Noah and the Flood—Fact, Not Fiction
DO YOU long for a better world—a world where people live at peace with one another? a world in which there is no war, no crime, no oppression? If so, you can find encouragement in a historical account that you may know well. It is the account of Noah, a truly good man who built an ark that saved him and his family through a global flood in which the wicked perished.
Few stories are more widely known. The record of what happened to Noah is found in the Bible book of Genesis, chapters 6 through 9, and it is retold in the Koran and in the legends of countless peoples throughout the earth. Did the Flood really happen, or is it merely an allegorical tale to encourage people to do what is right? Theologians and scientists have debated this question for centuries. Yet, the Bible, the Word of God, allows no room for doubt—the account is fact, not fiction. Consider:
The Genesis account tells us the precise year, month, and day when the Deluge began, when and where the ark came to rest, and when the earth dried off. Details about the ark are also precise—the layout, the measurements, and the material used to build it. Fables, by contrast, are usually vague in their descriptions.
Two genealogical accounts in the Bible testify that Noah was a real person. (1 Chronicles 1:4; Luke 3:36) Both Ezra and Luke, who compiled these genealogies, were careful researchers. Luke traced Jesus Christ’s lineage to Noah.
References to Noah or the Flood were made by the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel and by the Christian apostles Paul and Peter.—Isaiah 54:9; Ezekiel 14:14, 20; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:19, 20; 2 Peter 2:5.
Jesus Christ referred to the Flood, saying: “Just as it occurred in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of man: they were eating, they were drinking, men were marrying, women were being given in marriage, until that day when Noah entered into the ark, and the flood arrived and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:26, 27) If the Deluge had not happened, then Jesus’ statement about “the days of the Son of man” would be meaningless.
The apostle Peter foretold that there would come “ridiculers” who would scoff at what the Bible says. “According to their wish,” Peter wrote, “this fact escapes their notice, that . . . the world of [Noah’s] time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water.” Should “this fact” escape our notice? Absolutely not! Peter continued: “The heavens and the earth that are now are stored up for fire and are being reserved to the day of judgment and of destruction of the ungodly men.”—2 Peter 3:3-7.
Once again, God will destroy the wicked, and once again, there will be survivors. By patterning our life after Noah’s, we may be among the righteous ones who will be delivered into a better world.