THE EVENTS OF THE GREAT FLOOD CONTINUE
THE FLOOD WATERS SUBSIDE
In verse one the Bible says God, "remembered the Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark. . ." The word "remembered" does not mean that God had forgotten the Ark, but that He gave special attention to keeping the Ark safe and all that were in it. There were catastrophic events at work which were changing the entire surface of the of the world. With out God's protection the Ark would surely have been destroyed in the torrents of rain and wind.
The word "assuaged" means to "subside". After one hundred and fifty days the waters began to
settle in the great ocean basins of the earth.
|Days||Genesis Reference||40||7:12 It rained for forty day and nights.||110||7:24 The waters did not subside until 110 days more making a total of 150 days.||74||8:4 The Ark comes to rest on Mt. Ararat in the seventh month on the seventh month 74 days later.||40||8:6-7 Noah sends out the raven after 40 days.||7||8:8 Noah sends out a dove 7 days later which returns.||7||8:10 Noah sends out the second dove after||7||7 more days which returns with an olive leaf.||7||8:12 Noah again sends out a dove which does not return.||29||8:13 An interval of 29 days elapses from the sending out of the last dove and the removal of the covering on the Ark.||57||8:14 Noah waits for 57 more days and then leaves the Ark.||371||Total time period of the Flood.|
After 371 days, God instructed Noah to leave the Ark the earth now being sufficient dry for them to leave. In 8;10, the second dove returned to Ark with an olive leaf in its mouth. This means that plants were beginning to grow at least 100 days before Noah left the Ark. This was ample time for grasses and plants to grow and mature from seeds deposited in the fresh soils left after the waters subsided. Noah left the Ark and went out into a green new world created by the Flood. The animals flourished in the new green pastures.
It is believed that Mount Ararat in Turkey is the mountain on which the Ark rest after the Flood. There have been many reported sighting of the Ark in the frozen layers of ice and snow now covering the mountain. In 1988, a team of explorers using sonar type equipment reported that they could find no sign of the Ark in the area most thought it would be found. In 1989, Church Aaron, or Orlando, Florida, flying over the mountain reported that he saw a large structure protruding out of the ice at 15000 foot. He reported that it looked like the drawing that George Hagopian had made in 1902, when his father took him to see the Ark. Photographs and videos taken are being studied. Some are skeptical of the sighting believing the Ark rests in another area of the mountain.(1) Thus, still to date it has not been confirmed that the Ark is on Mount Ararat. However, the credibility of the Bible does not rest on the finding the Ark. It may well have been destroyed or rotted away. The Bible stands on its own merit. Everywhere we see the evidences of the world wide flood. Evidences such as the world wide deposits of sedimentary rock, the extinction of the dinosaurs, ice ages, formation of mountains, fossils deposited in water borne sediments and an unending list of others all indicate world wide catastrophic changes have occurred on our earth. All these would be expected to be left after a flood of the magnitude which the Bible describes.
God had instructed Noah to take seven of each of the clean animals into the Ark and only two each of the unclean animals. Noah after leaving the Ark, built an altar and sacrificed one of each of the clean animals unto God as an offering of thanksgiving. This is the first time that the Bible mentions the offering was a "sweet savour" unto the Lord. It means God was pleased with the offering.
God then promised gave Noah a promise. God says states that although man's heart was still evil from birth, He would not again destroy man as He had done. Verse 22, is actually poetry.
While the earth remains,
Seed time and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And winter and summer,
And day and night,
Shall not cease. (Genesis 8;22)
God promised that "while the earth exists", the seasons, and day and night would continue.
God blessed Noah and his sons showing them great favor and then instructed them to have children and repopulate the earth. The word, "replenish" literally means to "fill" the earth. God intended that man would rapidly spread out into all the world. Later in Chapter 11, we will see that man soon forgot God's command and instead of populating the earth remained in the area of Babylon and built great cities.
The statement of God to Noah to go and fill the earth is similar to the commandment to Adam with the exception that the phrase "have dominion" (Genesis 1;28) over the earth is admitted. Man would still have rule over the animals, however as Henry Morris points out, "Satan still retained at least proximate dominion of the earth".(2)
Ephesians 2;2, refers to Satan as the "prince of the power of the air". In 2 Corinthians 4;4, Paul calls Satan the "god of this world". Satan's domain is the earth and lost men serve him. (See 1 John 3;8-12)
Another change is that God here states that all animals would now be food for man (Verse 9;3). The only prohibition against eating meat was that it was not to be eaten with blood in it. In Genesis 1;29, God had given man plants to eat which prohibited him from eating meat. During the period between Creation and the Flood it is possible that man ate meat. Man had fallen into such a state of gross sin that God had brought the Flood as a judgment to destroy the evil men from off the earth. Man had disregarded all of God's instructions and his deeds were totally evil. It seems unlikely that he would have obeyed the commandment not to eat meat.
Verse 9;2, seems to indicate that animals prior to the flood were not afraid of man. It appears there was a degree of harmony between animals and man, but now God was changing that and animals would fear man and flee from him. There is no indication that animals attacked men before the flood. The order God had established was that all animals and man would eat plants. From the fossil record it is clear that the earth was populated with a great number of large animals. Many question how man could have lived with the dinosaurs. Most likely the dinosaurs did not see man as a food and were plant eaters. Science concludes that many dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus were meat eaters. However, man was created a plant eater in the beginning and was prohibited from eating meat until after the flood. Man was created capable of eating meat, yet was restricted from doing so. The same thing would equally apply to animals as well. After the Flood, animals and man alike became flesh eaters.
God in allowing man to kill and eat animals includes a restriction against murder. Verse 9;5, states that a murderer's life would be taken. God views human like as special and sacred. He states the reason being that man is different from animals in that man is created in the image of God. The killing of animals for food was acceptable, however man was not to kill man. If a man did commit murder he was to be put to death. This is God's answer to the question of capitol punishment. Today by outlawing capitol punishment for the murderer we have in fact violated a law of God. We have in fact degraded the scariness of life, by refusing to punish the murderer by death. Man's thinking is warped by sin and his reasoning flawed. The man who contemplates murder who knows he will lose his life by taken another's life, is not likely to commit the act. By removing the death penalty, we give license to the murderer and actually promote more murder.
Today many promote the idea of man being total vegetarians. Others such as animals rights people believe animals should have the same rights and status and humans. Neither view is supported by the Bible. God clearly states man is not an animal, but a special creation of God made in God own image. Animals are given to man as food. The animal which is killed an eaten as food, has fulfilled the function in which God created it. Man is to conserve of his environment and should never abuse it. Man has the God given responsibility to be humane to all animal life and to protect the world God has given him.
God made an unconditional covenant with Noah. This means that it was God who initiated the covenant or formal agreement. Noah was not required to do anything to benefit from the covenant. A conditional covenant would have required some action on Noah's part. In other word, a conditional covenant would be worded to the effect that "if you do your part then I will do mine". God's agreement with Noah was without condition. God states this I will do.
This covenant was not only with Noah, but to his sons and all future generations they would produce. The scope of the covenant also included all life on earth including the animals. The covenant stated that God would never destroy all life on earth by a Flood such as they had experienced.
As a token of the promise of God, He placed a bow in the sky for all to see and remember this promise. This is the rainbow we see normally associated with rain. It was created by God as a reminder for all perpetual generations to see that God would keep His promise. It is another evidence of the truthfulness of the Bible. After the Flood the great water canopy that covered the earth was gone and the sun shone on the earth as it never had in the past. The suns rays shining through light water vapor in a rain cloud causes the rainbow. Before the Flood it had never rained on earth or never had a rainbow been seen. Again, what we see in nature around us fits exactly with what the Bible tells us.
Noah's three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth are the ancestors of all men on earth today. More will be said in Chapter 11, as to how all the races of men came from Noah's sons.
Noah after the Flood became a farmer and one of the plants he raised was grapes. Noah drank the wine and it made him dunk. Probably he became warm from the wine and took of his clothes to cool himself.
His son Ham came in and saw his father naked and then when and told his two brothers. Shem and Japheth then went in and covered their father with a garment. Further they looked the other way and would not look towards Noah.
When Noah awoke he realized what Ham had done and he made a prophecy concerning Canaan, Ham's son. Ham's sin was in not showing respect toward his father. Shem and Japheth did so. Ham did more than just look at his father. The word "saw" used here means to "gaze upon with satisfaction". It means he took pleasure in seeing his father in a fallen state. He mocked his father to his two brothers indicating a rebellious spirit and dislike of Noah. He made fun of Noah's weakness which would imply that he thought himself better or stronger than his father. Shem and Japheth honored their father and would not take part in Ham's ridicule of Noah.
Noah probably had know of Ham's like of character for a long time and this act of disrespect brought the matter to a head. Noah realized that Ham would pass his character on to his son and stated that Canaan was cursed. I do not believe this means Noah imparted or placed a curse on Canaan. Noah merely stated the fact Canaan would be under the disadvantage of having a father who had little moral character.
Noah stated that this flaw in the character of Ham, would be passed to Canaan. Ham would reap what he had sown in having a son who would show him no respect.
There has been much misunderstanding in regard to the curse or prophecy which Noah made concerning Canaan and the desendants of Ham. One such error is in attributing the black race as being the result of the curse. Though Ham's progeny populated most of Africa, all the African peoples are not black. Others nations that descended from Ham were Canaanites, the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Sumerians and the Philistines. Other peoples who were the desendants of Ham include the Chinese, Japanese, American Indians, South Sea Islanders. The races of man, including the black races are the result of genetics and not of a curse.
There are various views as to what Noah's prophecy actually meant when he stated that Canaan would be the "servant of servants" to his brethren. Some conclude that this means that Ham's desendants would be in subjugation to the desendants of Shem and Japheth. However, history shows that this has never happened.
Henry Morris, presents what I believe is the correct understanding of the prophecy. This is the first place in the Bible that the word "servant" is used. It is normally understood in the sense of a servant being a steward or one having the responsibility for something. It seems here the prophecy was that Ham's descendants would be stewards of material the things of this world. In other words there achievements would be in the area of materialistic things.(3)
All three of the sons are referred to as "stewards" showing that what is in view is not the fact of being a steward but of what one is a steward of. Shem's stewardship would be in the area of spiritual things. Japheth's servanthood would be in the realm of intellectual achievements. Ham's contribution would be to produce men would provide materialistic accomplishments. He would provide food, clothing, shelter, weapons, machinery, transportation, technological inventions and equipment of all kinds.(4) From history is can be shown that the Hamites invented most of the worlds technological advances. The descendants of Shem, were the Jews God's chosen people, and Japheth produced the Europeans who are generally known to be the intellectuals of the world.
Another part of the prophecy found in verse 9;27, is that Japheth would be blessed by "dwelling the tents of Shem". Through Shem came the knowledge of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Christianity is at the heart of the development of Western Civilization, which is the history of Europe and America.
History shows from Shem came the spiritual advances of man. From Japheth leadership and intellectual advancement. Ham's descendants has in fact greatly served the rest of the world by giving the world the technological achievements upon which it now enjoys and relies upon.
Noah lived another three hundred and fifty years after the Flood and died at the age of nine hundred and fifty years. Noah died 2006 years after Creation. It is worth noting that Abraham was born two years after Noah died, 2008 years after Creation. Shem who was Abraham eighth generation grand child lived seventy five years after Abraham was born. (See Figure 1. Page 38)
1. "Bible Science Newsletter", Volume 27, No. 11, November, 1989, Article, "Has Noah's Ark Been Found?",page 1.
2. The Genesis Record, Henry M. Morris, Baker Book House, 1976,
3. Morris, page 239-242
4. Morris, page 240.