There is no indication of this in the biblical account. In Judg 15:19 a
fountain is "split open" for Samson so he can get a drink of water. It is
incredible that he was in the midst of "catastrophic plate tectonics" or that
mountains were rising around him. "Splitting open fountains" is no more
dramatic than the stock Sumerian phrase "cleaving the ground" which refers to
plants emerging from the soil. The verb "split open," in Hebrew is
synonymous with simply "open," (Isa 48:21b = Ps 105:41). The Flood is caused
by simply opening up all of the earth's fountains at once (Gen 7:11)
including those which had run dry or been stopped up or sealed (Isa 41:17,
18; Hos 13:15; Gen 26:15; 2 Kgs 3:19; Cant 4:12).
AR: To be sure "baqa'" [to cleave; generally to rend, break, rip or open] can be synonymous with "pathach" [to open wide, specifically to loosen, begin, plough, carve]. But the size of the cleaving, opening, rending etc. depends upon what is being acted upon. In Gen 7:11 we have the fountain of the great deep being broken. So we need to ask, What is the great deep and what is the great deep's fountain? The great deep is simply the oceans, the rest of the Bible makes that abundantly clear. In Joshua 15:9, 18:15 we find that "ma'yan' (fountain) is a reservoir at Nephtoah (according to Bible commentaries and dictionaries, Nephtoah was known for it's reservoirs). By substitution back into Genesis 7:11 we get: "and the reservoir of the oceans was cleaved, broken, rent." What is ther reservoir, the container, which holds the Oceans? And, how do you break it up?
Am I trying to force my ideas on the text? No. I am merely exploring what the Bible is actually saying.
PS: Given that the earth in
Scripture is floating on the Tehom ocean (Ps 24:2; 136:6: and see my paper
"The geographical meaning of 'earth' and 'seas' in Gen 1:10" in the
Westminster Theological Journal 59 (1997) 231-55.), this is equivalent to
scuttling a boat.
AR: As you no doubt know. The Hebrew preposition "'al" which is used both in Ps 24:2 and 136:6 means "above, over, upon and against." This means that Ps 24:2 could just as correctly read "For he founded it above the seas and established it above the waters." Which would correspond well with 136:6's, "Who spread out the earth above the waters," (as it says in the KJV). In this sense, the relationship between earth (land) and waters (oceans) is one of relative elevation rather than of superposition. For instance is Everest above Anapurna or is Everest upon Anapurna? This would indicate that the ancients were not ignorant cavemen, but intelligent beings able to make cognizant observations.
>> So the concept of mountains rising during the flood does rest on scripture >>
PS: The Church has historically interpreted Psalm 104:6-9 as being about
creation, not the Flood. And, most people understand that the text is saying
the waters rose, not the mountains. See my paper, "Creation Science takes
Psalm 104:6-9 out of Context" PSCF 51:3 (1999) 170-174.
AR: To be sure Psalm 104 does have many parallels with the creation account in Genesis 1. However, verse 9, ("You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth") is a reference to something which God said to Noah in Gen 8:2, "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done." So it appears that PS 104 combines the events of Creation and the Flood. This description of the mountains and valleys likely applies to both day 4 and to the Flood event.
PS: You have taken the Bible out of its ancient Near Eastern context and forced
modern views upon it. I hope for better things both for you and Scripture.
AR: I have not taken the Bible out if its context. I feel that many try to force the Bible into the mold of what they think ignorant ancients believed.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Aug 05 2000 - 23:59:37 EDT