The Worldwide Flood
The next major event in the Bible record was the worldwide Flood.
Noah was asked to make an ark (or chest) in which his family and animals would be saved. Genesis 6:14 records God telling Noah “Make for yourself an ark out of wood of a resinous tree”. The dimensions were big according to Genesis 6:15 “And this is how you will make it: three hundred cubits the length of the ark, fifty cubits its width, and thirty cubits its height”. It was to have three storeys.
Finally, he and his wife and three sons and their wives were told to go into the ark. Genesis 7:1, 7 tells us “After that Jehovah said to Noah: “Go, you and all your household, into the ark, because you are the one I have seen to be righteous before me among this generation. … So Noah went in, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark ahead of the waters of the deluge.”
Noah builds the Ark
The ark was therefore a very big boat. All eight of them, Noah and his wife, Shem and his wife, Ham and his wife and Japheth and his wife went into the Ark.
八 8 + 口 mouths + 舟 boat, ship = 船 big boat.
We have to ask the question, why is the character for a big boat made up of these particular sub characters if it is not referring to the Bible account in Genesis 7? Surely it has to be.
What shape was the Ark? (Genesis 6:14-16)
Genesis 6:15 tells us, “And this is how you will make it: 300 cubits the length of the ark, 50 cubits its width and 30 cubits its height”.
While many pictures and paintings show it with rounded prow and hull the Genesis account describes a floating rectangular box. While the Chinese characters for an Ark could have originated when Christianity first reached China, nonetheless it is interesting to note that it is comprised of rectangle (fāng) + boat (zhōu) = ark.
方 + 舟 = 方舟.
God floods the whole earth
Once Noah was inside the ark with the 7 other mouths, 7 days later the worldwide Flood started.
It should come as no surprise to readers that the Chinese character for flood (hóng) comprises of the sub pictograms of total (gòng) + water (radical 85 – shuǐ), = Total Water.
共 + 氵= 洪.
Yes, indeed in the flood of Noah’s day “the earth was covered totally in water”.
Before leaving this subject of the flood however, we need to mention that in Chinese mythology a Nǚwā god (some say goddess) is associated with a deluge myth, creating and reproducing people after a great calamity. The earliest literary reference to Nuwa, in Liezi (列子) by Lie Yukou (列圄寇, 475 – 221 B.C.E.), describes Nüwa repairing the heavens after a great flood, and states that Nüwa molded the first people out of clay. The name “Nuwa” first appears in “Elegies of Chu” (楚辞, or Chuci), chapter 3: “Asking Heaven” by Qu Yuan (屈原, 340 – 278 B.C.E.), in another account of Nuwa molding figures from the yellow earth, and giving them life and the ability to bear children. (Interestingly two small mouth symbols next to the name indicate that it is the pronunciation not the meaning of the characters that is important. Nǚwā is pronounced Nu-wah. Is this evidence of the name Noah from the Deluge, from whom all alive today descended?
Who have we descended from?
The Bible record indicates that all alive today descended from Noah’s 3 sons and their wives.
It is interesting to note that the pictogram for descendants is made up of the following sub characters:
Descendants (yì) = eight + mouth + wide = (light / bright) + clothing/skin/cover
This could be understood as “From Eight mouths descendants covered wide [the earth]”
The Tower of Babel
Just a few generations later Nimrod united people together and started to build a tower.
Genesis 11:3-4 records what happened, “And they began to say, each one to the other: “Come on! Let us make bricks and bake them with a burning process.” So brick served as stone for them, but bitumen served as mortar for them. 4 They now said: “Come on! Let us build ourselves a city and also a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a celebrated name for ourselves, for fear we may be scattered over all the surface of the earth.”
The Chinese character for unite = hé. Its sub characters are All the people + one + mouth.
人 people, mankind + 一 one + 口 mouth = 合or unite.
This clearly draws a picture that one language meant people were / could be united.
So, what could a united people do?
Why, build a tower of course. All they needed was some grass and clay. If then, we add:
Grass 艹 + soil, clay, earth 土+ unite 合, then we get 塔 which is a tower (tǎ).
Are these not still yet more coincidences of Chinese pictograms telling the same story as the Bible?
What was the result of Nimrod and the people building this tower to reach the heavens?
The Bible account reminds us that God was very displeased and concerned. Genesis 11:6-7 reads “After that Jehovah said: “Look! They are one people and there is one language for them all, and this is what they start to do. Why, now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be unattainable for them. 7 Come now! Let us go down and there confuse their language that they may not listen to one another’s language”.
舌(tongue) + 乚(secret) = 乱 (confusion), (this is a variant of 亂.)
How could we understand this story? “Because of tongue, no longer understood (hidden) or (scattered, walked) in one direction (outwards, away)” or “mystery tongue (language) caused confusion”.
The Great Division
Yes, this confusion of tongues led to the earth (the people) being divided.
Genesis 10:25 describes this event as “And to Eʹber there were two sons born. The name of the one was Peʹleg, because in his days the earth was divided;”.
Even in the Hebrew language this event was remembered with the name of Peleg (a descendant of Shem) coming from a root word “peleg” meaning “division”.
Divide (fēn) in Chinese is composed of eight, all around + knife, measure.
八 (eight, all around) + 刀 knife, measure = 分 (fēn) divide.
This could be understood as “the division (measure) [of people] was all around [the earth] [from Babel]”.
This division caused people to migrate away from each other.
辶+西+大+已 = 遷 (qiān).
This tells us how the Chinese settled where they are now. “They went on a big walk from the West until they stopped”. We should also remember that embedded in “west” means “where the first person was put in an enclosed garden [the Garden of Eden).
In doing so this brings us nicely back to the Garden of Eden and encompasses the time from the creation of man to the end of the great migration of mankind all over the world as a result of Babel.
These are all characters used in modern Chinese. If we research into oldest Chinese script known as the Oracle Bone script, we find even more characters that we can understand as telling the story found in the early books of the Bible.[i]
One can explain away a single character such as a garden, or a tree, because it could be drawn that way based on the object. However, when it comes to the complex pictograms of many sub characters, explaining concepts rather than literal objects there are just too many coincidences for these pictograms to not have been created to tell a story. Then for that story to agree with the accounts we find in the Bible is yet more evidence for the truth of these events.
Indeed in this short examination we have found evidence for all the major events from Creation, through the fall of man into sin, the first sacrifice and murder, to the Worldwide Flood, to the Tower of Babel and the resulting confusion of languages and spread of all mankind all over the post-flood world. Certainly, a dramatic history and a wonderful way to try to remember the lessons from what actually happened.
We surely can have our faith built up by these facts and understandings. We also can ensure that we too continue to worship the one Lord, and God of Heaven, who through his Word, Jesus Christ, created all things for our benefit, and wants us to continue to benefit.
[i] See God’s Promise to the Chinese, ISBN 0-937869-01-5 (Read Books Publisher, USA)