Genesis Chapters 6, 7, & 8

Chapter 6

The population is growing and the text speaks of the growing wickedness of man, but there are no examples given. I can posit my own hypothesis that involves not really punishing the first murderer, Cain, who was simply told to go wandering and that anyone that kills him would be punished sevenfold. There is some curious language about limiting their days to 120 years and also of the Nephilim, which are apparently giants. The Oxford Bible Commentary isn’t much help here either. It only posits hypotheses about Mesopotamian origin stories.

God decides that he is going to get rid of all of the humans, along with all of the animals, birds, and creeping things. No mention of fish. I suppose the authors here thought that fish could survive in whatever water they were tossed into (they can’t).

Why does God find it necessary to destroy all life with a flood? He can apparently sneeze out a whole universe and create all of the animals therein, but he can’t simply disappear the ones that displease him? Hell, Thanos did that at the end of Avengers: Infinity War (I know it’s a spoiler, but if you haven’t seen it already, that’s not my fault). Apparently God does not own, nor can he create his own Infinity Gauntlet, so he decides to use a great flood to destroy everything.

God appears to be quite human and fallible compared to contemporary belief. He has regrets and expresses sorrow, although that sorrow will result in the destruction of everyone and everything for no stated reason. Likely these stories are based around other flood myths and simply play a game of one-upmanship. “Oh, this story destroyed a city, and this other one destroyed a country? Well, we’re going to destroy THE WHOLE WORLD!!!”

Going back to God’s abilities from a couple paragraphs ago, again, he can fart out the entire universe, but he can’t supply a boat for Noah and his family. He also can’t bring the animals to Noah, but Noah and his sons have to gather two of every animal, male and female. This is an impossible task if it is to be taken literally since they would have to travel to Australia, North and South America, and all the Pacific Islands to find each and every animal. But then, it gets a bit more confusing.

Chapter 7

OK, now things get confusing. After being told to gather a pair of each animal, now Noah is told to gather SEVEN PAIRS of all clean animals and. Pair of the unclean animals. Oh, and he has seven days in which to do this before God sends the flood.

There is plenty of repetition in this chapter as we are told twice that Noah is six-hundred years old when he boards the ark with his sons, and Noah’s wife and his sons’ wives (this is one of those repeated lines) and the animals (and creeping things).

A few comments on the whole ark thing with a bunch of animals. Lions and tigers eat a lot of raw meat in the form of other animals. How did zebra’s, gazelles, deer, etc. survive not only being prey in close proximity, but also what did they eat? Did Noah bring enough plants and grasses aboard for all of the herbivorous animals? What about koalas? Did they have plenty of eucalyptus to eat? These are questions that have to be answered if one is going to take this story literally and see it through to any logical conclusion. Science can easily debunk the whole story. Saying God provided the food for the animals raises the question of why didn’t he just provide the ark and the animals in the first place?

We get two entrances onto the ark. This points to different sources being cobbled together with no regard for continuity. In both, Noah is in his six hundredth year, but the second expands it to the second month and seventeenth day. Then the flood started after God shut them and the animals in and it rained for forty days and forty nights.

There is no geologic evidence for a global flood. Geologic column lays this bare since the sign of a global flood would be one giant layer with graded bedding, which would be largest grain at the bottom, finest grain at the top and a mixture of all fossilized animals (including humans) throughout.

So God makes it rain for forty days and nights, with the waters swelling for one hundred fifty days and makes good on his promise to “blot out everything on the face of the earth,” in order to eliminate the wickedness (except Noah and his family). However, we see plenty of wickedness after this story, so how’d that work out?

Chapter 8

1 BUT God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark.”

Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Gen. 8:1, p. 40). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

I love this line. Does he remember all the other people on the ark? So after one hundred fifty days, God figured that was enough to  kill everything and decided to stop the flooding.

Amazingly, after the rushing torrents of water from both above and below, the ark landed safely only about seven hundred miles from where it was built. All of this with a floating zoo built out of wood and pitch and no mention of nails because the hardest metal that they knew of at that time was bronze.

Finally, after forty-seven more days, the waters abated to where the dove didn’t return. Finally, God commanded that Noah and family and all of the animals come out of the ark and start the task of repopulation, despite the fact that the ground would be salted, unable to grow any food. Also, how did the animals from the other continents get back home?

Taking this story literally requires a tremendous leap of faith and an even greater leap of logic, along with a flimsy grasp of reality. All while this supposed global flood is happening, several cultures  around the world are thriving with no mention of a flood. Many of these cultures kept records that survived to today. To say that the flood did happen, would be akin to the house burning down of a man who keeps a daily diary and destroying everything, but the house being rebuilt on the same property exactly as-is, and another diary-writing person moving in and making no mention of the fire or rebuilding.

Oh, and those seven pairs of clean animals from the week before the flood? Those are used for a burnt offering to God…because he commanded it. I’ve heard it said, and I agree with the statement, “Any god who demands to be worshipped isn’t worthy of it. Any god worthy of worship wouldn’t demand it.” I’m sure after a few weeks on the ark, those clean animals were starting to look mighty tasty.