Genesis 7:11
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.
Sermons
Realized SalvationR.A. Redford Genesis 7:7-16
An Important and Eventful DayJ. S. Exell, M. A.Genesis 7:11-15
Chaldean Narrative of the DelugeGenesis 7:11-15
Flood Traditions in AmericaC. Geikie, D. D.Genesis 7:11-15
Greek TraditionsM. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.Genesis 7:11-15
Indian TraditionM. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.Genesis 7:11-15
The DelugeJ. Burns, D. D.Genesis 7:11-15
The Deluge; Or, the Judgments of God Upon the Sin of ManJ. S. Exell, M. A.Genesis 7:11-15
The Extent of the FloodC. Geikie, D. D.Genesis 7:11-15
The FloodG. Gilfillan.Genesis 7:11-15
And Noah went in, &c. "And the Lord shut him in" (vers. 7, 10, 16).

I. The CONTRAST between the position of the BELIEVER and that of the UNBELIEVER. The difference between a true freedom and a false. "Shut in" by the Lord to obedience, but also to peace and safety. The world's judgment shut out. The restraints and privations of a religious life only temporary. The ark will be opened hereafter.

II. THE METHOD OF GRACE ILLUSTRATED. He that opens the ark for salvation shuts in his people for the completion of his work. We cannot shut ourselves in. Our temptation to break forth into the world and be involved in its ruin. The misery of fear. Are we safe? Perseverance not dependent upon our self-made resolutions or provisions. By various means we are shut in to the spiritual life. Providentially; by ordinances; by bonds of fellowship. We should look for the Divine seal. - R.







The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
I. THAT THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE DIVINE JUDGMENTS IS IMPORTANT, AND SHOULD BE CAREFULLY NOTED AND REMEMBERED.

1. The chronology of Divine retribution is important as a record of history.

2. The chronology of Divine retribution is important as related to the moral life and destinies of men.

3. The chronology of Divine retribution is important, as the incidental parts of Scripture bear a relation to those of greater magnitude.

II. THAT GOD HATH COMPLETE CONTROL OVER ALL THE AGENCIES OF THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE, AND CAN READILY MAKE THEM SUBSERVE THE PURPOSE OF HIS WILL. "The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up."

1. The Divine Being can control the latent forces and the unknown possibilities of the universe.

2. The Divine Being can control all the recognized and welcome agencies of the material universe, so that they shall be destructive rather than beneficial.

3. That the agencies of the material universe frequently cooperate with the providence of God.

III. THAT THE RETRIBUTIVE JUDGMENTS OF GOD ARE A SIGNAL FOR THE GOOD TO ENTER UPON THE SAFETY PROVIDED FOR THEM. "In the self-same day entered Noah," etc.

IV. THAT THE DIVINE JUDGMENTS, THE AGENCIES OF RETRIBUTION, WHICH ARE DESTRUCTIVE TO THE WICKED, ARE SOMETIMES EFFECTIVE TO THE SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THE GOOD.

V. THAT IN THE RETRIBUTIVE JUDGMENTS OF GOD WICKED MEN ARE PLACED WITHOUT ANY MEANS OF REFUGE OR HOPE.

VI. THAT THE MEASURE AND LIMITS OF THE RETRIBUTIVE JUDGMENTS OF GOD ARE DIVINELY DETERMINED (vers. 20, 24). LESSONS:

1. That the judgments of heaven are long predicted.

2. That they are commonly rejected.

3. That they are woefully certain.

4. That they are terribly severe.

5. They show the folly of sin.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

1. The fulfilment of the promise.

2. The commencement of retribution.

3. The time of personal safety.

4. The occasion of family blessing.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

I. THE DELUGE ITSELF.

1. Its reality.

(1)Christ refers to it (Matthew 24:37).

(2)It rests on the traditions of all nations.

2. The means by which it was effected. Some suppose it was effected by a comet; others, that by one entire revolution of the earth, the sea was moved out of its place, and covered the face of the earth, and that the bed of the ancient sea became our new earth. There is one simple means by which it might have been easily effected. Water is composed of two gases or airs, oxygen and hydrogen — eighty-five parts of oxygen, and fifteen hydrogen. An electric spark passing through decomposes them and converts them into water. So that God, by the power of lightning, could change the whole atmosphere into water, and thus the resources of the flood are at once provided. But read carefully the account given by Moses (Genesis 7:11, etc.).

3. Consider its universality extended to the whole earth.

4. Consider its terrific character.

II. THE PROCURING CAUSE OF THE DELUGE.

1. Universal wickedness.

2. Impious rejection of Divine influences.

3. Final impenitency.

III. THE DELIVERANCE OF NOAH AND HIS FAMILY. APPLICATION:

1. Learn how fearful is the wrath of God. See a world destroyed.

2. How dreadful is a state of carnal presumption and security. It is a deadly opiate, destroyer of the soul.

3. The distinctions and rewards which await the righteous.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

In general we may say that we have two Chaldean accounts of the flood. The one comes to us through Greek sources, from Berosus, a Chaldean priest in the third century before Christ, who translated into Greek the records of Babylon. This, as the less clear, we need not here notice more particularly. But a great interest attaches to the far earlier cuneiform inscriptions, first discovered and deciphered in 1872 by Mr. G. Smith, of the British Museum, and since further investigated by the same scholar. These inscriptions cover twelve tablets, of which as yet only part has been made available. They may broadly be described as embodying the Babylonian account of the flood, which, as the event took place in that locality, has a special value. The narrative is supposed to date from two thousand to two thousand five hundred years before Christ. The history of the flood is related by a hero, preserved through it, to a monarch whom Mr. Smith calls Izdubar, but whom he supposes to have been the Nimrod of Scripture. There are, as one might have expected, frequent differences between the Babylonian and the Biblical account of the flood. On the other hand, there are striking points of agreement between them, which all the more confirm the Scriptural account, as showing that the event had become a distinct part of the history of the district in which it had taken place. There are frequent references to Ereeh, the city mentioned in Genesis 10:10; allusions to a race of giants, who are described in fabulous terms; a mention of Lamech, the father of Noah, though under a different name, and of the patriarch himself as a sage, reverent and devout, who, when the Deity resolved to destroy by a flood the world for its sin, built the ark. Sometimes the language comes so close to that of the Bible that one almost seems to read disjointed or distorted quotations from Scripture. We mention, as instances, the scorn which the building of the ark is said to have called forth on the part of contemporaries; the pitching of the ark without and within with pitch; the shutting of the door behind the saved ones; the opening of the window, when the waters had abated; the going and returning of the dove since "a resting place it did not find," the sending of the raven, which, feeding on corpses in the water, "did not return"; and, finally, the building of an altar by Noah. We sum up the results of this discovery in the words of Mr. Smith: "Not to pursue this parallel further, it will be perceived that when the Chaldean account is compared with the Biblical narrative, in their main features the two stories fairly agree; as to the wickedness of the antediluvian world, the Divine anger and command to build the ark, its stocking with birds and beasts, the coming of the deluge, the rain and storm, the ark resting on a mountain, trial being made by birds sent out to see if the waters had subsided, and the building of an altar after the flood. All these main facts occur in the same order in both narratives, but when we come to examine the details of these stages in the two accounts, there appear numerous points of difference; as to the number of people who were saved, the duration of the deluge, the place where the ark rested, the order of sending out the birds, and other similar matters." We conclude with another quotation from the same work, which will show how much of the primitive knowledge of Divine things, though mixed with terrible corruptions, was preserved among men at this early period: "It appears that at that remote age the Babylonians had a tradition of a flood which was a Divine punishment for the wickedness of the world; and of a holy man, who built an ark, and escaped the destruction; who was afterwards translated and dwelt with the gods. They believed in hell, a place of torment under the earth, and heaven, a place of glory in the sky; and their description of the two has, in several points, a striking likeness to those in the Bible. They believed in a spirit or soul distinct from the body, which was not destroyed on the death of the mortal frame; and they represent this ghost as rising from the earth at the bidding of one of the gods, and winging its way to heaven."

The seventh king of the Hindoos was Satyavrata, who reigned in Dravira, a country washed by the waves of the sea. During his reign, an evil demon (Hayagriva) furtively appropriated to himself the holy books (Vedas), which the first Manu had received from Brahman; and the consequence was, that the whole human race sank into a fearful degeneracy, with the exception of the seven saints and the virtuous king, Satyavrata. The divine spirit, Vishnu, once appeared to him in the shape of a fish, and addressed him thus: "In seven days, all the creatures which have offended against me shall be destroyed by a deluge; thou alone shalt be saved in a capacious vessel, miraculously constructed. Take, therefore, all kinds of useful herbs, and of esculent grain for food, and one pair of each animal; take also the seven holy men with thee, and your wives. Go into the ark without fear; then thou shalt see God face to face, and all thy questions shall be answered." After seven days, incessant torrents of rain descended, and the ocean gave forth its waves beyond the wonted" shores. Satyavrata, trembling for his imminent destruction, yet piously confiding in the promises of the god, and meditating on his attributes, saw a huge boat floating to the shore on the waters. He entered it with the saints, after having executed the divine instructions. Vishnu himself appeared, in the shape of a vast horned fish, and tied the vessel with a great sea serpent, as with a cable, to his huge horn. He drew it for many years, and landed it at last, on the highest peak of Mount Himavan. The flood ceased; Vishnu slew the demon and received the Vedas back; instructed Satyavrata in all heavenly sciences, and appointed him the seventh Manu, under the name of Vaivaswata. From this Manu the second population of the earth descended in a supernatural manner, and hence man is called manudsha (born of Manu, Mensch). The Hindoo legend concludes, moreover, with an episode resembling in almost every particular that which resulted in the curse of Ham by his father Noah.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

The whole human race was corrupted, violence and impiety prevailed, oaths were broken, the sacredness of hospitality was shamelessly violated, suppliants were abused or murdered, and the gods mocked and insulted. Infamy and nefariousness were the delight of the degenerated tribes. Jupiter resolved, therefore, to destroy the whole human race, as far as the earth extends and Poseidon encircles it with the girdle of the waves. The earth opened all her secret springs, the ocean sent forth its floods, and the skies poured down their endless torrents. All creatures were immersed in the waves, and perished. Deucalion alone, and his wife Pyrrha, both distinguished by their piety, were, in a small boat which Deucalion had constructed by the advice of his father Prometheus, carried to the lofty peaks of Mount Parnassus, which alone stood out of the floods. They were saved. The waters subsided. The surviving pair sacrificed to Jupiter the flight-giving, and consulted the gods, who again, through them, populated the earth by an extraordinary miracle. This tradition appears in a still more developed form in Lucian. There was a very old temple in Hieropolis, which was universally asserted to have been built by Deucalion the Scythian, when he had been rescued from the general deluge. For it is related that enormous crimes, prevalent through the whole human race, had provoked the wrath of Jupiter and caused the destruction of man. Deucalion alone was found wise and pious. He built a large chest, and brought into it his wives and children; and when he was about to enter it, boars, lions, serpents, and all other animals came to him by pairs. Jupiter removed all hostile propensities from their breasts, and they lived together in miraculous concord. The waves carried the chest along till they subsided. After this an immense gulf opened itself, which only closed after having totally absorbed the waters. This wonderful incident happened in the territory of Hieropolis; and above this gulf Deucalion erected that ancient temple, after having offered many sacrifices on temporary altars. In commemoration of these events, twice every year water is brought into the temple, not only by the priests, but by a large concourse of strangers from Syria, Arabia, and the countries of the Jordan. This water is fetched from the sea, and then poured out in the temple in such a manner that it descends into the gulf. The same tradition assumed, indeed, under different hands a different local character; Hyginus mentions the AEtna in Sicily as the mountain where Deucalion grounded; the Phrygians relate that the wise Anakos prophesied concerning the approaching flood; and some coins struck under the Emperor Septimius Severus and some of his successors in Apamea, and declared genuine by all authorities in numismatics, represent a chest or ark floating on the waves and containing a man and a woman. On the ark a bird is perched, and another is seen approaching, holding a twig with its feet. The same human pair is figured on the dry land with uplifted hands; and on several of those pieces even the name NO (ΝΩ) is clearly visible. A legend, perhaps as old as that of Deucalion, though neither so far spread nor so developed, is that of Ogyges, who is mostly called a Boeotian autochthon, and the first ruler of the territory of Thebes, called after him Ogygia. In his time the waters of the lake Copais are said to have risen in so unusual a degree that they at last covered the whole surface of the earth, and that Ogyges himself directed his vessel on the waves through the air. Even the dove of Noah bears an analogy to the dove which Deucalion is reported to have dispatched from his ark, which returned the first time, thus indicating that the stores of rain were not yet exhausted, but which did not come back the second time, and thereby gave proof that the skies had resumed their usual serenity.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

The sky now at last blackens into pitchy gloom, and hoarse are the thunders which seem to crash against the sides of the sky as if against iron bars. The rain comes down in solid torrents, cleaving the thick air as with wedges. Lightningsrun crossing evermore,
Till like a red bewildered map the sky is scribbled o'er.Rivers rush down in fury, overflowing their banks, sweeping away the crops, undermining the rocks, tearing up the woods, and rising above the lesser hills, till they meet with the streams which have swollen aloft from neighbouring valleys, and embrace in foam and wild commotion on the summit. Oceans are stirred up from their depths, and distant seas on the top of aerial mountains, each bringing the ruin of whole lands for a dowry. The inhabitants of a city have fallen asleep, thinking that it is only a night of unusual severity of storm, till in the morning they find themselves cut off on all sides, and a hungry sea crying with the tongues of all its waters, "Give! give!" and there is no escape for them; and climbing the highest towers and idol temples only protracts for a little their doom; and soon the boom of the waves, wantoning uncontrolled and alone in the market place, takes the place of the hum of men. A gay marriage party, in order to enjoy themselves more, have shut out the gloomy daylight, are dancing to the light of torches, and are finding a luxury and a stimulus to greater gaiety in the lashing of the rain on the roof and the sides of the dwelling, when suddenly the angry waters burst in, and their joy is turned into the howl of expiring women and men. In another place a funeral has reached the place of tombs amidst drenching rains and paths rendered difficult by the storm, and the bearers are about to commit the corpse to the earth, when, lo! the water bursts up through the grave, and the waves gather on all sides around, and instead of one, forty are buried, and instead of a silent sepulchre, there are shrieks and outcries of grief and of desperate sorrow — the sorrow of multitudinous death. A village among the mountains is surprised by the fierce and sudden uprise of the neighbouring stream, and the inhabitants have just time to avoid its avenging path by betaking themselves to the hills. From point to point they hurry, from the wooded steeps to the bald crags, thence to the heathy sides of the larger hills, and thence to their sky-striking summits; and to every point they are faithfully followed by the bloodhound of the flood, too certain of coming up with his prey to be hurried in his motions, and whose voice is heard, in an awful ascending gamut, climbing steep after steep, here veiled amidst thick woodlands, there striking sharp and shrill against craggy obstacles, and anon from hollow defiles, sounding low in the accents of choked and restrained wrath, but always approaching nearer and nearer, and from the anger echoed in which no escape is possible. Conceive their emotions as, standing at last on the supreme summit, they listen to this cry! Inch after inch rises the flood up the precipice, the cry swelling at every step, till at last it approaches within a few feet of the top, where hundreds are huddled together, and thenRises from earth to sky the wild farewell;
Then shriek the timid, and stand still the brave;
And some leap overboard with dreadful yell,
As eager to anticipate their grave,
And the sea yawns around them like a hell.Husbands and wives clasped in each other's arms sink into the waves; mothers holding their babes high over the surge are sucked in, children and all; the grey hairs of the patriarch meet with the tresses of the fair virgin in the common grave of the waters, which sweep by one wild lash all the tenants of the rock away, and roll across a shout of triumph to the hundred surges, which on every side of the horizon have mounted their hills, and gained their victories at once over the glory of nature and the life of man. From this supposed peak, "Fancy with the speed of fire" flies to other regions of the earth, and sees "all the high hills under the whole heaven covered; " the Grampian range surmounted; and Ben Nevis sunk fathoms and fathoms more under the waves; the Pyrenees and the "infant kips" or Apennines lost to view; the Cervin's sharp and precipitous horn seen to pierce the blue-black ether no more; the eye of Mont Blanc darkened; old "Taurus" blotted out; the fires of Cotopaxi extinguished; the tremendous chasm of snow which yawns on the side of Chimborazo filled up with a sea of water; the hell of Hecla's burning entrails slaked, and the mountains of the Himalayah overtopt; till at last, the waves rolling over the summit of Mount Everest, and violating its last particle of virgin snow, have accomplished their task, have drowned a world!

(G. Gilfillan.)

It is a singular confirmation of the deluge as a great historical event that it is found engraven in the memories of all the great nations of antiquity; but it is still more striking to find it holding a place in the traditions of the most widely spread races of America, and indeed of the world at large. Thus Alfred Maury, a French writer of immense erudition, speaks of it as "a very remarkable fact that we find in America traditions of the deluge coming infinitely nearer those of the Bible and of the Chaldean religion than the legends of any people of the old world." The ancient inhabitants of Mexico had many variations of the legend among their various tribes. In some, rude paintings were found representing the deluge. Not a few believe that a vulture was sent out of the ship, and that, like the raven of the Chaldean tablets, it did not return, but fed on the dead bodies of the drowned. Other versions say that a humming bird alone, out of many birds sent off, returned with a branch covered with leaves in its beak. Among the Cree Indians of the present day in the Arctic circle in North America, Sir John Richardson found similar traces of the great tradition. "The Crees," he says, "spoke of a universal deluge, caused by an attempt of the fish to drown one who was a kind of demigod with whom they had quarrelled. Having constructed a raft, he embarked with his family, and all kinds of birds and beasts. After the flood had continued some time, he ordered several waterfowls to dive to the bottom, but they were all drowned. A musk rat, however, having been sent on the same errand, was more successful, and returned with a mouthful of mud." From other tribes in every part of America, travellers have brought many variations of the same worldwide tradition, nor are even the scattered islands of the great Southern Ocean without versions of their own. In Tahiti, the natives used to tell of the god Ruahatu having told two men "who were at sea fishing — Return to the shore, and tell men that the earth will be covered with water, and all the world will perish. Tomorrow morning go to the islet called Toamarama; it will be a place of safety for you and your children. Then Ruahatu caused the sea to cover the lands. All were covered, and all men perished except the two and their families." In other islands we find legends recording the building of an altar after the deluge; the collection of pairs of all the domestic animals, to save them, while the Fiji islanders give the number of the human beings saved as eight. Thus the story of the deluge is a universal tradition among all branches of the human family with the one exception, as Lenormant tells us, of the black. How else could this arise but from the ineradicable remembrance of a real and terrible event. It must, besides, have happened so early in the history of mankind that the story of it could spread with the race from their original cradle, for the similarity of the versions over the earth point to a common source. It is, moreover, preserved in its fullest and least diluted form among the three great races, which are the ancestors of the three great families of mankind — the Aryans, from whom sprang the populations of India, Persia, and Europe; the Turanians, and the Semitic stock, who were the progenitors of the Jew, the Arab, and other related races, including the Cushite and Egyptian. These, it is striking to note, were the specially civilized peoples of the early world, and must have learned the story before they separated from their common home in western Asia.

(C. Geikie, D. D.)

Thoughtful men of all shades of religious opinion have come to the conclusion that the Noachian deluge was only a local one, though sufficiently extensive in its area to destroy all the then existing race of men. In support of this view many arguments have been offered, of which a few may be briefly stated. The stupendous greatness of the miracle involved in a universal deluge seems a strong reason to doubt the likelihood of God having resorted to a course wholly unnecessary to effect the end mainly in view — the judgment of mankind for their sins. There could certainly be no apparent reason for submerging the vast proportion of the world which was then uninhabited, or of raising the waters above the tops of mountains to which no living creature could approach. It is to be remembered, moreover, that the addition of such a vast mass of water to the weight of the earth — eight times that contained in the ocean beds — would have disarranged the whole solar system, and even the other systems of worlds through the universe; for all are interbalanced with each other in their various relations. Then this immeasurable volume of water, after having served its brief use, must have been annihilated to restore the harmony of the heavenly motions: the only instance in the whole economy of nature of the annihilation of even a particle of matter. Nor could any part of either the animal or vegetable worlds have survived a submersion of the planet for a year; and hence everything, except what the ark contained, must have perished; including even the fish; of which many species would die out if the water were fresh, others, if it were brackish, and others, again, if it were salt. Men of the soundest orthodoxy have further urged that physical evidences still exist which prove that the deluge could only have been local. Thus Professor Henslow supports De Candolle's estimate of the age of some of the baobab trees of Senegal as not less then 5,230 years, and of taxodium of Mexico as from 4,000 to 6,000; periods which carry still living trees beyond that of the flood. There is, moreover, in Auvergne, in France, a district covered with extinct volcanoes, marked by cones of pumice stone, ashes, and such light substances as could not have resisted the waters of the deluge. Yet they are evidently more ancient than the time of Noah; for since they became extinct rivers have cut channels for themselves through beds of columnar basalt, that is, of intensely hard crystallized lava, of no less than 150 feet in thickness, and have even eaten into the granite rocks beneath. And Auvergne is not the only part where similar phenomena are seen. They are found in the Eifel country of the Prussian Rhine province, in New Zealand, and elsewhere. Nor is the peculiarity of some regions in their zoological characteristics less convincing. Thus the fauna of Australia is entirely exceptional; as, for example, in the strange fact that quadrupeds of all kinds are marsupial, that is, provided with a pouch in which to carry their young. The fossil remains of this great island continent show, moreover, that existing species are the direct descendants of similar races of extreme antiquity, and that the surface of Australia is the oldest land, of any considerable extent, yet discovered on the globe — dating back at least to the Tertiary geological age; since which it has not been disturbed to any great extent. But this carries us to a period immensely more remote than Noah. Nor is it possible to conceive of an assemblage of all the living creatures of the different regions of the earth at any one spot. The unique fauna of Australia — survivors of a former geological age — certainly could neither have reached the ark nor regained their home after leaving it; for they are separated from the nearest continuous land by vast breadths of ocean. The polar bear surely could not survive a journey from his native icebergs to the sultry plains of Mesopotamia; nor could the animals of South America have reached these except by travelling the whole length northwards of North America and then, after miraculously crossing Behring Straits, having pressed westwards across the whole breadth of Asia, a continent larger than the moon. That even a deer should accomplish such a pedestrian feat is inconceivable, but how could a sloth have done it — a creature which lives in trees, never, if possible, descending to the ground, and able to advance on it only by the slowest and most painful motions? Or, how could tropical creatures find supplies of food in passing through such a variety of climates, and over vast spaces of hideous desert? Still more — how could any vessel, however large, have held pairs and sevens of all the creatures on earth, with food for a year, and how could the whole family of Noah have attended to them? There are at least two thousand mammals; more than seven thousand kinds of birds, from the gigantic ostrich to the humming bird; and over fifteen hundred kinds of amphibious animals and reptiles; not to speak of 120,000 kinds of insects, and an unknown multitude of varieties of ingusoria. Nor does this include the many thousand kinds of mollusca, radiata, and fish. Even if the ark, as has been supposed by one writer, was of 80,000 tons burden, such a freightage needs only be mentioned to make it be felt impossible. Look which way we like, gigantic difficulties meet us. Thus, Hugh Miller has noticed that it would have required a continuous miracle to keep alive the fish for whom the deluge water was unsuitable, while even spawn would perish if kept unhatched for a whole year, as that of many fish must have been. Nor would the vegetable world have fared better than the animal, for of the 100,000 known species of plants, very few would survive a year's submersion. That a terrible catastrophe like that of the flood — apart from the all-sufficient statements of Scripture — is not outside geological probability, is abundantly illustrated by recorded facts. The vast chains of the Himalayah, the Caucasus, the Jura mountains, and the Alps, for example, were all upheaved in the Pliocene period, which is one of the most recent in geology. A subsidence or elevation of a district, as the case might be, would cause a tremendous flood over vast regions. Nor are such movements of the earth's surface on a great scale unknown even now. Darwin repeatedly instances cases of recent elevation and depression of the earth's surface. On one part of the island of St. Maria, in Chili, he found beds of putrid mussel shells still adhering to the rocks, ten feet above high-water mark, where the inhabitants had formerly dived at low-water spring tides for these shells. Similar shells were met with by him at Valparaiso at the height of 1,300 feet. And at another place a great bed of now-existing shells had been raised 350 feet above the level of the sea. No difficulty on geological grounds can therefore be urged against such a catastrophe having happened in the early ages of our race as would have swept the whole seat of human habitation with a deluge in whose waters all mankind must have perished. The great cause, without question, of the belief that the flood was universal has been the idea that the words of Scripture taught this respecting that awful visitation. But it by no means does so. The word translated "earth" in our English version has not only the meaning of the world as a whole, but others much more limited. Thus it often stands for Palestine alone, and even for the small district around a town, or for a field or plot of land. Besides, we must not forget that such words are always to be understood according to the meaning attached to them by the age or people among whom they are used. But what ideas the ancient Hebrews had of the world has been already shown, and the limited sense in which they used the most general phrases — just as we ourselves often do when we wish to create a vivid impression of wide extent or great number — is seen from the usage of their descendants, in the New Testament. When St. Luke speaks of Jews dwelling at Jerusalem out of "every nation under heaven," it would surely be wrong to press this to a literal exactness. When St. Paul says that the faith of the obscure converts at Rome was spoken of throughout the whole world, he could not have meant the whole round orb, but only the Roman Empire. And would anyone think of taking in the modern geographical sense his declaration that already, when he was writing to the Colossians, the gospel had been preached to every creature under heaven?

(C. Geikie, D. D.)

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