8 Jan. Genesis 7:11-24

8 Jan. God sends a catastrophic flood

"On the seventeenth day of the seventh month of that year the underground springs split open, and the clouds in the sky poured out rain. The rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights."

"On that same day Noah and his wife, his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives went into the boat. They had every kind of wild and tame animal, every kind of animal that crawls on the earth and every kind of bird."

"Every creature that had the breath of life came to Noah in the boat in groups of two. One male and one female of every living thing came, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD closed the door behind them."

"Water flooded the earth for 40 days, and as it rose it lifted the boat off the ground. The water continued to rise, and the boat floated on it above the earth."

"The water rose so much that even the highest mountains under the sky were covered by it. It continued to rise until it was more than 7 metres above the mountains."

"All living things that moved on the earth died. This included all the birds, tame animals, wild animals and creatures that swarm on the earth, as well as all human beings... All that was left was Noah and what was there with him in the boat."

"And the waters continued to cover the earth for 150 days."

          (Genesis 7:11-24)


After a long wait, the storm finally broke, and Noah and his family entered the boat God had told them to build, accompanied by a menagerie of living creatures.

Then it rained for forty days and forty nights. Noah and his family were saved by God because they followed his ways; but every other living creature outside the boat was drowned by the floodwaters.

The Bible describes ‘Noah’s Flood’ quite graphically in terms of a long torrential downpour with the floodwaters unable to percolate down into the saturated ground: “The underground springs split open, and the clouds in the sky poured out rain" (Genesis 7:11).

The rain fell continuously for forty days and forty nights and was supplemented by spring water coming up from the groundwater ‘reservoir’ beneath the earth (see the diagram featured on 1 Jan). The resulting floodwaters covered every piece of land in the Mesopotamian floodplain, and every living creature in the world known to Noah was drowned.

Flooding in Mesopotamia is not uncommon, and evidence for a catastrophic flood which wiped out most of the contemporary civilisation in the fourth millennium BC has been found during the archaeological excavation of several Sumerian cities including Ur and Eridu.

A catastrophic Mesopotamian flood in the fourth millennium BC is recorded not only in the Bible but also in earlier Sumerian and Babylonian epic poems. In the Atrahasis Epic, all human beings apart from Atrahasis and his family were destroyed by the storm.

In the Gilgamesh Epic, Utnapishtim was instructed by the god of water, Enki, to build a boat to ride out the floods. After seven days of rain, the flood overwhelmed the land, and when the occupants looked out across the vast sea, all was quiet.

The photo shows a small cuneiform tablet on display in the British Museum in London containing part of the text of the flood story from the Gilgamesh Epic.

You can read more about Noah and the flood @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/23-the-journeys-of-adam-enoch-noah-abraham/noah-journeys-to-aratta-on-the-flood/

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