The Bible does not give the length of time between the creation of man and the deception by Satan. Genesis 3 describes this deception. Both Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They sinned-transgressed the law (1 John 3:4).
God’s sentence was:
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Gen. 3: 17-19)
Along with this sentence, man was driven from God’s presence. “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (vv. 23-24).
Man was promised a Redeemer (v.15), but for the time being man was cut off from God. Adam and Eve had lost the opportunity to gain salvation. As a result, a spiritual vacuum prevailed, so that every act of righteousness and goodness God intended man to enjoy could not be realized. Morally speaking, the world had become completely debased and wicked. Man had become nothing more than an intelligent animal. This was first witnessed by the murder of Abel when Cain slew him, so that in just 1656 years after Creation, God was forced to intervene.
A population explosion occurred. Genesis 6 describes the condition of the world- how evil it was just before the Flood.
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. (Gen. 6:1-3)
“Sons of God,” in verse two, refers to men. Men are “sons of God” by creation (Luke 3:38). “Sons of God” cannot refer to angels in this context, as angels do not cohabit (Mark 12:25). The Genesis account tells us that something was terribly wrong. Men had cast aside God’s instruction regarding marriage (Gen. 2:24). The implication is that because of lust, polygamy had become rampant. God said His Spirit would not always strive with man. He would not force men to walk in righteousness, but they would be given a period of 120 years to change their evil ways. So when God said, ” . . . for he is indeed flesh . . . ” He meant that man had given himself wholly over to his fleshly appetites and lusts.
Genesis 6:4 relates two things. It first describes giants. At that time there was a variety of man that was of giant stature. A comparison of fossilized teeth, as seen on plate XIV of Ruth Moore’s book entitled, Man, Time, and Fossils, indicates the teeth of these men were about twice the size of a modern gorilla. A comparison to body size indicates these giants weighed up to 1,000 pounds. Ruth Moore, an evolutionist, describes these teeth as a giant early ancestor of man. The plate clearly illustrates what Genesis 6:4 describes, “There were giants on the earth in those days . . . . ” The second thing Genesis 6:4 describes is that the progeny of “the sons of God” became a line of men who became powerful aristocrats, tyrants, and men of violence. The description in Genesis 6:2-4 is just the tip of the iceberg, however.
The Apostle Paul tells us what happened at this early date:
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened . . . . And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Rom. 1: 21, 28-32)
The Genesis account reveals: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). In brief, men could not concern themselves with anything wholesome, clean, moderate, or good. Their minds were constantly bent on evil, degradation, and filth of every kind. What is striking about this is that Jesus said the world would be in the same condition near the time of His return. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matt. 24:37). Today, for example, the pornography industry runs into the millions or even billions of dollars annually.
“And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Gen. 6:6-7).
But there was one exception-Noah. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (vv. 8-9). The Companion Bible informs us, in Appendix 26, that the word “perfect” means without blemish and is the technical term for bodily and physical perfection, and not moral. While the particular word “perfect” used here does not apply to moral purity, Noah was nevertheless moral. He was a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet. 2:5). In the Bible righteousness is defined as keeping God’s Commandments (Ps. 119:172). Noah found grace because he obeyed God. The rest of the world paid no heed. “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth” (Gen. 6:11-12). Mankind had, for all practical purposes, completely ruined the quality of life on the earth. Noah was given 120 years to complete an important task before God would destroy it (Gen. 6:3).
God instructed Noah: ” . . . The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark. . . . And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die” (Gen. 6:13-14, 17).
Since the length of a cubit is disputed, Bible commentators give varying dimensions for the size of the Ark. Some believe the Ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. Others believe the Ark was 547 feet long, 91 feet high, and 47 feet high. To give an idea of its immense size, a football field is 300 feet in length, so even the minimum estimation of the size of the Ark would add another half-length of a football field. In a book entitled The Deluge Story in Stone, pages 155-156, the author Byron Nelson refers to an article entitled “The Flood the Fact of History,” by Charles Totten, a Yale University professor. Taking the smaller of the two estimations, Totten said just one deck of the Ark would contain 33,750 square feet. A football field contains 48,000 square feet. Since the Ark had three decks, the total would have been 101,250 square feet. The various animals were likely placed in tiers, so the cubic space must also be considered. The size would have been 1,500,000 cubic feet for the three decks. The Ark could have contained 4,167 railway boxcars. Stop and consider how many animals and how much food could have been stored in such a space. These dimensions take into consideration the smaller of the estimated sizes of the Ark.
Then God said: “But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female” (Gen. 6:18-19). The reader should be aware that present day varieties of the different animal species probably did not exist in Noah’s day, so that the number of animals taken into the Ark was not as large as is often supposed. For example, some estimate that of the original dog kind, 40 to 50 varieties exist today.
Genesis, chapter seven, records God’s command for Noah to enter the Ark.
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. (Gen. 7:1-5)
The instruction to Noah regarding clean and unclean animals came long before the time of Moses. The idea that the Law of Clean and Unclean Meats, found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 5, is for the Jews only, is dispelled by this long precedence. The idea that this law is “done away” because it was a part of the Law of Moses is not true. The Law of Clean and Unclean Meats is a law given to mankind, not to the Jews.
There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. (Gen. 7:9-12)
Then the Bible details what took place during the Flood.
And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained [alive], and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. (Gen. 7:17-24)
That the Flood was worldwide is demonstrated by the words used to describe it. The Bible states: “And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died” (vv. 21-22). Notice carefully, the word “land” should be omitted from verse 22 above because it is not found in the original text. The word “earth” is from the Hebrew word ehretz. In Genesis 1:1, 10, it refers to the entire earth. Notice also, in Genesis 1:10, the word “land,” which is in italics, is not found in the original. There the “dry” is called “Earth.” Genesis 6:17 states: “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.” When Genesis 7:22 refers to “the dry land,” it refers to the entire earth, not just a limited area around the eastern Mediterranean as some believe. Genesis 7:24 states: “And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.”
It took many, many years for the earth to dry up after the Flood. One of the reasons Europe was uninhabited for hundreds of years was because it was a dark and foreboding place, covered by swampy forests. Early explorers of Eastern Europe, for example, regarded Scandinavia as a series of islands. When the waters finally receded, Norway, Sweden, and Finland appeared. Early Viking raiding parties, with their superbly engineered ships, regularly sailed from Scandinavia to the Black Sea via Russia, by ancient routes that would be impossible today. They would cross the Baltic, then up the Vistula, across the Pripet marshes, to the Dnieper, and into the Black Sea. From the Black Sea they would raid along the Mediterranean coast, gradually working their way back to Scandinavia via the straits of Gibraltar. Sometimes these raiding fleets would contain as many as 1,500 ships.
Evidence of a Flood can be clearly seen all over the globe. Referring to various sources in his book, The Deluge Story in Stone, pages 111-136, Byron C. Nelson tells us that fossil remains, such as elephants, rhinoceroses, horses, and other large unidentified ruminants, have been found on the plain of Tibet. Elephant remains have also been found in all the great rivers of Germany, and in all parts of Europe, including Greece. In East India, elephant fossils have been located on the sides of rivers. A great and sudden climate change took place in northern Siberia, as countless numbers of mammoth remains are found still frozen, and can even be eaten. All the way from the Bering Strait to European Russia, the number of quadruped fossils found is astonishing. One small island, about 50 miles square, is made up almost entirely of fossilized bones. The number of animals buried in Siberia, Nelson tells us, must be stupendous. Along with elephants and rhinoceroses, there are bison, cattle, and horses, as well as numerous smaller creatures. The volume of these fossils attests to the fact that the temperature in that region was capable of producing the vegetation necessary to sustain these ruminants. This is not true today, as only damp moss and a few flowers are found for a few months of the year. The rest of the time northern Siberia is locked in ice and snow. We are all aware of the fossils that have been found, and continue to be found, in the Western hemisphere. Alaska contains the fossil remains of many extinct animals. Engineers, prospectors, and miners have encountered these fossils in their diggings, and many of them have been found embedded in the banks of rivers. The conclusion is inescapable: Only a worldwide catastrophe could have created such fossilized remains everywhere, as fossils cannot develop unless animal or plant material is completely covered under great pressure.
The destruction of the world by the Flood was so complete that had not God spared Noah and his family, no flesh of any kind would have been left alive. God said: ” . . . I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Gen. 6:7). God instructed Noah: ” . . . The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (v. 13).
After the Flood ended, we read:
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. (Gen. 8:1-3)
Then God instructed Noah: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 9:1).
He made this promise to Noah:
And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Gen. 9:11-15)
This mighty act of God-the destruction of the world by means of the Flood and the sparing of Noah and his family-allowed the human race to continue. However, a few hundred years after the Flood, the people once again set about to break away from God’s direction. God intervened again by another mighty act-He confused the languages at the Tower of Babel.