The Great Flood Was No Problem For Fish

by Kevin Burton

   Not sure why, but I had never thought about what fish were doing during the great flood described in Genesis chapter seven, until now.

   My home Bible study has been in Genesis for the past two months. The first few chapters have not been easy for me.

   Comedians have had great fun with Genesis six and seven over the years, but I’ve never heard a word about fish from them, or from anybody else for that matter.

   In journalism they say you are “burying the lead” when you talk about things of lesser importance first and get to the main point later.  A good editor will never let a reporter do that.

   So of course I can see why people focus on God’s judgment of mankind which was “only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).  That’s the main point of the chapter.

   Ten of the 24 verses in chapter seven make some reference to animals, birds, cattle, creeping things even swarming things.  There is nothing about sea life.

  “When God revealed His plan to destroy the world with a flood, He told Noah, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 6:7). Interestingly, fish and sea creatures were not mentioned,” reads a passage on the website

   “Several passages in the flood section of Genesis help shed some light on the question of whether or not fish were killed in the flood. Genesis 6:17 states, “For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.” Specifically, everything on the earth would die. The flood of water would drown them.”

   “Logically, animals that live in the water would not be affected by more water. Also, it is hard to see how fish could be described as having breath.”
   “Land animals and birds were selected to board the ark, but fish and sea creatures were not (Genesis 6:19-21, 7:2-4). This would seem to indicate that sea creatures did not need the ark in order to survive.”
   “Genesis 7: 20-23 lists animals that died, but sea life is not included: ‘The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens.’ The reference to dry land limits what types of animals were affected.”
   “After the flood, ‘God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark’ (Genesis 8:1). Why didn’t God remember the fish and sea creatures? They had not been destroyed like the other animals,” the passage reads.

   Well I believe the comedians missed a good angle there. The sea creatures would have had a rich new smorgasbord of food options for those months that the water covered the whole earth.

   We talk about people food as opposed to pet food that we give our dogs and cats.  The fish would have had people as food along with the cows and pigs and everything else they chose.

   Moses, the writer of Genesis, also left out some of the human trials that Noah undoubtedly went through.  His neighbors would have first questioned, then harassed him for building an ark.  Some scholars believe that it had never rained before Noah’s time.

  Whether that is true or not, neighbors would have harassed Noah and since the earth was so evil, probably would have tried with force to interfere with his progress. There must have been supernatural protection over Noah’s family and the project.

    We are also left to wonder about what men were doing as the rains came.  Were people quickly trying to build boats? Did people head to higher elevations and eventually fight and kill each other to maintain those lands? Or did it all happen too fast for any of that?     These aren’t things I really ponder. My formal Bible studies don’t include such tangents. But my human mind does go there, at least briefly.

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