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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

#47 The Flood

Smoky Mountain Bible Institute
Lesson #47
            Break out your maps and histories as we travel in a time machine of sorts to examine History & Geography through a biblical world view. So we back tracked a little last month and spent a some time on Noah's preparatory work leading to the day of departure.  Now, it is a beautiful day in 2344 BC and the weather starts to take a turn for the worse....all aboard!!!
            On the seventeenth day of the second month in 2344 BC after spending a week loading the Ark at God’s command, Noah and his family and all the animals were safely tucked in....and "The Lord shut them in" Gen 7:16b. The fountains of the great deep burst forth and rain fell for 40 days. Unlike the way most people understand the narrative, that is just the beginning of this sea story.  After the initial 40 day water storm they did not bump into a mountain and hop off. The waters prevailed for 150 days. That means this water hit and or remained at full flood stage for 5 months.  Noah’s sea journey ended when they finally bottomed out and came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. But the ark was still surrounded by water. It was another two and half months before the mountain tops appeared above the water around them. The water continued to slowly recede for another 150 days. (Where did all that water go? Ice caps) 40 days later Noah sent out the raven. A week passed between the time he sent the raven and each of the three times he sent a dove. By this time they had been on the ark for about ten months and two more months would pass before the land was dry enough to live on. Then just as obediently as he boarded the ark a year earlier, Noah and his family and all of the ark’s residents debarked in 2343 BC to re-inhabit the earth.

            I would have liked to cover this account with dates. However, between the Jewish twelve 30 day months, lunar calendars with 28 day months, and the modern Gregorian calendar some ancient dates are nearly impossible to pinpoint. The best I could do is say these years are probably within single digit years of the actual events and definitely not off by more than a few decades. I would also say that while a ‘fall to fall’ sequence is possible it was probably ‘spring to spring’ because of the Jewish method of numbering months. There are many scholars, much smarter than I, who have not figured this out and many claim it is a futile pursuit. That being said, when covering a historical chronology, some dates are more solid than others but you need to choose a date. The dates I have chosen for the flood narrative are the spring of 2344 BC to the spring of 2343 BC. After 371 days on the ark, they left and thanked God for delivering them through the waters that cleansed the world with a sacrifice of some of every clean animal and bird.

            I do not have enough space this month to address the years leading up to and including the Tower of Babel so we will start there next month.  Keep in mind that from this point forward we will be in a post-flood narrative so that biblical history will start to line up nicely with extra biblical narratives. We also have the earth’s continental and oceanic arrangement in place after the flood which exist today. A lot has happened to our earth’s geography over the past 4300 years, like the Ice age and the ancient inland lakes mentioned in lessons 35 & 36.

That is all for today class, have a great summer!
See you next month

In Christ Pastor Portier