Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 26, 2022

Noah’s World Before the Flood

(4 Minute Read. 26Oct2022)

What was Noah’s world like before the Flood?

The only record mankind has of what the antediluvian world was like is the book of Genesis. So reasoning about Noah’s world has to be based on the relatively sparse details in Genesis and a few passages in New Testament books referring to that time.


Noah’s world was apparently a single continent surrounded by an ocean. This is based on God’s words, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.” (Genesis 1:9) If the water was in one place, then most likely the dry land appeared together. If the earth was in separate pieces like it is today, could you say the water was in one place?

The topography of the single continent was likely much gentler than that of today’s continents. Before the Flood, the mountains were lower and the valleys were shallower; for after Noah’s Flood, the mountains were raised up and the valleys lowered to facilitate the waters of the Flood draining away into the new deeper oceans. (Psalm 104:6-9) Before the Flood, less water was in the oceans and more was in “the waters above the heavens.” Much of that water fell as rain in Noah’s flood and eventually entered the reconfigured oceans.

Mount Everest
Uplifted after Noah’s Flood

Thus there was no Mt. Everest or Mt. McKinley before the Flood. The mountain chains we enjoy today were formed during and immediately following the Flood when the earth’s crust broke up and tectonic plates collided.

Warm Climate

A temperate climate covered the globe. This is indicated by tropical fossils found at both the North and South Poles. There was no rain, but a mist daily watered the ground (Genesis 2:6).

This may partly have been why Preacher Noah’s message was ignored. He called men to righteousness with the threat of judgment by things not yet seen — flood, rain, and explosions of subterranean water. (2 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 11:7) No doubt Noah’s words sounded like foolishness to his hearers, for they had no experience of what he was proclaiming.

At creation, God made a cover of water surrounding the earth.
Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. (Genesis 1:6-8)

Thus there was some form of a water blanket, as liquid or ice or vapor, above the heavens surrounding earth. This would help facilitate a mild global climate. It also probably resulted in higher air pressure and more oxygen in the atmosphere. This water barrier would yield healthier living conditions for mankind, animals, and plants. Moreover it would block harmful cosmic rays and ultraviolet radiation that damages living cells. This would help people and animals live longer. The historical account in Genesis records that the average lifespan of men before the Flood was over 900 years.

This water blanket “above the heaven” was the source of some of the waters of the Flood when the floodgates of the sky were opened and it rained for forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:11-12).

Before the flood, the earth was likely covered with rich, lush vegetation. This is the source of the worldwide oil and coal deposits. All the vegetation buried under rock layers deposited by the Flood produced the oil and coal.

Human and animal diets were different before the Flood. All were vegetarians, for that was what God had prescribed for food.
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30)

It was not until after the Flood that God gave permission to eat meat.
Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. (Genesis 9:3)

Advanced Technology and Civilization

The technology of Noah’s world may well have far exceeded that of today. Consider how much has been developed in our world just in the last 300 years — electricity, radio and television, cars, trains, airplanes, computers. When people lived for over 900 years, think how much they could have learned, invented, and developed in those lifespans.

Moreover, people were probably in general smarter than today. In the early years of mankind, fewer deleterious mutations and genetic errors had accumulated to dilute the perfection that God had originally created. For one indication of early man’s high intelligence, note how Adam named the animals and the birds in only a few hours. Could you make up hundreds of names on the spur of the moment? Click Was Adam Backward or Brilliant? for more on early man’s intelligence.

Adam and his early descendants displayed great capabilities. The historical record in Genesis reveals men who rapidly developed agriculture (Genesis 4:2), animal husbandry (Genesis 4:2, 20), and musical instruments (Genesis 4:21) as they built advanced civilizations. They constructed cities (Genesis 4:17; 11:4-5), and shortly after the Flood skyscrapers (Genesis 11:5).

Indications of technology in Genesis include metallurgy (Genesis 4:22) and shipbuilding (Genesis 6:13-22). Noah built a massive ship whose size has only been surpassed in modern times.

Noah and his sons brought with them on the Ark knowledge of their world’s technology. Evidence of this appears in the building of the Tower of Babel by their immediate descendants. Noah’s great-grandson Nimrod built Babel and other great cities (Genesis 10:6-12; 11:1-9).

Only Evil Continually

A huge negative about the pre-Flood world was its tremendous evil. It was beyond anything known since.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. 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. (Genesis 6:5,11-13)

Questions to Ponder

1. What aspect of the pre-Flood world appeals to you the most?
2. If you had lived in that era, would you have listened to Noah’s warnings and invitation?

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

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

This is the 22nd article in a series 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?
9. Was Noah’s Flood Global or Local?
10. Life on Noah’s Ark
11. Were Zebras on Noah’s Ark?
12. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Canyons
13. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Fossils
14. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Rock Layers
15. Evidence of Noah’s Flood: Worldwide Memories
16. Significance of Noah’s Flood
17. How Did Noah’s Kangaroos Get to Australia?
18. Replicas of Noah’s Ark
19. The Waters of Noah’s Flood
20. How Long Did Noah Live?
21. How Could Noah Love a God Who Killed So Many People?

Read the sequel:
23. Noah Quiz

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©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 October 26, 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)

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  1. I agree with your assessments. Looking only at education in recent centuries, we are seeing a breakdown in both focus and development. Even a hundred years ago, someone who had received only an eighth-grade education in some places may have studied and understood more than someone today with a bachelor’s degree from college. As a race, we are getting weaker and stupider. The idea that any of us could be “evolving” into something higher is very sad. We just don’t see that in the real world.

    The Garden of Eden is one of my favorite places to imagine. I long to visit tame dinosaurs and saber-tooth tigers in a world without sin. It will be beautiful when Jesus comes back to rule the world like the Bible tells us in Isaiah 53. But oh so devastating for those who have not trained themselves to trust Jesus. I both long for that day, and dread it, praying desperately for God to get hold of the hearts of those I love before their decisions are set forever.

    Thanks for another great post.


    • Thanks, Gwennon, for reading and sharing your insightful thoughts. I agree with you. Years ago I saw an eighth-grade final exam from a century ago. Most adults, including college graduates, would not be able to pass it today.


  2. Thank you for all your articles.  This one is excellent…as well !!!


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