ABC:Genesis 8

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Verse 8

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims Genesis 8:8 is wrong, and makes the following comments:[1]

Genesis 8:8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

Why did Noah require a dove to find land (Genesis 8) if he and God were on speaking terms in Genesis 6?

This is like asking why the servant doesn't ask his king details about how to do his job. Why bother asking God about minutiae he can figure out himself? A healthy respect for God assumes we should choose our words wisely, per Ecclesiastes 5:2.

Furthermore, the question assumes that Noah and God talked frequently, when that may not have been the case. For all we know, God only talked directly to Noah four times:

  1. Telling him to build the Ark in Genesis 6:13-21
  2. Telling him to go in the ark in Genesis 7:1-4
  3. Telling him to leave the ark in Genesis 8:15-19
  4. Blessing Noah and establishing a covenant with Noah for his obedience in Genesis 9:1-17.

That Noah knew these situations were special and reverenced his conversations with God, rather than asking God about irrelevant issues he could figure out for himself, is evident from the verses after these accounts showing Noah took God's words seriously.

Genesis 6:2 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Genesis 7:5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.

Genesis 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

As evidenced from these passages, Noah's response to God's commandments each time was simply to obey the first two times, and third time in act of trust, he offered one of each of the animals brought for food supplies as a sacrifice to God. In a post-apocalyptic wasteland like Earth had become, this act of faith showed Noah was so grateful to God he wanted to offer part of his own food supply in honor to the God who'd rescued him, and was so confident God would take care of him that he was certain God would provide for him regardless.

This may have been the basis for the later practice of animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, but originally appears to have been simply a touching gesture of trust in God by honoring Him with one's own food at a time when food would have been scarce. Essentially it may have been Noah saying to God, "I know we have a limited food supply and Earth's food supply appears destroyed, but I appreciate you so much God that I want to give you some of it to thank you for what you've done. I trust you'll take care of me and my family no matter what."

Verse 15

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims Genesis 8:15 is wrong, and makes the following comments:[1]

Genesis 8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.

When the ark landed, what did the carnivores eat? All other animal life had been drowned. And vegetation would’ve also been wiped out in the flood, so what did the herbivores eat to survive?

Logically a supply of clean animals had been brought on board the Ark to begin with for purposes of feeding the carnivores (Genesis 7:2-3) and some were still left, as seen from Noah's sacrifice to God with them (Genesis 8:20). They'd been each brought in greater numbers (7 rather than 2) for purposes of feeding carnivores, the animals on the Ark and possibly even Noah's family as well. Scavengers would certainly be able to eat some of the decaying carcases littering the Earth, of which there were doubtless very many. Dead fish littering the land likely died later, serving as a fresher supply of meat.

As for vegetation, seeds could easily survive the flooding and some floating vegetation might not have died at all, perhaps surviving in logs. Furthermore, Noah's family took all kinds of food with them as commanded by God in Genesis 6:21 so there was an unspecified amount of food already on board to feed herbivores with. As David Wright of Answers in Genesis points out, some trees thrive in water like mangroves.[2] Wright also makes the excellent point that the Flood covered the entire earth itself less than a full year.

Since the flood itself lasted 40 days and the tops of the mountains were not covered until after that (Genesis 7:20) yet the Ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat after 150 days (Genesis 8:4), the entire Earth was completely covered with water no more than 110 days, less than 4 months time, so vegetation could have begun reseeding while the waters receded. How long exactly the entire Earth was underwater is uncertain, it could have been only 1 or 2 months, but vegetation certainly could have survived long enough to grow before Noah left the Ark.[3]

The summit of Ararat was probably beginning to flourish with plants while Noah waited for the ground to solidify before leaving the Ark. The Ark had after all been grounded from days 150 to 370 with the flood waters receding steadily. By day 278 trees were already growing as evidenced by the dove returning with an olive leaf, and by day 285 were grown enough that the dove did not return. Nonetheless, Noah's family stayed in the Ark for another 85 days, almost 3 months, presumably waiting for the ground to solidify. By this time there was certainly plenty of vegetation and Noah's family had perhaps even begun gathering some from the summit to feed the animals with.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.
  2. Wright, David (2012, October 10). How Did Plants Survive the Flood? Answers in Genesis. Retrieved from http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v7/n1/how-did-plants-survive-flood.
  3. Flood Timeline. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved from flood-timeline.jpg.