The Subterfuge, The Refuge, The Deluge

by George F Spall

The sheer horror of the account of the Deluge in which probably over one hundred million died under the judgement of God shocks the natural carnal mind, and some tend to think with their emotions and not their intellects, and so like to play down the whole event. However, it is wiser to accept the Bible record, which is able to make us "wise unto salvation" . In this episode, fact and faith are definitely married together.


The Deluge was not an act of extreme injustice on the part of Almighty God, but rather supreme justice on extreme sin. "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. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart" (Genesis 6:5,6)

This was the condition on earth and the reaction in Heaven. "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. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me . . . Behold, I will destroy them with the earth" (6:11,12,13).

There had been a terrible subterfuge perpetrated upon mankind. It was the marriage of the "sons of God" with the "daughters of men" (6:2). Wicked rebellious angels had deliberately renounced their original habitation in Heaven for ever in order to seduce and corrupt the human race, for the purpose of subverting and ruining God's plan to redeem the race through THE Son of God who was to be born of a virgin, THE virgin.

Of the subterfuge no doubt the women concerned were not aware, and Satan, not knowing which would be THE woman, tried his best to corrupt all of them! Even after the Flood the subterfuge was repeated, the union producing the races of giants in the earth. "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that (that is, after the Flood), when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men . . . " (6:4).


"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD . . . Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations . . . and God said unto Noah . . . Make an ark of gopher wood . . . and you shall come into the ark, you, and your sons, and your wife, and your sons' wives with you . . . to keep them alive with you . . . thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he" (6:8ff).

God gave explicit instructions to Noah regarding the construction of the ark and the preserving of the animals and birds, even to the dimensions of the refuge. The length of a cubit is uncertain, ranging from eighteen to twenty-five inches, so the ark was over 625 feet long. The proportions, 300 by 50 by 30 cubits were ideal for the purpose, being one sixth of the length in width and one tenth of it in height, and three storeys would allow for twenty foot high ceilings. It was not made to drive forward; rather it was to float and give maximum stability.

The sides sloped upwards from the wide bottom to the one cubit wide top which was open but had a cover over it for the six weeks of rain. Thus the sides were part of the roof and efficiently ran the water off them. The timber was gopher wood, a type of cypress which was very durable.

The refuge was "pitched within the without with pitch" , a bitumen or asphalt material available in the area and which was used for mortar in brick making. The word for pitch is the Hebrew kaphar which is translated atonement, reconciliation. It is really 'cover'.


The Deluge commenced on the 17th day of the second month and the Ark rested on Ararat on the same day a year later. It was a total, not just a local flood. The highest mountain was covered to a depth of fifteen cubits, and there had been seven days' grace to allow Noah to organize things inside the ark, and develop a routine before the turbulent waters began to pitch and toss the craft. It didn't just rain upon the earth for the Bible tells us that "the fountains of the great deep were broken up" (7:11).

The rain fell for forty days and forty nights besides the breaking up of the earth. The surface of the globe we're told is covered by water for over seventy per cent of its area, so only thirty per cent is dry land. The average depth of water is 13,000 feet below sea level, and the average height of land is 2,500 feet, so that makes about 15.6 times as much water below sea level as land above it. And God's Deluge covered the earth to a depth of fifteen cubits -- "fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered" (Genesis 7:20), anything from twenty-two to thirty feet of water above them. Thus, apart from the humans and animals in the Ark all flesh was destroyed from the face of the earth.


There is a fascinating reference to the flood in the New Testament. "As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26-27).

At first glance there seems to be nothing unusual in the life-style of Noah's generation. They were going about doing the normal things mankind has been doing ever since. However, the important clue is "As it was in the days of Noe . . . " When we check the life-style in those days we are appalled because "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. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart" (Genesis 6:5-6).

Is there a parallel situation rapidly developing in the world of today? Without being unduly pessimistic there is much that deeply disturbs thinking people. Violence and the terrible world-wide drug scene, coupled with the unprecedented up-surge of sodomy and demon worship are just the tip of the iceberg linking our present age with that of Noah's time. Yet in spite of the depressing scenario that is all too familiar there is a glorious and triumphant climax for: "even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" (Luke 17:30). I think it would be appropriate to end this article with the closing prayer of the Bible: "Even so come, Adon Yeshua".