I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, I used to think that Noah’s flood involved just a bunch of rain.
Granted, it was an enormous amount of dumpage — forty days and forty nights worth — but still, just rain.
Maybe it was my own obliviousness to the minutiae of Scripture (hey, it happens to all of us), but it wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I realized the magnitude of the flood.
Genesis 7:11 lists three unique things that happened to produce the amount of water necessary to flood the earth:
The sources of the vast watery depth burst open
The floodgates of the sky were opened
And then the rain fell on the earth
All three of those together should change the landscape of the earth quite a bit.
Did the Flood Shape the Earth?
No matter what you believe about the debate between creation versus evolution, a simple glance at the Bible indicates that the flood was a catastrophic even that fundamentally changed the ecosystem and the geologic layout of the earth.
Genesis 10:25, for example, mentions a guy named Peleg (also 1 Chronicles 1:19). In his days, according to the Text, the earth was divided. According to Biblical scholars, the reference is to the land mass that we would commonly refer to as Pangea being split into the seven continents we have today.
Keep in mind too that the flood was global. Genesis 6:17 outlines God’s intention to bring floodwaters on the entire earth and wipe out everything. I’m not sure why some people take this to mean a regional flood; the phrase “every living thing I have made I will wipe off the face of the earth” is pretty explicit.
Did Noah’s Flood Change the Weather?
If you back up a few chapters, you might remember that the Garden was a pretty idyllic place.
One thing that made it such was the fact that there was zero rain. How did the plants and wildlife get their water? God brought a mist up from the earth and watered the ground (Genesis 2:6).
Which is something else to consider: Before the flood, nobody had ever seen rain before. When Noah is out there preaching about a global flood via something called “rain,” that was as foreign a concept to them as the idea of space travel would be to people 1000 years ago.
The Flood was generated by water rising from the ground and from the sky — from all directions. It’s little wonder how the earth changed so violently in those days.