Friday, March 12, 2010

Genesis 8:1-4 Did G-d Forget? and What's is Wind?

And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that [was] with him in the ark:

Some people will try anything in an attempt to discredit G-d and his Word. This verse is a great example of how desperate some people are. They actually try to skew this verse to say, "If G-d knows everything, how can he forget about Noah?"

Once again, if we go to the Hebrew, we find that the word, translated as "remembered" is the Hebrew word, "zakar", means "to remember". However, just as in the English language, there is a "remember" that means "to recall something you have forgotten". There is also a "remember" that is used to ensure the reader that the person doing the action is now going to return to something that was temporarily put aside.

A good example of this is putting away the dining room centerpiece during dinner or cleaning the table in order to protect it. Then returning it after you are done. You didn't forget about it. You just put it aside for a little bit.

G-d did exactly that. He put Noach, his family and all the animals safely away, and got down to business. Now that his judgement has passed, he will now turn back to them.

"and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;"

Here, we have something happening for the first time in the history of the earth and all mankind. Wind is blowing across the surface of the earth. As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, the earths surface and atmospheric temperatures originally was even across the board. So even, that there weren't any atmospheric pressure change that causes wind to occur.

Now, with the protective firmament gone, the earth will now get the full brunt of the suns rays and thus begins the atmospheric changes we know today. This is also the beginning of the hydrological cycle. Instead of water leaching up through the ground to water everything, there will be rain. This the reason behind the rainbow sign that God set in the sky as a reminder of his promise, but I'm getting ahead of myself. We'll get to more of that in chapter nine.

"The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually:."

This verse also reaffirms our interpretation from a couple blogs ago. If you remember, G-d caused the earth surface above the firmament underground to rupture, allowing the water to spew upward into the firmament above the earth and so it began to rain from over saturation. Here those fountains slowed to a stop and it stopped raining. Also, as in all floods, the water finds it way to lower elevations.

"and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat."

After an additional 150 days, the water had drained away from the higher elevations it caused, enough to allow the ark to come to rest on what is now the mountains of Ararat. This leads us to a good question. Could the mountains of Ararat have rose up at the same time the waters drained away? The earth after the flood was dramatically different from the earth before the flood. It'll be one of those questions we ask the Lord at a later date.

Shabbat Shalom

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Genesis 7:17-24 Only 22.5 feet? Hey...that's still a lot of water.

And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.

The Hebrew words, naw-saw and haw-lak which are translated as bore and went respectively, shows that the flood was not as violent as often described by others. Nawsaw means, "to pick up in order to cradle or carry away". Hawlak means, "to walk". That doesn't sound like a violent storm to me. This also allows for the sea animals to survive the same way the fish and other water life survives nowaday floods.

And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

Fifteen cubits. Yes...that's only 22.5 feet of water covering the earth. To give a little perspective, that's only two and a half stories of a standard building. Doesn't sound like much but try treading 22.5 feet for over a hundred and fifty days. It's not going to happen. With that said, the text implies that the water gaw-bar or prevailed above the highest hills.

This is usually a major sticking point for our secular readers, even a lot of believers. However, we don't know how high the gaw-bo-ah har or high hills were. Also, it is interesting to note that the median elevation of the earth is approximately 20 feet below sea level. Is it possible that the earth, at the time of the flood, did not have the diverse topography we have today? And that the mountains and valleys were the result of the flood? Even though most secular scientists scoff at this idea, there are others that believe that the geological evidence hints at exactly that. Finally, the most important thing to remember is the fact that neither side can conclusively prove their position. One thing for certain is that this will be one of those questions we will ask the Lord when we go home.

And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Pretty self explanatory. Everything and everyone, that had breath, died, except for Noah and all that was with him in the ark.

And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.

The flood waters was upon the earth for a hundred and fifty days. On the surface, this seems pretty simple. It is very interesting to note that the Hebrew word, gawbar, translated here as prevailed, does mean, "to exceed above a certain point". However, an alternate translation could be, "to excert an extreme amount of pressure upon". This has led some to the previously expressed belief that the pressure of the flood waters is responsible for the formation of the mountains and valleys. As I said before, let the Holy Spirit guide you into the truth.

Shalom Aleichem, my friends.