Re: The Origins Solution

Date: Sat Oct 13 2001 - 01:55:55 EDT

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    Dick wrote,

    << For example, the whole "earth" was not of one "language," there was one
     prevalent topic of conversation. >>

    I do not know of any scholars past or present who have thought this is what
    Gen 11:1 means. The Hebrew literally says they had one "lip" and one "words."
    Parallel passages show that this means that everyone on earth spoke and could
    understand the grammar (Isa 19:18) and words (Ezek 3:5, 6) of everyone else.
    That is, all the earth spoke one and the same language. The Church, both
    Jewish and Christian, has historically understood this to mean that everyone
    on the entire earth spoke the same language, and until modern times that
    language was believed to be Hebrew.

    <<The "mountains" were not covered by water during the flood, only the
    "hills." (The word is the same in Hebrew.)>>

    "Hills" and "mountains" are the same word in Hebrew, but "under _all_ the
    heavens" in Gen 7:19 refers to the entire then known earth. Gen 7:19 makes
    this certain. The context of Gen 7:19 is Gen 8:4 which mentions the mountains
    in the country of Ararat, ancient Urartu, which centered around Lake Van. So
    when Gen 7:19 speaks of "all the high mountains that were under all the
    heavens," it is not just local hills that are in view but the genuinely high
    mountains of Ararat that are contextually in view. The Flood is thus clearly
    greater in extent than merely covering Mesopotamia. In addition since ancient
    Urartu, Ararat, was located at the northern extent of the known earth (Gen
    10:2; Ezek 38:6), the contextual implication of the phrase "under all the
    heavens" is that the other ends of the known earth are also in view. So in
    Scripture it is the known earth that is being described as flooded, that is,
    the earth as delineated in Gen 10.

    I appreciate your taking the Mesopotamian data into consideration, and I
    agree with you and Carol Hill that the biblical Flood is to be identified
    with the Mesopotamian Flood of c. 2900 BC. But, I am not willing to deny that
    the Bible is describing that Flood as being much larger in extent--albeit
    reading in a global flood, i.e. our knowledge of a spherical earth as being
    in view in the biblical account is just as far from what the text means as
    saying it is just talking about a Mesopotamian Flood. The clear linkage of
    the Flood with the sons of Noah and the world of Gen 10 along with the
    phrases "under all the heavens" and "all the high mountains" with the Ararat
    mountains being included simply cannot be compressed into a merely local
    Mesopotamian Flood without doing serious violence to the text of Scripture.

    Forcing the Bible to speak about either a merely Mesopotamian Flood or of a
    global Flood as the global earth is understood today does violence to the
    biblical account.

    The Lord's best,


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