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"The study of God's word, for the purpose of discovering God's will, is the discipline which has formed the greatest characters." - James W. Alexander
BIBLE LESSONS QUICK LIST
- The Canon of the Old Testament
- The Canon of the New Testament
- Modern Bible Translations
- Paul's Apostleship and Authority
- Interpreting/Understanding the Bible
- Jesus: Eternal and Divine Son of God
- Jesus: Born, but Not Begotten
- God's Amazing Grace
- What is the Gospel?
- The Passion of the Christ
- A Study of Baptism
- Assurance of Salvation
- Origins of Christian Worship
- A History of Church Divisions
- Introduction to Denominations
- Examining Catholic Doctrines
- False Doctrines of the Early Church
- Three Days and Three Nights
- Predestination and Calvinism
- The Holy Spirit: Our Help and Strength
- What is Speaking in Tongues?
- The Grace of Giving
- The Day Christ Comes Again
- Works and Rewards
- Introduction to the Book of Revelation
- The Divorce Debate
- Genesis, Creation, Dinosaurs, etc.
- Abortion, Stem Cell Research, etc.
Genesis, Creation, Dinosaurs, etc.
Written by Bob Williams
NOTE: Much of the information contained in this section is to be directly attributed to various lessons found at apologeticspress.org and are used here with permission granted by the original author(s). All such direct quotes begin with the designation [AP] and end with [End AP]. Intermittent comments within such quoted material are in brackets and end with - BW.
Were the days of creation literal 24-hour days?
Genesis chapter 1 clearly states that the world and all therein was created in only 6 days. A further study of Biblical history and the ages of men will show that the creation occurred only a few thousand years ago.
There are many, however, who do not agree with such. Atheists have attempted to promote the idea that the universe itself is about 8-12 billions years old, that the earth is about 5 billion years old, that early life forms developed about 3-4 billion years ago, and that man arrived about 1-2 million years ago. The onslaught of such information has apparently been effective enough to convince even some who profess to be Bible-believing Christians. Thus we now have theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists who seek to promote that the account of creation in Genesis chapter 1 is not to be taken literally. Such people then appear to advocate that the Bible is to interpreted, not according to what it clearly says, but according to the dating methods of scientific theory!
Donald England of Harding University, in his book, A Scientist Examines Faith and Evidence, says, "...it is not recommended that one should allow a general impression gained from the reading of Scripture to crystallize in his mind as absolute revealed truth. A reading of the first few chapters of Genesis leaves one with the very definite impression that life has existed on earth for, at the most, a few thousand years. That conclusion is in conflict with the conclusions of modern science that the earth is ancient" (1983, p. 155). Jack Wood Sears, while also a professor at Harding University, wrote: "Science, as I indicated earlier, has seemed to indicate that life has been here much longer than we have generally interpreted the Bible to indicate" (1969, p. 97).
In an effort to inject millions and billions of years into the account, it is contended by many that the days of creation were not literal, 24-hour days, but were rather very long periods of time. This is commonly known as the Day-Age Theory. (Some have even tried to argue that 2 Peter 3:8 gives some support to this theory, although this is not at all the intent of Peter. And, even if it was, all that would add would be 6-7000 years, not the millions and billions needed to fit the evolutionary model.) However, in contrast to this theory, it should be accepted that God did indeed create the world and all that is therein in 6 literal, 24-hour days because…
1. The Genesis account clearly says so.
Even a cursory reading of Genesis 1 indicates that God created everything in 6 days. Nothing in the text itself suggests anything to the contrary. It is suggested that, had the writer wanted to convey the thought of long periods of time, many other words could have been used more effectively. The Hebrew word olam means "age" or "long time." Or the adjective rab, meaning "long" could have been added to the text. But the writer chose (by inspiration of the Holy Spirit) to simply use the word yom, which, in this and similar contexts (not poetic or allegorical, etc.), is generally understood to refer to a normal, 24-hour day.
Perhaps to alleviate all doubt, the writer even defined what he meant by yom or day. Genesis 1:5 says, "And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day." The "first day" is thus clearly defined by the writer as a normal, 24-hour day consisting of both day and night. And, in fact, each day of creation is defined in the same manner.
It is also significant that yom is accompanied by a numeral throughout the account of the days of creation. In addressing this point, Arthur Williams says: "We have failed to find a single example of the use of the word 'day' in the entire Scripture where it means other than a period of twenty-four hours when modified by the use of the numerical adjective" (1965, p. 10). Likewise, numerous contemporary Hebrew scholars have agreed that such a combination of yom with a numeral ought to be commonly understood as referring to a normal, 24-hour day. Furthermore, Genesis 1:14 says, "Then God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.'" The question then is, if the "days" are long ages of time, then what are the nights and what are the years?!
[AP] Some have suggested, of course, that literal, 24-hour days would not have been possible until at least the fourth day, because the Sun had not yet been created. Note, however, that the same "evening and morning" is employed before Genesis 1:14 (the creation of the Sun) as after it. Why should there be three long eras of time before the appearing of the Sun, and only 24-hour days after its creation? Numerous writers have responded to this objection. "Insofar as the view is concerned that these could not be ordinary days because the sun had not been created, we should like to point to the fact that we still measure time in terms of days even though the sun does not appear or is not visible. For instance, north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle the sun does not appear for periods of time up to six months at the poles themselves. We would not think of measuring time in terms of the appearance or lack of appearance of the sun in these areas. No one would contend that at the North or South Pole a day is the equivalent of six months elsewhere" (Klotz, 1955, p. 85). "...If to this the objection is offered that the sun did not shine on the earth until the fourth day, it should be remembered that it is the function of the heavenly bodies to mark the days, not make them! It is night when no moon appears; and the day is the same whether the sun is seen or not" (Woods, 1976, p. 17). [End AP]
2. Other passages of Scripture support a literal 6 days of creation.
In Exodus 20:8-11, God commanded Israel, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; ... For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy." God spoke further regarding the Sabbath in Exodus 31:17: "It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed." The command to keep the Sabbath can be understood properly only when the days of the week are considered as normal, 24-hour days. Keeping the Sabbath, doing no work on that day, makes no sense if such is to be interpreted to mean a long period of time.
Two verses in the book of Psalms provide further commentary on the days of creation. "For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:9). "Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created" (Psalm 148:5). Both these statements give credence to literal, 24-hour days and instantaneous creation. They stand in direct contradiction to the theory that it took millions and billions of years to accomplish the various acts of creation.
3. Logical problems arise in the process of creation if the days are longer than normal.
The most obvious problem would be in relation to the 3rd day and the creation of plant life. If, as some contend, each day consisted of millions or billions of years, how did the plants survive until the sun was created on the 4th day? They would obviously be able to survive without the sun for several hours, but not for several geological ages! Furthermore, another problem would arise regarding the reproduction of the plants. According to Genesis 1, other living things were not created until the 5th and 6th days. We know that many plants survive only by pollination by bees, moths, and other such creatures. Again, surely such plants could have survived without pollination for a couple of days. But how could they survive and multiply if it were millions or billions of years before the insects came into existence?!
The fact remains, not only could God have created all that is in only 6 days, but according to His written word, that is exactly what He did.
Where did Cain get his wife?
[AP] Many infidels and skeptics have used this apparent inconsistency as evidence for the allegorical or mythological nature of the early Genesis record, in opposition to plain historicity as advocated by biblical conservatives. While it is true the Bible is not specific on this matter, there is no difficulty in suggesting a reasonable solution that does no violence to Scriptural interpretation.
The most common solution is to propose that Cain married a near relative-perhaps a sister. Initially this may seem a radical idea, but as we will note, it is the most realistic option. We are told in specific terms that Adam and Eve had three sons-Cain, Abel, and sometime later, Seth. However, we also are told that Adam was the father of "other sons and daughters" (Genesis 5:4). Eve had borne Cain and Abel soon after leaving Eden (Genesis 4:1-2), but she could have had other children between their birth and Abel's death, and between that murder and the birth of Seth. In any case, one female offspring could later have become Cain's wife.
Some have inquired as to whether or not Cain could have married someone else not of Adam and Eve's family-viz., a woman of other people whom God had created. In light of Scripture, this is not a possibility. The Bible makes it plain (Genesis 3:20) that Eve was the "mother of all living" (emp. added). If Adam was the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45) and if Eve was the mother of all, then it is clear that there were no "other people" left for Cain to marry. The population of the Earth came directly through the lineage of Adam and Eve. There would have been no shortage of potential mates. A glance at the rapidly growing population of the antediluvian world (Genesis 4-6) shows that the people of those times were prodigious; they took seriously God's command to "be fruitful, and multiply" (Genesis 1:28)!
Many people immediately see a problem with marriages that must, of necessity, be incestuous in nature. Remember, however, that incest itself was outlawed only with the coming of the Mosaic covenant (Leviticus 18). There was no need for strict laws on marriage partners in the early Patriarchal Age (apart from the divine "one man, one woman, for life" institution), and for at least one good reason: during this time, man was in a relatively pure state, at least physically, having left not long before the perfect condition in which he was created and the Garden that had sustained his life. Adam and Eve could have lived forever had it not been for their corruption by sin, and their consequent expulsion from Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). Hence, no harmful genetic traits had emerged at this point that could have been expressed in the children of closely related partners.
However, after many generations, and especially after the Noahic Flood (Genesis 6-9), solar and cosmic radiation, chemical and viral mutagens, and DNA replication errors, led to the multiplication of genetic disorders. God protected His people by instituting strict laws against incestuous marriages in the eighteenth chapter of Leviticus. Needless to say, more genetic disorders have arisen in the world population since the time of Moses, and thus it is even more important to avoid marrying a close relative. [End AP]
Where did the different races come from?
[AP] A human "race" is defined most often as a group of people with certain features in common that distinguish them from other groups of people. Currently there are three or four major "races" of humans, as the word race is commonly defined: (a) Australoid; (b) Caucasoid; (c) Mongoloid [Oriental, American Indian, etc. - BW]; and (d) Negroid. Generally speaking, the Australoids are considered a subgroup of the Caucasoids, simply because the two groups have so many features in common, despite the fact that Australoids possess dark skin (the Australoid group is often known as the Australian Aboriginal Group). If a breakdown by percentages of the world's population were attempted, the groups would look like this: Caucasoid, 55%; Mongoloid, 33%; Negroid, 8%; Australoid, 4%. It is interesting to note that these races are distributed around the globe throughout over 100 nations, and speak 3,000+ tribal languages and dialects.
[There are many differences among the various races: hair texture, skin color, stature, body shape, facial and other appearance features, etc. In fact, it appears there may be dozens of variable factors that distinguish different races of people. And furthermore, there are no absolutes in these variations. For instance, there are millions of people in India who have very dark skin but are generally classified in the Caucasoid race. Likewise, American Indians are generally considered as Mongoloid even though they lack the distinguishing Oriental facial characteristics. Rather than consider all these variations, however, we're going to confine our discussion at this point solely to the issue of skin color. - BW]
It also is interesting to note that these "differences" within the groups are just as pronounced as differences among the groups. Negroid people range in color from black to sallow [yellowish - BW]; Mongoloid people range from yellow, to white, to bronze-brown; Caucasoids range from pink (as in England) to dark brown (as in Southern India).
These skin colors-to which most people refer when they speak of a "race" of people-are caused by the brown pigment in the skin known as melanin. The more melanin a person has, the darker the skin will be as an adult. Conversely, the less melanin in the skin, the lighter the skin will be as an adult. A person whose skin possesses no melanin is referred to as an albino, and cannot produce body pigment. Such a person's pinkish-white color is caused by blood vessels showing through the colorless skin. The claim that there are many different skin colors in the world is not altogether accurate. The apparent differences in color are merely differences in the amount of the melanin found in the skin, not differences in the type of color. There is only one coloring agent for the human race; the shade of color simply depends upon how much melanin is present.
Melanin does far more than simply provide the body with pigmentation. Its most important role is in protecting the body by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight that falls on the skin. UV radiation can damage the skin and produce skin cancer if not filtered out by the melanin. People who have large amounts of melanin in their skin are generally very resistant to the effects of UV radiation. People with only small amounts of melanin may suffer badly if exposed to too much UV light. The energy of the UV light penetrates deeper into their skin and can cause damage to the skin tissues.
[According to the evolutionary scheme, all these variations would be the result of changes occurring over millions of years. However, no such eons of time is required to produce the many variations in skin color seen in our world today. In fact, only one generation would have been needed. - BW]
In humans, production of the skin coloring agent melanin is controlled by two pairs of genes. We can designate them Aa and Bb, the capital letters representing dominant genes and the small letters recessive genes. A and B, being dominant, produce melanin very well; being recessive, a and b produce melanin to a lesser degree.
Gary Parker, in his book, Creation: The Facts of Life (1980, pp. 77-81), has observed that if Adam and Eve were both AABB, they could have produced only children with the darkest coloration possible, and they themselves likewise would have been dark. That, barring genetic mutations (to be discussed later), would have produced a world composed only of dark-skinned people. But, as has been noted already, the Negroid race composes less than 10% of the world's population, so by a process of elimination, this choice can be ruled out. If Adam and Eve both had been aabb, they could have had only children that were aabb, that being the lightest coloration possible. Then, the world would contain no other groupings. But it does. So, this option also is ruled out by a process of elimination.
The real question is this: Is there a mechanism by which the racial characteristics which we see today could have originated with one human couple-in the short, few thousand year or so history of the Earth?
The answer is a resounding yes! If Adam and Eve had been "heterozygous" (AaBb; two dominant, two recessive genes), they would have been middle-brown in color. And, from them-in one generation-racial differences could have occurred quite easily. [In fact,] in a single generation, one could expect (theoretically) these colorations to be produced: 1 darkest; 4 dark; 6 medium; 4 light; and 1 lightest.
A person born AABB carries genes for the darkest coloration possible, and since all genes are dominant, has no genes for lightness. If that person married another person who likewise carried all dominant genes, and moved to an area where no intermarriage with people of different colors occurred, the offspring resulting from this marriage then would carry the same dominant genes. These offspring will have "lost" the ability to be "white." Conversely, if a person who is aabb, and thus the lightest possible, marries another person who likewise carries all recessive genes, and moves into an area where no intermarriage with people of other colors occurs, henceforth this union will produce only offspring of the lightest possible coloration. The offspring so produced will have "lost" the ability to be "black." They no longer have the genes necessary to produce enough melanin for the black color.
Thus, starting with any two parents who were heterozygous (i.e., middle-brown in color), extreme racial colors (black and white, to name only two examples) could be produced in such a way that races would have permanently different colors. Of course, it also is possible to produce a middle-brown race that will have a fixed middle-brown color. If the original middle-brown parents produce offspring of either AAbb or aaBB, and these offspring marry only others their own color, avoiding intermarriage with those not of their own genetic makeup, their descendants will be a fixed middle-brown color.
There can be little doubt that racial characteristics existed before the Flood, at least to some degree. However, regardless of just how well delineated the various groups of people were before the Flood, Noah's three sons and their wives were the only survivors to pass their genes to the post-Flood population. The inherent variability within these survivors, along with the possibility of mutations, would ensure continued diversity.
[Furthermore,] after the Flood, the Tower of Babel incident occurred. Men refused to obey God and cover the Earth (Genesis 9:1). So, God confused their languages, and as a result men migrated to parts of the globe where they could be with others who spoke their language (Genesis 11:8). This migration, then, had a significant effect on the subsequent development and history of mankind. At least some of the differences that arose can be attributed to the various environments in which the people found themselves. While it certainly is true that genes control melanin production, it also is true that the body has the ability to "respond" (i.e., adapt), within certain limits, to environmental pressures. So, those people with darker skins who moved into equatorial regions could better adapt. Likewise, people with fairer skins who moved into Scandinavian countries would be favored, since darker-skinned people could not produce Vitamin D as easily and therefore would suffer from such diseases as rickets. Environmental pressures, therefore, could affect the genetic machinery, at least to some extent.
But why are certain racial features as they are? Oftentimes we simply do not know. Nobody knows, for example, why Orientals have epicanthic eye folds or flatter facial profiles. The thin lips of Caucasoids and most Mongoloids have no known advantages over the full lips of Negroids. Why should middle-aged and older Caucasoid men go bald so much more frequently than the men of other races? Why does the skin of Bushmen wrinkle so heavily in the middle and later years? Or why does the skin of Negroids resist wrinkling so well? These are questions for which we currently possess no answers.
What we do know is that the races were produced in a very short time span, and that the racial variations we see today are merely an expression of the original genetic endowment of Adam and Eve as carried through to us by Noah. No long evolutionary process was able, or needed, to produce them.
Did people really live to be hundreds of years old as recorded in Scripture?
[AP] Genesis 5 records that prior to the Flood, people typically lived for hundreds of years, with the average age of the antediluvian patriarchs (excluding Enoch, who was taken to his reward without dying) being 912 years. The Bible specifically states that Adam, for example, lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5), Methuselah lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27), etc. However, some have suggested that while the Bible says these old worthies lived to be vast ages, that is not what it means. In other words, while the biblical statements themselves on these matters are clear, their meaning is not.
This is the case, we are told, because it is a matter of record that men today (obviously) do not live to be centuries old. Thus, some have suggested that the biblical record is unacceptable and therefore needs to be "fixed" or "explained" to bring it more into line with modern scientific facts on these matters, and to make its message palatable to people of our day and age [similarly to what some have done in regards to the age of the earth and the days of creation - BW].
In the June 1978 Does God Exist? journal that he edits, John Clayton addressed the patriarchs' ages in an article on "The Question of Methuselah." He suggested:
One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive in our lecture series is "How did men live so long during early Biblical times?" The Bible indicates ages of 969, 950, etc., years for early men. From a scientific standpoint we cannot verify this figure. By studying the bones of the oldest men we get ages of ten to thirty-five years usually, and only rarely an age as high as fifty (1978a, 5:11, emp. added).
In the September 1978 issue of his journal, Clayton commented:
One final difficulty that this relates to is the attempts made by some to nail down specific historic dates to Biblical events of great antiquity. The ages of men in the past cannot be answered with great accuracy (1978b, 5:9, emp. added).
Mr. Clayton [also] wrote:
It is a fact that there is no scientific evidence that people lived to be hundreds of years old. It may just be that we haven't found the right bones, but most bones of ancient men turn out to be twenty or thirty years of age and none have [sic] been found, to my knowledge, older than eighty years old. For this reason, I have tried to point out that there are many possible ways in which the extreme age of Methuselah might be explained... (p. 2, emp. added).
The absence of scientific evidence substantiating the Bible's claims for the ages of the patriarchs is why Clayton cannot bring himself to accept those ages. Think for just a moment how radical this position really is. What "scientific evidence" do we possess that "proves" the virgin birth of Jesus? Since science cannot prove that such an event ever occurred, should an alternate explanation be sought? This line of reasoning could be expanded almost endlessly. Since science cannot "prove" Christ's bodily resurrection, the parting of the Red Sea, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and hundreds of other such occurrences, then must these events-which remain both scientifically unverified and unverifiable-simply be dismissed in the same way these two authors suggest that the patriarchs' ages be dismissed?
And surely the question must be asked: Why do the great ages of the patriarchs need to be "explained" in the first place? Why not simply accept the biblical record as it is written? In his June 1978 article on Methuselah, John Clayton provided the answer to that question as he discussed several possible ways to "explain" the patriarchs' ages. He wrote:
The first possibility is that God miraculously changed man's life expectancy. There is no discussion of such a miracle in the Bible, but many miracles occurred during the creation which are not recorded in Genesis I. This may well be the answer, but since no skeptic would accept it we'll consider some other possibilities (1978a, 5:11, emp. added).
This is incredible. First we are told that because there is "no scientific evidence," the great ages of the patriarchs therefore must be "explained." Second, we are told that since "no skeptic would accept" a particular view on these matters, "other possibilities" need to be explored. What a sad commentary on how Mr. Clayton, and others like him, view God's inspired Word. It brings to mind the comment of biblical scholar Edward J. Young in his book, Studies in Genesis One:
What strikes one immediately upon reading such a statement is the low estimate of the Bible which it entails. Whenever "science" and the Bible are in conflict, it is always the Bible that, in one manner or another, must give way. We are not told that "science" should correct its answers in the light of Scripture. Always it is the other way around (1964, p. 54).
The question, then, no longer becomes, "Does the Word of God affirm it?" but instead "Can science confirm it?"
Some have suggested that men's ages were not determined in ancient times as they are today. For example, John Clayton wrote:
The guess that appeals to this writer is that the methods of measuring age are not the same today as they were when men lived so long.... We also know that many cultures use the moon as a measure of age (such as many American Indian tribes). If Methuselah were measured on such a system his age would be 80 years, plus the time till he became a father. This doesn't change anything as he would still be phenomenally old-especially for the day in which he lived, but it would give a modern comprehension of how such an age was calculated (1978a, 5:12, parenthetical item in orig.). [End AP]
In other words, it is suggested that Bible readers change "years" to "months." Accordingly, Adam did not really live to be 930 years old, but rather a more reasonable 77 years old (Genesis 5:5). And, likewise, Seth lived to be 76 years old instead of 912 (5:8). And Enosh (5:11), Kenan (5:14), Mahalalel (5:17), Jared (5:20) would thus have also lived an average of 76 years.
However, not only does the Bible not support in any way such a notion, but such a method also presents some other serious problems. If "years" is changed to "months" in calculating the ages of the patriarchs, then some interesting things happen. Genesis 5:3 says that Adam became the father of Seth when he was 130 years old; divide that by 12 and the result is that Adam fathered a child at age 11. Furthermore, if adjusted accordingly, Seth later fathered Enosh when he was 9 (5:6), Enosh fathered Kenan at age 7, and Enoch fathered Methuselah at the age of only 5!
So which is easier to believe? That men lived to be 900+ years old? Or that these same men were fathering children while they themselves were as young as 5 years old?
Genesis 8:13, in regards to the end of the flood, says, "Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month…" Moses, the inspired writer, apparently understood the difference between a month and year.
Abraham fathered Isaac at age 99 and Sarah gave birth at age 90 (17:17). Surely no one is here advocating that "years" really means "months." Furthermore, Genesis 25:7-8 shows that, by the time of Abraham, men did not live as long as they once did. Abraham died at the "ripe old age" of 175. In Genesis 47:9, Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty: few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning."
Why was there a change in longevity after the flood?
A simple study of the ages of the patriarchs shows a definite change in longevity around the time of the flood…
It is obvious that those who lived before the time of the flood lived significantly longer than did those who lived after the flood. A gradual lessening of longevity exists throughout the generations after Noah. In fact, by the time we get to the end of the book of Genesis, the average life-span of man is quite similar to that of today. Several theories have been suggested to explain this change in longevity…
1. Canopy of Water
It is contended that the firmament or expanse is synonymous with our sky or space. Notice that the text says that this expanse "separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse." The theory is that there was then an enormous canopy of water surrounding the earth, a canopy that remained there until the time of the flood. Also recall that Genesis 2:5-6 says, "God had not sent rain upon the earth," but rather "a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground." And, according to Genesis 9:13, it appears that God had not yet set His rainbow in the cloud.
Some have suggested that this canopy was a thin shell composed of water - either as a liquid, or vapor, or solid (ice particles or an ice shell). Regardless, this canopy would have remained in place until "the floodgates of the sky were opened, and the rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights" (Genesis 7:11-12). This then would be the defining time between the longevity of man during the days of the canopy and the shorter ages of man thereafter.
What benefits would be enjoyed by such a canopy of water?
It is thus contended that such benefits would help to prevent a variety of damaging effects now common and greatly enhance longevity. Indeed it appears that the earth would have been a much kinder and healthier place to live than what we know now.
Then, after the canopy collapsed during the flood, all these benefits came to an end. The climate was no longer as it once was, and the harmful radiation began to strike, lowering the longevity of man from an average of 900 years down to 70 years (over the course of several generations). In other words, we see the attrition of the second law of thermodynamics, that everything began wearing down.
By the way, we've all heard of the radiocarbon or radiometric dating of rocks. This is how scientists come up with millions and billions of years in their theory of evolution. But, such a method of dating assumes that the present-day rate of decay has always remained constant throughout the history of the earth. It is assumed, for example, that the intensity of cosmic rays, which will significantly alter this rate of decay, has always remained constant. However, if indeed there was a time when the environment of the earth was drastically different than it is now, then, of course, the results of radiometric dating would be greatly skewed.
Again, a canopy surrounding the earth would have acted as a filter, protecting the earth from cosmic rays. Then, with the collapse of the canopy, it is contended that the earth would have been bombarded with cosmic rays, upsetting all radioactive "clocks," moving them ahead many, many millions of years. Then later on, with the formation of the ozone layer, this bombardment by cosmic rays would have been somewhat stabilized. The point is, radiometric dating can only be reliable in determining the age of rocks if geological conditions have been uniform over the entire course of the earth's history. Yet this is a tremendous assumption for those who believe the earth to be billions of years old. And if indeed there was such a canopy, then apparently these methods are completely unreliable.
2. General Environmental Changes
Some who deny there was any canopy of water surrounding the earth still concede that there were other dramatic changes in the environment as a result of the global flood, changes that would indeed result in a change in the longevity of man.
For instance, the earth itself apparently underwent some dramatic changes during the course of the flood. Not only did water come upon the earth in the form of rain ("floodgates of the sky were opened"), but, according to Genesis 7:11, God also caused "all the fountains of the great deep [to] burst open." This probably refers to either oceanic or subterranean sources of water or both. Some have surmised that there may have been tremendous releases of water, possibly through large fissures in the ground or in the sea floor. The waters that had been held back likely burst forth with catastrophic consequences, causing great changes in the earth's form and texture.
There are many volcanic rocks interspersed between the fossil layers in the rock record -- layers that were obviously deposited during Noah's flood. So it is quite plausible that these fountains of the great deep involved a series of volcanic eruptions with prodigious amounts of water bursting up through the ground. It is interesting that up to 70 percent or more of what comes out of volcanoes today is water, often in the form of steam.
Furthermore, the flood waters that washed over the land diluted the concentration of many of the minerals in the soil and then, as the land was farmed over and over, year after year, there was a further reduction in essential minerals. The advent of recurring rain would continue to wash minerals downstream and finally into the oceans. With the depletion of a once richly mineralized soil came mineral deficiencies in man's diet which have lowered our bodies' ability to repair and regenerate.
Many scientists now acknowledge that the greatest disaster of the 20th century is the ongoing, worldwide loss of our top soil and it's life-supporting minerals. Prehistoric, ancient, fertile soil may have had as many as 85 minerals. The conclusion is obvious: Because our soils are depleted of minerals, the foods we eat -- the grains, fruits, and vegetables -- are also depleted of minerals, therefore we are depleted of minerals. That depletion has caused our bodies to fail a great deal sooner than our potential.
Another interesting feature of the early earth atmosphere was enhanced oxygen and a denser atmosphere. Robert Berner of Yale and Gary Landis of the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed air bubbles that are believed to have been trapped in amber some 80 million years ago. "The researchers clamped the amber into a vacuum chamber of a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a device that identifies the chemical composition of a substance. As the machine slowly crushed the sample, the microscopic bubbles were released, exhaling up to 100 billion molecules. These breaths disclosed some surprising evidence: the ancient air contained 50 percent more oxygen than the air today." Landis believes that the reduction in oxygen could have led to the dinosaur's demise. (Discover, February, 1988, p. 12.)
"One implication is that the atmospheric pressure of the Earth would have been much greater during the Cretaceous era, when the bubbles formed in the resin. A dense atmosphere could also explain how the ungainly pterosaur, with its stubby body and wing span of up to 11 meters, could have stayed airborne, he said." (Anderson, Ian, "Dinosaurs Breathed Air Rich in Oxygen," New Scientist, vol. 116, 1987, p. 25.) A Yale study published in the March 3, 2000 issue of Science independently confirms the high levels of oxygen present in the earth's distant past.
3. Longevity Genes
Several different factors play a part in how long people live. However, it now appears that underlying all these are factors somehow written into our genetic code, which determine what our 'upper limit' is. This is not really surprising; most of us know of families in which nearly everyone lives to a ripe old age - and the opposite, of course.
Some 30 years ago, a middle-aged lawyer in France struck a deal with a lady client in her 90s. He gained ownership of her apartment, in return for paying her a handsome monthly stipend. She could live in it rent-free all her life. It seemed an obvious win-win; because of her advanced age, he would surely end up with a very cheap purchase, and she would live out her meager allotment of remaining years with a high income. To the lawyer's great misfortune, his client, Jeanne Calment, was destined to become the longest living person in modern history. She died in 1997 (with all faculties intact) at the age of 122 years, 164 days. Her lawyer died of old age long before she did. He (and his estate) ended up paying her the price of her apartment many times over.
Two French researchers have recently traced Calment's genealogy back five generations on both sides. Each of her ancestors had lived a remarkable 10.5 years longer, on average, than the mean age at death of people in the same region. They concluded, then, that these superior longevity genes were passed down to her and resulted in a genetic make-up that surpassed that of any other modern person.
Allow me to explain a bit about how why we get old and die (according to what I've read)…
It is contended, then, that Adam and Eve and the generations that followed had a genetic make-up that resulted in a great longevity of life. Perhaps their DNA was such that they were programmed with telomeres that allowed for cell division and replacement that lasted for maybe ten times longer than what commonly occurs today.
If so, what happened? Why did the generations after Noah seem to gradually lose the genetic make-up of extreme longevity? Most likely, according to this theory, these longevity genes were gradually eliminated (or lessened severely) due to the severe population 'bottleneck' - down to just eight people: Noah, his three sons and their wives. Thus it is entirely feasible that some forms of the genes present in Noah were not passed on. Perhaps subsequent population bottlenecks (at Babel) contributed further to this genetic elimination.
4. Dietary Changes
In Genesis 1:30, God gave this instruction: "To every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food." It is suggested that, after the flood, the availability and variety of plants available for food would have been drastically reduced. This, in Genesis 9:3, God gave this instruction: "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant."
Some have contended, then, that this change in diet contributed (perhaps greatly) to the declining longevity of man. Some believe strongly that those today whose diets closest resemble that of the pre-flood patriarchs will have much better health and succumb to fewer diseases.
Some have even contended that God changed man's diet so as to intentionally decrease his longevity. Perhaps it was seen that, the longer man lived, the more evil he became (see Genesis 6:5-7). Thus, after the Flood, God immediately decided to change the diet of man - knowing that a move away from the original diet would in time cause a decline in the genetic perfection of man and result in an increasingly lowered potential longevity.
One writer surmised: "Because biblical scholars, like most people, have become desensitized to killing and eating animals, they have interpreted the above passage of scripture [Genesis 9:3] as God's blessing on man-turned-carnivore. But of course it is not divine approval: it is only an acknowledgment of the low estate to which the human race had fallen. Man's development had reached such a nadir [low point] that he would no longer observe the natural law of his being. He would no longer restrict his diet to the things that had been provided as his only legitimate source of food: "[To] everything that has the breath of life in it, I give every green plant for food." (Gen 1:30.) After the Flood, men no longer even tried to obey this command.
"[Ultimately,] the biological heritage that men and women were passing on to their children reflected the damage that had been done by centuries of eating the meat which has a toxic effect on the human body. From teeth to arteries to intestines, human physiology confirms that man was not created to be carnivorous; that his insistence on eating flesh puts an enormous strain on the entire body."
What happened to the waters of the flood?
Apparently the general topography of the earth was much more subtle than what we see today. It seems there were not the dramatic mountains such as Everest nor the tremendous depths of the oceans such as exist in our present world. But it appears that God changed all that during and after the flood. These changes would thus accommodate the vast amount of water the flood brought upon the earth.
Who were the "sons of God" in Genesis 6:2?
Some have contended that the sons of God in Genesis 6:2 were fallen angels who consequently married human beings. It is true that the book of Job uses that same phrase three times (1:6; 2:1; 38:7) to apparently refer to angels. However, no other writing of that time period appears to use that phrase in connection with Satan or any fallen angels.
A more likely explanation is that the phrase "sons of God" refers to the spiritually-faithful descendants of Seth. These people are contrasted with the "daughters of men," who would then be the spiritually-unfaithful descendants of Cain. Notice that the generations of these two men are given in chapters 4-5. Cain was a murderer and his descendants appear to be similarly immoral people. Seth and his descendants, on the other hand, appear to be people of righteousness and service to God. Unfortunately, as chapter 6 indicates, these two groups of people began to intermarry, leading to a widespread rejection of godliness. Likewise, the "Nephilim" or "giants" in 6:4 were apparently people of great size or power who also influenced the world at that time to turn more away from God. Noah and his family then remained the only ones faithful to God.
How many clean animals did Noah take onto the ark?
In Genesis 7:2, God instructed Noah to take onboard the ark certain animals in order to save them from the Flood. Different versions vary in regards to the number of clean animals…
KJV: 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.
ASV: Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee seven and seven, the male and his female; and of the beasts that are not clean two, the male and his female:
RSV: Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate;
TEV: Take with you seven pairs of each kind of ritually clean animal, but only one pair of each kind of unclean animal.
NASB: You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female;
NIV: Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate,
NKJV: You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female;
Through the years, serious Bible students have wondered: How many clean animals did Noah take into the ark-seven, or fourteen? Generally, there are two opposing views on the precise number of each kind of animal involved. One view is expressed by the following statement from John T. Willis: "It is impossible to determine certainly whether the Hebrew phrase, shibb'ah shibbah means "by sevens" (KJV), that is, seven animals of all clean species, or "seven and seven" (ASV) or seven pairs (RSV, NEB), that is fourteen animals of all clean species.... There can be no certainty on this point (1979, p. 171)."
On the actual exegesis of the passage, H.C. Leupold, in his Exposition of Genesis, argued: "The Hebrew expression "take seven seven" means "seven each" [here he refers to Koenig's syntax and Gesenius' Grammatik-BT/TM]. Hebrew parallels support this explanation. In any case, it would be a most clumsy method of trying to say "fourteen" (1990, 1:290)."
However, others have been more decisive on the matter, suggesting real purpose and reason to the interpretation that there were only seven of every clean kind on the ark. Animal sacrifice to God was practiced during the Patriarchal Age, and it is apparent that the faithful could distinguish between the clean and unclean. Thus, it is suggested that when Noah left the ark and offered a sacrifice to God "of every clean animal" (Genesis 8:20), three pairs were left for domestication by man so that he would have food and clothing. The pattern, as Matthew Henry noted, then follows that of the working week and Sabbath day, in that "God gives us six for one in earthly things, as in the days of the week," while the seventh is for devotion to God (n.d., p. 61).
While it is difficult to speak dogmatically on this issue, it is clear that the opinion of many conservative scholars weighs heavily in favor of the interpretation that there were seven clean, and two unclean, of every animal kind on Noah's ark.
Are dinosaurs in the Bible and what happened to them?
Yes and no. The word "dinosaur" is not specifically found in any version (that I know of), but then the word wasn't invented until 1842 (means "terrible lizard"), so it ought not surprise us that the word in not there. Nevertheless, there are indeed both direct and indirect references to dinosaurs in Scripture. Let us look first at the indirect passages regarding creation…
Exodus 20:11 says, "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them..." John 1:3 adds, "All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." The Bible makes it clear that everything that is and has been is a result of the God's creation that took place in six days. If God created the earth, the heavens, the seas, and everything in them in six days, what does that omit? It omits absolutely nothing! That means that dinosaurs were created by God during those six days.
On day five (Genesis 1:20-23), God created sea-dwelling creatures and birds. On day six (Genesis 1:24-25), God created creeping things and beasts of the earth. Numerous remains, fossils, and bones have been found of huge and strange creatures, animals called dinosaurs that are now extinct. And, according to Scripture, all these dinosaurs were created on day five and six of God's creation.
Notice also that man was also created on day six (Genesis 1:26-27). Thus, no matter what atheistic scientists may claim, the inescapable conclusion is that men and dinosaurs lived on the Earth as contemporaries. Remember the Theory of Evolution and the Day-Age Theory both try to separate men from the dinosaurs by millions of years. Children in grade school will tell you that men and dinosaurs did not live together. Their weekly reader teaches them that the dinosaurs lived about 175 million years ago and became extinct about 65 million years ago, and that the cavemen arrived on the scene only about 3½ years ago. But God's inspired written word says otherwise; it clearly teaches that they were created together and thus lived together.
Furthermore, scientific evidence even betrays the supposed facts of the Theory of Evolution. In the early 1920s, archaeologist Dr. Samuel Hubbard went to the Hava Supai area of the Grand Canyon in Arizona in search of Indian relics. He found what he was looking for: pottery, arrowheads, etc. But he also found more than he was looking for. On the walls of the canyon, he found some beautiful drawings made by the Indians that had inhabited that area long ago. And not just simple stick drawings, but elaborate and detailed drawings of cattle, sheep, oxen, dinosaurs, and buffalo. Yes, dinosaurs. Upon seeing these pictures of the dinosaur, Dr. Hubbard remarked:
Taken all in all, the proportions are good. The huge reptile is depicted in the attitude in which man would be most likely to see it-reared on its hind legs, balancing with the long tail, either feeding or in fighting position, possibly defending itself against a party of men (as quoted in Verrill, 1954, pp. 155ff.).
Remember: according to evolutionists, dinosaurs and men did not exist together. But if that were true, how did the inhabitants of that region know how to draw them so accurately?!
Job 40:15-24 and Job 41:1-34
In 1663, a man named Samuel Bochart published a two-volume book that declared that these passages are referring to the hippopotamus and the crocodile. Since then, many commentaries have simply accepted this and done little to investigate the matter. In fact, many Bibles have marginal notes that state the behemoth is a hippopotamus and the leviathan is a crocodile.
Job 40:15-24 … The Behemoth
While it is true that a few similarities do exist between the behemoth and the hippo, and between the leviathan and the crocodile, many of the descriptive details do not seem to fit either creature. These differences are so numerous and significant that they cannot be overlooked.
1. It has been contended that eating grass like the cattle, having any contact with the mountains, and being related to the Jordan River are all incompatibilities between Behemoth and the hippopotamus.
2. God described the behemoth as a creature that "moveth his tail like a cedar" (40:17). The tail of a hippopotamus "would surely not have been compared to a cedar by a truthful though poetic observer like the author of chapters 38-39" (Cheyne, 1887, p. 56). The hippopotamus hardly could be described-with its little 6-8 inch stubby appendage-as having a stiff or large tail. The tail of the hippo is short and small like that of a pig, and is a mere twig in comparison with a cedar tree. But that fact has not prevented commentators from attempting to avoid the obvious. Edgar Gibson wrote: "The comparison of the short, stiff, muscular tail, to the strong and elastic cedar branch (which is probably intended) seems really to be perfectly natural, and need cause no difficulty" (1905, p. 221, parenthetical comment in orig.). Keil and Delitzsch also concluded that the tail should not be compared to the cedar tree, but the cedar branch.
3. The behemoth is said to be "chief [i.e., largest] of the ways of God" (40:19). Surely this would rule out the hippo, since at full size it is but seven feet high (Thompson and Bromling, n.d., p. 5). An elephant is twice the size of a hippopotamus, and yet even it was dwarfed by certain extinct creatures. For example, the creature once popularly referred to as Brontosaurus (now known more accurately as Apatosaurus) grew to weigh more than 30 tons, whereas the hippo weighs in at only around 4 tons (Jackson, 1983, p. 86).
4. The text indicates that no man could approach the behemoth with a sword (40:19), nor was he able to capture him (40:24). Yet as mentioned earlier, the hippopotamus was hunted frequently and captured successfully by the Egyptians (Driver and Gray, 1964, p. 353). Hartley observed:
Egyptian pharaohs took pride in slaying a hippopotamus. There are numerous pictures in which the pharaoh, hunting a hippopotamus from a papyrus boat, is poised to hurl his harpoon into the animal's opened mouth, thereby inflicting a fatal blow (1988, p. 524).
Egyptians even celebrated festivals known as "Harpooning the Hippopotamus" (Hartley, 1988, p. 524). Additionally, Egyptian monuments frequently picture single hunters attacking the hippo with a spear (McClintock and Strong, 1968, 1:728). How could one accurately compare the unapproachable and unseizable behemoth with the hippopotamus?
Job 41:1-34 … The Leviathon
[AP] 1. The leviathan also is represented as unapproachable and too mighty to be apprehended by men. The Lord said:
Canst thou draw out leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord? Canst thou put a rope into his nose? Or pierce his jaw through with a hook?... If one lay at him with the sword, it cannot avail; Nor the spear, the dart, nor the pointed shaft (41:1-2,26).
It is clear that the leviathan is represented as "too powerful and ferocious for mere man to dare to come to grips with it" (Pope, p. 268). He is "beyond the power of men to capture" (Driver and Gray, 1964, p. 353). Leviathan is "peerless and fearless" (Strauss, 1976, p. 437). Contrariwise, the crocodile-like the hippopotamus-was hunted and captured by Egyptians. Herodotus discussed how they captured crocodiles (Rowley, 1980, p. 259), and how that, after being seized, some even were tamed (Jackson, 1983, p. 87). Such a scene hardly depicts the animal of Job 40:15ff.
2. According to Jehovah, the leviathan's "sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning torches, and sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils a smoke goeth, as of a boiling pot and (burning) rushes. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth forth from his mouth" (Job 41:18-21). Some, such as Driver and Gray, have suggested that perhaps God did not intend to use literal imagery in these verses (1964, p. 366). However, as Henry Morris observed:
It is presumptuous merely to write all this off as mythological and impossible. To say that the leviathan could not have breathed fire is to say much more than we know about leviathans (or water dragons or sea serpents). Fire flies produce light, eels produce electricity, and bombardier beetles produce explosive chemical reactions. All of these involve complex chemical processes, and it does not seem at all impossible that an animal might be given the ability to breathe out certain gaseous fumes which, upon coming in contact with oxygen, would briefly ignite (1984, p. 359).
3. When leviathan "raiseth himself up, the mighty are afraid: By reason of consternation they are beside themselves.... He beholdeth everything that is high: He is king over all the sons of pride" (Job 41:25,34). True, crocodiles are frightening creatures. Yet they are no more frightening standing up than when sitting, because their legs are so short. How could it thus be said of the crocodile that "he beholdeth everything that is high"-when he himself is so close to the ground?
4. God also described leviathan as an animal that cannot be availed by swords, spears, or darts (41:26). In fact, leviathan "laugheth at the rushing of the javelin" (41:29) and "his underparts are (like) sharp potsherds" (41:30). In commenting on these verses, Thompson and Bromling wrote:
Although the hide that covers the crocodile's back is extremely thick and difficult to penetrate, this is not true of his belly. The crocodile is most vulnerable to spears and javelins on his underside; hence, it could not be said of him that "his underparts are like sharp potsherds" (n.d., p. 7).
5. Concerning leviathan, Wolfers wrote: "Underside like sharpest potsherds, swimming in sea rather than river, and breathing fire and smoke, are incompatibilities between Leviathan and the crocodile" (p. 191). Job 41 is dominated by the idea of the beast's utter invincibility. As Driver and Gray admitted: "There is nothing, unless we should so regard 41:7, that points necessarily or at all striking to the crocodile, and one or two points seem inconsistent with it" (1964, p. 353). In reality, there are more than just "one or two points" that are inconsistent with the suggestion that the leviathan is little more than a crocodile.
The evidence documents overwhelmingly that the behemoth and leviathan of Job 40-41 are flesh-and-blood animals, not imaginary creatures. Furthermore, the description of these creatures does not fit that of any known animal present in the world today, regardless of attempts to equate them with the hippopotamus and the crocodile. Thus, they must be some type of extinct creature. But what kind? God's descriptions of behemoth and leviathan are compatible in every way with the descriptions we have of dinosaurs and dinosaur-like, water-living reptiles that roamed the Earth, not millions of years ago as some have suggested, but only a few thousand years ago.
What Happened to the Dinosaurs?
Many theories have been suggested to explain the extinction of the dinosaurs, but none fits all the available facts or is provable. Reginald Daly documented over twenty explanations for the dinosaurs' disappearance (1972, pp. 29ff.), and since the publication of his work, additional theories have been advanced as well. The idea most often suggested to explain the disappearance of the dinosaurs centers around a sudden climatic change over the Earth-a change so drastic that the dinosaurs could no longer survive. Nobel laureate Luis Alvarez and his son Walter have suggested, for example, that the dinosaurs perished in a short time span some 65 million years ago when an asteroid-like object impacted with the Earth, throwing up dust and soot which blocked the Sun's rays, causing plants to die, which in turn caused herbivores to die, which in turn caused carnivores to die (see: Hoffman, 1982, pp. 58-63; Discover, 1984, pp. 21ff.; Alvarez and Asaro, 1990, pp. 78-84). While this particular theory has many supporters, and has been popular for several years, it also has a number of credible detractors as well (see Courtillot, 1990, pp. 85-92).
Creationists generally believe that the dinosaurs' extinction may be tied, at least in part, to the global Flood of Genesis 6-8 (see for example Gish, 1977, pp. 55-60; 1990, pp. 73-75). There is compelling evidence to indicate that the pre-Flood world was much different than the post-Flood world (Gish, 1990, pp. 74-75). The devastating effects of local floods are well known. What kind of damage, then, could be expected from a Flood that covered "every high mountain on the whole earth" (Genesis 7:19)? Many creation scientists believe that the dinosaurs survived for a time after the Flood, but because of the hostile conditions, eventually became extinct. [End AP]
Also remember the ages of man before the flood compared to afterwards. Regardless of whether there was a water canopy in place, it seems apparent that conditions were such that allowed men to live many times longer than after the flood. And if men were able to live so long, why not animals? Remember, dinosaur means "terrible lizard." The dinosaurs were reptiles, and reptiles have a unique feature: they continue to grow as long as they live! So it shouldn't be surprising to find that certain creatures grew to be perhaps 100 tons in weight and 35 feet tall.
Were There Dinosaurs on the Ark?
Look at Genesis 6:15. The ark was approximately 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high with 3 levels. Assuming all levels to be the same size (in other words, a huge, rectangular barge), this amounts to slightly more than 100,000 square feet of floor and over 1.5 million cubic feet of cargo space. Imagine waiting at a railroad crossing while a freight train pulling 52 boxcars moved slowly by, one after another. You could put a lot of animals on that train. Now imagine 9 more trains just like it. That's how much space was available on the ark, equivalent to 520 modern railroad boxcars. A barge of such gigantic size, with its thousands of individual rooms (Gen. 6:14) would surely have been sufficiently large for its purpose. After all, God Himself designed and created the animal kingdom, so it's safe to conclude that He was similarly able to design a boat large enough to carry a portion of those animals to safety.
Noah was instructed to take into the boat land-dwelling, air-breathing animals. Regarding the unclean animals, today the number of species of animals that fit that description is about 20,000. Assuming that another 20,000 species have become extinct since that time, Noah would have to fit approximately 80,000 such animals into the ark. [NOTE: Noah was not commanded to take two, or seven, of every species into the ark, but every kind, which would shrink considerably the numbers of animals onboard the ark. A biblical "kind" is not necessarily the same as the biologists' "species," but can have a much broader classification.] The average size of those animals has been calculated to be that of a sheep (see Gish, 1990, p. 75). Thus, about 50,000 square feet of space on the boat would have been filled. That leaves another 50,000 square feet available for five additional representatives of each of the comparatively few kinds of animals acceptable for sacrifice, Noah's family, and food for them all (Gen. 6:21).
Also, it may be that God allowed Noah some latitude in regard to the animals that were taken onboard. For example, perhaps it was not necessary for Noah to take adult animals; rather, immature animals may have been stowed. This would save space, and prevent potential reproductive problems. And furthermore, it is possible that God may have placed some, or all, of the animals into hibernation, thus making them easier to care for.
One other point of interest: the draft of a ship is the depth to which it is immersed when carrying its load (how much of it sinks below the water level). Typically, this amounts to half the height of the ship. According to Genesis 6:15, the height of the ark was 30 cubits, or about 45 feet. Now look at Genesis 7:19-20. The waters of the flood covered the highest mountains by 15 cubits, or about 22½ feet, exactly ½ the height of the ark. Don't you think God knew what He was doing?!
Copyright © 1998-2013. Bible Lessons Worldwide Ministry. Bob Williams. Columbus, Georgia. Permission is granted to any teacher or preacher to use these lessons to the glory of God. Thanks to generous soul-loving partners, there is never a charge for anything offered by this ministry.
Bob Williams is the pulpit minister for the Rose Hill Church of Christ in Columbus, Georgia. He is an alumnus of York College in York, NE (1977-1979), Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN (1982-1985), and Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, TN (1986-1990). Since its inception in 1998, thousands of people throughout the world visit BibleLessons.com every month, and Bob is privileged to conduct in-depth Bible studies with a great many of them.