“When everything was ready.” I love how this chapter begins. God waited … until everything was ready. He wanted everything to be just right. He had a people to preserve, a remnant. Noah’s boys – Shem, Ham and Japheth – would have been about 100 years old by this time. It’s likely they had children, and we’ve established that Noah more than likely had children and they all got in the boat. I wonder how many of them helped build the boat!
Structure-wise (Change gears. We’re not talking about the boat’s structure anymore!), I noticed a couple of things about this chapter. The first thing is that it repeats the beginning events of the flood: Noah and fam get on the boat; rains and waters flood in; everything but what’s on the boat dies. In four paragraphs, the same events are repeated twice in slightly different ways. Why? I have no idea really. I guess God just really wanted to get his point across, or at least that’s what I’ve been told about repeated phrases in the Bible. Makes sense to me.
The second thing I noticed, however, was that both passages set up a timeline. In verses 9 and 10, Noah and fam get on the boat, and after seven days the rains come for 40 days and nights. That’s already 47 days on the boat, folks. In verses 12 and 13, Noah gets on the boat just as the rains come and continue for 40 days and nights. Verse 24 points out that floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days. Didn’t we learn in Sunday school that Noah was on the boat for 40 days and 40 nights??? That’s always the thought, isn’t it. But as you see, Noah and fam were on the boat for at least 190 days, and possibly 197 days according to the mysterious seven days referenced in verse 10. That’s six months on a boat, people! I’m just going to assume here that days and nights and months work out the same as nowadays.
We’re not even finished with the flood story. Chapter 7 leaves us with a cliffhanger: what will happen after 190 days??? All on earth have been destroyed, but what of the people left on the boat? They are the remnants.
Writing prompt: what if
We know that the human race was formed from whatever remnants were left on that boat. I’ve heard theories that some people on the boat preserved the remnants of half-gods and giants. Let your imagination run wild with a tale about their offspring, or stick to the facts and write a researched-base argument as to why or why not you think half-gods and giants may have lived through the great flood.