Noah and the Flood: Part 3 – Hidden in Plain Sight

Let’s go through the account of Noah and the flood one more time to pick up some of the tidbits that make these children’s stories so exciting, and that the Lord often seems to hide in plain sight.

Perfect Pitch

The Ark was coated with pitch both inside and out (Gen. 6:14) which in itself is unusual. Coating on the outside is done to keep a boat waterproof but coating on the inside is done to preserve it and insure a long useful life. Noah only needed the Ark once and only for a year. Did God want it preserved for some later use? And then there’s the Hebrew word for pitch. It comes from a root meaning atonement, forgiveness, or pardon and is translated pitch only here. What’s the hidden clue in this word? Is this a model of God’s grace, by which man is pardoned through faith, rescuing him from judgment? Was the Ark a type of Christ? (See 1 Thes. 1:9-10)

And what about it’s resting place? You and I would have the ark land where it could be used as a dwelling or its materials at least cannibalized for other use. Remember it was as big as a small hotel. Why did the Lord have it land high in the mountains, make Noah leave it, and then hide it? I’ve heard Bible archaeologists complain about the fact that no matter what they discover to support the validity of Biblical accounts, people always respond with something like, “That’s great. Now if you could just find Noah’s Ark.” Was the Ark being kept, not for Noah, but for us “upon whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Cor. 10:11) as the final and irrefutable proof of His existence before the next judgment?

Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute

Bob Cornuke, founder of BASE Institute, claims that Mt. Sinai is not in Egypt as tradition holds, but in Saudi Arabia. He’s been there and stood atop the place called “The Mountain of Moses” in Arabic. Biblical references support his discoveries there and in talking with him I’m convinced he’s found the real Mt. Sinai as well as the route the Israelites took to reach it and the place where they crossed the Red Sea. Bob has also climbed Mt. Ararat in Turkey in search of Noah’s Ark and wonders if the traditional site for the Ark’s location might also be wrong. A literal rendering of Gen. 11:2 places the mountains of Ararat, mentioned as the Ark’s resting place in Gen. 8:4, somewhere east of ancient Babylon. Other historical sources agree and on a map it looks obvious. Mt. Ararat, so named in modern times, is a volcano several hundred miles north. Perhaps, as Bob and others believe, the Ark is really amidst the Zagros Mountains in Iran, not atop a volcano in Turkey. Hidden in plain sight? Watch for his coming book on the subject.

What Day is This?

And finally there’s the date the ark came to rest. The 17th day of the 7th month is recognized in Jewish life to this day, and is even more prominent in Christianity. Here’s why. In Exodus 12:1 the Lord commanded the Israelites to change their calendar. What had been the 7th month since the creation was to become the 1st. We know this because they retained the original calendar and super-imposed the new one over it. On the religious calendar (the new one) Passover, which falls in spring, is always the 14th day of the 1st month as commanded in Exodus 12, and on the civil calendar (the old one) New Year’s day comes in the fall 6 months later. So with this 6 month offset what had in Noah’s day been the 7th month became the 1st month of the new religious calendar.

On the 17th day of that month the Ark ran aground and for the first time Noah and his family knew from experience that their new life had begun. According to Sir Robert Anderson and the London Royal Observatory, a study of the lunar cycle through the centuries shows that it was a Sunday. In Judaism the Feast of First Fruits is celebrated on the Sunday that follows Passover (Lev 23:9-11) so each time Passover (the 14th) falls on a Thursday the Feast of First Fruits is the 17th three days later. Noah and his family were the first fruits of the New World; a world born again.

2000 years later on that same date, also a Sunday and the Feast of First Fruits, a sealed tomb in Jerusalem was found open and empty. The Lord had been raised from the dead, the First Fruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor 15:20). For followers of Jesus the 17th day of the 1st month was Resurrection Morning and for the first time the disciples knew from experience that their new life had begun. That evening they received the Holy Spirit; men born again (John 20:19-22).

Just as the Ark had preserved faithful Noah’s family through the past judgment and became a model of God’s Grace, The Lord Jesus will preserve faithful Israel through the coming judgment, the Personification of Grace. Just as Noah was cast adrift in a world under judgment and experienced the grounding that signified a world born again, a seeker cast adrift in a life under judgment today looks to the cross and the empty tomb and experiences the “grounding” that signifies a life born again.

And now you know the adult version.