No More Oceans

I listened to a confirmed atheist volunteering to me all his reasons for his beliefs. At the core of his reasoning was the banal atheist cliché that everything in the Biblical record is myth or fable. When I brought up several self-evident examples from Genesis chapter one that his reasoning was somewhat amiss, [both science and the Biblical record agree, the Earth is older than the Moon, for example], he banished the thought with his ready magic wand, “Well, that’s just someone’s opinion.” I brought up other credible examples, but he used this same dismissive phrase to discredit all of anthropology, astrophysics, the history of Western civilization, geophysics and theology in one fell swoop. He appeared rather impressed with his Old World Talpini inspired logic. What made this all the more incredible, and incredulous, was the fact that he’d never read the Biblical record, much less studied it. The flood to him was just another myth. As he was sitting by the ocean during his pontification, I had to make a conscious effort not to LOL. Let me explain.    

There are a lot of folks who claim there is no evidence of “Noah’s flood.” I find this a bit puzzling because our current day oceans very likely are the result of that flood. Newly discovered scientific evidence and the Biblical record lend credence to this. First, let’s start with our planet’s hydrologic or water cycle. Oceans are an essential element of the water cycle. Without the oceans, it’s unlikely life on Earth would exist as we know it today.

water cycle

Water, in its various forms, is constantly on the move. There are approximately 37.5 million billion gallons of water vapor in our atmosphere at any given time. [Water In The Atmosphere]. The water cycle begins with evaporation, mostly from the oceans due to the Sun’s heat. The water vapor condenses in the atmosphere causing cloud formation. When various factors combine, the clouds can no longer hold the water, and we get rain. Without the oceans, our planet doesn’t get rain. 

But did the Earth, at the time of Adam’s creation, have the vast, deep oceans as we know them today that create this hydrologic cycle? According to the account in Genesis, it doesn’t appear so. “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 on the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth [Heb. ‘erets, land], and watered the whole face of the earth" [land, dirt, Gen. 2:5, 6]. This appears to indicate that the Earth’s surface [about 510 million square kilometers] was mostly ground rather than mostly open water if the natural laws that govern the hydrologic cycle were the same then as they are now. The water area that existed then, the waters [Hebrew, mayim, rivers and lakes] in verses 20-22, and the sea [Hebrew, yam] in verse 26 did not appear to have been climatically adequate, for whatever reason, to produce rain clouds in the atmosphere. Perhaps they were remnants of "the face of the waters" in Genesis 1. These verses are prior to the creation of Adam.

As we see in the water cycle graphic above, the Earth’s current water cycle begins with the vast oceans. In Genesis, the water cycle is different before the flood. It says a mist [Hebrew, ‘ed, mist, similar to when we exhale] came from the ground and watered the face of the earth. Therefore, the water came from the ground, and not from the clouds, as there is no mention of rain clouds in the Biblical record until after the flood, which are formed as a result of evaporation from the oceans. It would be a very different experience compared to our world today in which 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. It makes one wonder, what is the minimum surface area of the oceans needed to produce rain clouds? Fifty percent, 40 percent, 25 percent? The answer to this might help us understand pre-flood Earth and how much water was on the surface at that time. 

The first time we have mention of rain on the earth is in Genesis 7, “ … I [the LORD] will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” [Gen. 7:4]. There are many who say that even if it rained for forty days and nights, it would be unlikely that this would be enough to cover the Earth. And while that could be the case, our LORD certainly could cause this to happen. However, it was not just 40 days and nights of rain that caused the flood. The key to the flood is this statement. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month [most likely our October], the seventeenth day of the month1, the same day were all the fountains of the deep broken up ….” [Gen. 7:11].

All the fountains of the deep broke up on the same day. This is a noteworthy statement because of what scientists have discovered and come forward with in the past year or so [article's original posting, March 2015]. According to Steve Jacobsen, a geophysicist at Northwestern University, who co-authored an article in the journal Science, he believes that our planet’s surface water may have come from within the Earth, driven by geological forces. One, this would explain the fountains of the deep being broken up. And this would explain the initial Genesis account that “there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” At this point, there was no rain on the earth.

Second, according to Jacobsen, he believes there could be enough water trapped beneath the Earth’s crust to fill the world’s oceans more than three times their present volume. As the ocean’s average depth is a little over 13,000 feet or about 4000 meters, Jacobsen’s estimate could provide for at least 40,000 feet or 12,000 plus meters of ocean water on top of what we have now. This would be enough to put the top of Mt. Everest under two miles of water. Global warming sea level figures are dwarfed in comparison. [See Oceans Underground also Deep Earth Water]. Jacobsen says, “I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades.” This appears to be another instance of science catching up with the accounts in Genesis. [See the Feature article, Is Genesis 1 A Jolly Good Myth?].

If there was enough water for it to be oozing out of the ground in the form of a mist, meaning it was close to the surface of the land, and we know that there is still more than three oceans worth of water beneath the Earth’s crust today, although it’s not sloshing around like an early incarnation of a waterbed, is it not conceivable that when “all the fountains of the deep were broken up,” those fountains easily could have yielded enough water to have flooded the Earth? And as the waters receded, it’s also possible that most of the water could have retreated into the Earth’s mantle.

It’s scientifically feasible that the water transfer from below the surface to the surface of our planet may have caused the ocean depths as we know them today. This means that the water in the oceans, as well as that below the Earth’s crust, would have been ample to flood the entire planet.

Think of a water balloon in a bowl [or perhaps in a washing machine]. The outside of the water balloon is the Earth’s surface. The water in the balloon is water beneath the surface of the land as it was in the time of Adam. Now pop a pinhole in the balloon, which “breaks up the fountains of the deep.” What happens? The water spurts from the balloon and begins to fill the bowl. As the water from the balloon empties, the outside of the balloon, the surface of the land, sinks below the water. Eventually, as the balloon empties itself of the water, it sinks to the bottom of the bowl. Where the balloon’s surface was, it now lies beneath all the water that was previously in the balloon. This would mean that where portions of the land surface of the Earth were once elevated, they are inverted, at the bottom of the oceans. We now have the “depths of the sea.”

This process took some time as the flood waters prevailed on the land for 5 months according to the Biblical record. During this time, it is likely that the topography of the land’s surface, now below the water, could have changed significantly compared to pre-flood Earth due to those geological forces [the washing machine version] mentioned by Jacobsen, and the vast amount of pressure exerted by the water, nearly 6000 pounds per square inch at 13,000 feet, likely resulted in immense underwater shifting and compression of the newly submerged land mass. [See California Land Sinking].

As we read, "And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is full of violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them [along] with the earth." [Heb. 'erets, land; Gen. 6:13, DBY]. This is a key point to remember. It was not just mankind that was destroyed in the flood, but the land mass was as well compared to its pre-flood topography. Therefore, it is a possibility that the Earth went from a large percentage of it being dirt, maybe 80% or more, to being mostly water, our 70+ percent for today's Earth. The Earth became the "blue planet." 

As the waters began to drain into the ground, it took another several months for the tops of the mountains to be seen. This seepage would account for the “missing deep water” that scientists had been searching according to Jacobsen.

From the account in the Biblical record, the surface of the Earth is different today in relation to pre-flood geography. As we read in Proverbs, “When there were no depths [Hebrew, tehowm, deep sea, ocean], when there were no fountains [Hebrew, ma’yan, springs] bounding with water … When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened [Hebrew,`azaz, to be stout, to harden] the fountains of the deep ….” [Pro. 8:24, 28]. This ties in to the promise that " ... the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh." [Gen. 9:15].

If we take this in order relating to the flood, there were no ocean depths or fountains of the deep bounding with water on the Earth at one time. There was only mist from the ground. Later the clouds were established and the fountains of the deep were strengthened or secured. At the time of the flood, the fountains of the deep were broken. These broken fountains caused the depths, the oceans to be created. Once we had oceans, we had clouds due to evaporation of water, the hydrologic cycle. After being broken up, the fountains of deep were secured, hardened after the flood. Water pressure from the newly formed oceans would exert ample pressure. This would explain the vast amount of water below the earth’s crust trapped within the mantle's hardened rock, 250 to 400 miles beneath the surface, and that it's not a vast underground sea misting the land today. [See Mars Water Is In Its Crust].

Prior to the depths, there was no ocean evaporation, only mist from the land that watered the face of the earth. Therefore, there were no rain clouds, and no raindrops. It is only after the flood that we read, “And God said … I set my rainbow in the clouds [where the rain drops form and fall]. It shall be for the sign of my covenant between me and the earth ['erets, the land]. And it shall be, when I bring a rain cloud over the land, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud. And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh [the fountains of the deep secured]. And the rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all the flesh that is on the earth.” [Gen. 9:13-16].

The word cloud appears for the first time in the Biblical record here in Genesis 9 after the flood. And rainbows always form opposite the Sun, whose light is, due to the geometry of raindrops, reflected and refracted from the clouds. [Rainbows Are Circles].

The Biblical record tells us that initially it did not rain on the earth. There were no depths or vast deep oceans at the time of Adam’s creation. A mist came up from the ground and watered the whole earth. There would be no rainbows. It is only after the flood, once we had the depths or the vast deep oceans, that we have rain clouds and the hydrologic cycle. And again, in Revelation we are told that the new Earth will have no depths or oceans either.

However, one big question remains unanswered. And it revolves around timing. While the account of the flood in the Biblical record is factually correct [again, see the Feature article, Is Genesis 1 A Jolly Good Myth?], how does the timing of Noah's flood fit with what we know about the geology of the Earth and the oceans pre-flood? Many more questions will have to be answered, and perhaps some time lines altered on both sides of the coin before we have a definitive answer. But the fact remains, there is enough water on and in the Earth to have caused a flood of worldwide proportions. 

But recall the reason for the great flood, and by default our oceans. “And 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 … And the LORD said, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the Earth …. [See Gen. 6:5-7]. Seems like we managed to deja vu our pre-flood wickedness in our world today. For as we're told about the Great Tribulation, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." [Mat. 24:22; see the Feature article, The Relevance Of The Holy Days In The Plan Of God In The Last Days].

At that time GOD used water to destroy all but Noah and his sons and wives from the face of the Earth. But in our future, “And I saw a new heaven and a new Earth, for the first heaven and the first Earth were passed away; and there was no more sea … And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” [Rev. 21:1, 6].

While the fountains of the deep were used to destroy the wickedness of man from the Earth, creating the ocean depths as an attestation, one day a new Earth will have no oceans and seas, but the fountains of water from GOD will give us life.

See the Feature articles, The Final Prophecy: It Is Done and Heaven Can Wait II.

1 The second month in Noah’s time would be the seventh month in Moses’s time due to the change in the calendar at the passover. [See Exd. 12:2]. Our September was the first month of the civil year prior to the change given to Moses and Israel. Our March became the first month of the sacred new year. So the 17th day of the second month for Noah is our modern day seventh month.

The feast of Tabernacles was to be observed by the children of Israel beginning on the 15th day of the seventh month [second month for Noah]. Noah and his sons entered the ark and the rain and fountains of the deep broke up on the 17th day of this month. The ark was their temporary home until the floodwaters subsided. Thus, Noah was in the ark during the time that became the feast of tabernacles, during which time the children of Israel were to live in temporary dwellings. [See Lev. 23:39-43]. The LORD delivered Israel out of the land of Egypt, so too the LORD delivered Noah and his children from the flood.  

Italics, and [ ] are the author’s.

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