Creation Issues II - Antediluvian World
Creation Issues II – the Antediluvian World
August 21, 2005
- Talked last time about creation and various ways to interpret the time frame
- This time would like to talk about how the world of Adam differed from our own
- Scriptural indications of differences (sequential not by topic)
- Ge 1.6-8 - And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
i. “firmament” is Hebrew word meaning “expanse”
ii. Water was found both below it and above it
1. Ge 1.7
2. Ge 7.11 – speaks of the “windows of heaven” being opened
3. Ps 148:4 - Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
iii. Clearly refers to the sky
1. Not only does 1.7 call it “Heaven”
2. But 1.14-17 speak of the sun & moon being in the firmament
- Ge 1.29-30 - And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
i. Both man and animals were vegetarian
ii. Didn’t change until after the flood: Ge 9.3 - Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
- Ge 2.5-6 - And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. i. Suggests a different sort of climate in which
1. There was no rain
2. The earth was watered by mists rising up from it – definitely a more efficient way of watering things, as is shown in modern greenhouses
ii. No indication in Scripture how long this situation lasted
1. Rain not mentioned until the flood descriptions
2. So may have lasted until then
- Ge 5.1-32 i. Men lived a very long time
ii. After the flood life spans shortened rapidly, although as late as Moses people were living much longer than now
- Ge 6.4 - There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. i. Not only did they live longer but were larger
ii. Other references to very large men – actually 3 major groupings of them
1. The sons of Anak – throughout the south of Canaan, but centered around Hebron; Goliath may have been one of them
a. Nu 13.33 - And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
b. De 2.11 - Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims.
c. 1Sa 17.4 - And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
d. 2Sa 21.16-21 – describes 4 giants being killed by David’s brother and companions, probably relatives or even children of Goliath
2. People of Bashan – in Moab/Edom
a. De 2:20 - (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims
b. De 3:11 - For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.
i. Typical cubit was 18 inches
ii. So dimensions of his bed, which generally are not much bigger than the person who occupies it, were 13.5 feet long, 6 feet wide
3. Sons of Hinnom – in the valley of Hinnom just SW of Jerusalem
a. Jos 15:8 - And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:
- Nonscriptural evidences the earth being different in the past
- Extensive fossil fuel deposits in Alaska, Northern Canada, Norway and Antarctica – requires there to have been lush plant growth at one time #. Fossil evidence of very tall humans
i. Large footprints in Tennessee, Texas and elsewhere
ii. Some very large leg bones, accompanied by tools, in Australia; large pelvic bones in Spain & China
- Fossil evidence of animals much larger than any living today
- Extra-biblical accounts of long life in literature of Greece, Egypt & Rome
- So how to put it together – at least 2 theories
- Canopied earth #. Plate tectonics
- Canopied earth –
- Suggests that there was a vapor canopy above the earth (above the “firmament”) similar to that on Venus
- Would have created a uniform climate with temperatures fairly similar around the earth – greenhouse effect
i. Dispute about how high temp would have been
ii. Proponents suggest average temps of 85-90, others think much higher
- Also created higher air pressure
i. Facilitate growth to larger sizes by forcing oxygen into tissues better (e.g. hyperbaric chambers today)
ii. Also slowed processes of decay & fermentation
iii. Dispute about how much it would have been increased – depends on how thick the canopy was
1. Proponents suggest about 25 miles above the earth
2. Anywhere from 40 feet to 5-6 miles thick
- Would have shielded the surface from much harmful radiation, facilitating longer life – sunlight, other ionizing radiation cause many diseases & cancers #. Canopy collapsed as part of Noah’s flood – the “windows of heaven” were opened
- Pro’s to this theory
i. Explains the “waters above” in Ge 1.7
ii. Explains the worldwide presence of fossils that would require a lush rain-forest type climate
1. Petrified broadleaf forests near Cairo
2. Palm tree fossils in northern Alaska & arctic islands north of Norway
3. Petrified forests within 100 miles of south pole in Antarctica
iii. Legends of a canopy from Egypt, Greece, Babylon, SE Asia
1. Only witnesses would have been Noah & his sons – if biblical chronology is correct, Shem (Noah’s son) outlived Abraham by 35 yrs, so plenty of time to spread these stories even after tower of Babel
iv. Ge 9.12-13 - And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
1. Doesn’t specifically state, but definitely implies, that rainbows were not known before the flood
v. Air pressure
1. Higher pressure before the flood would make it easier for large reptiles to fly
2. Reduction in pressure afterwards would explain why Noah got drunk so fast in Ge 9.21 – the grapes fermented much faster than he was accustomed to
- Con’s to this theory i. Could easily have produced temperatures incompatible with life – surface of Venus is 900o F
ii. Pressure would depend on thickness of canopy but could also be too high to be compatible with life
iii. One source I read used mathematical formulas from physics to determine that both pressure & temperature would be too high for life if the canopy was any thicker than 40 feet (canopy proponents say it could be anywhere from 5-40 MILES thick, yet only increase the pressure to 2x normal and the average temperature to 80’s)
iv. Would have obscured the stars; as early as Ge 1.14 were described as being signs to mark seasons, days & years
v. Ps 148.4 - Speaks of waters being above the heavens AFTER the flood
- Plate tectonics theory
- Continents were all attached together in one place, in the tropical regions of the earth – waters and land each in one place as suggested by Ge 1.9 #. Large deposits of subterranean water
- Would have been released by a meteor impact, followed by
i. Massive, rapid movements of the “tectonic plates” that current geologic theory proposes
ii. Release of the subterranean water in geyser-like eruptions
iii. Plates moving underneath and on top of each other, forming current mountains and oceans, so that the flood waters would have someplace to go
i. Would explain some parts of pre-flood geology without the problems of excessive pressure and temperature – e.g. the worldwide distribution of fossilized tropical flora
ii. Scientific models based on rapid circulation of magma in earth’s mantle, triggered by water flowing in from above, reproduce the rapid movement concept
iii. Explains the idea of the waters 1st being above the mountains, and then below them as they receded. The mountains were new!
1. Ps 104.6-7 - Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
- Con’s i. Doesn’t explain the longevity of pre-flood people
ii. Doesn’t explain the large size and flying ability of pre-flood animals, esp. some of the reptiles
iii. Doesn’t really explain the waters above the heavens
iv. In some ways resembles the gap theory – a way to conform Genesis to current secular scientific thinking
- The future
- Whatever the actual form, Scripture is quite clear that the earth was very different before the flood than it is now #. Also clear that many of the pre-flood characteristics of the earth will be restored after Jesus returns
i. Is 65.20 - There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
1. Antediluvian life spans will be restored
2. Even sinners will live to be at least 100 yrs old, believers longer
ii. Is 65.25 - The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
1. Pre-flood dietary habits also will be restored
iii. Re 21.1 - And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
1. Bible predicts a new heaven & new earth (after the Millenium)
2. In order for it to be inhabited comfortably by people during the Millenium, after all the destruction of the tribulation, some restoration will need to occur then also
- Eventually God will probably restore whatever pre-flood climate & geology he originally created, which we will get to enjoy – definitely something to look forward to!