To help understand what actually happened during Noah's Flood, we have lifted a part of our book "The Bible and Geology," available here, which gives a somewhat fuller picture. We have added some extra pictures for this study.
In Genesis 7:11 we read what happened at the initiation of the Flood: ALL the fountains burst forth. The rain comes second. Those ‘fountains’ bursting forth cannot be marginalized. We find some interesting clues even earlier in Genesis. In Genesis 2 there is a parenthetic in verses 5 and 6 which appears to have been inserted after the initial writing. Here is Genesis 2:4b-7, so you can see what it reads like with or without the inclusion:
Alexandrian LXX: in the day in which the Lord God made the heaven and the earth, and every herb of the field before it was on the earth, and all the grass of the field before it sprang up, for God had not rained on the earth, and there was not a man to cultivate it. But there rose a fountain out of the earth, and watered the whole face of the earth. And God formed the man of the dust of the earth and breathed upon his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
King James: in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
New International Version: When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens – and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground – the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.
Without the parenthetic in blue, we see the original words. If we take a close look at the parenthetic, there are some important things to note.
Many people believe it never rained before the Flood. That is not necessarily true, taken from this statement in Genesis 2. However, after the Flood part of the promise of God to not destroy the earth by water again was that He put His rainbow in the clouds. A rainbow in the clouds can only happen when it rains during the day and the clouds clear a bit, allowing the sun through. Therefore we can assume it never rained during the day before the flood of Noah, but there is no biblical indication that it never rained at all before the time of Noah.
But by day three, within hours of the land being thrust up from the depth of the sea, water was coming up out of the land to water it. A few days later, enough water is gushing up in Eden to form the headwaters of four different rivers. Why does water go up? Because it is under pressure. Pressure means heat. This is important. No matter what model of origins one subscribes to, there is general agreement among geologists that there were no radioactive materials on the surface of the earth in the beginning. They were buried under the crust. But they were decaying. At the beginning, both the long and short half-life elements were decaying at the same time and the heat this generated would have driven the water out of the primeval rocks and minerals and crystal lattices. This water would have risen and pooled in the crust, and then seeped or spurted out in the weak areas. It would have been warm water, which explains why the word used in the Hebrew can mean mist as well as other upwellings, such as a geyser. The word translated streams, mist, or fountain above is ‘ed’ and is used only two times in the Bible. The second time is in Job 36:27 – “He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams.”(NIV) “Ed” is from an unusual root meaning ‘to rake together.’ Strongs interprets it only as a mist or vapor. However the King James, in translating the passage in Job, reads, “for he maketh small the drops of water; they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof.” Going back to the Alexandrian LXX, we find, “And the drops of rain are numbered by him, and shall be poured out in rain to form a cloud.”
Whatever form the initial water took, it was coming up. It was under pressure, and that pressure and the associated heat is easily explained by the radio decay under the crust. Today most geologists, regardless of views regarding age and origin of the earth, agree that the heavy radioactive materials were not on the surface of the earth at first. They were deep under the crust. Radio decay, or the changing of these heavy elements, such as uranium, into lighter elements by shedding protons, neutrons, and electrons, produces quite a bit of heat.
If radio decay was the cause, then we should see the pressure building. That is exactly the indication when the Garden of Eden is described a few verses later, in Genesis 2:10-14. We read there was a river flowing from Eden in such quantity that it formed the headwaters of four different rivers. As a side note here it is important to mention that the names associated with these rivers in our modern translations: Tigris and Euphrates, are not in the original. The word translated “Tigris” is “Hiddikel”, which means “rapid – something flowing rapidly.” The word translated “Euphrates” is “Perath,” which means “to break forth.” “Pishon,” the name of another river, and simply means “to disperse, or spread;” and “Gihon” the fourth river, means “stream.” So we have four rivers, one flowing rapidly, one breaking forth, one spreading out, and the other simply a stream. These four rivers originate from the river in Eden. So from day 3 to day 6 or 8 (if man was put in Eden a couple of days after being created), the pressure under the crust had grown significantly.
Now take a look at the onset of Noah’s Flood:
Alexandrian LXX: In the six hundredth year of the life of Noe, in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, on this day all the fountains of the abyss were broken up and the flood-gates of heaven [literal Greek: cataracts of heaven] were opened.
King James: In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of the heaven were opened.
NIV: In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month – on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.
The word ‘abyss’ in the LXX and ‘deep’ in the other two is “tehom” – meaning an abyss or a surging mass. It does not mean the ocean or the seas, which is the common perception. It does indicate under the crust of the earth and violent movement. However for upwelling waters to be breaking up, does mean to burst forth, or coming up suddenly and violently.
Some of the ancient flood legends from around the world recall scalding waters bursting forth and burning all they touched. The Jewish Talmud itself (Sanhedrin 108b) says the rain was scalding hot. This means the source of the rain was not the sky, but the exploding waters falling back to earth. They would have carried up with them ton after ton of pulverized debris and even larger rocks. It was this hot, wet mass which rained back down on the earth for forty days and nights. Scalding waters would not fossilize anything. We should not expect fossils in the Flood strata. The violence would have been terrific and horrifying. The onrushing water would have carried everything in its wake, including boulders.
The explosive nature of these great fountains of the abyss would have been untamed over land, but any exploding under the sea would be partly defused by the buffering effect of water. Below is a picture of the eruption of Pinatubo in the Philippines, June 12, 1991. Take a look at the height the explosion reached compared to the land forms, so tiny, beneath it. Fifteen to twenty miles is a fairly typical height for a good size volcanic eruption.
Compare that to the eruption of a volcano underwater:
In addition, when we look at topographical maps of the Pacific Ocean, we do not see the great rifts that we see in the Atlantic and other oceans. If the fountains were exploding along the rift zones we see today, then there was little activity on the Pacific Ocean side of the world. There was still only one continent, so the Pacific would have been much, much wider than it is today. That leaves an enormous amount of room for ocean life to survive, as well as any vegetation mats which made it far enough out past the continental boundaries.
There are several important notes which need to be made at this point. Please note the following map. It is of the southern part of the single large continent which existed then (although Australia has been left out!):
The parts labeled 'cratons' are giant granite and basalt outpourings which took place before the Flood, under the crust. The people alive at the time may have felt some earthquake activity and noticed some upliftingof the crust in areas, but what was happening was far more dramatic than that. A series of asteroid impacts (known astronomically as the Late Heavy Bombardment) which hit, probably on the Pacific side of the world, send shock waves through the earth itself, much like earthquakes can do today, but on a much, much larger scale. These shock waves melted areas of the mantle (the radiodecay activity had not yet done that on a world-wide scale) and generated large magma plumes which then rose toward the crust, cracking the mantle rock, and flowing up into and on it. Although it penetrated into the crustal rocks, metamorphosing those it came in contact with (which we can see in the earliest geologic strata) it probably did not penetrate to the point of layering over the crust itself. The picture below, demonstrating a small area in California, gives an idea of the process:
These uplifted cratons would later become the foundations around which the continents would be built. They are biblically referred to as the pillars of the earth. This is another example of the Bible being thousands of years ahead of science. Below is a drawing of the pillar of partially solidified magma under Iceland:
It extends about 250 miles down. The earth's crust is only about ten miles thick.
Between the cratons, as shown in the map above, are mobile belts -- areas which can and do shift. The black lines show known areas of weakness called dykes, where the early waters were outpouring. These, and others on the rest of the early continent, were the 'fountains of the abyss.'
The fountains of the abyss were in lines along the weakened areas of the crust which separated the giant cratons. These areas would later become the edges of the new continents. At the onset of the Flood, like terribly ferocious geysers, the exploding waters would go straight up and, initially, come back down directly. When they exploded upwards, they would have carried with them ton after ton of pulverized debris they had chewed out from the crust itself as well as bringing up other material from the mantle. This was the 'rain' experienced by Noah for forty days: scalding, rock-filled, muddy downpours as the floodgates of the heavens seemed to open and rain wrath down upon them. As the heated waters accumulated in the air, minus the debris which had fallen, the giant cloud layers would have formed. The Bible tells us these explosions of water and the resulting rains continued for forty days and nights. At that point the explosions stopped and the waters started receding until, by the 150th day, the Ark touched land.
Even today we can see that the ocean has warm and cold currents running through it. It is not all of uniform temperature or salinity. There is no reason to suspect that it was not that way during and after the Flood when newly heated waters intruded in areas, carrying the massive amounts of salts torn up from the crust. Thus there is no reason to consider the continuation of much life in the ocean a mystery.
The evidence for this catastrophe stretches around the world. First we find an average depth of a thousand feet of rocks and boulders of all types cemented together. They are in a limestone matrix that can only be formed in warm water. Magnetic fields in rocks found in South Australia indicate they originated at sea level at the equator. This evidence of large rocks and boulders being deposited so far from their point of origin is the reason many geologists posit a worldwide glaciation.
The pictures above are of the limestone strata which cemented so many different sizes and types of rocks.
Standard geology often refers to this layer as the 'snowball earth' strata, for the only thing they are willing to admit which can carry rocks and boulders hundreds of miles are glaciers.
One problem with the ‘snowball earth’ interpretation is that this type of limestone only forms in warm to hot water. The snowball earth model posits volcanic eruptions during this glacial time which would be needed to heat the waters enough to form this type of limestone. That much volcanism in the middle of that much glaciation does pose a problem.
Further evidence for this Flood is found, again all around the world in various places, in the incredibly deep layer of carbon-rich, finely laminated sediments which lie directly on the debris layer cemented in limestone. It is also rich in kerogen, which comes from the breakdown of flesh and muscle tissue. In South Australia this stratum is two miles thick. There are no fossils in these layers – instead they are evidence of a violent water catastrophe, exactly as described in the Bible.
The presence of these finely-layered carbon-rich sediments is also a problem for the snowball earth model. If the entire world were under ice, there is no way layer after layer of rotted organisms could form in this way. In fact, evidence of tides and even ripple marks are found in the upper part of the carbon-rich strata. The evidence presented by these strata indicate that all living things were utterly and completely destroyed and buried, crushed and burned and rotted at this time. The exception was what was preserved with Noah and his family on the Ark and what was further out at sea, away from the exploding waters. When we see the vegetation mats produced by the monsoons in Southeast Asia today, we can understand that some may have also formed during the Flood. It would have been on them that the insects and amphibians and much plant life survived.
Remember that not every square foot of earth was a place where waters burst forth. They would have come up through already weakened sections of the crust, such as in Eden where a great river was already gushing forth forming the headwaters for four other rivers. The giant sections of crust displaced by these bursting ‘fountains’ could easily have sent sections of vegetative masses in all directions, some of which survived in mid-ocean areas, in relative calm during the 40 days of exploding waters and resultant muddy, rocky, scalding rains.
Vegetation mats can still be seen in various places of the world after catastrophic rains, such as the monsoons in Southeast Asia.
Because both the rocky limestone and organically rich strata on top of it exist in places all over the world, standard geology has to present a world-wide scenario to account for it. Thus, ‘snowball earth,’ for only glaciations will be admitted as having the power to move rocks and boulders those huge distances. The extremely deep carbon and kerogen-rich sediments overlying the limestone holding all those rocks is attributed to vast amounts of time in which silt was slowly deposited layer by layer (with nothing else intruding). However the limestone in which the rocks are cemented can only be formed in warm water and when standard geology tries to insert volcanic action into the snowball earth model in order to get those warm waters, the model itself becomes confused.
In direct contrast is the biblical explanation of the Flood, which not only accounts for the warm water limestone matrix cementing the many rocks of various sizes from different places, but it also accounts for the vast layers of organic sediment. That was the world that died.
After the Flood the world would not have become suddenly geologically quiet. Massive amounts of topsoil had been washed off the cratons and this was deposited in the low-lying areas as the waters started receding. The low-lying areas were thus marshy, warm areas which were often subjected to mudslides and areas of burial. This was also happening under the waters as the ocean beds and shelves were settling. It is here we find the first fossils -- first the little mud-dwelling organisms and then the organisms which were buried primarily in the areas of the mobile belts which were under water. Above them, in the marshy areas on the land, the algae, ferns, mosses, and giant insects lived, and were often buried and fossilized by the chemically rich muds which were sliding in response to the ongoing shifting of the earth's crust as the earth itself adjusted to its new surface features.
Because men and mammals do not live in marshes, we should not expect to find them in these strata of fossilized rocks.
NIV – The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.
KJV – 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.
Alex. LXX – And the Lord God said to Noe, Enter you and all your family [literal Greek is 'house'] into the ark, for you have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Hebrew – And said Jehovah to Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark, for you I have seen righteous before me in this generation.
At the end of chapter 4, we read that men began to call upon the name of the Lord. Earlier they had evidently been able to talk to Him at the entrance to the garden in Eden. Here it seems the Lord is talking directly to Noah the same way He spoke to Adam, Eve, and Cain.
Because of his righteousness, his faith, was his family also saved? No – ‘“Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in it [the land], they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord God.’ Ez. 14:14 and on.
His sons evidently had sufficient faith that they believed what Noah told him and, we presume, helped him build the ark.
NIV – Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animals, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive through the earth.
KJV – 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.
Alex. LXX – And of the clean cattle take into you sevens, male and female, and of the unclean cattle pairs male and female. And of the clean flying creatures of the sky sevens, male and female, and of all unclean flying creatures pairs, male and female, to maintain seed on all the earth.
Hebrew – From every animal clean you shall take to yourself by sevens, male and female; and of the animal that is not clean by two, male and female. And of the fowl of the heavens by sevens, male and female; to keep alive seed upon the face of all the earth.
The traditional belief is that there was only one pair each of the unclean animals. But the word for ‘two’ in Genesis 7:2 and 3, is 8147 in Strongs – shenayim – so the word itself is plural. It is a dual of 8145, --sheniy – meaning double, second, two, or again, etc. The idea of two pairs seems to be indicated in the Hebrew. So there may have been two pairs of unclean animals and seven pairs of clean animals. The word for ‘seven’ also means ‘complete’ and if you go with that implication, you need the female there as well – thus seven pairs.
God chose which animals because He and only He knew which sets of genes would manage in the new world.
NIV – Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature that I have made. And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.
KJV – 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.
Alex. LXX – For yet seven days ['having passed' is inserted here by the interpreter and is in italics. It is not in the original Greek] I will bring rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will blot out every offspring which I have made from the face of all the earth. And Noe did all things whatever the Lord God commanded him.
Hebrew – For to the days after seven more I will cause rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and will wipe away every living substance that I have made from off the face of the earth. And did Noah as to all that ordered him Jehovah.
Noah now has one week's warning. Did it take a week to load all the animals? Was there a week left to warn the people? Jesus says the day Noah entered the ark, the flood commenced (Matthew 24:38; Luke 17:27).
How long had it taken to build the Ark? Noah was 500 when his boys were born. As the next verse points out, he was 600 when the Flood happened. His sons are recording this. Even supposing they were infants when Noah started building the Ark, it would not have been more than a hundred years. It does seem more reasonable to assume that the boys were at least young men and they could help their father. This would mean that building the Ark would have taken much less than 100 years -- probably closer to fifty.
NIV – Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah.
KJV – 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 every thing 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.
Alex. LXX – And Noe was six hundred years old when the flood of water was upon the earth. And then went in Noe and his sons and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him into the ark, because of the water of the flood. And of clean flying creatures and of unclean flying creatures, and of clean cattle and of unclean cattle, and of all things that creep upon the earth, pairs went into Noe into the ark, male and female, as God commanded Noe.
Hebrew – Noah was a son of six hundred years; and the flood was waters on the earth. And Noah went in and his sons and his wife and wives his sons with him into the ark because of the waters of the flood. Of the animals clean and of animals were not clean, and of the fowl and of everything that creeps on the earth. Two by two they went in to Noah into the ark, male and female as had commanded God Noah.
No comments need to be made here; this is a summary of the situation.
NIV – And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month – on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
KJV – 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 same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of the heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
Alex. LXX – And it came to pass after the seven days that the water of the flood came upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of the life of Noe, in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, on this day all the fountains of the abyss were broken up, and the floodgates ['cataracts' in the literal Greek] of heaven were opened. [From the actual Greek this reads: On that very day all the fountains of the abyss exploded and cataracts of newly-generated and heaped-up rain poured out of the sky.] And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
Hebrew – And in time after the seven days, the waters of the flood came into being upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of life Noah’s in the month second, in the seventeenth day of the month, in this day were risen all the fountains of the great deep and the windows of the heavens were opened up. And was the rain on the earth forty days and forty nights.
The LXX makes it plain that the rain came as a result of the fountains bursting out. This counters the later ‘explanations’ done by interpreters regarding the ‘windows of the heaven’ being the primary source of the water which caused the rain.
The Hebrew words indicate violence in the bursting out. While the English translation of the Hebrew above uses the calm word "risen" regarding the fountains of the deep, the word in Hebrew is "baqa." It means "to cleave, to rend, to break, rip, or open; to make a breach; to break forth, to come out in pieces."
This would have resulted in mankind’s first exposure to radioactive materials that the exploding waters carried up with them material from mantle. Thus the rain was at least partly a hot, radioactive rain.
Some teach the rain lasted 150 days. The Bible says 40.
NIV – On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. They had with them every wild animal according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.
KJV – 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 them, 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.
Alex. LXX – On that very day entered Noe, Sem, Cham, Japheth, the sons of Noe and the wife of Noe, and the three wives of his sons with him into the ark. And all the wild beasts after their kind, and all cattle after their kind, and every reptile moving itself on the earth after its kind, and every flying bird after its kind, went into Noe, into the ark, pairs, male and female of all flesh in which is the breath of life.
Hebrew – In same this day Noah entered and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and wife Noah’s and the three wives of his sons with them into the ark. They and every animal after its kind and every beast after its kind and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every fowl after its kind, every bird of every wing. And went they to Noah into the ark, two by two of all flesh, which in it is the breath of life.
As Jesus said (Matthew 24:38-39, 42)), the Flood started the day Noah and his family entered the Ark.
There is an emphasis in this passage on "kind." "Kind" is not the same as "species." "Kind" is like 'equine,' 'bovine,' feline,' canine,' etc. "Species" is more like variation with a kind, which no one is arguing about. “Species” is a modern concept involving isolated breeding populations, normally which refuse to breed with other, similar, populations. Hummingbirds are a good example – they have speciated to the extent that it is difficult for the ordinary person to tell one ‘species’ apart from another. This is because their breeding cues are not just seasonal but visual. Tail not forked right? Wrong spot on the wrong place? Wrong color? Any of these would keep a male and female hummingbird from breeding. Compare this to dogs, which are all considered one species, regardless of looks or size or anything else. This is because dogs’ breeding cues are olfactory, so it doesn’t matter what a potential mate looks like. The Bible does not deal with species, but, rather, with kinds, or those ancestral populations from which the pairs came, and which gave rise to the variations, or species, after the Flood.
NIV – The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
KJV – And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
Alex. LXX – And they that entered went in, male and female, of all flesh, as God commanded Noe. And the Lord God shut the ark outside of him.
Hebrew – And those going in male and female of all flesh went in as had commanded him God. And shut Jehovah behind him.
Did the LORD seal the door? That is a common understanding, but there appears to be a possible play on words here: the word ‘shut’ is ‘cgr.’ With vowels it is' cagar.' The word following in the Hebrew dictionary is ‘cgrd,’ which means ‘sweeping away, pouring rain, or very rainy.’ Later we find that Noah opens the door to the Ark himself when the Lord tells him it is time and the earth is safe to live on again. So did the Lord ‘rain’ Noah in? We need to be careful with what we decide to do with phrases like this.
NIV – For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.
KJV – And the flood was forty 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. 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.
Alex. LXX – And the flood was upon the earth forty days and forty nights, and the water abounded greatly and bore up the ark, and it was lifted on high from off the earth. And the water prevailed and abounded exceedingly upon the earth, and the ark was borne upon the water. And the water prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, and covered all the high mountains which were under heaven. Fifteen cubits upwards was the water raised, and it covered all the high mountains.
Hebrew – And was the flood forty days on the earth; and increased the waters and bore up the ark, and it was lifted above the earth. And prevailed the waters and were increased greatly upon the earth, and floated the ark from the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth; and were covered all the mountains high which under all the heavens. Fifteen cubits upwards prevailed the waters; and were hid the mountains.
For forty days the subterranean waters continued to burst up; for forty days the rains poured back down. The amount of water was so incredible it fully buried the land all over the world. The word translated 'mountains' is "har," which is the shortened form of "harar." It means "something which looms up," generally meaning a range of hills. It is the word used to describe the hill country in Israel. How did they know how deep the waters were? There are actually several choices here, when you look at the different translations:
There is no doubt in the Bible that this is a worldwide flood. If the Flood had only been local, as many claim, why not tell Noah just to get his beasts to higher land or another location? Why bring pairs of all land and air animals with the breath of life to Noah to be kept alive, if all they needed was higher ground?
NIV – Every living thing that moved on the earth perished – birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
KJV – 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, and 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.
Alex. LXX – And there died all flesh that moved upon the earth, of flying creatures and cattle, and of wild beasts, and every reptile moving upon the earth, and every man. And all things which have the breath of life, and whatever was on the dry land, died. And God blotted out every offspring which was upon the face of the earth, both man and beast, and reptiles, and birds of the sky and they were blotted out from the earth, and Noe was left alone, and those with him in the ark.
Hebrew – And died all flesh that moved on the earth, the fowl and cattle and the beast, and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth, and all mankind. All which breathed the breath of life, in whose nostrils of all that was in the dry land, died. And was destroyed every living thing which was on the face of the earth; from man to cattle, to the creeping things, and the fowl of the heavens, and they were wiped off from the earth; and was left only Noah and the ones who were with him in the ark.
The emphasis here is that those that died were the men and the dry land animals. Because of this, "breath of life," seems to indicate lungs.
NIV – The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
KJV – And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
Alex. LXX – And the water was raised over the earth a hundred and fifty days.
Hebrew – And mighty were the waters on the earth a hundred and fifty days.
As we go into chapter 8, we find the waters were starting to recede after the rain stopped, at day 40. The standard creation model says all the fossils -- or at least about 95% of them -- were formed due to Noah's Flood. That leaves only 150 days to build most the rock strata in the geologic column. However, all over the world, we find definite breaks: at the "snowball" layer, at the Permian extinction break, and at the K/T extinction break. In addition, if Noah’s flood fossilized anything, everything would have had to have been buried in that five month time. But the upper layers of the geologic column contain fossils which to not appear to be bloated or half rotted, which is what the warm waters would have produced in very short order. In addition, we also see carnivorous animals in the process of devouring other animals in the fossil record. But meat-eating came after the Flood. For these and numerous other reasons, we reject the idea that one flood created the geologic column or that it fossilized anything. It was much too violent and swift. The data show another story, quite in line with what the Bible is telling us. We have detailed it in The Bible and Geology and also done some of the information on it in Data and Creation.