When you mention Noah’s famous Ark, what immediately comes to mind? Most likely it’s the animals.
But what about the plants he needed? Since we do not have many specifics about the Ark’s non-animal contents, let’s engage in some (reasonable) speculation.
Now, we do know that before the Flood, humans were told by God to be vegetarian, so Noah would likely have preserved as many plants as he could, even some as dried foods. How else would his primary food sources have survived a year-long immersion beneath the hot ocean formed by the “fountains of the deep” bursting forth (Genesis 7:11)?
Long before the Flood began, Noah may have begun preserving seeds and cultivating plants so that there would be fresh food to eat during the one year voyage. Noah may have potted seedlings to preserve the useful trees and shrubs too. The Ark’s upper deck beneath the long window may have been specially designed to accommodate these plants, turning part of the Ark into a vast greenhouse.
Most plants could have survived outside the Ark upon floating rafts of vegetation as seeds and as debris that could have been propagated as cuttings in the mud left behind by the retreating waters. But when you look at the variety of vegetation in the world today, you can’t help but think Noah’s “floating arboretum” (as one might call it) could have been successful.
Amazingly, much of God’s wondrous creation did survive the Flood … but sadly, much was lost. God’s original Creation was perfect, including the food eaten from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22), which was to have sustained man forever. But Adam’s sin corrupted God’s perfect plan, and eventually after the Flood man’s long lifespan dropped dramatically.
It’s significant that when Noah left the Ark, God gave him permission to eat animal flesh (Genesis 9:3). Might it be that some essential plant foods did not survive the global deluge and Noah needed additional food sources? Or if they did, had the world changed so dramatically that those wonderful life-sustaining plants could no longer survive?
Things to ponder.
Help us build a full-scale Noah’s Ark! AiG’s part in the Ark Encounter project is raising $24.5 million in donations for an all-wood Ark, the centerpiece and first phase of the whole multi-attraction complex! A finished Ark will be a great testimony to the historicity of the Bible and will proclaim the gospel. For an explanation of the funding of the entire Ark Encounter, go to ArkEncounter.com.