Tag Archives: Noahs Ark

Genesis Chapters 8-11

Genesis Chapter 8-11

In this post: The flood comes to an end, I explain where the water went, more divine senility, Noah the Drunk, God gives away the first slave, Tower of Babel, Noah’s family line to Abraham

Chapter 8:

When we last saw our heroes they were floating around on a small boat with millions of animals and a few thousand tons of manure.

We pick up our story in Gen 8:1 when God recovers from another bout of senility and “…remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark… .”  Then God causes a wind to stop the rain, and the other water coming from the sky as well as the water shooting up from the bottom of the ocean (Gen 8:2-3).

The water starts slowly receding.  Where did all the water go?  Well literalists will tell you that God lowered the ocean floor and raised the land so the water is still here.  Aside from there being no basis for that in this story or in any geological record, and its being an ignorance-based version of plate tectonics, it’s just plain stupid.  I find it much easier to believe that it all went down a drain at the bottom of the ocean, next to the spigot that it was coming out of in 8:2-3.  The spigot and drain are as of now undiscovered, but that in no way definitively proves that they aren’t there.  Then God put a stopper (also undiscovered…yet)  in it which left us with the water we have.  My version has just as much evidence as theirs and is better written.  Na Nanna, Boo, Boo.

Mt. Ararat

Mt. Ararat

Anyway, after 150 days it had gone down about 13,000 feet to around 16,850 ft, so that on July 17th 2348 BC the Ark settles on Mt. Ararat, and by the first of October the mountain tops could all be seen.(Gen 8:3-5)  Actually the story says “mountains of Ararat” so it could have landed on any peak in the Armenian Highlands, but Mt. Ararat is a good choice because it is a volcano, and many early cultures loved their volcano gods.

After forty days of sitting on top of a mountain in a boat full of 10s of millions of pounds of manure, Noah opens the little window on top of his boat, and lets out a raven and a dove.  The raven flew around in circles for the next few months landing on the stinking boat, nevermore, while the dove flew around for a while and came back. (Gen 8:6-9)

After a week, Noah let the dove out again, and this time it came back with a newly sprouted olive leaf, which told Noah that the water was “abated from off the earth”,  or at least the hill that the olive tree was growing on. (Gen 8:10-11)  How an olive tree had survived almost six months under water is never explained, though I guess it could have been growing in one of the many empires that survived the flood intact with no water damage.

Noah waits another week and lets the dove go again, and the dove doesn’t come back. (Gen 8:12)  He probably got sick of the smell like the raven had.

8:13 tells us that on New Year’s Day “in the six hundredth and first year” Noah opens the Ark to reveal dryland.  Now obviously this isn’t the 601st year because the World had been around over twice that long, we can only assume that it means Noah’s 601st year, which would mesh with the rest of the story.  What doesn’t mesh is why Noah waited 37 days to open the boat if the land was already dry.  You would think he would want to air the place out as soon as possible.

Anyway, 8:14 says that the Earth wasn’t dry until the 27th of February which means 8:13 lied, or the author forgot.

Whenever the drying out happened, God told Noah to get his family and all the animals out of the boat, and Noah happily complied. (Gen 8:15-19) I’m sure everybody was getting tired of the piles of manure that by now were surrounding the boat.

390px-Figures_011_Noah_offered_burnt_offerings_on_an_altar_to_the_Lord[1]It wasn’t to be a happy day for all involved because Noah immediately took one of every “clean” animal and bird, and set them on fire. (Gen 8:20)  We can’t be sure if this means that these animals had babies before they were put to death, or if this offering led to the extinction of these animals whose significant other was left without a mate.

Anyway, God catches a whiff of burning flesh and seems to like it.  It was probably a welcome smell since the millions of dead bloated people, and the 10s of millions of dead bloated animals that surely littered the ground, along with the heaping piles of manure surrounding the Ark, were most likely quite smelly.  Because of Noah’s animal scent-candle, God vows to never again kill everything on the planet: (Gen 8:21-22) I would just like to thank Noah for his flood-stopping Bar-B-Que.

Chapter 9

Chapter 9 starts with God telling Noah and his boys to go make babies, lots of babies. (Gen 9:1)

Not the Least Bit Scared of People

Not the Least Bit Scared of People

Then God tells the guys that every animal on the planet will now be scared of them.  (Gen 9:2)  It would have been nice if that fear had passed down through the generations, but alas, it hasn’t. It would seem that God cared more for Noah than he does for 13 year old admirers.  God then goes on to explain that animals should be scared of them because “every” animal is now to be considered food.  The one caveat is that they can’t eat hearts or blood. (Gen 9:3-4)

Verses 5-6 re-establish capital punishment, but this time for murderers instead of for killers of murderers.

God tells them to have babies again, in case they didn’t hear him the first time. (Gen 9:7)  And, this isn’t the end of his repeating himself:

In verses 8-13 Gods promises to never kill everything with a flood again and creates rainbows as a reminder of this.

In verses 14-17 God promises to never kill everything with a flood again and creates rainbows as a reminder of this.

Is God repeating things because he thinks Noah and his sons are thick-headed?  Is divine senility rearing its ugly head again?  Were there multiple authors?  You decide.  My money is on senility.

Gen 9:18 starts a rather odd side story.  In this story, Noah plants a vineyard, makes some wine from the grapes, gets blackout drunk, and passes out naked in his tent.  His son Ham stumbles upon his drunk, naked father and tells his two brothers, Shem and Japheth about it.  Shem and Japheth go to great lengths to cover their drunkard of a dad with a blanket without looking at him. (Gen 9:18-23) There is no mention of where Mrs. Noah is during this.

When Noah wakes up from his drunken coma, does he apologize to his family for getting blind drunk and passing out naked in a tent?  No, he gets mad at his son Ham for stumbling onto the sight of his alcoholic naked father, and curses Ham’s son Canaan to be a servant to his uncles. (Gen 9:24-27)

Then we are told that the drunk lived for 350 years after the flood and dies (liver cirrhosis) at the age of 950 in 1998 BC. (Gen 9:28-29)   Did you see the math error?  According to Gen 7:6 and 11 Noah was 600 when the flood started.  According to Gen 8:13 Noah was 601 when the flood ended, and 8:14 reiterates that the flood lasted for a year.  601 + 350=951, not 950.  God’s divinely guided messenger isn’t very good at math, or maybe God isn’t.  Either way a big mistake.

Chapter 10

This chapter is a series of begats.

Nimrod's Nemisis

Nimrod’s Nemisis

First we get  Noah’s oldest son Japheth’s family tree. (Gen 10:1-5) Then Ham’s. (Gen 10:6-20) Then Shem’s. (Gen 10:21-31)  Chapter 10 ends by telling us that this  was how the Earth was repopulated (Gen 10:32)  The only name of any interest is Nimrod the Hunter (Grandson of Ham) who rules Babel, and then goes on to fight the X-Men.

Chapter 11

Our final chapter for this post starts by telling us that everyone was speaking one language (Gen 11:1)  This should have been obvious since everyone at this point is descended from one family.

Babel[1]Then we are told that all of these people got together and started to build a huge tower toward the heavens as a way to unite them as a people.  (Gen 11:2-4)

So, God wonders out from where ever he had been hanging out since completing his first genocide and sees the tower (Gen 11:5)

When God sees the tower he tells his female companion that it is a sign that people have become smart, and full of ingenuity, and that if they can do such a wonderous thing then there is nothing that they can’t do if they put there minds to it (Gen 11:6)  Generally, such words spoken about children by a parent would be considered a good thing.  Not so to humanity’s kind and loving father.  Instead of congratulating his children, he and his female companion make it so the children can’t understand each other thereby creating the different languages and scattering the people all over the planet. Which is why the tower came to be called Babel. (Gen 11:7-9)

What God didn’t know was that there were at least four recorded languages before this: Sumerian , Egyptian, Akkadian, and Eblaite.  But, since these languages were different from Noahnese God probably didn’t understand them and ignored them, especially since speakers of these languages had all managed to survive the flood.

Then the chapter starts another begat list. This time just from Noah’s son Shem to Abram (Abraham born 2038 BC) and Abram’s nephew Lot. (Gen 11:10-27)  All the men mentioned in this list live longer than God’s set lifespan for humans.  It seems that God forgot again and let these guys live too long.

11:29 tells us that Abram marries a woman named Sarai, and that Abram’s brother Nahor marries their niece, Lot’s sister, Milcah.  It aint love if it aint in the fam’ly.

Then God gets a little personal and lets us know that Abram’s wife was barren. (Gen 11:30)

Then Abram’s dad takes Abram, Sarai, and lot from Ur where they had been living to live in a city named after Abram’s brother, and Abrams’ brother’s father-in-law, and lot’s father, Haran, in Canaan. (Gen 11:31)  Where Abram’s father dies in 1903 BC (probably from shame about his son marrying his granddaughter) (Gen 11:32)

Why they moved from a city that had survived the flood to a place designated as bad, we are not told.

Next time:  Abram, Sarai, and Lot wander around the Middle East making money.

See you then, Ron


Genesis Chapter 7

In this post:  I cover the genocide of every human on the planet except for seven people, I try to figure out how to stuff millions of animals on a boat smaller than any NFL stadium, we see a few examples of God’s senility, and we look at God’s confusion about how many animals to put on the Ark

Genesis Chapter 7

Remember at the end of chapter 6 when God told Noah that he would establish a covenant with him and that he should build an Ark then take his family and two of every animal and bird and put them into the Ark?

Well, chapter 7 starts off the same way by God telling Noah, again, to put his family in the Ark, only this time in a much more poetic way.(Gen 7:1)  Maybe God forgot that he had already told Noah this. God has been around for infinity, so he could be showing signs of senility.

Most  Biblical scholars say that the reason it seems to repeat itself a lot is that Genesis had more than one author, and early manuscripts combined all of the different accounts into the book we would come to know as Genesis.  I know what you’re saying:  It’s much easier to just believe that God forgot and is repeating himself.  I agree, because the only sensible reason for the confusion that follows would be divine senility.

Chapter 7 continues with God telling Noah that not only should he put his family on the big boat but the following as well:

2 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.

3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

Now some people might say that this completely contradicts the previous chapter when God told Noah to take two of “every” animal, whereas here God says to take seven of some and two of others.  These people clearly know nothing about Divine Senility, or they would understand that this is divinely inspired confusion and not a contradiction.  What other explanation could there be?

So, God goes on to tell Noah that he has seven days to get the boat loaded, because after that God plans to make it rain for 40 days and 40 nights and thereby destroying “every living substance…from off the face of the Earth.” (Gen 7:4) Unless, of course, he forgets.

And Noah says ok, again.(Gen 7:5)  It would seem that Noah is familiar with God’s senility  because he doesn’t ask for clarification on the whole numbers thing.

We get a date for the flood from Gen 7:6 when it says that Noah is 600 years old when the flood started.  If you’re keeping track that puts the flood at  1656 AC or 2348 BC.

Where did I get the BC?  Well, a long time ago an Irish Bishop named Ussher meticulously went through the Bible and available historical records, and came up with the evening of Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC as the date creation was finished.  While challenged in many different arenas this date is the most widely accepted of the creation dates proposed, largely due to it’s inclusion in King James Bibles and Scoffield Reference Bibles.  Naturally, since it is the most relied on date it’s the one I use.

To put the date for The Flood in a historical context here are a few events to consider:

  • 5400 BC:  Almost 1400 years before the Earth is created, Eridu, the World’s first city, is built in Mesopotamia, near present day Abu Shahrein, Iraq.  No signs of the Flood some 2,100 years later have been found on that site, but of course that doesn’t discount its having happened.
  • 3800 BC Sumerian city of Ur founded.  Strangely enough this city survived the Flood with no apparent damage or interruption of daily life.  However, is was conquered by Sargon the Great  8 years after the flood, completely intact, people and all.  It would seem that Sargon and his empire survived the flood.
  • 2490 BC the last of the three pyramids at Giza is completed.  The is no sign of any flood at this location either.
  • 2500 BC Great Sphinx of Giza built.  Again no sign of flood damage.
  • 2375-2345 Unas is ruler of Egypt.  Oddly enough, Like Sargon to the east, he and his entire kingdom survived the flood unscathed, and there is no mention from this time period of the flood which covered the rest of the planet to a depth of 29,000 or so feet for a year.

Anyway on with our story.

The obedient Noah puts his family into the boat (Gen 7:7), and then puts two of each animal on the boat “as God had commanded Noah.”(Gen 7:8-9)  It seems that Noah made a command decision and went with the earlier amount for how many animals to load.  God didn’t correct him, so he must have forgotten all about the whole seven-of-some and two-of-others thing.

So at this point in the story we have 7 adult human beings, at least 2 million insects (2 of each known species), around 20 million other land animals (2 of each),  and 20,000 birds (2 of each), on Noah’s boat, which has three decks each of which is 33,750 square feet.

So we have a boat with a total floor space of 101,250 square feet housing at least 20 million animals, 2 million insects, 20,000 birds, (Remember, God said two (or seven) of “every” animal, and we know that every animal alive now or in the past was created in one day back in 4004 BC 1400 years after the Mesopotamian city of Eridu was built.) and 7 humans, plus enough food to last all the inhabitants for just over a year.  And this doesn’t even count the 250,000 or so species of extinct animals that we have fossils of which includes 1,047 dinosaurs some of which were as large as 120 feet long and weighed more than 100 tons.  Creationists will tell you that these animals were on the Ark too.

Fun fact:  The San Diego Zoo houses around 3,700 animals and employs 6,000 people.  The 3,700 animals at the San Diego Zoo produce about 2.5-3 tons of manure every day.  If we put this in terms of the number of animals on the Ark we get at least 6,757 tons or 13.5 million pounds of manure every day that Noah and his family had to scoop up and throw out an 18” square hole on the roof of the boat.  The amount of ammonia and methane in the air would have probably killed everything on the boat since the only ventilation was the little hole in the roof.

Another fun fact:  If each animal on the Ark took up only a 3”x 3” space (just a little bigger than a dollar bill folded in half) they would have taken up 625,000 square feet or just over six Arks. But we all know that there was only one Ark, so each animal only had about a 1½ inch square space (about the size of a silver dollar). And this isn’t counting insects, birds, dinosaurs, mammoths, food, or humans.  Animals were obviously quite teeny back in Noah’s day.  How they have gotten so big since then, and why fossils and skeletons of these animals are so much larger are things which aren’t explained in the Bible.

Of course, to get really picky, it is estimated that of all the species that ever lived only about 10% are alive today or are known about from fossils, and since God said two of “every” animal, and creationists say that the only mass extinction event ever was the flood then all 90,000,000 of those animals were on the boat also, so each animal and human would have had a square with sides as long as the thickness of 4 sheets of notebook paper, but I think things are getting a bit silly now.

Now some doubting Thomases will try to deny God’s great feat of shrinking all the animals to fit on the boat by saying that Noah took baby animals, and only took two of every “kind”, or family, of animal, and that these animals bred afterwards to give up the diversity we see today.  Aside from this idea being stupid and not grounded in any way by science or the Bible, there is the issue of what the Bible actually says.  These heathen unbelievers obviously haven’t read Genesis 7:2 where it says: “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens (pay no attention to this number, Noah doesn’t), the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female”; or Genesis 7:15 where it says:  “And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life”.

If people are going to try to say a story is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, they shouldn’t try to rewrite that story,  ignore parts of it, and make up ‘facts’ to fit their beliefs.  They should just believe the story or not.  Just my opinion.

On a personal note, I had a toy Noah’s ark when I was a kid and I could never get all of the two dozen or so animals to fit into it, but then again I wasn’t a 600 year old Bronze Age shipwright either.  When I told my father as a child that the animals wouldn’t fit, I got disciplined.  When I told him again as an adult, he ignored me.  My how times change.

Enough fun, back to Genocide.

496px-World_Destroyed_by_Water[1]So, after seven days the flood starts. (Gen 7:10) God didn’t forget about this, after all, killing every man, woman, child, and newborn infant on the planet, except for Noah and his crew, was important to him.

We are told again (in case we forgot while reading) that Noah was 600 when the flood started, and that it was the 17th of February (Gen 7:11) and, we are told that it rained continuously for the next 40 days. (Gen 7:12)

Genesis 7:13-17 tells us that Noah and his family as well as the animals went into the Ark and that it rained for the next 40 days.  Obviously the author forgot that he just told us that.  Senility is starting to run rampant.

In 7:18-20 things get a little confusing concerning how deep the water got.  First, in 7:19 it says that “…all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.”  Since we now know about Mt. Everest, we know that this means the water had to be at least 29,036 feet deep.  But then in 7:20 it says that the water was 15 cubits deep which comes to 22.5 feet.  But, maybe it meant 15 cubits a day, although it doesn’t say that, and it would still only be 900 feet.  Of course it could have meant an hour, though it doesn’t say this, which would get us to  21,600 which is closer.  Either way, contradiction aside, 22.5 feet or 29,036 ft of water over the whole planet is a lot of water.

481px-007.The_Great_Flood[1]In 7:21 we are told that everything died.  Babies and puppies included.

In 7:22 we are told that everything died.

In 7:23 we are told, you guessed it, that everything died.  But, this time we are reminded about the boat and its passengers, and it tells us that they lived.

Why we are told three times in three different ways that everything died is unclear.  What is certain is that it couldn’t have been due to the combining of three different stories from three different authors, and, that everything died.

Chapter seven ends with the author telling us (once) that the water stuck around for 150 days. (Gen 7:24)

So, there you have it;  God’s first Genocide, if you don’t count the de-creation after chapter one.

As we continue through the rest of the Bible you will come to understand that genocide is something that God is a big fan of.

See you next time, when we learn about how the flood ended, and that Noah is something of a drunk.  Then we learn about Noah’s bloodline to Abraham, and about the Tower of Babel.

Note:  I had intended to combine this chapter with chapter 8 into one post, but it was starting to get rather long and chapter 8 has a few things to point out, so I didn’t.  I will combine two or more chapters as it is prudent, so don’t worry, not every single chapter of every book will get its own post, and we will start gliding though the Bible at a quicker pace very soon. Thanks for Reading,  Ron

Genesis Chapters 5-6

Genesis Chapters 5-6

In this post:  I discuss the begat list in chapter five and how it helps put a date on things from here out, then we get started on the story of Noah’s flood.

Chapter 5

The entirety of this chapter is devoted to giving the family line from Adam to Noah.  For the most part it is unimportant in the scheme of things and serves only to connect Adam and Noah.  The only interesting character mentioned before Noah is Methuselah, who has the title of the oldest man in the Bible with his living 969 years before dying. (Gen 5:27)

The key part of this chapter is the meticulous and detailed timeline it gives us.  By taking the number of years a person lived before begating the son named, then adding the numbers of years that the son lived before his son was born, and so on, we get a dating system of sorts which I’ll call After Creation or AC.  For example:  5:3 says that  Adam was 130 yrs old when his son Seth was born.  Then, in 5:6, we learn that Seth was 105 when his son Enos was born.  So by adding 130 to 105 we can say that Enos was born 235 years after creation was finished, or 235 AC.  This dating system gets more detailed and starts to come in really handy in Chapters 7-8.

If we revisit some creationists claims that the ‘days’ of creation could have been eras or millennia, or whatever, we find that not only is this soundly refuted by Genesis 1:14, but by Genesis 5:3-5 when it uses the word years for how long Adam lived, which by the way was a total of 930.  Not bad for someone who was supposed to die the day he ate the forbidden fruit at least 800 years earlier (he lived 800 years after Seth was born.  Seth was born after Cain killed Abel.  Cain killed Abel after his parents had been evicted from Eden.  See how useful detailed begat-lists can be).

As I mentioned before, the only discernable reason for this chapter is introducing Noah.  With a little basic math and Gen 5:28-29 we learn that Noah was born 1056 AC.  Then we learn at the end of the chapter that Noah is five hundred years old and has three sons. So the date is 1556 AC.

Chapter 6

Artist's rendeition of a woman/angel hybrid

Artist’s rendeition of a woman/angel hybrid

In chapter 6:1-4 we learn a couple of things.  We learn that the angels thought human women were hot, so they quite often had babies with them, and that these babies grew to be giants among men also described as great and mighty men. (Gen 6:4)  I have heard time and time again that this angel and woman sex party was the reason God sent the flood, however there is absolutely no indication whatsoever that this is the case.  In fact we are told in the next few verses what his reasons were and horny angels and giants aren’t mentioned.  But first, lets not forget to look at Gen 6:3 where God decides that being bothered by all of these people who are living for hundreds of years is not worth the trouble, so he puts a limit on human lifespan of 120 years. (Jeanne Calmet of France defied this limit by living for 122 years and 164 days before dying in 1997, obviously there are French women who are more powerful than God)

Genesis 6:5-6 tells us God noticed that mankind had become utterly and completely evil, and that God regretted ever creating them and was sad about it.  And, who can blame him for being sad.  He created people twice and they still had design flaws, I would be upset with myself too.

So, God decides to rectify his mistake, by destroying not only people, but every other animal on the planet. (Gen 6:7)  Well, not every animal, because fish and other aqutic life are not mentioned on the to-destroy list, which is understandable, after all, who doesn’t like dolphins.

But then God spots Noah who is described as a good, God fearing man, with a good bloodline and three sons. (Gen 6:8-10)

God looks at the Earth again and sees that nothing has changed since the last time he looked. (Gen 6:11-12)  Measure twice cut once. You would think that an all-knowing god wouldn’t have to double-check himself, but there you have it.

After double-checking himself, God tells Noah that he plans to destroy everything (Gen 6:13) and then goes into great detail about the boat he wants Noah to build.

The Ark’s specifications:

The boat is to be made of gopher wood (squared or planed wood) and covered inside and out with pitch (plant resin used for water-proofing). (Gen 6:14)

It will be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. (Gen 6:15) A cubit is 18 inches, so the measurements come out to  450 ft long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall. A large boat, but by comparison the Queen Elisabeth 2 is 1,132 feet long, 135 feet wide at the waterline, and 236 feet tall, and an American pro football field is 360 ft long and 160 feet wide.

The floating managerie will have one 18 inch square window on top (not much ventilation), a door in its side and will be divided into three decks. (Gen 6:16)

God then explains to Noah that he intends to cause a flood so great that “ every thing that is in the earth shall die.” (Gen 6:17)  This possibly means that he changed his mind about killing dolphins.

After shocking Noah with that news, God goes on to say that he will strike a deal with Noah wherein he and his family will be spared in return for building the big boat, and putting two of every living land animal, insect/invertebrate, and bird on the planet along with enough food to feed them all on his boat.  (Gen 6:18-21) God also tells Noah that the animals will come to him, which is a good thing since there’s no way that Noah could have gotten to Patagonia and back in time, much less Australia, or Antarctica.Noah's_Arc[1]

Noah agrees to God’s deal and gets started building his big boat in the desert. (Gen 6:22)  Actually, I can’t say for sure that Noah was in the desert, for all we know he lived in Madagascar, but since every other time the Bible talks about the World, it is centered on the Middle East, I’m assuming that this story takes place there as well.  It’s as though the authors are completely unaware that places like North and South America, Australia, Antarctica, or the Arctic even exist.

We are never told why God, who had the power to create, and then re-create everything didn’t just blink everybody on the planet except for the Noah clan out of existence thereby taking care of the whole evil babies problem, while leaving the animals and plants unharmed.  This seems to be a better plan than destrying every single plant and tree on the planet with a flood.  I guess it’s possible that God was a little sadistic and thought it might be fun to watch babies drown.  It’s, also entirely possible that God did it out of spite, we’ve seen him be spiteful before with the whole Garden of Eden eviction.  And, it’s possible that he did it because the Sumarian gods had done the exact same thing centuries before the Bible was written.  We know how prideful God can be, so letting some Sumarian god out-destroy him would be unthinkable.  Or, Maybe God just enjoys a good Russel Crowe movie, and was thinking ahead.  I guess we’ll never know.

On the Next episode of The Bible for Atheists:  God’s first genocide.  It should be fun, so stay tuned.