Did Noah Take Seeds on the Ark to Refill the Earth?

From Issue: Discovery 9/1/2010

Dear Ethan,

I can tell that you have really given a lot of thought to the biblical story of Noah and the Flood. First, we know that Noah and his family ate certain kinds of plants (fruits and vegetables) before the Flood (Genesis 9:3). And we know that God told Noah: “You shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them” (Genesis 6:21). Furthermore, after Noah got off the ark, the Bible says he became a farmer and planted a vineyard. The best explanation is that he carried the grapes or grape seeds on the ark with him and brought them out of the ark when the Flood was over. We also know that many of the plants or their seeds made it through the Flood even though they were not in the ark. For instance, the dove that Noah sent out came back to him with an olive branch in its beak. The olive tree was growing outside the ark before Noah and his family could have gotten out to plant it. We see, then, that Noah and his family took some seeds with them on the ark, while other plants and trees sprung from seeds or shoots that survived the Flood.


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