|The Waters Start!!
10 "It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.
12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. "
There was something like a "grace" period of 7 days. The waters were to start in 7 days. Noah was 600 years old. Now scripture tells us in very much detail when the flood starts. Scripture is not completely clear what the month is.
From biblical and archaeological evidence there appeared to be three different major ways for reckoning the years and the dividing up the year into months. Each of them reflects a different social system and religious ideology.
It can be seen that the reckoning is confusing. However, the expected reckoning for the flood is a 360 day year with each month being 30 days. When doing more accurate calculations of the year of the flood, one must introduce the extra days and months. For the purposes of this study, we will use relative terms (a first month, a second month, etc.). It was expected the primeval year start at the autumn equinox. The first day of autumn, when the sun crosses the plane of the Earth’s equator and makes day and night approximately of equal length. The day occurs in September in the northern hemisphere. Normal rains would start about one month to six weeks after the equinox. Therefore, the flood rains started approximately on our 17th of October. We will be using this starting date as a base for all future calculations used in chapters 7-9. Using the genealogy of Genesis, calculations would start the flood 1655 years, one month, and seventeen days after Creation (with the idealistic assumption that all calculations were based on all sons born on the birth date of the father). This is not accurate. However, this calculation does give the reader an idea of the chronology.
First: it was based on the agricultural society (called the “Gezer Calendar” discovered by R.A.S. Macalister and translated. by W.F. Albright, Ancient Near Eastern Texts). It starts in the fall and ends in the following summer. The year is based on agricultural events rather than astronomical observations.
Second: The entire Old Testament uses a lunar-solar calendar. By observing the heavenly bodies, the economic and religious activity were determined. It is called “lunar-solar” because it allowed the sun’s orbit to mark the years’ beginning. The beginning of months were determined by observation of the phases of the moon. The first appearance of the new moon would mark the new month. According to the Talmud, when the priests acknowledged the position, they would proclaim it by sending messengers and blowing trumpets.
- His two months are (olive) harvest,
- His two months are planting (grain),
- His two months are late planting;
- His month is hoeing up of flax,
- His month is harvest of barley,
- His month is harvest and feasting;
- His two months are vine-tending,
- His month is summer fruit.
Note:The Talmud (means "study" or "learning") is an accumulation of acquired wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of the Torah. It has in it commentaries, teachings, and opinions that disciples learn from their predecessors. The Jewish law was very complicated. In addition to the Talmud (Babylonian and Jerusalem), there are the Torah, Midrash, Halacha, Haggadah, Targum, Mishnah, Tosephta, Gemara, and others. As can be seen, there is a lot to the Talmud and Jewish law that is beyond the scope of this study.
The problem with the lunar-solar calendar is the length of the solar year and the 12 lunar months. There were about eleven days short of the solar year. From the Babylonians, the Hebrews learned to add an extra month every two or three years. In rabbinical times this “intercalary” month was inserted seven times in nineteen years.
Third, There was a sect known as the Essenes. They created a purely solar calendar that combined mathematical calculation with a special ideology. The Essenes gave each month thirty days but added a special day at the end of each three-month period, giving a year of 364 days. We have reason to believe that when this party tried to put this calendar into practice, the Temple authorities drove them into exile. It would have disrupted the official religious festival cycle based on the lunar-solar year. We know about this erratic calendar only from sectarian books like the scrolls of Qumran.
First mentioned is the opening of the fountains of the deep. Then the windows of heaven were opened. It rained for forty days and forth nights. So what were the fountains of the deep? In Gen. 1:2, day one, God speaks of the surface of the deep and the waters. In Gen. 1:6, day 2, God speaks of the separating the firmaments or expanses. The waters above the firmament is said to be the environmental dome of the earth discussed in the earth canopy discussion. The waters below the firmament became known as the great deep. These were seen by the early people by lakes, rivers, and seas. However, remember if the dome explanation is acceptable, there was no rain and therefore no replenishing of these water sources. So how did the waters replenish? They were filled by a complex underground network of water tunnels and channels. These allowed the waters on earth to be fed by springs and fountains. This is not something new or derived to explain the flood. This is known to be true today. About 2/3 of the earth is water. There is a gigantic amount of underground water.
When the flood started, something started the flow from the deep because that is what is started first. The rains had to start from the firmaments above the earth. The water had to be precipitated as rains with an environment that originally did not allow rain. Now, how did God start this whole process started? That is a question that will never be answered here or until the end. There are several good ideas; but, there is nothing absolute. Some kind of catastrophe occurred. Was there an earthquake? an asteroid or meteor? a slipping of the earth's crust? extra-terrestrial space travelers? near misses of a planet or comet? etc. There are many ideas. Probably it is one of the following:
The BIble specifically states the Flood to be caused by the bursting of the fountains of the great deep and the pouring down of torrential rains. This is enough to cause the Flood. The most likely cause would follow the natural laws of God. The internal pressures caused by tremendous interior heat probably created pressures under the earth's crust to "explode" the portions of the earth to spew out gigantic amounts of water. We know today that any volcano eruption (read the links given in the study plans on Mt. St. Helens) has almost 90% of the eruption material to be water and steam. This would certainly be able to supply water to the Flood. Now, follow this. The scripture says the deep comes first. There would be enough power in the deep explosions to penetrate the water dome. All one would need is a balance problem in the environment to have the dome collapse. That is probably what started the rain.
- Occam's Razor (he simplest hypothesis is probably the most likely),
- Principle of Least Action (nature will expand itself with minimum effort to accomplish a given result), or
- Economy of Miracles (God has, in His omnipotence and omniscience created a universe of high efficiency of operation and will not interfere in this operation supernaturally unless the natural principles are incapable of accomplishing His purpose in a specific situation).
13 On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark,
14 they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds.
15 So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life.
16 Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him."
On the same (KJV: "selfsame" - the exact same one; not any other) day of the flood starting, the family entered the ark. Of course, all the animals and crawlers and fowl were in the ark. There is a restatement of two-by-two and male and female. Now comes a very interesting statement in scripture. "the LORD closed it behind him". God Himself closes the ark door behind Noah. We do not know how. We can assume that God closed and sealed the door as He saw fit. This is meant to give the final assurance that God's Will will be done and they are all under God's protection. This is the last the family would see of the earth in its old form. The "new earth" after the flood will be totally different.
17 Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth.
18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.
19 The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.
20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.
21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;
22 of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died.
23 Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.
24 The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days."
The flooding action from the rain was forty days. This increasing of the water eventually lifted the ark off the ground. It rose enough to float on the surface of the water. The water kept rising and rising until all the mountains were covered. Now the water prevailed (Hebrew: gabar means "strong" and "mighty") fifteen cubits above the highest peak. That is about 22-1/2 feet above the highest peak. Scientists have calculated that with the weight of the ark (animals, people, food, etc.), the ark would draft (amount of the ark under water while floating) about 22-1/2 feet. This water height gave the ark full flexibility to float anywhere on earth. All the flesh (people, animals, etc.) perished in the water. God "blotted" out every living thing that was on earth. The water prevailed on the earth for one hundred and fifty days. Then the water stopped rising and started receding.
The following reasons to prove the Bible is describing a worldwide Flood, not a local flood has been delineated very clearly in the following by Henry Morris from his book The Genesis Record. The following are paraphrased from his book.
Here are Biblical reasons for a universal Flood:
- If the writer meant for the Flood to be universal, there is not other way scripture could have been written clearer.
- Expressions involving universality of the Flood and its effects occurs more than thirty times in Gen. 6-9.
- The FLood downpour was ("was coming" is better) forty days on the earth is not compatible with the evolutionists universalists (all occurs slowly and uniformly).
- The Flood was the word mabbul, a word used solely in connection with the Noahic Flood. The normal word for flooding locally nahar is not used here.
- The depth of the water lifted the ark and therefore had to be over 20 feet deep. This was too much for a local flood area.
- The word "prevailed" means overwhelmingly mighty and would not be used for a local flood.
- The construction , outfitting , stocking, and of course time and cost of building the ark would all be wasted for a local flood. It would have been far more efficient for the animals to move to another area and the birds to fly to a better location.
- The waters covered all "high hills" and "mountains" - KJV. This sounds redundant. It is. The Hebrew writers sometimes used similar words one after another for emphasis.
- The waters "were overwhelmingly mighty" and "prevailed exceedingly" over the earth.
- The ark could float freely to anyplace on the globe.
- The mountains were covered. They not only changed their shapes but also caused washing away.
- the phrase "all the high mountains under all the heavens" cannot mean all in a relative sense. It is all in the literal sense.
- All flesh died; not some or not only in a particular location. Locally, the animals could possibly swim, walk, or run to safety. They would have no place to go in a universal flood.
- Every man died. In a local flood, most people would live. Anthropologists agree the entire world was populated (not just in the Middle East or the Mediterranean area)
- Every living substance was killed also. That includes vegetation as well as animals.
- Only those on the ark survived. So, we are all descended from Noah. That was the very purpose of total destruction followed by the propagation of people from a righteous family relationship.
- No local flood continues to rise for 150 days.
- Even when the waters receded, the ark grounded on the highest of the mountains of Ararat. It was much later before the water was gone enough to walk outside the ark.
- After four months of receding water still did not result in enough land for the dove to land except on the ark.
- It was over a year before they could get out.
There are other reasons, justifications, etc. for a universal flood. There are scientific trips that can be made to study the effects of the world-wide flood (Mt. St. Helens, the Grand Canyon, etc.). More will be discussed in the next chapter.
- God promised never to send a flood again. If this were a local flood, God would have been a liar because there have been an enumerable number of local floods over the years.
- The New Testament references to the Noahic Flood are (Greek: kataklusmos - "cataclysm") for a cataclysmic condition instead of the normal Greek word for flood potamos.
- Major changes in the world occurred after the flood such as, defined seasons, the rainbow, and the enmity between man and beasts.
- Man's life time started decreasing.
- Biblical writers accepted the universal Flood (Job, Psalms, Isaiah, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Hebrews).
- Jesus accepted the historicity and universality of the Flood. He even made it the climactic sign and type of the coming worldwide judgment.