Noah’s Flood

The Giants of Nephilim — 6:1-4

As the population multiplied and the young girls blossomed, the sons of God took as many of the most beautiful women as they wanted for themselves as wives. It was the first before a more recent time when giants [Nephilim] lived. When the sons of God impregnated their women and fathered children. Their children grew into heroes of old and warriors of renown. “My spirit cannot remain in mortals forever,” said God, because they can only live to 120 years old.”

Comment: If the phrase “sons of God” refers to angels, how could God’s spiritual messengers have physical sex with women? How could they marry if they weren’t physical? According to the big book, the answer is that angels can be physical. We have the story of Sodom and Gomorrah starting in Gen 19:1, where Lot met two of them at the gateway to Sodom. They were his guests whom the people of Sodom wanted to rape.

We could read into this that angels have human urges for sex and don’t have to be physical to impregnate women. After all, didn’t God impregnate Mary, the mother of Jesus? That was supposed to be a one-time event, but apparently it wasn’t.

What kind of message was God sending, if angels lusted after earth women?

Wasn’t Jesus supposed to be the only Son of God? So now we know that angels had sex with earth women. According to Numbers 13:33, the Israelites saw Nephilim as large as a human to a grasshopper. It the story of the flood was true, these giants would have to be descendants of Noah. It was a time when the “sons of God” had sex with earth women. Apologists anguish over this one. Christ was supposed to be a son of God; “sons of God” could also be angels. This was nothing new in pagan folklore. Many of their gods lusted after earth women.

The World Before the Flood — 6:5-12

God saw great wicked behavior and the thoughts of humankind were continually evil. He was sorry he made humankind and it grieved him to his heart. So he decided to blot out every human together with the animals because he was sorry he made them. But God liked Noah because he was righteous [just] and blameless [perfect] in his generation. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. God saw that the earth was corrupt because all the flesh had corrupted its ways

Comment: How could humankind know divine law if God didn’t create that knowledge and imbed it in every fetus at the moment of conception? Let’s look at this from a God-like point of view. You are standing over a colony of ants. The ants aren’t aware of your presence because you are too big and too distant for them to comprehend your presence. You know that the ants are doing exactly what they are biologically programmed to do but you are annoyed because they are in your house. You can shout at them, but they can’t hear you or understand you. You ponder different ways to move their nest, but they are deep inside the walls and you are not going to tear your house apart. The only remedy is bug spray. The ants are dead because they “sinned” against you when they did not know they were sinning.

God comes to regret what he has created when he concludes that mankind is too evil, so he decides to gently drown every living animal, including birds. So far we have learned that God’s definition of evil is the failure to obey him; he would rather mankind live naked in the Garden of Eden. There is no doubt the Biblical writers were obsessed with intolerance towards others.

God determines Noah is the only righteous man on all the planet. He tells Noah there is too much violence in the world, so in his own nonviolent way he is going to drown every living creature except for a few. So now we find that this god, who is reputed to be infallible, admitting to making a mistake. More likely it is the reflections of frustrated priests who can’t get the absolute obedience they crave. Throughout the Old Testament we will find more stories of other priests commandeering violence against innocents for one singular reason: they did not believe enough to be obedient. Another one of the great ironies is the sad history of religious wars and persecutions by the descendents of these self-appointed representatives of God who complain of too much violence in the world. Wanton murder is a criminal act, no matter who the perpetrator.

The size and structure of the ark again shows priestly ignorance. A cubit is one and a half feet. In contemporary measurements, the ark measures 450 feet long by 70 feet wide by 45 feet high with a roof, one door, one window and three decks; this boat was the half the size of an oil tanker. There is no mention that they had help and they were not said to be wealthy; construction would otherwise be an impossible task for four men and four women of limited means. Consider the primitive tools of those days before the Iron Age when the hardest metal was bronze. There was no such thing as saw mills; at best they had to cut trees and make planks and pegs with axes. These were the days when earning a living was normally a dawn to dusk job. Noah and his family would have no surplus time to build this boat much less have surplus money to buy the raw materials. Noah was said to be over 600 years old at the time of the flood so believers rationalize that Noah had enough time; they exchange one impossibility with another impossibility. And that is just the boat alone.

Consider also the problems of feeding and collecting animals. They would have to build another ocean going boat but they had no sailing experience; they didn’t even have maps or navigating equipment. In those days they believed earth to be flat and to go too far would risk falling off the edge. Then how could they round up these animals from all over the globe? They would have to venture into all the continents including Australia for marsupials, and the North Pole for penguins and polar bears? So while the Noah family roamed the world in search of different species, who fed the captured animals? They knew nothing about the care and feeding of wild animals; dietary needs are specific to local habitats; the variety is uncountable. What if some animals died in captivity? Then there is the matter of building cages to prevent these animals from eating or from being eaten by each other. Wouldn’t Noah’s neighbors turn against him when they saw this grizzly sight? A boat this size is entirely too small to house so many animals; with one window and one door, all would suffocate, especially when the door and window were said to be closed during the forty days of rain. The fecal matter and digestive gases alone would be poisonous; massive quantities of food would be required and even then most of it would rot in a short time; scurvy would be epidemic. Eight humans could not possibly maintain this inhabitable environment for one day much less for forty days while it was raining, and especially for the 357 days the boat was said to be afloat. These things are only imaginable by ignorant people who lived in a little world. In short, it was a zoological and biological impossibility.

The geological implications were equally as fantastic. In Southeast Asia a rainfall of forty days and forty nights would be the equivalent of a monsoon season, suitable for growing rice. For all land mass to be flooded, the water level would have to rise to five and a half miles above sea level, because that is the height of the tallest mountain. Where would this water come from; clouds can’t hold that much water. Even if the polar ice caps melted and the sky was devoid of clouds, the sea level would rise only about 200 feet. The plausibility of this story could only be conceivable to ancients who believed that the blue sky looked like of a thin roof with a great body of water lying over it. Then there is the question of evaporation. Today we know that water cycles through evaporation to clouds and returns from clouds via rain. If a world full of water could evaporate in six months, this entire planet would be a dry desert with no life at all. Such details did not concern ancients who assumed that God must have had a drainpipe somewhere. They did not even consider that if the world were flat, water would fall over the edges. Even more incredible is that there moderns who believe this literally.

The accounting of selected survivors shows signs of plagiarism. In 6:20 and 7:9 it says two of every mating pair. In 7:2 it says seven mating pairs of each kind of “clean” animal and two mating pairs of each kind of “unclean” animals. Apologists say God changed his mind. Yeah, sure! We are to assume that insects found their way into the ark? Not mentioned is fish because these ignoramuses did not perceive that a flood of this magnitude caused by rain would dilute the salt content, thereby killing all ocean fish and the flooding of diluted saltwater onto lakes and rivers would kill freshwater fish. According to moralists, God is supposed to be merciful. Yeah, sure!

Coherence is not one the Bible’s greatest strengths. In 7:12 and 7:17 it says that the flood was caused by forty days and forty nights of rain. In 8:6, after forty days, when the rain stops, Noah opens the window and sends out a raven that flew about until there was dry land. Then he sends a dove out three times, seven days apart. On the first time the dove returns; on the second the dove brings back a fresh olive leaf as if plant life can survive underwater; on the third the when dove doesn’t return, Noah concludes there was dry land. By this account, dry land did not appear until after 54 days from the start of the rain. In 7:24-8:4, the water level did not stop rising for 150 days until the rain stopped. On the 7th month and 17th day, the ark rests on the mountains of Ararat. Noah’s age differences from the start to the end define the time afloat. The ark remained afloat either shortly over 54 days or 375 days. Either way, the flood is impossible except to the imaginations of those who believe anything if it is black and white.

After doing his good deed, God tells Noah is safe to leave the ark. Noah takes every “clean” animal from the ark and burns them. Considering how many animals qualify as “clean,” it must have been a big fire with lots of screaming animals. Verse 8:20 uses the word “every,” so supposedly, after the fire, only “unclean” animals were left. Anyway, God is said to like the smell of burning flesh and promises never to destroy humankind again; be fruitful and multiply, he says. True to his moral nature he tells Noah that he will punish any human who kills another human remember Cain’s punishment? He warns them to never eat flesh with blood in it; these primitives believed that blood was the source of life.

If the flood killed everyone except Noah and his family, then where did the Egyptians come from? Are we to believe that the Egyptians, the Chinese, Indians, Blacks, Eskimos and aborigines, Aztecs and every race and nationality in the rest of the world are descendants of Noah? One race cannot branch out into different races. Apologists account for this by arguing that the flood was recorded by other races as well. If that was true then the flood did not kill everything except for Noah and his family.

Up to this point, the Bible has recounted the history of life from the very beginning to the generations preceding Noah.

The Rainbow Covenant — 9:1-17

God makes a covenant with Noah to never flood earth again. To make it official he makes a rainbow appear on a cloudy day. The rainbow symbolizes a happy ending, despite the fact that rainbows don’t appear on cloudy days. Rainbows need direct sunlight and moist air to bend the sun’s rays into different colors.

Noah Gets Drunk — 9:19-29

It has been a long time since most righteous man on earth got drunk, so he plants a vineyard to make wine. From his first brew he drinks himself to sleep with no clothes on in his tent. His son Ham sees him naked and goes outside to tell his two brothers. They walk in backwards, so not to see Noah, and cover him up. Angered at his knowledge of this event, Noah curses the descendents of Ham’s son, Canaan, to live in perpetuity as slaves to the descendents of brothers, Japheth and Shem. Noah lives to an incredulous 950 years old.

Comment: The most righteous man on earth has a drinking problem. He believes in slavery, he doesn’t mind using his favor with God to condemn others who catch him at a moment of indiscretion. (When a gentile puts a curse on someone, it is called sorcery) If Noah was extremely prudish then it was probable that Ham accidentally walked into the tent at the wrong time. But the verse in 9:24 says that Noah “knew what his youngest son had done to him;” it doesn’t say that Noah “learned” what Ham did to him, implying that Noah was awake when Ham “saw the nakedness of his father.” Perhaps they were doing something together they should not have been doing and Noah faked anger to discredit Ham.

Noah’s faults are petty when compared to some of the monsters who led the kingdom of God. There is a pattern I see over and over again: God’s heroes start out virtuous and end up corrupt by Biblical standards. Jews blame this tendency for the breakup of the Jewish nation but it seems to me that this God is a poor judge of character. Because of his insistence on absolute obedience and his sanctioning of murder and robbery in his name, he canot henlp but attract despicable characters. In a sense, the religious doctrine of God’s infallibility is correct. If you think of God as everything existing in Nature, of course he is infallible, there is no other alternative. The question I keep poking at is, is the Bible infallible? This story fails ethically, scientifically, psychologically, biologically and economically.

That great diluvial catastrophe, which killed every living thing on earth except for a boatload of animals, gets my vote as the biggest whopper and the most horrific story in the Bible. As obviously impossible as such a catastrophe is, there are still believers who accept this as an historical fact. Bible thumpers are so hung up on this infallibility claim that they won’t deny anything, no matter how absurd. They imagine cute little giraffes walking up a ramp into this little boat followed by pacific lions. They see a little wooden ship bouncing helplessly about in the storm. When the flood is over they see two doves flying to greet Noah. They can’t see the millions of women, children and animals struggling in vain to hold on to the air in their lungs. They don’t know what it feels like to have water rush into their lungs. Such thoughts are too violent to fit into their concept of a loving God.

This is a story of mass genocide that dwarfs anything ever recorded in human history. Even Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Satan combined were not this destructive. The editors want to put the fear of God in you. If you don’t believe, harm may come to you. Normally, we protect the innocent and punish the guilty; but God punishes the innocent and the guilty. If you believe, harm may come to you anyway. It’s enough to make a true believer paranoid and angry. In a secular society, Armageddon may come because of the unbelievers. Not only that. They can’t reject this pathological mass-murderer because it would undermine their faith.