Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Than Eight Survived The Flood of Noah!

The purpose of this post is to expand your thinking about the Flood of Noah. So that you will consider the hypothesis that more people survived this flood, than the eight mentioned in sacred scripture. This will involve a new look at the scripture texts. To the end of demonstrating that sacred scripture its self; supports the proposition that more than eight people survived the flood.

So what does scripture say about the flood? “And the Lord said to him: Go in thou and all thy house into the ark: for thee I have seen just before me in this generation.” (Genesis 7:1) This first passage seems general enough, and doesn’t specify numbers of people. “And Noe went in and his sons, his wife and the wives of his sons with him into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.” (Genesis 7:7) Now the numbers narrow down to his immediate family. It seems like a strict interpretation is needed. After the flood, they disembarked. “And the sons of Noe who came out of the ark, were Sem, Cham, and Japheth: and Cham is the father of Chanaan. These three are the sons of Noe: and from these was all mankind spread over the whole earth.” (Genesis 9: 18 – 19) This passage could be interpreted two ways. Strictly there were only these three sons. Alternatively, if might mean they were the three leaders, who directed those who repopulated the earth.

Finally, there is this New testament scripture. “Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls , were saved by water.” (I Peter 3:20) The plain text states a few, eight souls were saved. That would seem to be a open and shut case! Believers in the Old Testament are left with a strict interpretation. Eight people alone survived with a ark of animals. But wait; maybe there is more in the Old Testament. Which will open up other possible interpretations.

Let’s start looking at some other scripture passages which give us some details about the ages of the survivors. Genesis Chapter ten and eleven, lists a genealogical tree from Adam to Noe, and after the flood. Looking at the ages of the flood patriarchs, when the flood happened in there days. I will attempt to show that more than eight survived the flood! We have to focus on Sems family; since scripture only gives details about the line the Hebrews come from. It states, “The sons of Sem: Elam, Assur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.” (Genesis 10:22) Next consider this passage, “These are the generations of Sem: Sem was a hundred years old when he begot Arphaxad, two years after the flood.” (Genesis 11:10) Wait a minute! If he fathered Arphaxad two years after the flood. Then it follows that Elam and Assur were born before the flood! They must be on the ark somewhere.

Reviewing the ages of these patriarchs in scripture supports this hypothesis. “And Noe, when he was five hundred years old, begot Sem, Cham, and Japheth.” (Genesis 5:31) Also “In the six hundreth year of the life of Noe………..the flood gates of heaven were opened.” (Genesis 7:11) So then, Noe’s sons were already 100 years old when the flood occurred. Plenty of time to father children, before the flood occurs.

There is also a genealogical tree listed in the First book of Paralipomenon. It states, “The sons of Sem: Elam and Asur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Hus, and Hul, and Gether, and Mosoch. And Arphaxad begot Sale, and Sale begot Heber.”” (I Paralipomenon 1: 17 - 18) Strangely, the generations skip Elam and Asur. The tree then continues to Heber and his sons. “And to Heber were born two sons, the name of the one was Phaleg, because in his days the earth was divided; and the name of his brother was Jectan.” (I Paralipomenon 1:19) Is it possible Elam and Asur were by another wife. Perhaps they were adopted by Sem, Arphaxad being his first natural son? Either way I believe it shows that there were more than eight survivors in the Ark.
There is another source of scripture to cite from, Ezechiel. Chapter thirty two presents a revelation to Ezechiel; which mentions the missing sons of Sem. It indicates a great battle in the past, which left the dead buried in Egypt. Perhaps this is a unknown history, not recorded completely in scripture? “The most mighty among the strong ones shall speak to him from the midst of Hell, they that went down with his helpers, and slept uncircumcised, slain by the sword.” (Ezechiel 32:21) It continues, “Assur is there, and all his multitude: their graves are round about him, all of them slain, and that fell by the sword.” (Ezechiel 32:22) Also, “There is Elam and all his multitude round about his grave, all of them slain, and fallen by the sword; that went down uncircumcised to the lowest parts of the earth: that caused their terror in the land of the living, and they have borne their shame with them that go down into the pit.” Ezechiel (32:24) Finally, “There is Mosoch, and Thubal, and all their multitude: their graves are round about him: all uncircumcised and slain, and fallen by the sword: though they spread their terror in the land of the living.” (Ezechiel 32:26)

So here is the plain evidence that Elam and Asur survived the flood! They lived and died in Egypt, after some great battle that is hidden in history. But, alluded to in Ezechiel’s visions. It also mentions Mosoch and Thubal, as being involved in this conflict with there cousins. They were sons of Japheth, another son of Noe. The reference to uncircumcised may indicate they were viewed as pagans by the other descendants of Noe. Hopefully in the future, archaeologists and historians will open up the door to this lost history!

There is another source to support the hypothesis that more than eight people survived the flood of Noah. The Historian of the Hebrews, Josephus ( 37 A.D. – 100 A.D.) In his “The Antiquities of the Jews,” there is recorded history of where these people settled. He has this, “Shem, the third son of Noah, had five sons, who inhabited the land that began at Euphrates, and reached to the Indian Ocean; for Elam left behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the Persians. Ashur lived at the city Nieve; and named his subjects Assyrians, who became the most fortunate nation, beyond others.” (Antiquities Book I Chapter 6 Paragraph 4) It goes on to list Arphaxad as the founder of the Chaldeans.

Perhaps the right way to understand the emphasis on eight is this. God created the world in seven days; and the survivors were entering a recreated world. God was giving humanity a new beginning; the eight day. The same blessing on the sixth day of creation , is repeated to the survivors. “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1)

In conclusion, I present the theory that other people survived the flood of Noah. More than the eight generally believed to have survived. The scripture passages show that Asur and Elam were sons of Sem. Who survived the flood with the accepted eight, and founded nations as listed by Josephus.

Sources :(Quotes used with permission of Publishers)

The Holy Bible : Douay – Rheims Version (1899 Edition) by Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.
The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (1987) Translated by William Whiston, A.M. ; Published by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.

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