Does Psalm 104:9 in speaking of the waters that once covered the earth at creation say

  • that they will not again cover the whole earth?
  • or that the water might not cover the whole earth again?

Because if it’s the former then Noah’s flood could not have been world wide, lest the word of God contradict itself. If it’s the latter then a world wide flood is not out of the question.

“You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭104:9‬

  • Are you assuming that Psalm 104:6 does not refer to the Flood ? And that, therefore, Psalm 104:9 is not (in your opinion) a promise post-Flood of a non-occurrence ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 15:10
  • 1
    The context is creation @NigelJ do you read it differently? Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


Psalm 104:2-23 is clearly a parody of Gen 1 as follows:

  1. Day 1: Light - Gen 1:3-5 vs Ps 104:2
  2. Day 2: waters above and below - Gen 1:6-8 vs Ps 104:6
  3. Day 3: dry land and vegetation - Gen 1:9-13 vs Ps 104:7-18
  4. Day 4: Moon and sun - Gen 1:14-19 vs Ps 104:19
  5. Day 5: fish and birds - Gen 1:20-23 vs -?
  6. Day 6: animals and mankind - Gen 1:24-27 vs Ps 104:20-23

However, it is very likely that Ps 104:9 is a parenthetical reference (It would otherwise be out of place in the above sequence) to Gen 9:11, 15, which reads:

I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth. … I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.

Thus, Ps 104:9 is a reference to Noah's flood not the original waters that covered the earth in Gen 1:2 (although that is not excluded).

Benson observes:

That they turn not again to cover the earth — Once indeed they did, namely, in Noah’s flood, because God commanded them so to do; but not since, because he prohibits them, having promised not to drown the world again. God himself glories in this instance of his power, and uses it as an argument with us to fear him, Job 38:8, &c.; Jeremiah 5:22. And surely this, if duly considered, would keep the world in awe of God and his goodness, that the waters of the sea would soon cover the earth if God did not restrain them.


  • Parody? That’s the word you’re going for? “However,...” I’ll wait for the completion of your response. And given Psalm 104 mirrors creation from v2-23 according to you it seems entirely out of place to introduce an unrelated future event part way. Commented Mar 28, 2020 at 15:03

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