Was The Flood Global Or Local?


Jan Lilleby

noahs-ark-on-araratThere might be someone out there who thinks like me….I hope. I checked the web recently – and unlike when I first made my radio-series in Oslo area in 1997 – 2001 – having Noah and the Flood as one of many topics, I was alone in Norway and maybe all of Scandinavia to claim such a belief, that the flood was local rather than global; today the internet is full of sites claiming the flood was local. Their understanding of the Bible is correct.

Just to get a few nifty things sorted out right away, before opening the Bible:

The Ark had a height of 15 meter, and had three decks. It was 150 meter long. When subtracting the thickness of the beams of about 0,45 meters it leaves a height – floor to ceiling of maximum 3,5 meter – after also subtracting height of deck-reeling and the bottom deck beginning about where the hull was plain, after the bowed bottom.

tall-can-giraffeHow could it be possible to have animals like the very tall giraffe, or the huge mammoth elephant (which were not extinct, frozen down in Siberian ice when flood happened) – the giraffe having an average of 5,05 meters, the tallest up to 19 feet (5,80 meters), and the smallest 4,30 meters? (1 Internatl. foot = 30,48 cm). If you watch the various drawings made of the Ark, especially those meant for kids, you often find the giraffes out in the open deck with the elephants. But this is not what eventually took place. All the animals were under deck, for shelter from the wind and the rain. Imagine such animals having to lay down unable to stand upright – for a whole year!

If all animal species on earth were represented onboard the Ark, then it is impossible – proven by such a simple logistical fact that there would not be room for the giraffe, nor the mammoth!

The giraffe had and still has its habitat in Central Africa, and not in the Middle-East. mammoth had Siberia mostly.

Noah had been given only 7 days to see to it that the animals (urged by God) went into the Ark in pairs, male and female. Impossible for the mammoth in Siberia, and also for the giraffe in Central Africa! Let alone the jaguar in Amazonas jungle, the huge Anaconda snake in same habitat as the jaguar, and even farther away…the kangaroo and koala in Australia…IT IS ENTIRELY IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE ANIMALS, TWO BY TWO, WALK OR CRAWL ALL THOSE THOUSANDS OF MILES/KILOMETERS! Regardless of whether any or all continents were closer to one another than in our time. The size of the Earth remains the same in all ages.

Regardless of God telling them or not telling them. CHECK OUT MY ILLUSTRATION HERE, added Oct 5:


( I beg Your pardon for the illustration being a bit blurry)

How can Christians be so mindless and gullible, that they accept just about anything coming from a pulpit without even bothering to check out the obvious faults and misinformation?

tasmanian-devilNoah had no big diesel powered trucks, no huge cargo Roll-On-Roll-Off sea vessels or big Jumbo Jet Carriers like we have now in modern times. Even if he had….it would not be possible to get ALL SPECIES from the entire world onboard the Ark in only 7 days. It would have taken at least 7 months…perhaps 7 years. We can only imagine. How about the penguins in Antarctica? The Polar bears in Artic North? The Pandas in China? The funny snarling gnarling little critter in Tasmanian Island called Tasmanian Devil? See image here…

Something is severely askew with the whole story – just consider Gen.7:2, 3 – showing us that God was not content with only one pair per species, but demanded 7 pairs, regarding those ritually clean animals:

“Of every clean beast you shall receive and take with you seven pairs…..”
3: Also of the birds of the air seven pairs, the male and the female, to keep seed (their kind) alive over all the earth or land.”

ark-compared-to-other-shipsTo top it off: This enormous numbers of species on earth, two of each, would not find space enough onboard the Ark. The ship was about 150 meters long and 25 meters wide. There is no way that this moderately sized vessel could ever carry onboard all the species of the world. It would not help, in other words, even if all these animals made it to the Ark in 7 days’ notice!

And to top off the previous top: Think of all the food supply that would have to be stored onboard. Tons and tons of diverse types of animal feed; plus what the eight survivors would need, Noah and family. They did not exit the Ark before it had gone about one year, Gen. 8:13-16.

Here are some interesting figures to give you an idea of what amount of food-supply that was needed:

lions-feeding-in-the-wildHow about feeding lions, leopards, tigers, diverse cats and others? How much extra animals would be required for all the meat-eating animals? What about the elephants? One elephant can eat 44 lbs of grain, 66 lbs of hay, 20 to 70 lbs of turnips, carrots, cabbage or fruit per day. If an elephant eat 170 lbs of food each day, this would be 62,050 lbs during the year in the Ark!! And doubling that for the other elephant will amount to 124,100 lbs in total! (41,000 kilos). Even some animals like panda (Asia), koala (Australia), three toed sloth (South America) require a specialized diet. Did Noah and his family gather some for them? What about the woodpeckers that peck the wood or termites that eat the wood…they would experience the Ark as their heaven…wood everywhere. Dig in!! This could mean trouble for the Ark.

The logistical analysis I have presented here in short, points to only one possible scenario for the Ark: It was not a world-wide flood, but only limited to the Middle-East – in particular the land between the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Persia. This area was considered in olden times as ‘The Land of Eden’. Not the Garden of Eden as such, but the land in which Eden once was established.

The Book of Jubilee (it has a correct history line, even if it is not accepted as a book from God) chapter 4:23, 24 says of this:

“Enoch was taken away from humankind and we (God’s angels) took him into the Garden of Eden (Paradise up in the heavens) – ….he is writing of the evil in humankind, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, GOD LET THE WATER OF THE FLOOD COME OVER THE ENTIRE LAND OF EDEN.”
(Translated by me, via the Norwegian version of Book of Jubilee).

If the flood had been global, it would have been entirely impossible that the water would go back to normal levels in that one year mentioned in Gen 8. Here is the mathematics for it:

The Bible says that it receded at the rate of 15 cubits in 74 days, Gen 7:20; 8:4, 5.

Figuring a cubit at about 18 inches, the water level would have dropped 270 inches during this time or, to round it off, 4 inches a day. If the flood depth was 29,050 feet (348,600 inches) and the water level dropped 4 inches a day, it would take 87,150 days to get back down to normal sea level. That would be almost 239 YEARS! Conclusion: Totally impossible. The flood was local, not global.

The method God used to make a limited flood

How was it achieved? What trick had God kept up His sleeve, so that only the guilty sinners were judged and not the innocent peoples on the earth?

I shall come to this shortly.

But first let us have a closer look at the background of that perilous time…mankind had gotten itself so deep in sin and evil, that God wanted to exterminate them.

But we shall study this in light of the often erroneous use of the word “Earth”. Then our spiritual eyes will clear from blurring, and you will understand.

In short, the word ‘earth’ as used in Gen 7, as well as many other books of the Bible, should just as well have been translated to ‘land’ or ‘nation’ – ‘country’ or ‘place’.

It is a great difference in the meaning saying ‘All of the earth’ than saying ‘All of the land’ – don’t you think?

A good example also would be Jer 34:1 – saying,

“..all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the peoples, fought against Jerusalem”. There the phrase “of the earth” is limited to “his dominion”, i.e., the dominion of Nebuchadnezzar.

And of the Sodom judgment, the daughters of Lot declared,

“There’s not a man in the earth (erets) to come in unto us” Gen 19:31. We know that not every man in the world was killed…only those in the area of the destruction.

Another odd, and often missed fact, with the many collateral damages such a world-wide flood would have implicated, all seem to have forgotten that it would ‘collide’ with the extreme temperatures found in heights like Mt. Everest, over 8000 meters altitude. It is only 50-60 minus degrees Celsius there! If the Ark at any chance had passed by that spot, it would cause them all to freeze to death; and not only at that spot (Everest, Himalaya) – but anywhere. The water did not cover all the mountains in the entire world, but only those tops found in the area of the flood, that is the Middle-East. Ararat being one of those, slightly above 5000 meter.

What of the fresh-water fish life as the salty sea-waters mixed in with all the lakes on earth, and all the rivers? You see? Things get quite a bit more complicated!

The word for ‘earth’ in Hebrew is erets (# 776 in Strong’s) as used in the flood account – and it does not require a world-wide meaning. This word is translated “country” 140 times, and “land” 1,476 times in the Bible. Many of them are often of limited areas.

As for the method that God used to achieve a limited flood, however huge enough, we shall have a closer look at this. I used this scenario already back in 1997 having my radio-lectures in Oslo. And I was stricken with the utter simplicity of the method as such, but still only God could make this happen nevertheless. You can see it in my graphic drawing below.

Bible says it came forth water from both the heavens and from fountains beneath the Mediterranean sea floor, Gen 7:11 –

“In the year 600 of Noah’s life, in the seventeenth day of the second month, that same day all the fountains of the great deep (Mediterranian) were broken up and burst forth, and the windows and floodgates of the heavens were opened.”

The Book of Jubilee says the very same, but more specific, Jub 5:24, 25,

“And the Lord opened for the seven water-streams of the heavens, and for the spring-waters of the great deep, a total of seven springs. And the streams of water began to pour down from heaven in 40 days and nights. AND THE FOUNTAINS OF THE DEEP PRESSURED THE WATER UP, until the whole world (erets) was full of water.” (Transl. via the Norwegian version)

One important detail is not mentioned, namely that the landmasses sunk down in same proportion as the seven springs below pressured the water up!

Ask any expert on oil drilling at sea, and he can tell you that this is so. Land will sink if substantial volume of water (or oil) comes to surface. The once filled ‘pockets’ of water down in the ground in Noah’s time were cracked open by God and His angels. God knew exactly were those seven ‘fountains’ were.

The combination of water filling up on surface and land sinking down, made the Middle-East into a slack bowl so to speak. Check my illustration below.


I apologize for a bit blurry illustration

The giants – Hebrew Nephilim – caused the evil mentioned

Why such a brutal judgment? Was there not a single person capable of repenting and thus come under God’s saving grace? It seems to me that mankind in that area of the world had come to a ‘Point-Of-No-Return’ – just like in Sodom and Gomorra later on in history. God found it useless to tell them to repent. He knew that they would not.

But it is my firm belief that the existence of the giants, the so-called Nephilim, was behind the evil that had gotten a stronghold on mankind.

In one of the Apocryphal books the giants, which were hybrid human-angels, children of fallen angels having human/normal women as mothers, and thus a forbidden as well as a very evil-minded race of creatures – they were about 4 million in number. They were killers and evil-doers and abnormally huge and strong.

They became thus the main target for the flood. But unfortunately normal people took after their evil, and they were drowned together with the giants.

Gen 6:4 is a well-known ‘mysterious’ verse, but it only speak of those unusual events taking place when fallen angels went in to regular women, and begot children. The Nephilim. Nephilim means ‘A fallen one’. Called giants, and half angel, half man.

“There were giants on the earth (erets) in those days – and also afterward – when the sons of God (the angels) lived with the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, men of reknown.”

Notice that it says ‘and also afterward’ – which mean, some of these Nephilim survived the flood! Then it is obvious that they survived because they managed to get away from the area of the flood.

Bible tells nothing of how they managed to survive. We only know that when Joshua took the land on God’s command, he fought and killed all the known giant-families.

He was told to spare no one, for most of the population there were giants, children of fallen angels, and very evil. Check out Book of Joshua. He actually saved the world from those dangerous and murderous giants and those who followed them. Here is a little glimpse of the report the early scouts gave before the people as they came back from Canaan, Num 13:32, 33,

“…the land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WE SAW IN IT ARE MEN OF GREAT STATURE (VERY TALL). 33: THERE WE SAW THE NEPHILIM (GIANTS), THE SONS OF ANAK, WHO COME FROM THE GIANTS, and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

moore-and-kiel-jawsJos 11 and 12 mentions lots of names, among which king Og definitely was a giant, – he slept in a huge iron bed it says in another passage. Goliath who later came against Israel was a giant. To be classified as giant it was not enough just to have a large body. There are people on earth today (think of the actor in ‘Moonraker’, called Jaws, a big fellow lifting James Bond – actor Roger Moore, up with one hand) who are extremely tall and strong. Image: Kiel “Jaws” with Roger Moore.

They are not giants like the ones in the Bible. One has to be Nephilim, that is…half angel, half man. Jaws’ name was Richard Dawson Kiel, and he was 2,17 meter tall. Pretty big I would say. But Goliath was 2,74 meter (9 feet) according to most Bible translations, however the Aleppo-codex 900 AD hold Goliath at 2,90 meter! He carried a spear that weighed 120 kilos. Talk about strength, since he obviously must have been capable of throwing that spear some yards/meters. King Og was about 2,80 – 3,00 meter. See Deut 3:11. His bed of iron was 13, 5 feet (9 cubits), which is 4,11 meter. I assume he slept with a safe margin upon such a massive bed. The width of it was 6 feet, which is 1,83 meter. That was almost twice the size of most double-beds of our time, which measures about 2,10 meter long and 1,60 meter wide.

Estimates of the size of the flood

place-and-size-of-floodProbably it was flooded within a stretch of about 2000 kilometers. From Tel Aviv to the Persian Gulf it is 1200 kilometers, and to Mt. Ararat it is 800 kilometers.

Because of the landmasses sinking down, the tall Mt. Ararat (5156 meters) came under 7 meter of water. The ‘Bowl Shape’ of the flood probably had an ecliptically form seen from the sky. See this image with red ring as the flood.

Archeological excavations (at various places and with distance between them) in Iraq/Iran found a layer of mud which was more than three meters thick. The tools and household kitchenware at the level under the mud was of older origin than things found above the layer of mud, but not very much. Something disastrous had happened, causing a whole civilization to drown in water and mud…a great flood had happened, and the center of it was most certainly there in Iraq/Iran.

How could Noah’s grandchildren, the children of his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth travel and settle down in various countries…if all countries was laid waste and destroyed by the flood? Such places would not exist, by the definition ‘Countries’ or ‘Nations’ – if the flood had been global. But see what Gen 10:5 says,

“By these were the isles (coastlands) of Gentiles DIVIDED in their lands, every one after their tongues, after their families, in their nations…These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations in their nations: and by these were the nations DIVIDED in the earth after the flood”.

I find it natural to end my article on the Great Flood here. It is no doubt: The flood was local; however it covered a substantial area of the Middle-East and some nations near to the Middle-East.

A final word:

Atheists world-wide are using the flood, as well as the war when Joshua took the land – accusing God (whom they don’t believe in!) of being a bloodthirsty killer.

And of course, this again, falling on us Christians to make us look dumb if not entirely ridiculous. How can we believe in such a God Who keep massacring people whenever He chooses to?

My point is that these unbelieving and angry atheists should rather thank God for having killed the vicious evil monstrous dangerous Nephilim/Giants, and thus having saved the whole world from them. Not only once, but twice!

The world would have gone under if God allowed these monsters to go ahead and dominate the globe. Tell the god rejecters and atheists, if you happen to have some friends or acquaintances with such unbelief, that God SAVED the world by the judgments He made. He removed threatening evil from the face of the earth.

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