Thank you for stimulating me to search the scriptures with the aid of a
concordance to check on some of the statements you made about the meanings
of certain words and expressions. It was a profitable exercise.
Here is some of what I found.
On Wed, 5 Nov 1997, Arthur V. Chadwick wrote (in part):
> Some of the most obvious clues from words in Genesis 6-8 include:
> 2. "upon the face of all the earth" (7:3; 8:9) is global, as in 1:29
> and "face of the ground" 5x, in paralles with the above (cf 2:6)
In Daniel 8:5 we find a prophecy of the conquests of Alexander the Great.
Here "the face of all the earth" refers to the territory conquered by
Alexander, which was not the entire planet (in spite of what Alexander may
In Zechariah 5:3 the NIV, NASB, RSV, and NRSV take "face of all the earth"
to mean surface of all the land.
This phrase also occurs in Gen. 41:56, which is closely linked to Gen.
41:57, where it is hard to believe that it really means that people
traveled to Egypt from the other side of the planet.
> 4. "under the whole heaven (7:19) has global meaning
> as in Deut 4:19, Job 28:24, 41:11, ...
What about Deut. 2:25? That reference was conveniently omitted.
> The Hebrew word Mabbul, translated Flood, is different from other Hebrew
> words for flood. It refers exclusively to this worldwide water catastrophe,
> and is not used to describe local flooding.
That depends on how you interpret Psalm 29:10. In Psalm 29 the psalmist
sees the power of God in a thunderstorm.
It is not surprising that the Hebrews might have different words for
flash floods from gullywashers or seasonal overflow of rivers. To see how
they would describe significantly larger but still nonglobal floods we
would have to see an account of one. Do you know what the second biggest
flood in the Old Testament was?
Concerning the other points you raised, it seems that the conclusion
implied by them was that the Flood was anthropologically universal or that
it was immensely larger than any other flood. This is not the same as
saying that it was geographically global. People who question the
geographic universality of the Flood don't necessarily reject its
anthropological universality or its uniqueness in size.
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80301-0395