Noah’s Ark (2 of 2)

Noah's ark 2

(Continued from yesterday)

4. What language did Noah speak then?
Gen 11:1 Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.
• Gen 11:6-7 The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”

The Bible did not say. We only know that the whole earth used the same language until the tower of Babel. When man became proud and want to be independent of God, He confused their language so they will not understand each other. Presumably the first language is close to Middle Eastern languages derived from it, but we just can’t be sure.

5. How did man change skin color?
Some feel simplistically that Shem was brown-skinned, Ham was dark-skinned, and Japheth was fair-skinned. But skin color is actually determined by the amount of the pigment melanin in the skin, which in turn is controlled by genes. Genes come in pairs of pairs. Let’s use the letters A, a, B, b to code the genes that produce melanin, with capital letters A, B representing dominant genes (dark color), and small letters a, b recessive genes (light color). A person carrying AABB genes (all dominant) will have very dark skin, while a person carrying aabb genes (all recessive) will have very light skin.

During reproduction one pair is contributed by each parent. If a person with AABB mates with a person with aabb and they produce a child, their offspring would have AaBb genes for medium or brown skin. If two people with AaBb genes got married and reproduced, their children’s genes could have different A, a, B, b combinations for a range of skin colors. So although all people came from Noah’s three sons, they could have a wide diversity of skin colors.

Noah’s Ark (1 of 2)

Noah's ark 7

Q. The children in my Sunday School class (grade 3 and 4) asked a few interesting questions during our lessons on Noah’s ark. Is there something you can suggest:
1. Did fish go into the Noah’s ark?
2. How did Noah know what is clean and what is unclean animals?
3. What did lions eat in Noah’s ark? Did they eat meat then?
4. What language did they speak at that time?
5. If all people came from Shem, Ham and Japheth, how did we change skin color?

A. These are interesting questions indeed, typically asked by children:

1. Did fish go into the Ark?
Gen 6:7 The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
• Gen 6:20 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.
• Gen 7:14 they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds.
• Gen 7:21 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;
• Gen 7:23 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.

My answer is “NO”. God told Noah He will blot out man, animals, beasts (wild), cattle (tame), creeping or swarming things (reptiles and insects), and birds, and asked him to bring two of every kind into the ark to preserve them. Fish was not mentioned as they can survive the Flood.

2. How did Noah know what’s clean versus unclean?
Gen 7:2 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;
• Gen 7:8-9 Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.

The rules distinguishing between clean from unclean animals, aquatic life, birds, insects were not given until later in Leviticus 11. So how did Noah know? I believe a clue can be found in:
Gen 4:4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;
Cain and Abel offered sacrifice way before Moses, so we can infer that God must have told man what animals and birds were clean and suitable for sacrifice.

3. Did lions eat meat in the Ark?
Gen 1:30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
• Gen 6:20-21 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.”
• Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.

No, they did not. Man and lions and all other carnivores ate green plant for food when they were first created. Noah was told to take some of all food which is edible i.e. green plants into the Ark for food for himself and for them i.e. animals and birds. The restriction to a vegetarian diet for man was lifted only after the Flood. Presumably that applied to carnivores at the same time.

(To be continued)

7 Pairs Clean Animals?

Gen 7 2-3 a

Q. In Noah’s ark, what if any is the significance of bringing 7 pairs of each clean animal vs. 1 pair of unclean animals? Was it for sacrificial purposes after the Flood and the lands dried?

A. Some interpret the “clean animal by sevens” as seven pairs; while others interpret it to mean three pairs plus one more male, since for the unclean “a male and his female” was counted as two:
Gen 7:2 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;

But whether 7 pairs or 7, there were two purposes:
For sacrificeGen 8:20 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.
For food
o Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.
o Lev 11:47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the edible creature and the creature which is not to be eaten.
The Jews ate only clean creatures (Acts 10:14)

Noah stayed in the ark was over a year:
Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.
• Gen 8:13-14 Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

If only one pair of every clean animal or clean bird were taken, and they had not reproduced during the year, their use as sacrifice or food would have meant the extinction of that kind of animal. The bringing of sevens, whether pairs or singles, eliminated that threat.