An essay and analysis on Genesis chapters 6 and 7

Perhaps no other portion of the collection of books called "the Bible" has produced as much discussion as the story of Noah and the Flood. This story is widely believed, even though no geologic evidence exists to support it, and the details of the story are impossible to imagine without invoking a series of miracles to explain them. Nevertheless, many people are of the opinion that the story is literally (that is word for word as we understand the words today) true, and many convoluted explanations have been advanced to support a literal interpreation of the story.

The numerous practical problems involved in actually implementing the divine instructions would have been insurmountable. One must remember that the tools available at that time were all simple hand tools, and the transportation modes were equally simple. If we take a literal view of the construction of the Ark, we must insert (for which there is no biblical support) that Noah and his family knew how to construct it. They would have had to be expert ship builders, surpassing modern engineering methods, modern tools and materials. To provide food for "every kind of creature", it would have been necessary for Noah to traverse the world to collect food for all the animals who "will come" to him.


The parable created by Moses had, in my opinion, a different purpose, which was to counter the eastern philosophies that held that the world was evil and based on chaos. No, Moses wrote, God cleared evil from the world through a gigantic flood, and only good people remained from whom we all descended. The world was good, people were good, and goodness triumphed over evil.



In the book of Genesis, chapter 6

God tells Noah that life expectancy will be limited to 120 years (verse 3) [Apparently this limit was not retroactive, because in chapter 9 verse 28 Noah’s age was given as 950 years, and also was applied with numerous exceptions, as chapter 11 lists several persons whose ages exceeded 120 years plus others listed later.], and then God expresses His displeasure with the way things have gone (verse 6), and decides to destroy all living creatures (verse 7), except for Noah and his family, who will survive the great flood that God will cause by building an ark.  God tells Noah (verse 19) to take a pair of “every living creature” “two of a sort” “of the male sex, and the female.”  [Nothing was mentioned about plants. Somehow, this passage has come to mean that Noah had 120 years to build the Ark.]


The problem of collecting the animals is solved in verse 20 when God said to Noah that “… every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you… “. [One can only imagine how animals from other continents and distant islands crossed oceans to reach the land where Noah lived.]


In verse 21, God tells Noah that “You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”  [This task would have been impossible, as Noah would have had to know which foods each herbivore ate, travel to the regions where such food was available, collect it, and return to his home. It is impossible to imagine a food supply for the carnivores.]


In the book of Genesis, chapter 7

In verse 2, God tells Noah to take seven pairs of “clean beasts” and fowl, and two pairs of “unclean beasts”.

[But, somehow, while no mention was made of a change in the command, in verse 9 it reads:] “Two and two went into the ark”.

In verse 4, God tells Noah “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.[Except, of course, animals and plants that already lived in water for which a flood would have been of no consequence. An Ark of the size given in the Bible would have requied wood from several thousand trees. It would not have been possible to even cut that many trees much less hew the wood into boards, and then build the Ark within seven days. The construction of the Ark in such a short period cannot be explained from the biblical account.]


In verse 23, all living things perished, except for Noah and his family.  [Thus, we are all descendants of Noah, his three sons, and their wives.]  [Even if the Earth was covered for only 40 days (Gen 7:12), upon their return to their original locations, the redistributed animals would have been without food, as all of the surface plants and all the animals not taken into the ark would have been drowned. The carnivores would have been without prey to hunt, and the herbivores would have been without plants to eat.]


In the book of Genesis, chapter 8

In verse 12, Noah “sent forth the dove, which returned not any more unto him” [one can only presume that the dove died, since the Earth was covered with water, and the dove had no place to land, nor food to eat.]


[How long was the flood?   40 days, rain and rising water Gen 7:17; 150 days, waters abated and the ark rests on a mountain Gen 8:4; 224 days, mountains are visible Gen 8:5; 264 days, Noah sends out dove Gen 8:6; 271 days, dove finds land Gen 8:10-11; 278 days, dove doesn’t return Gen 8:12; 314 days, there is no standing water Gen 8:13; 370 days, the earth is dry Gen 8:14.]


After the earth dried, Noah, his family, and all the animals went out of the ark.  Then, Noah built an altar, and “taking of all cattle and fowl that were clean, offered holocausts” (burnt offerings) to God! verse 20  [This statement is a serious inconsistency, since only “two by two” were taken into the ark, an offering meant the end of the species.  Additionally, it is contradictory to the idea of saving the animals from the flood only to sacrifice them later.]   [Given the account that all life on land (plants and animals) perished as a result of the flood, one must marvel at the record system Noah must have had in order to redistribute all of the plants and animals to their original locations, although no mention was made of redistribution.]


God promises Noah that he will not flood the earth again. verse 21  [but apparently God reserved the right to cause local floods (see Job 20:28) and other forms of destruction, as was later exemplified in chapters 13 and 19, when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha, or chapter 38:10 when God slew Onan]


In verse 22, God promised that “All the days of the earth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, night and day shall not cease


In chapter 12 verse 10, it reads “And there came a famine in the country…”

In chapter 26 verse 1, it reads “And when a famine came into the land…”

In chapter 41 verse 54, it reads that “The seven years of scarcity … began to come, and famine prevailed in the whole world …”

In chapter 43 verse 1, it reads “In the meantime, the famine was heavy upon all the land.”

In chapter 45 verse 6, it reads “For it is two years since the famine began to be upon the land, and five years more remain, wherein there can be neither ploughing nor reaping.”

[ Famine is also mentioned in Deuteronomy 32:24; Ruth 1:1; 1 Kings 8:37, 18:2; 2 Kings 21:1; 3 Kings 18:2; 4 Kings 4:38; Job 5:20; Psalms 33:19, 37:19, 105:16; Isaiah 14:30, 51:19; Jeremiah 11:22, 14:12]   [In Jeremiah chapter 14:14, God threatened those whoprophesy liesand who promiseno sword or famineeven though God himself promised the same thing to Noah.]


In Deuteronomy chapter 11 verses 16-17, Moses modified God’s promise of Genesis 8:22, and told the Israelites that “… Beware lest you depart from the Lord … the Lord being angry shut up heaven that the rain come not down nor the earth yield her fruit … “   [Apparently Moses had the authority to modify God’s commands.]