The Apple Of God's Eye

November 10, 2009

Did Jesus Christ Walk On (Frozen) Water?

authorlauradavis.blogspot.comIt seems that Bible hating scientists and scholars will come up with as much nonsense as possible to discredit true miracles of Christ. Here at Turkishpress.com, a Florida State University oceanographer suggests that when Jesus Christ walked on the Sea of Galilee, there were pockets of fresh water in the lake which were frozen.

In his research of the history of lakes published in the April issue of The Journal of Paleolimnology, Doron Nof said temperatures dipped low enough in Jesus’s time in the region to freeze parts of the Sea of Galilee, but admits it may have been a special circumstance.

His explanation itself requires some faith to believe. Nof suggests that the ice could have been thick enough to walk on, although the frozen area would have been surrounded by slightly saltier water emanating from salty springs along the lake’s western shore — salt water freezes at a lower temperature than fresh water.

“Since the springs ice is relatively small, a person standing or walking on it may appear to an observer situated some distance away to be walking on water,” Nof said.

Nof himself believes this to be an unusual local freezing process (or phenomenon), or in other words, an unproven theory.

Here is some proof contrary to what this scientist says:

  1. When water is surrounded by ice packs, areas of open water are small and there is little chance for wind to work up vigorous waves. In such calm conditions, ice forms in unbroken sheets called ‘nilas’. These are easy to walk on.
  2. However, Mark. 6:48 tells us that the wind was fierce, a common condition on this lake. As soon as you introduce swell, you get an entirely different form of ice,” according to Jeremy Wilkinson of the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban, UK. Under these conditions, globs of ice crystals tossed about in the water combine to form first a soupy mixture called ‘grease ice’, and then round ‘pancakes’ of thin ice a metre or two in diameter. These pancakes have areas of open water between them, making them extremely hazardous to traverse.

Source: Wilkinson J. et al. Eos Trans. AGU 10, 81-82 (2009).

We should also consider that Peter himself went unto the water and walked for a while. But rather than the scripture saying he slipped over the ice and began to sink. It says:

…”And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”  (Matt. 14:29-31)

Notice that Peter began to sink only wen he doubted. It says nothing of a slip or fall. The word “began” to sink also implies it was not a sudden event. This is exemplified through the time frame. Peter had time to speak a complete sentence and Christ had time to react and catch him, which would have been extremely problematic to do with a slip.

Coupled with the fact that Nof said this unique ice forming probably happened over the lake only once every 160 years, it seems really odd to me that this would be at the exact time that Jesus Christ was on the earth.

As a last proof that this scientist is merely “faith” illiterate, Nof also suggested in 1992 that the parting of the Red Sea that allowed the Jews to flee Egypt in the Exodus may have been caused by very strong winds that created an unusually low tide exposing part of the sea bottom. Again, an extremely odd occurrence to happen right at the time of a proclaimed miracle.

Scientists like Nof who propagate such nonsensical theories should not be given voice in mainstream papers to deceive the masses. But since most mainstream media is also against the Bible, it does make sense as to why he is given space to proclaim his theories. The last time I checked, science was supposed to be about facts, not speculation.

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September 2, 2009

Where Did God "Translate" Enoch?

The Bible says that Enoch ‘was not, for God took him’ (Genesis 5:24), and that he was ‘translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him’ (Hebrews 11:5).

What actually happened to Enoch? Where did he go? Where is he now?

At this moment Enoch is dead and in his grave. We know this because it is clearly stated in Hebrews that Enoch died in faith, not having received the promises (Heb. 11:5, 13). And Genesis 5:23 plainly says that ALL THE DAYS of Enoch were 365 years.

On the other hand, God did deal with Enoch in a highly unique manner.

Enoch was one of those rare persons who realized the tremendous importance and profit in living God’s way. From age 65 until his death, three hundred years later, Enoch “walked with God” (Genesis 5:22). And God is always particularly concerned for those who put His work first in their lives. He promises to protect them in times of severe trial:

But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.(Ps. 37:39-40).

We are not informed of the conditions that made it necessary for God to “translate” (transfer, transport) Enoch from where he had been, but it is clear that God did this to save his life (Heb. 11:5). Enoch was not taken to the heaven of God’s Throne — he was removed by God to a safer location on the earth. Conditions were so bad that Enoch would have perished at the hands of men — had not God intervened.

A similar time of severe trial and test is soon coming on this entire world — but worse than any the world has heretofore known (Matt. 24:21). Enoch knew the way to Divine protection – it was obedience to God!

May 20, 2009

Is The Miracle Of Fatima A Hoax?

Roman Catholics claim that a supernatural event occurred in 1917 in which the “Virgin Mary” appeared repeatedly to 3 little children in Fatima, Portugal.  Supposedly, the Virgin Mary gave a message to the 3 little children.  The Message of Fatima consists of an alleged number of precise predictions, requests, warnings and promises concerning the Faith and the world which were conveyed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children–Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco–in a series of apparitions at Fatima, Portugal from May to October 1917.

While I have no reason to doubt that the children experienced a vision, it is the source of this apparition I question. The Bible warns that people will witness miracles and supernatural phenomena which will mislead them (Matt. 24:24; Rev. 13:13). We also find a biblical example of this kind of false miracle in I Samuel 28:7-20. King Saul believed the dead prophet Samuel appeared, giving him a message; but it was really an evil spirit impersonating Samuel!

The Message of the Virgin of Fatima is nothing more than the invention of the Roman Catholic Church, counter to what the Bible really says. It does nothing but further their own pagan traditions. No cosmic miracle happened, despite  the testimonies of people who THOUGHT they saw one. Catholics adherents tend to see things others do not. What they actually saw in 1917 was an astronomical event which occurs repeatedly every 11 years. The Vatican used the event to dupe the ignorant masses who thought they had seen a “miracle” of nature.

The Catholic Church thrives on biblical ignorance. Most people do not question the “traditions” and “claims” of the Vatican, they just blindly believe it’s structured, non-spirit based doctrines. But religion without the Bible is participation without faith, a sort of make-believe spiritual game where deceivement is easy to panhandle. How else do we explain the unbiblical error of Mary appearing from heaven? The Bible reveals that the righteous dead remain in their graves until the resurrection at Christ’s return (see I Corinthians 15:22-23, 50-54; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Hebrews 11:39-40). Mary is still awaiting the resurrection and cannot appear to anyone. Not only are Catholics praying to mere human being while ignoring their only intercessor – Jesus Christ – but they are praying in foolish idolatry to nothing more than a pile of dust.

So despite the incessant baying of critics, I can say without hesitation that the message and miracle of Fatima is a lie and a hoax contrary to the Word of God! Roman Catholicism has it’s origins in a heathen Babylonian religion which worshipped the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 44:19,25). Participate at your own risk.

April 19, 2009

Did The Sun Really "Stand Still For Joshua?"

132Did Joshua make a mistake in astronomy? Critics cite Joshua 10 and other passages as proof that the Bible is scientifically inaccurate. D

In order to give the Israelites more time to defeat their enemies, God lengthened the day by causing the sun to “stand still” (verses 12-13). Didn’t Joshua know that the earth rotates around the sun? He probably did. Technically speaking, he should have said, “Earth, stop rotating!” But the Bible wasn’t written for astronomers, in scientific language. Though the Bible does give the foundation for understanding science, it is written in language for the average man. 

Technically, the earth stopped rotating during Joshua’s long day, but to the observer on earth the “sun stood still.” We still use “unscientific” expressions like “the sun sets” and “the kettle is boiling.” Critics should not construe such expressions in the Bible as errors in science.

April 13, 2009

Was Jonah In The Belly Of A Whale, Or A Great Fish?

Editor’s Note: In this article I introduce two scriptures (Jonah 1:17 and Matthew 12:40) to answer “apparent incongruities” (seemingly impossible scenarios) and to apply apologetics (a reasoned defense of the faith) in affirming the trustworthiness of the Bible.

imagesbible.jexiste.fr/.../Ang_Jonah.htm

imagesbible.jexiste.fr/.../Ang_Jonah.htm

The “apparent incongruity” is the account of a reluctant prophet named Jonah who was swallowed by a fish and yet remained alive in its belly for three days.

 The Book of Jonah has been described as a parable, an allegory, and a satire. However, this is an extremely faithless approach to the scriptures. A large proportion of all modern criticism of the Bible comes from the assumption that miracles do not occur. Skeptical theologians explain every miracle in Scripture away by either tacit rejection or naturalistic explanation. This leads to such ludicrous, varied, and contradictory explanations that the biblical scholar finds ever further justification in the miraculous over the ridiculous!

There are plausible explanations for questions, but we must look at this event with knowledge of God’s miraculous power. Could He have prepared a great fish to be in the vicinity of the floundering ship, to swallow Jonah in the raging sea, then in the time appointed transport him to shore and vomit him up? Absolutely! As the all-powerful Creator God, He is in no way limited by what He created. 

But now what about the type of creature used to swallow Jonah? The original Hebrew wording of Jonah 1:17 is accurately translated in the King James Version as “a great fish.” The Old Testament translation produced by the Jewish Publication Society also refers to this creature as “a great fish.” 

We read that “The LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17, King James Version).

Some controversy arises over the King James translation of Matthew 12:40. This verse says

“He (Jesus Christ) will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, just as Jonah was “three days and three nights in the whale’s belly.” (Matthew 12:40.)

But the fact that Jonah was in the WHALE’S belly was only an assumption on the part of the translators. The New King James Version correctly renders this phrase as “in the belly of the GREAT FISH.” 

A whale is not a fish

Since a whale is a mammal rather than a fish, does this point to a contradiction between Jonah 1:17 and Matt. 12:40? No, and here’s why.

Realize that the Old Testament is written in Hebrew except for small portion in Aramaic (book of Daniel). The New Testament is written in Greek, not English. Neither the KJV or any other translation determines the meaning in English above the original language. Both “whale” and “great fish” are English translations of the original words.

Strong’s Dictionary says the Greek word translated “whale” is ketos (pronounced kay-tos), and means “a huge fish (as gaping for prey).” 

Smith’s Bible Dictionary” makes the following comments about the word WHALE: “Probably the fish which swallowed Jonah was some large kind of shark, or fish especially provided.”

“There are at least two species of Mediterranean marine life that are known to be able to swallow a man whole. These are the cachalot and the white shark. Both creatures are known to prowl the Mediterranean and have been known to Mediterranean sailors since antiquity. Aristotle described both species in his 4th Century B.C.” Historia Animalium (gotquestions.org).

 

The Easton Bible Dictionary says the “white shark is sometimes found 30 feet in length.” [Robinson, Lexicon  (from Barnes’ Notes)] states: “This event took place in the Mediterranean Sea, somewhere between Joppa and Tarshish, when he was fleeing FROM Nineveh. It is said that the “whale” seldom passes into that sea, and that its throat is too small to admit a man. It is probable, therefore, that a fish of the “shark kind” is intended. Sharks have been known often to swallow a man entire. The fish in the book of Jonah is described merely as a “great fish,” without specifying the kind . – Letusreason.org

The evidence supports the conclusion — that it was some kind of large fish, and not a whale, which swallowed Jonah. In any case, the Bible says God  God specifically “prepared” (mahnah—appointed, constituted, made ready) a great fish (Gesenius, 1847, p. 486). So another argument is that Jonah being swallowed was a divine miracle and thus the type of creature  God used could have been whatever sea life was available or He created a special (massive) creature to serve his purpose of causing Jonah to repent and to carry out His command of preaching.

“The same term (“prepared”) is employed to refer to additional direct manipulations initiated by God. He prepared a plant (4:6), a worm (4:7), and a vehement wind (4:8) [Wigram, 1890, p. 733]. George Cansdale was correct in concluding: “[T]here is no point in speculating about the full physical explanation of an incident that primarily is metaphysical, i.e., miraculous” (1975, 5:925, emp. added). McClintock and Strong agree: “[T]he transaction is plainly miraculous, and no longer within the sphere of zoological discussion” (1881, 10:972). Jonah’s survival after being inside a sea creature is no more remarkable than Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego surviving the “burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:27).” (apologeticspress.org)

A similar instance can also be found in Book of Numbers, chapter 22, versus 28 through 30 where God gives Balaam’s donkey the power of human speech in order to have a conversation with Balaam.

March 23, 2009

Did Pharaoh (Amenhotep II) Die In The Red Sea Crossing?

Filed under: Israel - House Of,Miracles — melchia @ 9:36 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

The pharaoh of Egypt at that time was Amenhotep II. The overwhelming biblical and historical evidence is that he did not die with his army in pursuit of Israel.

In Psalm 136:15, we find that God “overthrew Pharaoh and his host (army) in the Red sea.” The Hebrew word translated here as “overthrew” is “na’ar.” This word is also found in Exodus 14:27. It does not mean “to drown” or “to toss or tumble about as in the water” as some have attempted to assert. It simply means “shook off” as is mentioned in the margins of many Bibles and in “The New Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon.”

(Nehemiah 5:13 is a good illustration of how “na’ar” should be translated.) Therefore, these verses simply say that God shook off the Egyptians (including Pharaoh) from their pursuit of the Israelites. These scriptures say nothing of who was drowned.

In Exodus 14:28 we see that the waters covered “the host of Pharaoh,” but Pharaoh himself is not mentioned. Exodus 15:19 in the Authorized King James Version reads: “For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them.”

At first, this might appear to be evidence that Pharaoh drowned. But an examination of this verse reveals that “horse” should not be singular. Verse 19 of Exodus 15 is correctly rendered in the New King James Version (also called the Revised Authorized Version): “For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them.” Naturally, the horses and horsemen of Egypt were considered to be Pharaoh’s. But this scripture does not say that Pharaoh’s personal horse, or that Pharaoh himself, drowned in the sea.

This is significant because the death of such an important person would almost certainly have been given special note in the Bible. The Old Testament contains many clear references to the deaths of enemy kings, most of them much less important than this pharaoh. Archaeology proves that Amenhotep II ruled for at least 16 years after the Exodus.

Is The Red Sea Crossing A Myth?

Filed under: Miracles — melchia @ 9:28 pm
unitedisrael.org/blog/2008/04/

unitedisrael.org/blog/2008/04/

Is the Red Sea crossing a mere myth? Some doubters, without faith, say what happened is an impossibility. They suggest that the Israelites actually crossed a reedy marsh at the northern end of the Red Sea. The Bible itself, however, proves that this is not what happened.

The expanse of water which at first stopped the Israelites in their trek out of Egypt was the same body of water in which Solomon later based a “navy of ships.” See I Kings 9:26-28. The name of this sea in the original Hebrew text is “yam suph” (verse 26). The same name is found in the Hebrew in Exodus 15:4 and 22. Was “yam suph” a marsh or a shallow lake? Did the translators make a mistake in identifying this place as the Red Sea?

The evidence proves that the answer to both of these questions is no. Solomon’s ships brought back great treasures from distant ports. The cargo of gold alone weighed about 22 tons (I Kings 9:28). The language and meaning is clear; Solomon’s men did not merely pole their way across a lake and return with a few ounces of the precious metal. Solomon’s ships were seagoing vessels and were manned by those who were thoroughly experienced in sailing the oceans (verse 27).

But there is stronger evidence yet. The biblical descriptions of the crossing of “yam suph” could hardly be applied to wading across a reed-filled, marshy bog. Notice: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were DIVIDED. So the children of Israel went into the MIDST of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a WALL TO THEM ON THEIR RIGHT HAND AND ON THEIR LEFT” (Ex. 14:21-22, NKJV; compare verse 29).

Notice also verses 28 and 30: “Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained …. So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.” Elsewhere it is shown that Pharaoh’s army DROWNED in the water as it OVERFLOWED them (Ex. 15:4; Heb. 11:29; Deut. 11:4). The water returned with such great force that not one Egyptian was able to save himself by wading to shore, by swimming
to shore, or by clinging to a horse or a piece of a chariot until he could reach safety. No doubt these were Egypt’s finest young men. There were 600 chariots alone (Ex. 14:7, 9). Was there not at least one strong swimmer among Pharaoh’s army?

And consider, even though they walked on dry ground, the Psalmist tells us that the children of Israel passed through the DEPTHS of “yam suph” (Ps. 106:9). Notice Moses’ song: “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; they sank to the bottom like a stone. Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces. And in the greatness of Your excellence You have overthrown those who rose against You; You sent forth Your wrath which consumed them like stubble. And with the blast of Your nostrils the waters were gathered together; the floods STOOD UPRIGHT like a heap; and the DEPTHS CONGEALED in the heart of the sea” (Ex. 15:4-8, NKJV).

In the New Testament, the crossing of the Red Sea is referred to as a “baptism” of the Israelites (I Cor. 10:1-2). True baptism is accomplished only by total immersion in water. With a wall of water standing on each side of the fleeing Israelites and the cloud covering them, the entire nation, in effect, was buried in water. The picture is striking. Walking across a dried-up marsh, on the other hand, could hardly be taken to represent baptism.

The term “yam suph” does not refer to any supposed “Reed Sea.” The Bible record clearly refers to what we know of today as the Red Sea, the same Red Sea which is several miles wide and about 200 feet deep in the spot where the Israelites must have crossed! The crossing of the Red Sea was a spectacular miracle which carries great meaning for Christians today.

March 7, 2009

Noah's Flood: Is It Believable?

Is the Flood merely a Hebrew myth? Does the biblical record of the Noachian Deluge and the Ark make sense in the light of modern, scientific findings?

During the past few hundred years, the credibility of the Bible has come under serious question. Many have found it difficult to believe in a book which speaks of Jonah and the “whale”; an extra-long day in the time of Joshua; Christ walking on water; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego surviving the fiery furnace; Adam and Eve; the Israelites crossing the Red Sea; and a host of similar accounts written in a positive, it-actually-did-happen fashion.

Perhaps the long biblical account of Noah’s Flood in Genesis has evoked more questions than any other. Is it unreasonable to believe in the Flood? In the Ark? Have modern scientific findings truly made the scriptural account out of date?

While the many ramifications of the Flood cannot be discussed here in length, this article will examine the main objections to the biblical Flood and the Ark. We will see that the Bible is consistent with other fields of knowledge. Scripture is reasonable! Let’s examine the various major questions voiced about Genesis 6-9 and see how recent data actually verifies this ancient record.

Was the Flood Local?

It has now become popular among many to think of the Flood as merely a limited regional event. During the past century, the once commonly accepted universality of the Flood met with great opposition. One by one leading scientists and theologians sided with evolutionary and uniformitarian concepts. Soon no place was found for a worldwide deluge. Surely, it was reasoned, if the Flood is a reality, it was only a local Mesopotamian event.

It is not my purpose to present a comprehensive biblical exegesis on the universality of the Flood. However, to assume anything else is clearly contrary to the weight of biblical revelation and reason.

The need for a sea-going Ark is a compelling reason to believe in the Flood’s intercontinental effects. Why command Noah to build an Ark when he could have simply migrated to a non-flooded region? Neither would it make sense to take animal representatives of all kinds aboard the Ark if only a limited area of the earth were to be inundated (Gen. 6:19-20).

The specific reason for the Flood was to destroy all air-breathing land life — especially man himself (Gen. 6:17). Archaeology demonstrates that man had migrated around the world. Anything less than a universal destruction would not have accomplished God’s primary purpose of the Flood. So it is logical to believe that the Flood was of universal scope when both Scripture and reason are considered.

Where Do You Get Enough Water?

But what, then, of the origin of the Flood waters? Is there enough water on the earth to entirely cover it? If one observes a globe carefully, he might come to the conclusion that “earth” is an inapt name. For instead of being mainly terra firma, its surface is over 71 percent water. We live on a watery planet.

In addition, bear in mind the oceans average 12,450 feet in depth, while the average surface height of the land is only 2,600 feet. The proportion is clearly overwhelmingly in favor of the ocean and not the land. We are not told in the Bible exactly how God flooded the earth. Remember the Flood was not a natural event. It was brought on supernaturally by God, though He used natural agents.

What are the natural facilities God could have used in accomplishing His purpose? Here are some of the possibilities: 1) Elevate the ocean basins and thus force water onto the land, 2) lower the continents as units, or 3) add water to the oceans from underground basins (see Scientific American, May 1966, article, “Water Under the Sahara.”) God undoubtedly used a combination of factors to bring about His will. In the same way, when the Flood waters receded, they would have drained back into the place God made for them — the ocean basins and underground reservoirs.

What About “All Those Animals”?

Did the Ark have sufficient capacity to carry representatives of all the land animals? Consider the stated size of the Ark. “The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits” (Gen. 6:15). Historical records for the exact length of the cubit in modern terms are vague. Our research places it at around 22.5 inches. If valid, this would mean the Ark was 563 feet long, 94 feet wide, and 56 feet high. Its three-million cubic-foot volume would have had a displacement in water weight of 66,000 tons. This is the same capacity as 1000 American railroad freight cars. That’s ocean-liner size!

But if the cubit were equivalent to 18 inches, there would still have been plenty of room in its 450-foot length, 75-foot breadth, and 45-foot height hulk. This would still have given it a 500 freight car, 1.5 million cubit feet, carrying capacity. It was not until the 19th century that larger vessels were constructed. It shows the existence of skilled knowledge and ability in that ancient world not again demonstrated until recent times. Archaeologists are confirming this generally unexpected level of knowledge as they find more and more evidence of advanced skills among early humans. (See such books as Mysteries from Forgotten Worlds by Charles Berlitz, Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1972.)

How much room did Noah need for “all those animals”? Some misunderstand, thinking that the Ark had to house representatives of every variety of animals. One pair of every KIND of unclean (unedible) and seven pairs of each clean KIND (edible) were taken aboard. Each “kind” of creature represented a number of varieties. For example, over 100 breeds of dogs have now been developed. They are all of the same Genesis “kind.” Only one pair of the dog kind needed to be on the Ark.

God originally put within each “kind” of creature a fantastic genetic capability. As time passed, more and more varieties appeared, but these variations of the same “kind” of creature did not all have to be aboard the Ark bodily. They were there genetically within the pair (or seven pairs, as the case may be) taken on the Ark.

It isn’t necessary to consider sea life. It survived in the Flood waters. There were also many other simple forms of aquatic life that were not harmed by water. Consider that some 60 percent of the animal kingdom live in the sea, and 28 percent of the animal kingdom are insects. The remaining 12 percent average the size of a rhesus monkey.

IF insects had to be taken on the Ark (and this is a moot question), with every pair of known modern species of insect given 16 cubic inches of space, only 21 freight cars of space would be required. (Counting Genesis kinds only, the required space is far less.)

Accurate estimates of the number of mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian species on earth today is about 18,000. (Again, recognizing that only kinds, not necessarily species, were included, there would have been far fewer actual animals aboard the ark.)

Most animals are unclean, and there were a pair of each unclean animal. But let’s be liberal and say 40,000 rhesus-monkey-size animals were on the Ark. How much space would be required to house them? A letter about animal housing was sent to the London Zoo. Their answer was: “Most animals can be maintained in very close confinement indeed for long periods and remain perfectly healthy. A rhesus monkey, say, can be maintained indefinitely in a cage about 2 ft., 6 inches cubed” (15 cubic feet).

If the cubit were 22.5 inches long, 40,000 cages, each large enough for a rhesus monkey, would have only taken up 20 percent of the Ark’s three-million cubic-feet carrying capacity. So it becomes plain that the interior of the Ark was totally adequate for the animals, the food supply, and the humans aboard it during the Flood.

How Did the Animals Get Where They Are Today?

Each isolated land mass or continent has animals or birds not found elsewhere. Australia has its kangaroo, koala bear, duckbilled platypus, and Tasmanian devil. North America boasts the beaver, rattlesnake, raccoon, turkey and opossum. South America offers the llama, capybara, and sloth. Asia has its peafowl and panda bear. Africa has the giraffe, hippopotamus and zebra. Certain island groups also have kinds of animals not found elsewhere. How did all these animals become segregated after leaving the Ark?

Consider that God — not Noah — originally brought the animals to the Ark (Gen. 6:20). It would not have been a difficult matter for Him to see to it that they also redistributed themselves after the Flood. God is the Originator of animal migration. It was His will that the animals — as well as mankind — replenish and repopulate limited geographical realms after the Flood (Gen. 9:1; 10:5; 11:8-9). It should be no surprise to see both men and animals even today basically segregated around the world. This principle ought to seem basic. All forms of life exist in the specific land areas where they can best flourish.

Neither are the major land masses of the earth as isolated as one might suppose. They have been even less isolated in the past. Witness the existing land bridge between Asia and Africa — the Sinai Peninsula — and Central America between the North and South American continents. The Bering Straits between North America and Asia are quite shallow. Thousands of square miles are covered by water less than 150 feet deep. Large areas of present ocean between Southeastern Asia, the East Indies, and Australia are less than 600 feet deep. This illustrates that such present-day isolated communities are not impossibly separated from each other by great expanses of deep ocean. This factor may play a part in animal migration after the Flood.

Also, as men travel and migrate, they traditionally take with them familiar plants and animals. Some go with them accidentally. Many animals have spread to new areas in this manner — the rabbit to Australia, the English sparrow and European corn borer to the Americas, etc. Recent discoveries are showing that much sea traffic existed in the ancient world. The Bible itself shows that Solomon’s ships plied the seas and brought back precious items and animals to the Middle East from great distances (I Kings 9:26-28; 10:22; II Chron. 9:10). It is logical to conclude that animals were shipped between other areas as well.

It has also been demonstrated that animals have reached isolated islands on floating masses of vegetation or on storm and flood debris. This has been pointed out by such authors as Rachel Carson in her now classic work, “The Sea Around Us.” Whenever an island emerges from the sea, it soon becomes the home of various sorts of animals and plants.

Where Is the Flood in Geology?

Prior to the nineteenth century it was commonly believed the Flood was responsible for practically all geologic phenomena. Whenever a fossil was found, the finder would immediately think of Noah’s Flood. But soon cracks in the idea developed. If Noah’s Flood was truly responsible for most or all of the earth’s fossils, then why isn’t the fossil record thoroughly mixed up?

Why do certain layers only contain certain fossils? Why, for example, aren’t dinosaur remains ever found mixed with tigers, lions and other forms of modern mammal life? Mammal remains are almost entirely missing from the world of the “terrible lizards.”

This enigma multiplies when one considers that the stratigraphic record can only be understood to represent a passage of time greater than the year of Noah’s Flood. The bulk of the geologic record represents a sequence of events which cannot be fitted into the short time span of the Flood itself.

For this reason, there was often a difference of opinion among theologians and nineteenth-century Bible-believing scientists as to where the evidence of the Flood is to be found in the rocks. Estimates have ranged from the entire geologic column to a thin clay layer at the site of ancient Ur! (Sir Leonard Woolley, Excavations at Ur, London, Ernest Bonn, Ltd., 1954.)

A proper understanding must begin with a knowledge of both the Bible and the earth’s silent, yet revealing, fossil record. The avowed purpose of God in the Flood was to destroy both man and beast from the face of the earth. This is clearly the reason God sent a flood of waters. It was a time of great extinction. This is the first vital clue. But we also need to remember that the Flood was a relatively recent event. Biblical chronology would place it about 43 centuries ago. Therefore we should expect to find the evidence for the Flood towards the top of the earth’s layered sequence.

The third clue involves man himself and his world. We live in a world of mammals, birds, and flowering plants. It should be a world quite similar to the pre-Flood world. The Ark, remember, housed representatives of all kinds of air-breathing land life forms. What we find around us today should fundamentally be the same type of life Adam and his pre-Flood descendants saw around them. It would be logical to expect certain varieties to become extinct in the Flood, but their kind and type should still be with us today.

In summary, we could expect to find geological evidence of the Flood by: 1) noting a time of extinction in the fossil record, 2) looking toward the top of the geologic sequence of rocks, and 3) looking for an extinction of animal types which are familiar to us today. What evidence is. there, then, in the geological column which would lend weight to the worldwide catastrophe precipitated by Noah’s Flood?

Extinction Mystery

Dr. George Miller, former supervisor of the famous Los Angeles La Brea Tar Pits, had this to say about the “sticky” problem of extinction.

“We have had two eras of mass vertebrate extinction in the world’s existence: that of the dinosaurs … and that of the large mammals at the end of the Pleistocene or Ice Age…. When that period was over, mammoths, mastadons and saber-toothed cats were extinct — all over the globe.”

It is a mystery. The saber-toothed cats, for instance, were very successful animals. They …. died out completely. Why? Catastrophe? Plague? Earthquakes? A change in environment or climate? We do not know.

“We do not know, either, the answer to the mysteries within the mysteries. For example: horses….spread throughout the world — reaching the other continents, we think, across the land bridge in which is now the Bering Strait. Camels followed almost the same pattern. Yet … both horses and camels became extinct in the Western Hemisphere. Horses remained wiped off the face of the Americas until the Spaniards reintroduced them a mere 500 years ago. Again, why?” (Holliday, Kate, West Magazine, July 30, 1972, “By Tar Preserved,” pp. 11, 14.)

This revealing quote gives some fundamental facts of paleontology — points we will do well to consider. Note there have been TWO times of mass vertebrate extinction in the entire history of the earth. The first was the extinction of the dinosaurs (and it could also be added, flying reptiles and marine reptiles). The second and more recent vertebrate extinction was that of mammals (commonly giant size compared with those living today).

The mammalian extinction is especially interesting. It is recent. Mammals are the dominant vertebrates of today. And, as might be suspected, their selective disappearance after a period of successful life is a mystery to science.

End of Giants

Take, for example, North America, where there was the imperial mammoth in the west and the mastodon in parts of the northeast. Further north, the woolly mammoth lived carefree along the fringes of the glaciers. North America was an elephant’s paradise.

But these giant, now extinct, forms of elephants were not alone. In that day of giants, we find beavers as big as bears, giant armadillos, giant ground sloths weighing as much as present-day elephants, bison with fantastic six-foot horn spans, the great saber-toothed cats and giant jaguars. These, along with horses and camels, vanished. Why? The land was well suited for them. The Ice Age was over. Yet about 70 percent of all native North American mammals with an adult body weight of over 100 pounds became extinct in a time of plenty.

About a hundred years ago, scientists began to see the magnitude of the extinction problem. Alfred R. Wallace, who developed the idea of biological evolution simultaneously with Charles Darwin, was struck by the abrupt, strange and recent decimation of mammal life. In 1876, Wallace noted:

“We live in a zoologically impoverished world, from which all the hugest, and fiercest, and strangest forms have recently disappeared … yet it is surely a marvelous fact, and one that has hardly been sufficiently dwelt upon, this sudden dying out of so many large Mammalia, not in one place only but over half the land surface of the globe” (Alfred Russel Wallace, Geographical Distribution of Animals, New York: Hafner, 1962, Vol. 1. p. 150).

Now after 100 years, scientists know the effect was worldwide. A global disaster struck the earth after the Ice Age that hit the animal kingdom very hard. South America lost nearly all its large animals. Europe and Asia suffered losses as well. The day of giant mammals had come to an end.

One writer wisely noted: “The dinosaurs and the saber-toothed cats did not die out because they had somehow failed. They apparently died out because of some powerful and unusual forces entirely beyond their control” (Science Digest, “The Great Dinosaur Disaster,” Daniel Cohen, March 1969, p. 52).

“Powerful and unusual” forces? Yes, indeed! And in the case of the recent mammal extinction, the agency appears obvious — the Noachian Flood! (The earlier dinosaur extinction has its place in time before the creation of man.).

We have seen how the scriptural record presents a viable solution to a long-standing scientific mystery. Although many details are yet to be clearly understood, the Christian can remain confident that the findings of science continue to support the words of Scripture.

Source: Robert E. Gentet, The Good News, December 1973

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