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Creation 21(3):49, June 1999

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Editor’s note: As Creation magazine has been continuously published since 1978, we are publishing some of the articles from the archives for historical interest, such as this. For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles and Further Reading below.

Noah’s Flood covered the whole earth

The Bible clearly teaches that the Flood of Noah’s day was global


Many Christians today think the Flood of Noah’s time was only a local flood, confined to somewhere around Mesopotamia. This idea comes not from Scripture, but from the notion of ‘billions of years’ of Earth history.

But look at the problems this concept involves:

  • If the Flood was local, why did Noah have to build an Ark? He could have walked to the other side of the mountains and missed it.
  • If the Flood was local, why did God send the animals to the Ark so they would escape death? There would have been other animals to reproduce that kind if these particular ones had died.
  • If the Flood was local, why was the Ark big enough to hold all kinds of land vertebrate animals that have ever existed? If only Mesopotamian animals were aboard, the Ark could have been much smaller.1
  • If the Flood was local, why would birds have been sent on board? These could simply have winged across to a nearby mountain range.
  • If the Flood was local, how could the waters rise to 15 cubits (8 meters) above the mountains (Genesis 7:20)? Water seeks its own level. It couldn’t rise to cover the local mountains while leaving the rest of the world untouched.2
  • If the Flood was local, people who did not happen to be living in the vicinity would not be affected by it. They would have escaped God’s judgment on sin.3 If this happened, what did Christ mean when He likened the coming judgment of all men to the judgment of ‘all’ men (Matthew 24:37–39) in the days of Noah? A partial judgment in Noah’s day means a partial judgment to come.
  • If the Flood was local, God would have repeatedly broken His promise never to send such a flood again.

Belief in a world-wide Flood, as Scripture clearly indicates, has the backing of common sense, science, and Christ Himself.

References and notes

  1. Sarfati, J., How did all the animals fit on Noah’s Ark? Creation 19(2):16–19, 1997. See also John Woodmorappe, Noah’s Ark—a Feasibility Study, Institute for Creation Research, Santee, California, 1995. Return to text.
  2. Note that the Bible talks about mountains rising (in connection with God’s rainbow promise, so after the Flood): see Did mountains really rise according to Psalm 104:8? J. Creation 12(3):312–313, 1998. Everest has marine fossils at its peak. Therefore, the mountains before the Flood are not those of today. There is enough water in the oceans so that, if all the surface features of the earth were evened out, water would cover the earth to a depth of 2.7 km (1.7 miles). This is not enough to cover mountains the height of Everest, but it shows that the pre-Flood mountains could have been several kilometers high and still be covered. Return to text.
  3. Some progressive creationists, who cannot accept a global Flood because of their commitment to millions of years for the ages of fossils, try to promote belief in a ‘universal’ Flood. This leads many unsuspecting evangelicals to think they believe in a world-wide Flood, but what they mean by this is that even though it was a local flood, all humanity outside of the Ark perished in it. However, it boggles the mind to believe that after all those centuries, no one would have migrated to other parts. Or that people living on the periphery of such a local Flood would not have moved to the adjoining high ground rather than be drowned. Return to text.