Re: [asa] Noah's local flood?

From: Vernon Jenkins <>
Date: Thu Jul 10 2008 - 16:30:03 EDT

Hi Phil,

Please forgive the delay in my responding to your comments of 27 June.

While I'm quite prepared to accept that universal-sounding language isn't necessarily _universal_, the general tenor of the Flood narrative and its aftermath, God's covenant with Noah, surely leads the unencumbered mind in that direction. Further, no amount of conjecture can overturn some facts which have yet to be considered by those participating in this discussion. The most significant of these, undoubtedly, is to be found, (a) in the Hebrew of the first of the Bible's 31,102 verses and, (b) in the Greek form of the Creator's Name (the components of which appear in Septuagint and New Testament) - both of which feature among the characteristics of three abundant artefacts, viz checkerboard, music keyboard and the cut paper size, A4 . But, in addition, the testimony of a verse from within the narrative itself is worthy of serious consideration; I refer to Genesis 8:14.

Concerning this verse, I had written in the introduction to an early webpage entitled "New for Old" (1999), the following: "The circumstances attending Genesis 8:14 are interesting: because of man's gross wickedness divine judgment has now been exercised; apart from Noah's family and the animals inhabiting the ark, all terrestial life has been extinguished by the mabbul (or Flood). We are about to read of a new beginning; the cleansed Earth is to be populated again at God's command: ... ' Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every living creature that is with they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it '. So Noah came out... (Genesis 8:15-18). The previous verse therefore stands at a critical point in Earth history: clearly, it is in the nature of an _epilogue_ to the Antediluvian/Diluvian Age - to which Genesis 1:1 is the _prologue_. But it also functions as a _prologue_ to the Postdiluvian experience - of which we are part! It is therefore a matter of some significance that the sum of the 8 Hebrew words of Genesis 8:14 is the large triangular number, 2701 - and thus identical to the sum of the 7 of Genesis 1:1 (as demonstrated in earlier pages)!"

Subsequently, I had concluded, "It is clear that the verses (1:1 and 8:14) which function as a pair of 'bookends' to what may be called ' Phase 1' of Earth history are securely bound together numerically! In addition, both are inextricably linked with the Creator's Name. It follows that Genesis 8:14 must be regarded as an integral part of the 'standing miracle' which previous pages have sought to define."

May I therefore invite you to read "Beyond the Rainbow" (an updated version of the original page) at

An obvious question follows: Why would the Lord of Genesis 1:1 and 8:14 use equivocal language to convey an important message concerning Earth history? Phil, perhaps you have a ready and reasonable answer. If so, I would be interested to hear it.



  ----- Original Message -----
  Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 11:02 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Noah's local flood?

  Hi Vernon,

  the OT often uses language that sounds universal but wasn't meant to be literally universal by the original author. Note this passage:

  Gen.41:57, And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world.

  Did the Mayans in Central America and the Incas in South America go to Egypt to buy grain? How did they find out that Egypt had grain, all the way down in their kingdoms in Central and South America? How did they get the news in time to travel across the ocean, buy grain, and bring enough shiploads back to America in time before the famine was over? How about the Polynesians, the Australians, the Eskimos (who don't even eat bread), the Chinese? Did any of these far away countries literally go to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph? But it says "all the countries" and "all the world." What it meant was "all the countries in the region" and "all the world [lands] around Egypt." There are many examples like this in the OT. If you do a comprehensive survey of the "universal-like" language in the OT, you'll never again believe that the type of language describing the flood was really meant to tell us that it was global.

  If you are willing to accept that universal-sounding language isnt' always universal, then it is easy to see how Gen.9 is promising the availability of God's grace to all humans and yet was dealing with only a local flood and was using symbols (Noah as a Christ-figure, the ark being a picture of salvation). If you are unwilling, you can parse the passage a hundred ways to "prove" a local flood is impossible and nobody will be able to convince you otherwise. Thus, it has to be left as an exercise for the reader to work it out for himself. :)

  God bless!


  -----Original Message-----
  From: Vernon Jenkins <>
  Sent: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 2:01 am
  Subject: Re: [asa] Noah's local flood?

  Hi Phil,

  Clearly, to believe the Mabbul to have been a _local_ flood is essential to evolutionary assumptions. Hence the symbolic explanations you offer. But how, then, do you suggest we read Gen 9: 9-17? God's covenant was, and is, with _all_ flesh; local flooding, and death by flooding, are facts of life. Can this covenant have any meaning unless Noah's flood was indeed _global_?


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Received on Thu Jul 10 16:31:03 2008

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