THE DELUGE OR NOAHIC FLOOD
WAS IT UNIVERSAL OR LOCAL?
AN understanding of the first nine chapters of Genesis is vital in our study of the Scriptures and to gaining a clear view of early history.
The first chapter is an account of creation (bara) in six periods. It records the creation of living things (plant life, fish, birds, animals and mankind) all in variety and each developing after its own kind. We are given no clue as to the length of these periods but they provide ample time for the development of large communities of people, possibly in many places on the earth. Evidence of these varied communities has been found by archaeologists.
In the second chapter, beginning at verse seven, a new development is recorded. Here, we are told, God formed (yatsar) a man from the dust of the earth into whose nostrils He breathed the breath of life, and the man, Adam, became a living soul.
Next we are told God planted a garden in the eastern part of the land called Eden. This territory must have been especially fertile with a most pleasant climate. In Genesis 13:10 it is referred to as the "Garden of the Lord", but the only clue we have to its locality is in chapter 2:10. This will be referred to later.
In the garden grew trees that were pleasant to the sight and good for food. God planted there the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the fruit of which tree, Adam was warned not to eat .Verse nineteen of this same chapter relates that God formed (yatsar) the beast of the field and the fowl of the air and brought them to Adam that he might name them. "And Adam named the cattle, the fowl of the air and the living creatures" . We are not told who these living creatures were but later in Chapter 6:20 we are told that they are the creeping things of the earth.
This second chapter goes on to relate the making or "building" (margin) of the woman Eve as an helpmeet for Adam and the third chapter tells the story of the fall of Adam and Eve through the temptation of the serpent (nachash) and their later expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
Now the garden was planted in the eastern part of Eden which was evidently a section of land that God had reserved for Himself and after Adam and Eve were sent away, a flaming sword was placed at the eastern end of the Garden. This means that Adam and Eve were driven into a territory which. was east of Eden. This act is the beginning of our historical period for we are given in ordered sequence, the names of Adam's direct descendants through his third son Seth.
From this new domain their eldest son Cain was banished after he had slain his brother, and we are told, he went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod (or the wilderness) on the east of Eden.
The land of Nod must have been inhabited by some of the descendants of the people created in Genesis chapter one as Cain married a wife, built a city, had children, some of whose names are recorded in Genesis chapter four.
God gave Eve another son, Seth, in place of Abel who Cain had slain and after Seth's son, Enos was born his family began to call themselves by the name of the Lord. In other words, as Adam was called "the son of God" (Luke 3:38) so his descendants distinguished themselves from the other races of the world by the name "sons of God".
In chapter six it tells us that as Adam's descendants (sons of God) began to multiply upon the earth (or land, "erets") they saw the daughters of men that they were fair and intermarried with them. This brought evil among the Adamic people as it induced the sons of God to worship the nature goddesses of the pre-Adamic people and to join their pagan rites. It is quite possible that it was mixing with these pre-Adamic people that caused Cain to bring the wrong offering to God, an offering that was rejected.
The fruit of the ground was the usual offering of primitive people to their gods. However, wickedness increased among Adam's descendants in the land which had been set apart for them.
The Bible does not tell us anything about this land but in chapter six, 1,056 years after Adam's fall from grace, Noah, a direct descendant of Adam through Seth is born. We are told he was upright and perfect in his generations (tamiym). The meaning seems to be that Noah was of pure Adamic descent. To Noah God reveals that He will destroy Adamic man because of his wickedness. Verse thirteen says "The end of all flesh is come before Me for the earth is filled with violence through them and behold I will destroy them with the earth."
God commanded Noah to build an Ark for which He gave implicit instructions. For 120 years Noah preached to his fellow countrymen, warning them of God's judgement and urging them to repent. At the end of this period Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives - eight people in all - went into the ark. Together with them went a representative number of animals and birds which lived in their land. These would be descendants of the special animals formed (yatsar) for the Garden of Eden - the cattle, birds and creeping things.
NOW LET US CONSIDER THE FLOOD
Disraeli said, "Tradition can neither be rnade (fabricated) nor destroyed". If this is so then the tradition of the Chinese that it was on the Tian Shan Range or Heavenly Mountains that the Chinese Noah, Fu Hi appeared after the Deluge, surrounded by a rainbow and offered sacrifices of seven pairs of animals, is relevant. The Flood and the destruction of the land was, according to tradition, brought about as a punishment on those who had ridiculed a holy man who warned them to repent of their sins. (ref C.P Skrine - Chinese Central Asia) Again, in Indian tradition, the area of the Pamirs west of the Himalayas is called "The Gate of Paradise" or "The Hub of the Universe".
By Usher's chronology the Deluge occurred in 2348 B.C. which is only four years different to David Davidson's date of 2344 B.C. This would mean that Noah was born 1,056 years after the fall of Adam or in 2944 B.C. It is quite important for us to note these dates as it helps us to get a clearer picture of the events portrayed in the early chapters of Genesis. One other fact is important. We must realize that the Bible is a history of God's plan for the world, worked out through a certain family of people descended from Adam. The other peoples of the world or their lands are not mentioned except if, and as, they impinge on the history of this one family.
Abraham was born about 2000 B.C. in the city of Ur in ancient Chaldea which was at that time a flourishing country with many large cities, a large population and a developed civilization. This has been proved by archaeology. Less than 100 years later, approx. 430 years after the Flood, Abraham went down into Egypt to buy corn. There also, he found a great civilization and a dense population.
There is controversy over the date of the building of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. However, whether it was built shortly before, or two or three centuries after the Flood, how could Egypt have provided the builders with 100,000 workers every three months if, in the first place, all men were descended from Adam (i.e. in 1656 years) or in the second place, if all human beings had been destroyed by the Flood such a short time before?
At Thebes, Prof. Sayce, the Egyptologist, found in a tornb of the XVII Dynasty, pictures of negroes as they are today, white skinned Aryans, brown Egyptians and typical Mongols. As these types have remained the same during the 3,600 years since, is it reasonable to suppose that these four distinct types could have developed in the six preceding centuries, from 2,344 to 1,700 B.C. and from the eight survivors of the Flood?
THIS PROVES THAT THE NOAHIC FLOOD DID NOT COVER EGYPT!
If we take the Genesis record to mean that all the high mountains in the world were covered with water, then the Himalayas would have been covered. This means that a flood to a depth of six miles would have covered Egypt.
AS THIS DID NOT HAPPEN IN EGYPT THE NOAHIC FLOOD WAS NOT A UNIVERSAL FLOOD.
Where, we could ask, did this unbelievable mass of water go when it subsided? From where did the dove get the olive leaf? If all vegetation had been submerged for a number of months there would not have been any live trees. Flood waters kill vegetation very quickly.
According to geologists the earth has been subject to great floodings in different periods of its history. Many areas show evidence of this, but all of these are earlier than 2,344 B.C.
Mr. Gorn-Old, a student of Chinese folk lore says. "The sacred book of the Chinese Shu-King speaks of Fu-Hi, the Chinese Noah and gives his epoch as 2,944 B.C. which is 1,056 years from the fall of Adam. This coincides with the Noahic epoch, as Noah was born in 2,944 B.C. and establishes the identity of the legendary Fu-Hi with Noah.
The traditions of ancient Chaldea, Egypt and China picture the first civilization, as distinct from the pre-Adamic rural communities, and existing in a world surrounded by high mountains. In the Akkadian tablet records, a garbled story of the Flood is given, but it is more than likely that it came originally from descendants of the Noahic family.
A great deal has been made of Genesis 7:21 which says. "And all flesh died that moved upon the earth." The word 'earth' is from the Hebrew word 'erets' which can be translated also as land, country, field or world. The earth here is the Adamic land or where the Adamic people lived. It is interesting to note that only the people, cattle, fowl and creeping things that lived on dry ground were destroyed by the Flood (Gen. 7:23). There is no mention made of sea creatures.
If the Flood were universal and all land had been covered to a depth so great, even the fish in the sea would not have been able to survive.
NO! THE FLOOD DESTROYED THE WICKED ADAMIC CIVILIZATION AND THEIR LAND. NOAH AND HIS FAMILY WERE THE ONLY SURVIVORS.
Let us now see if we can find out where the Garden of Eden was and also the situation of the Adamic land. The first and perhaps the only clue we have as to its locality is in Genesis 11:2. "And it came to pass as they journeyed from the east they found a plain in the land of Shinar and dwelt there." It is quite evident that these descendants of Noah were settling in a new country. WHERE HAD THEY COME FROM? Certainly not from Mt. Ararat which lies to the North of Mesopotamia.
In Genesis 2:10-14, there is a puzzling statement. "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted and became four heads." The names of these four new rivers are given - Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel and Euphrates. Geographers have studied the river systems of Eurasia to try to discover a place where a river is parted into four heads - these four heads becoming four great rivers.
THIS CANNOT BE FOUND IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
In a very old map of the world - a copy of a more ancient map made in A.D. 1,532, there is shown a river which does divide into four heads. This map shows the only place where this has occurred. I say "has occurred" because the upheaval which caused the Deluge must have had an effect on the topography of the area. It does not need a large disturbance in the earth's crust to change the beds of rivers, and this is what has occurred in an area north of the Himalayas.
Here the Gobi Desert with the Takla Makan area comprise the Han Hai or dried up sea of the Chinese. It is an area which stretches continually from the Pamirs to the Great Khingan Range and the western frontier of Manchuria. It represents the bed of an ancient fresh water sea or series of lakes, and is studded now with rocky formations representing the ancient islands of the Han Hai.
The Tarim Basin which lies in the south-west of this area occupies more than half of the area known as Singkiang. The river Tahm rises in the Karakoram Mountains and is now called the Yarkand Daria.
W.G. West in his book "The Geography Behind History" describes it in these words. "The Takla Makan is today a howling wilderness, a true desert and totally devoid of vegetation - a place of desolation, sand and rock. Ringing the desert is a belt of piedmont gravel, built up by detritus brought down by fast running streams. The water disappears in the gravel to reappear in the south, draining into the lake Lop Nor.
The Turfan depression lies at the north-cast of the Tarim Basin. It is a fault trough which descends to 940 feet below sea level. In this depression is a salt swamp, remnant of the former lake which filled this area." (end quote.)
The Pamir Plateau lies at the extreme western end of the Tarim Basin between the Tian Shan Mountains and the Hindu Cush. From the lakes of this plateau issue four great rivers whose modern names are the Indus, the Jaxartes, the Oxus and the Tarim rivers.
This is the only place on the globe where this phenomenon is found. Genesis 2:13 says that the second river encompassed the land of Ethiopia. Cush is the original name for Ethiopia and is a word which is older than the Hebrew language. Today these mountains are called the Hindu Cush.
The Oxus River is still called the Gihon by the natives and the Chitral branch of the Indus answers the description of the Pison. The Jaxartes and the Tarim are in all probability the Euphrates and the Hiddekel. Sir Guy Maspero (History of the Orient) and Prof. Buchanan state that from their investigations of this area, they believe that the Pamir Plateau is the place described in Scripture as the source of the four rivers. The Euphrates in Mesopotamia was possibly named by Cain or his descendants after the one in their homeland. Many rivers today bear migration names. The land of Ethiopia may have been named in the same way as it would remind them of the mountainous terrain they had left.
ETHIOPIA'S ANCIENT NAME WAS CUSH.
The Pamir Plateau is called 'the roof of the world' and has an attitude of 15,000 ft. with mountains rising from it to a height of 1 0,000 ft. while the Tarim Valley today is the world's greatest sink hole, where the Tarim River disappears at a place which is 500 ft. below sea level.
Today the Pamir Plateau is used only for grazing in the summer months, its high altitude making it an impossible place in the winter.
The old Akkadian or Chaldean idea of the world shows this area of the Tarim Basin and the Takla Makan as a floor, the appearance of which is something like an over-turned boat, hollow underneath. The collapse of the crust of this central dome, under which drained water from the marshy country in the north, produced the effect described in Genesis 7 as "the breaking up of the fountains of the deep." It is a known geological fact that immense quantities of water flow underground in Central Asia.
We are told "God planted a garden eastward in Eden". When Adam and Eve were turned out of the garden a flaming sword was placed at the eastern end to prevent them from re-entering it, so they evidently settled in and inhabited the land we have been discussing.
It was a large area, about 600 miles by 250 miles, quite large enough to support the population that would grow from Adam and Eve in a period of about 1,650 years. The floor of the basin was raised in the centre, sloping to the sides, and was ringed by high hills which provided a natural barrier to the world outside. One of the great rivers of Eden watered it. Today, the Takla Makan suffers from progressive dessication. It is the only place known on earth where no form of life exists in a desert. If this is the site of the Adamic world then, truly, the land as well as the people was destroyed. Many Chinese legends still current in Chinese Turkestan, speak of the many cities buried there as a divine judgement on the inhabitants for their sins.
David Davidson in Early Egypt, Babylonia and Central Asia, states that the same earth movement that produced the collapse of the earth's crust in Turkestan, converting the whole basin into an inland sea of fresh water, produced a slow settling of the land surface from East Turkestan towards the Yellow Sea. In Chinese tradition, there was a golden age in China between 2,357 B.C. and 2,205 B.C. during which period the Emperor Yao reigned. During his reign he instructed his minister, Yu, to cope with the floods which were devastating the country.
The mighty seisrnatic disturbances which brought about changes to the original Eden or Paradise, the collapse of the Adamic earth and the deluge, raised this area to the highest plateau on earth and changed its climate. When the highest peaks surrounding the valley were covered, water overflowed into the lower lying country and as it subsided, flowing out eastward, the ark was stranded on the highest peak.
THE WORD 'ARARAT' MEANS HIGHEST PEAK.
Now Daniel tells us that in the last days knowledge will be increased.
A new book was published in 1974, called The Jupiter Effect written by Drs. Gribbin and Plagemann. This book explains the new Tectonic Plate theory. It is the latest scientific explanation of the reason for earthquakes. Scientists now believe that the earth's crust is broken up into plates which fit closely together, but are subject to movement because of the instability of the molten rnagma underneath. As a rule the plates slide imperceptibly past each other at a rate of from one to five centimetres a year. Some are stationary for long periods. All great earthquakes occur along these fault lines as they are called.
One of these fault lines goes right into the area we have been discussing, but it has not been fully studied yet. If a movement of the magma causes a thrust of one plate against another at a special point, the pressure builds up until an upheaval is necessary to relieve the strain. When the edges of the plates are near shore lines or under water we have tidal waves which are felt for tremendous distances, but when they occur in a land mass the cataclysm is localized to a certain extent.
However, a gigantic earthquake such as is envisaged here would have had a lasting effect on the area. As the thrust of the southern tectonic plate raised the Pamir Plateau to its present level, the land to the north and east would be lowered and the waters from the Han Hai and the 'fountains of the deep' would pour out into northern China. It would take a long time to drain this inland sea and Chinese history records that for many years in this period China was devastated by floods and great canals were dug to alleviate the danger.
Geologists have proved that there have been many major cataclysms in the earth's crust in times past but this one recorded so briefly in Genesis and confirmed by geographers and local legends, is the greatest in the history of the Adamic race and of our epoch.
The Universal Flood theory does not fit the account given to us in Genesis. God's word is perfect and every detail presented for our instruction, is credible and factual. Our increased knowledge in these last days has made clear what has puzzled readers in by-gone centuries.
THE STORY OF THE FLOOD ENDS WITH A COVENANT.
And so the waters were abated from off the earth and Noah went forth with his family and the animals on to the dry ground. And Noah built an altar unto the Lord and offered burnt offerings. And the Lord said 'I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake ... while earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.'
And God spoke unto Noah and his sons saying, 'I will establish My covenant with you and with your seed after you, and with every living creature that is with you...'
And God said 'I do set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth ... and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.'
Today Adam's descendants through the Noahic family must suffer God's judgements again, as their condition is, as the Lord Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:38, the same as it was in the days of Noah. But God's covenant of the rainbow is unbreakable. He will not again destroy all Adamic man by a flood. God extended this covenant to include all mankind. (Gen. 9: 17) 'And God said unto Noah, this (the rainbow) is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.'
God has made a way of escape from His judgements. By repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, we can be cleansed from our sins and obtain everlasting life.
"For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved."
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