A Daily Genesis

Genesis 8:15-19

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 8:15-17 . . God spoke to Noah, saying: Come out of the ark, together with your wife, your sons, and your sons' wives. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you : birds, animals, and everything that creeps on earth; and let them swarm on the earth and be fertile and increase on earth.[/B]

Noah had to let all the animals return to the wild. That must have been tough. After 370 days, he and his family were probably very attached to those creatures, even to the spiders and the flies.

A lot of people were very upset here in Oregon when Keiko the Orca was taken from the Newport aquarium and moved to Iceland. You can't blame them. It's just a human weakness I guess. People love animals; what can I say. Even Wall Street sociopaths-- who would throw their own children to the wolves to protect their financial positions --often love animals.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 8:18-19 . . So Noah came out, together with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives. Every animal, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that stirs on earth came out of the ark by families.[/B]

The word for "families" is from [I]mishpachah[/I] (mish-paw-khaw') and means: a circle of relatives; figuratively, a class (of persons), a species (of animals) or sort (of things); by extension: a tribe or people.

Verse 19 strongly suggests that already in Noah's day living things were ranked by type because they came out of the ark according to their species. How they were ranked is uncertain. It may have been according to intelligence, and then again, maybe by usefulness to Man. Some might put the primates first because they are so smart; but I would put a higher value on beasts of burden, and any other creature that best serves Man's domestic needs; I mean, chimps are cute but what were they really good for in Noah's day?

It must have been a stirring sight. Everyone soaking up the sun, stretching their legs, and feeling brisk and cheerful. Like astronauts back from a long, tedious space mission; they were all so happy to be home at last.

No doubt the rats and mice probably were content to remain in the ark where it was nice and cozy, and I bet they eventually moved in with the Noahs after their new home was built.

Many of the smaller creatures, like non winged insects and moles and centipedes, can't really travel very fast so it must have taken them a pretty long time to multiply and spread out; unless they found a way to hitch a ride aboard the larger animals.

The big guys would take a considerable amount of time to get back up to numbers.

The gestation period of a meadow mouse is about 21 days and they can have anywhere from four to six babies at a time. At the extreme are the African elephants. Their gestation is about 660 days. So they don't multiply very fast. White rhinoceros take 480 days, cows 284, giraffes 457, zebras 365, moose 240, hippos 238, gorillas 258, and camels 406. Most of the domestic birds-- turkeys, pigeons, geese, ducks, and chickens --all incubate within a month or less.

Critters with the longest gestations usually have the fewest number of babies in a litter-- typically only one; and two at the most. Since many of the clean type animals are of the larger species, and therefore would take longer to multiply, it was wise to take along seven pairs of those.

So; how did all the various species end up in their respective environs-- e.g. arctic, rain forests, deserts, and tropical islands? Nobody really knows, but we can take an educated guess.

According to an article in the October 2011 issue of National Geographic, around 56 million years ago, the Atlantic Ocean had not fully opened up and it was possible for animals to migrate from Asia through Europe and across Greenland to North America. They wouldn't have encountered a speck of ice because the earth was quite a bit warmer than today.

We suggested previously that with the knowledge we have today of the science of plate tectonics, it isn't unreasonable to assume that God simply crunched all the dry land together in order to facilitate migrations to the ark, and left the land that way until the Flood was over and it was time for the animals to go back where they came from.

Sometimes when I contemplate the earth's crust consisting of solid stone like granite, schist, and gneiss; its seems impossible to me that any force could crunch it; but in the hands of the earth's creator, what's solid to me is little more than modeling clay to its maker.

As the planet's topography underwent continual alteration by enormous geological forces, resulting in a variety of global climatic conditions, many species became isolated and underwent some interesting adaptations and mutations in order to become the highly specialized creatures that we find living around the world today.

Classical evolution per se, is, I believe, a spurious fantasy because it discounts intelligent design and an outside source of all life. But Bible students have to allow for a least a degree of genetic and somatic adaptations and mutations or Genesis won't make any sense at all. It is just too unreasonable to assume that the incredible variety of life existing in our world today all existed during Noah's too.

After all, every known variety of Man existing today came from just eight people. If those eight are responsible for producing all the different kinds of human beings in our world today, then why couldn't the creatures aboard the ark have been the foundation for all the varieties of non human life?

So; what happened to the ark? Well; according to the dimensions given at Gen 6:15, the ark was shaped like what the whiz kids call a right rectangular prism; which is nothing in the world but the shape of a common shoe box. So most of the lumber and logs used in its construction would've been nice and straight; which is perfect for putting together houses, fences, barns, corrals, stables, gates, hog troughs, mangers, and outhouses.

I think it's very safe to assume that Noah and his kin gradually dismantled the ark over time and used the wood for many other purposes, including fires.

Nobody cooked or heated their homes or their bath and laundry water using refined fossil fuels and/or electricity and steam in those days, so everybody needed to keep on hand a pretty fair-sized wood pile for their daily needs.

There was probably plenty of driftwood left behind by the Flood, but most of that would be water-soaked at first. But according to Gen 6:14 the ark's lumber was treated. So underneath the pitch it was still in pretty good shape and should have been preserved for many years to come.

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