Genesis: God’s Book of Beginnings (7)


In Genesis 7 God gave Noah a final seven-day warning that the flood was to begin. Noah was to act immediately for the safety of his family and the required quota of animals. The date is stated as the 600th year of Noah’s life and down to the very day of his life which enables us to determine the exact time he and his family spent inside the ark.

While there were 40 days of rain (Genesis 7:12), and the waters covered the earth for 150 days (Genesis 7:23), there was a total of one year and ten days spent in the ark (Genesis 8:14). Only Noah and his family entered the ark, eight souls in all. The whole earth, even every high hill was covered with water by a depth of 15 cubits (Genesis 7:20). The record is clear that all land creatures outside the ark died. That included man, land creatures, and birds. The fate of fish and other aquatic animals is not mentioned.

Key verse:
“In 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” (Genesis 7:11).

This verse records that, along with unprecedented rainfall, the world was “broken up.” This implies deep fracturing of the earth’s crust accompanied by earth movements, volcanic eruptions, and devastating earthquakes. It is surmised that these gigantic forces of destruction account for the global geologic formations evident today. When we look at rock-faced mountains with multiple layers of sedimentary rock containing immense numbers of fossilized trees, large and small animals, and fish, we must think of God’s judgment upon the earth.

Observations on this chapter

1. The animals went into the ark two by two, but there were more than single pairs.

The clean animals and birds which were for food and for sacrifice were brought on board in pairs of seven. This was God’s plan to sustain their species and provide for sacrifices (Genesis 8:20) and for food (Genesis 9:3). It is possible that due to a loss in vegetation and a harsher climate, God allowed men to eat meat to survive. Because verse 15 says they went in “two and two”, we must reject the idea that they went in by sevens forming three pairs with one extra for sacrifice.

2. The animals were brought to the ark by God.

The record shows that they came to the ark and went in of their own accord. Note: “They went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two…” (Genesis 7:14-15). Noah did not need to hunt for them, nor drive the animals into the ark.

3. The numbers of animals, birds, and creeping things were limited to their “kind.”

When you consider the difference between “kind,” which means species, and variety, out of one pair of animals come many varieties. So, all varieties of dogs were not in the ark. This applies to cattle, sheep, and all species of animals. New varieties of the same species are developing in the world to this day. If we work backward in time and eliminate all the varieties of one species, we would come to a much smaller number of animals that would have entered Noah’s ark.

4. The maintenance of animals in the ark could have been eased by hibernation.

Some animals hibernate naturally, and some enter a hibernation when in an enclosed area. It is possible that many hibernated during their one year and ten days in the Ark.

5. The Genesis record thoroughly declares the world-wide nature of the flood.

a. As stated in a warning to Noah, “…and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth” (Genesis 7:4)

b. In the reference to the height of the waters so that “all the high hills that were under the heaven were covered” (Genesis 7:19)

c. In the statement, “The waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth” (Genesis 7:19) which means that the waters triumphed over the cursed earth and all its rebellion to God.

d. In the clear statement, “And all flesh died…” etc. (Genesis 7:21-23)

e. In the clear statement that limits survivors of the flood to Noah and those in the ark (Genesis 7:23). To adopt any view other than a world-wide flood resulting in death to all men and animals, except those in the ark, is to blatantly deny the clear statements of Scripture. To explain away the world-wide nature of the flood requires the reader to reject the deliberate emphasis of the Genesis record upon the world-wide nature of the flood as God’s judgment upon all flesh.

6. The extent of destruction that acted upon the former earth’s appearance is revealed in the words, “The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up” (Genesis 7:11).

During the flood large cracks or fissures must have opened unlike anything we see today. Afterwards, seas formed from water flowing into them as mountains rose creating dry land. We live in a vastly different world from the old world before Noah’s flood.


There are gospel lessons in the history of Noah and the flood.

  • God’s sovereignty is seen in graciously choosing Noah and his family.
  • God’s longsuffering to the wicked is seen in His granting 100 years to build the ark and for raising up Noah as a preacher of righteousness to warn sinners. It is also seen in the final seven days of grace given before God shut the door of the ark.
  • God’s drawing animals into the ark parallels with God’s gracious but effectual drawing power exerted on sinners to leave their sins and seek salvation.
  • There was one ark with one door, so there is one Savior from sin and He is the one and only door by which sinners must enter heaven.
  • The safety of the ark during the turbulent waters pictures the care the Lord takes of the souls of His redeemed people. All who are in Christ are kept by the power of God (1 Peter 1:5).
  • Judgment upon the wicked is not inconsistent with the character of a good and gracious God. His wrath is justified. His justice allows for no tolerance of sin. All who are out of Christ are under the judgment of God every day. This incident of God judging the pre-flood world is good grounds to warn men of the judgment to come upon the present world of sinners who defy God and reject His Son.

Things to do in light of this study

  • Look for evidence of the global flood in stratified rocks. There is clear evidence of layers of differing types of rock in mountains.
  • Look for igneous rocks—the kind used for landscaping, which are the result of volcanic activity spewing out magma (but wait till they cool!).
  • Look for traces of animals, fish, and vegetation, etc. that have been fossilized in rock.
  • Check out to learn of fossils being made in days, not years, and certainly not billions of years.

Remember that the massive supplies of oil, coal, and natural gas we enjoy today are a result of vegetation that was rapidly buried in layers of rock. Decide whether you will take your stand for a young Earth, or become an evolutionist who denies the global flood and God’s judgment upon the “old world” of Noah’s time.

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By Ian Goligher

Rev. Ian Goligher is the pastor of Cloverdale FPC, Vancouver, BC. He was Editor of Current from 2014 to 2019.