Monday, March 11, 2013

Genesis 6.5-7: God Drowns People for Being Violent

Check out today's episode

Noah and the Flood (6:9-22 & 7:1-24)

Noah was a righteous man who was blameless and walked with God.

This will be something to keep in mind. I have heard many atheists make the point that Noah was the best person on the planet that God chose to live through the flood, and yet look at what he did right afterwards. I don't recall what that is off the top of my head, but we'll find out in a few days. The point stands without this particular line, and yet it seems stronger since Noah is explicitly said to be "blameless".

God doesn't like that the earth is filled with violence and corruption. His solution is to kill everyone.

Seriously, why do we read this story to children? And how the hell is killing everyone an appropriate response to them being too violent. Apparently the problem is that people were made in his image.

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From Guzik:
Some wonder if this is too harsh a judgment, or if is shows God to be cruel or a monster. However, since the fall in Genesis 3, every human being has a death sentence. The timing and method of that death is completely in the hands of God.
Sure, God has power, therefore the time and method of our death is in his hands. That really doesn't answer the question of whether he's cruel or a monster does it?

God tells him to make an ark for his family and 2 of every kind of animal. He gives him some dimensions that he must build the boat and tells him to use gopher wood (who knows what that is). In addition, God told Noah to bring 7 pairs of every clean animal and 7 pairs of every bird. Noah got into the ark with his family (including sons and their wives) and all the animals and then it rained for 40 days and "the fountains of the great deep burst forth". Everything drowned except what was in the ark with Noah. The waters prevailed on earth for 150 days.

I suppose I should ask where all of that water came from, and where it went after the flood went away, but honestly, if you buy any of the rest of the story why not just say God magicked it away. The real question I want to ask here is why anyone would worship this God? Why do we view this as a good story and why do we tell it to children? It's horrible, God kills almost everyone and everything on the planet, he's a monster.

Guzik goes on at length naming incidents in history where people have claimed to have seen it. Why haven't we been able to find it recently and taken pictures and such?
There have been many more recent attempts to find and document the ark, but they have been hindered by politics and surrounded in controversy.
Yeah right, imagine what the discovery of Noah's ark would mean for Christianity. You can't tell me with the power of all of the churches they can't get around those things. Just a lame excuse.

This is great, in the chapter 7 summary from Guzik, he mentions that many different cultures have a flood story. His conclusion is that they all are descendants of Noah and are therefore all talking about this flood.

Also, he addresses where the water came from, apparently there is plenty of water if the earth was a perfect sphere. Umm...yeah. If that were true there wouldn't be mountains, how much tectonic activity did there have to be at that time? I guess it could have all happened under the water at the time? It's just ridiculous.

For the Verses of Note post:


Genesis 6:13 God decides to kill almost everyone because people are too violent

"And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth."


  1. Say for argument's sake that some humans were wicked and deserved destruction. I've never understood why God felt it necessary to kill EVERYTHING. What about the innocent people (including infants and children) who did not perpetrate any violence? What about all the animals who drowned but did nothing wrong? If the Biblical God is omnipotent, why couldn't he just strike the wicked people with lightning or something and spare the rest of creation.

    Ugh. The Abrahamic God is a sociopath.

    1. Exactly, there had to be some innocent people, as you said there had to be babies somewhere on the planet at the time. Why didn't God just snap his fingers and give all of the evil people on the planet simultaneous heart attacks? I heard on a podcast recently someone described God as wielding a shotgun rather than a sniper rifle. (wish I could remember what show that was on).

  2. "Seriously, why do we read this story to children?"

    I know, right? It's like Baby's First Book of Genocide or something.

    The thing that gets me about the whole story is a little different. Let's say, for some crazy reason, that the whole of creation needs to be started again (I've heard explanations that this all refers to some sort of mystical corruption caused by angels, rather than people being naughty, so for the sake of argument, let's grant that). Given that, why would a loving God drown everything, rather than just clicking His fingers and painlessly wiping the slate clean? Why inflict that entirely unnecessary suffering? I can't think of anything that would scare me as much as being drowned, but apparently that's what God does to everyone in His creation when He screws up. Yay, God.

    Can't wait to see what you make of Noah's postdiluvian achievements. I wrote about that recently as well, at least in passing, but I don't want to spoil it.

    1. I totally agree, why not just blink people out of existence that have got to go? Or maybe fix them, he is all powerful right?

      It's an interesting thought about the angels coming down and corrupting everything. Of course even if we grant them that, it doesn't let God off the hook for being at fault, as he created the angels too.


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