1 The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."
5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, 9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
Okay, back we go. Genesis 7 tells of the great flood. The great flood has always been one of my great sources of doubt. We know that many different societies have their own flood story. The Mayans have one. The Babylonians and Sumerians had one. The Chinese had one. Why don't any of those mention Noah? Where did the water come from, and where did it go to? Now that we know that Mount Everest is more than five miles high, we know that there would need to be five miles of rain to fall around the world to cover every mountain. That's hard to believe.
The chapter begins with an odd sort of praise for Noah. In a world so wicked that God must destroy almost every innocent beast, he finds Noah to be "righteous." We later learn, in Romans 3:10, that no man is righteous. None. Didn't we know that back when Genesis was written? In verse 3, God says to take seven of every kind of bird, or seven pairs, I can't tell. Birds are fowl, though, right? Didn't God already say the Noah was to take two of every fowl (Genesis 6:20)? So is it two or seven? Then God warns that seven days later, He will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature. Why? How is that just? Only man was wicked. Why did all the monkeys have to die except one pair? How were the lucky pairs chosen? What about the fish and the sharks and the whales? They probably made out just fine. Forty days of rain won't hurt a fish? Why are fish ok but monkeys have to die? How did they pack up the entire ark in seven days? 5,000 years ago, all the animals known to the Israelites might have fit into a very large ship. Now we know there are millions. Or did most of the modern animals evolve over 5,000 years to the millions of species we have now?
Until I reread this chapter, I never noticed that the floodwaters came from both above and below, but it looks like some of the water came from "all the springs of the great deep" and the rest came fro when "the floodgates of the heavens were opened." Did this rain literally come from outer space? We now know that rain doesn't come from any sort of floodgate from the heavens.
I look around me, and I see the world, and I read my geology books, and I visit the zoo, and I read my biology books, and this just does not make sense. Do I have to believe that they crammed every kind of animal into a wooden boat built by one man and his sons in order to be saved? I hope not, because this sounds like a bedtime story, rather than something real.