(Part 1 of 2)
13But evil men and seducers
shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived
Why isn't anyone worried about this? We worry about our neighbor who makes too much noise, or we worry about losing our job, but when it comes to the most dreadful happening since time began, no one seems to raise an eyebrow.
Some people are not afraid of what God is going to do to His people because they don't believe a "loving God" would do such a thing. For them, I don't know how they get around the words in the Bible where God Himself says this is what He's going to do.
Other people aren't worried about the Tribulation because they have it from their pastor's mouth that they won't be here, but will be eating fried chicken on a cloud when the havoc takes place.
As for me, I believe the Lord is going to do just what He says He will do. And why do I believe this of Him? Because I've seen in His Word where He's done it before.
It seems to me that if I believe God is going to "spank" this world, there are two things I can do to prepare for the event. One, I can do like what I did when I was a naughty young boy, I can put a book in my pants to cushion the blow. Of course I'm sure God would spot my attempt to thwart His punishment, so instead of using a book, I think I'll do the best I can to obey Him and do what He tells me to do. Maybe then I'll defuse a little of His anger, and His punishment will be a little softer on me.
The second thing I can do is study up on other times God has punished this world. And I've discovered that it's very easy to find pictures of God and His wrath, since He has showered His wrath on His people so often in the past. There's one time however that His wrath was far greater than the others, and that was when He drowned out almost every living creature on this earth. So I thought I'd choose that event to see how God expresses His anger.
There's two aspects of the story of Noah that causes it to be a little more difficult to investigate than one would expect. For one thing the story of Noah involves an item that is used in several forms in other stories, none apparently having any relationship to the other. I don't think God works with coincidences, so I'm going to see if there might be some connection between these stories that has been missed. I may find none, but at least I'll have tried, and either failed to discover the connection, or I may learn there is no connection to be found.
Another complication attached to this story is the fact that Jesus referred to it and used it as a vivid picture of the wrath you and I will be experiencing (if we live long enough).
Where to begin my research has slightly befuddled me, not being sure whether I should compare the similarities between this and other stories, or to do as I'm going to do, and that is to start at the beginning:
1This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. 3And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: 4And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: 5And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.
We find that God performs a recap of the events up to the time of Noah so we can be sure to have all the facts fresh in our mind before He wipes everything clean. The first fact I notice that I consider appropriate to comment on is that Adam created people in his own image. Did you notice that? God created Adam in His own image, then Adam created a son in his own image. Wouldn't you think that Seth would then also be in the image of God if his father was?
Another thing that strikes me odd about this passage is how God created Adam in His own image. After the fall, was Adam still in God's image?
Harkening forward to the New Testament I think of how Jesus told Philip that He, Jesus, was in the image of God. That is to say, Jesus said when we see Him, we see God. I don't think that can be said of Adam after the fall. Jesus was in the image of God. As I take it, all attributes Jesus possessed were the very same attributes the Father possesses. Taking things a step farther, we're told that Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ, the Church, and we are the body of Christ. Jesus was in the very image of the Father, and we're to be in the very image of Jesus (Col 1:15; Rom 8:29; 1John 3:1-3). Compare this with the scenario presented in the passage we're looking at. Does that mean then if we're in the image of Jesus, we are also in the image of God? I'm not giving answers here, just asking questions.
"And called their name Adam." God called both the man and the woman "Adam." Adam means "Hypocrite, common sort, low degree, person." What God called His creation, even before the fall, is not exactly flattering. I've been called some pretty bad names in my life, but none quite as bad as what God called His "special" creation.
Both the man and the woman were called the same name. I wonder if that is significant.
"Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son....and called his name Seth:" Do you suppose these first humans were really so busy or whatever they waited over a hundred years before having children? Have you ever wondered about this? I have. If my calculations are correct, using the recorded births listed in the Bible, there wouldn't have been but a few families on earth when the deluge hit the planet.
I see here that it's Seth who is named as being the first son of Adam. But we know there were at least two before Seth, they being Cain and Able. Abel was dead, but Cain was still (assumedly) roaming the countryside looking for a primate for a mate that wasn't descended from Darwin. Is it possible that the names given as the first son in the families listed in the Old Testament were not necessarily the first born? Consider Jacob and Esau, and Isaac and Ishmael. Then on top of this consider David who was the eighth and youngest son who was anointed king. It wasn't always the firstborn chosen to be representative of the family line.
21And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
This in my mind is a very confusing passage. We read where Enoch walked with God. And in the 11th chapter of Hebrews we learn that God was pleased with Enoch, and for this reason he was "translated" and didn't see death. This all sounds clear enough to me, and for that reason there should be no question regarding this passage. But I have questions anyway. What is it Enoch did that pleased God so much he was translated?
The word translate means to "change sides." This word is very much like the word used to describe Jesus' transformation when He was transfigured on the "Holy Mount." And this word is much like what Satan and his ministers do when they transform themselves, to disguise themselves as angels of light (2Cor 11:13-15). Add to this the carrying off of Elijah in a fiery chariot (2Kings 2:11). Now, this is my question: Where did these people go? Did they receive their glorified body already? Are they in some spirit world? There are people who believe there's a place in the earth where everyone waits to be judged. Did they go there? Do they have their mortal body wherever they are?
Most things in the Bible, even those things that seem to have no explanation I can fairly well understand to one degree or another. But Enoch and Elijah's flight to nowhere with no explanation is beyond me and throws a monkey wrench into some of my understandings.
Add to this the unexplainable end of those God calls His special people such as Moses and David. Again I ask, what is it Enoch and Elijah did that provided them the blessing even those who were extra special in God's eye's such as Daniel, Noah, Job, Moses and David didn't receive?
God's ways are far beyond....mine. That's for sure. I can only ask questions. But it's in asking questions that I learn. I don't learn a thing by pretending I'm intelligent or knowledgeable.
28And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: 29And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort ["Be sorry, pitiful, avenge"] us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.
Noah's father gave a prophesy that seems contrary to what actually happened. I don't see where what Noah did had any effect on the curse God placed on the ground, and I certainly don't find the flood comforting regarding work. Oh well, it's not my place to understand these things, just study them and ask dumb questions.
32And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
It appears that Noah was 500 years old when he was bearing children. And just a very few generations later, we read of Abraham feeling over the child-bearing hill at the age of 75. Such a strange thing time is.
1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Because of this and the following verses there have been many fabulous stories created and publicized regarding this event. I'm going to try and see what's actually being said, if that's possible.
The Hebrew, especially ancient Hebrew, is composed of very few words, and those words are usually ambiguous at best, they can mean almost anything a person wants them to mean. In this passage we find several words such as these. Even the statement made here is filled with ambiguity. Men having daughters and multiplying. Why was this even stated since this is a perfectly normal process and one that was assigned to Adam and all the other creatures from the beginning?
We've created of this passage a picture of demons having intermarried with mankind. By creating this picture we've accounted for the wickedness of man that caused a need for a new beginning, thus the flood. And maybe that's what occurred. However I don't think so. Let's take a closer look at the pre-flood inhabitants of earth:
Daughters we learn by checking the Hebrew means "Apple of the eye, branch, village." We can be pretty sure that men in those days weren't producing villages per se, so I suspect it's daughters "apple of the eye"s that sons of god were attracted to.
Sons of god. The word for "god" here is the generic form of the word that can be applied to just about anything. In the psalm where David speaks of man being special to God having been made a little lower than the angels, it's this word David used. In just about (if not all) other cases where angels are spoken of, another word entirely has been used. Of course there are those who are of the Cecil B. DeMill bent who love to grab on to this possibility and run with it, whether or not the ball has actually been thrown to them, or if it was a large goose egg they've latched hold to.
There are two other usages of this word I can find, each of them again being in the minority of the words commonly used to express the meaning intended. One such word is "judge." If this verse had been translated to say "Judges saw the daughters of men and took them to wife," do you think it would have elicited the same response it has been given by the fantasy lovers?
And again this word has been translated (only twice that I can find) "Mighty," once referring to the thunder on Mt. Sinai, and the other to Abraham.
We've seen that Adam was a son of God, and again we find this term used in the Book of Job when Satan stood before God when the sons of God came before Him. Was Satan one of the sons of God? Could be. Again, the usage and the wording is ambiguous, so I can't say for sure.
Is it possible that what is being said here is that men of power, men of authority, were taking to wife anyone they wanted to, just like Solomon did, and just like God told the nation of Israel would happen if they turned to a king and rejected God as the ruler over them? (1Sam 8:9).
What, then, is being said here?
3And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
I've heard it preached that what God is saying here is it will be 120 years until the flood. I suppose this is not impossible, and depending upon when this statement was made in history, that is if it was said just before telling Noah to build a boat, it is highly possible. However, I did some research on the subject, the results of which can be read in my study "Age Of Man," and what I discovered is that the oldest a person in this day and age attains to is 120 years, and there are many who do reach this age.
4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
First, returning to the phrase "sons of god." The word God is capitalized in the KJ version of the Bible, as I suppose it is in other translations as well. Ancient Hebrew, as stated earlier, was very simple and it had no capital letters. Much later when phonetics were needed to remember how a word was pronounced symbols were added to the language to try and retain as much of the original meaning as possible. By this time much of the original intent of the words had been lost. As we've seen, the word for "god" used here is a generic one meaning almost anything. It needn't necessarily be capitalized.
The word for giants means "Tyrant, bully" and not necessarily giants in the general sense. Besides, what is a giant? To us someone 9 feet tall, like Goliath, is a giant. But to people like David and Jonathan and others who have battled giants and conquered them, giants are nothing but bigger targets.
Mighty men, and men of renown means just what it says, nothing more. David had men that such words fit to a "T" and I don't think anyone considered them to be anything but men, not giants or demons (Num 16:2, 2Sam 16:6; Judges 11:1).
5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Two things to notice here. One, the word for God used here is Jehovah, the One we consider to be the creator of the universe. This is not the same word used when stating that sons of god took the daughters of men for their wives. My question is, why not? Why did the Bible use a generic form of the word when in just a very few verses it was to use the ultimate form of Jehovah?
According to many traditions, it's the wickedness of the giants and the demons who infiltrated mankind that caused the wickedness of men. By creating the illusions I've been attempting to counter, such a position is justified. But as it is today, there are no giants among us in the demonic sense, yet there is wicked thoughts among us continually. If you have any doubt of this, just turn on your TV or listen to the music on your radio. For that matter, just pick up a child's game or a comic book. I think it's clear to any of us that the thoughts of mankind is wickedness continually.
6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
Can you imagine the zebras having evil thoughts continually? How about the giraffe? Why do you suppose God wanted them included in the destruction?
The word for LORD used here is the same word used for GOD in the previous verses. Why the use of dual words to express the same thing I don't know. Perhaps it was to keep us on our toes and force us to examine the Scriptures to see what's really being said.
"And God saw the wickedness of man, and it repented Him." Compare this to the creation story. At that time God looked upon everything and saw that it was good. Now He sees the same things, and says that it is wickedness. Such a change in such a short time.
The word "wickedness" carries with it a great many meanings, none of them particularly good. Some of those meanings are "Misery, sorrow, trouble, hurt, grief, mischief," and so on. It seems to me what is being said here is that everyone was being selfish at the expense of everyone else. Jesus said the sins of the Pharisees was that they were being haughty, and that they weren't showing love and compassion for their fellow man (Mat 9:13; 23:5). Is it possible this is what is being pictured here? Might it be that the "giants" and the "mighty men," the bullies and tyrants were behaving much like the Pharisees of Jesus time?
Repent as used here means to "Breath deeply, to comfort or avenge onself" (the same word as "comfort" in Gen 5:29). We're told that we're to repent of our evil deeds. We can see that if we don't do the repenting, God will. And for myself, I think I'd be much better off if I'm the one who does the repenting.
The word used for "destroy" means to "Blot out, rub smooth, erase." When we make a mistake, we erase our mistake. In the annals of fantasy we have a picture of this very thing, where God supposedly erased His entire creation and started over again because of the sin of Satan. According to that illusion everything was done away with including the rocks and the water, allowing for dinosaurs and cave men using a language far simpler than the Hebrew to communicate. In the future we have a much more vivid and realistic picture of how God intends to begin again with His creation of man, again using the most righteous of His existing creation. Of course this picture has been obscured by the interpretation of experts on the ways of God until it appears as fantastic as the one about Lucifer.
8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Noah found grace. We all seek, and are promised grace. Just what is this grace Noah found that was offered to him long before the Spirit of grace was made available?
First, what does Noah's name mean. I think if you've bothered (or thought of it) to look into the use of names you've noticed that names are very significant in the Bible. We find that a person is given a new name when they have made a change in their life. Even in the New Testament we see where Saul was renamed Paul upon his conversion. And Simon was renamed Peter ("a small stone, a piece of rock"). Simon is a Hebrew word that is the same as Simeon, like the son of Jacob. Simon then means "To hear, to be obedient, to understand." Well, it appears to me this name did not fit Peter at all since he had to be advised over and over again that he wasn't hearing or understanding, that his head was more like a small rock.
Noah means "Rest," and I suspect that part of this name could well apply to the fact that God rested His confidence in Noah, and that we are able to rest our salvation on the fact that Noah, unlike Adam, was obedient and walked with God.
Grace means "Favored, precious, pleasant." This seems to indicate to me that God looked upon Noah favorably rather than given grace as we understand it today. The grace we encounter today as a Christian means "Gratitude, acceptable, gift, joy, liberality, pleasure." As you can see, even the Greek is not as definite a language as we suppose it to be. We know that grace is not something we can earn. It is freely given as a gift (Eph 2:4-10). It appears that Noah did earn the grace he received. Had he been the same as those around him, then no doubt he would have suffered the same consequences as did they. Should we learn something from this example?
Noah was said to have been perfect. Perfect is synonymous with "Undefiled, integrity, truth, without blemish, complete." Doesn't this sound like the Overcomer in the book of Revelation? Could it be that to be saved from the havoc God has planned for His creation in the future we must be like this one who was saved in the past?
10And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Who were these boys? And how about their wives who were taken from those about to meet their destruction? (Gen 19:12-17) I mean, did they also walk with the Lord as did their father? We can't really tell. All we know is they and their wives were taken on the ark when the rain began. I suspect if nothing else the boys were rescued because of their faith and obedience. But were they having faith in their father? Or were they in fact hearing from God themselves as their father was?
Let's take a look at these names and see if we can learn anything about the the boys:
Shem - "Renown, fame, authority." Doesn't this sound like the description of those who God is intending to destroy? Yet here's one with a name that means the very same thing being rescued. Does this mean anything? I can't think of any way that it does.
Shem is the line through which the Messiah would come. This is also the line through which Abraham would come forth. Shem's family went east toward the Persian Gulf and inhabited the area we think of as Babylon. The history of the Shemits (known better as Semites) is difficult for me to follow. The Semitic language has had great influence upon all the languages from Mesopotamia to Ethiopia. And it appears that several of the tribes we consider to be of the Canaanite family are in fact (I'm assuming the fact) from the descendancy (is there such a word?) of Shem. As we will see in a moment, there is an element of Ham that confuses the issue of descendancy even further.
Ham - "Hot or warm, from prostrate; by implication to overthrow, decay: - discomfit, waste away, weaken." Ham is said to be the father of those nations to the south of the Euphrates, all the way to Ethiopia. The lands that Abraham and his seed were to inherit are the descendants of Ham. Abraham himself was of the seed of Shem. This means that Shem is essentially going to have land settled by, and belonging to Ham.
Now for more confusion. I said Shem settled in the east. The land of Babylon would have been the land Shem populated. And it's out of this land that Abraham was called. Yet we find that the most notable person of the city of Babylon, that being Nimrod by name, was not from the family of Shem, but he was of the seed of Ham. Ham now is in the land of the Semites (Shem).
Are you confused yet? Me too. But there's a bit more to add to the confusion. Notice the meaning of the name Ham: "Decay, discomfort, waste away." What comes to mind when you think of the Apostate church of Babylon? Remember, Nimrod of the family of Ham, is in the land belonging to Shem from which the true church is to come. Still drawing a blank? Here's something else to add to the blank page. Abraham came out of the land of Babylon ("Come out of her my people"), and in the future it will be the seed of Abraham, of the family of Shem, who will occupy the land of Canaan, which is the descendant of Ham. Interesting the things we can learn from history and the Bible, wouldn't you say?
After the ark had found a resting place, Ham did something that caused him and his descendants to be cursed. These people are the inhabitants of the land of Canaan that the family of Shem, through Abraham, were to destroy long in the future because of their wickedness. Still a blank page? Or are there some scribbles beginning to materialize?
Japheth - "From to be (causatively make) simple or (in a sinister way) delude: - allure, deceive, enlarge, entice, flatter, persuade, silly (one)." This is an interesting name and well fitting for history of the people who were born of Japheth. The word means "Expand," and the seed of Japheth did just that. They expanded to the area we think of as the Gentiles, that is, to the north and to the west. We might think of this as the area Paul took his message to.
When Noah received the commandment to build the ark, he was 480 years old. It took him 120 years to build the ark. The three sons mentioned here were born when Noah was 500 years old. This means the boys were born at least 20 years after Noah began building his ark. That might explain why the boys were so involved with the project, they were born with a hammer in their hand.
What happened for the first 480 years of Noah's life? Was he celibate? I can't imagine that he was. What then became of all those children he must have given birth to during that time? Were they absorbed into the attractions of the world like the Israelites were, and like the churches are today?
[Again, I expected this to be a very short story, but I can't find it in myself not to investigate every nook and cranny.]
11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
The word corrupt means "Decay, cast off, spoiled, utterly wasted." This to me seems to indicate something useless and best disposed of, which is just that God did with it.
A thought just occurred to me: if the world had become this bad, why then didn't God do what He supposedly did billions of years ago according to the Gap theory? He's going to do it again very soon, so why didn't He just start fresh with a new kind of human? Any thought on that?
Violence means more than mere blood shedding. It means "Injustice, false, unjust gain, oppression." Again this suggests to me what Jesus accused the Pharisees of having become. And it sounds like what God through the prophets accused the Israelites of having become. Does this fit us today do you think?
13And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14Make thee an ark of gopher wood; Rooms shalt thou make in the ark,
Now we're getting down to the nitty-gritty. The ark is ready to be built.
The word used here means a box. We've seen pictures of the ark that look like a Spanish galleon or some such thing. In some stories recounting the flood the ark was made like a bowl or something of the sort. As for myself I see the ark as nothing but a big box floating on the water, for reasons I'll explain later.
It appears that no one knows for sure what gopher wood is, but from what I've read, it's cypress. It probably doesn't matter what kind of wood it was, just as long as there was plenty of it around the area where Noah was working.
Rooms shalt thou make in the ark,
The word room means "Nests or chambers." If we equate this ark with the Temple, then we see a large area where work is performed, with smaller rooms off to the side. Ezra's Temple is a good example of this. In the 13th chapter of Nehemiah (verses 1-9) we read where the Temple had rooms built into it for specific Temple purposes. But the priests had allowed these rooms to be used as storage by the Ammonite king Tobiah. Nehemiah, angered at this misuse of the Temple, ordered the things to be thrown out of the Temple and the chambers to be cleansed.
I would like to clarify what I consider to be a misunderstanding concerning the episode of the Jews coming out of Babylon. To begin with we see where Ezra was called out of Babylon to rebuild the Temple, whereas Nehemiah was in Shushan the palace 200 miles away (where Esther was queen). There is a teaching that seems to be popular that says Nehemiah and Ezra were reversed in chronology and that the walls were built before the Temple. In our human way of thinking this sounds logical. But God's ways are not like man's ways. For instance, if we were to build a Tabernacle we would build a tent, then build an ark to place in the housing made for it. God told Moses to build an ark before He even mentioned the building to house it. In the case we're looking at here, while Nehemiah was building the walls of the city we don't read of the Temple being built. Yet we find that the Jews were storing things in a Temple that supposedly hadn't been built, and soon after we read of the Jews dedicating the Temple. Am I missing something here?
And shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
This is a very interesting statement. Sometimes the words used in the Bible have so many different applications that seem appropriate for the occasion, but don't actually fit when applied to what is being expressed. This is a good example of just that sort of thing. Pitch means "From H3722; properly a cover, that is, (literally) a village (as covered in); (specifically) bitumen (as used for coating), and the henna plant (as used for dyeing); figuratively a redemption price: - bribe, camphire, pitch, ransom, satisfaction, sum of money, village.
There's a story I've heard that says one of the rich oil tycoons (the name escapes me for the moment) read the story of Noah and deduced that where there is bitumen, which is composed of petroleum, like tar they put on the roads, that there must be oil. He began drilling for oil in the Middle East, and through this exploration, the wealth of oil we now rely on was discovered.
We see that the ark was covered inside and out with what can be defined as "Ransom, satisfaction, redemption." Doesn't this bring to mind the cross? A coincidence do you think?
15And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
Numbers mean a great deal in the Bible. We've found where there are hidden secrets in the Bible that can only be deciphered by understanding the meaning of numbers. The Hebrew language itself is composed of letters that represent numbers as well as letters. As for myself, though I believe there are such mysteries to be found in the deep study of numbers, as there is through the stars, I try to keep more on the surface of what is said. I know that God hides the truth from those who don't want to know the truth, but I don't think He expects a person to be a numerologist or an astronomer to decipher His messages (Isaiah 28:10-13).
God is telling us something with these measurements beyond what is apparent. Theologians and scientists expend great effort trying to justify the size of the ark. One side tries to say there couldn't possibly be enough room in such a contraption to house all the animals and the feed needed to preserve the number of animals said to be on board. I think we forget two things when we try to justify the Bible and God. God does not work with man's reasoning. In fact God seems to enjoy working just the opposite of man's logic so we have to depend totally on faith. What can be explained, is likely to be wrong, and not of God. People try to explain the flood, the crossing of the Red Sea, the plagues upon Egypt, the Resurrection, the miracles of Jesus. They are miracles, and miracles do not need explanation. And neither does God.
God created this planet from nothing, and He created us from dust that He created from nothing. You and I are nothing. This to me is the beginning of wisdom. If God wanted to put all the animals on a postage stamp to save them, then I'm sure He could, and He would. And it's not up to us to try and determine how big the postage stamp was or what denomination was printed on it.
Forgetting the size of the ark, let's look at the measurements God has given us and see if we can learn what we miss by exploring how many nails Noah used on the boat. 300 is the number of deliverance. Gideon had 300 in his army when he defeated the Midianites (Judges 7). Solomon had 300 shields of beaten gold (1Kings 10:17). The woman who anointed Jesus for His burial, an event that would bring about the deliverance of us all, was worth 300 pence (Mark 14:5). Three hundred is a number uniquely rare used alone. It's interesting that at least half the times I could find it had to do with deliverance.
The number 3 is used twice in this measurement. Three is God's number, the number of completeness. Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days (and yes, it was a full 3 days as spelled out in the Bible through types and shadows, and of course the Feasts). Three is also the number of months Moses was hidden before he was placed in his own little ark of deliverance when he was an infant.
50 is the number of the Anointing, of the Holy Spirit. The Jews were to number the years after they arrived in the Promised Land 7 Sabbaths, and the 50th year (the year following those 7 Sabbaths) was to be a year of Jubilee to them. The year of Jubilee is when everything returns to what it was in the beginning (Lev 25:). We see this in Eternity. We also see this after the flood. That was God's intention, that the world become a haven again for the best of His creation, beginning again with Noah.
In Exodus 27 we read where the Tabernacle courtyard was 50 cubits wide (75 feet, about twice as wide as my little trailer is long), the same width as the ark. This was hardly enough room for all the priests to perform their functions, leastwise take care of a sampling of all the animals in the world. The Tabernacle is symbolic of Heaven (Heb chapter 8; 1Cor 10:11). To understand Heaven, we have to have a working knowledge of the Tabernacle and the yearly feasts. This is why the Jews were able to understand Jesus (not the leaders of the Jews), they searched the Scriptures and saw where Jesus was fitting the pictures of their Messiah, once the pictures were explained to them.
When Absalom tried to usurp the throne from his father David, he had fifty horsemen ride before him in an effort to give the impression that he and not David was the Anointed of God (2Sam 15:).
Haman, in the book of Esther, built a gallows upon which to hang Mordecai 50 cubits high. That's almost 7 stories. Why did he build a gallows so high? Have you figured out the reason yet?
Thirty is the number of ministry to God, also of maturity. Jesus was 30 years old when He began His ministry. I suspect the others who followed Him were that same age or thereabouts. A priest became eligible to serve in the Tabernacle when he reached the age of 30, and they served until they achieved the age of 50 (Num 4:1-3). Joseph was 30 when he was given authority over Egypt (Gen 41:46).
Matthew 13:23 tells us that thirtyfold is the beginning of being accepted into Heaven "the Master's barn." What do you suppose happens to those who don't produce, or who don't even bother to find out what it is they are to produce?
The Temple Solomon built to God was 30 cubits high, the same height as the ark, and three times the height of the Tabernacle (1Kings 6:2). If we consider that the ark was three times taller than the Tabernacle, and the Tabernacle courtyard was 100 cubits, one third the length of the ark, we might possibly have something by which to make a comparison. Beyond this however, I feel as if I'm trying to force a conclusion, something I try to avoid doing as it only interferes with what God is wanting to tell us.
30 is also the price of a slave (Lev 27:1-13; Ezek 11:11-13; 1Cor 7:23; Mat 26:17). This is the price paid for our deliverance from sin and to make us eligible for salvation.
16A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof;
A window. A single window in that huge wooden box filled with animals and people. What is that window? By the looks of what's printed here it appears to be rather small. Pictures drawn of the ark often show many windows on the ark, and people and animals frolicking about the deck of the ark. Let's see what the word window means in the original Hebrew:
Window - From H6671; a light (that is, window); dual double light, that is, noon: - midday, noon (-day, -tide), window.
This is the only time this word has been used to define a window, although other words have been used. But "noon" has been mentioned a few times, and the word used almost every time is this word. I have two thoughts on this window. I wonder if anyone has considered what I'm about to say:
This window, for one thing, can only be on one floor, that leaves all the other floors in total darkness. And only those near the window will get much light. And what of the night? Would the ark be in total darkness half of the time? This is a consideration concerning light. Of course, as I said earlier, the Lord can do anything He wants to. He could miraculously cause this window (which it sounds as if He may have done) to light up the entire ark all the time like He did in the wilderness with the Israelites. The Shekinah Glory and the pillar of fire were light and comfort to the Israelites, and darkness and danger to those who would do them harm (Ex 14:20).
There's another consideration to ponder. What did these few people do with the refuse and the gases that all creatures emit because of their ingesting food? Have you ever heard of greenhouse gases and fumes that burn and asphyxiate a person? These gases must go somewhere, they are toxic and unbearable if left unattended and unvented. We breathe in fresh air, and exhale carbon dioxide, like a car or a fireplace. We count on trees and other plants to exchange our bad air for good air. That is why we often have plants in a house that can't be ventilated often. In modern houses and building, especially where there are many people living or at work, we have a forced air system that does this exchanging. If you've ever been in such a building where the system has stopped functioning, you know that within just a very short time it becomes unbearable in the building, both for lack of fresh air, and because of the heat everyone is expending. Imagine such a condition for an entire year where everyone and everything is entirely shut up for nearly 400 days! Unless they were stacked like a deck of cards, the animals would have to move around, as would the people. I can't imagine a goat or a tiger laying peaceably on its side day and night for a year, can you?
Yet another consideration: God made flies and gnats and other such creatures like earthworms and termites to do away with that which dies. Imagine a forest where the trees and other plants were just allowed to lay where they fell for eternity, without decomposing (consider one of man's greatest weapon against nature, plastic). Add to this the fact that the decomposition of one plant becomes the food for other plants as it decomposes. Did Noah bring aphid, germs and viruses aboard do you think? He must have, because we still have them with us today.
Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink. We can't drink salt water. Perhaps the water outside the ark was not salty, a possibility of sorts. But how would they get to that water in order to quench even their own thirsts, leastwise the thirst of two heathy elephants.
There might be a possible solution to the problem of space and feeding if Noah brought on board his floating zoo very young samples of each of the animals. However, in the course of a year many of the animals would have grown to maturity, at least in size. In my way of thinking even if all the animals were miniatures of its species and kept as babes, there still wouldn't be means to accommodate them, even if Noah had a full Navy crew to assist him.
Questions, questions, questions. As far as I'm concerned it leaves us only one solution or another, which I'll present later.
With lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
This is interesting. The ark had three stories, levels. Three is the number of completeness (seven the number of completion, there is a difference). Three is also the number of compartments or sections of the Tabernacle and the Temple. Is this a coincidence do you think? Or is God telling us something?
I don't see where the proportions of these compartments have been recorded, so I don't know if they will compare any farther or not with the Tabernacle. We do however see that these compartments, stories are one higher than another. Again, that may be coincidence, or it may be telling us something I'm missing so far.
Returning to the light in the ark, or the lack thereof. In the Tabernacle there was no light other than that of the lamp stand. In the Holy of Holies the only light was that of the Shekinah Glory, and the little light that might have radiated from the censer that the High Priest took behind the Vail once a year. For many centuries there was no Shekinah Glory, so there was no intended light.
In the Holy Place the light was afforded by the menorah, the candlestick. This represents the Church age where the Church is lit by the light of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was in the world, He said He is the light of the world. Then He turned to His disciples and said they (as are we) are the light of the world (John 12:46; Mat 5:14). It may be possible that the light given those in the ark was from the Holy Spirit as it is to be in the City on a Hill in Eternity (Mat 5:14; Rev 22:5).
17And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
"God is good, God is great. All He does is perfect and in Him there is nothing but perfection. Anything other than beauty and perfection must come from the devil. God is pure love, and there is nothing but love in Him."
Have you ever heard anything like this being preached? I suspect you have, just about every Sunday.
Who created the creature called Man that has proven himself far short of perfection? Who is it that caused the flood that destroyed all mankind? Who is it that is so angry He is going to destroy the entire world as if by fire in the future? Who is it that's going to throw most of mankind into a pit of fire to burn forever (according to those who espouse the above)?
God said it's He who will destroy all flesh, not the devil. In fact, in the Old Testament the devil, Satan is hardly mentioned other than in Job. And in the book of Job it appears that God and Satan are old buddies making a bet regarding Job, at Job's expense, not adversaries fighting over his soul.
Where does trouble ("evil") come from? God said it's He who creates all the evil we see in the world (Isaiah 45:5-7). Don't get wickedness and evil confused. God does not cause us to sin. The word Evil means "trouble, affliction, calamity, adversity." The word does include the concept of wickedness as well, but I take this to mean that it's only because of the law there is lawlessness. Sin wouldn't exist if there was no law indicating what is sin and what is not (John 14:22-24; Rom 7:7-9).
18But with thee will I establish my covenant;
God established a covenant with Adam, which said in part, don't eat the apple or you will die. Adam broke that covenant, and because of that breach of promise, God fulfilled His part of the bargain. God here is establishing a new covenant with Noah. What happens to the old covenant when a new one is created? Later God establishes a covenant with Abraham, then again that covenant is expanded with the Israelites who came out of Egypt. Now we are under a New Covenant, the old covenants having been done away with it appears. But are they really? The covenants made in the past were either temporary or they were violated on man's part, so they (the promises) were made null and void. What will happen to the Covenant we live under if we are disobedient and don't follow our part to the letter? Will God break His Covenant with us like He did the one He made with Israel? And if He doesn't break our Covenant, which we have already broken by our having despised and denied it, or if God hasn't in fact broken His covenant with Israel but has set it aside, then what of our covenant with Him when He reestablishes the nation of Israel?
Consider this possibility: I read in several places where God said He is going to keep His part of the covenant with the Jews just as He's kept His promise with Noah about the rainbow. And I see where He will keep His part of the covenant He has made with us, the Church, even though we have (and are still) broken it to pieces. But consider Israel: God will keep His promise to Israel for His name's sake, not for their sake. And the nation of Israel will benefit from God's looking favorably on them. But how will that help the individuals who have gone on before? If you or I do not fulfill our part of the contract we've made with God (which we made when we became a Christian whether we understood this fact or not), and the Church is blessed because of its few righteous people, where does that leave us as individuals if we are not part of those so blessed? How will that help us if we've died in our sins before the blessing has been given? Confused? I suspect so. How can you, the reader, be expected to discern the appearance of the house when all I've given you is a glimpse of a sliver from the door?
Lots of question, but few if any answers.
And thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. 19And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; [See Acts 11:14; 16:31; Gen 19:15-16].
The animals are to be kept alive. Could they perhaps be placed in suspended animation? Or maybe it's like with the astronauts and they're system is slowed down so they're bodily functions are minimized. Wouldn't that help explain the mystery of the ark?
21And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. 22Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Well, that idea was blown out the little window. Noah brought food in the ark. They're to eat, so they're not in suspended animation. And that means all their bodily functions are working. Which brings us back to the situation I posed earlier about feces, gases and fresh air.
It's for a year the food has to be provided. I find to keep food ahead in case of emergency takes considerable room, and this is with food canned and preserved. What of food for several people and a huge menagerie of animals? What happens to the food intended for the lions after the meats run out or spoil? What will they eat? Lions are not vegetarians you know. They eat meat. And what of the vulture and the condor? They eat dead things. Are there going to be dead animals aboard to feed them?
2Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 3Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
Two of each animal would be an incredible number to put in a city, leastwise to be locked in a boat for a year. But now we're looking at seven of many of the animals aboard. I estimate that this new wrinkle perhaps doubles the number if that total had the number been kept to a pair of all animals to be included.
We think of the laws given to Moses as originating with the Jews who came out of Egypt. At least we don't see them exemplified before that time. We do see where Able offered sacrifice of his flock, whereas we don't read of Adam being told he must make sacrifice of any kind. Abraham offered an animal for sacrifice. And we read of Jacob offering a tenth of all his possessions if God will bless him. But other than circumcision, it appears not much more was known of the laws God has in mind for mankind. Yet here we see God telling Noah to take aboard a larger number of clean animals than unclean. Where did Noah learn which animals are clean and which are not? And did he know what to do with the clean that he was not to do with the unclean?
The laws of God are more mysterious than we give them credit I believe. Consider how David said he takes delight in the law of the Lord (Psalms 1:) What is there about a bunch of do's and don't's that pleased David? Could it be that David was looking at another aspect of the "law" then we suppose? I take delight in the study of the Word. But of course that involves a whole lot more than the law. However, during David's time, there wasn't anything but the law of Moses. He, David was writing the Psalms we enjoy, although I'm sure there could have been other psalms available written before David's time. And there were no prophets to wonder about since the books of the prophets were after David. Daniel had yet to provide the world with his mysteries, and Solomon hadn't given the world his proverbs and teachings. All the people of old had was the law, and until late in the days of the Jews, those laws were passed on verbally and not written down.
4For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
Noah had seven days to get all the animals, flies, snails and birds into the ark. Hopefully there were no stubborn mules to contend with. Have you ever tried to get your family coordinated and on the road when setting out on a week-end camping trip?
There's a world of speculation as to the ark and how it was made to accommodate all the animals without they're turning to their natural instincts. For instance, it is believed by some that the clean animals knelt before Noah to indicate their condition with God. The crow was considered a problem on the ark because it argued with Noah and because of this the crow feared that Noah was sending him out of the window to get rid of him and his race. But this was not allowed, because it was to be the crow that was destined to feed Elijah in the caves when he was fleeing Jezebel. What? Did someone say crows can't talk? How about serpents in gardens?
One Jewish rabbi (or commentator) said the ark was suspended under water for the first forty days. I guess that Noah's ark was the first submarine, and the animals the first submariners.
One commentator claimed the ark moved in a direction east and west, then north and south, forming a cross in preparation for the Messiah
And yet another theory put forth is that the carnivorous animals were housed on one floor, while birds and prey animals were on another floor, and pointed stakes were placed between the male and the female animals to keep them from mating.
As I said earlier, there are many ways and means by which the human mind tries to make sense of what is beyond reason.
11In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
We still today believe there's a big pit in the center of the earth where Satan is joyously putting the unsaved world to work keeping his haunt warm. Of course the fairy tales of old are interesting, and they're still as unexplainable as they were hundreds of years ago; but with all the knowledge we have today, and an understanding that the world isn't a flat plate, but a round ball with restricted space within the globe, we might at least think we would give Dante's Inferno some rethought.
The flood began in the 600th year of Noah. This time we are living in is the end of the 6th day, the sixth thousand year of creation. It appears that Noah's flood began in the beginning of his 600th day while we're at the end of ours. The number 6 is the number of man. It was on the 6th day man was created. It's the 6th day that the Beast will rear his ugly head (666). and it's after the 6th day that God will begin His day of rest (the Millennium) and man will take over the rule of this world as he was supposed to do in the beginning.
The rains began on the 17th day of the 2nd month. If we associate this day with the Jewish calendar of events we come to midway between the Feast of Passover and Pentecost. What does the rain coming have to do with this period of time? Perhaps nothing, but then again maybe there is a connection.
If we go all the way back to the beginning of creation, we find the first thing that happened with the waters is that the Spirit of God moved upon them (plural). Then again we find that the Bible tells us that from those who are righteous and who seek the truth ("thirst") will flow rivers of living water, meaning the Holy Spirit (Rev 7:13-17; John 7:37-39). The day Jesus died was when the Holy Spirit was released to us, the Church, and when Jesus was resurrected (or soon thereafter) is when the Holy Spirit "flooded" the world (Hab 2:14; Jer 31:33-34).
In the 6th chapter of 1st Kings, the first verse, we read that it was in the second month Solomon began to build the Temple. Just to keep the records in order, in this same verse we read where the Temple was begun in the 4th year of Solomon's reign. And we see where it was begun 400 years after Israel came out of Egypt. Jesus' ministry, when He began His Church, was on or just after the 4th millennia after the creation. And as we harken back to the creation we see in the 14th to the 19th verses that light was formed and created to provide light into a darkened world. The first verses of the book of John tells us that light entered the world when Jesus was born, the beginning of the 4th Millennia. Is this all coincidence do you think? If so, how I do dearly love coincidences.
Forty is the number of temptation and service. The Israelites were tested in the wilderness for forty years. Jesus was taken into a wilderness place where at the end of forty days He was tested. Moses was in the mountain with God forty days and forty nights after which he was given the commandments. Also Moses had three periods of forty years where he experienced different aspects of his ministry. We read where David, Saul and many other key figures ruled or had their ministry forty years. Not all of these were necessarily a test, but I do believe it is interesting that such experiences as that of Moses could have foreshadowed Jesus' experience since Moses said that One like him would come later (Ex 34:28).
16And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
We have a popular concept that we humans have free will. I suppose we do, up to a point. But ask those who weren't in the ark if they were given free will. Ask Noah if he had an option as to how he would build a boat. Ask Moses or Paul the Apostle if they were free to exercise freewill as to their decision to serve the Lord, or how they are to do it. At the same time we preach free will, we say that God will pick and choose who will go to the mission fields, who will be called to preach the Word, and how full our bank book will be. We teach that God calls those He has preordained for the ministry and to be saved, then we turn around and say that no matter what we do we can do nothing to be unsaved, no matter if we sin worse than the most sinful of the unsaved. We contradict ourself while the words are still in our mouth. Noah and his crew walked into the ark and God shut (sealed?) them in. There was to be no getting out of the ark until the deluge was over. But once the storm had past, and the "saved" were on solid ground, we discover that one of the saved was cursed because of what appears to be a simple indiscretion. We see pictures of the ark shaped in such a way as to allow the ark to be steered. But there was no way to steer the ark, nor to stop it, nor for that matter to even know where they were until the ark lighted upon the ground. And if they were very far away from home at that point, they wouldn't have recognized the terrain anyway. They were prisoners of their own making for over a year. Ask any sailor what it's like to finally alight a ship after two weeks at sea. Imagine being in a ship with no windows accompanied by a bunch of nasty animals for over a year. Can you imagine how solid the ground would feel and how fresh the air must have smelled?
17And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. 18And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
Here we have the ark moving upon the face of the waters, whereas in the second verse of Genesis it was the Spirit of God that moved upon the face of the waters. The words are not the same however, so I really don't see any association between the two other than that at both times land could not be seen. This is a new beginning, and indeed this beginning is much like the first. When the water receded it must have looked very much the same as when God caused the mountains to issue up from beneath the sea at the creation event, other than the fact that plants had not been established as yet in the first occasion. Another difference is that here the word, amongst many other meanings, has the effect of describing a wandering rather than moving. I have the suspicion the ark didn't wander very far from where it had been "launched." I suspect it landed much in the same place it was lifted up from, which reasoning I'll explain later.
Here we see the waters prevailing, where before the flood it was the mighty men, the giants who were prevailing. The words used are not the same, but the irony is unmistakable. I think back to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Here it's water covering those who would do violence to the righteous. In Sodom it was volcanic ash and salt that covered them and caused them to disappear. I'm assuming ash was involved, but that's mere speculation. But salt is hard to deny because of the condition of the area today, and what happened to Lot's wife when she turned back.
19And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
Take note how the use of the word "Heaven" and "Earth" are used here. Everything under heaven, and on the earth were destroyed. Unless you already know what I'm establishing, or you've read "Missing The Mark," you know what I'm getting at. Otherwise I suspect it's all cryptic to you.
There is speculation as to just how involved this flood was. Did it only involve the immediate area? Or did it actually cover the entire earth? Some believe this flood was somewhat like a tempest in a teacup, that it wasn't all that extensive. I really don't think it matters how extensive the flood was, it destroyed all life, whether that be the entire world, or one city. It fulfilled its (God's) objective. Trying to second guess God beyond that I consider a total waste of time. But according to much I've read on many different subjects, there's a lot of people throughout history with a lot of time to waste.
Did the waters only raise 15 cubits, and a height of about 25 feet covered the highest mountain? That's only a third as high as the ark, and trees are higher than this. I think we can rule out this interpretation as a possibility.
Fifteen cubits above the mountains is not very high. The ark is only twice that high, so I suspect the reason we're given this additional information is to allow us to be sure that every base was covered. Every germ had been baptized, regardless of where it might have been.
21And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: 22All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. 23And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth:
Yep, every flea and termite has seen its last days. Only the fleas and the termites aboard the ark were saved. And according to the cargo list, fleas and termites were aboard. And we can be sure both fleas and termites had plenty to nibble on during their voyage.
Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. 24And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
So far our redeemed have spent almost 200 days in their floating zoo, if this number is added on to the original 40 days of rain that is. This being the case it means they have been floating for 150 days (or at least a 110 days) after the rains ended, and still no land in sight. Have you ever felt like you were forgotten by God? I have. And there are other times I feel like I deserve to be forgotten. As far as the earth is concerned, there wasn't a whole lot God had to concern Himself with since there only remained a box of animal crackers to fool with. But I suspect Noah and his crew were suspicious as to God's motivation at times.
1And God remembered Noah,
With only one person or little boat to remember, did God forget Noah? It would seem so. And this is not the only time God apparently forgot His special person. We read where God remembered Abraham, and again He remembered the nation of Israel. And in the 16th chapter of Revelation we read where God remembers the sins of Babylon, in spite of our belief that God has cast away all sins and can't see them any more. I don't know about you, but that is one time I don't want to be remembered, that is, if I'm a part of the city of Babylon. What does the word "Remember" mean in the original Hebrew? It means "Mark, mention, be mindful." It also clearly means to "remember," but I tend to believe God didn't forget, He instead again focused His attention on that little match box floating aimlessly about in a vast ocean of nothingness.
God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; 2The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; 3And the waters returned from off the earth continually:
I suspect this was quite a wind if it caused the waters to recede (see Ex 14:21). That match box must have taken quite a beating for a while. I wonder what happens when an elephant gets seasick?
It appears as if the water of the earth's fountains and of the windows of heaven took longer by far to recede than it did to fill the earth. We read where it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. I assume it stopped after that time. But it took nearly a year for the water to go back to where it came from.
We don't really think about it, but the clouds hold a lot more water than we think they do. When we have a cloudburst we become aware of just how much water there is in the clouds because it seems a dry lake becomes overflowing in just a few minutes. And the clouds don't look like they have reduced in size one bit. Clouds are formed by evaporated water, and evaporation is accomplished by heat. If God is placing the water back in the clouds quickly, then I suspect that it must have been quite hot and humid in that little wooden hot-box for a time.
The word "fountain" used here means "source." I suspect this means the water returned to its original source.
And after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
Abated means to "Lack, lessen, lower." Since it appears there was still plenty of water to "abate," I suppose this verse isn't saying the waters were gone, they were just lowering from where they had been.
Again, is this the same 150 days we looked at earlier? Or is it another 150 days? And does this 150 days include the 40 days of rain? And why 150? Is 150 significant? Earlier I presented a similarity between the ark and the Tabernacle. The ark is the same width as the Tabernacle, but it's three times as long (100 cubits compared to 300 cubits). I'm sure you've noticed that I believe there is a connection between the Tabernacle and the ark. And I'm sure it's obvious that I'm trying to "force" some similarities. In this case I can't find any way to force the number 150 with the Tabernacle, other than if we add the length and the width of the Tabernacle, we come up with the number 150. But I really don't believe that is significant, although I wish it were. In my search to find a similarity I thought to look at the 150th Psalm. It's only six short verses long, and among the many ways David suggests we praise the Lord, he adds as a last line: "Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD." In the ark is a sampling of everything that draws a breath, while everything else that draws a breath has been utterly destroyed. Is this a coincidence? Maybe, then again, maybe not. God works His wonders in wonderful fashion.
Although I find little to no similarity here between the Tabernacle and the ark, earlier I pointed out a connection or two between the ark and the Temple. I suspect there will be more such similarities to come.
4And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month,
We have two things of interest in this portion of a verse. First we have the fact that the ark "rested." This tells me that the ark is not floating any more. It is on solid ground. But what comes later seems to add a puzzle to this concept.
The date mentioned in this verse is of particular interest. We discovered that the ark embarked its wandering voyage between the day Jesus was resurrected and the beginning of the Church age. Five months later, on almost the exact same day of the month, the ark came to rest we know not where. It's not time for those "saved" to take part in the new, refreshed earth they are about to find themselves, they are still in the same situation they had been for five months.
The 17th day of the 7th month puts us two days into the Feast of Tabernacles where the Jews live in tabernacles, small booths reminiscent of how they lived during their wilderness journey. Tabernacles are what we call the "tent" of flesh we now wear that God is preparing to dwell in once the flesh (our desire to serve ourselves and not God) has been done away with (2Peter 1:12-13; Phil 1:23-24). The Feast of Tabernacles, although rarely recognized as such it seems, is also a picture of what is to come in the future when the world has been cleansed and God has purified His Temple (Rev chapters 21 & 22).
Fifteen days prior to the Feast of Tabernacles is the beginning of the Feast period, the second of the required sets of feasts all Israelites must attend and take part in. The first set of feasts marked the beginning of the harvest period during the Spring of the year. Now we're at the end of the sacred year, and the end of the harvest season, the Fall of the year. The Jew's sacred year has essentially "risen and fallen" as has the water our fearless crew has been experiencing.
In the beginning of this last Feast session, a trumpet was blown to announce the occasion. This trumpet reflects the trumpets of the Tribulation. At the sounding of the last trump, everything goes back to what it had been in the beginning. This is especially so of the Year of Jubilee.
The Tribulation where all has been cleansed of wickedness has now past. The righteous have "risen above" the destruction brought about by the Lord, and a fresh new earth has been created, ready for those who have proven themselves ready to inhabit (Ex 20:19-20; Mat 22:8; Luke 20:35-37, 21:34-36). But there is yet a period of wait before the "saved" can enjoy their sinless environment.
A note for those of you interested in eschatology, the study of the end-times. We've seen where the number 40 symbolizes testing and service, and the number 50 is indicative of the Holy Spirit, the anointing. In the Tabernacle the measurements of the Holy Place, the larger room where the lamp stand lights the Church age through the Holy Spirit, is 20x10x10. If you multiply those figures you have 2,000 cubic cubits, the number of years of this Church age, the time from the beginning until the crossing behind the Vail. If we think of this as a time of testing as was the 40 years the Hebrew children were tested in the wilderness, and the Jubilee year to come up soon as the day everything and everyone returns to source ("Dust to dust, Spirit to Spirit") we have what I believe to be a good picture of what lies ahead for us. We also see that we are not merely saved for our part, but to serve and to prove ourselves worthy of that day to come, as was Noah.
Ten days after Trumpets (the Tribulation), on the 10th day of the 7th month (the Millennium to us who are waiting for the occasion) the High Priest enters behind the Vail to make atonement for the people. Of course those of us of the Church assume that the Atonement was made at the cross, but this simply is not so. The first sacrifice, that of the Passover Lamb, "covers" the sins of the individual. It did not do away with the sins. This final Atonement comes at the end of the year where a full grown ram (not a lamb) is sacrificed (Lev chapter 16). This sacrifice atones for the entire nation, those who have survived the Tribulation, or in the case of Noah, those who survived the deluge. I'm not about to go into the details of the feasts here, it would be far too long and involved. But to see a clearer picture of what I'm looking at, read "Missing The Mark" in this section of the website.
Remember, the Day of Atonement is over, and the past sins of the people are done away with, and the creation is made new. This does not mean all sin is gone, but it's a brand new start. We'll be looking into this aspect in a moment.
The day the ark settles is two days into the Feast of Tabernacles, a time of remembering the past for the Jews, and a time of looking ahead for the Church (although most of the Church does not recognize this fact in the slightest). The Millennium has begun, but the participants are not yet able to participate still being locked in their ship of salvation, unable to even see a sign of what lies ahead for them.
Upon the mountains of Ararat.
Now comes the confusing part. This segment of a sentence has caused much conjecture and speculation. It confuses the issue no matter how the picture is drawn. We find our little boat on a mountain called Ararat, a long range of high mountains, far above the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers. The mountain of Ararat (as we know of it) is in the country of Turkey and extends for some distance to the east and west. However the highest peak of this mountain range is in Turkey. The fact that there are no other mountains seen at this time (from the ark) indicates the ark is situated on the very top of the highest mountain of that range. As far as I can tell the highest peak is 16,854 feet in elevation. I've ridden up mountains 8,000 feet high, and that is on a well paved road. I can assure you that twice that high is very high indeed. People who've lived in the mountains or who have climbed mountains can tell you that the air becomes very thin at high elevations and breathing becomes difficult. And when a person changes from one elevation to another, especially if that change is rapid, they experience some harsh physical problems. More on this later. At this time we only know that the ark has settled and there is no way of knowing where the ark is other than it's on a mountain called Ararat.
A note on the word Ararat. This name is uncertain since it is a Hebrew word of foreign, perhaps Babylonian origin. The word has been used twice in this form, once here, and once in Jeremiah. It has been used twice in other places in the Bible to denote Armenia. But again, it's difficult to associate the word definitely with these assumed locations.
5And 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.
Wherever they were, they were there for three months before they could even see the tops of the mountains. If we remember that the water at its highest point was only fifteen cubits above the highest mountain, we find that it is taking nearly a year for the water level to drop just 22 feet or so. That is very slow indeed. This is especially difficult to comprehend when we see what's coming up soon.
As for the calender of sacred events, the Sacred Year, the first seven months, is past, and we now are well into the Civil Year. By our calender the tops of the mountains can be seen about the time you and I are opening our Christmas presents and counting the icicles on each other's nose.
6And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
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