Genesis is a book that records extraordinary events in history. It tells of the six days of creation (Genesis chapters one and two) and the long lives of those first few generations that followed Adam. Because of the long lives in those days, the population of the world grew quickly. In Genesis 6:5-6 we discover that sin and corruption grew as well. And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Mankind had shaped an environment where righteousness could not grow and where evil deeds and bloodshed would increase. The evil deeds of men would only increase bringing up new generations worse than those before. God would bring justice on a world that produced victim after victim. He was willing to destroy all of mankind except for eight people. These eight people appear to be the only righteous people living in that day. God would bring an immense flood to wash the world from the evil that thrived on it. He would also provide a way to protect the righteous.
There was only one man mentioned who was different from his surroundings—Noah. But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah (Genesis 6:8). It is because of this grace that Noah and his family would be protected from the disaster God would bring upon the earth. Noah would be safe in an ark designed by God. Anyone not in the ark would die. The world population could have been very large. But God was willing to start over with only eight and destroy the rest by waters so deep that no one could have survived.
Noah is instructed to build the ark. This ark would hold Noah and his family—eight people in all. It was also designed to house two of every kind of unclean land animal (one male and one female) and seven pairs (seven males and seven females) of every kind of clean land animal. The clean animals were meant for sacrifices. There are those who question whether the ark was large enough to hold that many animals. The size of the ark is described in Genesis 6:15. This is God’s design. And this is how thou shalt make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. The size of the ark was 450 feet long (137 meters), 75 feet wide (23 meters) and 45 feet high (14 meters). These are the dimensions of an ocean barge.
God tells Noah that he is to build three decks inside the ark: with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it (Genesis 6:16). Thus the ark had three stories, or floors, inside. The ark had 101,250 square feet (30,861 square meters) inside it. This is like a very large floating warehouse. It would be over 5,000 years before another ship this large would be built. A vessel this immense could hold thousands of animals. There would be even more room in the ark if the animals were not full-grown. The two elephants on the ark did not have to be mature. Young elephants take up less space. The Bible also does not say that every kind of a particular animal was on the ark—such as all kinds of dogs. It only states that every kind was on the ark. It is very possible that only two dogs were on the ark. From these two dogs we have all the varieties of dogs seen on the earth today. The people and animals in the ark would begin to repopulate the earth after the flood was over.
The design God gives the ark is the most stable sort of craft one could build to float on rough seas. It is not designed to sail or to be steered. It is only meant to drift safely above the water. It was sealed within and without with pitch (Genesis 6:14). Thus all the people and animals in the ark would be safe from the flood. It would keep them dry and above the worst flood the world has ever seen.
This flood was worldwide. It brought an end to a culture that ran to evil. God brought a flood so vast, deep and terrible that it covered the entire earth, And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered (Genesis 7:19-20). The earth has never seen such a storm before or after. All mountains were covered. The waters of the flood were so high that they rose fifteen cubits (over 22 feet or about 7 meters) over the world’s highest mountain peak. The Bible text is very clear: this was not a local flood. It covered the earth and destroyed all land animals and all of mankind outside of the ark. If this were only a local flood (a flood that only covered a region of the earth) then men could have easily escaped and Noah would have never needed the ark. He could have been sent out of the region onto higher ground. This flood covered all the mountains. There was no place where one could find dry land above the water. This world was covered in one worldwide ocean.
The waters of the flood came from above and below. Rain fell from the sky and this is described in Genesis 7:11 with the phrase, the windows of heaven were opened. This describes very heavy rain crashing from the sky. The water from below came from the fountains of the great deep, which is also found in Genesis 7:11. These are fountains or springs of water located at the floor of the earth’s oceans. These fountains of the deep have been found in numerous places around the world on ocean floors. The rain lasted for forty days, but the flood continued for one year and ten days. When the flood waters receded, the ark rested in the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4). Then Noah and his family left the ark and walked onto a new world. This was a world emptied of the evil culture that had surrounded them. The population of the earth had been reduced to eight people. God destroyed the rest of mankind and protected the righteous. He then made the promise that He would never destroy the earth by water again.
Is the flood of Genesis true? Jesus believed it was true. In Matthew 24:37-39 Jesus states, And as were the days of Noah, so shall be the coming of the Son of man. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall be the coming of the Son of man. Jesus ties Himself, His return and final judgment to Scripture. If a worldwide flood never happened then Jesus will not return to judge the earth. If the flood of Genesis did not take place then Jesus was wrong and He could not be the Christ nor could He be the Son of God. All of Scripture is true or none of it is true. A person who compromises the truth of one verse must toss out the whole Bible. If the flood of Genesis is true then Jesus is true. If the flood of Genesis is false then Jesus is false.
What is the evidence to show there was a flood that covered the entire earth? One does not need to find the ark resting in the mountains of Ararat to have proof. There is evidence all over the earth. What would you expect to find if there was a flood that covered the whole earth? You would expect to find rocks around the world which were formed by (or laid down by) water. These rocks would be found everywhere, even in mountainous parts of the earth. Is that what we find today? Yes. What would you expect to find in those rocks? How about the remains of animals caught in the flood?
There are, in fact, large graveyards of the fossilized animal bones. These fossils are all over the earth, including areas high in the mountains. These animals were buried under tons of mud. This mud was carried by the flood waters and settled on the bottom of those waters. The mud formed into solid rock after the flood receded. These graveyards contain the fossils of hundreds and even thousands of animals that were buried together. Embedded in these rocks is the proof of a catastrophic flood. The bones of these animals show that their bodies were twisted together as they were all carried away by the flood and buried in mud. In the arctic tundra of northern Alaska, Canada, and Siberia are the preserved (not fossilized) remains of animals buried in the flood. These were buried and then frozen in the permafrost of the Arctic Circle. These animals (mammoths, bears, rhinoceroses, etc.) are found today in these regions. There is no other possible explanation for any of these animal graveyards except a worldwide catastrophic flood.
Did the flood of Genesis happen? Yes. One who has an honest heart can see the evidence and understand the Bible is true. There is no need to compromise with those who disbelieve God. To compromise or disbelieve one part of the Bible is to throw it all away.