Truth That Matters

"What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus Christ

Noah's Flood

The Bible records how God created the universe, and placed man on earth. Man was created fully intelligent, and lifespans were long. Moreover, the earth was much more luxuriant than today. All these factors led to great progress. However, man rebelled against God. Consequently, everyone was born with a sinful nature (Romans 5:12). Besides, there was no government. These two factors led to the proliferation of evil. God saw that their thoughts and actions were full of evil, and He decided to destroy the world through a flood. God found Noah to be a righteous person, and asked him to build an ark (a large box like boat) for his family, and one pair of animals of each kind (Genesis 6:12-22). The image shows a 1/5 replica of the Ark made by Dutchman Johan Huibers.

After Noah made the ark, and he and his animals were inside, God shut the door and the rain began. It was the six hundredth year of Noah's life (Genesis 7: 11-13)

The water for Noah’s flood had two sources:

  1. The “fountains of the great deep”, the subterranean water chambers (that were responsible for the mist in Genesis 2: 6) were broken up; this means that the crust of the earth cracked, and water under high pressure gushed out.
  2. The “windows of the heavens” – the water vapor canopy above the atmosphere

Notice that the breaking up of the subterranean reservoirs would mean a lot of geologic upheavals. When the crust breaks open, lava breaks out to the surface. This is what happens in a volcano, but it happened on a much larger scale in the flood. Lava rushing down a mountain slope would suddenly bury large amounts of flora and fauna – that’s just the right criterion for fossilization. Surely enough, large ensembles of plants and animals in awkward positions have been found as fossils. The Bible records that the flood destroyed was global and that it destroyed all non-aquatic macroscopic life outside the ark (Genesis 7:18-24).

At long last, the waters abated and the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:1-4). Noah sent out birds to check the surroundings:

  • He sent out a raven and a dove. The raven did not return, apparently happy to perch on rotting carrion that must have been floating around. The dove however came back to him. (Genesis 8:7-9)
  • A week later he sent the dove again; she returned with a freshly plucked olive leaf in her beak.
  • A week later, he sent the dove again, and she did not return to him.

Noah had to further wait more than a month before God told him to come out of the ark (Genesis 8: 13-19). What was the first thing Noah did when he came out?

And Noah built an altar unto Jehovah, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” – Genesis 8:20

He evidently realized that his survival was due to God’s mercy! It did feel good to stand on firm ground again!

And Jehovah smelled a soothing aroma. And Jehovah said in His heart, I will never again curse the ground because of man, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again smite every living thing as I have done.” – Genesis 8: 21

Actually, burning flesh does not smell good. It was Noah’s attitude that was sweet smelling to God. God reiterated His blessings to Noah, asking him to repopulate the earth (Genesis 9:1). There were however some new rules or features:-

  • Seasons are mentioned for the first time (Genesis 8:21). God promises that they will continue as long as earth lasts.
  • Animals would now be scared of man (Genesis 9:2)
  • For the first time, non-vegetarianism is sanctioned, but God forbids the consumption of blood (Genesis 9:3-4)
  • God demands that humans impose capital punishment for murder (Genesis 9:5-6). This is the beginning of law enforcement and government. After the flood, life-spans decreased considerably. Noah’s immediate descendants would be much older than their descendants, and it would be natural for them to govern their children. This was the beginning of autocracy (which is the oldest form of government).
  • The rainbow would be the sign that God would not destroy the earth again with a flood (Genesis 9: 9-13). Noah’s flood was perhaps the first occasion of rain on earth (since there is no mention of rain prior to Noah's flood), and so Noah may have seen the first rainbow.

Frequently asked questions

Where did all the flood water come from? Where is it now?
It would require a really really torrential rain to flood the earth like Noah's Flood. However, rain water was not the only source of water. As mentioned above, the Bible says that the earth's crust cracked open, releasing the huge amounts of subterranean water to the surface. What triggered the cracking of the earth's crust? There is some evidence that it might have been an icy meteorite, but I wouldn't hold too tenaciously to this hypothesis since the Bible does not says so. Where's all the flood water now? In the oceans! There is enough water in the oceans to submerge the world by a mile and a half if the earth were a perfect sphere. However, the geological upheavals that accompanied the flood completely overturned the earth's surface (which was close to a perfect sphere before the flood) and made it highly uneven - the water has been made to occupy the low regions (the oceans), whereas the higher regions stick out as land. Ironic isn't it? The oceans ought to be reminders of God's judgment to us, whereas today, beaches are venues where people take the opportunity to sin - immodesty, nudity, drunkenness, adulterous sex and so on!

What was the climactic aftermath of Noah's Flood?
The release of vast amounts of subterranean water and volcanic action that accompanied the flood would create the following conditions:-

Warm oceans
Cold land (due to volcanic ash blocking the su
  1. Warm oceans
  2. Cold land (due to volcanic ash blocking the sun)

These are just the right conditions for an ice age. Lots of water will evaporate from the warm oceans, and precipitate as snow (rather than rain) since the land is cold. Thus, the Flood was followed by an ice age; even the Middle East had a temperate climate as suggested by Job (Job 37:9–10, 38:22–23, 29–30) who lived a few hundred years after the flood.

An ice age is accompanied by low ocean levels - this would allow easy migration. As the ash would have cleared, the land would have warmed, the ice would melt, and ocean levels would rise, and land blocks would get isolated. Perhaps this occurred during the time of Peleg (1 Chronicles 1:19) 

Wasn't it mean of God to kill children and innocent animals in the Flood?
See Is the God of the Bible ethical?

Where is Noah’s Ark today?
The Bible says Noah’s Ark landed upon “the mountains of Ararat”.  There are three theories concerning what happened to the ark:

  1. It still remains. Flavius Josephus, c. 90 AD, the famous Jewish historian stated, "Its remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day."  He quotes Berosus the Chaldean, c. 290 BC, who wrote that tourists would take home pieces of the ark for making good-luck charms, "It is said there is still some part of this ship in Armenia, at the mountain of the Cordyaeans; and that some people carry off pieces of the bitumen, which they take away, and use chiefly as amulets for the averting of mischief."
  2. It was broken down for timber by Noah's sons.
  3. It has rotted away far beyond any hopes of recognition.

The image at right shows a mudflow discovered by a Turkish army officer on the mountains of Ararat. The Turkish government was convinced it was Noah's Ark and constructed a sign on the highway (Nuhun Gemisi means Noah's Big Boat), and also made a guest house for visitors to stay. The images have been taken from Ark discovery.

If the earth was repopulated from one family, how is it that we see people living in remote places like Australia since time immemorial?
Because natives from distant places look primitive, we assume that they’re dumb and could never have made it to their present habitats from Mt Ararat. There are two things to keep in mind.

  1. Even though today’s natives are primitive, their ancestors weren’t. Noah’s early descendants were technologically advanced and could cross seas.
  2. There is some evidence that a much greater proportion of the earth’s water was ice (than today) shortly after Noah’s flood. This would mean that ocean water levels were much lower than they are today, and so crossing over across continents would be much easier then. The Bible mentions a man called Peleg, who lived a few hundred years after the flood. His name means “division”, and the Bible says his parents gave him that name because the earth was divided in his days. Perhaps that’s when the melting ice (and rising sea levels) made migration difficult and isolated populations that were already separated by water.

How could a boat of the size mentioned in the Biblical account fit in all species of animals? Did Noah take dinosaurs on board? What about feeding all the animals?
Noah was only asked to take land animals "in whose nostrils was the breath of life". This excludes aquatic animals and insects that breathe through their skin. Noah was to take all these animals, “after their kind”. The word “kind” refers to all animals within the limits of interbreeding and thus is a broader classification than a modern “species”.  Thus, Noah did not take German shepherds, Pomeranians, mongrels, wolves and jackals on board. He took a dog like animal. The different types of dogs that we see today descended from the animal pair that Noah took on board. While there are millions of species, there are only about 8000 kinds. These 8000 kinds "evolved" into the millions of species that we see today, in just a few thousand years. I put "evolved" in quotes because this kind of change is not the kind of change required to make goo to you (as the linked article explains).

Noah certainly took dinosaurs on board. He was apparently smart enough to take babies (they’re not too big – dinosaur eggs are of the size of a football; don’t forget that reptiles grow till they die, and life-spans were longer before the flood, so reptiles grew really big). Many of the dinosaurs would not be able to survive in the harsh post-Flood environment, and eventually became extinct. Job was a Bible character who lived a few hundred years after the flood. Job 40 and 41 have descriptions of two creatures: behemoth and leviathan. The descriptions fit only dinosaurs. Psalm 104, which may have been written around 1000 BC, also contains a reference to leviathan in verse 26. More on dinosaurs

What about feeding? With the reduced number of animals in, the problem seems less intractable. When we add to this the possibility of hibernation, we realize that feeding and accommodating all the animals was very much possible.

How would the animals know that they needed to go to the ark? How would desert inhabiting camels and polar bears from the Tundra come all the way to Noah's Ark?
God made it happen. However, it isn’t too outlandish. Even today, animals are able to sense natural disasters and move to safer places. The Bible suggests that there was only one landmass initially (Genesis 1:9). So creatures would not have to cross oceans to reach the ark. There were no Tundras or polar bears in Noah's time. As explained above, the pre-Flood world had a uniform, temperate climate so the animals that got on board could come from places nearby.

How would animals migrate all over the world from Mt Ararat? If the kangaroo hopped all the way from Mt Ararat to Australia, why are there no fossils on the way?
First of all, note that large scale migration of animals is not a fanciful idea. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, the island remnant remained lifeless for some years, but was eventually recolonized by a surprising variety of creatures, including not only insects and earthworms, but birds, lizards, snakes, and even a few mammals. One would not have expected some of this surprising array of creatures to have crossed the ocean, but they obviously did. The following are some ways animals may have migrated (these explanations are also used by evolutionists).

  • Vegetation mats: Iguanas have traveled hundreds of kilometers on rafts of vegetation torn off by storms.
  • Land bridges formed by lower sea levels

What about koalas that require a specialized diet - how could they migrate from Mt Ararat to the far away places they are found today? Two points are worth noting:

  1. The vegetation needed by these animals on the way could have been there in ancient times although it is not there today.
  2. Animals change with time. It is possible that the koala is a descendant of an animal that was less choosy with food.

Every animal that dies does not get fossilized. Fossilization requires sudden burial - this was a feature of the flood, not the post-flood era of rising sea level when scavenging and rotting would be the more likely fate for cadavers. With the millions of bison slaughtered in America leaving no trace, it should not be surprising that no kangaroo fossils have been found in India or Indonesia. More on post-Flood animal migration

What about the Stone Age?
The Stone “Age” is a myth promoted by evolutionists with the help of their dubious dating methods. What would you do if you lived shortly after Noah’s flood and were too poor to have a flock of your own and/or were ostracized by your community (for whatever reason)? You’d live in caves and hunt animals for food with stone tools. There were people who did that, and that’s why see crude stone implements today.

What about Continental Drift?
Evolutionists assume that the continents have moved with the same slow rate as they're moving now for billions of years. According to the Biblical account, the geologic upheavals in Noah’s flood caused a catastrophic, rapid continental motion that later slowed down to present rates. So yes, the continents are and have been drifting, but they did so faster during the flood.

Some people say that Noah’s flood was not worldwide. What about that?
If the flood was not worldwide, there was no need for God to ask Noah to make an ark – he just needed to move! The Bible clearly says that all the mountains of the earth were submerged. The evidence given below is global. 

What is the evidence for Noah's Flood?

  1. Fossil evidence
  2. Geologic evidence
  3. Genetic evidence
  4. Anthropological evidence: flood legends from all over the world  

But the conventional geological view is that the sedimentary layers are millions of years old.
That's not because it has been proved by evidence but because evolution needs millions of years to take place! Details

The reserves of coal and oil that exist are enormous. How can you say that it all represents the biodiversity that existed at a single time, rather than millions of years?
As I mentioned earlier, the earth was much more luxuriant before the flood. There were no hot or cold deserts. Tropical/coniferous forests would be everywhere. Besides, separate local flooding incidents could also be responsible for some of the reserves we have today.

If God wanted to destroy everyone, why did he have to use a flood? Couldn’t he destroy them in some other way?
God chose a flood for the following reasons:

  • It gave people time to repent. Noah spent 120 years building the ark. He certainly told others what was coming and probably met with a lot of ridicule – as it is, rain had perhaps never taken place before. Later, God would say: “As I live, declares the Lord Jehovah, I take no delight in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! For why will you die, O house of Israel?” - Ezekiel 33:11
  • The flood left evidence. Every time you burn fossil fuel, it should remind you that God is righteous and will punish evil. God is being merciful to you by giving you a reminder that you need to repent and submit to Him. According to the Bible, the rejection of God and a denial of the flood and creation go hand in hand (2 Peter 3:5)
  • The flood provides an analogy. Just as pitch was a covering for the ark to protect Noah and his family from God’s judgment, the blood of Jesus Christ that has been shed for us can be a covering for our sins (if we trust in him), protecting us from God’s wrath.

Another analogy: Enoch was a righteous man who lived before Noah. He was taken straight to heaven without dying, whereas Noah was preserved through the flood. In the same way, those who believe in Jesus will be caught away when Jesus comes for them, and then the nation of Israel will be preserved through a time of great tribulation (when the peace process fails and the world agrees to the “final solution” for the Jewish “problem”). Details

Could people who lived long ago like Noah be smart enough to build such a big boat?
Thanks to evolutionary indoctrination, the average person thinks that people who lived long ago were brute idiots. Adam, the first man was made perfect. As I’ve mentioned above, his descendants were smart and industrious. Perhaps all the things that were made before the flood were destroyed in it. However, the ancient advanced civilizations that sprung up immediately after the Flood  show that Noah and his contemporaries were not primitive. Regarding boats, the Chinese used to make boats of comparable size to Noah’s. Also note that the Vikings used to travel to America (long before Columbus!) – They apparently had good sailing and navigation skills. By the way, hydrodynamic analysis shows that the proportions of Noah’s Ark are ideal for floating.