Noah and the Flood
The Bible is quite clear about the short amount of time it did not rain:
So the only time the Bible says it did not rain was early day 3 -- before there were any plants on the earth. They appeared later that day. There is a tradiation, based on a misunderstanding of this verse, that it did not rain before the Flood, but the Bible never says that. The hydrologic cycle started on day three, as the early waters evaporated, cooled in the evening, and rained back down. The interesting thing, scientifically, about these two sentences early in Genesis chapter 2 is that they indicate the earth was already heating in the interior, driving water out of the rocks in the mantle, and forcing the waters up to the surface.
As the verses quoted above indicate, there was water coming up from under the crust, watering the surface of the ground.
Sunlight -- or any light -- is made up of many different wavelengths. The section of these wavelengths that we can see is the color spectrum. The shorter wavelengths are the blues and the longer wavelengths are the reds, with the other colors in between. When light hits a crystal or water droplets, or even the spray coming out of your hose or at the base of a waterfall, the molecules in the crystal or water break up the light into its colors.
Light will naturally break up when it hits something clear of a particular shape that causes it to bend and, thus, break up. So yes, there were rainbows before the Flood, but not in the sky. That is because it did not rain in the daytime before the Flood, so there was no sun when it rained in order to make a rainbow. But rainbows could be seen in sprays of water, and were probably quite beautiful!
No. But after the Flood the rainbow was seen in the sky for the first time. That is because the earth's axis tilted a bit at the time of the Flood and that produced the weather cycles we are familiar with today, where rain clouds are driven by winds across the land in the daytime so that it rains in the daytime. When the clouds start to break up, but there is still a little rain coming down and the sun is shining through, a rainbow is seen in the sky. Before the Flood, when the earth's axis was straight up and down, the water would evaporate up during the day, just as it does now, but then it would only rain down at night, when the clouds cooled off. So rainbows were not in the sky before the Flood.
The physical cause of the Flood was due to the building pressure of water beneath the crust of the earth. Because the interior of the earth was heating rapidly, water was being driven out of the rocks and crystal structures in the mantle of the earth, and more water was accumulating beneath the crust of the earth than the early 'dykes,' or geysers and springs, could release. Here is a picture for you: if you have a pot of water on the stove, and you bring it to a boil with a lid on, the lid will start to allow steam to escape by popping up and down. But suppose you hold that lid down as hard as you can -- little bits will still escape, but then when you release the pressure, the lid will explode upwards and boiling steam will surge out. It is a dangerous thing to do, and please don't try it, but it does give you a picture of the crust of the earth holding hard against the water pressure as long as it could. Then some asteroids hit and it was like a pin puncturing a blown-up-tight balloon. The Bible tells us in Genesis 7:11, "In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened."
That is the physical cause, but the Bible tells us a lot more. There was a spiritual cause as well. God knew people were going to sin, and He knew the world was going to turn evil. So His Plan was that the bursting of the waters from under the crust would happen at the time when men had become so evil and so violent that the kids would not know they even had a choice in life -- they would only know evil and violence as a way of life. Refusing to lose the children to that, God timed the Flood to destroy the earth at that point. It should be noted that Jesus told us that when the world got that bad again, the end would come. Today we see violence as a way of entertainment and evil seems to be taking over the world. Paul warned us about these times, too. So we may be very close to the end now, when Jesus said He will come back.
Absolutely, yes. We have strata on all the continents which show the effects of the Flood. These strata are in two major sections: a thick layer of tillite (diamictite) which is composed of stones, rocks, and boulders of all sizes and types from many different places, all jumbled together in a 'cement' of limestone which can only form in warm or hot water. On top of that is a layer up to two miles thick of a black shale which is very rich is both carbon and kerogen. Kerogen, especially, is the clue here, as it is the result of the breakdown and decay of flesh and muscle tissue.
In addition, there are the stories from cultures and groups from all over the world at different times recalling this incredible Flood which was survived by only one family on a boat.
On top of that, we have strong evidence of both Venus and Mars (the planets on either side of us) flooding for the same reason: interior heating of their cores.
By looking, without prejudice or preconceived ideas, at the geological evidence as menntioned above.
There are a number of reasons:
No. There are all kinds of beliefs by all kinds of people.
Yes, quite a few people believe that it was simply a local flood and that Noah is simply a legendary figure.
That is something the Bible tells us. However, it is also confirmed by the two very thick strata of remains, the lower one being the rocks -- some the size of small boulders -- which were tossed about and thrown together before being 'glued' together in limestone. Only very, very strong water surges could have done that. Some think it might have been done by glaciers, but the limestone they are found in can only be formed in warm to hot water.
It was much worse -- each of the exploding jets of water was like a giant volcano, going up to heights of up to fifteen miles. That is higher than our passenger airlines and jets fly today -- ten miles higher.
The water which exploded from under the crust had been under a lot of pressure, and pressure means heat. In addition, the water itself was a result of the heating of rocks and minerals under the crust. They became so hot that the water was driven out of them. Because the water remained under increasing pressure under the surface, it did not cool down. A number of flood stories around the world recall that the Flood involved scalding hot waters. Even today, we not only have warm springs, but the geysers at places like Yellowstone shoot up scalding hot water and steam.
The pressure of the heated waters under the surface of the earth had built up to such an extent that all it took was the impact from a rather large meteorite to cause the shaking which set the waters loose in a series of massive explosions. No, it could not happen again. Not only did God promise it would not happen again, but the heating under the earth has settled down a lot since the beginning, a lot of the waters exploded in the Flood, and the earth even stretched a bit bigger to accomodate the inside pressure when the continents pulled apart.
Yes and no. There were a lot of fairly small splits where the waters burst out along the weak lines which would later be where the continents separated, but there was no giant split at that time.
When the waters exploded out from under the surface of the earth, they carried up with them tons and tons of torn up rocks and dirt. The initial explosions went as high as fifteen miles up. It is estimated that volcanoes can erupt throwing material into the air at the speed of up to 600 miles per hour (as measured at Mt. St. Helens). If the Flood waters were anything like that, it would have taken less than two minutes to reach a height of 15 miles before it started raining down.
The 'rain' that Noah experienced for forty days was the pouring down of the scalding waters carrying all that dirt and rock that had exploded upwards.
I think there is a bit of confusion here. Noah had a number of years to build the Ark, but one week before the Flood started, Noah was warned that there was only a week left.
The entire super-continent of Pangea was inundated. Approximately one-half of the volume of our present oceans was poured out in those forty days.
We can only assume the Ark was being built in an area that was not near the explosions of water. So the upward explosions did not hit it, but "only" the rain and debris falling back down. This would have been scalding, but still slightly cooler than the superheated steam of the explosions.
God gave Noah the specifications for the size of the Ark so that it could survive. It appears to have been the largest ship built before the 1800's -- less than 200 years ago. So for thousands of years, there had been no larger boat built. In addition, it was not built for travel, but for stability in rough waters. Other boats of Noah's time would have been built with the same purpose most of our boats are built today: to travel. That requires a special shape. The stability built into the Ark gave it a very different shape -- one that could survive when none of the others could. Below is a picture of a model of the Ark built in the Netherlands, using the size given by God to Noah.
Yes. Tons and tons of it.
It was a combination of both.
That's a really good question because we honestly don't know. The Bible says the water reached at depth of 15 cubits, which is probably more than 20 feet. Here is what we wrote in our Genesis study about it:
"How did they know how deep the waters were? There are actually several choices here, when you look at the different translations:
There must have been giant ones.
No. It would have widened some of the cracks between where the continents would later be, but the actual break-up did not occur at this time.
There was a massive impact which initiated the Flood. The crater takes up most of Australia. This impact may well have been what caused a lot of the cracking of the crust along the lines of weakness in between the centers of what would later be the continents. The waters exploded up through these areas, but they did not cause any spreading of the continents. That would come later.
No. But the Earth's axis tilted a little due to the impact and explosions of water and that caused the first ice caps to form at the Arctic and Antarctic. The Ice Age itself was a result of a further axis tilt at the time of Peleg, when the continents did divide.
Eden was totally buried due to the Flood, but that was several hundred years before the continents started separating.
We have no idea how far the Ark went, or if it went very far at all. It was designed to be stable, not for moving from one place to another.
Yes, dinosaurs were on the Ark. But God probably did not bring the old, giant dinosaurs. He probably brought the much younger and smaller ones which would have many more years of breeding and having young ahead of them than the old ones would. If you look at the true scale model of the Ark above, you can see there was plenty of room for all manner of animals.
God instructed Noah to take all kinds of food on the Ark. We know from earlier in Genesis that all people and all the large animals ate only plant foods before the Flood. Since Noah had many years in which to build the Ark, he also had plenty of time to dry and compress all kinds of foods. Leaf and stem foods (like hay) are easily compressed into cubes. Fruits can be dried. Quite a bit had to be prepared ahead of time, but God gave Noah plenty of time to do it.
Not on purpose! Only God knows if there were fleas in any of the animals' fur or mosquitoes that got in. But for the most part, the insects would have survived on what are called floating vegetation mats. We still see these today. Sometimes after the monsoons in Southeast Asia, big sections of vegetation are washed out to sea, and they will form a thick mat on which all kinds of small animals, insects and plant life live. Here is a picture of what they are like.
The above photo was taken in the Caribbean in 1999. This is a very small mat.
Sadly, all the other land animals and birds did die in the Flood. Why? Because of us. Because we have rebelled against God and, as Paul tells us in Romans 8, all creation suffers because of that.
There may be a mistranslation her in our Bibles or simply a traditional understanding that is not correct. The most ancient of Hebrew Scriptures describes the animals that went on as "two two," or, as we would say it, "two by two." Male and female. There may have been several 'twos' of each kind. We only know for sure that they were brought to the Ark by God in pairs.
First of all, God created all the animals and knew each one that existed. It was His choice as to what would be on the Ark. We only know they were by "kind." That is NOT "species." The Biblical "kind" is sort of like saying "dog kind" or "cat kind" -- the variations came from the original kinds.
The Bible tells us that every land animal with the breath of life was represented by kind on the Ark as well as the flying animals. This would indicate that representatives of all kinds that had lungs were on the Ark.
Everything living on the earth except what was on the Ark died in the Flood itself. It was that massive and damaging.
Any fish that were near the areas where there were explosions would have died. In addition, any fish that were hit by the scalding waters would have died as well. The other fish would have survived.
Life was destroyed and the surface of the land completely changed, but the land itself remained. Soil was stripped from the granite foundations of the continents and swept into the downwarped areas where the water had exploded up. But the granite foundations of the continents remained and are still here today.
It drained into the ocean beds and downwarped areas. About half of our present ocean water was exploded out during the Flood.
This is a matter of argument among many creationists. The major creation organizations in the United States and Australia all follow Dr. Henry Morris' lead in claiming that the vast majority of the earth's strata and almost all the fossils are the result of the Flood.
We, and many others, disagree strongly with this, as the evidence left in the upper Precambrian strata indicate not only a worldwide flood, but one that was so violent that nothing could be fossilized -- only crushed, scalded, and utterly destroyed. Therefore, we feel the Flood strata is associated with something some geologists have called 'snowball earth,' since they cannot figure any other way than glaciers to move so many rocks and boulders as we see evidence of.
They were 'cemented' together by both calcium and silica. The kind of limestone (the calcium/magnesium 'cement') which we find in the lower Flood strata can only form in warm to hot water.
Yes. They are at the southern end of the city where I am from (Adelaide).
The world of that time was fully destroyed, but the evidence is in the ruins that world left behind: in the miles' thick carbon-rich strata containing the rotted material of their flesh and muscles (kerogen).
No, just the opposite. Tons of material washed off the granite bases of the continents and into the margins and downwarped areas which became lowlands in some places and continental shelves in others.
Last January (2014) a number of news outlets, both scientific and lay, published the findings that there is more than another ocean's worth of water locked up in the crystal structures of minerals deep beneath the earth's surface. This evidence helps us understand what happened when the Bible says, in Genesis 7:11, that the Flood began when all the fountains of the depths exploded. Will this water again explode and Flood the earth? God promised us that it would not. The worst of the pressure has been released.
There was no appreciable change to the mantle. There were changes in the crust, though. Areas got thinner as material was washed off and others got thicker as that material layered in.
Geologists who refuse to consider the fact that the entire earth was flooded at one point are faced with the fact that something moved very large rocks and boulders hundreds of miles from where they began. They figure only glaciers could do this. Because some of the rocks they see have been moved hundreds of miles from tropical areas, they then figure the entire earth must have been covered with snow and glaciers. So they refer to it as 'snowball earth.' One thing they have a great deal of trouble explaining is the evidence of strong wave action in these strata. Glaciers and snow cannot do that. There is also the problem of the limestone matrix surrounding these moved rocks and boulders. As mentioned above, that type of limestone can only form in warm or hot water.
No. There was no 'snowball earth.' That explanation of the data is what some are using to try to get away from the biblical flood.
Noah didn't 'find land.' As the waters started subsiding, the Ark landed on a mountain.
That's a question that has inspired expeditions for years. The research we have done is in our article, "Where is Noah's Ark?"
It was about four months between the time the Ark landed and the dove brought back an olive leaf. That was a good amount of time for any floating olive branches to root and start putting out new leaves. Olives will root off of their small branches when the branches are part-way buried. Any parts of olive trees which were torn up by the exploding waters and which ended up on vegetation mats would have been quite capable of rooting into the new land as the water receded.
No it is not a sin and it is not wrong. After the Flood, God instructed Noah to start eating meat.
Humans require specific nutrients to be healthy. One of these nutriets is what is called a complete protein. It is our guess that before the Flood, there were plants which produced leaves or fruits or nuts which provided that protein, but which did not survive the Flood. Therefore God told us to eat meat after the Flood. Today it is the source of that complete protein that we need. Folks who prefer to be vegetarian have to be very careful to eat the right combinations of foods at one time (such a kidney beans and brown rice) so they will get every part of the complete protein they need.
Noah was not allowed to come out of the Ark, or let the animals out of the Ark for a year after they entered it. That was 2.5 - 3 months after the dove brought back the olive leaf. So there was vegetation growing when Noah got off the Ark. Trees would not yet be full-grown or giving fruit, but we know Noah had put a lot of food on the Ark, so there would have been some food to still eat for awhile after they left the Ark. So while there would not be a variety of fresh foods to eat at first, they would be growing and vegetables, at least, would be available to them soon. This is a long way of saying that the lack of trees and fruit would not have been the reason Noah and his family started eating meat. They started eating meat because the proteins they needed were no longer available to them in the plant life, but only in animal meat.
Animals eat what they need and what they digest the best. The animals who depended upon complete proteins from plants before the Flood no longer had those plants after the Flood and so they needed to eat other animals. However the animals which did not need that special nutrient -- animals that grazed, for instance -- never needed to stop grazing and eat anything else.
Remember that Noah was told to take all kinds of food on the Ark. Things like wheat kernels and nuts and corn are seeds. The leftovers could easily have been planted after the Flood. In addition, we know that there were other plants, such as the olives, which survived, probably on the vegetation mats, and then started growing again in the new world.
No. The weather was even all year round. Seeds could be planted at any time and harvested at any time.
It probably took a few years for the seasons to settle into a predictable pattern. The tilting of the earth's axis during the Flood would have caused some major storm systems and storm surges to happen. These would have deposited layer after layer of snow and ice at the poles as well as providing some unpredictable weather across the earth. Once things settled down, the seasons were probably not too different from what we know now.
No. Any spray of water in the sun can produce a rainbow. The new thing was that it would be 'in the clouds.' That means it would rain over land during the day, which had not happened before the Flood. That was a result of the axis tilt and the new sets of winds which the tilted earth produced. Just as a short bit of explanation, remember that cold air sinks and warm air rises. So with the new tilt, parts of the earth would be warmer at times than others. This would start the air moving in cycles. These air cycles can be traced today and are called "cells."
God created the first human beings perfect. They had no mutations, or changes in their cells which would damage them. At the time of the Flood, the eight people on the Ark were exposed for the first time to radioactivity -- radiation -- coming from some of the materials which the bursting waters brought up from under the crust. These radioactive elements must have caused some mutations in those eight people, for after them the ages drop in half. In one generation after the Flood the expected lifetime of a man went from around 900 years to about 450 years.
The second time people were exposed to another round of radiation was at the time of Peleg,when the meteorite hits started the division of the continents. That time was marked by some massive volcanic activity as well as all the other problems, and we find in the Bible that, again, within one generation after that time, people's expected lifespans dropped in half again. After that they gradually decreased to the top of about 120 years which we have now, although very few people live to be that old.
No. The Flood was too violent to fossilize anything. All life was crushed, burned, scalded, and rotted.
None of the swamps we have today date from before the Flood. The Flood totally destroyed the world that was, including the geology of the land and land formations.