In The Beginning, Part 11
Genesis 6:18-21 says,
But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.
Genesis 7:1-3 says,
Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.”
Why the discrepancy? In Genesis 6, God was speaking in general about every animal, bringing them two by two; but in Genesis 7, God was speaking about how the clean animals should be gathered by sevens, because the clean animals were for sacrifices. Again we see that the people had to have had some knowledge of the sacrificial laws.
But what about these animals? How did every kind of animal know to come?
It is believed that there were 35,000 species of animals on the ark. A study done by the University of Leicester calculated that according to the dimensions of the ark, it could hold 70,000 animals. It would seem impossible for Noah to gather so many animals. The rabbis believed that God sent angels to gather together the animals. The Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer preserves this tradition:
Noah said to the Holy One, blessed be He: “Sovereign of all the world! Have I then the strength to collect them unto me to the ark?” The angels appointed over each kind went down and gathered them, and with them all their food unto him to the ark.
I have my own theory, and that is this: when we read about Eden, we know that God brought every animal before Adam to name, so we know that every animal lived in the garden. When Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, the Scriptures never say anything about the animals. Could it be that these same animals were the animals that came to Noah? The mystery behind the Garden of Eden is not fully understood. We know that there could not have been time like the rest of the world in the garden, and we see that most likely there was no death in the garden, so these would have been the same animals that Adam and Eve lived among. If the garden was in Israel (Jerusalem), then it would have been straight across from where the ark was. God’s angels could have led these animals right to Noah.
The docile behavior of the animals on the ark is a glimpse of the peace which will be normal in the Messianic Age. As it says in Isaiah 11:6, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” This is what happened on the ark, and this is how it will be once again when Yeshua returns and establishes His Kingdom.
So, this causes us to question: if Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day, and then God rested on the seventh day, and if a day is like a thousand years to God, then we must assume that there was no time in the garden—at least not like we know it, because when Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden they would have been over one-thousand years old when they left Eden, and Adam would have been almost two-thousand years old when he died. But if while they were in the garden there were people living outside of the garden, where life was going on normally from the sixth day of creation, then that would change a lot of our thinking.
Or maybe before the flood, time was different. We know time as sixty seconds equals a minute, and sixty minutes equals an hour, and twenty-four hours equals a day—but was it always this way? We do know that the earth’s orbit has changed over time. The gravitational pull of the planets, like Jupiter, Mars and Venus, has affected the earth. We have had shifting and axial tilts and we have gone from circular to elliptical paths over the millennia. We also know that the planets themselves have moved over the history of creation. We also know that moons have come and gone, or even were added over time. We know that when the flood came, it came with such a violent eruption of the earth’s core, and the dome that was covering the earth was all broken up.
Hosea writes this in Hosea 9:5-6:
The Lord God of hosts, the One who touches the land so that it melts, and all those who dwell in it mourn, and all of it rises up like the Nile and subsides like the Nile of Egypt; the One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens and has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth, the Lord is His name.
It was this dome over the earth that was broken, and that allowed the rain to pour out over the earth.
And again in Psalm 18:11, “He made darkness His covering, His canopy around Him, thick clouds dark with water.” Some creation scientists believe that this dome was a vapor or ice canopy that collapsed during the flood, becoming another source of the water which covered the earth.
You must ask yourself: if the planets all shifted during the flood, could the water that was in the universe be the rain that fell to earth?
Let’s look at other scriptures that tell us about God when He is angry. Psalm 18:3-18 says,
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me, and the torrents of ungodliness terrified me. The cords of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears. Then the earth shook and quaked; and the foundations of the mountains were trembling and were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went up out of His nostrils, and fire from His mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet. He rode upon a cherub and flew; and He sped upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, hailstones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered His voice, hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, and lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them. Then the channels of water appeared, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at Your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils. He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my stay.
Matthew 27: 50-54 tells us what happened when Yeshua died.
And Yeshua cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Yeshua, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Genesis 7:17-24 goes on to say,
Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.
The earth was now going through a death like none other. But in that ark, we see something—we see now Noah and his wife, who were like Adam and Eve, and the ark, like the Garden of Eden with all the animals around them. But also, instead of Cain and Abel and Seth who continued on after the garden, we now see Shem, Ham, and Japheth who continue on after the flood. Through the flood, God recreated as He had created in the beginning., as Genesis 1:2 tells us that there was chaos and the water covered the earth.
Genesis 8:1-5 continues,
But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. The water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.
We see another time when people were in a boat and a storm came up. Mark 4:35-41 tells us:
On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Yeshua Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
Do you think that there may have been times when Noah felt this way?
In our times of trials and tribulations, God provides an ark of safety for us, as Psalm 91:1-4 tells us,
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
Isaiah 43:2-5a says,
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you.
Psalm 93 reminds us that God is in control.
The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice, the floods lift up their pounding waves. More than the sounds of many waters, than the mighty breakers of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty. Your testimonies are fully confirmed; holiness befits Your house, O Lord, forevermore.
The ark was also a sukkah. The word sukkah is translated as “tabernacle” or “a booth,” a temporary dwelling. The people in the wilderness lived in booths (tents), sukkahs. We see that at the time of the flood it rained forty days and forty nights. We also see that Moses ascended Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights when he received the Ten Commandments the second time. This happened after the sin of the golden calf when Moses broke the tablets in anger. The people needed atonement for this sin, and Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. Today we prepare forty days before Yom Kippur. This represents those days Moses spent on Mount Sinai and his descending with the second set of tablets, representing God’s forgiveness and a second chance.
In the days of the flood, those who were in that ark—that sukkah, that temporary dwelling—were also receiving forgiveness and a second chance. The festival Sukkot follows those days to represent God’s faithfulness, His protection in the wilderness, and His provisions. Right after Moses came down the mountain, they began to build the Tabernacle (mishkan). The sukkah reminds us of the clouds of God’s glory that surrounded Israel on their journey to the Promised Land. The ark was also covered by clouds, but in those clouds came the glory of God.
The clouds also represent the chuppah, the wedding canopy. Isaiah writes in Isaiah 4:5-6,
Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
We know that the ark was a shelter. We also know that a wedding is a making of a covenant. We see that God also makes a covenant with Noah, because now he and his family will continue what God had started with His creation.
Genesis 9:8-11 says,
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish My covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
Every covenant has a sign. In a marriage it is a ring. So too with this covenant, as Genesis 9:12-17 says,
God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
2 Samuel 22:10-17 says,
He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under His feet. He rode on a cherub and flew; He was seen on the wings of the wind. He made darkness around Him His canopy, thick clouds, a gathering of water. Out of the brightness before Him coals of fire flamed forth. The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice. And He sent out arrows and scattered them; lightning, and routed them. Then the channels of the sea were seen; the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of His nostrils. He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
Like the cloud, the rain also represented the feast of Sukkot. The rain represented the Holy Spirit. We saw at the time of creation that the Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters. During the Sukkot, there was a ceremony called “the drawing out of water,” or “the water-drawing ceremony.” In the Talmud, we read, “Why is the name of it called the drawing out of water? Because of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, according to what is said, ‘With joy shall ye draw out the wells of salvation.’”
Sukkot teaches us that in the Messianic Era, the earth will experience the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Joel 2:23 tells us this, “So rejoice, O sons of Zion, and be glad in the Lord your God; for He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before.”
Isaiah 12:3 tells us, “Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.”
We see Yeshua coming to the feast on the last day. This day is called the Great Hosanna or Hoshana Rabbah, the Great Salvation. How appropriate that Yeshua, our Great Salvation, should come on this day—Yeshua, who had this conversation with the woman in John 4:7-14:
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Yeshua said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Yeshua answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” Yeshua answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
Another significance of Sukkot is that it is considered the true time of the birth of Yeshua.
When Noah entered the ark of salvation and the clouds came and poured out the rain of the Holy Spirit, God, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit were there in this remaking of His creation.
Sukkot is also called the Feast of the Ingathering. We see that this is what God did. He gathered up His remnant, including all of the animals. One day God will again gather up His people. Hosea 6:3 tells us this, “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.”
Genesis 8:6-12 continues,
Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.
The earth was now in its rebirth, and we see once again the symbol of the Holy Spirit hovering over the waters. But the earth never returned to its original state.
Genesis 8:20-22 continues,
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”The earth had its mikvah, and it had its rebirth, and God now shows mercy upon the earth. He makes a covenant with Noah that is still in effect today, because God is a covenant-keeping God. He keeps His word to man.