Why didn’t God send Noah on a long trip to escape the flood?
If God had sent Noah out of Mesopotamia then he could have judged the unrighteous without making Noah go through the trouble of building an ark. God could have done this, but at the same time we could ask many “why” questions.
For instance, why did God make the Israelites march around Jericho for seven days prior to the wall falling down? Why did God make the Israelite look upon the bronze serpent to be healed of snake bite in the wilderness? Why did Jesus make the blind man go to the Pool of Siloam to heal his blindness?
We can’t know for sure why God did not send Noah on some long trip, perhaps God had a plan for Noah, part of which was for him and his sons to demonstrate their commitment and perseverance to the Lord their God.
If God had told Noah to just leave the area where it would be flooding, the people would not have been warned of the judgment. In other words, Noah building the ark was a warning to the people in the area, and likely they asked him why he was building an ark. The Genesis text states that the ark was being built for 100 years, thus, giving ample time of warning. Other times we see that God always warns people before his judgment on them would, for instance, God sent angels to Sodom before it was to be destroyed, he sent Jonah to Nineveh to warn them of the judgment to come, and he will also send two prophets to warn the people of the earth of the final judgment. Likewise Noah via him building the ark was a “preacher of righteousness”.
Why were their birds on the ark if the flood was local?
If the Flood was local, why then would birds have been on board the ark? All they had to do was fly to a nearby mountain range. Most birds, other than a few migratory birds, have a very localized territory. They would have been killed in the local flood as they are not designed to fly long distances. One thing worthy of notice is that you will never see a bird flying in heavy rain as it is not easy for them. They would have sat on their branches and in their nests until the water would have drowned them.
Why did Noah take animals onto the ark if the flood was local?
Some animals are indigenous only to the Mesopotamian area. Because of this it would have taken hundreds of years longer to replace the fauna if everything had been wiped out and had to migrate back in. Since Noah, like others in that time, would have been a farmer, he would have problem replacing his cattle if they all drowned.
How could the flood waters rise 15 cubits (8 meters) above the mountains in a local flood (Genesis 7:20)?
Does the text not state that the flood water covered the highest mountains? The Hebrew word “har” translated “mountains” occurs 649 times in the Old Testament. In 212 instances, the word is translated “hill” or “hills” or “hill country”. In Genesis it is translated as “hill” 10 out of a total of 19 times. 4 out of 9 times that it is translated as “mountain” is in the flood passage. In every instance in Genesis, the text could be translated “hill”. Since no specific mountain range is mentioned in this verse, it is likely that the word refers to the hills that Noah could see.