1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;
A wind? Where did the wind blow the waters to? The earth is demonstrably spherical, where could the waters of a global flood go if influenced only by wind? Perhaps a hot wind that evaporated them?
2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
The concept of fountains of the deep intrigue me somewhat. I'm liking the idea of water springing forth from the sea bed, I do wonder however as to the mechanism by which it could occur. Closing the windows of heaven to restrain the rain also intrigues me. Does the necessity to close the windows imply that there is yet more water still sloshing about above heaven?
3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
Oh? The waters returned? If the windows were closed, how did the water get back to its super-heavenly position. I can see how perhaps the water that came from under the sea could have gone back, perhaps.
4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
So landfall has been made, on a mountain.
5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
ahh, the ark initially ran aground on the mountain but it was not yet visible, a further three months passed before the waters decreased sufficiently for the mountaintop to be seen.
6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
Forty days from when? there have been three months since landfall and it rained for forty days, that's at least four and a bit months from the start of the flooding.
7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
Why didn't the raven land on the mountain tops upon which the ark is resting?
8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
Can Noah not see out of the window? The mountain tops are already visible and from such a vantage point at the top of Ararat Surely the valleys below are visible. Why is the dove necessary? What happened to the raven? Were there two or seven ravens? if there were only two ravens saved and the one sent out by Noah never came back, does this pose a problem for the future existence of ravens?
9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
Wait what? Have we gone back in time again. Let us imagine that we are now back before the described landfall at only forty days after the start of the flood.
10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
OK, Still not looking out of the window.
11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
I'm no botanist but I may have to try putting an olive tree under water for four months to see how recognisable it is afterwards, either way I'm certain that there would have been some loose olive leaves floating about on the surface of the water that would likely be more attractive to the dove. The dove picking up some plant debris is no reason to believe that the waters have receded.
12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
OK, the dove didn't come back, let's hope her mate can find her later on, and what of the raven?
13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
Is this the six hundredth and first year of Noah? I can see why numerologists are attracted to this text, it is littered with seemingly irrelevant numbers.
14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
Right you are.
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.
Why did Noah even bother with the whole dove and raven show if God was going to tell him when to get off the ark anyway? Did Noah have a lack of faith?
17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
Good plan, it would have been a bit self defeating to leave them all locked up on the ark.
18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:
19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
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.
I'm hoping that there were seven of each of these, it is unclear as the text seems to switch between two and seven. Why did more animal death need to occur? couldn't God have just collected up all of the thousands of drowned clean animals and made do with them?
21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
God is persuaded by the smell of burning flesh to keep the earth from being infertile. Is this line describing a realisation by God that man is born evil? It seems that God did not already know this and is learning as he goes. It seems that because man is intrinsically evil God will not kill everyone again. Does god like Evil?
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
While there is an earth, the days seasons and years will continue. I'm cool with that.
What have we learned?
- Noah could have looked out of the window in the ark to see what was going on but instead decided to rely upon a dove, who's evidence for a dry earth was shaky at best.
- Noah didn't trust that god would tell him when to get off the ark. God told him anyway.
- It is only God's realisation that man is intrinsically evil that causes him to leave the earth uncursed and to promise not to kill everyone again.
- How many clean animals would you need to feed eight adults for four months?
- Where was God during the flood?
- What happened to the raven and the dove that didn't come back?
- Why are there still ravens and doves?
- Are there thousands of bloated human and animal cracasses strewn, rotting all over the place?
- Do they smell bad?