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Was the Flood of Noah’s Day Really Global?
The Noachian Flood occurred more than 4,000 years ago. So there are no eyewitness survivors on earth to tell us about it. However, there is a written record of that catastrophe, which states that the floodwaters covered the tallest mountain of that time.
The historical document reads: “The deluge went on for forty days upon the earth . . . And the waters overwhelmed the earth so greatly that all the tall mountains that were under the whole heavens came to be covered. Up to fifteen cubits [about 22 feet [6.5 m]] the waters overwhelmed them and the mountains became covered.”—Genesis 7:17-20.
Some may wonder if the story of the whole earth being covered with water is a myth or at least an exaggeration. Not at all! Indeed, to some extent the earth is still flooded. Seawater covers about 71 percent of the earth’s surface. So in reality the floodwaters are still here. And if the glaciers and polar ice caps were to melt, the sea level would rise to cover cities like New York and Tokyo.
Geologists studying the landscape of the northwestern United States believe that as many as 100 ancient catastrophic floods once washed over the area. One such flood is said to have roared through the region with a wall of water 2,000 feet [600 m] high, traveling at 65 miles an hour [105 km/hr]—a flood of 500 cubic miles [2,000 cu km] of water, weighing more than two trillion tons. Similar findings have led other scientists to believe that a global flood is a distinct possibility.
For those who believe that the Bible is God’s Word, though, a global flood is more than a possibility. It is a fact. Jesus said to God: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) The apostle Paul wrote that God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3, 4) How could Paul teach followers of Jesus the doctrinal truth if God’s Word contains myths?
Not only did Jesus believe that the Flood took place but he also believed that it was global. In his great prophecy about his presence and the end of this system of things, he likened those events to the time of Noah. (Matthew 24:37-39) The apostle Peter also wrote about the floodwaters in Noah’s day: “By those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was deluged with water.”—2 Peter 3:6.
If Noah was a mythical figure and a global flood a fable, the warnings of Peter and Jesus for those living in the last days would be meaningless. Instead of serving as a warning, such ideas would befuddle a person’s spiritual senses and endanger his chances of surviving a tribulation greater than the Noachian Flood.—2 Peter 3:1-7.
In speaking about his abiding mercies for his people, God said: “Just as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more pass over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not become indignant toward you nor rebuke you.” As surely as the Noachian Flood did overwhelm the earth, so God’s loving-kindness will be with those trusting in him.—Isaiah 54:9.