Friday, August 30, 2013

The Cast: Noah, The Mariner

A Massive, Local Flood

The Bible does not say much about Noah.  I think that the most impressive thing that we are told about him is that Noah walked with GodGen. 6:9.  This is the same statement that was made about Enoch: the Astronaut. 

It is the same picture that the Bible paints of Adam in the garden before he disobeyed Jehovah the first time.  We have always been taught that this means that they had spiritual fellowship with each other.  I suppose that was included, yet it seems that the word, walk, implies, moving on feet.  

Just in passing it can be mentioned that Noah was the great-grandson of Enoch and it appears that Enoch taught his children well.

How pervasive was the flood?  It is true that the story says all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Gen. 7:9.  We remind ourselves that to the ancient writers the phrase "the whole world" meant only the world as far as they knew it.  Basically the Mesopotamian valley and the countries around the Mediterranean Sea.   This narrow picture might also have applied to the stars.

Crowded Beyond Belief

In speaking of the flood, and the animals in the ark, Mr Seagraves states that a sheep is the average size of all mammals on earth.  This allows for the variation between polar bears and mice, for example, because, on the average, they are about the size of sheep.  He also wrote that 35,000 sheep could have been on one level of Noah’s Ark.  There were three levels, but according to him, all the animals were on one level.  

Those who have studied the Bible story about the ark, agree that the ark was about 75 ft. (25 m) x 450 ft (76 m) for a total of 33,750 square feet of floor space on one level.  To put 35,000 sheep into 33,750 square feet, each sheep would have had slightly less than one square foot to stand in.  Mr Seagraves tells us that the animals were adults and that they were in the ark for more than one year. 
Sons of God Return, Kelly L. Segraves (Fleming H Revell, New Jersey)

It is not possible that a living adult sheep can be put into a space of only one-foot square. According to Mr Seagraves argument, it sounds as if each animal was stuck in its square foot of space, packed like sardines, unable to move for a whole year.  
  • What would Noah have done to get food and water to each animal?  
  • Furthermore, there would not have been enough air for them to breath, 
  • the heat and the moisture content in the ark would have been unbearable.  
  • We recall that the ark had only one window to get fresh air into it.
There are many Bible teachers who hold similar points of view as Mr Seagraves.  Ernst Mayr gives the number as 17,600 (kinds of animals).  Allowing for two of each species on the ark, plus seven of the few so-called "clean" kinds of animals, plus a reasonable increment for known extinct species, it is obvious that not more than, say, 50,000 animals were on the ark. 

Others have even suggested that each animal was in its own cage.  Others have suggested that before the flood came, Noah trained all 35,000 animals to do their “private business” into containers so that Noah and his sons would not have so much work to do while on the ark!  

I think that the people who came up with that idea were maybe just toying with those who come up with the other, just mentioned, hair-brained ideas.

But, remember, these arguments are prone to come from people who might also say, It is quite clear from this that God was to bring a worldwide cataclysmic flood upon the earth. It covered all the high hills. It didn't cover the tall mountains we see today, because these mountains didn't exist before the flood.  There was no Mt. Everest.  There were no Rocky Mountains. These were formed during and following the flood. Creation Science Network

But they insist that "the flood" happened only about 4,500 years ago.  No self-respecting geologist will agree that the mountains are this young.  Many geologists believe that the Rocky Mountain range is between 80 million to 100 million years old.

All of this was just a sidelight to point out the folly of those traditional viewpoints.  I believe that if we knew the actual facts of the story of the flood it might be believable. 

There are many interesting hypotheses as to how saving the animals in "The Flood" could have happened.  

Mr Yurchey explained it this way.  It is scientifically possible to place a life form in suspended animation reduced down to its DNA. ... Nowhere in the Bible does it mention that Noah went out and gathered each animal. It only says Noah brought them into the Ark. If the 'life cannisters' were all assembled for the Noahs by the gods and the simple people merely carried them in and secured them in place, then this does explain the Noah story.  
Copyright 2002 by Doug Yurchey. Copyright 2002

It seems as if biblical accuracy was not important to Mr Yurchey.  He speaks of Noahs and arks in the plural; the Bible does not.  He also says, Nowhere in the Bible does it mention that Noah went out and gathered each animal.  While this is true, the Bible does say, two of every kind will come to you. Gen. 6:20.  So Noah did not need to go chasing wild animals.  

As far as DNA goes, the Bible says, And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them. Gen. 6:21.  As I understand it, DNA in canisters does not need food.

The Epic of Gilgamesh, which is older than the oldest part of the Bible, says that during the heavy downpour of the great flood, No one can see his fellow, Nor can the people be recognized from heaven, The gods were frightened by the deluge, and shrinking back, they ascended. 
Archaeology and The Old Testament, James B. Pritchard, (Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.)  

A multitude of gods was the theology before the Israelites claimed that they had only one God.  From that stance, religious teachers went a step further and taught us that there is only one God.

Thank you, Mr Noah, for walking with God and for doing what He said you should.  If it wasn't for you, where would we be today?

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