Where did the water for the Genesis Flood come from?
In the early 1800's many began to abandon the biblical doctrine of Catastrophism and a young earth for the evolutionary theory of Uniformitarianism with its slow gradual processes over millions of years. Many within Christian circles at that time began to assume that the mountain ranges that exist around the globe today must predate Noah's Flood. In disbelief they began to reason within themselves that there is simply not enough water to cover the mountains and they compromised their faith in the Word of God for the Local-Flood theory. Sadly, most seminaries and denominations still teach this compromise today.
The Scriptures however, confirm that all the mountains were covered in the Genesis Flood. 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 (Genesis 7:17-20).
But looking at our present world, any rational student of geology would be pressed to ask where the water went if they covered all the high hills , even Mt. Everest. To answer this we must first understand that the world before the Flood was quite different than it is today. When God judged the world, all the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:11-12). Peter concluded the matter by saying, the world that then was , being overflowed with water, perished (2Peter 3:6). That world was completely destroyed, leaving only the sedimentary fallout that buried billions of dead creatures (now fossilized) after the waters overturn [ed] the earth (Job 12:15).
There are several things that marked the pre-Flood world that do not appear in the world today. First, there used to be a water vapor canopy that encircled the earth, which God created on the second day (Genesis 1:6-8), making for an environment that was more uniformly tropical. The evidence supports the fact that the North and South poles were once tropical. After forty days this canopy was precipitated reducing the greenhouse house effect that would have supported a more stable environment.
Secondly, there was no rain before the Flood for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth (Genesis 2:5-6). But when God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually , corrupting His way upon the earth, and filling it with violence (Genesis 6:5, 11), He was sorry He made man and said, 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 (Genesis 7:4). Before there was ever rain, the rivers were fed from fountains or springs from the great deep which were the primary source of the streams and rivers (Genesis 2:10-11).
Thirdly, there were no rugged mountain ranges. Most of the mountain ranges that exist today are made up of sedimentary rocks. We believe the sedimentary layers that now make up the present mountain ranges, were the result of the catastrophic fallout from the Flood. After the Flood, there were great upheavals and the sedimentary deposition was uplifted, rearranging the earth's topography, forming the rugged mountain ranges of our present day.
The Bible indicates in Psalm 104 that when the topography of this present world was formed after the Flood, the waters ran down through the valleys, in some cases cutting magnificent gorges (such as the Grand Canyon), as they made their way into the oceans.
Thou coveredst [the earth] with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them (Psalm 104:5-8).
The magnitude of the Flood was so devastating that our minds today may have a hard time comprehending such a catastrophic event. All we have left to mark that Event is an earth that is now cracked like an eggshell, with sedimentary deposition miles deep, containing dead things that were buried in the wake of the Flood. The evidence of this is worldwide, and the fossil record is the proof, not of evolution, but of the judgment of God on, the old world bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly (2Peter 2:5).
The earth's surface is now rough and crooked, the result of great tectonic movements when the fountains of the great deep were broken up (which would likely have included volcanic upheavals that spewed out their contents through these fissures in the earth). The environment was so drastically changed that much of the earth is now desolate with barren wilderness that is currently uninhabitable. Not only are the newly formed mountain ranges unfit to live in, but so are the deserts, the north and south poles, not to mention the oceans that now cover 70% of the earth's surface.
However, when Christ returns, He will restore all things back to their pre-Flood conditions so that the people will say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden (Ezekiel 36:35). For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody (Isaiah 51:3). Even the animals will turn back to their original herbivore state (Genesis 1:30, Isaiah 11:6-9, 65:25). Many blessings shall there be when the Lord returns.
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away (Isaiah 35:1-10).
But when shall this restoration take place? Peter told the nation Israel Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things , which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:19-21).
This restitution will come when Israel repents under the ministry of Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6). Jesus had told them Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things (Matthew 17:11). He will be one of the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation chapter 11. In the course of his ministry, Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth (Luke 3:5). It should be noted that the mountains and hills before the Flood were not likely as high, neither were they crooked and rough , and for the most part uninhabitable like they are today, but they will be restored to their former state before the Flood.
This was foretold long ago by the prophet Isaiah when he said the day was coming when Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain (Isaiah 40: 4). This will happen at some point in the latter half of the great tribulation when there shall be another tectonic catastrophe that will surpass the magnitude of every other earthquake that preceded it. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found (Revelation 6:14, 16:18, 20).
The mountains [shall] be carried into the midst of the sea (Psalm 46:2). But if this happens the waters in the ocean would certainly be raised covering the whole earth once again. If the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain simple calculations based on the present topography of the earth and the volume of the oceans would result in a world covered by over a mile of water which God promised never again to do (Genesis 9:9-17).
What can we do to answer this? Perhaps the answer lies in the great heat that will be poured out in that day which dries up the great river Euphrates (Revelation 16:8-9, 12). If the great river Euphrates is dried up with the scorching heat of the sun, we assume that other lakes and rivers and much of the oceans will also be dried up. The intense heat during the great tribulation could evaporate much of the waters on the earth restoring them back to their pre-Flood state above the atmosphere in the water vapor canopy that encircled the earth before the Flood (Genesis 1:6-8).
For many today, perhaps this is all too hard to believe, and maybe more so today for the Spirit said, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1). Jesus also asked the question, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)
May we be found today as Abraham, living in a world of disbelief, who being not weak in faith staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness (Romans 4:19-22).
Ultimately, the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:6-13).
God shall fulfill all His promises in Christ Jesus. When He restores all things, in that day the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it (Isaiah 40:5). What a day that will be! And all flesh shall see the salvation of God (Luke 3:6). Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him (Revelation 1:7). But for those who believe, for the time being, we must, wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.
just a comment on the no rain before the flood issue
the earth has a certain amount of water on it, and that doesn't change
1. below ground
2 rivers and the sea
3 snow and ice
4 water vapour in the air
the balance will change but not the total
it just goes around in the water cycle
a water envelope was around the earth in the garden of Eden effect
and broke when the flood came
regards david harrigan
Thank you for this article which ties in with much of my personal thinking and which appears to be confirmed in nature. I like the refs you have used about restoration. I haven't come across this before and it is very interesting indeed giving me much to think about and is a great encouragement to my faith in God through Christ Jesus. And, as it is late December, God bless you and your readers this Christmas.