Does the Bible ever exaggerate?
Why didn’t Noah save the plants? Well, Noah didn’t save the fish either. Needless to say, the fish would have survived the flood even though the Bible states that all creatures were corrupted upon the face of the earth. One way to interpret it is that the Bible always exaggerates to make a point. It obviously meant that most people were sinners and that the flood was of natural consequences, which is to say that people didn’t pay attention to the signs of the possibility of a flood and remained where they were. Acts have consequences that can have long-lasting effects even for generations.
Was there a world wide flood?
So, what of the plants? Now that we know that not every plant was corrupted and in need of eradicating, we can safely assume that not all were drowned. Indeed, the Bible doesn’t state that all plants drowned for a dove brought back a branch for Noah, indicating that land was nearby and that it was time to land. It is possible that the flood was a local event. This would explain why people and animals inhabited the world over before and after the flood. To support this claim I will quote Rabbi Marc Shapiro who says that it would be impossible to image a certain animal only inhabited to its region would have lived elsewhere, especially if the animal could not sustain in the region, not to mention the lack of evidence.
Now that we know the flood was local and that there was no need to kill all living things since it is not possible to imagine that everyone with the sole exception of one family were guilty. The Torah itself makes this very claim by citing the doves’ return to the boat with a branch, indicating that it was a local flood.