Re: The Tower of Babel - Less Confusing

From: Dick Fischer (
Date: Tue May 20 2003 - 10:46:26 EDT

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    Dear Paul, you wrote:

    >I agree that the scientific and historical evidence does not support,
    >indeed falsifies, a global flood. But, the Biblical data does not agree.

    Okay, here your point is that the Bible writers didn't know what they were
    talking about.

    >There is a common consensus across the theological spectrum that both the
    >Mesopotamian and biblical accounts of the Flood go back to the same
    >flood. And archaeology strongly suggests that this flood was a local
    >reverine Flood c. 2900 BC. The biblical description, however, does not
    >match the flood of 2900. So you cannot simply merge the two acccounts and
    >say the Bible is describing a local Flood.

    Okay, the biblical flood and the local Mesopotamian flood are the same
    flood. One historical flood, local, confined to Mesopotamia around 2900
    BC. The judgment of the flood therefore was upon the Adamites who were
    accountable. Under the influence of the Sumerians they became
    polytheistic, something God really dislikes. The unaccountable Sumerians
    were decimated, but survived. The Egyptians (to name just one population)
    were outside the flood zone and were untouched.

    >1. The flood, according to all Mesopotamian sources, lasted 1 to 3 weeks.
    >This is very different from the year-long duration of the biblical Flood.

    The Bible may be covering two Spring rainy seasons where Noah remained in
    the ark mucking out the stables during the interim.

    >2. If you say "all flesh died" including the birds (Gen 7:21); and you say
    >this is about a Mesopotamian Flood, then you must be saying all the birds
    >in Mesopotamia died.

    Just as 206 bones don't get out of joint (Psa. 22:14), and the Egyptians
    didn't go for seven years without eating because Joseph "gathered up all
    the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt ..." (Gen.
    41:48), the birds that perished in the flood were simply all the birds that
    perished, not all the birds in Mesopotamia.

    >3. Even in the Mesopotamian accounts, all mankind dies; and one of the
    >things that bothered early concordists is that the Bible is so clear that
    >all mankind died (still the consensus across the scholarly spectrum). They
    >sought to solve this problem by keeping all of mankind in Mesopotamia
    >until the Flood. This is of course, impossible to believe any longer. You
    >seek to make the Flood just kill off the Adamites, but, your distinction
    >does not hold up in Scripture. It is as idiosycratic as YEC
    >interpretations of scientific data.

    All the birds didn't die, all the animals didn't die, and all mankind did
    not die in the local, Mesopotamian, 2900 BC flood. To be thoroughly
    consistent, if we know that some birds and some animals died we also should
    know that some men died too. Not "all in any of the three
    categories. Furthermore, in Genesis the word for man is 'adam, which could
    be interpreted, "Adamites."

    >4. In spite of the YEC's imaginary science, they are quite correct that
    >Gen 9:11 "neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth"
    >logically implies that the Flood of Noah was not a local flood because
    >there have been many local floods since then.

    In the history of the Israelites and Jews there has not been another flood
    brought against them. Entirely consistent.

    >5. The "whole earth" that was flooded in Gen Gen 8:9 is linked
    >contextually to the "whole earth" which the three sons of Noah later
    >populated (Gen 9:19); and that "whole earth" is delineated in Gen 10 as
    >extending across the entire Near East, an area much greater than Mesopotamia.

    The Hebrew erets means earth or land. Substitute "land" in all those
    verses. When David's band made contact with the Amalekites, "behold, they
    were spread abroad upon all the earth ..." (I Sam. 30:16).

    Whereupon David smote them; only 400 young Amalekite men escaped death (I
    Sam. 30:17). To those who would insist that the language of Genesis 7 and
    8 dictates a world-wide flood because the waters prevailed "upon the
    earth," I would invite them to be consistent, and distribute the Amalekite
    army over the entire globe also. Then explain how David was able to
    eradicate them in 24 hours with only 400 men (200 lagged behind).

    >6. As I said, the flood of 2900 BC cannot get an ark into the mountains of
    >Ararat because it did not extend that far, and was not that deep. Your
    >answer, "It is possible that Noah punted up the Tigris and washed out into
    >the foothills of Armenia. The yearlong flood could have stretched out
    >over two rainy seasons so that the flood had two or more stages." is so
    >weak you must wince when you say it.

    I'm just stating possibilities. I didn't see the flood. Plus, you deleted
    my clarification that the Hebrew har means either mountains or hills. An
    ark cannot rest on "mountains." It could rest in a valley between
    mountains, or on a mountain perhaps, but the translators did not read the
    text carefully enough and used the wrong word. We need not make the same

    > The ark is described as being 450 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 45 feet
    > high; and you want two women and two men on each side of the ark to put
    > punting poles more than 60 feet long out the window in the attic of the
    > ark and punt this monster ship loaded with cargo up the Tigris during a
    > Flood with the water flowing against them!!!!!

    Punting barges up and down the rivers and canals was common for
    transporting grain, cattle, mud bricks, and other commonly traded items in
    that region at that time. If you buy into YEC, you can use
    Australopithicines, gorillas, and baboons. If you would like a crew of
    boatman, use Sumerians, they aren't Adamites, and they survived the flood
    anyway :>).

    >7. In spite of these radical differences, you want to make the flood of
    >the Bible a local flood by pointing out little problems like how the olive
    >tree was found by the dove or that there are Nephilim after the Flood.

    Well, you said, "There is a common consensus across the theological
    spectrum that both the Mesopotamian and biblical accounts of the Flood go
    back to the same flood. And archaeology strongly suggests that this flood
    was a local reverine Flood c. 2900 BC."

    First you say the biblical account goes back to the local, Mesopotamian
    flood, now you are beginning to think the biblical flood was global, though
    you have no evidence of a global flood.

    > You ask, "And the reason the olive tree survived a yearlong submersion
    > was what again? I missed your explanation for that."
    >Let me simply add that I do not believe it can be proven or even be stated
    >with probability that if covered by water for a year, all olive trees
    >would be so dead that none could send out shoots. They are extremely hardy
    >trees and well known for their sending forth of shoots.
    >As for Nephilim, if the word means "giants," I see no reason why some of
    >the descendants of Noah genertions later could not be significantly taller
    >than the majority of men.

    Here you are having your cake and eating your cake. First the real flood
    was local, now it could have been global. Or is it your point that the
    Genesis flood was really local, but the stupid Bible writers didn't know
    that (even though you and I figured it out 5,000 years later)? I would
    suggest that the ones who lived through it and immediately after were ever
    bit as smart as you and I, and were a tad bit closer to the event.

    Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
    Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

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