Genesis 7–9: The Flood, a Covenant, and a Curse EGP Blog post from January 3, 2013

Many people, think that there were only two of each kind of animal aboard, but there were 14 (seven pairs) of the clean animals. At this time the Levitical law hadn’t been given, so perhaps God revealed it to Noah here (and the details were omitted for brevity), or perhaps it could have been common knowledge as to which animals were considered “clean” since Abel brought an offering. Regardless, after everyone and everything was on board, God shut the door to the ark and the rain started seven days later. Perhaps the delay was so that they would have a chance to get settled in, but God could have sealed the entrance with pitch to waterproof it (Genesis 6:14) and gave it a chance to set.

I’m of the belief that, up to this point, it had never rained (Genesis 2:5–6), that the “fountains of the deep bursting forth” is how the earth got the Mariana Trench, and the severity of flood reduced the firmament to just be like our current atmospheric conditions. Pre-flood conditions, with higher air pressure and oxygen density, caused things to be larger and live longer than they do nowadays.

Many people also seem to think that Noah and all were only on the boat for 40 days and nights, but we see here that the it was just the rain that was 40 days and nights, and that it took about a year for the waters to lower enough for everyone and everything to safely get off the boat. The water was probably mostly absorbed back into the ground (underground springs and such), bodies of water formed by terrain changes, and frozen into polar icecaps and the like.

In Genesis 8:20 that Noah offered a sacrifice to God from all of the clean animals. Years of unrighteousness ran rampant throughout the world, then after it’s cleansed, a true offering from the heart is raised…and not unlike the fresh smell after a rain, this made a pleasing aroma to God.

In Genesis 9, we have God telling Noah that all living creatures will fear people, and that they are edible. Up until this point, God had only declared that plants were food, for both people and animals (Genesis 1:29–30), which also answers how the animals could live together on the ark without eating each other.

As many know, God makes a promise not to destroy the world by flood again with a rainbow as a reminder of that promise (Genesis 9:14–17), but He also promised in Genesis 8:22 that, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” These both sound like a knock against global warming to me, though we should still treat the planet with respect.

Some time after the flood, Noah planted a vineyard, got drunk off the wine he made from it, and ended up falling asleep naked inside his tent. His son, Ham, saw him, but instead of covering him up, he told his brothers, Shem and Japheth, about it. They went in without looking and covered him up. When Noah awoke, he cursed Ham’s son Canaan and blessed his sons that covered him up. This seems a bit harsh, but Ham greatly dishonored his father instead of quietly and respectfully taking care of him. In fact, the command to honor your father and mother is the only commandment our of the Ten Commandments to carry a blessing (Exodus 20:12).

Tomorrow’s reading for the Bible in a year: Genesis 10–13