Monday, March 09, 2009

Global language

Probably for the last time I want to emphasize how much the text of Scripture speaks of a global flood. This week we are covering Genesis 7, and in it there are numerous phrases that indicate a global flood. I’ll point out each one.

Verse 2-3: “Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals… and a pair of the animals that are not clean… seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also… to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth.”

These verses point to a global flood simply on the basis that the animals needed protection from being wiped out. Certainly there are unique animals in some regions, but why save every kind of animal unless they would all be wiped out throughout the earth?

Verse 4: “… every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.”

Here God broadens the scope not just to animals and people in the land, but to everything he created. Surely no one would argue that God only created land animals in the Mesopotamian region. In fact, local flood advocates deny that everything God created died. God does not limit his statement as if to say “everything I have created in this part of the earth.” And with the entire context there it no way to bring such an implication.

Verse 11: “… all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.”

One could argue that the “windows of the heavens” that were opened were just over the Mesopotamian region, since that is the perspective of the text. But one could not make the same argument for “all the fountains.”

Verse 14-16: “they and every beast… and all the livestock… and every creeping thing… and every bird… every winged creature. They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life…. male and female of all flesh” (emphasis mine).

There is no room in the context to limit the “all” to those which Noah gathered. The two phrases “all flesh” and “breath of life” broaden the “all” to every creature [period].

Verse 19-20: “And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered… covering them fifteen cubits [22.5 feet] deep.”

If one part of the world is completely covered, and another part is not, does that not assume that something stopped the water from going past a certain point? Here such a barrier is removed. It’s not just the low hills that were covered. The text emphasizes the “high” mountains were covered. And not just the “high” mountains, but those “under the whole heaven.” There is absolutely no possible way to restrict that to a local area.

Verse 21-23: “And all flesh died that moved on the earth… Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground… they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.”

If God wanted to communicate total devastation beyond a given locality, I cannot imagine what else he could say. The text repeats its universal nature five times in three verses: four times saying what died and once saying what survived.

If one were to argue that “earth” could be translated “land” which could change the sense of several of these passages, I would simply ask what indication is there in the text that anything on the dry land throughout the globe survived?