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#21
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How The Critters Got To Noah

Gen 6:3 . . And Yhvh said: My Spirit shall not strive with man forever. Yet
his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.

Some feel that God set the limits of human longevity in that verse. But
people still continued to live long lives for a great number of years
afterwards. Even Abraham, who lived many, many years after the Flood,
didn't die till he was 175 years old. No; it's far more reasonable to conclude
that God was announcing a deadline; viz: the antediluvians had 120 years
left to get ready to meet their maker.

Fortunately Noah didn't have to go on safari to round up his passengers.
God said two of each "shall come to you" (cf. Gen 7:9, Gen 7:15) which
implies of course that species who failed to come got left behind and went
extinct in the Flood.

A man named Dave Kunst walked across today's world in just a little over 4
years from June 1970 to October 1974. Kunst walked a total of 14,450
miles, crossing four continents and thirteen countries, wearing out 21 pair of
shoes, and walking more than 20 million steps. That was an odd thing to do,
but does prove it can be done in a relatively short time; so 120 years was
plenty enough for all the critters to make it on over to Noah's place in time
for the Folly's maiden voyage.

But how did they cross oceans? In the past that was doubtless a thorny
theological problem. But with today's knowledge of the geological science of
plate tectonics, the answer is as simple as two plus two. Scientists now know
that continental land masses can be shifted, and in point of fact the dry
parts brought so close together as to form one single super continent.

Scientists also know about subduction and magma hot spots and pressure
points that can raise and lower the earth's crust like a service elevator; for
example according to Gen 14:3, the area now known as the Dead Sea was
once known as the Vale of Siddim. Sometime in the distant past the earth's
crust rose in that region, blocking the Jordan River's natural drainage into
the gulf of Aqaba; thus trapping it's waters in a huge basin from which they
cannot escape.

Subduction causes the earth to wrinkle, bulge, and form mountain ranges
and hill country; and also makes possible land bridges which would expedite
migrations from all over the world over to Noah's diggings. (cf. Ps 104:5-9)

Geological processes normally take thousands of years to accomplish, but
those processes can be sped up considerably by the cosmos' creator, who
has absolute control over everything-- not just the earth's geological
processes; but all the rest of nature's processes too.

The Fate Of Noah's Ark

Gen 8:3b . . At the end of one hundred and fifty days the waters
diminished, so that in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the
month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

The precise topographic location, where the ark went aground, was not
really up on a specific mountain by the name of Ararat nor up on any other
mountain for that matter. The Hebrew word for "mountains" in Gen 8:4 is
haareey which is the plural of har (har). It doesn't always mean prominent
land masses like Everest or McKinley; especially when it's plural. Har can
also mean a range of mountains like the Pyrenees bordering Spain and
France and/or a range of hills or highlands; like the region of Israel where
Mary's cousin Elizabeth lived. (Luke 1:39-40)

In California, where I lived as a kid, the local elevation 35 miles east of San
Diego, in the town of Alpine, was about 2,000 feet above sea level. There
were plenty of meadows with pasture and good soil. In fact much of it was
very good ranchland and quite a few people in that area raised horses and
cows. We ourselves kept about five hundred chickens, and a few goats and
calves. We lived in the mountains of San Diego; but we didn't live up on top
of one of its mountains like Viejas, Lyon's, or Cuyamaca.

Another inhabited region in the continental U.S. that's elevated is the area of
Denver Colorado; which is located on the western edge of the Great Plains
near the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is a whole mile above
sea level-- 5,280 feet. However, Denver, even though so high above sea
level, isn't located on the tippy top of a mountain, nor even on the side of
one; it's just located up on high ground.

The ark contained the only surviving souls of man and animal on the entire
planet. Does it really make good sense to strand them up on a mountain
peak where they might risk death and injury descending it?

When my wife and I visited the San Diego zoo together back in the early
1980's, we noticed that the Giraffes' area had no fence around it. The tour
guide told us the Giraffes' enclosure doesn't need a fence because their area
is up on a plateau 3 feet high. The Giraffes don't try to escape because
they're afraid of heights. There's just no way Giraffes could've climbed down
off of Turkey's Mount Ararat. It's way too steep and rugged. Those poor
timid creatures would've been stranded up there and died; and so would
hippos, elephants, and flightless birds.

The Hebrew word for "Ararat" is from 'Ararat (ar-aw-rat') which appears
three more times in the Bible: one at 2Kgs 19:36-37, one at Isa 37:36-38,
and one at Jer 51:27. Ararat is always the country of Armenia: never a
specific peak by the same name.

So; where is the ark now? Well; according to the dimensions given at Gen
6:15, the ark was shaped like what the whiz kids call a right rectangular
prism; which is nothing in the world but the shape of a common shoe box.
So most of the lumber and/or logs used in its construction would've been
nice and straight; which is perfect for putting together cabins, sheds, fences,
barns, corrals, stables, gates, hog troughs, mangers, and outhouses.

I think it's very safe to assume Noah and his kin gradually dismantled the
ark over time and used the wood for many other purposes, including fires.
Nobody cooked or heated their homes or their bath and laundry water using
refined fossil fuels and/or electricity and steam in those days, so everybody
needed to keep on hand a pretty fair-sized wood pile for their daily needs.
There was probably plenty of driftwood left behind by the Flood, but most of
that would be water-soaked at first. But according to Gen 6:14 the ark's
lumber was treated. So underneath the pitch it was still in pretty good shape
and should have been preserved for many years to come.

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#22
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The Meaning Of "Under The Law"

Rom 6:14 . . Sin is not to have any power over you, since you are not
under the law but under grace.

The apostle Paul was a well-trained Jew (Acts 22:3, Php 3:5). He and his
fellow Pharisees generally understood the law as that of Moses', a.k.a. the
covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

The important thing to note about the covenant is that it's a legally binding
contract. So then the term "under the law" refers to contractual obligations.

Seeing as how Christ's followers are not contracted with God to comply with
the Jews' covenant, then neither is God contractually obligated to penalize
Christ's followers for breaching it.

God has to lower the boom on Yhvh's people with any and/or all of the
curses listed at Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut 28:1-69 for
breaching the covenant, but He doesn't have to lower the boom on Christ's
followers with those curses because He isn't contracted with them to do so.
This is a very important aspect of Christianity.

In a nutshell: where there is no contract, there is no contract to breach; and
where there is no law, there is no law to break; and where there is no law to
break, there are no indictments. (Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13)

This principle applies in a really big way to people who have undergone the
baptism described at Rom 6:3-11 because it essentially means that they
cannot be sent to hell for breaking the Ten Commandments, or any of the
other covenanted commandments for that matter.

Luke 2:8-11 . . And in the same region there were some shepherds staying
out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel
of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone
around them; and they were terribly frightened.

. . . And the angel said to them: Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you
good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the
city of David there has been born for you a savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Well; I have to say that if people's path to heaven incorporates compliance
with the Ten Commandments, then their religion contains no good news at
all, nor do they have any reason to be joyful; rather, they have plenty of
cause for anxiety.

Gal 3:10 . . All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is
written: Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written
in the book of the law. (cf. Deut 27;26)

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