The Orthodox Pages



Part 3

17th October 2013




















































































































































































































Continuing our study of the Holy Bible, last week we finished with Adam's fall and exile from Paradise. The next chapter deals with the immediate descendants of Adam and Eve and how the consequences of the fall continue to plunge man deeper and deeper into sin.
Chapter four begins: "Now Adam knew Eva his wife, and she conceived and bare Cain and said, I have gotten a man through God." Only after the exile from Paradise did sexual relations between Adam and Eve begin. Before this they lived an angelic life. The first chapter tells us that when God created them male and female he blessed them, saying, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth. This was said in anticipation of the fall. God knew the risk of creating Adam with a free will and foresaw that he would fall into sin and death. Thus from the very beginning God pronounced the plan of salvation that would allow Adam to re-unite with him. This plan was the process of regeneration, "the increase and multiply" which through children, Adam or Adam's nature would continue to live until the plan of salvation should be fulfilled with the coming of Christ.
We saw that the first chapter was a chronological order of creation without specific details. Chapter two came and supplemented this general outline of creation telling us how Adam was created and why and how Eve was fashioned from Adam's rib. Now in chapter four, after the fall, we are given the supplementary details of the "Increase and multiply" Thus Adam did not know Eve in the biblical sense while still in Paradise as many would say and because of this was exiled from Paradise. This we also understand from Eve's words: "I have gotten a man through God." She could have said I have gotten a man through my husband Adam, but seeing the beautiful creation she brought forth with much pain and labour, she had in mind the promise God made to her of a future saviour and rejoiced greatly. She had in mind God's commandment to Increase and multiply, thus it was through God because he foreordained and made possible the Increase and multiply.
Immediately after giving birth to Cain, Eve also gave birth to his brother Abel. We are not told of another pregnancy so it is possible that Cain and Abel were twins. Twins may look the same but differ in characters often being the complete opposite of each other. This is verified by the next line: "And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the earth."
Taking for granted that we understand that the boys are now fully grown men, they may even be well over a hundred years old, Genesis then proceeds to tell us about offerings of sacrifice. "And after some days it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruits of the earth a sacrifice unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his sheep and of his fatlings. And God looked upon Abel and upon his gifts, but upon Cain and upon his sacrifices He did not regard. And Cain was exceeding sorrowful, and his countenance fell." This is probably not the first time the brother's offered up sacrifices to God. God would have taught Adam to offer visible gifts to him after the fall as an expression of Adam's awareness of dependency towards him, a form of worship, repentance, loyalty and gratitude to God and through this form of sacrifice, for Adam to see the symbolism and pre-figuration of the promised future saviour and be reconciled to God. Adam would have taught his children from a young age to do the same. Thus the sacrifice mentioned here is not the first but rather the sacrifice where we see a difference in the attitude between the two brothers which was the cause that led to Cain killing Abel.
We are not told in clear terms why God accepted Abel's offering and why he rejected Cain's but it wasn't because God had a preference to burnt meat. Both brothers brought of the work of their hands but whereas Abel offered to God of the very best of his flock, Cain probably kept the best of his harvest for himself and offered to God the second best. We can deduce this meaning from what God tells Cain: you would not have sinned if you offered it rightly but you didn't divide it rightly. Another reason why God rejected Cain's offering is because he did not offer it with faith. Paul tells us in Hebrews that by faith Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain.
God would have shown his acceptance of an offering by sending down fire to consume it as we read many times in other books of the Old Testament. Seeing Abel's offering consumed with fire and not his own, Cain became very sorrowful and sulked. God explains to him why he rejected his offering, not to reprimand him, but to help him see the error of his way and repent. God was willing to forgive him if he repented for his sin and to help soften his heart, he reminds him that, because he is the firstborn, he is favoured above Abel who will be submissive to him and he will rule over him. Cain closes his ears to what God has to say and clouded with envy has other plans. He tells Abel to go with him for a walk into the plain and once there "he rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
Then God said unto Cain, "Where is Abel thy brother? and he said, I know not: am I my brother’s keeper?" God does not ask Cain where his brother is to learn where he is, in his mercy God is giving Cain another chance to repent even after the grave sin of murder, but Cain not only does not accept the opportunity, he lies on top of the sin of murder by telling God: how should I know where he is "am I my brother's keeper?"
Seeing that Cain is unrepentant and that there is still no judge upon the earth to pass sentence God himself takes the role of judge to avenge the crime committed against righteous Abel. He confronts Cain with the crime he has committed and passes sentence: "now art thou cursed from the earth" When Adam sinned, God cursed the earth, because Adam himself was blessed with the divine breath. But now because of the frightful crime of murder followed by lying and insolence, the sinner himself is punished. His punishment is threefold. Firstly he is cursed and exiled from the land which received the blood of his brother Abel. Secondly when he tills the earth it will not produce quality goods because the earth will withhold her strength and thirdly Cain will be groaning and trembling upon the earth. The KJB says a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

He will be groaning because he will live a life of roaming from place to place and he will be trembling because he will live in fear lest one of his brothers or descendants decides to take revenge and seek him out to kill him. Hearing his sentence, Cain says to the Lord: "My crime is too great for me to be forgiven. If Thou castest me out this day from the face of the earth, then shall I be hid from Thy face: and I shall be groaning and trembling upon the earth; and it shall come to pass, that any one that findeth me shall slay me." Cain's worst hell is that he will he hid from the face of God meaning that he will be totally separated from him: Cain will no longer be under God's protection, but his only real fear is that he will be killed. God reassures him that no one will kill him and anyone who would slay him will receive a punishment seven times more harsh than Cain's punishment. "And the Lord God set a mark upon Cain, that none finding him should kill him." What this mark was we cannot say. It may not even be a mark, because the Greek word translated as mark is usually interpreted as a sign and could be simply that God gave Cain a sign of reassurance that on one would kill him. It is unlikely that God branded him with a mark on his forehead or changed his skin colour to black as some interpreters suggest.
So having been banished from his parent's homeland which was near to the entrance of Paradise, and from the presence of God, Cain came and dwelt in the land called Naid (Nod). We are then told that "Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch. And he builded a city, and he called the city after the name of his son, Enoch." Did Cain find his wife in Naid and where did she come from? If we read the bible only as a historical book and take the chronological order of events in the literal sense then we are justified in thinking that God created many Adam and Eves. There are many historical facts in the Bible, but its main purpose is not to give us a historical record, but to reveal to us God's plan of Salvation. Thus Genesis only gives us the names of people that have a role to play in this plan of salvation.

As we shall see next the line of salvation is taken up by Adam's son Seth who was born when Adam was 230 years old. If Cain and Abel were born just after Adam and Eve were exiled from Paradise, did they not have other children until more than two hundred years had passed? It seems very unlikely. They would have had many children between the firstborn mentioned and Seth, but they are not mentioned because they do not play a direct role in the plan of salvation. Up to when Seth was born, Adam and Eve probably had great, great, great grandchildren and probably even more descendants if we take into account that each generation is 25-30 years. We don't know how long after Abel was murdered that Seth was born, but it couldn't have been many years cause Eve says that "God hath raised up to me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." If that is the case then Abel was more than two hundred years old when he was murdered. Both he and Cain would have taken one of their sisters as a wife a great many years before and would probably be themselves great, great, great grandfathers. Thus when Cain was banished from the land of his parents, he left with all his household which included his wife, children, grandchildren and other descendants.
When it says "Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch. And he builded a city, and he called the city after the name of his son, Enoch" it does not mean that Cain knew his wife for the first time, but that Enoch was born in the land of Naid and through his line we are given the genealogy of the people no longer under God's protection. They are not of the line of salvation, but are mentioned so that we can understand later events that lead to the flood. With Cain's son Enoch we have the first mention of a city. We should not understand city by today's standards like London or New York. Cain was a wanderer and this city refers to a permanent dwelling place. It probably consisted of a few huts surrounded by a strong protective wall made of large stones to protect them from wide animals and from anyone who wanted to take revenge on Cain for the death of Abel. As Cain's descendants increased so would the city.

Cain's genealogy ends with Lamech and his children. Lamech is the first in the Bible who practiced polygamy: he took two wives. He is also mentioned as having killed someone as did his ancestor Cain. From his first wife Ada we are given the information that one son was the father of the nomadic life that moved around living in tents to feed their cattle. The other son mentioned from the same wife was the inventor of the harp and composed poems and psalms which he put to music. From his second wife he bore a son who was a forger of brass and iron. A daughter is also mentioned who according to Hebrew tradition invented spinning and weaving. Thus from Lamech's children we have the first signs of civilization. The purpose of this genealogy from Cain is to show the evil line of men who came to be known as the sons of men as opposed to the genealogy from Seth who were known as the sons of God. This is verified by the last two verses of this chapter. "Now Adam knew Eva his wife; and she conceived, and bare a son, and called his name Seth, saying, For God hath raised up to me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. And to Seth there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: he hoped to call upon the name of the Lord God." Seth is chosen as the line of salvation and his son Enos, we are told, hoped to call upon the name of the Lord God. Worship to God existed before Enos so why is it mentioned here. It probably refers to the first public and group worship making Enos the first founder of the church. It also gives emphasis to his father's piety because even though he was not the firstborn, through faith and piety he became the patriarch of the genealogical line from which Christ would come as opposed to the generations of Cain who were evil and godless.
Chapter five begins with a summary of man's creation followed with the genealogical line of Christ's ancestors from Adam to Noah and his sons. For each name in the salvation line we are given how old the father was when he had the son and how old he was when he died. Thus Adam lived two hundred and thirty years, and begat a son after his own likeness and after his image, and called his name Seth. And the days of Adam that he lived after he had begotten Seth were seven hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters. Notice that Seth was not made according to the image and likeness of God like Adam was. He was made according to the likeness and image of fallen Adam.

The genealogical line is straightforward and only one name needs a special mention: Noah's great-grandfather Enoch. Two things are mentioned about Enoch: the first that he was 165 years old when he begat Methuselah: "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters." Enoch only began to walk with God after he begat Methuselah at the age of hundred and sixty five. We can assume then that after Seth's son Enos, who called upon the name of the Lord, people began to distance themselves from God and began to live evil and wicked lives. Enoch lived like everyone else of his generation until suddenly after the birth of his son Methuselah he began walking with God. So the birth of his son stirred something in Enoch's heart which means he seriously repented and pleased God with his repentance. The second thing mentioned about Enoch is that he didn't die. And Enoch was well pleasing to God after he begat Methuselah for two hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty and five years. And Enoch was well pleasing to God, and he was not found, for God translated him. Both Jews and Christians believe that Enoch's death was postponed and he was taken bodily to heaven until God returns him to earth to finish his earthly course. St. Paul writing to the Hebrews verifies this belief saying: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." (Hebrews 11:5) If you remember last season in our talks on Revelation, we saw that Enoch and the prophet Elias who also was taken up to heaven bodily without dying, are to return to earth in the last days as the two prophets who will point out the antichrist, suffer martyrdom, die and then resurrect unto eternal life.
Chapter four gave us the genealogy of Cain and Chapter five gave us the genealogy of Seth. Now because Cain was cursed from the face of the earth and banished from the presence of God, it was forbidden to Seth and his family to have any contact with the family of Cain and any intermarrying of the two lines would be seen as a grave sin. Up until Noah’s time the races that descended from the Sons of Adam, Cain and Seth, lived separately. Those who descended from Righteous Seth were considered sons of God because they lived somewhat piously and those from Cain who killed his own brother were called sons of men because they had totally abandoned God. Seth’s descendants were by no means all righteous, but neither were they cursed. The Bible tells us that at some point during Noah’s time, there began to be a mixing of these two races, the good and the bad. "And it came to pass when men began to be many on the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took unto them wives of all which they chose."
As already said this mixing of the two races was forbidden by God and as a first punishment the Lord said: My Spirit shall not abide in these men for ever, for they are flesh; but their days shall be an hundred and twenty years. So here we have a drastic reduction in man’s lifespan, which was in fact not to punish him but to make him aware that death will come and that he should repent and change his ways. Up until then the average life span was over 900 years, Adam lived 930 years, Seth 912, Enos 905, Cainan 910 and Methuselah the longest living man with 969 years. By living nearly a thousand years men probably thought that they were almost immortal, but now with only 100 or 120 years of life, death would approach must sooner forcing man to remember death and turn to God for salvation.
We are then told that "there were giants in the earth in those days; and after that when the sons of God went in unto the daughters of men, they bare children to them: those were the giants of old, the men of renown." Now as a result of this mixing of the good and bad bloods, a deformity could have developed that would account for their children to become oversized but Genesis doesn’t actually say this. In fact it says that there were already giants on the earth before the mixing of the two lines, but by the mixing of the two races of Seth and Cain their numbers were increased. This is not unfeasible if we consider that after the fall man is in a state of death and death acts on the human body by deteriorating human nature. This deterioration is expressed with various illnesses and diseases; they are the consequences of the fall and with sin upon sin the deterioration continues. Even today there are giants which medical science recognizes as a rare disorder of the growth hormone and is called Gigantism.
But let's take this from the beginning of the chapter because many modern western scholars believe that Chapter six of Genesis refers to the fall of the angels and that they came down to earth and took for themselves wives from the daughters of men and as a result the offspring were giants that roamed the earth. The sons of God they say refers to the fallen angels because elsewhere in the Old Testament angels are referred to as the sons of God for example it says in the Book of Job: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” (Job 1:6 KJV) This is from the KJB but in the Septuagint version the quote from Job does not read “the sons of God came to present themselves” but “the angels of God” The only other example of “sons of God” meaning angels is from Daniel where king Nebuchadnezzar looks into the fiery furnace and sees four men and says that “the appearance of the fourth is like the son of God.” Here indeed the son of God means an angel of God, but we cannot take this as proof that the “sons of God in Genesis also refers to angels. Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian king and in their mythology the Babylonians believed in many gods and sons of gods. Angels were also worshiped as the offspring of the gods so it was quite natural for Nebuchadnezzar to call an angel the son of god. But even if we accept the Masoretic text for Job where it has sons of God for angels of God, there are also other Old Testament quotes that call men the sons of God: “Ye are the sons of the living God.” (Hosea 1:10)
The Old Testament can only be interpreted in the light of the New Testament so let’s see who the New Testament calls the sons of God or children of God.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12); “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14); “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:16); “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” and “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (1 John 3: 1-2); “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matt. 5:9); “Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:36); “And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” (John 11:52).
There are many more passages we can quote, but I think these more than show that scripture calls men the sons of God, but not all men in general; only those who believe in Jesus Christ and who have God as their Father have the right to be called the sons of God. The passage from Romans clearly defines who the sons of God are: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Thus both angels and men who are led by the spirit of God are children of God. The sons of God in chapter six of Genesis cannot therefore refer to fallen angels because fallen angels are no longer led by the Spirit of God and thus have lost every right to be called sons of God, certainly Moses or other writers of the Old Testament would not have referred to them as such. The passage from Job which is used to support this ridiculous theory clearly shows that Satan is no more included in the “sons of God” and has to give an account of how he came to be among the assembly of the angels. If Satan is not included as a son of God then neither are his followers. If his followers are not included in the statement “sons of God”, then the “sons of God” that came unto the daughters of men were not fallen angels.
We do not know when the angels were created although it is believed that they were created at the same time as heaven. Certainly it was before God created the stars because it says in the Book of Job: “When the stars were made, all Mine angels praised Me with a loud voice.” (Job 38:7) The fall of Lucifer and a great number of angels that followed him happened before the fall of man otherwise Satan would not have been in the Paradise of Edem slandering God to tempt Eve to also rebel against God. Orthodox tradition says that when the angels fell the Archangel Michael gathered all the ranks of the angels and cried aloud: “Let us stand upright, let us stand with fear” and from that time the angels remained steadfast in their loyalty and obedience to the will of God and with a special grace of God have remained steadfast in holiness and goodness and can no more fall into sin. The fall of the angels happened before the fall of man: there was not a separate fall of Lucifer and then at a later stage, many years after the fall of man, another fall of the angels.
The belief in this ludicrous story is not something new; it has its roots in the Apocryphal Book of Enoch. In this book it says: “And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.” The story continues with how two hundred fallen angels, lead by Semjâzâ, came down to earth on the summit of Mount Hermon “and took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them… And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells (450feet). These super creatures of half angel half man were the result of the mixing of the fallen angels’ DNA with the genes of human beings. These giants caused havoc on earth and began to devour mankind. The reason for the flood was according to the Book of Enoch to rid the earth of these fantastical gigantic creatures.
Giants certainly means people taller than the average but the 450 feet giants from the Book of Enoch is far fetched and pure fantasy. Goliath was considered a giant and he was according to the Septuagint version 4 cubits and a span, in other words 4˝ cubits, but according to the King James 6 ˝ cubits. The Hebrews had two cubit measurements, the common cubit which is 0.45m and the royal cubit which is 0.525m. If we assume that we are given the common cubit for Goliath’s height, he was 2.025m or 6ft 7˝ins according to the Septuagint and 2.92m or 9ft 7ins according to the King James. If we take the Septuagint measurement as correct then it’s not something that seems too incredible, there are many men today that are more than 6˝ ft and would seem like giants in comparison to Middle Eastern men.
If angels are only spirit can they have a bodily DNA? We know from scripture that angels have appeared to men in bodily form but they cannot take on the form of man without permission from God. Angels have no bodies and so have no desire for sexual activities and cannot multiply. When we show those in favour of the fallen angel story that Christ said “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matth. 22:29-30) they reply that Jesus compared men in heaven to angels in heaven. Neither men nor angels are said to be sexless in heaven but we are told that in heaven there will be no marriage. This does not rule out that on earth angels cannot engage in sexual activities just like men, in other words, if they are capable of performing human functions like eating, drinking, walking and talking then they are even capable of sexual activity and fathering children. To such stupidity we can only answer as Christ did “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matt. 22: 29) Angels can appear as men and can appear to men to be able of human activities, but it doesn’t mean that they actually engage in them. In the Book of Tobit where the angel Raphael accompanied Tobit for many days it says: “All these days did I appear unto you; but I did neither eat nor drink, but ye did see a vision.” (Tobit 12:19) Raphael had no desire or need for food or drink because he did not have a true body to sustain. For the same reason angels do not have sexual desires because they were not created with bodily functions for this purpose: they were not created like men to be “fruitful and multiply.”
Thus the “sons of God” in Genesis does not refer to fallen angels but to men. It could simply be that the “sons of God and the daughters of men” are terms used in keeping with the Genesis account of the origin of men and women. The first is used of males because Adam originated from God breathing life into him and the latter is used of females because God created Eve from man. Those in favour of this explanation support it with a quote from St. Paul: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.” (I Cor. 11:7) This simple explanation is feasible but it does not take into account that chapter 6 is not unconnected to the previous chapters: as we have already seen, both chapters 4 and 5 prepare the ground for chapter 6.
The only logical explanation of the "sons of God and the daughters of men" is that it refers to the two families descending from Seth and Cain, which is supported by the previous chapters of Genesis. In chapter four we are told how Adam’s son Cain killed his brother Abel. As punishment he was cursed from the earth and banished from the presence of God and dwelt in the land of Naid. In other words Cain’s sin had lost him the right to be called a son of God and was no more “lead by the Spirit of God.” The Chapter then gives us Cain’s genealogy – the genealogy of the family line that were not “led by the Spirit of God and who where not recognized as children of God. Chapter five then gives us Adam’s genealogy through his son Seth until Noah and his sons. In comparison to the previous genealogy this is now the genealogy of the sons of God through whom would descent the Messiah.
As a first punishment of this mixing of the descendants of Cain with the descendants of Seth, God punished man by drastically reducing his lifespan from almost a thousand years to just over a hundred. This is only for the period before the flood because after the flood again we have men living over four, five and six hundred years.
The descendants of Cain, as already said, were cursed, but now even the descendants of Seth, who were the chosen line of salvation, had fallen away from God. Their action of taking as wives the daughters of Cain shows that they had lost all sense of spirituality and God's commandments and their only concern was the lusts of the body. Even with the drastic reduction in man's lifespan, people did not repent, but continued to live ungodly lives.
Genesis continues telling us that "the Lord God saw that the wickedness of men was multiplied upon the earth, and that every one in his heart thinketh diligently upon evil all the days. And God considered that He had made man on the earth, and He thought upon it. And God said, I will blot out man whom I have made from the face of the earth, from man to cattle, and from creeping things to fowls of the heaven; for it repenteth Me that I have made them." Here God decides to destroy everything he has created, but one man, Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and was well pleasing to God. Thus God plans to save Noah and his family by having him build an ark that would house and protect them from the forthcoming flood, together with the animals that God would specify so that the world could have a second chance.
We saw in the introduction talk that archaeology has proven that the flood was an actual event so there is no need today to repeat what has already been given as proof of the historical fact. But the flood does open up certain questions like why did God destroy the animals along with man and was the flood local or universal?
The question concerning the animals can be answered very simply. The world and everything in it, the plants and animals were created for man. If man is to be destroyed then there is no reason for the animals to exist. The second question on whether the flood was local or universal depends on how we interpret the Biblical passages. Interpreted literally it would mean a universal flood covering the whole earth. But the Bible often uses a language that literally means everywhere, but in reality means from many places. For example, in Acts we read: "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." What it really means is that there were Jews in Jerusalem from every nation where Jews lived. In Genesis we read of the famine during the time of Joseph: "And the famine was over all the face of the earth." The famine affected a very large area, probably Africa and the Middle East and maybe parts of Europe, but its very unlikely that it refers to all the continents.
So how should we understand the extent of the flood? Up until now we saw that the Bible was concerned with two sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Seth. Of these descended the family lines of the Cainites and the Sethites. Adam and Eve had many more children, but the Bible remains silent of their family lines and just concentrates on the ancestors of the chosen people of God. Thus the flood is aimed against the two lines stemming from Cain and Seth and not against the whole human race. In the eyes of the author of Genesis these two races were mankind, and especially the line of Seth who was the chosen line for the people of God and the ancestor of the Messiah, the saviour of mankind. But it is logical to say that there were other races from Adams other children who travelled far from Armenia and the Middle East area to places beyond the Mediterranean and Northern Africa. It is possible then that the flood did not cover all the earth but only the lands in which dwelt the descendants of Cain and Seth.

The building of the ark took about 100 years and during this time Noah preached repentance, for as the Apostle Peter tells us, he was "a preacher of righteousness." (2 Peter 2:5) Noah's preaching was in vain because no one believed him, but as we will see much later in the story of Jonah and the Ninevites, that through repentance the people of Nineveh were spared from certain death. Thus in Biblical terms God does change his mind if people also change from their evil ways. Those who heard of Noah's preaching were given the opportunity to repent, but what of those races that were in distance lands, it is impossible to assume that they also heard of Noah's warning: they were not given the same opportunity so it is fair to assume that the flood did not reach their lands and they were not destroyed. Of course we must also understand that a local or partial flood goes against the tradition of the Church which unanimously accepts that it was a universal flood covering all the earth. In favour of a universal flood is the argument that if the flood was only partial then there would have been no reason to build the ark for Noah and his family's salvation. God could simply have had them move to another location that would not be affected by the flood. In answer to this, those in favour of a partial flood can answer that the ark also had an educational meaning, because in the long period of time it took to build it, people continually saw its construction which accentuated Noah's preaching of repentance towards them.
I mentioned that the ark took about 100 years to be constructed. We arrive at this conclusion because in the previous chapter dealing with the genealogy we are told that Noah was five hundred years old when he had his three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth and when he entered the ark he was six hundred years old. The dimensions of the ark were 300x50x30 cubits. As mentioned earlier, there were two measurements for the Hebrew cubit. The common cubit was just under half a metre and the royal cubit which was just over. For simplicity if we calculate it as half a metre, then the ark was 150m long by 25 metres wide and 15metres in height. There were three floors, a ground level, a second and third level which were divided into many compartments to house the various animals, to store the food and the family living quarters.
So with the ark ready how did Noah collect all the animals? The animals must have come miraculously by God's calling in the same way as they came to Adam so that he could name them. But now we may ask how did all the various animals fit into the ark? If we accept the argument that the flood was only partial, then the answer is that only the local animals from the flooded areas entered the ark.
It is generally understood that the animals came two by two, but this does not mean that there were only two of each species. Of the clean animals and birds, meaning the animals that could be eaten, there were seven pairs and of the unclean animals only one pair. The extra clean animals were probably for food and for offering sacrifice to God.
The waters needed to cause the great flood were from two sources. The first was from fountains beneath the earth which burst open to let the waters come to the surface and the second was from rainwater. In the language of the Bible the cataracts of heaven were opened. In other words it was not a case of usual heavy rainfall, but a downfall so heavy that it is described as a waterfall. The rains poured down upon the earth for forty days, but Noah and his family remained in the ark for a whole year until all the water subsided and the earth was dry. In the seventh month the ark came to rest on Mount Ararat and in the tenth month were the peaks of the mountain visible.
After the flood, God blessed Noah as the new father of mankind as he blessed Adam the first father. The blessing was threefold, to increase and multiply, to rule over the earth and to eat the flesh of animals. This is the first time that it explicitly mentions meat eating. Before the fall God gave Adam the fruits of the earth for food, and after the fall we are told that Abel was a shepherd of animals. If there was no meat eating then there would have been no reason for Abel to be a shepherd. Thus after the fall man had already began to eat meat. The difference is that up until the flood men used to eat the flesh with the blood of the animals and now God commands them that the blood of the animals must first be drained. Blood was considered the life of the animal and when the blood was drained the life of the animal departed. Together with this law on blood, God also forbids the killing of man because he was made in the image of God.
God then promises that he will never again destroy the earth through another flood and set as a sign of this promise the rainbow in the sky. The rainbow probably existed even before the flood, but now is was to serve as a sign, that when we see it we should remember the promise God gave to Noah and mankind.
The flood and the ark have become types for the Mystery of Baptism and the Church. Through the flood were destroyed the evil men and through baptism the old man is buried and resurrected unto a new life. The ark is an image of the church because in it we find salvation, being protected from the many and great waves of this world that beat upon her. The higher the flood, the higher the ark rises, thus also the church; the greater the temptations that beat against her, the higher she rises and touches heaven.
This is where I intended to finish with today's talk, but last week Corina asked when are we going to talk about the dinosaurs? I replied that we aren't but I think its important to say something because evolutionists place dinosaurs 235 million years ago yet the bible says that life on earth began 7 and a half thousand years ago. Where the Bible comes into conflict with evolutionists is when dinosaurs existed.
The Bible doesn't mention dinosaurs but then it wouldn't because the word dinosaur was coined by a famous British scientist, Dr Richard Owen, in the middle of the 19th century. Dinosaur is a Greek compound word meaning “terrible lizard,” which is what he thought of when he saw the huge bones. So the word dinosaur certainly would not be in the Bible. But even though they are not mentioned it doesn't mean that they didn't exist. None of the animals are mentioned by name except the serpent, sheep and cattle and a few other animals. Dinosaurs certainly did exist because fossils of dinosaurs have been found all over the world, and their bones are displayed in museums for all to see. Scientists have been able to reconstruct many of their skeletons, so we know much about how they may have looked.
Evolutionists claim that dinosaurs evolved over millions of years. They imagine that one kind of animal slowly changed over long periods of time to become a different kind of animal. For instance, they believe that amphibians changed into reptiles (including dinosaurs) by this gradual process. This would mean, of course, that there would have been millions of creatures during that time that would be “in between,” as amphibians evolved into reptiles. Evidence of these “transitional forms,” as they are called, should be abundant. However, many fossil experts admit that not one unquestionable transitional form between any group of creatures and another has been found anywhere. If dinosaurs evolved from amphibians, there should be, for example, fossil evidence of animals that are part dinosaur and part something else. However, there is no proof of this anywhere. In fact, if you go into any museum you will see fossils of dinosaurs that are 100% dinosaur, not something in between. There are no 25%, 50%, 75%, or even 99% dinosaurs—they are all 100% dinosaur!
According to many evolutionists today, dinosaurs are not really extinct but rather have evolved to become birds like the common pigeon or budgie that we keep as pets. For them birds are simply dinosaurs.
The Bible tells us that God created all of the land animals on the sixth day of creation. As dinosaurs were land animals, they must have been made on this day, alongside Adam and Eve, who were also created on Day Six (Genesis 1:24–31). The birds and the sea creatures were created before this on the fifth day.
According to evolutionists, the dinosaurs “ruled the Earth” for 140 million years, dying out about 65 million years ago. However, scientists do not dig up anything labeled with those ages. They only uncover the bones of dead dinosaurs and their bones do not have labels attached telling how old they are. The idea of millions of years of evolution is just the evolutionists’ story about the past. No scientist was there to see the dinosaurs live through this supposed dinosaur age. In fact, there is no proof whatsoever that the world and its fossil layers are millions of years old. But because they believe in evolution they must allow millions of years for this to happen, because simply something cannot evolve into something else overnight. Evolutionists also believe that dinosaurs lived long before the existence of man and that they were long extinct before man came into the picture. They therefore have to reject the Bible that has man and the animals created on the same day because then they would have to reject their own theories of evolution.
If the Bible is correct then dinosaurs lived just a few thousand years ago but not necessarily in the same places as man. We do not live together with wild animals today so why should we assume that they lived alongside each other in the beginning. But even if they did, dinosaurs were mainly vegetarians and had no need to attack man for food. Just because they had big teeth doesn't mean that they used their teeth to tear up man flesh or any other animal.
According to evolutionists dinosaurs died and became extinct very suddenly about 65 million years ago. They give many theories to explain this: Dinosaurs starved to death; they died from overeating; they were poisoned; they became blind from cataracts and could not reproduce; mammals ate their eggs. Other causes include volcanic dust, poisonous gases, comets, sunspots, meteorites, mass suicide, constipation, parasites, shrinking brain (and greater stupidity), slipped discs, changes in the composition of air, etc. It is obvious that evolutionists don’t know what happened and are grasping at straws.
In a recent evolutionary book on dinosaurs, “A New Look At the Dinosaurs,” the author made the statement: "What caused all these extinctions at one particular point in time, approximately 65 million years ago? Dozens of reasons have been suggested, some serious and sensible, others quite crazy, and yet others merely as a joke. Every year people come up with new theories on this thorny problem... Alas, no such one explanation exists." (Alan Charig, p. 150)
But, one such explanation does exist. If you remove the evolutionary framework, get rid of the millions of years, and then take the Bible seriously, you will find an explanation that fits the facts and makes perfect sense. With the Flood that we spoke about earlier, all the animals outside of the ark died. If representatives of dinosaurs where taken aboard then they would have been young adults because the reason for taking them into the ark was for them to repopulate the earth. The majority of dinosaurs are not very big in size, many being the size of a lamb. Dinosaurs are said to be like reptiles that grow as they live so the large dinosaurs were probably very old ones and not taken into the ark. After the flood the new world was very different and all the animals had to compete for food which was no longer in abundance. This and other catastrophes and man killing for food soon lead to the extinction of many species of animals including the dinosaurs. Extinction seems to be the rule in Earth history not the formation of new types of animals as you would expect from evolution.
It is generally accepted that Fossil formation requires a sudden burial. When an animal dies, it usually gets eaten or decays until there is nothing left. To form a fossil, unique conditions are required to preserve the animal and replace it with minerals, etc. To form the billions of fossils worldwide, in layers sometimes kilometers thick, the organisms, by and large, must have been buried quickly. The land animals that were not on the Ark, including dinosaurs, were preserved in the layers formed by the Flood, thus giving us the millions of fossils we have today. The contorted shapes of these animals preserved in the rocks, the massive numbers of them in fossil graveyards, their wide distribution, and some whole skeletons, all provide convincing evidence that they were buried rapidly, testifying to massive flooding.
But are all the dinosaurs dead? There are many places in the Bible that mention dragons. If the word dragon is the equivalent to what we today call dinosaurs, then there is clear evidence in the Bible that dinosaurs lived at the same time as men. Dragons are not to be dismissed as some mythical creatures; there are legends of dragons from all over the world. China is renowned for its dragon stories, and dragons are prominent on Chinese pottery, embroidery, and carvings. Christianity retains the story of St. George, who slew a dragon that lived in a cave. There is the story of a tenth-century Irishman who wrote of his encounter with what appears to have been a Stegosaurus. In the 1500s, a European scientific book, Historia Animalium, listed several living animals that we would call dinosaurs. A well-known naturalist of the time, Ulysses Aldrovandus, recorded an encounter between a peasant named Baptista and a dragon whose description fits that of the small dinosaur Tanystropheus. The encounter was on May 13, 1572, near Bologna in Italy, and the peasant killed the dragon. Also, there are many very old history books in various libraries around the world that have detailed records of dragons and their encounters with people. Many of these descriptions of dragons fit with how modern scientists would describe dinosaurs, even Tyrannosaurus. Unfortunately, this evidence is not considered valid by evolutionists. Why? Only because their belief is that man and dinosaurs did not live at the same time!