<< 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?
PS: To "break up" or "open" a fountain, as in Gen 7:11, is the opposite of
"stopping up a fountain" (2Kings 3:19) which is done by filling it up with
dirt (2 Chron 32:4; Gen 2:15). Breaking up a fountain is done by breaking up
the hard dirt and removing it. It has to do with digging through the surface
of the earth. It does NOT involve breaking open the _bottom_ of the reservoir
of water. It has NOTHING to do with the bottom of the ocean, the subterranean
crust of the earth.
All fountains on earth were considered "fountains of the Great Deep". All
fountains were understood to be coming up from the Tehom (the great Deep) the
ocean which lay under the earth. Thus, Gen 49:25(24) speaks of the
"blessings of the heaven above; blessings of the deep sea (Tehom) lying
below." Deut 33:13 also speaks of Jehovah blessing the land of Joseph "with
the precious dew of the heavens and with the deep sea (Tehom) lying below."
How can "the deep sea lying below" be a blessing? By being the source of the
fountains that give water for irrigation and thus agricultural blessing. Gen
7:11 is about these _earthly_ fountains. It has nothing to do with the ocean
As I said before, 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;
<<AR: Am I trying to force my ideas on the text?
<<AR: No. I am merely exploring what the Bible is actually saying.
PS: If this is what the Bible is actually saying, why is it that the ancient
Jews did not understand it that way? Your interpretation is at least as
modern as the local Flood theory and just as far if not more from the
<< 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
PS: Ps 24:2 could NOT just as correctly read "For he founded it above the
seas and established it above the waters." Within its historical context (as
seen above with regard to fountains) it certainly meant it was founded
directly upon the seas (upon the Tehom), not above the seas in the sense of
relative elevation. It is the ocean "below" the earth (Gen 49:25; Deut 33:13)
that is the source of agricultural blessing, not the salt water ocean beside
the earth with its relatively low elevation. In addition, in the other OT
verses where "found" (yasad) is used with the preposition 'al (Cant 5:15; Ps
104:5; Amos 9:6) the meaning "upon" is demanded by the context. Further, the
very nature of "founding" demands that the thing founded rest _upon_ the
foundation. Ps 24:2 is saying that God "founded," that is, firmly placed the
earth upon the seas, the seas being a foundational base--as everyone in the
ancient Near East believed. There is no biblical evidence that the Hebrews
were better educated scientifically than their neighbors. The preposition 'al
in Ps 24:2 should thus be translated "upon" as the KJV, ERV, ASV, NASV, RSV,
NEB, Berkeley, Amplified, Moffat, Jerusalem, and NIV all testify.
<< 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
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: Psalm 104:9, ("You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will
they cover the earth") is NOT a reference to something which God said to Noah
in Gen 8:2. Ps 104:2-5 place verses 6-9 in a context of creation. And, the
action of Ps 104:9, "setting a boundary," fits the context of the first three
days of Genesis very well. On day one in Genesis, light is separated from
darkness: God puts a boundary between them. On day two the waters above are
separated from the waters below: God puts a boundary between them. On day
three, the waters below are gathered into one place, and separated from the
dry land. God puts a boundary between them (which is the sand of the
seashore according to Jer 5:22). Psalm 104:6-9 with its "setting a boundary"
thus fits perfectly into the context of creation.
Prov 8:29 and Job 38:4-11are parallel to Ps 104:9. Both of these passages
speak of God setting a boundary for the sea just as Ps 104:9 does, and they
speak of the foundation of the earth just as Ps 104:5 does. Their context is
creation, and they thus confirm that Ps 104:9 is a reference to creation, not
to Noah's flood.
Finally, it is quite clear from the way the waters are described in Psalm
104:7 that the 104:9 is not referring to the Flood's waters. That is, in Ps
104:7 the waters are described as rebuked by God in such a way that they
"fled"..."hastened away", in the sense of being in a hurry or alarm. The
picture is one of waters rapidly running off, just as would have occurred in
Gen 1:9, 10 as the newly created earth emerged from below as a submarine
rising to the surface. In Gen 8:3, in contrast, the removal of the waters
of Noah's flood are described as subsiding very, very slowly, taking some
seven and one-half months to get to the place where it was dry enough for
Noah to get off the ark. The picture of waters fleeing in panic which is
given in Ps 104:7 is just the opposite of the interminably slow lowering of
the waters by draining and evaporation that is given in Gen 8:3. Psalm 104:9,
therefore, is not a reference to Gen 8:2.
The historic interpretation of the Church that Psalm 104:9 is about
creation, not the Flood, is thus very well founded.
<< 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
<< 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
PS: The words in the Bible mean what they meant to the people of that time.
You cannot remove them from their historical context and give them new
meanings without effectually rewriting the Bible. Further, you have not left
the Bible in even its biblical context. You have taken the fountains of the
Deep out of their biblical context wherein they are fountains on the surface
of the earth. In Psalm 24:2, you took the preposition 'al away from its
connection with the word "found." You took Psalm 104:9 out of its context of
creation, separated it from its parallels in Prov 8:29 and Job 38:4-11, and
associated it with Noah's flood---even though the removal of the Flood waters
(Gen 8:3) is just the opposite of the description given in the Psalm 104:7.
You are imposing an extra-biblical theory upon the Bible at the expense of
Scripture. The Bible says nothing, absolutely nothing, about the Flood being
caused by meteorites, asteroids, earthquakes, tsunami's, volcanic eruptions
or the collapse of a canopy. These have all been manufactured by the
imagination to support the theory of a flood that covered a spherical earth,
an earth the OT knows nothing of. The Bible knows nothing of any of these
things, and they are supported only by taking the words of the Bible out of
their historical and biblical context and redefining them at will to support
I still wish better things both for you and Scripture.
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