Genesis 7

7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

  • Still no reason why Noah’s family is “righteous,” and not any other family.

7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

  • Pardon me for being mathematical, but 7 is not divisible by 2. If there are 7 animals of each “clean” kind, how many are male and how many are female? Or does it mean seven males and seven females?
  • What is the meaning of “clean” if God hasn’t yet defined which animals are clean? (he will do so in a later chapter)

7:3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

  • Poor Noah has seven days to collect every animal from every part of the world and bring them back to the Ark. The author conveniently circumvents the story of how Noah accomplished this.
  • Some might argue that it was God that “helped” the animals FedEx themselves to Noah’s location. But if God was helping Noah anyway, then why didn’t he just transport the animals to “heaven” temporarily, and spare Noah the headaches?

7:5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
7:6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.

  • Didn’t the LORD already shorten the human life span to 120 years? (6:3) Then how can Noah be this old?

7:7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
7:8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
7:9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

  • But God stated just a bit earlier that he wants certain kinds to be brought in by sevens, not just two.

7:10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
7:12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
7:13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

  • Notice how the wives remain nameless…

7:14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
7:15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

  • “two and two…” — again, wasn’t Noah commanded to take some animals by sevens?

7:16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

    Now is a good time to go over the major problems that arise in the building of such an ark:

  • Space — with the design that God proposed, there would be enough room for several hundred animal species at best (especially if some species come in sevens). This number would decrease to several dozen if we’re bringing along Brontosauri, Mammoths, and those huge Pleistocene animals (like the 6-foot beaver). The only compromise we can make here is to become flexible with the word “kind.” By “kind” we certainly cannot mean species, because every species of every animal will simply not fit. What, then? Or will we say that the few dozen “kinds” later somehow hyper-evolved into the millions of species we have today?
  • Food — Noah also had to bring aboard enough food to feed all the animals and his family for at least a hundred and fifty days. This leaves even less space for actual animals. How did Noah know which exact food each animal preferred? (e.g. how would he know that pandas only eat eucalyptus leaves, if he had never seen a panda before?)
  • Crap — Noah had to somehow clean up after every animal, or else the cages of every animal would have filled to the top with waste. The Ark unfortunately also had no windows, except for one tiny window on the topmost deck, which apparently remained closed for the better part of the trip. Not only did the animals in lower decks have no light, they also had no ventilation. How exactly did Noah clean up all that animal waste in the dark, and what did he do with it?
  • Plants — very few (as in no) plant species can survive completely submerged under thousands of feet of water for 150 days. Furthermore, the depth of the water would have prevented any light from getting through, which is necessary for any plant. Does this mean that Noah had to bring with him most plant species, too? Even if he could bring just the seeds of the plants, it would still take a little longer than seven days to collect seeds from around the world.
  • Insects — definitely would not have survived. This means that Noah had to bring them along, too. Did Noah make clay jars with cloth coverings for each insect species? Ant farms? Worm farms? Also, we know that many insect species have a lifespan of much less than 150 days. This means that the insects had to reproduce during the flood, and Noah had to carefully monitor each insect species and keep each population at a constant 2. (insects are probably not “clean”)
  • Fish — Since the flood originated from rain, it must have been fresh water (not salt water). Now, it is well-known that both freshwater fish and saltwater fish are very sensitive to even slight changes in the salinity of their water. Therefore, most of the saltwater species would have died because of the drastic decline in salinity (because of the enormous amount of fresh water being added), and most of the freshwater species would have died because of the sudden increase in salinity (because the oceans and the freshwater lakes were mixed together). So the question is, were there also aquariums in the Ark?
  • Time — Noah was expected to accomplish all of this construction in seven days. And once again, if God was “helping” him anyway, then why couldn’t God simply take the extra step and transport everyone up to “heaven” for the duration of the flood?
  • Time — How many days did Noah actually spend in the Ark? First, there were 40 days of the flood coming down (7:17), then 150 days of the waters remaining there (7:24), then 40 days of the waters receding (8:4), then 7 days after sending Dove #1 (8:10), and another 7 days after sending Dove #2 (8:12). This makes a grand total of 244 days. How was Noah supposed to know how long the flood would last?
  • Knowledge — Noah had to be a better zoologist, a better ornithologist, a better entomologist, and a better botanist than any scientist that has ever existed, since Noah had to know the exact dietary requirements, climate conditions, mating habits, and a thousand other variables about every animal (and plant). Without this knowledge, it would be quite impossible to keep everything alive in an environment as unpleasant as the ark.
  • The LORD never told Noah how long the flood will last (or He gave Noah a wrong estimate (7:4)). So how did Noah know how much food and supplies to prepare?

    Also consider that the Ark would have been the first boat ever built. How could Noah know what a boat even looked like, much less build one to exact specifications on the first attempt? Noah might as well have built a giant wooden box and called it an Ark, for all he knew! Also, a boat that big made entirely out of wood can never be seaworthy: it would have to be heavily reinforced with metallic straps, but Noah wasn’t allowed to use those.

7:17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.
7:18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.

    I have wondered how hard the flood rain would have to come down in order to generate such an effect. Let’s find out:

    Suppose that, on a day of very heavy rain (assuming it rains all day long), an area could get as much as 20 inches of rain water. If it rains like this for a total of 40 days, and if it rains all over the Earth (from an extra-terrestrial water source), it would result in a sea level increase of 800 inches (67 feet). Not bad, but it still doesn’t cover much height. To cover the full height of 29,055 feet (the height of Mt. Everest plus 15 cubits), the rain would have to come down 433.6 times harder than the hardest rain we’ve ever seen (about 6 inches per minute). If it is even conceivable to imagine such rain, it would probably look like a near-solid wall of water crashing down.

    The fact that no wooden boat would ever withstand this kind of force is beside the point. A bigger concern is that the density of the falling water would prevent any fresh air from getting through to the Ark, so Noah and everyone else would have suffocated.

7:19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
7:20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

    I have also wondered exactly how much water the flood consisted of. Let’s find out:

    The diameter of the Earth is 12,756 kilometers. (the radius is 6,378 km)
    This would make the surface area of the Earth roughly 511,185,932 km ².

    Now, the height of Mt. Everest above sea level is 8,848 meters. So the total height of the flood waters would have to be 8,848 meters + 15 cubits, which comes out to about 8,856 meters (8.856 km).

    So the total volume of the flood waters would have to be roughly 4,527,062,614 km ². This translates to about, say, 1,195,923,422,083,689,000,000 gallons.

    This would raise the inevitable question: Where did the 1.2 sextillion gallons of flood water come from, and where have they disappeared to?

7:21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
7:24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

  • Isn’t it strange that God is so quick to create, but so slow to kill? Why did it take him a day or two to create all the animals and humans, but hundreds of days to destroy everything? And why did he have to destroy everything using such cumbersome, inefficient, and seemingly “natural” means?