The last several posts on the Precept Ministries Genesis study before my election posts were on the world's wickedness that led to the flood. The next several Genesis posts are going to be on the facts of the flood itself. As the introduction to this section says, It is more complicated than the song, “Now Noah, he built him an arky, arky.” In some children’s books, pictures portray Noah’s Flood as a rainstorm in which cute little animals floated happily in a little boat. The animals boarding the ark may have been a pleasant and charming scene, but what followed was a destructive event unparalleled in human history, an event that completely transformed the pre-flood earth.
So what does God want all generations to know? What are the facts that will never change? Let us see them for ourselves as we begin by looking at the ark. From the description given in Genesis 6:14–16, we can note the dimensions of the ark. If you have a formal equivalence translation, you might see the dimensions described in cubits. One cubit is approximately 18 inches or one and one-half feet. Some translations convert the cubit to feet or yards. Think of how the ark’s length compares to a football field, which is 120 yards long if you include the end zones. The ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.
When we look at Genesis 7–8 and all the references to time that we talked about before, we can record a log of what God said, when he said it, and what happened on the various days, months, and years mentioned in the text. God told Noah a week beforehand to go into the ark with his family and the animals. After that seven days, God would make it rain for 40 days and nights. Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. After those seven days, the waters of the flood were on the earth. In the 600th year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the 17th day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and God opened the windows of heaven. The rain was on the earth 40 days and nights. On the very same day, Noah’s family and all the animals entered the ark. The flood was on the earth for forty days. The waters increased and lifted the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days. After 150 days, exactly five months after the flood began, the ark came to rest on Ararat's mountains. Two and a half months later, as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks became visible. After another 40 days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat and released a raven. After waiting another seven days, Noah rereleased the dove. He waited another seven days and then rereleased the dove. This time it did not come back. Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Two more months went by, and at last, the earth was dry! Then God said to Noah at the end of Genesis 8: “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
That is all the references to time and all that was said and done on those days. Next time, we will look at the biblical facts of the flood by categorizing them. We will be examining the cause of the flood from two aspects:
- The spiritual cause- the reason for the flood.
- The physical cause- What caused the waters to rise and cover the earth?