Before I read the Book of Genesis, I used to think the flood was global, that is what I heard people say, after I read the book of Genesis I understood it to mean a global flood. I never gave much thought to this.
I was pretty sure that everyone knew it was a global flood, then one day I read a booklet that stated the flood was local. Well I had never had thought or heard of such an idea before. I decided to reread the account of the flood and see what it really said. I decided that the issue wasn’t as clear cut as some people had believed.
First let us examine this carefully. Neither side claims the Bible is wrong. The accusation that one side or the other doesn’t believe the Bible is a false accusation. Proponents of local and global flood believe the Bible; they just interpret the flood occurring differently.
That the flood of Genesis was a true historical event is not disputed, both sides claim the Bible is correct, they just differ on the details. One side says the flood was global while the other says the flood was local. Of course that won’t stop some preachers from thundering false accusations of unbelief against the other side; which are not true, for neither side denies the Bible.
Actually there is evidence for either one global flood or many local great floods. If there was an ice age of the earth, then there is the possibility that the end of that ice age may have provoked one great flood or many local floods. After studying the subject I have come to the conclusion that the evidence favors that the flood recorded in Genesis was local. Of course I could be wrong and the flood was global, but the evidence strongly points to a local flood and I hereby present my case.
For my first witness I shall upon the Genesis account itself and look at its chronology.
Let us look at the time sequence of the flood and the water drainage and see if what it says. These two themes are very closely related for one depends upon the other.
Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.
All the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years.
So the flood had to happened somewhere in between these years
A global flood that lasted less than one year?
OK let us see it closer. Look at all the events in proper chronological order to see what makes sense.
The flood began exactly in the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month.
It rained for forty days and forty nights. That is a month and ten days.
The waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. (That is a total of 5 months)
The ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. (That is precisely five months after the flood begun)
In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. (From the ark resting to now it is 2 and a half months)
Forty days later Noah opened the window and took a peak outside. (This will make it one month and ten days)
He then waited seven days. And sent a dove, which brought back an olive leaf.
(2 months and a half + forty days + seven days = 122 days) 122 days = 4 months 2 days
He stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove (7 more days)
In the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: (this makes it 9 months and a half)
So here are the numbers (5 months the waters went up and 4 and a half months for the waters to go down)
Yet we see Noah staying a little while longer in the ark. In the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried So even though the ground was dry, Noah still remained in the ark for another 2 months and a half.
Noah had already been in the ark for 9 months and a half; the face of the ground was dry. What was he waiting for, perhaps for the green grass to start growing again?
THE PROBLEMS BEGIN
After five months the waters assuaged and the ark landed upon the mountains of Ararat.
Excuse me how was that? Let us see; there are four places that have been pointed as Ararat, the highest of this is a mountain 17 thousand feet high. Mount Everest is at 29 thousand feet. So let us just do a quick calculation and we subtract 17 from 29 that give us 12 thousand feet.
OK we have a problem here, in the Genesis narrative itself we see that this flood was at least 12 thousand feet short of covering the whole earth. So much for the literalist interpretation.
Think about this, from the beginning of the flood to the time the flood ended was exactly five months. Since the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat at this same time, then the waters could not have possible covered Mount Everest, which is 12 thousand feet higher. The highest the flood point the flood could have reached is 17 thousand feet and of course this is assuming that the Mount Ararat is the one in turkey (highly unlikely) and also assuming that the ark rested on its peak.
There are many mountains all over the world that are higher than Mount Ararat, so it is obvious that these mountains also were not covered by the flood.
In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
Obviously this does not include Mount Ararat for the ark had already landed in Mount Ararat. So two and a half months later Noah, perched somewhere in Ararat could see outside and the tops of the other mountains. Those mountains obviously could not be bigger than Mount Ararat.
THE DRAINAGE PROBLEM
OK it is time to start adding those numbers up. Get out your calculator.
Keep a close track of the numbers; they tell the whole story.
The dove brought an olive tree leaf. Olive trees do not grow at higher elevations than 500 meters (1, 640 feet) above sea level. So the highest level of the water at this time would be between 1,500 to 2,000 feet. Olives trees are “choosy” about where they will grow they will not tolerate extreme cold.
Now if the flood was global could anyone explain how in just 122 (2 months and a half plus 47days) days later the waters could have dropped from 29 thousand feet to about 2 thousand feet (height of olive tree)? A drop of 27 thousand feet in such a short time is really beyond this world. The calculator says (27,000 feet divided by 122 days = 237 feet per day) Please someone explain to me a water drop of 237 feet per day?
If we have a global flood draining at the rate of 237 feet per day, and from the dove we know that we have at most 2, 000 feet more to go, How long would it take to finish draining. The calculator says (2,000 feet (the olive tree elevation) divided by 237 feet = and we get 8 days). Something is wrong here.
Ok so let us work backwards. The calculator says (4 months and a half minus 122 days = 13 days) let us continue (2,000 feet divided by 13 days = 153 feet per day) that is still unrealistic.
Now we see why Noah had to wait another 2 months and a half. Let us now add these extra days and see what we come up with. (13 days + 2 months and a half = 88 days). So now lets us try again (2,000 feet divided by 88 days = 22 feet per day). Still kind of excessive, but of course we are going from 0 sea level.
Now let us work it backward and see how much more it would take to reach the 29 thousand feet of Mount Everest. (29,000 feet divide by 22 feet per day = 1, 318 days) Well the flood only lasted 150 days, so the flood would have to last at least 8 times as long in order to cover the whole earth.
Hmm the numbers just do not add up for a global flood.
OK so now let us assume the flood went only up to 17 thousand feet the highest possible landing place (17, 000 feet – 2,000 feet [Olive tree height] = 15,000 feet) OK let us take out the calculator and start again (15,000 feet divided by 122 days = 122 feet per day)
Let us continue with the draining (2,000 feet divided by 122 = 16 days) closer but no cigar.
Let us now reverse the drainage rate and we get (17,000 feet divided by 22 feet per day = 772 days) this is still 4 times as long as the flood lasted.
OK let us start from the drainage rate of 22 feet per day, and just to be extra generous to the global flood proponents we shall start at sea level that means 0. Ok then let us see how high a 22 feet per day rate of drainage takes us. (122 days plus 88 days = 202 days) (202 days times 22 feet = 4,444 feet) The maximum possible height of Noah’s flood was 4,444 feet.
Some critics will protest and say that olive trees are capable of surviving up higher, OK so let us be generous and give another 1, 000 feet to the olive tree, this will bring the tree to 3,000 feet, so ok let us do the drainage calculation from that 3,000 feet. (3,000 feet divided by 88 days = 34 feet per day) now let us go backward and see how high is it possible to go in 202 days. Calculator says (202 days times 34 feet per day = 6, 868 feet per day)
Even given the very generous 0 sea level start and given them the hardiest possible olive tree in the world and given them the extremely generous rate of 34 feet of drainage per day, the highest possible height for the flood was less than 7,000 feet.
Come on let us give a break to old Noah we are not going to leave him up there hanging on the peak of the mountain at 17,000 feet, with all those animals. Let us split the difference and assume the ark of Noah landed halfway down the middle of the Ararat Mountain that would make it about eight thousand feet. Yes I know I am giving the globalists too much, but hey I am a softie. Now do the calculations and the numbers still do not add up.
THE WHOLE EARTH?
Many have clearly pointed to the phrase the whole earth in this biblical narrative. They said the Bible says the whole earth and that settles it. Well let us look at all the times the Bible says the whole world and see if it means the whole earth.
The Hebrew words which are translated as "whole earth" or "all the earth" are kol (Strong's number H3605), which means "all," and erets (Strong's number H776), which means "earth," "land," "country," or "ground." We don't need to look very far in Genesis (Genesis 2) before we find the Hebrew words kol erets.
The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole [kol] land [erets] of Havilah, where there is gold. (Genesis 2:11)
And the name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole [kol] land [erets] of Cush. (Genesis 2:13)
Obviously, the description of kol erets is modified by the name of the land, indicating a local area from the context. In fact, the term kol erets is nearly always used in the Old Testament to describe a local area, instead of our entire planet.
Erets does not actually carry any connotation of a global spherical planet in its translation. It was translated "earth" many times, but it is also translated "country" 140 times, "land" 1,476 times and "ground" 96 times in the OT. In most cases, "erets" can be proven to be a limited land area, not the whole planet.
There are plenty of times in the Bible where the expression the whole land means a localized region. Many times it means the whole land of Israel, other times it means the whole land of Egypt, and even at other times it means the whole land of Babylon.
We need to keep in mind that the people living at the time of Moses had no concept of a "global" planet, to them the "earth" would be the extent of the geographical land area known to them.
If the area that was flooded was just the area that Noah knew, then obviously to him it was the whole land. This makes a lot of sense from the point of view of Noah.
When Luke 2:1 says that the whole world was taxed, we clearly understand it to mean the whole roman world. There clearly were people in other parts of the world, which were not taxed by Romans. Using the phrase “The whole world” is a normal exaggeration. The expression the whole world is against me, or everybody knows who Madonna is; clearly does not included every single person in the entire planet.
If the whole planet is indicated then the word “tebel” (Strong's H8398) is used. In Hebrew this word that always refers to the entire earth or the entire inhabited earth. It is found 37 times in the Old Testament. This word is never used to describe the flood, but it is used to describe the creation of the earth and the judgment of the peoples of the earth.
How could the flood waters rise 15 cubits (8 meters) above the mountains in a local flood (Genesis 7:20)? Well the problem here is once again the translation. The word used for Mountains is “Har” which can be translated as mountains or hills.
The Hebrew word "har" occurs 649 times in the Old Testament. In 212 instances, the word is translated "hill" or "hills" or "hill country". In Genesis, it is translated "hill" in 10 out of 19 occurrences. Of course, 4 out of 9 times that it is translated as "mountain" is in the flood passage (the translators were wearing their global glasses when they did that translation!). In every instance in Genesis, the text could be translated "hill". Since no specific mountain range is mentioned in this verse, it is likely that the word refers only to the hills that Noah could see.
Psalms 104 seems to eliminate any possibility of the flood being global. This psalm is a creation hymn.
Praise the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty.
He wraps himself in light as with a garment; He stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of His upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds His chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds His messengers, flames of fire His servants.
He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
But at Your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of Your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place You assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.
This psalm teaches that at the creation of the world the waters covered the earth, just like Genesis 1:2 says. Then in the third day the dry land appeared. But if you notice in verse nine this psalm says that God “set a boundary they cannot cross never again will they cover the earth.” A global flood would clearly contradict this scripture.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF GENESIS
Outside Genesis one (through Genesis 2:5), the entire Genesis account through the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) specifically refers to local geography. All the place names mentioned are in the Mesopotamian flood plain. Therefore, all the instances of the word erets can and should be translated "land," instead of "earth," since it all refers to local geography. There is no reason to think that the flood account is any different from the rest of the Genesis account through chapter 11.
Some have objected to the local flood because this would necessitate an enclosed area. Actually there are large areas in Asia that would accommodate a local flood and a flash flood in those areas would take a long time to drain.
Also the flood could have started in Mesopotamia and could have created a gigantic river that carried the ark into another more suitable area. There are other areas close to Mesopotamia that would meet the conditions needed by a local flood.
Some have claimed the flood was to the east in the land known as the Tarim Basin or Eastern Turkestan. A ridge of very high mountains forming a gigantic basin in the midst of them surrounds this region. It measures 1,000 miles long and is about 350 miles wide.
From the lakes of this plateau come four great rivers: the Indus, the Jaxartes, the Oxus, and the Tarim. The Oxus is still called by the natives the Digihun or Gihon; the Chitral branch of the Indus answers the description of the Pison; the Jxartes is the original Euphrates and the Tarim going toward the east is in all probability, the Hiddekl.
There is a high water mark found along the mountains which rim the Tarim Basin, showing that at one time this basin was filled with water, although not all of the mountains were covered. Within the basin are several small mountains that could be fully covered by a flood held within the higher rim of the valley.
After the flood the survivors and their sons journeyed to Shinar, and civilization flourished in the area. Some have called Mesopotamia the cradle of civilization.
THE DESCRIPTION OF THE FLOOD
Some have said that the description of the flood shows utter destruction that all the flesh died, every living thing. This is quite true, if a whole region was devastated and everything died in that region a person from that region could indeed say that everything died, that everything was destroyed. But he would only be referring to the region he knows about, the region he lives in.
What about seeing all around just water. If you are in a boat you can see 1.17 times the square root of your height of eye in feet. Because of the curvature of the earth when a person goes out to sea, soon all the earth seems to disappear. Someone just a few miles of the coast would be under the impression that the whole earth has been swallowed by water.
In California there is a valley so large, that if it was flooded, a person in a boat similar to the ark of Noah in the center of the valley; could look in every direction and would only see water and not the far away mountains surrounding the valley. The roundness of the earth prevents anyone from seeing beyond a certain range. Also because the valley is so enclosed with mountains it would take a long time to drain.
The ark was 45 feet, minus about a third of it would be submerged under water, that would make it 15 feet for the submerged area that leaves us with 30 feet of height. Lets us see 30 square root is 5.47 times 1.17 = 6.39 nautical miles. (About 7 miles away) So Noah looking through the top window could see as far away as 7 miles around. So it is obvious he could not see beyond that range.
The Tarim Basin measures 1,000 miles long and is about 350 miles wide. So its obvious that if he was away from the edge by at least 7 miles he could not see anything, so Noah would have a minimum of 343 miles of roundabout leeway to float for days, that is a whole lot of room.
THE PURPOSE OF THE FLOOD
The purpose of the flood was the destruction of men. Men at that time only lived somewhere in a region of Asia (perhaps the Mesopotamian region) so all that was needed to destroy them was to flood that area. Why destroy regions where man does not exist? Men at that time had not extended beyond that area, so why go to the trouble of flooding far away regions?
Some say that men would have left the area of Mesopotamia by that time and they would have scattered beyond that area. Well why should they? It was a land rich in soil, the temperature was great for humans, and there was plenty of water. There was enough land for every one, so why would people leave this vast fertile region and go into worst land around them?
If people had already departed and gone to live in Europe, North and South America, or Australia, Then how were they supposed to know about the coming judgment of God? The building of the ark was a testimony only to those who could actually see it or have first hand knowledge of it. People can hardly have been scattered to the ends of the earth if this was to be a testimony to them. Noah preached to the people in his immediate area this implies a local flood.
THE WATER PROBLEM
The water creates many problems for global flood proponents.
HOW MUCH WATER IS THERE
There is not enough available water in the oceans to cover the whole earth. To cover Mount Everest would take 4.4 billion cubic kilometers. Some have said that the polar caps and the glacier melted. Well even if they did, it still would not be enough to cover the whole earth.
Some use the 'water canopy' theory. (The belief that before the earth was covered with a canopy of water) well this creates far more problems than it solves. For example how anyone could survive the intense pressure before the flood, and how the energy release necessary for the condensation of all that water could fail to cook all life forms, and last but not least where did all the water of this canopy went to?
What about the subterranean oceans? Well it is true that the water in them is massive three times the water in our current oceans. Yes, enough to flood the whole earth, but if those oceans were actually unleashed upon the world how did they go back underground? Why are they separated from the current oceans by hundredths of miles of ground? There has to be some sort of mechanism that would release that water and then take that water back down there.
The global flood proponents have invented many theories yet none has been proven satisfactory. The favorite of them is to quote that the fountains of the deep means the subterranean oceans which do hold enough water to flood the earth, were broken. OK let us accept that they have enough water to flood the whole earth, and that they were unleashed. But once the flood was over how did the water managed to go back deep underground in such a short time? And why did our oceans not also followed them deep underground?
RAIN WATER NOT ENOUGH
Rainfall is normally measured in mm/day. The modern world record for rainfall is 38.1 mm in one single minute. Now let us bring the calculator out and multiply 40 days times 24 hours times 60 minutes and see what we can come up with 40 x 24 = 960 hours. Now let us take 960 hours X 60 minutes = 57600 Minutes. Let us know see what the world record multiplied by these minutes would give us. 57,600 minutes times 38.1 mm, the answer is 2,19 4,560 mm. this is obviously a lot of water but not enough to flood the world it is not even enough to flood a whole region. To flood the whole earth it would take 1.4 billion cubic feet of water.
It rained for 40 days and it covered the whole earth that could not happen even if rained for 80 days. Even 40 days would still hardly be enough to flood a region; that is why the fountains of the deep had to be opened too. These fountains of the deep were local waters reservoirs that are abundant in some areas just beneath the ground.
THE HEIGHT PROBLEM
The tops of the highest mountains are about 29,000 feet. If the flood covered the highest mountain (Mt. Everett), how would they survive in extremely cold for over a year? Just trying living at 20,000 feet level above the sea level and you will see the survival problem with the cold. Most of the animals would have died from the cold. If the whole earth had been covered with water, the whole earth would have become an ice ball.
The elevation at 26,000 feet is called the "death zone" by mountaineers because of the thin air, to cover the whole earth the ark would have to be at least 3,000 feet even higher than that. Humans and animals are not meant to live above at that high level. It requires special equipment and oxygen tanks to breath at such high altitudes and the right conditions for men to climb Mount Everest. Noah and the animals would have died from the lack of oxygen a horrible way to die.
Some have tried to get around this problem by said that the earth was flat or semi-flat at that time. They claim that the flood caused the erection of the mountains, but such statements goes against the Bible. Mountains clearly existed before the Flood, since the waters of the Flood are said to have covered them (Genesis 7:20).
For the sake of argument let us say that the flood raised the mountains higher, how would a flood elevate mountains thousand of feet? How could abundance of water caused the mountain ranges all over the world to raise up? What mechanism could raise the ocean floor crust in just a matter of five months? I was under the impression that floods lowered mountains because of erosion not raise them. Shall I wait for the answer or go take a long nap?
A process that would restructure the earth's topography, compressed into just a few months would have produced gigantic tsunamis. The ark would be not match for such a brutal tossing. The earthquakes following such a realignment of the earth would have continued for many years.
No offense to Noah, and I am sure he was a good carpenter and followed instructions correctly, but his massive wooden vessel, around 140 meters (450 ft) long, would have a hard time surviving the turbulent waters of a global flood. The destructive power of such a violent flood would have torn to pieces the ark.
A gentler local flood would have tossed the boat here and there, but the boat could have survived the tossing.
THE WATER RECEEDED
Now the Bible says the water receded. Receded to where? If the whole earth was covered with water, where would the waters go to? There is no place where to recede to, the level would be remain unchanged This planet would become like in the movie “Waterworld”
Many say that the flood water became our oceans, well According to Genesis 1:10 God brought the earth out of the waters that covered it, and in Genesis 1:20 he created the great whales, this implies strongly that the oceans were already formed before the flood begun. Yet all the water in the oceans is not enough to cover the whole earth.
If the whole planet was covered with water, how did it drain away or evaporate in 164 days? This could not have taken place in 100 years. How long would it take for wind and sun to dry the whole world? Now compare to how long would it take for a region to dry out after a flood. What is the normal rate of water evaporation, even on hot or windy days?
After it stopped raining and the water began to go back down, the Bible implies the water receded at the rate of about 15 cubits in 74 days (Genesis 7:20; 8:4, 5). If we figure a cubit at about 18 inches, the water level would have dropped 270 inches during this time or, to round it off, 4 inches a day. If the flood depth was 29,050 feet (348,600 inches) and the water level dropped 4 inches a day, it would take 87,150 days to get back down to normal sea level. That would be almost 239 years.
The earth drying in half a year? Come on let us do a quick calculation again. Let us be extra generous and say the rate of water evaporation was 5 inches a day, now let us do the calculation at the top of mount Ararat. 17 thousand feet would be 204, 000 inches dive that by 5 and you get 40800 days, that is roughly 112 hundredth years.
You don’t think I am being generous enough OK, let us triple the rate of water evaporation rate to 15 inches per day and let us start from only 15 thousand feet. The calculator says = 32 years. OK let us still be more generous and start from 10 thousand feet, and the rate of water evaporation rate at 20 inches per day, and the calculator says = 16 years.
Any way you measure it, the water from a global flood would have taken years to recede instead of a few months, unless you are using the funny new math; that allows you to say the numbers means whatever you want it to mean.
THE OCEANS PROBLEM
A major problem with the flood being global is the salinity of the sea. For the flood to be global the water from the oceans would have to mix with fresh water. A global flood would have destroyed many marine habitats
Many fresh water fish could not have survived the shock of a global flood. Neither could many salt fishes have survived the drop in salinity. Some require cool clear water, some need brackish water, some need ocean water, and some need water even saltier.
Since most coral are found in shallow water, the turbidity created by the runoff from the land would effectively cut them off from the sun. The silt covering the reef after the flood was over would kill all the coral.
It is well know that different oceans have different environments. Mixing them would destroy them. Scientists worry when a species of the Atlantic is found in the Pacific Ocean or vice-versa. Recently scientists poisoned a lake where a Chinese predator fish was found; they just could not allow this vicious fish to survive in American lakes. Now just imagine all this mixing in a global scale.
THE ANIMAL PROBLEM.
The animals present another bunch of problems for global flood proponents.
GATHERING THE ANIMALS
Now think about the task of gathering and feeding animals prior to the flood. Not only the fact that it would take a very long time to get all the animals, you would have to travel very long distances to get them. Now where would you get penguins from? How about koalas or kangaroos? How about the lamas, Sloths or any of the other animals which only exist in certain areas? There are animals, which can not survive in different climates.
Supposed that somehow they were able to get one of each from every species in the world, where would they keep them before going into the ark? They would need hundredths of cages plus lots of foods and water, and special care
Another tiny problem arises here, God told Noah to bring the creatures into the ark as pairs of male and female. If there were animals from every place in the world, how would Noah be able to tell which is a male and a female? This is more complicated than distinguishing between a horse and a mare. What about snakes, ants, termites, snails, etc?
Of course this would also include the many hundreds more species of animals, that are now extinct. It is estimated that 99% of all the animal species that have existed are now extinct. So Noah would not only have to get animals that we now find common, but also many which men have recently hunted to extinction and now only exist in museums or drawings.
FOOD FOR THE ANIMALS
Noah was instructed to bring in food for the animals and himself. Let us just confine ourselves to the animals for the moment. If you ask any zookeeper what it takes to feed the animals and he will tell you that it takes a lot of food, tons in fact.
Just feeding the elephants is a big problem. One elephant eats 44 pounds of grain, 66 pounds of hay, 20 to 70 pounds of turnips, carrots, cabbage or fruit. If an elephant eats 170 pounds of food each day, this would be 62,050 pounds during the year in ark. Since there were two elephants that would amount to 124,100 pounds I think that is a very good reason why elephants don’t make good pets.
Now shall we go on the problems of finicky eaters, some animals only eat certain foods, they will refuse to eat any table leftovers. Feeding them might be a little tricky. How about the fresh bamboo shoots for the pandas? Koalas require eucalyptus leaves, and silkworms eat nothing but mulberry leaves. There are animals that eat only that one kind of plant. How did Noah gathered all those plants aboard, and where did he put them?
Shall I even mention the strict carnivores, surely they would need their fresh meat, where would Noah keep this fresh meat? Some ancient refrigerator? He would need extra animals to feed the lions and the tigers. Now the ark gets even more crowded.
Food spoilage is a major concern on long voyages; it was a serious problem before the inventions of canning and refrigeration. Some animals will not eat dried foods. The humidity aboard the Ark would have provided an ideal environment for molds, nothing but moldy grain for everyone.
How about those pesky pests? How did Noah keep pests from consuming most of the food? The large quantities of food aboard would have invited infestations of any of hundreds of stored product pests.
Some when faced with these problems have said that God placed the animals in a sort of hibernation. Well that would be a nice miracle, but it is not recorded in the Bible. According to the scriptures God specifically told Noah to put food for himself and the animals in the ark. Why would Noah bring food for the animals if God was going to put them in hibernation?
TRANSFERING THE ANIMALS TO THE ARK
Noah got the call from God to go into the ark and bring all the animals in. The sheer number of cages that would need to be transferred from the ground to the ark would be quite considerable. It certainly would take longer than the seven days mentioned in the Bible. Of course he could have hired outside help, but the account seems to indicate that it was all done by the family.
It is hard for a family moving to a new house even with professional movers, just imagine how hard it would be to move hundredths of animal cages some would have to be quite heavy. Noah was not about to let the lions and the tigers roam loose in the ark, would he?
FITTING THE ANIMALS IN THE ARK
How much room would Noah have for the animals? A cubit is about 18 inches long, so the ark would have been about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. The total volume would have been about 1.5 million cubic feet.
If the ark was meant to house a pair of every single type of animal in the world it was obviously too small. Then not to mention all the food and water needed for their survival. Even if we reduce the animals by only their species the ark still is too small. Some have estimated that Noah would have needed at least 43 arks to really have a pair of each species of animals inside.
We also have a tiny little problem here. Some species do not live a year, so they need to reproduce before they die. Some rodents and insects reproduce all year round. So you need to have also a maternity ward for these gals.
What about walking space. Even if you stack cages upon cages, you still need access to them to give them food and water, so you obviously need walkways. You will also need some closet space for all the equipment needed to take care of these animals.
THE UP KEEPING OF ANIMALS
Here we have a major problem. The work force was insufficient for such a gigantic zoo. Now imagine only eight people trying to feed, every single type of animal in the world and you will see the impossibility of such a task. No zoo of this size could only exist with eight employees, if you don’t believe me just check the zoo in any major city and count how many employees they have.
Now let us go into the problem of cleaning up after the animals you need mops, brushes, and plenty of water to dispose of the animal waste. Of course the water should not be a problem if you are surrounded by water, but you still are left with the problem of picking up the waste and disposing of it. Even if you are a fast worker you will have a problem cleaning up hundredths of cages. Disposing of the top deck might be easy, but you have two decks below, with all that climbing of decks you will certainly get your legs of steel.
If you slacked a little bit and let some cages get a little messy just think of the stench. It would become intolerable after just one month, how could anyone withstand one year? Not to mention the fact that a dirty ship would create all sorts of diseases. Just think about all the cruise ships that despite having a large cleaning crew using modern tools sometimes had to cancel a trip because some bacteria got loosed in the ship.
What about showering the animals? It is true that some animals only require minimum maintenance but some animals like the elephants and hypos need showers. What about the rhinos? And the giraffes? All those animals require high maintenance.
Shall I even talk about environments? Some animals need a special environment to survive, where would Noah get the ice for the penguins? Just creating special environments for humans is enough of a headache.
The animals in the ark also needed room to grow, run and play. Where is the room for this? Some animals just can not live in a cage in captivity they will die; they need plenty of room.
THE ANIMAL CONDITIONS IN THE ARK
Did I mentioned all the stench and diseases from dirty cages? Ok so I did, let us now go on to oxygen. You need oxygen to breath, and without plants in the ark where would you get the oxygen. The more animals you have the more oxygen you would need.
Let us now go to the subject of heat dissipation. How hot would it get in the ark? All animals produce thermal heat. You would need a special cooling system just to prevent from suffocating by the second day. A system that would not only circulate oxygen but also prevent the heat from accumulating. Shall I remind anyone of the fact that some animals prefer different temperatures, so how would they be accommodated?
You would need a system where you could get enough ventilation to get rid of carbon dioxide while supplying oxygen. It would also remove heat from certain areas and move them to other areas.
The noise problem. Now could you even communicate or have a conversation with all the noise from all those animals. The wall would resound with the echo of all sorts of grunts, howls, chirps and what not. Now imagine a bunch of scared out of their habitat animals and birds in a cacophony of sounds. How could anyone sleep, it would be a madhouse of noise.
THE ANIMALS AFTER THE FLOOD
If the ark landed in a mountain how would the animals get down? Obviously the landing site would have to be at the bottom of any mountain. If you break the cages and just let them go down how do you prevent the lion from attacking the sheep. What would the animals eat if the whole earth was destroyed and there was no grass to eat? Would they have to stay around Noah to get something, and where would Noah get more food for them?
How would the penguins reach Antarctica, How would the koalas travel all the way back to Australia, how would they swim? How about the other animals in America how would they cross the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean?
ANIMALS, ANIMALS, AND MORE ANIMALS; WHAT A DILEMA
The more animals you have the more dramatic these problems and conditions would become. Just think what about it, you would have eight people working day and night with hardly any sleep, feeding and keeping these animals in such horrible conditions that most normal human beings would perish in less than three months. Now Noah and his family were in the ark for a whole year, does not this sound ludicrous? No wonder Noah needed a drink after the flood.
Some have tried to get around these many problems by saying that Noah only got juvenile pairs of animals. The Bible speaks of "the male and his mate," indicating that the animals were at sexual maturity. However let us grant this point and accept that they were juveniles. They would still need room to grow, and growing animals sometimes eat much more than a full grown adult, so you might end with bigger problems.
Also many animals require the care of adults to teach them behaviors they need for survival. If brought aboard as juveniles, some animals wouldn't have survived. Wild animals born and raised in captivity have to actually be taught how to survive in the wild before they are released.
The sheer number of animals, the logistics and manpower involved, the conditions and special environments needed, they all are against the theory of a global flood. Now do you still want to continue with such an incredible idea that all the species of animals in the world were included?
Others have tried to get around this problem by saying that only a representative of each species or genre was chosen, and that all the animals mutated or descended from them. There simply wouldn't have been enough time to accumulate the number of mutations necessary for the diversity of species we see today.
If the animals were to be only the local indigenous animals then it is doable. There would be no problem in eight people taking care of them without killing themselves by overworking. The ark is roomy and spacious it has plenty of room for all the local animals, plus seven of each clean type, and there is plenty of room for food and clean water for all the animals.
When the animals are only local, then the task is reduced from an impossibility to a very doable task. Yes it will take some years to collect a pair of all the animals in the local land, but it can be done. Then the up keeping and feeding of these animals might keep you busy for the day, but still it is possible to do. You would still need deep pockets to feed them all, but a rich man could afford his own private zoo, but I seriously doubt that anyone could be rich enough to feed all the animals in the world for one year.
I am sure that Noah had plenty of money or resources to build a gigantic ark. Think about this, how many people have the means to store food for their whole family for a whole year, and also food for many animals?
THE HUMAN PROBLEM
The human needs are not as drastic as the animals; after all we can adapt and just put up with inconveniences. But there are still a few things humans need. OK so Noah only had eight people to take care of and the trip wasn’t going to be a luxury cruise.
Yet he was commanded by God to take food for his family. So some of the room was needed to keep food for the humans, after all it would not do to make soup out of the only chicken aboard.
Now let see a human can eat around 2,000 pounds of food per year, plus water, now multiply that 2,000 times 8 people and you will need to make room for a minimum 16-20 thousand pounds of food. If you are going to be working day and night as zookeepers you will tend to eat a little more. And don’t forget room for fresh water and perhaps a little wine since we know that Noah was not a teetotaler.
What about living quarters? Granted that humans can just lie down anywhere and fall asleep but come on at least give them a small bedroom for each couple. Ok let us make one small size kitchen for everyone and a small living room. You will need to make need to make some room for the humans. Yes this ark might get a little cramped.
THE PLANT PROBLEM
What do plants have anything to do with the flood? They are not even mentioned in the account. Precisely! If the flood was going to be global then plants should have been included in the ark.
The water level would have been five miles above the present sea level. The water pressure would have been about 800 tons per square inch. Ten months of this pressure, along with the lack of light and mixture of salt water would have destroyed all plant life and seeds on the planet. The entire life cycle, which depends upon plants, would have ended. Still, the animals released by Noah obviously found vegetation to eat.
Even if the seeds floated, yet after being soaked in salt water for almost a year they would be useless. Salt is not good for the plants, The book of judges tells us that Abimelech salted the earth around Shechem in order to destroy it. Now just imaging all the oceans mixed with fresh water would basically make a desert out of all the land on the earth. The plants and the trees could not have survived the salt water that covered the whole earth. Remember that the flood took place in almost a year.
What about the destruction of the top soil? That would have been washed away in a global flood, how would plants grow without soil?
Some say that Noah could have gathered seeds of every kind, well he could have, but there goes more room for another thing besides animals. It seems that as we investigate this closer, the animals keep getting less and less room.
Others object that a local flood would also affect the plants, yes it would but not in the destructive scale of a global flood. Only a few native plants would have a hard time surviving this disaster, while the seeds from other areas around the flood region would eventually help it to recuperate.
WHY HE ARK?
Some have objected to an ark if the flood was local, They say it makes no sense to build an ark if the flood was local? Actually there are many good reasons to build an ark for a large regional flood.
First reason is that God makes the decisions as to how to act. The Israelites were to look upon a serpent of bronze to be healed of snakebites. They were to walk seven days around Jericho in order to conquer the city. So whether it makes sense so some or not, God asked Noah to build an ark.
Second, the ark was a sign and a symbol; it was to be seen by all the people to know what was going to happen, so that they would be without excuse. It was a warning to the people in that region, an ignored warning.
Third, it was a platform or place for Noah to preach his message. The message of future judgement was given just like it is given today, and as usual it is widely ignored.
Fourth, God wanted to preserve the local animals from extinction. Some of those were probably unique animals to that area and would become extinct in the flood. Without a pair of each from the local area the whole land would have taken centuries to recover, the whole area would have become a desert.
THE LANDING SITE PROBLEM
Just where did the ark landed? The Bible says that it landed “on the mountains of Ararat” Precisely where this is has been a matter of long debate. Some have said it is Armenia, while others have chosen an area closer to Iran, China or India.
The Bible says that after the flood the survivors journeyed from the east to the land of Shinar (Mesopotamia) so it is obvious that Ararat must be somewhere to the east side of Mesopotamia (Iraq). Any site that is not east of Iraq must be discounted as not being the Ararat where Noah landed the ark.
Some say that Ararat, in this text, does not describe a mountain or even a mountain range, but a region. The Bible does mention Ararat.
(2 Kings 19:37 and Isaiah 37:38) "One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer cut him down with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king."
Jeremiah 51:27 "Lift up a banner in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations for battle against her; summon against her these kingdoms: Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Appoint a commander against her; send up horses like a swarm of locusts."
So it is obvious that Ararat was a region, kingdom or place known to some of the ancient prophets. Its precise location is not known, but must have been somewhere around the area of the kingdom of Assyria (Iran) where the sons of the king Sennacherib could flee to.
Four possible places have been named as the place where Noah’s ark landed. On is in turkey in a mountain properly called Ararat, (this has been rejected by most biblical researchers) the second place is in Armenia, the third place named is Iran, and the fourth place is usually though to be somewhere in India or Turkmenistan.
"The name Ararat, as it appears in the Bible, is the Hebrew equivalent of Urardhu, or Urartu, the Assyro-Babylonian name of a kingdom that flourished between the Aras and the Upper Tigris rivers from the 9th to the 7th century BC." Encyclopædia Britannica, "Mount Ararat"
Of course the bible doesn’t say that it landed in the top of some mountain, but around the area of some mountains. If it had landed in the top of a mountain, it would create many problems, like how did Noah and all the animals got down. I hardly think that Noah was an expert mountain climber.
The ark had come to rest somewhere around where olive trees grow, and also vineyards can grow. Olive trees do not grow at 17,000 feet. In fact, you will not find olive trees growing much above 2,000 feet. The first thing that Noah did after the flood was to plant a vineyard, a vineyard would be kind of hard to plant above 2,000 feet. Therefore, we know from the Bible that the ark did not come to rest on or near the top of Mount Ararat, but probably somewhere near the base of a mountain area.
The curious fact about all the locations given for the ark landing is that all the locations are around Mesopotamia. The wind blew for 150 days, and a big, rectangular vessel like the Ark would be strongly influenced by this wind. Even if we assume that the Ark only held a speed of one knot (unrealistically slow), this could take the ark more than 6500 km (4000 miles). That would actually allow the Ark to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 150 days. With a more realistic speed, the strong wind God sent would send the Ark around the Earth many times.
The fact that the ark landed in close proximity from where it begun militates against the global flood theory. If the flood was global the landing site would have been a much farther away site. So after a year of floating in the waters the ark just landed in the near neighborhood? What are the odds of that happening? The travelling distance of the ark is a clear indication that the flood was indeed local.
OBJECTIONS TO A LOCAL FLOOD
Why didn't God send Noah on a long trip out of the flooded area? Well he could have, but God didn’t. It could be that God always gives warning before judgment comes, and Noah was to give the warning. When you look at all the times that God has pronounced judgment, he gave prior warning, but often the warning was disregarded.
Why build an ark to save animals? Because there are many animals that are indigenous to certain areas and only live in those areas, some animals only exist in one place of the whole world. They were also needed to repopulate the area after the flood.
Couldn’t the animals just migrate out of the area? Well yes they could have but then they would be away from their habitat, and away from their source of food. What would the animals eat in the meanwhile? Animals do not voluntarily leave their food and territory.
Why birds were included? Most birds (other than a few migratory birds) have a very localized territory. They would have been killed in the local flood, since they are not designed to fly long distances. Hummingbirds would drop dead in 20 minutes or less. Bird do not fly in a strong rain, flying in heavy rain is not easy. They would have sat on their perches until the water drowned them.
God promised no more floods like the Genesis flood, but there have been other floods. Yes there have been floods that have killed thousands of people, but not one has destroyed all of humanity. The promise was never again a flood that would destroy all humanity.
Why didn’t the people get out of the land? They could have but think about it even with our modern systems of weather reporting, people stubbornly refuse to leave areas of destruction thinking that nothing will happen to them. People have foolishly died in storms despite being warned to leave the area. Why would the people leave their houses, crops and goods and leave for a very far away region many miles away just because some crazy neighbor tells them there will be rain coming down and destroy the whole land?
Isn’t the local flood a modern theory? Some people think that the theory of the local flood begun recently, and that it is an attempt to placate evolutionists or unbelievers in the Bible. But that is not true. Josephus who lived about two thousand years clearly indicated in his writings that it was a local flood.
Why Stay In The Ark A Year? One person said that it was absurd for Noah to stay in the ark for a year in a local flood. Not really he had to wait for the ground to dry, before he was able to get out of the ark. Noah not only was responsible for himself, but also for the animals, so he could not just leave them in the ark to starve or kill each other. He had to make sure the conditions were right for the release of the animals.
The flood story is a true account of an event that actually happened, it did happen like the Bible says it happened. But the evidence and the text clearly indicate that it was a local flood and not a global flood, those who believe in the global flood have simply misunderstood the scriptures.