Genesis and the Flood: Finding Harmony between Word and World

“… or does “whole heaven” not mean whole heaven :slight_smile:

Clearly you did not notice all the different words: ‘mountains’ more often means ‘hills’ (the Hebrew word is the same) and likewise that word for ‘heavens’ often means ‘sky,’ as in ‘the whole sky’ from horizon to horizon.

Is Peter as well, “6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly”

(2 Peter 2:5) “5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;”

Is Isaiah, " “This is like the days of Noah to me:
as I swore that the waters of Noah
should no more go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,
and will not rebuke you."

You would be hard pressed to not see that this was not a global event. I appreciate the civil dialogue, really I do, my sister in Christ :slight_smile:

My apologies, Lynn … I won’t make that mistake again … lol.

I know my name doesn’t suggest male or female, but I’m actually a guy. Lol.

The passages you present in Peter and Isaiah are good arguments, Wookin, and I’ll admit that I don’t have all the answers for you right at this very moment … as I’m still open to different viewpoints, provided that the evidence is strong enough.

Hugh Ross’s position of the flood is that it was regional (meaning only in a specific place, geographically) but that it was also universal in it’s judgement (meaning it wiped out humanity, save for eight people, but that humanity was living in the same general area)…

Phrases like “the world of the ungodly” are only referring to people, for instance … not the planet. And Isaiah, is hearkening back to the Noachic Covenant made in Genesis 9 … which, again, bring up the same arguments that Miss Lynn presented earlier, namely, the following:

This is all for now, Wookin … I’ll be back on later.

How do you reconcile God promising to destroy the ungodly in the first quote with the last quote promising He will not be angry and not rebuke you (people)? A simple interpretation would be that these flatly contradict each other.

Again we run into the same question, what does it mean by the ‘ancient world?’ When we say ‘seven wonders of the ancient world,’ is this genuinely a worldwide list, or is it understood to mean the lands that we were aware of in antiquity? (Hint: nothing from China, Australia, or the Americas qualifies; not even Stonehenge is on it!)

I also am not going to look up the exact dates, but isn’t Peter closer to us in time than to Noah? He wasn’t there, really, was he?

Meanwhile, the Chinese and the Egyptians and other civilizations have written records that go back further than the date of the flood, without the interruption that such a calamity would surely have caused. There are even living trees which are older than the flood! The sheer quantity of inconvenient facts you have to explain away in order to cling to a poorly justified interpretation of a worldwide flood just gets wider and deeper the more you look.

I’m very glad we can talk civilly too!

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Some good thoughts here. To add to this, it says in Peter that Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” which in itself implies that Noah was witnessing to people, while building the ark. If God simply told Noah and his family to simple migrate out of the area, then the people wouldn’t have had any warning beforehand. One might also ask the question why it was necessary for Joshua to march around Jericho seven times, while blowing trumpets, when surely there’s a multitude a different ways the Walls of Jericho could have come down … but maybe it’s for the same reasons Noah was told to build an ark earlier: an opportunity to witness, and a test of faith.

As a side note I do find the the thematic connections between Noah and Moses interesting. The same word used for Noah’s Ark is also used for baby Moses’ basket. In both instances, the ark is a place of refuge, and in both cases they are very much a “messianic archetype figure” …

The ark/basket connection is really interesting, I didn’t know that! Cool!

I also wonder if shifting to a local understanding of the story might emphasize even more man’s duty as custodian of the animals of the world. If it was not necessary to save the wild animals from worldwide extinction, then it follows that the motivation shifts to compassion for other living things (symbolic but still substantial) and/or preservation of purely local biodiversity as a worthy labor in and of itself.


The Bible does say that men and women shall have “dominion” over the earth and to “subdue it”, which implies lordship over God’s creatures. I think a lot of people read this, and take it to mean, “we can do whatever we wish with the earth”, but part of being a good steward, and representative of God, is being respectful towards the creation.

Adam was a gardener. In Old Testament law, farmers were to required to not “glean all the grapes” from their vineyard, but leave a tenth of it hanging on the vine, so that scavengers may eat them, as well as poor people can benefit from them.

“… and/or preservation of purely local biodiversity as a worthy labor in and of itself.”

Possibly. I tend towards a view that Noah is represented as a “new Adam” so to speak, of which in many ways they are thematically connected to each other, in a similar manner that Jesus is connected to Adam, as well as Noah being connected to Jesus.

There’s still a lot of unanswered questions for me regarding, global flood, local flood, or something in between. But I do enjoy trying to unravel the mystery.

I also see a lot of parallels. I think water was a symbol of chaos in the ancient world, so the Noah story is an act of uncreation and re-creation in a way; it is a return to chaos and then a reassertion of the order established in Genesis. In Genesis 1, God brings order to the formless watery deep and establishes time and weather and life cycles and human dominion. Humans are given food to eat and the privilege of being fruitful and multiplying. After the flood the dry land once again is separated from the water, the land is once again filled with all the kinds of animals who are going to multiply according to their kind in 8:16 (mirroring 1:20-25, even in the words used to describe the kinds of animals) At the end of the flood story, in 8:22 God again re-asserts the order of time (represented by the agricultural seasons and cycles of days and years), in 9:1 he reasserts the “be fruitful and multiply” blessing, in 9:2 human dominion, in 9:3 the “I give you as food…” God re-establishes his covenant with humanity. And Noah goes out and cultivates the earth and plants a vineyard. The earth is once again a place of order and flourishing. I have read that vineyards represented stability and peace in the land in ancient Israel, because they took years to establish. In times of war and chaos, you lost your vineyards, whereas many of the promises of future peace or blessing mention vineyards.

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Hey Christy.

I very much agree with you about the “creation / un-creation” of the flood. Once you start noticing the connections, they seem so obvious, and the parallels are very compelling. There’s also a parallel about the “spirit of God” hovering over the waters in the creation story, which is thematically connected to the “wind of God” making the dry land appear again, in the story of Noah (spirit and wind being the same Hebrew word).

There is another connection that I discovered very recently, that I never heard anyone else mention … so it makes me wonder who else has seen it? The Six-One pattern that’s prevalent in Scripture first begins in Genesis 1: six days of work, then one day of rest. This pattern gets repeated later on when it comes to farming. Six YEARS of working the ground then one “Sabbath’s Rest”, i.e., one year of rest.

But there’s a third time this pattern appears, but it is very hidden.

Going off the idea that water is a symbol of chaos, Noah would be the one bringing back order, correct? His name itself means “comfort or rest” (see Genesis 5:29).

Well in Genesis 7:6 it says, “And Noah was 600 years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth.” And in Genesis 8:13 we read, “And it came to pass in the 601st year … Noah removed the covering of the ark, and behold the face of the ground was dry.”

Now why is this relevant?

In the Creation story God worked for 6 days and rested on the 7th. In a likewise manner, it came to pass, in the 7th CENTURY of Noah’s life, there came an “Age of Rest” (still keeping in mind Noah’s name means “rest”) so to speak. An age of order restored, portrayed symbolically in the age of the patriarch, which again, mirrors the creation story.

You may find my latest post Thorns and Thistles of some interest … let me know!

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