Question: How did the Flood cover the highest mountains? Where did all that water come from, and where did it go?
Flood skeptics often argue that there would need to be roughly 4 times as much water volume on the earth as we currently have in order to cover the highest mountains and all the land.[i] Before one asks where enough water came from to flood the earth, one needs to ask where all water came from to begin with, and what was the earth like before the Flood.
According to the Bible (contrary to current scientific theory), the fundamental material in earth’s creation was water:
Gen. 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep (i.e., water), and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
2Pet. 3:5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
From this water God caused one expansive continent to emerge:
Gen. 1:9-10 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
The continents were created largely as a result of the global Flood. The driving rains that accompanied the Flood were likely unknown up until that time. The earth was watered from the greenhouse-like humidity created by the water canopy above the breathable atmosphere surrounding the earth, and by the rich supply of underground water from which the dry land emerged, together with the abundance of rivers and lakes (Gen. 1:6-7).
The Flood began with violent, earth-splitting, thunderous earthquakes on a very specific day:
Gen. 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.
Evidence of that event is represented in the great canyons beneath the oceans as the earth’s tectonic plates split apart, releasing massive geysers of water high into the sky and hundreds of miles long. Earth-swamping tsunamis pushed across the relatively flat ground surface. At the same time, the water canopy that enveloped the earth began to disintegrate into a forty day, planet-drenching rain.
Throughout the following year that Noah’s family remained on the ark—and beyond—evidence suggests that continental drift caused by the separating tectonic plates rapidly crunched the landmasses, forming the great mountain ranges, deep valleys and canyons we know today. After one hundred and fifty days (carefully journaled by Noah) the rising mountains began to shed water into the now familiar ocean basins, rivers and lakes (Gen. 7:24). Noah’s garden-like planet plunged into a southward spreading Ice Age that even now covers much of the northern and southern poles.
Today’s world of blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds, majestic, snow-capped mountains, vast plains, deserts and gouged out canyons is a reminder of the world that once was. And just as the world Noah knew was brought under the heavy hand of God’s judgment, so too another day of worldwide judgment is looming on the horizon. In a future article we will look at the “fairness” of such judgment upon an entire world. For now, it is enough to know that…
2Pet. 3:10-12a …the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.