The Great Flood
The Last Days of the Old World
God has spoken to Noah nearly one hundred years earlier giving instructions concerning the Ark
and the animals, and assuring him that the flood indeed would come on schedule.
There had been no further word from heaven, but Noah had proceeded steadily and faithfully
with his unique mission and ministry, obeying God's commandments without question.
With all the urgency possible, he preached the coming judgment, year after year, but to no avail,
so far as converts were concerned.
Finally, the Ark was completed and all the animals were assembling.
The 120 years would be up in a few days, and Grandfather Methuselah who has served the Lord
longer than any man who ever lived, was on his deathbed.
Then after a century of silence, God once again spoke to Noah.
Noah had indeed prepared an ark "to the saving of his house" (Hebrews 11:7).
Genesis 7:1: "And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark;
for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation."
The Lord said to Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen
righteous before me in this generation."
Because Noah had exercised faith (Hebrews 11:7) in God's word, demonstrating his faith
through unwavering obedience to His commandments, God saw (accounted) him as righteous,
and save both him and his house.
This is God's gracious provision and promise to the one who is head of the house.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (acts 16:31).
It is significant that the Lord said "Come into the Ark," not "Go."
God would be in the Ark with them, and although the Flood would soon be unleashed
in devastating fury, they were all safe with Him.
Though it was because of Noah's faith and obedience that God gave the promise concerning
his house, each member of that household also exercised saving faith as well.
Each one chose voluntarily to enter the Ark and renounce the world
in which they had lived so long.
Undoubtedly, Noah was a man of great wealth, in order to finance the building of the Ark;
but he and his sons and their wives willingly left it all behind because of their faith
that God would perform what He had promised.
The balance between man's free choice and God's electing grace is one which man,
in finite understanding, can never fathom; but both are true.
God promised to Noah that his family would be saved (6:18) long before they voluntarily
chose to enter the Ark (7:7), but they did choose once the time arrived.
Genesis 7:2, 3: "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens,
the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
Of fowls also of the air by sevens the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face
of all the earth."
Immediately after telling Noah the time had come, God instructed him to take seven
of each clean animal, along with the pairs of all the others, on to the Ark,
"to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth."
Of course, the stated purpose was valid if the Flood was to be universal,
but irrelevant if they Flood were local.
The clean animals included a few "beasts" and "birds," but apparently no "creeping things."
It seems likely that the clean animals were those adjudged suitable for domestication
and a form of fellowship with man, and thus also suitable for sacrificial offerings
in atonement for man.
Since no previous categorization of animals as "clean" or "unclean" is given in Genesis,
it is perhaps most reasonable to believe that God allowed Noah to use
his own judgment on this.
The three pairs were to encourage the relatively greater numerical proliferation
of the clean animals after the Flood (on a par with man, with his three surviving families)
and perhaps also to allow for a greater variety of genetic factors,
so that more varieties could be developed later as needed.
The seventh animal in each group clearly was intended for sacrificial purposes (Genesis 9:20).
Much later, the Mosaic law plainly spelled out which animals were to be regarded as clean
in the Israelite system (Leviticus 11, etc.) though all such distinctions were to be removed
altogether in the Christian dispensation (acts 10:9-15; 1 Timothy 4:4).
Genesis 7:4, 5: "For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth
forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made
will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him."
Next, God made a rather unexpected statement that it would still be seven days
before the Flood would actually come on earth.
This was no doubt primarily for all of Noah's last-minute preparations – the installation
of the animals "in their stalls," feeding them, and so on, and perhaps for one last warning
to the world of the ungodly.
Perhaps it was also the period of mourning after the burial of Methuselah
(compare Genesis 50:10).
God assured Noah that after the seven days were finished a tremendous rain
would pummel the earth for forty and forty nights, until every living substance
was destroyed "from off the face of the earth."
A worldwide rain lasting forty days would be quite impossible under present atmospheric
conditions; so this phenomenon required an utterly different source of atmospheric waters
than now obtains.
This we have already seen to be the "waters above the firmament,"
the vast thermal blanket of invisible water vapor that maintained the greenhouse effect
in the antediluvian world.
God also revealed that everything in the dry land that had life would be,
literally, "wiped out" from the face of the ground.
This was to be no small matter; the earth would be completely cleansed of its corruption
in this global bath from heaven.
The words translated "every living substance" are koi yeyum, and mean literally "all existence,"
or "all that grows up."
This concept does not limit itself merely to everything with "the breath of life,"
but seems to include plants as well as animals.
The ground was to be so inundated and devastated as to be made utterly
barren of vegetation.
The lush forests and meadows of the antediluvian world were all to be uprooted, washed away,
and finally either buried in the sediments (where they would one day become coal beds
of the post-Flood world) or else just decay and go back to dust.
When God had finished His instructions, Noah proceeded to do "all that God commanded him,"
just as he had done for over a hundred years.
So here was the final test, the final break with the world he had known,
thrusting himself completely on God's mercy.
And so again, Noah obeyed without a shadow of hesitation.
Genesis 7:6-9: "And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters
was upon the earth.
And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons wives with him into the ark,
because of the waters of the flood.
Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of everything
that creepeth upon the earth,
There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female,
as God had commanded Noah."
At this point, the authors (originally presumably the sons of Noah) paused to mark
the solemnity of the occasion, denoting it in terms of Noah's age at the time.
This date, in effect, terminated the antediluvian and initiated the postdiluvian age.
Though the Flood had not yet begun, and entrance of Noah's family and the animals
into the Ark cut them off, once and for all, from the world outside.
From that moment on the new order had begun for all those
with whom God was dealing in grace.
Very solemnly, in order to emphasize that every one of God's promises and commandments
were being carried out to the letter, the narrative enumerates all who entered the Ark:
Noah, his sons, his wife, his son's wives, the clean animals, the unclean beasts,
the birds, and the creeping things.
These were the ones concerning which God had instructed Noah, and all were now
on the Ark as planned.
Each kind of animal was represented by a male and female, so that the created kinds
could be preserved to the Flood.
Of each clean animal, there were two additional pairs and another individual
for sacrificial purposes.
Everything had been done as commanded.
Genesis 7:10-12: "And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood
were upon the earth.
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day
of the month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains
of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights."
All of these preparations were completed on the "selfsame day" (verse 13)
that the Flood came.
The last grace period of seven days (verse 4) was ended,
and the time of judgment had arrived.
The exact date, in fact, was recorded – "the second month,
the seventeenth day of the month."
The dating of the coming of the Flood raises the question as to what calendar
was in use then – or whether possibly the date might later have been editorially amended
by Moses to correspond to the Jewish religious calendar.
It is probably impossible to be sure about this; but since all Scripture is divinely inspired,
there must have been some reason for recording the date with precision.
It is known that the Jewish civil year began in the late fall, as did most other
ancient calendars, presumably to correspond with the agricultural harvest.
Of course, the Jews had attempted to base their calendar on the date of Adam's creation.
The most natural interpretation of the chronological information in the early chapters of Genesis,
in the absence of any other date, would be that the measurement of time
began with the Creation.
In this case, the the data given would lead to the simple conclusion that the Flood
came on the earth 1,655 years, one month and seventeen days after Creation.
However, a calculation with this precision would depend on the assumption
that in Genesis 5 each named son was born only exact named birth date of his father,
an assumption which is quite unreasonable.
Consequently, it seems unlikely that the purpose of this passage was to give
the exact date after Creation when the Flood came.
However, it is still possible that the month and day as given do refer to a calendar
based on the date of Creation.
In that case the inference would be that Creation took place in what would now correspond
to the late fall, probably October, and then the Flood came
in late November or December.
On the other hand, if Moses later had superimposed the Jewish religious year calendar
on the dates, then Creation was probably in April, the Flood in late May or June.
This matter will be further discussed in connection with Genesis 8:4.
In any case, the account stresses that only a certain particular day, marking
the prophesied end of the antediluvian world, on that one day "were all the fountains
of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."
It is clear that the geophysical implications of this event are enormous,
and it is vital to both the scientific and Biblical understanding of earth history
that we determine exactly what the statements mean.
We have discussed (see Genesis 1:6-8; 2:5, 10-14; 5:5; etc.) the fact that
the antediluvian hydrologic cycle was sharply different from that of the present day.
It seems to have been controlled by the two great reservoirs of water resulting
from the primeval separation of the waters of the primordial "deep" (Hebrew tehom, Genesis 1:2)
on the second day of Creation into "waters above the firmament" and "waters below
the firmament," the firmament in this case consisting of the atmospheric heavens.
The "waters above the firmament" (also called "waters above the heavens" in Psalm 148:4)
constituted the vast vaporous canopy which maintained the earth as a beautiful greenhouse,
preventing cold temperatures and therefore preventing wind and rain storms.
Being in the vapor state, it was invisible and fully transparent, but nevertheless contained
vast quantities of water extending far out into space.
The "waters below the firmament" became what is referred to as "the great deep"
or "the great depths" of water.
This was water in the liquid state, visible especially to the first man in the form
of the antediluvian seas (Genesis 1:10) and rivers (Genesis 2:10-14).
These rivers were not produced by run-off from rainfall (Genesis 2:5), but emerged
to controlled fountain or springs, evidently from deep-seated sources
in or below the earth's crust.
There is an interesting reference to the abundant supplies of water pouring forth
from these fountains of the great depths in Proverbs 8:24,
and probably another in Job 38:16.
Such subterranean reservoirs were apparently all interconnected with each other,
as well as with the surface seas into which the rivers drained, so that the entire complex
constituted one "great deep."
The energy for repressurizing and recycling the waters must have come from the earth's
own subterranean heat implanted there at Creation.
This entire system must have been a marvelous heat engine, which would have operated
with wonderful effectiveness and definitely, as long as the earth's internal heat endured
and as long as the system of reservoirs, valves, governors, and conduits,
maintained their structure.
The details of its design were not revealed, but such a system is quite feasible hydraulically
and thermodynamically, and there is no reason to question the Creator's ability
to provide it for the world He had made.
When the time for the destruction of this world arrived, however, all that was required
was to bring the two "deeps" together again, as they had been when first created.
The waters above the firmament must be condensed and precipitated, and the waters below
the crust must burst their bounds and escape again to the surface.
Exactly how God caused the great Flood has been the occasion of wide speculation
by various writers.
All sorts of catastrophes have been suggested such as the sudden tilting of the earth's axis,
a bombardment of the earth by asteroids or meteorites, a sudden slipping of the earths crust,
nuclear explosions detonated by extraterrestrial space travelers, gravitational
and electromagnetic forces resulting from a near miss of the earth by a wandering planet
or comet, and many others.
All are highly imaginative and, of course, completely incapable of proof.
It would be helpful to keep in mind Occam's Razor (the simplest hypotheses which explains
all the data is the most likely to be correct), the Principle of Least Action
(nature normally operates in such a way as to extend the minimum effort to accomplish
a given result), and the theological principle of the Economy of Miracles
(God has, in His omnipotence and omniscience, created a universe of high efficiency
of operation and will not interfere in its operation supernaturally unless the natural principles
are incapable of accomplishing His purpose in a specific situation), in attempting to explain
the cause and results of the great Flood.
There is no question that God could have accomplished the entire event miraculously
(say, by a special creation the waters of the Flood and then by special "uncreation" of them
when it was over), but this would be unnecessary and therefore theologically unlikely.
By the same token, although a bombardment by asteroids or a series of orbital sweeps
by an "astral visitor" would not necessarily require any supernatural interposition,
except providential timing, these also would be unnecessary and, therefore
(at least in the complete absence of any Biblical record of such phenomena
as causing the Flood} most improbable.
The Bible specifically attributes the Flood to the bursting of the fountains of the great deep
and the pouring down of torrential rains from heaven.
These two phenomena are sufficient in themselves (in the line of related biblical information,
as discussed above) to explain the Flood and all its effects without the necessity
of resorting either to supernatural creative miracles or to providentially ordered
extraterrestrial interferences of speculated nature.
The breaking up (literally "cleaving open") of the fountains of the great deep is mentioned
first and so evidently was the initial action which triggered the rest.
These conduits somehow all developed uncontrollable fractures on the same day.
For such a remarkable world-wide phenomena, there must've been a worldwide cause.
The most likely cause would seem to have been a rapid buildup and surge of intense pressure
throughout the underground system, and this in turn would presumably require
rapid rise in temperature throughout the system.
Too little is known even today about the nature of the earth's deep interior
and its thermal activity to decide exactly what might have triggered
such a temperature rise.
Nuclear reactions involving heavy elements, a slow buildup of temperature against some sort
of insulating layer in the deep crust followed by a sudden fracture of the later
when the pressures and temperatures became too great, various combinations
of seismic and volcanic activity – many possibilities might be conjectured.
In any case there is surely abundant evidence in the earth's crust, especially
its "crystalline basement complex," of intense igneous, metamorphic, and tectonic activity
in the past, just as the sort of evidence one might expect to find if such a sequence
of events as outlined above had actually taken place.
It is also possible that some of these phenomena could have been miraculous,
in the case of providential ordering of times and circumstances (if so, however,
the providential miracle so involved would at least have been intraterrestrial
and directly related to the Biblical explanation, not extraterrestrial and arbitrary).
Once the postulated pressure rise caused the first "fountain" to crack open,
the pressurized fluid would surge through at this point and further weaken nearby boundaries,
until soon a worldwide chain reaction would develop, cleaving open all the fountains
of the great deep throughout the world.
The volcanic explosions and eruptions which would have accompanied these fractures
would have poured great quantities of magma up from the earth's mantle
along with the waters.
Furthermore, immense quantities of volcanic dust would have been blown skyward,
along with gigantic sprays of water and turbulent surges of the atmosphere.
The combination of atmospheric turbulence, expanding and cooling gases, and a vast supply
of dust and other particles to serve as nuclei of condensation would suffice to penetrate
the upper canopy of water vapor and trigger another chain reaction there,
causing its waters to begin to condense and coalesce and soon to start moving earthward
as a torrential global downpour of rain.
This entire phenomenon merits much further research and analysis, but at least
there is good reason to conclude that the simple statement of verse 11 provides
the basic information needed to explain the physical cause of the great Flood,
all of course under the providential supervision of the same God who created the earth
and its lands and waters in the first place.
The phrase "windows" of heaven is very graphic, many translators rendering it
by "floodgates" or "sluice ways" (though its usual meaning is simply "windows").
In any case, it certainly is intended to convey the ideal of great quantities of water,
formally restrained in the sky, suddenly released to deluge the earth.
The downpour continued at full intensity – exactly as God had predicted (verse 4)
– for forty days and forty nights.
Genesis 7:13-16: "In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham and Japheth,
the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with him, into the ark;
They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind,
and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind,
and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh,
wherein is the breath of life.
And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him:
and the Lord shut him in."
Once again the writer stresses, as though he realized future generations would find such
a story exceedingly difficult to believe, the great number of animals that were in the Ark
– "every sort of beast after his kind", wild beasts, cattle, and creeping things, birds,
insects (the Hebrew phrase means literally "every kind of little bird of every kind of wings").
In fact, everything with the breath of life, male and female.
Furthermore, on the very last day, after the seven days were finished, the day on which the Flood came, Noah and his family themselves entered the Ark.
This was evidence that their faith was in the absolute accuracy of God's Word,
neither fearfully rushing into the Ark ahead of time, nor presumptuously delaying past
the announced time.
Once all were inside, Noah evidently being last, a remarkable thing took place.
"The Lord shut him in."
How He did this is not recorded, but somehow the door to the Ark was shut and sealed,
without the help of any human hands.
This provided a final assurance to the occupants that they were in the will of God
and under His protection.
The old world was forever dead to them from that moment on.
Their life was henceforth a new life and they were to live in a new world.
The Ark of safety endured the batterings of the Flood for them, as the Flood destroyed
the world of the ungodly which would otherwise soon have destroyed them.
So Christ, in dying for our sins, triumphant over sin "that he might deliver us
from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father" (Galatians 1:4).
As the waters raged over the surface, gradually rising to destroy and bury the old world,
the same waters bore the Ark and its occupants far above the destruction
experienced in the depth below.
Therefore the waters of judgment and death were also waters
of cleansing and deliverance.
In a "lack figure" to this first great baptism, are baptismal waters now are said
to "save" us (1 Peter 3:20, 21), setting forth in a most striking figure the destruction
of the old life and elevation to a new life, delivered from the bondage of corruption
into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Overflowed with Water
The question of the nature and historicity of the Noahic Deludge is of immense importance
to Biblical Christianity.
The fact of the Flood is a pivotal issue in the entire conflict between Christianity
and anti-Christianity.If the principle of innate evolutionary development can fully explain
the universe and all its inhabitants, as its proponents claim,
then there is no need to postulate a Creator.
The chief evidence for evolution is the geological record of the suppose billions of years
of earth history, documented by the fossils entombed in the sedimentary rocks
of the earth's crust; and there is no room in this framework of interpretation
for a world-destroying Flood.
Therefore, if the latter has actually occurred, the assumptions of uniformity
and evolution as guiding principles in interpreting earth history are thereby prove
completely deceptive and false.
In its history, the earth is suffered much under the effects of the Curse.
Heat and cold, floods and droughts, earthquakes and eruptions – all kinds
of physical upheavals – have disturbed its crust and the inhabitants
dwelling on its surface.
But immeasurably greater in magnitude and extent than all other catastrophes combined
was the great Flood.
In our modern age of scientific skepticism, the enormity of this great event of the past
has been all but forgotten.
Its testimony of the awfulness of sin and the reality of divine retribution is so disturbingly
unwelcomed that men have tried for ages somehow to explain it away and forget it.
Even conservative Christians, although professing belief in the divine inspiration of Scripture,
have often ignore the significance of the Flood.
They have been intimidated by the evolutionary geologists and paleontologists who,
for over a hundred years, have insisted that all of earth history should be explained
in terms of slow development over great ages by the operation of the same natural processes
which now prevail, completely rejecting the concept of the universal Flood
at the dawn of history.
Many Christians have attempted to work out a compromise with evolutionary geology
by explaining the Flood as a local flood, caused by great overflow of the Euphrates
or some other river in the Middle East.It must be settled here, therefore, first of all,
that the Bible record does describe a universal, world-destroying Flood.
Genesis 7:17, 18: "And the flood was 40 days upon the earth; and the waters increased,
and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth.
And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth;
and the ark went upon the face of the waters."
In the next several verses of Genesis 7 appear a considerable number of reasons to prove
that the Bible is describing a worldwide Flood, and not a local flood.
Some of these are as follows:
1. The wording of the entire record, both here and throughout Genesis 6-9,
could not be improved on, if the intention of the writer was to describe a universal Flood;
as a description of a river overflow, it is completely misleading and exaggerated,
to say the least.
2. Expressions involving universality of the Flood and its effects occur more
than thirty times in Genesis 6-9.
3. The Flood "was [or better, 'was coming'] forty days upon the earth."
A continual downpour lasted for forty days, concurrently with a bursting of great clefts
in the crust (versus 11-12) would be impossible under present uniformitarian conditions.
4. The Flood which came on the earth was the mabbul, a word used solely in connection
with the Noahic Flood.
The ordinary Hebrew words for a local flood are not used here at all.
5. The water rise was quickly sufficient to "bare up the ark," indicating a depth
of at least 20 feet in the earliest stages of the Flood, since the Ark was
at least forty-four feet high and heavily loaded.
As we have already noted, the Ark was far too large to accommodate a mere regional fauna
and was more than adequate to house two of every species of land animal
in the whole world, living or extinct.
6. As the rains continued, the waters "prevailed," a word which means it literally, "were overwhelmingly mighty," and would be quite inappropriate in the setting of a local flood.
Job 12:15 says that the waters "overturn the earth."
7. The construction, outfitting, and stocking of the Ark, so that it "went upon the face
of the waters" had all been an absurd waste of time and money if the Flood
were to be only a local flood.
Migration would have been a far better solution to the problem, for Noah as well as
the birds and beasts.
Genesis 7:19, 20: "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth;
and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered."
The record of the Flood gives every indication of being an eyewitness account,
written originally by either Noah or his sons, possibly the latter.
As the account advances, it becomes more and more obvious that these witnesses
intended to describe what they firmly believed to be a worldwide,
uniquely destructive cataclysm.
Some other reasons are as follows [continuing the numbers in order]:
8. The waters covered all the "high hills" and the "mountains" ("hills" and "mountains"
of the same word in the original, the repetition being a case of Hebrew parallelism
for the purpose of emphasis).
9. The water is not only "were overwhelmingly mighty" (translated "prevailed" in verse 18)
but "prevailed exceedingly" over the earth.
10. All the mountains "under the whole heaven" were inundated under at least
15 cubits of water (half the height of the Ark, probably representing its depth
of submergence), telling us that the Ark could float freely over the mountains.
These would patently include at least the mountains of Ararat, the highest peak
of which reaches 17,000 feet.
A 17,000 foot Flood is not a local flood!
11. The mountains were "covered."
The Hebrew word here, kasah, conveys a very positive emphasis; it could well be
rendered "overwhelmed," as it is translated in some instances.
The waters not only inundated the mountains but eventually washed them away.
12. A double superlative – "all the high mountains under all the heavens" – cannot possibly
allow the use of the word "all" here in a "relative" sense, as sometimes maintained
by proponents of the local flood theory.
Genesis 7:21-23: "And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle,
and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground,
both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven;
and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive,
and they that were with him in the ark."
13. "All flesh died that moved upon the earth."
In a local flood, most of the fauna can escape death by fleeing the rising waters
or by swimming to dry ground if necessary (or by flying away, in the case of birds";
but this would be impossible in a universal Flood.
14. "Every man" died, in accordance with the very purpose of the Flood.
In a local flood, most people escape.
Furthermore, there is no longer any question that ancient man occupied the entire globe
at a date (as calculated by anthropologists, at least) much earlier than the date
of any supposed "local flood" corresponding to the event described in Genesis.
A local flood would not have reached "every man."
15. Not only did everything with "the breath of life" die (this including animals,
as well as man, further confirming that animals possess the ruach, or "spirit" of life),
but so was "every living substance destroyed.
The word translated "living substance" is one word in Hebrew, yequm, and is simply
translated "substance" in Deuteronomy 11:6.
It clearly refers here to vegetation, as well as animals.
In fact, God had told Noah: "I will destroy man with the earth" (Genesis 6:13).
16. Only Noah and those with him in the Ark survived the Flood, so that all present men
are descended from Noah's three sons (see also Genesis 9: 1, 19).
Likewise, all the earth's present dry-land animals came of those on the Ark
(Genesis 8:17, 19; 9:10).The very purpose of God had been to destroy all other living men
(Genesis 6:7) and land animals (Genesis 6:17; 7:22).
Genesis 7:24: "And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days."
For the third time the word "prevailed" is used (see comments on verses 18 and 20),
this time indicating that the waters prevailed 150 days.
It was not until after this period that the "fountains of the deep" and the "Windows of heaven"
were shut (8:2) and the waters began to retreat.
The extreme duration of the Flood indicates still further Biblical reasons
for regarding it as universal.
7. No local flood continues to rise for 150 days.
18. Even after the waters began to abate, and the Ark grounded on the highest
of the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4), it was another 2 1/2 months before the tops
of of the mountains could be seen (8:5).
19. Even after four months of receding floodwaters, the dove sent out by Noah
could find no dry land on which to light (8:9).
20. It was over an entire year (7:11; 8:13) before enough land had been exposed
to permit the occupants to leave the Ark.
In view of all the above considerations, it is almost inconceivable that man professing
to believe the Bible could endorse the local flood theory.
Nevertheless, many in the evangelicals have been the sole intimidated by the pretensions
of modern scholarship that they would sooner give up "the praise of God"
than "the praise of men" (John 12:43).
To the above 20 reasons may be appended the following additional Biblical reasons
for believing in a worldwide flood:
21. God's promise never to send such a Flood again (Genesis 8:21; 9:11, 15) has been
broken repeatedly if it were only a local or regional flood.
22. The New Testament uses a unique term (kataklusmos, "cataclysm") for the Flood
(Matthew 24:39; Luke 17:27; 2 Peter 2:6) instead of the usual Greek word for "flood."
23. New cosmological conditions came into being after the Flood, including sharply defined
seasons (Genesis 8:22), the rainbow along with rain (Genesis 2:5; 9:13-14),
and enmity between man and beasts (Genesis 9:2).
24. Man's longevity began a long, slow decline immediately after the Flood
(compare Genesis 5 and Genesis 11).
25. Later Biblical writers accepted the universal Flood (note Job 12:15; 22:16;
Psalm 29:10; 104:6-9; Isaiah 54:9; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:5, 6; Hebrews 11:7).
26. The Lord Jesus Christ accepted the historicity and universality of the Flood,
even making it the climatic sign and type of the coming worldwide judgment
when Jesus returns (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26, 27).
As we will see in the next section, there is also strong geological evidence
for the universal Flood, rather than for uniformitarianism and evolution.
Regardless of any real or imagined geological difficulties, however, the Word of God
teaches unequivocally that the Flood was worldwide in its extent
and cataclysmic in its effects.
The only course legitimately open to Bible-believing Christians is to reinterpret
the geological data to conform to this Biblical revelation.
After the Deluge
The Bible unequivocally teaches that the Genesis Flood was worldwide, not local.
Since the Bible is infallibly true, this means that was a worldwide Flood,
whether or not modern geologists are willing to believe it.
Furthermore, a worldwide Flood would not have been a tranquil flood.
A worldwide tranquil flood is a contradiction in terms, comparable to a tranquil explosion.
The tremendous ability of moving water to erode and transport great quantities
of sediment and heavy objects of all sorts is well known to all who've ever experienced
even a local flood.
In fact, most modern geologists believe that the majority of geological formations
were produced in local floods or other local catastrophes; so it is obvious that
a worldwide flood must have had worldwide geologic effects.
Especially must this have been true in such a Flood as described in the Bible,
caused by global eruptions and downpours continuing for 150 days.
Such a Flood would have destroyed every earlier physiographic feature
on or near the earth circles, redepositing the eroded materials all the world in stratified
sedimentary rocks of the earth's crust.
Not only do such sedimentary rocks abound all over the world, but they give much evidence
of having been informed by rapid and continuous depositional processes.
Each individual stratum is a distinct sedimentary unit and, in most formations,
can be shown by hydraulic analysis to have been formed within a few minutes' time.
Furthermore, it can be shown that within a series of "conformable" strata, each subsequent
stratum began to be deposited immediately after the preceding one.
When the strata above and below a given interface are not conformable
(such space surfaces called an "unconformity" by geologists), then a significant
time gap is indicated.
However, since there are no worldwide unconformities, one can always find a place
at which any given formation does grade conformably and imperceptibly
into another formation above it, without a time gap.
The obvious conclusion from such syllogistic reasoning is that, since each unit in the geological
column was formed rapidly, and since each unit was followed immediately
by another unit above it, therefore the whole column was formed rapidly!
Thus, the geologic evidence the man is a catastrophic,
rather than a uniformitarian, explanation.
For example, it is assumed (reasonably) that the average thickness of the sedimentary rocks
around the world is about 1 mile and the average rate of deposition during flooding
conditions is 1 inch of compacted sediment every 5 minutes, then it would
only take 220 days to form the entire column.
The existence of fossils in the sedimentary deposits is further evidence
that they were formed rapidly.
Fossils are so ubiquitous and so important, in fact, that they constitute the chief means
of assigning a geologic "age" to a given formation (as deduced from the presumed
"stage-of-evolution) of its fossil contents).
However, the preservation of fossils requires rapid burial and lithification,
or else they will be destroyed by decay or scavengers.
In addition to the testimony of the sedimentary processes which formed them
in the fossils contained in them, all of the different types of sedimentary rocks
(and igneous and metamorphic rocks as well) give strong evidence that they could never
have been produced by modern uniformitarian processes.
The same is true of geologic structures such as mountains, canyons, alluvial plains,
and so forth.
More and more evolutionary geologists today are returning to the concept of at least
local catastrophes as the explanation for all types of geological features and formations.
More and more creationist geologists and other scientists are returning to the concept
that all these local catastrophes were essentially contemporaneous and continuous,
making up a complex which was nothing less than a worldwide cataclysm.
Clearly, that cataclysm was the Genesis Flood.
This concludes chapter 7.