NOAH’S FLOOD WAS NOT WORLD WIDE
Pastor Bertrand L. Comparet
Among the many mistaken and unScriptural notions commonly taught in nearly all churches is the idea that the “flood”, mentioned in the Bible, covered all the earth and drowned everybody on earth excepting only Noah and his family who escaped death by being in the Ark. Some churches have firmly insisted that the Bible says this, when there is ample proof that the “flood” was not world wide. With this teaching the churches have destroyed the faith of multitudes of people in the Bible. They have made atheists or agnostics out of hundreds of thousands of people who might have become Christians if they had only been taught the truth about the Bible.
Part of this mistaken idea about the “flood” is due to the many mistranslations found in the commonly used King James version of the Bible. Also, part of it appears plainly to be false if you merely carefully read even the King James version. Let’s have a look at it.
In Genesis chapter 6, we read that God found the people so corrupt that He regretted that He had ever created them, so He decided to wipe them out by a flood. He warned righteous Noah of the coming flood and told Noah to build a great boat, or ark, in which he and his family might find safety and where they might preserve a few of each kind of the animals from that area. In Chapter 7, it tells how Noah received the final warning that the time was now at hand and he should move into the art. Then it says, according to the King James version, “And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. 15 cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle, and of beast and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; and every man.
And the waters prevailed upon the earth 150 days. And God remembered Noah and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark; and God made a wind to pass over the earth and the water assuaged. And the waters returned from off the earth continually and after the end of the 150 days the waters were abated. And the ark rested, in the 7th month, on the 17th day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the 10th month; in the 10th month, on the 1st day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.”
Now, first let us see what the translators have done to what Moses originally wrote. You remember that the King James version says that the rain was upon “the earth” and the waters increased greatly upon “the earth”: and that “all flesh died that moved upon the earth”? Definitely not! Remember that in Genesis 4:14, when God has driven Cain away in punishment for his murder of Abel, the King James version quotes Cain as saying, “Behold, Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth.” So what did Cain do, climb into his rocket ship and take off for outer space? Of course not!! He was not driven from the face of “the earth”, and he never said so, only the translators said so.
The word Cain used was “ad-aw-maw” meaning “the ground”: God had told him that his farming would no longer be successful, so Cain said “Thou hast driven me off of the ground.” (You have probably noticed that Cain’s descendants today are not farmers. They run pawnshop and other money lending institutions.)
When we come to Genesis 7, where it is talking about the “flood”, wherever it says that the flood covered “the earth”, the Hebrew word used in the original writing by Moses was “eh-rats”, meaning “the land”. The flood did cover the particular land where it occurred. That is, it was a local flood which covered one particular region or land, not the whole earth.
Again, notice that it specifies that “15 cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” In ancient times two different lengths of the cubit were in use, the sacred cubit of 25 inches and the common cubit of 20-5/8 inches. Therefore, the waters rose above the tops of the mountains it is speaking of by either 25 feet 9 inches or 31 feet 3 inches according to which cubit you use. If this meant that all the mountains on earth were covered, the waters would have to cover Mount Everest, which is nearly six miles high, therefore, all the earth would be covered by water six miles deep. In that case, where could it have run off to when the flood subsided? No, I don’t mean that the Bible was that badly mistaken, only the translators made this mistake. The translators took the Hebrew word “eh-rets” which means “that land” and mistranslated it to mean the whole world. A little later, we shall look over the evidence which proves where “that land” was.
If the whole earth was covered by six miles of water, then all nations must have been completely exterminated. Yet Babylon, Egyptian and Chinese history runs right through this period without a break. The Bible gives the date of the flood as commencing in 2345 B.C. and ending in 2344 B.C.. In lower Sumer, later called “Chaldea” (and which occupied the same “Plains of Shinar” to which Noah’s family journeyed after the flood), the city of Ur of the Chaldees was the leading city from about 2400 B.C. until about 2,285 B.C. and its history is not broken by any flood in this period. Farther to the north, Babylon was rising to power from about 2,400 B.C. on and reached a great height of civilization under the famous King Hammurabi, who lived at the same time as the Hebrew patriarch Abraham (about 2,250 B.C.), and again there is no break in this history due to a flood. In Egypt, the Eleventh Dynasty began to reign about 2,375 B.C. over a great and powerful nation. The Eleventh Dynasty ruled to about 2,212 B.C., and were followed by the Twelfth Dynasty, which ruled to about 2000 B.C.. There was no break in the Eleventh Dynasty at the time of Noah’s flood, 2,345 B.C.. The nation continued to be large and powerful throughout this period.
Accurate history of China begins nearly 3,000 B.C.. The Shu-King historic record of China, shows that King Yao came to the throne in 2356 B.C., 11 years before the start of Noah’s flood, and ruled China for many years after the flood. During the reign of Yao, the Shu King reports that the Hwang Ho River (which drains mountains and a great basin in Sinkiang province) had excessive floods for three generations. Here again, there was no break in history. The Chinese nation was not wiped out. Its own records show that it continued in existence right through the period of Noah’s flood.
Therefore, the Bible is correct in stating that the Flood covered only “eh-rets”, “that land”. The translators are wrong when they change the meaning of what Moses really wrote in Genesis 7, and say that the flood covered all “the earth”.
This leaves us ready to inquire where the flood did occur. For this, we will have to start with Adam and Eve and trace where they and their descendants went. They started out in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:10-14 tells us that a river went out of Eden and this river divided into four streams. It names these four rivers: Pison and Gihon (Neither of which can be identified among the rivers existing today), and Hiddekel (which is the ancient name of the Tigris River) and the Euphrates. The Tigris and Euphrates rise in what is today extreme southeastern Turkey, a little north of modern Iraq. Making some allowances for the fact that many rivers have changed their courses considerably in the course of several thousand years, this still placed the Garden of Eden at the northern end of ancient Akkad.
When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:24, tells us that God placed cherubim with a flaming sword at the east side of the Garden of Eden, to keep Adam and Eve from returning and having access to the tree of life. If this guard was to accomplish anything, it must have been placed between Adam and the Garden of Eden. So we see that Adam and Eve were driven out to the east. From Eden, Adam’s course would naturally have led him across northern Iran, around the southern end of the Caspian Sea, into what was formerly called Chinese Turkistan and today is known as Sinkiang province in the extreme west of China.
In the southern part of Sinkiang, there is a great basin, rimmed by high mountains on all sides, but with an outlet on the eastern end of it, through the mountains where the headwaters of the Hwang-Ho River, the Yellow River rises. This basin is today nearly all desert, but it bears evidence of a fertile and heavily inhabited past. Explorers have found ruins of ancient cities, uncovered by the drifting sands of the desert. Also the known geological structure shows that, in ancient times at least, beneath this desert lay an enormous underground natural reservoirs, caverns filled with water. It is the same geological structure which furnishes artesian water in many parts of the world today.
These underground reservoirs were covered by waterproof layers of rock, which kept the waters beneath from overflowing out on the land surface above them. In this mountain rimmed basin, then a fertile, well populated land, Adam and Eve, or at least their descendants of a few generations later, settled.
You who listen to this program already know that Adam was not the first man. He was only the first man in the present White Race. Adam and Eve found this land to which they had come already populated by an Asiatic people, among whom they had to live. Through the following generations, the inevitable happened. Wherever there is integration, intermarriages and mongrelization of the races follows. If God had no purposes in mind which could not be properly served by the Asiatic and negro races, there would have been no reason for Him to create Adam. Neither could the purposes which Adam and his descendants were intended to serve be fulfilled by a MONGRELIZED race. The consequences of this mongrelization are described in Genesis 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.” Again we find the word there mistranslated “earth” is the Hebrew word “eh-rats”, which only means “the land”, that particular land; and there is reason for using that Hebrew word, for this was the place where integration and mongrelization had taken place, with its degenerative effects as compared to the qualities possessed by each race separately.
We find confirmation of this in the reason why God spared Noah. In Genesis 6:9, your King James version Bible tells you that Noah was “perfect in his generations” a meaningless phrase. When anything in the King James version of the Bible fails to make good sense, it is a sign that you should go behind the mistranslation and see what the words were in the original Hebrew or Greek. The word here translated “generations” was the Hebrew word “to-lad-aw”, which means “ancestry”. That is, Noah was “perfect in his ancestry”, a pure bred, not a mongrel.
Noah and his family were the last remaining pure blooded Adamites in the world, therefore, God needed to save them to carry out the purposes He had planned for the Adamic people. The MONGRELIZED people among whom Noah and his family lived must be removed, or they would be a trap which would eventually lead to the complete end of the pure blooded Adamites.
Have we any other evidence to support our view that this was the region where Adam and Eve and their descendants settled? Yes. Remember that Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden to the eastward. Later, when Cain murdered Abel, and as a punishment was banished from the land where Adam and Eve lived, Genesis 4″16 tells us that Cain “went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the Land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” The Hebrew word “nod” means “wandering”. That is, in the upper Tigris and Euphrates valleys, at the north of Eden, these rivers were running swiftly downhill from their mountain sources. Therefore, they cut themselves deep channels in the ground. Even today we can find the traces of the ancient diversion dams, built by the ancients to raise the water level up close to the surface of the ground, so they would not have to pump it so high to get it into their irrigation canals.
Farther to the south, in the lower Tigris and Euphrates Valleys, where the slope was no longer steep, the accumulation of silt picked up by the rivers where they ran swiftly was now settling to the bottom of the river beds, constantly raising the level, so that every high water season the rivers overflowed their banks and flooded the valleys. This is exactly the same as we have in our own Mississippi Valley. These annual floods washed away the people’s houses and sent them fleeing far away to high ground. Therefore it was correctly called “the land of Nod”, “the land of wandering”. Here Cain settled, and taught the people to build high dikes along the river banks, just as we have done along the banks of the Mississippi river. This enabled them to stop the annual floods, so they could now build permanent cities of good houses in the lower Tigris and Euphrates Valleys, the land then called by its own inhabitants “Sumer”, and later called “Chaldea”.
In a very few places the Bible calls it “the Plain of Shinar”. That is, Cain went back westward from where Adam and Eve lived. It was thus that Cain started his great empire. Yes, Cain is a well known historical character, found not only in the Bible (but he is known in history under another name). Cain established an empire which extended from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea and even took in some of the larger islands in the Mediterrean Sea.
Some day I will tell you about Cain and his empire but, that is another story.
Another bit of evidence is found in Genesis 11:2, which tells us that after the flood, Noah’s descendants “journeyed FROM the east”, until they came to the land of Shinar. Therefore, they must have come from some place east of the Tigris and Euphrates Valleys. The only place where such a flood as the Bible describes could have occurred, eastward from the Tigris and Euphrates Valleys, is this mountain basin in Sinkiand which I have been talking about.
Another bit of evidence is found in the high water mark found in many places along the mountains which rim this basin, showing that at one time this basin was a lake, extending to this well marked shoreline. The mountains which rim this valley were not fully covered, for many of them range from 16,000 to 25,000 feet in height and one even rises over 28,000 feet. But, within the basin are several smaller mountains which could be fully covered by a flood held within the higher rim of the valley. In short, this basin, through which flows the Tarim River and which is sometimes known as the Tarim basin in southern Sinkiang, is identified as the site of Noah’s flood.
In your King James version Bible, Genesis 7:11-12 reads: “In the 600th year of Noah’s life, in the 2nd month, the 17th day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up and the windows of heaven were opened. The rain was upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights.” More careful translation makes clear what really happened, In moffatt’s Modern English translation we read, “the fountains of the great abyss burst, and the sluices of heaven were opened”. In Smith and Goodspeed’s American translation, it says, “the fountains of the great abyss were all broken open, and the windows of the heavens were opened”. That is, a great earthquake broke up this waterproof layer of rock over the immense, water filled abyss or cavern beneath this Tarim Basin, causing the floor of the valley to settle and allowed the enormous underground reservoir to overflow and submerge the valley floor. The great earthquake in the Himalaya Mountains about ten years ago produced similar effects in some places. Of course, the 40 days of torrential rains added to the flood. This filled the valley high enough to submerge the low mountains which were inside the valley, exactly as Genesis 7:19-20, says. Don’t be misled by the mistranslation, “all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered”. The word mistranslated “Heaven” is merely the Hebrew word “Shaw-meh”, meaning “the sky”. Since this Tarim Basin is somewhat more than 350 miles wide by more than 650 miles long, all the sky visible from anywhere near the center of this valley would cover only this valley and therefore only those lower mountains which were within the valley itself.
But what about Genesis 8:4, reading “And the ark rested in the 7th month, on the 17th day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat”? Sometimes failure to translate can be as misleading as mistranslation. Most people understand this to mean Mount Ararat, in Armenia, some 1,600 miles west of the Tarim Basin. This is NOT what the Bible says. First of all, note that it says “mountains of Ararat”, mountains being in the plural, while Mount Ararat, in Armenia, is only a single peak. However, Mount Ararat in Armenia was known until comparatively recent times as Mount Massis”, and nobody had ever heard of it being called “Mount Ararat” in Bible times. Furthermore, the Hebrew word “ararat” means only “the tops of the hills.” Therefore correctly translated, Genesis 8:4 merely says that the ark came to rest upon the tops of the high hills, some of the lower mountains which were within the valley.
A recent newspaper report mentions an expedition, equipped with the latest electronic equipment, which is going to Mount Ararat in Armenia to find the ark. The expedition will melt the ice, which covers the ark, by coating it with black powdered carbon. They won’t find the ark because it is not there. Several expeditions have gone to Mount Ararat to find the ark. Some of them got within sight of a mass on the side of the mountain which, from that particular point of view, looked to be shaped somewhat like a ship. That point has been very carefully inspected from the air, by airplanes flying over it very close and it has proved to be nothing but a ledge of rock which does give a silhouette shaped like a ship, when seen from the right direction. I need not mention the many places, such as the Grand Canyon etc., where similar “ship rocks” can be seen and none of them are Noah’s Ark.
So, when we carefully examine the whole affair, and correct mistranslations, we find that there is no conflict between what the Bible really says and either science or history. In fact, there never is any such conflict, it is only the preachers who find themselves contradicted by either science or history; and that is only because they either won’t take the trouble to find out what the Bible really says, or they have made the mistranslation a supposedly sacred church doctrine and now they are stuck with it. Don’t let any church shake your faith in the Bible. The Bible is always right, even if the preachers are often wrong.
Let us remember another thing, the Chinese historical record. The Shu-King records that during the reign of King Yao, at a time beginning about the date of Noah’s flood, the Hwang Ho River carried excessive floods for three generations. Drainage out of the Tarim Basin to the eastward would have been carried off in the Hwang Ho River and would account for this.
Now we come to another false doctrine taught in many churches. Since nobody survived in all the earth except Noah and his family, everybody now living is a descendant of Noah and related by blood, no matter what race they belong to. We have already seen that the Flood did not cover the whole earth but only one valley about 350 by 650 miles in size. Chinese history was not interrupted by, although they do report purely local floods in the Hwang Ho valley where the waters were draining off. We have seen that Egyptian history is not interrupted by the flood, so the continent of Africa was not touched by it and the Negro Race continued unaffected by it.
It would be absurd to think that Noah and his wife, both of them being white, could have one white child, one Negro child, and one Chinese child. Remember that in Genesis 1:11-25, when God created the world and its inhabitants and made the laws governing their reproduction, He did not make it absurd chaos, with whales giving birth to cattle and fish hatching out of birds’ eggs. His law, several times repeated for emphasis, is always that each creature must bring forth strictly “after his own kind”.
The churches that teach this false doctrine of everybody being descended from Noah never got it from the Bible, that is in any true translation of the Bible. As Moses wrote it in the Hebrew language, under divine inspiration, the Bible correctly tells that Noah’s descendants went out into a world already populated by people who had lived right through the time of the flood and were still going strong.
Ferrar Fenton’s Modern English translation gives this correctly. In Genesis 10:1-5, we read of the descendants of Noah’s son Japheth, and it says, “From these they spread themselves over the sea coasts of the countries of the nations, each with their language amongst the gentile tribes.” Genesis 10:20 tells of the descendants of Noah’s son Ham, “These were the sons of Ham, in their tribes and languages, in the regions of the heathen”. Genesis 10:31 completes it: “These are the sons of Shem, by their tribes and by their languages, in their countries among the heathen.”
So never let anybody tell you that the Bible consists of the fables of a primitive people. It is perfectly consistent with all true science and all true history.