7 Pt.d The Flood of the middle east or of the world
Michael Heiser argues that the flood was not worldwide but localized to the region. To arrive at this conclusion one must dispense with crucial Biblical statements. In Heiser’s case, Error leads to more error. He changes specific statements into general ones. Just as he did for the word Elohim to be other gods with God, or the person satan from being a specific being to a general term in Job. This is his modus operandi in how he interprets the Scripture which makes statements in it convoluted. In the end you can form and apply what you want to scriptures word.
Today many Archeologists along with liberal academics (those who do not believe the Bible) take the side of there being no worldwide flood, however there are those that have looked at the scientific evidence that say the flood was not just local, but worldwide.
Heiser states “Demonstrating that phrases like “all flesh” or “all humankind” or “the whole heavens” (all of which use kōl + noun) do not speak of exhaustive totality in various places in the Bible. Once that is known, you’d ask a simple question: are we justified in taking the “less than exhaustive totality” meaning back to Genesis 6-8 and interpreting the flood event accordingly — an event that did not cover the earth in exhaustive totality? ” (How To Argue From the Biblical Text for a Local-Regional Flood Instead of a Global Flood)
In video message he makes it seem like he does not take a side, (which he often tries to imply) yet he says using the water over the mountains by 15 cubits to justify a global flood is a problem. For those who hold this view “ It is wrong for you to presume the local regional view has no argument.”
Heiser claims, “someone posted this article on Facebook, aimed at “flood geology”: ….I don’t understand the science as I’m not a geologist, but I do know biblical studies. It’s actually not difficult to argue for a local-regional flood from the biblical text. In what follows I’ll show you how. My purpose is to say that, if a global flood really is geologically denied or impossible, you really don’t need to care with respect to biblical accuracy. The biblical text can indeed sustain a local-regional flood.” https://drmsh.com/argue-biblical-text-local-regional-flood-instead-global-flood/
If you focus on certain points it certainly can, but you must ignore the qualifying statements in Scripture (the same way he does for there being only one true God.)
Noah built a very large boat, an Ark at God’s instruction because God had asked him to save people and animals from the Flood that was coming.
The ark’s size was about – 154 meters long, 25.5 meters wide and 15 meters high, which makes it 525 feet long, 87 feet wide, 52 feet high, built larger than any ocean vessel until the 20th century. That would be the titanic and we all know how that went.
A worldwide flood?
There are approximately 300 cultures around the world have stories of a massive flood. If for example they all claim it was local than how is this so widespread and why would it be significant to them?
“Hundreds of tribal legends and ancient accounts from Egypt, Babylon, and the Indus confirm the account of Noah's Flood from the book of Genesis. These tribes and ancient cultures obviously had no interest in copying a Hebrew account about a global Flood, therefore, all of these accounts must have been independently derived by the various people-groups' ancestors from the eight who were on the vessel that endured the global Flood.” (James I. Nienhuis www.GenesisVeracity.com )
95% - speak of a universal flood 88% - speak of a favored family
66% - say it was because of the wickedness of man
73% - speak of animals being saved 70% - speak of a boat that saved the family
57% - say that survivors landed on a mountain.
TIME magazine, October, 1976 writes of the discovery of 15,000 clay tablets in the ruins of Ebla, an ancient city-state north of Damascus in Syria. One of those tablets, dated before the time of Abraham, tells the story of the worldwide flood.
Let us begin with the Bible story
Genesis 6:13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. ” Notice all flesh is paralleled with the earth. Gn. 7:21-23 “And all flesh died that moved on the earth : birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life , all that was on the dry land, died . So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. ”
You may not like or agree with what it says, but it is what it says. Gn. 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his HEART was only evil continually. (KJV)
Was this only the people in this region who became like this?
The evidence of a global flood is God says to Noah The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence.” Not where you live or a region. To say others were alive makes God word of no effect. It says only Noah and his family. Believe or disbelieve?
And all flesh died that moved on the earth (including birds)
all that was on the dry land, died
Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.
When God says all have sinned does this mean the all is from a certain area?
Does this sound like regional flood is being described?
Gen 7:19-24 “ all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground : both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.” (see Isa.54:9)
Much of what was said is repeated.
under the whole heaven were covered
all flesh died that moved on the earth
destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground
Does this sound like regional flood?
Now let me ask you, does God know what he means by his words
Gn. 8:3 “ At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased.”
The ark floated on the waters for one hundred and fifty days, A half a year and then came to rest on the mountains of Ararat (which 17,000 ft. high). Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. Does this sound like a local flood? That is a very long time for a local flood waters to recede.
The covenant after
When they left the ark God renewed his command to Noah and his family as he did with Adam and Eve. Gen 9:1: “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” If there were other people outside the local area this would not be said.
In this covenant God gave a sign, a token; the rainbow which is still with us today as a reminder of God ending the flood. If it was a local flood rainbows would appear only in this area not all over the world.
Not the region but the whole earth, and this is why all who live today came through Noah and his family. Acts 17:26 “ And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” (Deut.32)
Then the Bible is not telling the truth when it says after the flood all mankind came from Noah.
" I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 1and with every living creature that was with you-the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you-every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood ; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth ."
Heiser argues, ‘Demonstrating that the word “all” (כֹּל / kōl) doesn’t solve anything. Rather, it begs an obvious question: “all of what?”
God is specific, never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood.
A local flood brings Gods LITERAL word into question. From this we learn several points. The never again promise. Gen 9:11 Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood. never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth."
Overall when God speaks judgment like he did through Moses it is apparent it is on the land of Egypt, that was regional. Ex 8:6-7 “Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.” It is made clear with nearly every statement, just as it is with Noah being Worldwide.
Furthermore, there have there been severe local floods in mankind’s history. According to Heiser’s view (and others who do not like the supernatural elements described in Scripture) God did not keep his Word for He said he would not do this type of flood again and yet many have occurred. So would this not be more accurate if a worldwide flood is considered?
Second: it is mentioned every living creature on the earth not just his area. God's intent was to punish the rebellion of the entire human race that was affected by sin and rebellion except for Noah and 7 members of his family. If the entire world was not submerged in water, if the Flood was only regional, instead of building an ark that took 120 years Noah could have walked away from the area with animals and been safe. Why build an Ark this large hold all kinds of animals? Why would birds have been sent on board? God would not have to send the animals (in pairs and sevens) into the Ark to escape death? There would have been plenty of other animals to reproduce elsewhere if these died, since animals would have survived outside of the flood area.
Genesis chapters 7-8 describes to us “all the fountains of the great deep” were broken up and water poured upward from inside the earth for 150 days. (there's that pesty word 'all') Also the windows of heaven were opened, and torrential rain fell globally for 40 days and nights. After 150 days Noah's Ark rested upon Mount Ararat which is nearly 17,000 ft. above sea level. After 2 1/2 more months the tops of the mountains became visible, would a local flood produce this type of saturation?
If the flood of Noah was regional than so is the return of Christ. Consider if the first worldwide flood did not destroy the earth then neither will the judgment be worldwide from Jesus. Jesus returns to judge the nations, all people not some in a certain reason. 2 Peter 3:5-7 “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water . But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
Matt. 24:39-42 “and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
Here Jesus speaks of the coming judgment. Does he mean only those where the local flood took place or all over the earth? Since we know that the last day’s judgment is compared to Noah’s and it will be universal and worldwide, then the flood must be the same (Matthew 24:37-39). In other words -- if the first worldwide flood did not destroy the earth as it says then neither will the judgment be worldwide coming from Jesus when he returns.
1 Peter 3:21 “in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.”
How are we to understand the statements made in Genesis? Deut. 28:64 "Then the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other,” was this regional or global.
Neh.1:9 “though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.”
Jer. 31:8 “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth .” Matt 24:31 “ And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Is this regional?
2 Peter 2:5 speaking of God “and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly”
It says only Noah and his family were righteous, everyone who lived, no matter where they lived were ungodly. If the Flood was located in a region, other people would not be affected by it. They would have escaped God’s judgment on sin, their ungodliness.
To deny a universal flood is to deny the literal interpretation of Bible Scripture. It is God who sent the flood and gave these words to Noah in Gen.7 “and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.”
2 Peter 3:5-6 “or this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.” Greek- katakluzo (by implication) to deluge.
Isaiah 54:9 “This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth .”
Scripture does not mention Antartica, Greenland, America or Australia; so what. We know early on the population lived in these areas, but the Bible says the whole earth had a flood. God is saying this, not man, the whole earth was repopulated. God knows what he means, and there is evidence of the flood everywhere.
“ marine creatures, fish, clams, and corals, are buried and fossilized in sedimentary rock on the continents and even high up in the mountains. These fossilized graveyards are all over the world that look just like those in the Middle east.”https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/what-are-some-of-the-best-flood-evidences/
“We discovered that 2 Peter and Jude communicated something about the flood and the sons of God that wasn’t found in Genesis, but which came from the Second Temple book of 1 Enoch.” (Unseen realm) This book was not in the second Temple and to imply it was is disingenuous. A second temple period, yes, not a book that came from the temple.
Yet Heiser ignores what the book of Enoch says on this, a book he often uses for his proof text. Enoch speaks of a group of 200 Watcher angels desired the daughters of men as wives. This leads the destruction of all the living on earth by flood. Enoch 54:10. “ All those who dwell on the earth will be destroyed.”
Enoch 83:3-8 “In a vision I saw the waters of heaven thrown down upon the earth. Also, parts of the earth fell into a great abyss, and mountains piled on mountains, and hills sank. Tall trees were ripped out by the roots. I began to shout, "The earth is destroyed! …Your vision concerns the sin of the earth; it is about to be destroyed.”
Another problem Heiser introduces that makes this all the more convoluted, the Book of Genesis was probably composed / compiled whatever the terminology, around the 6th century BCE. This is posted everywhere on the internet what some very liberal 'scholars; believe, that chapters 1-11 in Genesis was finally written then, Heiser is among them. His private interpretation he has constructed together is unique, that cannot be considered biblical history.
His local flood doctrine does not stand alone. Another problem to his theory is the Nephilim of Gn.6 that were included in the cause of God’s judgment. Heiser teaches some of the Nephilim survived the flood. Were the sons of God assault on humanity and their offspring Nephilim only in that region? This is why he “prefers” a local flood because the Nephilim reappear after the flood! (Numbers 13:13)
We will look at all this in detail in the last installment of this series to see how he explains this and how the Bible counters it.