entire human race. But the Scriptures repeatedly states that God made this covenant with Noah and his sons. The conclusion then is the whole of humanity has descended from Noah’s family, and the flood destroyed the entire pre-flood population of man. Again, reading the text of Scripture we must conclude that the flood was geographically universal and that mankind had spread beyond the limits of the Mesopotamian region. The minimum amount of time between Adam and the flood has been estimated to be 1656 years. During that time, between the ability to breed and the long lifespans of men, the population surely expanded far beyond the Mesopotamian region. The scripture text suggests worldwide rather than only a single location. The history of Indian tribes on the North American continent helps illustrate this point. There is also evidence of human fossil remains in many parts of the earth, which give indications of pre-flood civilizations. Genesis chapter 6, verse 11 and verse 13 both tell us the earth was filled with violence. The apostle Peter in second Peter three spoke of the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. Peter’s statement would be meaningless or foolish if the flood had only been a local flood. And in much of Bible understanding, context is a huge factor. Scripture text says ‘all the high mountains were covered and all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on dry land, died.’ We do not have the authority to decide that ‘all’ can mean anything but what it says.
The book of Genesis is clearly divided into two main sections. Chapters 1 through 11 deal with universal origins: the material universe, plants, animals, human beings, sin, redemption, and the nations of the earth. Chapters 12 through 50 deal with the origin of the Hebrew nation and its tribes, only mentioning other nations when they came into contact with Israel. If one wants to get an idea of the significance of the flood, it should be realized that three and half chapters in the midst of these 11 chapters deal with the flood, while only two chapters focus on the creation of all things, while one of those chapters focuses solely on Adam and Eve. Understanding that the account is fully inspired by God, we are not reading simply of Noah's observations.

The effects of the Flood

What about the effects of the flood? Are they evident today? Whitcomb, in his book entitled The World That Perished, says this: “apart from the specific miracles mentioned in Scripture, which were necessary to begin and to terminate this period of global judgment, the flood accomplished its work of destruction by purely natural processes. These are capable of being studied to a certain extent in hydraulics laboratories and in local flood situations today.” There was nothing supernatural about the speed and direction of the moving waters as they spread across the earth, or the erosion that took place. The extent and devastation of the flood demand that we look for evidence of it today.
The world has often witnessed the incredible devastation of huge amounts of water on the rampage. In Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 1889, 20 million tons of water swept into the city and killed 2200 people. In November 1970, a 25 foot high wave driven by winds of from 100 to 150 miles an hour rolled in from the Bay of Bengal to annihilate the lowlands of the Ganges River Delta area of India. In Cherbourg, France, a protective sea wall was composed of large rocks and a wall 20 feet high. Storm waves hurled 7,000 pounds stones over the wall and moved 65 ton concrete blocks 60 feet. If these results of the local flood could be so devastating, how much destruction would occur if a wave rose above the highest mountains and swept over the entire world for 22 weeks before it even began to stop? There are some people who believe that the flood was a tranquil flood, doing little damage. Those who hold to that theory are not acquainted with the power of tremendous flood waters.
Back to the subject of the evidence we see today of the effects of the Genesis flood. As the floodwaters washed over the land, they would bring huge amounts of sediment. This would lay down layer after layer as each current of water came over the land. This would happen again and again, until in some places the layers of sediment are thousands of feet high. Looking at the Grand Canyon in Arizona in the United States, one can see the thick horizontal deposits of different types of sediment, layer upon layer. The Grand Canyon is more than 5000 feet deep in some places, and more than 100 miles long. In some places where the material had not yet solidified, the water running off would have cut a channel and this is the reasonable explanation for the depth of the Colorado River gorge. What we see in the Grand Canyon are flat lying sedimentary rocks which are evidence of the many layers of sediment deposits. The sedimentary rocks cover most of Utah and Arizona and large portions of Colorado and New Mexico. In some places, they are thousands of feet thick. The different layers include limestones, shales, and Sandstone. Following the flood, while the rocks were still comparatively soft, the great canyons were rapidly scoured out as the waters rushed down from the newly uplifted planes to the ocean basins.

About fossils

Inside the sedimentary deposits there will be found billions of plant and animal fossils. When fish die in the oceans they do not sink to the bottom and become fossils. They either decompose or are picked to pieces by scavengers. It is estimated that more than 100,000 different species of fossils have already been found. Some rocks are composed almost entirely of the remains of marine animals. Billions of fossils of crustaceans, fish, land animals, and plants, many of them almost perfectly preserved in sediment deposits, had to have been buried quickly, so that no decay or deterioration could take place. One evidence of the flood may be found in the four to 5 million mammoths and other large animals which were found in the north polar regions, many of them instantly frozen and preserved whole and undamaged. In some cases they were either standing or kneeling upright. Some were found even to have food in their stomachs undigested, and food still in their mouths. In order to freeze animals of this size in such a way that crystals were not form in their body cells, temperatures 150° below zero would have to come upon them instantly. Those who don’t believe in the effects of the flood have no answer to the puzzle of these quick frozen mammoths. Darwin admitted he had no solution to the problem. In Lincoln County, Wyoming, almost perfect specimens of fish, turtles, insects, and mammals have been found together with huge palm leaves. These palm leaves are from 6 to 8 feet in length and from 3 to 4 feet wide.
Coal has been found in many parts of the world, including Antarctica. Each foot of coal represents many feet of compressed plant remains, and some coal seams are as much as 30 or 40 feet in thickness. Those who believe in uniformitarianism can’t explain the picture of a large tree trunk turned into coal penetrating vertically through several layers of sedimentary rock. This could only happen with rapid burial. Another evidence left by the flood are perfectly preserved tracks of many kinds of animals. These include dinosaurs and human beings. One scientist said the tides of the flood would eventually sweep across the land and, filled with sediment and rock fragments, scrape the land surface and reduce the continents to planes. Calcium carbonate would be formed when the friction of the tides bearing so much sediment would raise the ocean temperature and create carbon dioxide. Ancient mountain systems were worn down to their roots, leaving a clean slate on which the record came to be written which is usually called historical geology. Huge mountain ranges give every evidence of sudden and recent up thrust, which secular scientists cannot explain. The presence of enormous masses of volcanic rock all over the world is another evidence of the flood. The Columbia Plateau of the northwestern United States is a tremendous lava plateau several thousand feet thick and covering 200,000 mi.² The rapid change that brought about the quick freezing of the mammoths we mentioned earlier also created the continental ice sheets in North America and Europe the ice sheet in North America is 4,000,000 mi.² while the ice sheets in Europe were 2,000,000 mi.²
With the mention of fossils, two more things need to be said. The question as to why there aren’t more human fossils found is because, with the powerful force of the water churning over the surface of the earth, moving massive amounts of stone and rock, humans swept up in this mixture would have been completely disintegrated. Another evidence of the flood are the massive fossil graveyards found in various parts of the world. There is a vast shale bed of fossilized herring in California. The following statement was made about that fossil bed: “enormous numbers of herring were found crowded in one of the layers of shale. It was estimated that more than 1 billion fish, averaging 6 to 8 inches in length, died on 4 mi.² of bay bottom. Dr. Edwin Colbert, a prominent authority on dinosaurs, has made the following statements .In New Mexico, workers cutting into the hillside revealed a remarkable dinosaur graveyard in which there were literally scores of skeletons one on top of another and interlaced with each other. It would appear that some local catastrophe had overtaken these dinosaurs, so that they all died together and were buried together. In Wyoming, fossil hunters found the hillside literally covered with large fragments of dinosaur bones. It was a veritable mine dinosaur bones, the concentration was so remarkable; it reminded one of logs in a logjam. In Alberta, Canada, innumerable bones and many fine skeletons of dinosaurs and other associated reptiles have been unearthed from the Badlands here, particularly in the stretch of river east of Steveville. This is truly a veritable dinosaur graveyard. In Belgium it could be seen that the fossil boneyard was evidently one of gigantic proportions, especially notable because of its vertical extension through more than 100 feet of rock. Similar dinosaur graveyards are found on every continent, all over the world. There are also great beds of fossil mammal remains; elephant beds of Siberia, hippopotamus beds of Sicily, beds of amphibians in the Permian beds in Texas and tremendous beds of plant fossils, which resulted in coal. When Charles Darwin was writing his book the Origin of Species, he complained that there wasn’t sufficient fossil evidence to prove his theory of evolution, which focused on transition of one type creature into another. But in Science magazine, volume 170, dated December 18, 1971, the author wrote “there is no need to apologize any longer for the lack of fossils in the fossil record. In some ways it has become almost unmanageably rich, and discovery is outpacing integration.” All these fossils are clearly evidence of rapid burial, which only comes about because of catastrophe, such as the Genesis flood.

Several conclusions to be drawn...

The Genesis Flood was truly an historical event, and adds to the credibility of the historical veracity of the early chapters of Genesis.
The belief in uniformitarian geology, with the gradual laying down of rock layers, is a myth because of the reality of fossilization and lithification - things were rapidly buried so as to prevent decay, and this allowed for their preservation as we see in the fossil graveyards around the world.
These things can be confidently believed by thinking people, who will consider the information above and realize that there is no need to apologize for believing in the early chapters of Genesis, but rather be strengthened in their trust in the word of God.

All scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible.


Genesis, Genesis Flood, Noahs Ark, Noahs Flood

Meet the author

author avatar Glenn Addington
I am an American, former Viet Nam veteran, and a Christian, living in East Tennessee. I am now retired and am pursuing a writing career. I would welcome writing assignments.

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