Re: Genesis Flood

Dick Fischer (
Sat, 27 Apr 1996 18:30:51 -0500

At 04:56 PM 4/25/96, Glenn wrote:

>The story of Noah's flood is explained by the catastrophic
>flooding of the Mediterranean basin. This event is well attested to by the
>geologic evidence and the facts surrounding that deluge fit quite well the
>Biblical description of the events in Genesis 6-9.

One of the many road blocks this apologetic technique faces is this: How
well does a flood at 5.5 mya in the Mediterranean basin fit the biblical
description beginning at Genesis 2?

Gen. 2:10 describes a confluence of rivers. M'Causland identifies the Gihon
as the "Gyudes of the ancients, 1 the modern Karkheh joined by the Kashkan
river in the region of Cush, or Kush, in eastern Mesopotamia, later called
Khuzistan. The ancient Pasitigris (likely Pishon) is now called the Karun
and joins the Euphrates just above the Persian Gulf. Gen. 2:14 names the
Tigris and Euphrates in Southern Mesopotamia. The Tigris (Hiddekel)
originates in the region of Assyria, flowing southeast until it joins the
Euphrates at a point "east of Assyria," just as stated in the Bible. The
earliest city in that region is Eridu, located roughly 85 miles west of the
confluence of these rivers, and dates to about 4800 BC. 2

Cain and Abel were farmer and rancher. Farming techniques, as opposed to
hunting and gathering, can be dated no earlier than about 10,000 years ago.
Certainly not millions of years ago. Cain builds a city named "Enoch."
After the flood, "kingship was restored in Kish." Meskiagasher rebuilds the
city of "E-anna(k), next door to Uruk, the biblical Erech. 3 All in Southern

Jabal (Gen. 4:20) was "the father of those who dwell in tents." Jubal
instructed those who played musical instruments (Gen. 4:21). But
Tubal-cain was the father of those who worked in "brass and iron." Even
iron-working before 2900 BC is a stretch, but millions of years ago? Not
a chance.

> What are the facts purported to have occurred in the Genesis Flood?
>These are the facts taken from the account.
>1. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth (Genesis 5:32)
>2. Noah built a boat, pitched it inside and out (Genesis 6:14)
>3. Noah brought two of "every kind of animal that moves along the ground"
>(Genesis 6:19)
>4. The great deep broke open (Genesis 7:11)
>5. The rain fell for 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:12)
>6. The ark floated above the "high mountains" (Genesis 7:18-20)
>7. The rising of the waters apparently lasted for 150 days (Genesis 7:24)
>8. He stayed on the ark a little over a year (Genesis 8:13)


1. Shem was born before the flood. That would be prior to 5.5 million
years using your timescale. Not even the genus Homo goes that far back,
let alone Semites. Canaan was Noah's grandson. He was father to the
Canaanites. Same problem. Are you proposing 5 million years of Canaanites?

2. Noah built a whopping boat. It had to hold animals - many animals for
over a year It's a feat of engineering even at 2900 BC.

3. Hebrew manners of speech permit "all" and "every" as we would say "much,"
"many" or "some." For example, Psa. 22:14 says, "And all my bones are
out of joint." All 206 bones??? Same thing in Genesis - "every" need not
mean "EVERY."

4. "Fountains of the deep" means irrigation canals broke open. (See my

6. The Hebrew word "har" means hills or mountains. Bible more often says
"hills" and translators should have this time.

No quarrels with "facts" 5, 7, and 8 (How about "assumptions" next time?)

>It is against these facts that the veracity of the story must be judged.

It's only my opinion, but shouldn't the word "fact" be reserved for things
that can be substantiated.)

>We will never be able to prove that the event occurred. The best we can
>do is say that the story is plausible.

It is only plausible in a plausible time frame. 5.5 million years ago is
beyond the realm of plausibility.

>Finally, some might object that this view places mankind in a desert,
>not a garden.

The word "Edin" means "desert" in sumerian, so you won't hear any
objection from me.

>I live in an age of boat building and have never built a boat or
>taken animals on board. But I can say that given an intelligent
>being, it is not out of the question.

An intelligent being at 5.5 million years ago maybe, but not
necessarily a human being. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

>The oldest boat is from 6400 B.C. and a paddle from around 7500
>B.C.(Clark and Piggott, 1965, p. 106). But Australia MUST have been
>colonized by ocean voyage which means boats. Australia was colonized
>60,000 years ago ...

The Pacific islands were colonized by those who were capable of
constructing outrigger canoes, still used today in many of the islands.
Canoes are a far cry from passenger carrying, animal carrying vessels.

>But Young goes on to point out that the earliest Jewish commentator
on the Deluge was Philo of Alexandria. Young writes:
> "Philo also made the intriguing suggestion that the flood was not 'a
>trifling outpouring of water but a limitless and immense one, which almost
>flowed out beyond the Pillars of Heracles (the Straits of Gibraltar) and
>the Great Sea. Therefore the whole earth and the mountainous regions were
>flooded.' It is difficult to know what to make of this. In one breath he
>characterizes the cataclysm as 'limitless and immense' and also appears to
>limit its extent to the Mediterranean Basin." (Young 1995, p. 11)
>Thus the earliest extant Jewish version of the flood, is a Mediterranean

Now let's see. How can I tell you this? Philo of Alexandria about
30 BC - AD 45) 4 was contemporary with the New Testament authors. He
wrote near the time of Christ. The first five books of the Bible were
written near the time of the Exodus, around 1290 BC. (Some say 1440 BC.)
And Moses was a Jew. The early Semites were the Accadians, and the eleventh
chapter of Gilgamesh was written before that. Also, Atrahasis was written
in Assyrian, but one could argue that the Assyrians, though related, were
not Jews.

Dick Fischer

1. Dominick M'Causland, _Adam and the Adamite_ (London: Richard Bentley,
1864), 171.
2. C.C.Lamberg-Karlovsky and Jeremy A. Sarloff, _Ancient Civilizations: The
Near East and Mesoamerica (Menlo Park: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing
Company, Inc., 1979),110.
3. Thorkild Jacobsen, _The Sumerian King List_ (Chicago: The University of
Chicago Press, 1939), 85.
4. Davis A. Young, _The Biblical Flood_ (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing Co., 1995), 11.

* *
* *
* An Answer in the Creation - Evolution Debate *
* *
* Web page - *
* *