Sunday, October 02, 2016

Fountains of the deep

One more brief comment:

As to where the extra water came from, the Bible itself refers to its sources: "all the fountains of the deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened." (Gen.7:11). The atmosphere would not have provided sufficient rain for a massive global Flood.

Yes, the Bible cites two sources for the floodwaters. For liberals, both sources have mythological overtones. The "windows of heaven" alludes to the cosmic sea above the solid dome of the sky while the "fountains of the deep" refers to the primordial abyss.

For conservatives, the "windows of heaven" is a figurative expression for rainclouds and rainwater. 

But what about the "fountains of the deep"? Some say that's poetic. Some think that refers to subterranean water. Speaking for myself:

i) The parallelism in Gen 7:11 makes the general point that the deluge had two sources: water above and water below. 

ii) "Fountains of the deep" is a poetic synonym for the ocean. 

iii) The ocean is "below" the earth, not in a subterranean sense, but in the prosaic sense that dry land is generally higher than the sea. Sea level marks the boundary between the surface of the earth, where humans dwell, and the fathomless ocean. 

That interpretation is consistent with my lunar conjecture.

iv) The primary source of coastal flooding is the ocean. My lunar conjecture would ratchet that way up. It could still be wrong, but if so, it's wrong for different reasons.


  1. I heard from YEC that the "fountains from the deep" are literally subterranean waters that were under pressure. They also explain that this event created the continents. What do you think about it?

    And what about the local flood? Doesn't the local flood theory have less problems than the universal flood in explaining all the scientific data available including where all the water came from?

    1. Although it could refer to subterranean waters, that's not what the phrase means. At best, it's consistent with the phrase. But it's consistent with other interpretations.

      I've discussed the local flood on several occasions. See this post, as well as the embedded links:

  2. "But what about the "fountains of the deep"? Some say that's poetic. Some think that refers to subterranean water."

    Why do you think that interpretation is wrong?

    1. i) I agree that it's poetic.

      ii) As I said before, I think the function of two phrases is to indicate that water above and water below. To make that simple point.

      iii) Since the phrase doesn't mean subterranean water, there's no reason to assume that interpretation.

      iv) Contextually, the "deep" is a synonym for the "sea" or ocean". I think "fountains of the deep" is just a poetic description of the ocean.

  3. You just sold me on this interpretation. I hadn't thought of it before. I consider my self a YEC, though like my complementarianism, it is soft. I think YECs can be too concordist.

  4. Given both of your posts cited above, how does a local flood advocate look at Scripture's description of a catastrophic flood taking so many months to recede and place it geographically; ie what area of the the ANE could retain so much water for so long?

    1. ‪I'm no expert, but this is what I'd say:‬

      ‪i) To begin with, if we view the earth as a sphere, and the entire earth is submerged in miles of standing water, then the water has nowhere to drain. So if anything that poses a greater challenge to the global-flood interpretation. ‬

      ‪ii) Among other things, rivers serve as drainage mechanisms. In case of torrential rain, they become swollen. ‬As a result, river basis are flood basins.

      However, that can be magnified by the further fact that torrential rain causes debris to flow downstream. Debris can dam a river when it forms a logjam. That, in turn, causes water to back up, which expands the flooded area. Unless and until the logjam is dislodged, the floodwaters will recede very slowly.