Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 23, 2022

Was Noah’s Flood Global or Local?

(5 Minute Read. 23Mar2022)

Did Noah’s Flood actually cover the entire globe?

Could it have been merely a regional flood? Many people think so, but is this possible?

Your answer profoundly affects your perspective on Creation/Evolution and seriously impacts your worldview. Only one answer fits the geological condition of the earth! (Geology aspects will be discussed in a future blog article.)

Scripture’s evidence is the pivotal, determining consideration. The Bible’s case for a global flood is utterly convincing.

Here are Ten Biblical Reasons why Noah’s Flood was worldwide, covering the entire globe.

Reason #1 — Universal Terminology

The strongest reason to believe in a worldwide flood is that the Bible uses global, universal terminology to describe Noah’s Flood. Notice these all-inclusive phrases from Genesis 7:17-24:
all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered
all flesh…perished
all mankind (perished)
all that was on the dry land (died)
all in whose nostrils was the breath…of life died
every living thing was blotted out
only Noah was left, together with those…in the ark

Some might think the phrase “all the high mountains” means all mountains known to the author of Genesis. However, the qualification “everywhere under the heavens” removes the potential ambiguity and clarifies that the author means the Flood covered the entire globe. Numerous other universal phrases strengthen this conclusion. For example, the flood waters covered “the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 8:9). Over 30 times such universal phrases occur in the Bible’s four-chapter account of the Flood.

If you wanted to report that a flood enveloped the entire earth, how else could you describe it? What more could you say? Forcing the universal terms of Genesis into “local” interpretations makes the text absurd and meaningless.

The clear meaning of the text has priority unless there is evidence to the contrary within the text itself. The obvious intent of the author is to report a worldwide catastrophic flood which destroyed all land life except for that in Noah’s ark. The Genesis record is not about a local flood. Noah’s Flood was worldwide.

Reason #2 — All High Mountains Covered

No local flood can cover even one mountain since water seeks its own level. Genesis reports all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered by more than 20 feet of water (Genesis 7:19-20). A flood could not rise to cover mountains without covering the world. For example, a local flood covering 17,000-foot Mt. Ararat on which the Ark eventually landed would have to be a 3-mile-high pile of water lasting until the 10th month of such a local flood (Genesis 8:5). Obviously the “local flood” hypothesis does not fit the Genesis record. Noah’s Flood must have been worldwide.

Reason #3 — Why Build an Ark?

If the Flood was only local, why build the Ark? Constructing a ship 90 feet wide, 50 feet high, and 550 feet long was a gigantic task, possibly taking decades. The Ark was enormous with a capacity equivalent to 522 railroad boxcars — although all the animals, including dinosaurs, could be housed in less than a tenth of the available space as shown in Could Noah Fit All the Animals on the Ark?

Why would God commission such an enormous project if it were completely unnecessary? Noah could easily have walked around the whole earth in 10 years. If the Flood was only local, why not simply migrate to a safe area? Why bring animals to the ark instead of leading them to safety elsewhere? Why not have birds fly to safety? Noah’s Flood must have been worldwide to require the construction of the Ark.

Reason #4 — Duration of the Flood

The duration of the Flood means it must have been global. The Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004 took several hundred thousand lives in southeast Asia, India, and eastern Africa. Yet in each location where the tsunami hit, the flood was over in under an hour, and all tsunami waves were gone within 24 hours. In local floods, even profound depths of surging water ebb away relatively soon. But Noah’s Flood lasted 5 months, and it took 7 more months for the flood waters to recede and earth to dry. This far exceeds times for local floods which are over in a few days at most. Noah’s Flood must have been worldwide.

Reason #5 — Judgment for Sin

God’s judgment for sin via the Flood was universal. God’s clear intent was total annihilation — “to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.” This required a worldwide flood since “earth was filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:7,13,17; 7:4)

If the Flood was only local, why build the Ark?
Why not simply migrate to a safe area?

Reason #6 — God’s Promise

God promised to never again destroy the earth with a flood: “All flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth. This [rainbow] is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature…for all successive generations. Never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9:9-17)

In His promise God could not have meant a local flood because many destructive local floods have occurred since then; these local floods would have broken His promise many times. In fact, in the days of Isaiah 1800 years after Noah’s Flood, God used the inviolate nature of this promise to assure people that similarly His lovingkindness would never depart from them (Isaiah 54:8-10). Myriad local floods occurred during this 1800 years, but God recognized no violation of His promise. Therefore Noah’s Flood, the flood that God promised not to repeat, could not have been a local flood; it must have been worldwide.

Reason #7 — Human Descent from Noah

After the Flood, all people were descended from Noah according to Genesis 10. In fact, names of Noah’s descendants through sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth are found in geographical locations all over the world; Ham’s son Canaan is an example. If no people besides Noah’s descendants were left to populate the earth after the Flood, it must have been worldwide.

Reason #8 — Jesus’ View

Jesus believed in a worldwide Flood. He used it to illustrate His return, saying, “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating…drinking…marrying…until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:26-30; Matthew 24:37-39) A flood which destroyed them all must have been a worldwide flood. See Did Jesus Think Noah Was Real? for more on Jesus’ view of Noah and the Flood.

Reason #9 — Peter’s View

The Apostle Peter learned his doctrine from Jesus, who authorized Peter to teach in His name with His authority (John 20:21). Repeatedly Peter speaks of the Flood as global in its destruction:
The patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.
(1 Peter 3:20)
God did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.
(2 Peter 2:5)
The world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. (2 Peter 3:6)

Reason #10 — Other Bible Books

At least eight other Bible books besides Genesis confirm the historical reality of a worldwide flood. See Job 12:15; Psalm 29:10; 104:5-9; Isaiah 54:9; Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:24-27; Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:6. Four books refer to Noah outside the context of the Flood (Genesis, 1 Chronicles, Ezekiel, Luke).

Therefore . . .

Why do some argue for a regional flood? The primary reason is to “rescue” the Bible from disagreement with what they mistakenly suppose evolutionists have “proved.” According to the Genesis record, the Flood covered all the high mountains on the entire earth; it destroyed every person in the world except for the eight on the ark; and it destroyed all birds and animals on the surface of the whole earth outside the ark. The Bible unmistakably teaches that Noah’s Flood was worldwide.

If you believe the Bible, that rules out the idea that Noah’s Flood was only local. Moreover, the fossil-laden sedimentary strata all over the world are remnants of the Flood still visible today. The Biblical worldview rightly identifies these effects with Noah’s Flood and understands the Flood as God’s global judgment on a sin-soaked world.

Was the Flood a catastrophic worldwide deluge, or was it only local? Your answer profoundly affects Creation/Evolution perspectives and radically impacts worldview. Only one answer fits the Biblical accounts. Bible believers understand that Noah’s Flood was worldwide.

Questions to Ponder

1. Has anyone ever tried to persuade you that Noah’s Flood was only local? What did you say?
2. Which one of these 10 proofs will you use to defend the truth about Noah’s Flood?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

This is the ninth in a series of articles on Noah. This Noah Series will suggest answers to many of the questions believers and skeptics have about Noah, Noah’s Ark, and Noah’s Flood.
Read the prequels:
1. Think You Know Noah?
2. Did Jesus Think Noah Was Real?
3. How Long Did It Take Noah to Build the Ark?
4. Could Noah Build the Ark in 75 Years?
5. How Big Was Noah’s Ark?
6. Were Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?
7. Could Noah Fit All the Animals on the Ark?
8. What Was Noah’s Flood Like?

Read the sequel:
10. Life on Noah’s Ark

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday March 23, 2022 A.D.

Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.
(Genesis 6:13-17)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

What do you think? Leave a comment. Please pray for the worldwide impact of the Bible-Science Guy ministry!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: