Global Flood in Genesis: Sometimes “All” means “ALL”

“And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered.”Gen. 7:19

This is one of the most important verses for establishing the global flood view. Critics of this view often correctly point out that hyperbole is sometimes employed in the Biblical narrative. This is true, of course, for passages like Genesis 41:56. But this doesn’t take into account that there is an especially strong emphasis here in Genesis 7. Not only do we have “all the high hills” being “covered“, but we also have the further emphasis of “under the whole heaven”.

Can we have a local flood under a universal heaven? Or a local heaven? Clearly the one matches the other.

Or, to put the shoe on the other foot, how can God’s Word be more explicit so as to be proof from evasion of the plain fact? How can God’s Word speak of a global flood in such a way that would qualify as proof against a merely local flood?

But we need not stop here. We have further emphasis in ALLCAPS, both before and after this verse:

“13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— 14 they and EVERY beast after its kind, ALL cattle after their kind, EVERY creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and EVERY bird after its kind, EVERY BIRD OF EVERY SORT. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of ALL FLESH WHICH IS THE BREATH OF LIFE. 16 So those that entered, male and female of ALL FLESH, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.”

And then we have this:

“21 And ALL FLESH DIED THAT MOVED ON THE EARTH: birds and cattle and beasts and EVERY creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and EVERY man. 22 ALL IN WHOSE NOSTRILS WAS THE BREATH OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE, ALL THAT WAS ON THE DRY LAND DIED. 23 So He destroyed ALL LIVING THINGS WHICH WERE ON THE FACE OF THE GROUND: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. ONLY NOAH AND THOSE WHO WERE WITH HIM in the ark remained alive. “

Now, I ask again: How explicit does God have to be to describe a global flood? Are we looking for the word “global“, or “all the continents“, … what? I am not being sarcastic. I am just trying understand what sort of exegesis (I would call it eisegesis) is able extract local flood, or local covenantal judgment from this multiplicity of “all’s” and “every’s”.

About asterisktom

I breathe, therefore I blog.
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