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  1. Online Reading -Booklet- The Biblical Flood A Scientific Approach
  2. Categories
  3. Genesis Chapter 6: The Story of Noah's Ark
  4. Photo-story: Building character in post-16 pupils

And the greatest test of faith must have been at the moment when, with all his twenty thousand tons of stores and goods and animals safely inside, Noah and his family climbed into the giant vessel which they had built, heard the door close heavily upon them and shut them away completely from the outside world, and sat down in the darkness to wait. It really does not matter to us how the Flood came or what was its actual cause, all the evidence, documentary and geologic, is that it was a colossal invasion of the sea from the south, be the originating phenomenon behind that invasion what it may.

We are really concerned with understanding as accurately as we can, from the brief record we have, just what was the experience of Noah and his family during that momentous year and eleven days during which the antediluvian world came to its catastrophic end.

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So our thoughts come back to those eight persons of faith, the only ones in all the world who believed God, shut up inside the only possible haven of refuge from the wrath to come, surrounded by a heedless and scornful world which went on with its daily interests, unbelieving, ignorant. This may become more evident as the story unfolds.

And if such be the case then the first act in the drama was played, not in the land of Iraq where the Ark waited, but seven thousand miles away in the Antarctic. This presentation is built upon that assumption. If in fact the premise is not justified, and the gigantic tidal wave which undeniably did cause the deluge owed its origin to other and more mundane causes, then the effect would be much the same but on not so widespread a scale. It is this fact which lends so much support to the Valian canopy theory as the cause of the Deluge, the Bible account can hardly be satisfied by anything of a lesser nature.

Gravitating, over an immense period, closer and closer to the Poles, the masses of suspended water finally broke through the denser atmosphere near the earth and descended to its surface, probably in the form of snow and ice crystals, bringing with them cold of an intensity that had not been known in those hitherto genial regions since man had been on earth.

That condition was abruptly terminated and the Polar seas subjected to the intrusion of colossal masses of ice-cold water. Geologists claim that at some time in recent geological history the oceans were quite suddenly increased in depth by some feet, if it could be thought that this was in fact due to the waters of the Deluge then the catastrophe involved some eight million cubic miles of water and the relatively sudden addition of this to the Polar seas would have immediate repercussions.

Tidal waves are fairly common, often due to submarine earthquakes, and can be as much as feet high and travel across the ocean at miles an hour.

Online Reading -Booklet- The Biblical Flood A Scientific Approach

Ships hardly notice them because the wave is in the form of a long swell, sometimes a hundred miles or more from front to rear, which lifts the ship almost imperceptibly, and the real damage is when the wave hits the land, it may be five or six thousand miles away. In this instance the waves traveled northward across the Indian Ocean, as they became restricted between the converging coasts of Africa and India, and the sea-bed became more shallow, their speed lessened but their height increased.

And the continuing fall of the waters from the heaven sent more and more waves in succession. Then came the wind. The forcible displacement of the Antarctic atmosphere by so great a volume of alien water meant that the air had to go somewhere, and go it did, in a roaring tempest of ice-cold wind which increased the impetus of the speeding waters and followed them northward.

When a tidal wave reaches the coast its waters bank up to a terrifying height and if the land is low-lying the destruction is immense. What is said to be the highest such wave recorded in modern times hit the coast of Kamchatka, Eastern Siberia, in That wave was feet high. The wave resulting from the volcanic eruption on the island of Santorin in the Mediterranean in the fifteenth century before Christ is calculated to have been feet high when it swept over the island of Crete, destroyed ninety thriving cities and virtually all the inhabitants, completely wiping out the Cretan civilization.

The story of the Flood has been repeated, on a lesser scale perhaps, many times in subsequent world history. A glance at a large scale map will show that the mountainous coastlines of Arabia and Persia, and the tortuous entrance to the Gulf, would tend to limit the force of the waters before they began to spread over the low-lying lands of Eastern Arabia and Iraq.

Perhaps the best picture of the position as it actually affected Noah in the Ark is given by the experience of the captain and crew of the U. During the afternoon of 8th August the seaport town of Arica, Peru, was wrecked by a severe earthquake. Soon after dark the lookout reported the coming of a tidal wave. With a terrifying din, our ship was engulfed, buried under a half-liquid, half-solid, mass of sand and water.

The crew concluded they had run aground, and waited for the morning. When dawn came they found that their vessel was lying on the lower slopes of a mountain two miles from the sea. Not far off lay a Peruvian navy ironclad on her side, and an English three masted sailing ship.

The vessels had been carried over sand dunes, a valley and a railway line, all around was a scene of desolation. From marks on a mountain precipice near by they found that the water had been nearly fifty feet deep before it receded. In that case the waters receded. In the case of Noah they went on until they filled the entire plain, five hundred miles long by three hundred miles wide, and increased their depth continuously under the pressure of the sustained flow from the south.

To the heedless and unbelieving multitudes it must have been a terrifying sight. When tidal waves strike the lands surrounding the Pacific Ocean, Japan, the East Indies, South America, and so on, where they are comparatively frequent, advance warning of their coming is given by an observing station located on Hawaii, and the people flee to the mountainous regions. In the antediluvian world there were no mountainous regions, the land was, and is, flat and little higher than sea level. And they had rejected advance warning. Maybe no written description can fitly convey the sight that met their incredulous eyes.

Away in the south, across the whole horizon, where normally golden fields met blue sky, appeared a long gray wall, a wall of immeasurable height, seeming almost to touch the sky, a moving wall, a living wall. Even as the spectators watched, it advanced, its upper line swallowing up the heavens, its base submerging the fields, at incredible speed, its whole visible face rippling and moving, glimpsing white streaks and patches of foam, bearing down upon them like an avenging fury.

They saw now the foot of the giant wave, a surging torrent of boiling foam stretching out before it, carrying on its brow heaps of debris, and they saw that foam surge over and swallow up the long black vessel which had been the butt of their jokes for so many years past. They saw the Ark leap up as it were to meet the oncoming Flood and they saw it disappear into the depths of the great wall of water which swept over it as if it had been a match stick.

Then the avenging colossus gathered homes and palaces and temples, trees and shrubs, men and women, into one confused mass, and carried them all away, mingled with the sand and clay and gravel scooped up from the plain by the torrent.


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All that was left of that godless world lay buried beneath many feet of silt and mud, never again to see the light of day. And as the relentless waters rolled on, speeding to the north, a frightful conflict began in the heavens above. The wind, whipped up to gale force, resolved itself into a tempestuous cyclone and the heavens dropped water, a torrential downpour such as the world had never known since the days of man, a downpour that was to continue unceasingly for forty days and forty nights. At the first impact of the waters the Ark would have been completely submerged but its triangular shape and wide flat base would offer minimum resistance to the onrush and eliminate danger of capsizing.

But it must have been a terrifying experience for the occupants, shrouded in pitch darkness and unable to do anything to help themselves. That phase passed-it probably lasted only a few minutes-and the buoyancy of the vessel brought it to the surface, where it floated, borne along by the current but in no danger. The events of the months that followed are graphically related in the 7th and 8th chapters of Genesis, in much more detail than in the Babylonian and Assyrian accounts which have survived.

There can be no doubt that the Bible account is the oldest; it bears all the signs of being the work of an eyewitness. The other records are legends, copied and re-copied from time to time by Sumerian and Babylonian and Assyrian scribes, although derived at the beginning from the same story that we have in the Bible they have been altered and modified through the centuries and combined, in some degree, with sundry recollections of other lesser river-floods which devastated Iraq in the centuries following the Deluge.

Thus Noah is stated to have been king of the city of Shuruppak, which was not founded until at least five hundred years after the Deluge. The legendary narratives however have preserved a vivid impression of the onset of the Flood waters and because they do confirm that the catastrophe was due to an invasion by the sea from the south the relevant part of the account is repeated here. There are many versions-some twenty-six tablets or portions of tablets exist, giving variant details, and the translations which have been made vary greatly in style and phraseology so that it seems best to present a compound rendering which preserves the common testimony of the various tablets as nearly as possible.

Ramman the stormgod thundered in the midst of it, and the lord Nabu the messenger of the gods marched in front, devastating the mountains and the plain. Nergal the god of the abyss made the storm to burst, and Adar the god of war advanced, overthrowing all before him. The Annunaki the spirits of the earth lifted up their flaming torches, with the brightness thereof they lit up the earth this refers to lightning. The inundation swelled up to the sky. The daylight was turned into darkness, and the waters rose on the mountains. The hurricane attacked in fury, and the deluge swept over houses and temples.

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The hurricane, the great-sea-waves and the diluvian rain continued in all their strength. Hurricane and flood marched on, subduing the land. The great ship was tossed by the hurricane upon the mighty waters. Then when the seventh day approached the flood-carrying south-storm subsided.

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The terrible great-sea-waves, which had assailed after the fashion of an earthquake, grew weaker. The sea grew quiet, the tempest was calmed, the flood ceased. I beheld the sea, its voice was silent, and the land was as level as a flat roof.

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Genesis Chapter 6: The Story of Noah's Ark

Into the distance I peered, to the horizon bounding the sea, and there was no land. On the seventh day I sent out a dove, and let her go where she would. The dove flew hither and thither but found no resting-place and she returned. Then I sent out a swallow and she flew hither and thither but found no resting-place and she returned. Then I sent out a raven, she flew away and found the waters sinking. She ate and rested and did not return. The similarity to the Genesis account is obvious, the only marked difference is that the initial stage of the catastrophe is said to have lasted for six days instead of the Biblical five months.

The Bible is however much more explicit in its detailed account of the progress of the Flood. Verses 17 to 20 of Genesis 8 describe its increasing depth as more and more water arrived from the south. From indications near the site of Ninevah it would seem that the Flood reached this point which means that over the south Babylonian plain the water was at least nine hundred feet deep and could have been more. It would inevitably go with the current and wind towards the north and by the end of the forty days find itself more or less toward the northern end of the Babylonian plain.

But the end of this condition was at hand.

Photo-story: Building character in post-16 pupils

The fountains 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. The turbulent skies above the Ark with their almost continuous thunder and lightning became quiet, and the torrential rain ceased to fall. A new phenomenon became apparent to Noah, another wind, not a gale as had raged from the south, but a softer, gentler wind, came from the northeast and began to urge the pent-up waters back to the source from which they had come. This wind that God had made to pass over the earth whose effect was to assuage shakak -to subside the waters, is a most intriguing part of the story.

It had its origin in natural causes which no later writer could have known about had the Deluge story been a later invention, it is one of the evidences that this account is by an eye-witness. With the disappearance of the aerial waters the sun was shining down upon the flooded plain with unaccustomed brilliance and power-the Babylonian legends all make special mention of the sunlight when the Ark was opened-and the time was April, verging on to summer.

Just as the Poles were now going to be much colder, so the land Noah knew was destined to be much warmer. A new climate pattern was being initiated, induced by this difference in temperature between the tropical and temperate regions. The air over the equator is warm and light, colder and heavier air from the temperate regions is continually pouring in and driving the lighter, warmer air upwards. As the seasons change the hot region towards which the trade winds blow moves north and south with the sun, hence the latitude affected by the trades moves north and south correspondingly.

Hence there is a region in which the trades blow in summer but not in winter, in the northern hemisphere this lies between latitude 30 and 42 degrees, which is the precise latitude of Iraq, the scene of the Flood. So it came about that during that year of the Flood the changed climatic conditions produced the trade winds for the first time.

By September the water was virtually gone. The Flood took five months to drain away. That may seem a long time, but another look at the map shows that the Persian Gulf connects with the ocean by an extremely narrow passage, only thirty miles wide, flanked on both sides by high mountain ranges.