4

In 2 Peter 3:5-7, the Apostle said

"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."

In Genesis 1:2, we see

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters"

And again in Genesis 7:17-23 we see the occurrence of another flood.

"And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark" (KJV).

Which of these incidents is the apostle referring to? Is it the flood that was on earth during the recreation or the one that took place in Noah's time?

  • 1
    It would help to understand ancient cosmology. The water he is referring to, is the water that the earth is submerged in. The floodgates of heaven are kept shut from flooding the earth’s surface. But if you are imagining a globe in infinite space surrounded by a vacuum then clearly you will have no idea what water Peter is talking about. Especially since Peter didn’t think like a Greek philosopher and certainly didn’t deviate from the cosmology described in his Tanakh Scriptures that state the earth is like a round tent, flat bottom and a dome around it keeping the water above and beneath out – Nihil Sine Deo Jan 7 '19 at 6:50
  • Not sure if I’m allowed to share links but this is made by Logos Bible Software. m.youtube.com/watch?v=b8duzqEOhw8 It might give you an idea of what Biblical Cosmology looks like, even though there are scholars that will deny this is describing the physical cosmolgy they will not deny that this is what the ancients believed across a multitude of cultures with slight variations but the basic model. – Nihil Sine Deo Jan 7 '19 at 6:53
2

The waters in 2 Pet 3:5 are those from which the Earth was formed. So it refers to Gen 1, before the waters were separated and dry land appeared.

2 Pet 3:6 refers to the flood/deluge, likely of Gen 7. It states that they are the same waters because the waters did not change, but were separated and moved by Elohim/Yahweh.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Good summary. +1. – user25930 Jan 7 '19 at 21:01
  • Yet written first, like Mark. – 習約塔 Jan 7 '19 at 23:40
0

The view put forth by John C Whitcomb and Henry M Morris in the book The Genesis Flood is that a 'water canopy' (that is to say water vapour, not water droplets like clouds) surrounded the earth, originally, which was a protective layer and would have limited harmful cosmic radiation from reaching earth and would have sustained a temperate, humid climate beneath it. It may have been situated around about where man-made satellites now orbit.

It would have been, perhaps, invisible from earth or may have slightly affected visibiliity of the stars.

Morris and Whitcomb suggest that this is the source for the waters which covered the earth in the days of Noah. Also, water may have been under the earth's crust and is the water added to the flood waters when 'the fountains of the deep were broken up'.

Thus in the view of this theory, the waters to which Peter refers would have been the waters above and beneath the earth which, after God's judgment upon mankind, became the oceans we now see.

God's judgment not only removed 'all flesh' from the earth, save that in the Ark, but his judgment ensured a vast decrease in longevity (see Genesis 5) and limited mankind to a much shorter lifetime on earth, probably because of the loss of the water canopy layer.

Such a protective layer around the earth is wholly in keeping with the later discoveries of the asteroid belt, the gravitational protective effect of the 'gas giants' and the protective effect of the so-called Oort cloud.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Some reason for the down-votes would be appreciated. – Nigel J Jan 7 '19 at 20:24
  • While I am personally inclined to agree with Morris and Whitcomb, this ventures into scientific cosmological theories to explain rationally understand Gen 1-11 which is not Germane to this site nor this question. Despite this, I have upvoted. – user25930 Jan 7 '19 at 21:01
  • @Mac'sMusings I totally agree that we should not speculate and that the site is about hermeneutics. But the text is there and the text conveys information. Water is spoken of 'above the firmament'. And rain fell in copious amounts when there had been no rain - at all - from the beginning. Although I agree it is wrong to speculate about cosmology, it is my own personal view that Morris and Whitcomb have not strayed and that their explanation is a valid exegesis of the available text. – Nigel J Jan 7 '19 at 21:11
  • While I do not agree with Morris and Whitcomb it is fascinating just how much water is in the atmosphere at any moment right now: "...At any moment, the atmosphere contains an astounding 37.5 million billion gallons of water, in the invisible vapor phase. This is enough water to cover the entire surface of the Earth (land and ocean) with one inch of rain....". See: whyfiles.org/2010/how-much-water-is-in-the-atmosphere/… I do agree with the "gap theory" mentioned in the article because the preexistent abyss ("bottomless") waters covered all the dry land before Genesis 1. – Ruminator Jan 13 '19 at 21:01
  • When the atmosphere has reached capacity (100% humidity) it rains. I'm as much of a "Funny-Mentalist" as the next guy but it seems to me that it takes way too much work to try to match Genesis 1 with science. Whether there is a canopy or a vapor, if you put the sun and stars into them it gets uncomfortably hot and you find yourself taking off your shoes during the Sunday Sermon, perspiring, etc. and who wants that. :O) – Ruminator Jan 13 '19 at 21:09
0

It would help to understand ancient cosmology. The water he is referring to, is the water that the earth is submerged in which are both the water from creation and those of the flood, one and the same.

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The floodgates/windows of heaven are kept shut from flooding the earth’s surface.

“In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭7:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

But if you are imagining a globe in infinite space surrounded by a vacuum then clearly you will have no idea what water Peter is talking about. Especially since Peter didn’t think like a Greek philosopher and certainly didn’t deviate from the cosmology described in his Tanakh Scriptures that state the earth is like a round tent, flat bottom and a dome around it keeping the water above and beneath out

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:22‬ ‭KJV‬‬

When you think of the tabernacle you immediate think of the SDA illustrations of a rectangular tent but replicas of the tabernacle using only the materials prescribed in the Bible in a rectangular orientation have very weak structural integrity from an engineering stand point. The tabernacle was supposed to be a reflection of the things seen in heaven and if you’re in heaven looking down to the earth you’d see what to us is a circular “snow globe”. A circular tent replica of the tabernacle using only the materials prescribed in the Bible has very strong structural integrity and doesn’t need to be reinforced like the rectangular versions with additional materials not prescribe by the Bible.

Considering this is Peter’s cosmology, he is obviously speaking about the waters that are surrounding this earth “snow globe” structure. Waters above the firmament heavens and the waters beneath in which the earth is sitting.

And to answer your question they are one and the same waters, so Peter is speaking of both. Not that all the waters in the heaven and from the deep were emptied on the earth but certainly some were introduced into the earth’s “snow globe”

“That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.” ‭‭Job‬ ‭38:13-14‬ ‭KJV‬‬

In the book of Job the earth is likened to a clay seal with its edges/margins standing up and enveloping the earth holding the waters in

“And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?” ‭‭Job‬ ‭38:11 KJV

‬‬enter image description here

enter image description hereenter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Having examined this in some detail, there is very little (there is some some) and flimsy evidence for this in the Hebrew Bible. This view is largely from nations surrounding Israel and the Greek world form much later. – user25930 Jan 7 '19 at 20:56
  • Are you challenging me or are you offering to show what the Hebrew Bible says using quotations and references? Because there are over 200 verses I can reference without trying very hard. Maybe start with the verses already quoted – Nihil Sine Deo Jan 7 '19 at 21:11
  • 1
    This is a pretty good review of ancient cosmology. It's particularly telling in Gen 1 when Elohim pounds out the dome of the heavens to separate the waters above from the waters below. – The word often translated "firmament" is derived from the word for the act of pounding out a copper bowl. Also, many of the words usually translated "created" or "make" refer to forming and shaping from pre-existing substance. Yahweh forms man from clay in Gen 2, and God is referred to as a potter in Rom 9. – 習約塔 Jan 13 '19 at 23:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.