Visualizing the receding floodwaters

The Bible tells us that the waters of Noah’s Flood rose and covered the entire globe, destroying every air-breathing land-dwelling animal on earth (Genesis 7:17–24). After that they began to recede (Genesis 8:1–3).

The process of receding water is mentioned repeatedly: ‘the waters receded’ (Genesis 8:1); ‘the water receded steadily from the earth’ (8:3); ‘the waters continued to recede until the tenth month and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible’.

It took 2 ½ months from the time the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat until the other mountains became visible. Clearly a lot of water was flowing off the land.

The length of time taken for the waters to recede is further indicated by Genesis 8:8 which says Noah released a dove to ‘see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground’. However, the dove returned because it ‘could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth’ (v. 9). In other words, the water still covered the earth when the dove was released nearly seven weeks after the mountains became visible, which was 2 ½ months after the Ark came to rest.

Altogether the waters were receding for more than seven months before the earth was dry and Noah could open the door of the Ark.

As the waters receded from the continents they would have eroded the land leaving shapes that form the landscapes we see today. Thus, landscapes should provide powerful evidence for the effects of Noah’s Flood as well as a way of relating geological formations to the timing of the events of the Flood—provided you know what to look for….

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