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Question 199

Was the flood in Noah's time an international or regional flood? I mean was it worldwide or just in a specific area? if it was worldwide how did all the species of animals get into the ark?


Answer to Question 199


Archaeology has proven that the flood was an actual event, but there are still certain questions that havenít been answered 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 itís very unlikely that it refers to all the continents.  So how should we understand the extent of the flood? The first Chapters of Genesis is 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.