NOAH'S ARK & FLOOD - Global Or Regional?
Among those who sneer at the Bible, some will point to the dimensions of Noah's Ark, in relationship to the many species of animals today, as well as multitudes now extinct. The thought being that it would be quite impossible to get all such birds and animals into the ark, especially when there had to be several of the 'clean' varieties, and also that there had to be feed taken aboard to keep them alive more than one year. Because this has been a rather vexing question for those not sufficiently informed, I think it well that this should be defogged.
If we accept the Masoretic chronology of our Bible texts, then it took place less than four and a half thousand years ago. I believe it is quite well established by science that most, if not all of the pre-historic birds and animals of which skeletal and fossil remains have been found, were extinct long before the days of Noah. If none other, glacial epochs have a way of dealing with such wildlife; therefore it is quite certain that the birds and animals in the days of Noah, were little, if any more than can be found today. Aside from that, you will shortly observe as we go along, that the great deluge of which Genesis speaks, was not a flood of waters which covered the entire earth, but only a local flood as affecting the people of Noah's day, which were not very numerous; neither had they spread out over any great areas of the earth. In other words, the birds and animals, which Noah was to preserve were only those native to his region. I think we can reasonably assume that there were numerous birds and animals in far flung parts of the earth, which were not affected by the flood, and thus in no need of preservation. In other words, the number of species which Noah was required to preserve, were comparatively few, and indigenous to his region. Hence the space for them and their required fodder was well within the capacity of Noah's Ark.
Lest some Bible believing readers conclude that the writer has 'assumed' far too much in the previous statements, it might be well to look realistically at the facts which would be involved were Noah's flood to have been of worldwide scope. But let the reader also bear in mind, that according to our common Bible chronology, the great deluge took place about 16 ½ centuries after Adam's transgression. Considering that the Bible lists only ten generation up to the flood, and that the people did not assume family life, until 65 years of age and upwards (Noah was 500 years of age, when his sons were born), we can only conclude that the world population in the days of Noah was still very small, likely very little over ten thousand, certainly no more than 20 thousand at the very extreme. Because of that small number, there was no reason or their having spread out over vast areas, and hence no need of a worldwide deluge.
But that the reader may better understand, let us assess the factors which would have been involved, had there been a flood of worldwide scope, as well as in harmony with the common understanding of that Genesis account. And let us also take a glance at mount Ararat, where - I think it was in the decade of the '2O's - it was claimed that someone had seen a huge structure high up in the mountains, which was surmised to have been Noah's Ark. And again in 1970, or maybe a little earlier, the interest was again revived through fresh rumors, like unto the earlier reports. Even search parties were organized and funds solicited begging for more than a million dollars! Claiming that "scientists" conjectured how they might get Noah's ark out of a glacier 14,000 feet up in Mount Ararat?
I seriously question if any scientist would ponder such a hypothetical problem. They are men who think, and I believe, would realize almost instantly that there is no such an ark at such an altitude to be salvaged. Let us look.
I do not swallow such rubbish, although I am well convinced there was a flood of mighty waters; that there was a Noah who built an ark and survived the flood with many animals; yes and I also believe the Bible, but not necessarily the way it has been understood and sometimes "interpreted." I could show you by scripture how God expects us to think, and to first carefully examine the worth, before we swallow hook, line and sinker. So, let us consider this matter from various perspectives.
Bear in mind that all Bible scholars do not accept present Ararat as the "Ararat" of the Bible. They are likely right, for, Ararat is an ancient word which simply means "high
": therefore, not necessarily any specific mountain.
It is the writer's opinion that although the basic account is correct, details involved have been sufficiently garbled to convey a very misleading impression. We are first told that as the waters commenced to rise, all the "high hills" were covered. In some of the ancient scripts, the word used could mean either a high hill or a mountain. Then 15 cubits upward (23 feet or more) did the waters prevail, and the (all) mountains were covered. This is usually interpreted to mean 15 cubits above the highest mountain peaks, instead of that height above the high hills of verse 19 - as would be the more logical assumption.
Let us not snore with the theologians, by assuming that the highest mountains had to be flooded in order to destroy all landed life : far from it! In such a torrential downpour, only a few animals could get away to the mountains, while those at the foot of such, could ascend them but a short distance. Even if some got up into high crags and above the waterline, they couldn't have survived the 40 days downpour, to say nothing of many months longer without food... At the most, grass and trees can only grow up to the perpetual frost-line, beyond which life cannot survive.
Let us now look at the "mountains'', the rain and water. If we postulate that the flood was of worldwide scope, with the highest mountain peaks covered, then mount Everest, being 29,028 feet high, or well over 5.5 miles, that would have entailed at least 1 billion and 85 million cubic miles or, almost four times as much water as now exists in our oceans!
But if Mt. Ararat only was involved, (in the reckoning of the high mountains), then its 3.2 miles added to the earth's radius, equates to 576,700,000 cubic miles of additional water; being nearly twice as much as presently is in our oceans, which are claimed to hold 327,611,000 cubic miles of water. Or, if we postulate that it was only over there in Eurasia where the waters thus mounted up, then the problem becomes: what would keep the water "sitting there" – miles deep? Take a bucket full of water, then quickly invert it on your floor, then wait to see if some strong wind is required to disperse it. The Niagara Falls are merely 167 feet high, yet its waters come down with a roar you can hear a mile off! Contrast 3 miles or more in depth, to Niagara's 167 feet... Oh brother!
Under conditions of extreme cloudburst, man has registered a maximum of about an even two inches of water per hour. Clearly are we told that the down pouring rain lasted but an even 40 days (960 hours). So, to rise up to well submerged mount Ararat, would have entailed a mean average rise of over 212 inches per hour! More than 100 times the speed or force of the most torrential rain known to man. While if we say that mount Everest ("all mountains" in the world) was also submerged, then the required rise per hour would have been over 363 inches: 181.5 times as fast as the most violent cloudburst ever observed by man! Yet that is not all, so look again:
When empty heads postulate that Noah's ark is presently at 14,000 feet (up towards top) elevation, what would the situation have been when old Noah opened the ark?
He would have gazed with horror down the crags and said: (Oh! My God), how shall we get down? (or maybe there were flying saucers in those days to do the ferrying?) Pumas might have made it; birds, and maybe reptiles, but can't you just see the elephants, rhinos, hippos (not hippies), go down those crags – requiring our best mountaineers of today to skirt? (What a movie that would have made, showing a good old male hippo with his four ton body on stubby legs, going down those crags. Maybe Noah asked a rhino to go behind, 'persuading' the hippo to "step out." You take it from there; but as for myself, I believe that we should use our God given intelligence to do some serious thinking before we postulate the fantastically ridiculous.
If the ark is presently in a glacier, would not the temperatures then have been much the same as now? But more likely colder, for, it would have been higher up. The 14,000 elevation, where rumors claim the ancient ark rests, is well within the perpetual zone of snow and ice! And what about Gen. 8:13 where we read in part: "and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold the face of the ground was dry"? Had it been 14,000 feet or more up in a mountain, Noah would only have seen dry rocks, and could have only hoped for dry ground, far down below. So, let us come back to the Bible, and in so doing, try to use a little common sense. As stated, "ararat" to them was any high ground. It could be a hill, a ridge or rocky elevation, hence ararats almost anywhere they might go.
A hundred years or so after the flood we are told that the descendants of Noah "journeyed from the east, coming to that great alluvial plain of Shinar which is about an even 500 miles south of mount Ararat. Do you suppose Noah and his sons journeyed those 500 miles south thruout 30 days with herds, before settling down? Did not God know where to plant them? Or should we postulate that God never thought of that?
I believe that 'Noah was a plains man, not a cliff dweller. He built the ark in a low terrain within an immense drainage basin, likely 400-450 miles south of Mt. Ararat. There were no real high mountains in sight, but only the distant ararats bounding the drainage basin. So soon as rains commenced, waters gathered about the ark. Within ten minutes waters would have risen about the ark, effectively preventing its being rushed by frantic people: soon it was afloat. The rain's hourly rise was 2 to 2.5 inches during the first 30 days, while its hourly rise tapered off drastically during the last ten days. The total rainfall amounted to 160-170 feet. The flood was confined to the then inhabited world, and as bounded by the then existing oceans. All high hills and mounts which Noah could see, were covered. Later the ark settled down on a fairly high ridge, somewhat south of where it was built. That ridge was an "ararat".
Under such conditions, the waters would gradually assuage, abetted by the wind. The statement even in Gen. 8:1 could only be true in a flood of limited scope. Had it covered the earth's entire surface, there would be no place for the waters to go except up: would have taken millions if not billions of years for that much water to dissipate (if ever).
Although we are told that there were oceans in predeluvian days, we do not know how many, or great. I believe our present Pacific ocean was previously a solid land mass, or mostly so. The downpour spilled out into the Persian Gulf (from the said drainage basin where Noah had lived ), thus rapidly swell the Indian Ocean. (on the surface of which rain was falling), spreading out both east and west. Then the Atlantic burst its bounds, flowing over the lowlands in the Americas, spilling into the titanic basin of present-day Pacific (previously but a few fresh water lakes in lowest areas). Similarly did the Indian Ocean spill over the then solid mainland between China and Australia, although it first flowed over between Australia and the Antarctic mainland, building up into the vast Pacific Ocean of today.
Do you think it was but a happenstance that it is named the Pacific (because of its more peaceful waters)? Do you know Noah means 'rest'? Peace and rest are largely synonymous terms. Hence the restful waters of Noah creating the Pacific Ocean of our day.
Now that we have viewed the account of Noah's flood, and logically established its feasibility in relationship to rational factors, and the meaning of the original "ararta", it might be well to scrutinize the ark more closely, and glimpse a portion of its mystic significance.
According to the account in Gen. 6, we see that it was 300 cubits long, 50 wide, and 30 high. Did you ever stop to reflect that the portions of 30 – 50 – 300, come close to being the precision proportions of a man about 6' tall? As an approximate average, his chest will be about 10 inches deep. With arms raised high overhead, widest point will be about 17 inches, and fingertips a little more than 8 feet off the floor. Which become same ratios.
As we might have expected, Noah's ark was the representation of man's body, and more especially that of the Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth for man's preservation ('salvation' in church vernacular). Even God's basic statement in Gen. 6 is "my spirit shall not forever strive with man." Observe that God was not speaking in particular of Noah's generation, but rather of humanity in general. When God's spirit no longer strives with man, then is His spirit at rest. That, as you have seen, is the meaning of Noah's name: portray-man's preservation and redemption. To achieve that rest, God planned the strategy and announced its substance to Noah (whom He would use to dramatize the plan).
The ark was a vessel or shelter. Such a shelter did God decide had to be constructed (generated), that the Son might go to get "shut in" (typified by Noah: see Gen. 7:16. ("Come to me - - - I will give you REST "Mat 11:28.)
We observe that Noah's ark was pitched within and without (to resist water). Similarly is the human "ark' which secretes a resin that develops into a skin (resisting water) both without and within. Then God commanded a window to be finished "in a cubit above." Similarly with that ark which the human body is: it has light and vision for objects, finished in its topmost, or "cubit above." Also a 'door' for intake.
God also commanded that it should be constructed with 3 stories throughout. Similarly is the human ark, even in a twofold sense. Externally, we find legs, torso and head. Internally, there are also 3 : 1) the abdominal cavity, 2) the enclosure above the diaphragm for heart and lungs, and lastly, 3) the cranium for the human brain. That is the topmost story. Similarly was it in Noah's ark. For, common sense tells us that he, together with the other seven members of his family, would not be in the bottom with animals about and above him, but rather on topmost deck, where light was let in through the window. As Noah's household which lived in the upper story, directed the feeding, and care for all animals aboard as well as the required care for the ark, so similarly is every function and care for the human body, directed by a master gland within the cranium, assisted by a secondary one (the pituitary and pineal), directing the others.
Their wives were also to be taken aboard. In God's language they symbolized the human soul. But the man and wife are one (complete body). The body of flesh speaks for itself. The animals bespeak man's lower propensities, while the birds the thoughts and emotions. As God called for both the clean and the unclean, so similarly is it with man: we have propensities, thoughts, and even emotions, which are "clean", being both good and right; while all of us have propensities which could correctly be termed unclean, and capable of causing harm – even as were many of the animals aboard.
Even all of the foregoing applies to the Lord Jesus Christ in the days of His flesh, that of all that would come unto Him, none would be cast out (see John 6:37). The ark typifies the sheltering power of His body, while those taken aboard are the fullness thereof. And to this testify the apostle unto the gentiles that the Lord's church constitutes His "body". But in the prophetic and spiritual sense, all the living aboard foreshadowed that through the completed work wrot out on Calvary, all of creation is to be redeemed and exalted to a higher estate eventually).
Yet let us look again: the "sower" said He, is the Son of man which sows the good word seed, bringing forth 30, 60 and 100-fold. This bespeaks a threefold category of fruit: that is, children. So to show this forth, Noah (the Prince of Peace or rest), had three sons: Shem, Japheth, Ham.. Shem signifies a name of renown, a person of integrity, or acclaim. That is, a person well known and revered. (Also bear in mind that it was through Shem, that scripturally the descent is reckoned.) He answers to the 100- fold which are to dwell with Christ in the Heavenly Kingdom (not on earth). This group which becomes the body and household of Christ, enter into the glory of His name; the former receive in the inscription of the Father's name in their foreheads.
Japheth means enlargement. So similarly with the 60-fold children of Christ: they are destined to dwell on earth in a kingdom constantly enlarging, until it fills the earth (see Dan 2:35), to eventually merge with the heavenly.
While Ham is generally considered to mean black. that is, without light. Thus also went his parable that many would be found without light in their lamps. Symbolically, the Ham, or darkness group, are the 30-fold who are destined to live on earth, outside the expanding kingdom boundaries, ministering to the people in foreign lands (outside the geographical kingdom of God on earth) (such Gentile lands which have never received Christ, and therefore, non-participants in the light and g1ory of the kingdom nations). They have been without the light of understanding (of the Way, the Truth, and the Life) required to be "born again". They possess an intellectual recognition of the rightness of the Golden Rule and Christian standards, believing that to be sufficient. In their Ham estate their lot is a dark one in contrast to the light with in both the earthly and heavenly kingdoms of our Lord.
By the drama wrot out by Noah and his threefold family, God has clearly shown us the partial fallacy of the salvation dogma, commonly extant in Christian churches. (I said partial fallacy.) For it is commonly taught that all who go to church and believe-more or less - in Jesus Christ, are all destined to the glories of Heaven, for idle strumming on golden harps on the spotless streets of crystal. What? Was not God quite capable of dramatizing the truths of His plan for man correctly? Therefore Noah's three sons in perfect harmony with the Lord's statement of 30, 60, and 100-fold fruits as well as with His other Parable saying that the earth first brings forth the blade, then the ear, followed by the full corn in the ear (again the three stages) All of which is underscored by the significance of the names of his three sons, as well as their vastly diversified destinies.
Well might those from Missouri ask: what right have we to postulate that Noah's ark was a prophetic type of a living ark to come from God, to make possible His wondrous plan of salvation? It is proper that such questions be asked, for it permits the greater light to be channeled abroad - Behold (and well may you marvel in amazement)
Geometrically computed, the cubic volume of the ark was 300 by50 by30=450,000 cubic cubits. And into this cubic Volume went exactly 8 people. Does it require an Einstein to understand such a simple formula? Look:
Now, look again: the sacred ark which Moses built for the Holy of Holies was a 2.5 x l.5x 1.5 dimensionally equals 5.625 cubic cubits, placed in a 10 x 10 x 10 5625 cubic cubits.
It is commonly understood that the sacred ark which held the two tablets of law in the days of Moses, placed within the Holy of Holies, was symbolic of God's grace through our Lord and Savior who was to come. But after His work was accomplished on Calvary, then we are told that the sacred veil was rent from top to bottom (Mat. 27:51), signifying that an open entry into the Holiest had been made possible for man Heb. 10:19-20).
Fail not to observe that cubic volume of the sacred ark within the Holiest, was precisely the same as the number obtained when the household of Noah is divided into the cubic volume of the ark which he built, except that in the latter instance, it is ten times greater, In the math which God set before us in the construction of the Mosaic tabernacle, as well as that of the great pyramid of Gizeh, we are shown that multiples by 10 bespeak increased soul powers, transforming from the material into the spiritual; while on the strictly human plane, from a man or family to the nation, and from the nation to the world (according to the number of multiples by ten). By which we are to understand that Noah's ark with those aboard, manifested the Savior's number raised by 10, to signify that not merely the nation of Israel, but rather the entire world was in God's plan. Moreover, not merely the physical human body, but also the soul within, is preserved in and through Jesus Christ,
Again the one from Missouri asks but couldn't this have been a happenstance? Very well: look and marvel!
The number of people to be preserved was 8. This raised by the power of 10, he-comes inclusive of the human soul, as well as for the whole world. Again we raise this 80 by 100 (which is the Savior's manifestation number to man), symbolized by Abraham's age of 100 at the time that Isaac was born (a type of Jesus Christ), and also depicted for us by the 100 finishing stones within the King's chamber of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. This yields as follow:
- 4031 A.M. at which time the Lamb of God" was presented unto Israel by their greatest of all prophets
8 x 10 x 100
Year of Noah's flood --
Can we go from one precision figure to another, and still claim that it all just happened that way? Not if we are rational. Perhaps it might also be well to see how God incorporated the selfsame Savior's number, into the dimensions on the sacrificial altar detailed by God to Moses. It was to be constructed in a square of 5 x 5, standing 3 cubits high. That nets a volume of 75, the square of which nets the same mystic number (75 x 75 = 5625).
The day arrived when Noah and his family disembarked, finding the ground dry. Since he and his household were seen as righteous before God, then was there no need for His spirit to further strive with man (as at that time). Which did prophetically bespeak how God's spirit finds rest in relationship to those who have been truly preserved (saved) through the finished work on Calvary. When one has been born again, of God's truth-word, then are the thoughts and imaginations of his heart no longer evil. Through weaknesses of the flesh and what we call the carnal mind; and, because of his spiritual immaturity, he may continue throughout a great many years in consequent follies, yes, even in sin. Yet not because of evil in his heart, but because of spiritual immaturity. Even as Peter under the stress of the moment, denied his Lord three times, even unto cursing. Yet, his going out to bitterly weep tells us that he didn't want it thus.
Because the born again Christian ever aspires unto that which is good and right, peace (rest) has been established between him and the Heavenly Father.
As you individually study the account in those chapters of Genesis, it might be well to bear in mind that where you repeatedly read of the "earth", it would be more correct to substitute the word "land." For, in those days the people knew nothing of the earth itself, as we do today. Their knowledge thereof was limited to the land on which they lived: that which they could see, and that which was told them by visitors, and messengers, which journeyed through the then settled area. The original work refers only to the dry land in contrast to the river, lakes and oceans.