The Genesis Flood - Where Did the Water Come From?
Other Extra Water Sources
The Genesis Flood reached a height of 15 cubits above the highest mountain on earth.
Gen. 7:17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.
Gen. 7:18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
Gen. 7:19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
Gen. 7:20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
By Sir Isaac Newton's definition of a cubit, that is more than 30 feet. Many geologists who believe the literal account of the Genesis Flood are convinced that much of the heaving up of the high mountains may have occurred after the waters stopped rising, so that the depth of the water could have been far less than it would have to be to do that same thing today. Others feel that the elevating of the mountains was caused by the breaking up of the fountains of the deep when the gushing out of high pressure, juvenile waters were causing volcanic and earthquake activity. (Juvenile waters are the young waters or the waters just newly introduced to the atmosphere from their tomb under the earth's crust.) In any event, even at the lower mountain levels, it took an incredible amount of water to cover the earth in that manner. Where did the extra water come from? Is it in any way reasonable to believe that so much extra water could have been found to cause such a phenomenon?
Plenty of Water for the Flood
Notwithstanding notions to the contrary by opportunistic historic geologists and other atheistic scientists who believe that the Biblical account is vulnerable at this point, there were such water sources. Not only that, but an understanding of where the water came from and where it went to after the Flood fits perfectly into the Biblical record and the geological record that we observe today.
No Rain in the Antediluvian World
In the Antediluvian world there had been no rain. A mist went up every morning and watered the whole face of the earth. Every person who has studied the fossils is forced to agree that the whole earth was once much warmer than it is now. The Polar Regions were once lush grasslands. The coal deposits bear historic record that rich vegetation flourished on the earth in the early days. One coal deposit, it is generally agreed, bears record of a layer of vegetation 400 feet thick. This vegetation, we believe, was swept into place by the flood waters and buried by sediment. Even so, the availability of such vegetation speaks of a time when the earth was covered much more deeply in richer soils, and the climate was such that it grew in much greater density. The incredible Mammoth grave yards in the Polar Regions and of Siberia and Alaska (a matter which historic geologists, historic paleontologists, and proponents of the evolutionary theory always understate and play down) testify that abundant animal life was grazing in what were then tropical regions when the swift and catastrophic Flood came upon them.
The Great Moisture Canopy
These things tell us of a canopy of moisture that surrounded the earth, holding in the radiant heat and filtering out harmful radiation from the sun. Some scientists have put forth the theory that such a filtering out of the harmful rays could account for the great longevity of the ancients. The falling of the canopy allowed harmful rays to reach the earth in greater quantity and concentration, and this started the gradual reduction of longevity. Orthodox theologians are content on this subject to say that the shortening of the years was due to God's judgement and mercy. We consider other, more apologetic explanations to be a weakening of that Biblical truth. But in any case, most all agree that the water canopy was there.
The Waters Above the Firmament
Some scientists believe that this is the meaning of Genesis 1:7. This, they feel, is telling us that there was a canopy of water in the earth's atmosphere. Other Orthodox Christian Theologians do not believe that this can be the meaning of Genesis 1:7, or at least not the whole meaning. Genesis 1:15 says that the waters are above the sun, the moon and the stars because the waters were above the firmament and the sun, the moon, and the stars are in the firmament.
The Great River and the Four Rivers
The evident conclusion that one draws from Genesis 2:5, 6, and 10 is that a great river flowed out of the earth, watered the Garden, flowed out of the Garden, and divided into four large rivers that went forth into the whole earth that was all one connected land mass in those days (and yes, there are geological and paleontological testimonies to support this too). From these rivers a mist rose up every morning and watered all of the ground. Granted it was not an intense irrigation, but then if it happened every day the ground did not need to be soaked. The climate was tropical and the temperatures were very warm. In this way a canopy of water vapor was lifted up and suspended in the atmosphere.
The Water-Bearing Capacity of the Thermosphere
It is universally recognized that air at about 80 miles up is very hot - from 100 to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason it is called the Thermosphere. At such temperatures it can hold tremendous volumes of water vapor. Since the water vapor does not displace the air, the amount of water that can be suspended is not determined by the amount of air present in the same space. Water vapor weighs only 0.622% as much as air. Without nuclei of condensation (particles for rain drops to form on) the water vapor would stay suspended indefinitely. The most common condensation nuclei is salt from the ocean and since there was no rain-and-evaporation cycle to lift the salt from the sea (if indeed there was any salt to speak of in the antediluvian sea; a much smaller body of water and far less turbid than the post-diluvian ocean because there was no runoff from the land into the sea) there was nothing to cause it to rain. Such water vapor is transparent and cannot be seen, but it does filter out harmful sun rays. There was plenty of room in the atmosphere for the amount of water needed to cause the flood, to be suspended as a canopy. Morris -Whitcomb says, in The Genesis Flood, page 256:
"There is no question that a vapor blanket of indefinitely great extent could be supported by the lower atmosphere.... Furthermore, the amount of vapor that could be maintained in any given volume of space in the vapor blanket would not be significantly affected by the presence of air or other gases in the region."
Other Extra Water Sources
Another source of enormous quantities of water was the mammoth subterranean pools trapped under the non-fractured seal of the earth's crust. When the fountains of the deep were broken up, probably by volcanic action and earthquakes cracking the crust, great volumes of high-pressure water rushed out. According to Genesis 8, verse 2, this releasing of subterranean waters from the earth's crust went on for forty days--or at least synonymous with the closing of the windows of heaven--before the fountains of the deep were stopped. Again I quote from Morris-Whitcomb and The Genesis Flood, page 122:
"Great volcanic explosions and eruptions are clearly implied in the statement, 'all the fountains of the deep were broken up.' This must mean that great quantities of liquids, perhaps liquid rocks of magmas, as well as water (probably steam), had been confined under great pressure below the surface rock structure of the earth since the time of its formation and that this mass now burst forth through great fountains, probably both on lands and under the seas."
So the water necessary to flood the whole earth to a depth of 30 or more feet above the highest mountain came from the tremendous canopy of water vapor surrounding the earth; and from the water described by the Bible as the fountains of the deep--in other words, waters stored beneath the earth's crust and released by upheavals, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. This is indeed what the Bible says: "The windows of heaven were opened and the fountains of the deep were broken up."
What caused the canopy of water vapor to fall? God caused it to fall as a judgement. Are there any natural causes He might have used that we are aware of? The process could have been triggered by anything that would have introduced particles into the vapors. That would include such things as a meteor shower. Pollution from the huge population of the earth finally reaching to those heights could have been involved. Or perhaps dust from a great volcano, the eruption of which was timed by God for this event. But these things are not known to us and it is not necessary to know them or we would have been told.
The Universality of the Flood
That the Bible describes this as a universal flood is plainly evident by the normal sense of language:
"And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them...And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth...And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die...and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth...And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift 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. 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. 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." (Genesis 6:7, 13, 17; 7:4, 7:17-23)
In I Peter 3:20 the Apostle said that only eight souls were saved, and in II Peter 3:6: "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished."
The Chronology of the Flood
The downpour of rain and the spewing of water by the great fountains of the deep lasted for forty days, but the flood level continued to be above the highest mountain for 150 days. Some Bible-believing scientists hold that the Flood, in the following 110 days, maintained its level as a result of the fountains of the deep continuing to flow for another 110 days. These things are difficult to sort out and we do not make light of any legitimate attempt to come to grips with this great story and these enormous events. Even so, chapter 8, verse 2 says that both sources of water were stopped simultaneously and that the waters receded from day 40 to day 150, at which time they had receded enough so that the Ark could come to rest in the 17th day of the seventh month, which was 150 days after it all began.
Isostasy, Tectonic Activity, and Other Strange Goings On
During this time, the ocean's bottom was sinking due to the fracturing of the earth's crust, the voids left by the escaping water and volcanic material, and the enormous weight of the huge accumulation of sediment. This in turn was pushing up the mountains by the principle of isostasy, which means balancing off of forces, especially weight, so that there is a condition of equal pressure on all sides, or a hydrostatic equilibrium. Another way of putting it is that when something heavy pushed down the surface of the earth in one spot, something lighter was pushed up in another. It can be analogized as trying to put an inflated inner-tube in a tire that is too small for it. If you push it in at one place, it will pop out at another.
The Prevailing Waters of the Flood
The water vapor canopy had fallen and the fountains of the deep were stopped at the end of forty days. For another 110 days the water prevailed. The word prevailed, is the Hebrew word gabar (gaw-bar'),which means: to be haughty, to exalt one's self, to lift up, to mount up, to be proud, to raise up great height, to go upward. It is true that the phrase to be haughty could mean to refuse to subside, or to stand one's ground, but the text says to the effect that they continued to cover the earth, though they were subsiding.
The Raging, Mighty Wind
After 140 days and for the duration of the 150 days and perhaps longer, God caused a great wind not only to blow, but to pass over the whole earth according to verse 1 of chapter 8. The word for wind is ruwach (roo'-akh). It is quite versatile in what it means. It can mean anger, a blast, or something very destabilizing. The purpose of this wind was to cause the waters to assuage. It is the Hebrew word shakak (shaw-kak') and it carries with it the thought of hiding, secreting, weaving over, or trapping. It seems to say that the waters were going back into hiding, i.e. into the earth from whence they came and being sealed off again by the sediments or the shifting bottom. God caused this wind to pass over the earth. This is an interesting phrase. The word pass is the Hebrew `abar (aw-bar'). It is one of those primary root words which have a multitude of meanings. It means to transition over, to cover, to crisscross, to alienate, to alter, to meddle, to overrun, to make to go away, to provoke to anger, wrath, to transgress, or the way of the wayfarer. The word for over is the Hebrew 'al (al). It is a preposition and it means over, above, against, beside, between, beyond, because of, concerning, through and a host of other like expressions. It is the word used by King David in Psalm 42:7, when he said: "Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me." He used it again when he said, in Psalm 124:5, "Then the proud waters had gone over our soul." In these passages the Holy Ghost used the language of the Great Deluge to dramatize the depths of Christ's suffering in hell and of the awesome fear and destruction of one being triumphed over by his enemies.
The Receding Waters of the Flood
Verse 3 says that the waters returned continually from off the earth. The word returned is the Hebrew shuwb (shoob)and it means: to turn back, to return to the starting point, to retreat, to go home again, to refresh, to restore, to go backward, to withdraw. The word continually is halak (haw-lak')and it means to go forward, go around, go about, to depart, to return, to come, to go, backward, forward, to go too and fro, and to roam. In verse 7 we are told that the waters were dried up. This is the word yabesh (yaw-bashe') which means ashamed, confused, disappointing, withered away.
Together with the word wind we can very legitimately and very necessarily put together this interpretation: God, in His anger, caused a great furious blast to rage over the whole earth for five months or more, driving the confused waters in all directions with great speed and force, thoroughly ripping apart, destroying, washing clean, and reshaping the whole face of the earth.
This whipping to and fro of this unfathomable mass of shoreless waters by the great wind caused them to either go back into the earth to be sealed off again or to be withered by evaporation back up into the canopy from whence they fell. This was a violent, turbulent, and confused sea. It wandered aimlessly like a wayfarer, its great currents from all parts of the earth, slamming violently into land masses, and going back out again, until it lowered enough that the surface could be seen.
But the earth at this point had no low grounds or sprouting shrubs and plants. It was a wasted, muddy mess. Ten days later the lowlands, or the mud flats, were visible and plant life had started to grow. The dove found food and nesting and did not come back. Even so, the word for dried in verse 13 is the Hebrew charab (khaw-rab'or chareb (khaw-rabe')which means: desolate, destroyed, decayed, and wasted. It was a desolation of decay and death, which were everywhere. This verse means only to tell us that the waters had receded off of the land, or ground.
The Earth Begins to Dry
In verse 14, which was 50 days later, the earth was dried. Here the word is again yabesh (yaw-bashe'). It was a grim, shameful, disappointing scene of destruction and confusion; but the waters had withered or evaporated away so that Noah, his family, and the animals could get out of the Ark.
The Chronology of the Flood from Start to Finish
So the chronology of the Great Flood was this:
1. The rains fell and the fountains of the deep flowed for 40 days, at which time the great wind came and the waters began to assuage, though they continued to cover the highest mountain for another 110 days to the 150th day.
2. At the end of the 40 days and during the 110 days the waters began to either go back into the crust of the earth (not as much as had come out because the sinking ocean floor had diminished the size of the voids) or to be evaporated back up as a canopy (never to come anywhere near the size of the original canopy as we shall see).
3. On the 224th day the tops of the mountains could be seen.
4. Forty days later, on the 10th of November, or the 10th day of the eleventh month, which was the 264th day, Noah sent out a raven and a dove through a window in the Ark. The raven was apparently able to feed on the carrion floating on the water and to find some place to rest, presumably in the mountains or on the top of the Ark, so he never returned; but because there was no nesting places and no vegetation for food, the dove came back.
5. On the 271st day Noah sent out the dove again, and it came back with the olive leaf.
6. 7 days later he sent out the dove yet again, and it did not come back.
7. On the 1st day of the 601st year, Noah removed the cover from the Ark but the ground areas were too muddy and sloppy to go out onto. He waited until the 27th day of the 2nd month of the 601st year and then went out of the Ark, at which time the ground was dry enough to start cultivating and building on.
How Long Was Noah In The Ark?
So how long was Noah in the Ark? If a year was 365 days long, he was in the Ark 375 days from the 17th day of the 2nd month of the 600th year until the 27th day of the 2nd month of the 601st year.
However, some Bible scholars say that the Hebrew calendar only had 30 days in a month. This would seem to be borne out by verse 4 of chapter 8 which says that from the 2nd month and the 17th day to the 7th month and the 17th day was a time space of exactly 150 days, though by our calendar that would be 151 days. If that scenario is true, the time in the Ark would be 370 days. These are things I am not sure about, but I do know that it was from the 17th day of the year 600 until the 27th day of the year 601, or in other words, a year and 10 days. The Ark was moving upon the waters for 150 of those days until it came to rest on Mt. Ararat.
Was Ararat Really Ararat?
It is by no means clear what mountain range was being identified as the mountains of Ararat in those days. This was the time when there was no division of nations, let alone an Armenia. And it does not help to look to Moses' day, because there was no Armenia then, either. The word Ararat is an obscure word and may have some other meaning entirely.
How High Were The Mountains?
And then there are men, like Dr. Henry M. Morris of the Institute for Creation Research, who believe that the furious wind and the receding of the waters into the crust caused great tectonic activity during the time that the waters were receding. Tectonic activity makes reference to the changing of the earth's surface and includes the heaving up of the mountain ranges. Everyone believes that the mountains where heaved up at some point, and there is no time in verifiable history when the instability of the surface of the earth combined with the necessary and obviously capable forces to do this very work. Many mountains may have been raised to heights much higher than the one where the Ark rested during the following seven months. We must, however, to be consistent with the Scriptures, say that the mountains of Ararat, wherever they were and whatever is meant by them, were the highest mountains on earth at the moment that the Ark came to rest on them. No mountains were uncovered for another 73 days. By far the greatest volume of water that had to be removed was comprehended in the first 73 days. The volume decreased dramatically and astronomically as the level lowered.
I live in California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These are some of the highest mountains in the original 48 states. On the very top of passes like Tioga and Sonora, both of which are principally 10,000 feet where the road crosses with peaks to more that 14,000, there are water marks on the faces of the high cliffs and clams fossilized in the tops of rocks. Both of these phenomena own their genesis to a universal flood that covered the whole earth and receded very rapidly. A slow recession of the waters would have laved away the slimes and saline solution necessary for the clams to fossilize. One will find no fossils on tops of rocks at the sea shore. And then, too, of course, it had to be a time when there were no sea birds to find the clams and eat them. These phenomena along with hundreds of other factors attest to the reality of the great Flood to any honest person who is seeking truth. As for historic geologists and paleontologists, wisdom is justified of her children.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1830069