Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Earth Rings and Noah's Flood!
All planets develop along the same general lines. Following an igneous condition, a system of Saturn-like rings, composed mainly of aqueous and mineral vapor, are formed around the planet's equator. Such a system of rings once surrounded the earth, and by their successive collapse produced great changes during the geologic record. The last of these collapsing rings produced the flood of Noah's day and caused a complete climatic change that is affecting us to this day.
by John D. Keyser
Since the times of Isaac Newton, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Pierre Simon Laplace, Carl Friedrich Gauss -- and other great mathematicians of the Renaissance Era -- there has been an inherent belief in the scientific community that a stable ring system once orbited the earth -- perhaps for millions of years!
In an article published in Nature back in 1980, ex-NASA astronomer Dr. John A. O'Keefe (who is noted for discovering the earth's slight pear-shape back in the 1950s) hypothesized that a Saturn-like ring of tektites once encircled the earth and could have been responsible for the Eocene extinctions of 35 million years ago.
A Danish astronomer, Kaare Rasmussen, in Science Frontiers (Issue #76, July-August 1991), stated that "in the past, the Earth had a ring system just like Saturn, Uranus and Neptune." He went as far as to say that our planet boasted rings on 16 different occasions in the past 2,800 years. He carried out a survey of all reports of meteorite falls, fireballs and showers of shooting stars from 800 B.C. to 1750 A.D. He then carried out a statistical analysis of the data and discovered that there were many distinct periods of intense activity.
Rasmussen found that the active periods -- during which he believes a ring existed around the earth -- began with a peak of high meteoritic activity as the ring formed, as a consequence of the earth's capture of a comet or asteroid. This was typically followed by a decrease of activity indicating ring stability. Finally, he conjectured, the ring broke up as its particles were decelerated by the earth's upper atmosphere, leading to another peak of activity.
As recently as September 2002, the Sandia National Laboratories published an article by two researchers who ONCE AGAIN reinforced the notion of past "earth rings." In that study, the authors suggested that at one time there were rings of rock debris circling our planet -- rings that were created by large meteorite impacts ejecting material back out into space. They again suggested that such a ring system, perhaps of similar opacity to Saturn's B-ring, may have caused past climatic changes on the earth by blotting out the sun and casting a cooling shadow over the equator for hundreds of thousands of years. Here is an extract from the Sandia National Laboratories news release of September 16, 2002 --
"While most of us know about rings around Saturn and Jupiter, some scientists believe there once were rings of rock debris around our own planet. Two scientists -- Peter J. Fawcett, of the University of New Mexico, and Mark B.E. Boslough, of the U.S. Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories -- have suggested that a geologically "recent" collision (about 35 million years ago) may have caused such a temporary debris ring.
"The two also suggested that such temporary rings -- lasting from 100,000 to a few millions of years -- may explain some patterns of climate change observed in the earth's geological record. These conclusions are spelled out in an article in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres, August 16 edition...
"An equatorial ring would cast a shadow primarily in the tropics, as it does for Saturn. Depending on location, surface area, and darkness of the ring shadow, the amount of incoming solar warmth, or insolation, could be significantly altered, the two authors conclude. To test their theory, the two assumed an opaque ring, like Saturn's B-ring, scaled to earth size and tested global climate affects using a climate model...
"'The equatorial debris ring has a profound effect on climate, because it reflects a significant fraction of tropical insolation back to space before it can interact with the atmosphere,' the authors conclude. Surface and atmospheric temperatures, changes in temperature ranges from equator to poles, circulation patterns and the rain and snow cycles were all impacted by the ring, the model shows."
So what about it? Did the earth have rings encircling it at one time that had a profound effect on the weather patterns of the planet? And were these rings the result of meteorite impacts -- or something else?
The Time of Creation
The time of the initial construction of the earth is nowhere stated in the Bible. Men have expressed different opinions, but mere opinion proves nothing. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was [became] without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep" (Genesis 1:1, 2). Such is the biblical record.
If the earth was at one time an incandescent molten mass, there could have been no oceans of water on it at that same time. The formations of the rocks show conclusively that at one time these rocks were subject to intense heat. Fiery rocks or molten minerals and oceans of water could not have remained in the same place at the same time. Therefore, the account of creation given in Genesis must pertain to the REMAKING of the earth in preparation for the development of life upon it.
So when did that period of time begin? The Scriptures divide the creative work into seven days, or periods of time. While YEHOVAH God could have done this work in seven days of twenty-four hours each, had He so desired, the facts seem to show that He did not do so, but that the term "day" -- in all likelihood -- could be a period of time covering many centuries. This creative period has no clear reference to a twenty-four hour day in the book of Genesis. However, since YEHOVAH God has divided the creative periods into seven it is reasonable to assume that these creative days, or periods of time, were of equal length.
The law of YEHOVAH God, later given to man, provided for a week of seven days each, each day being twenty-four hours long. Since each of these days were of the same length, it is reasonable that the seven creative days or periods would each cover the same period of time. The Scriptures indicate that the seventh day or epoch of creation, mentioned in Genesis, could cover a period of one thousand years of our time. Notice 2 Peter 3:8: "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." See also Revelation 20. If we then assume that each of the creative days was of the same length, we must conclude that the period of time that elapsed from the beginning of the creative week to the end thereof is a period of seven thousand years. However, whether this period of time was indeed 7,000 years or a literal week does not detract from the fact that YEHOVAH God has not revealed how long PRIOR to that time He began the formation or construction of the earth. It simply was not necessary -- and not the will of YEHOVAH God -- that man should know. What we are concerned about here is the beginning of the plan for the development of life as we know it upon earth.
Moses, under the inspiration and direction of YEHOVAH, wrote the book of Genesis. It is, of course, YEHOVAH's record, which He caused His servant Moses to write. The opening statement is: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." That is an abstract and profound statement. It is the end of all controversy. The Master Builder, in the beginning, created the heaven and earth; and just when that beginning was is not material to our inquiry. YEHOVAH God reveals His secrets when it pleases Him. Then follows the Scriptural statement: "And the earth was [became] without form, and void." Being without form it was a place of desolation, and no life was to be found on the planet. It was void; that is to say, it was empty of any and all forms of life. It was dark and there was no light shining on it. From this point dates the beginning of the creative period or week of seven creative days -- whether a literal week or 7,000 years.
Theory of Earth's Creation
It is to be expected that the theories of men with reference to the creation of the earth would differ. The theory that is reasonable and supported by the Scriptures is entitled to a candid consideration. Theories out of harmony with the Scriptures may be discarded as useless. In the year 1874 Isaac N. Vail first published a pamphlet entitled The Earth's Annular System. Annular means having the form of rings, or ring-shaped, and has reference to successive rings or canopies of aqueous vapor which surrounded the earth and which fell upon the earth at different periods. A brief summary of the annular theory, as hypothesized by Mr. Vail, is given here before beginning the examination of the Scriptural record:
1). The primitive earth was once a molten mass rapidly rotating through space.
2). The intense heat from the molten earth expelled all vapors, whether aqueous or metallic, and these were carried into the skies.
3). Both heat and centrifugal energy caused these vapors to accumulate in the skies, particularly in the equatorial region.
4). These red hot vapors contained all the fusible and vaporizable minerals known to the earth.
5). As the earth cooled, the heaviest of these vapors formed into rings nearest the earth and the lighter substances formed numerous other rings according to their weight and density.
6). These rings or belts were separate and well defined.
7). The rotation of these near the polar belts was slower than at the equator.
8). As these rings, formed of aqueous vapors and heavily laden with carbon, cooled down they rotated near the earth until they fell, the nearest and heaviest one falling first and leaving those more distant and lighter to move on in their respective orbits about the earth.
9). Each one of these rings, in due course, cooled and fell to earth.
Professor Vail then reasons that while all of these rings contained quantities of carbon, and other mineral substances expelled from the earth by the great heat, the last one of these rings was composed chiefly of water; that the light penetrating the ring or rings around the earth in due time caused this canopy, which enveloped the earth, to produce a hothouse condition -- thus making plants and animal life flourish at the poles equally with any other part of the earth; that these rings encircling the earth rotated more rapidly than the earth rotates upon its axis, but in time the cooling process would cause them to fall to the earth; and that the falling of the last one of these aqueous canopies occurred after man was created, and produced the great flood of Noah's time. The following is a quotation from Mr. Vail's The Earth's Annular System:
"All terrestrial waters were held in suspension during that age of inveterate heat, far removed from the surface of the boiling, flaming and smoking mass of the earth.
"This suspended ocean of vapors rotated as a part and parcel of the earth, a primeval atmosphere of great complexity of materials, in the same time that the earth then rotated, just as our present atmosphere now does.
"This suspended matter in the course of time gathered in the earth's equatorial heavens, and upon condensing necessarily contracted and segregated into rings, which revolved independently about the earth, thus causing a great lapse of time between the descent of the first, or primitive, ocean of water nearest the earth, and those waters most remote in the annular system.
"This illustration [to the left] shows a full-face view of the earth and its annular system. Here A is the earth, B the earth's atmosphere, C the heavy carbons and their accompanying mineral sublimations, D the lighter carbons and hydro-carbons, E glacial snows and their accompaniments, F outer vapors, principally aqueous and likely in a frozen state. From this outermost ring came the polar snows that chilled the Eden earth, and afterwards caused the deluge.
"The waters remaining on high, after the interior waters or first ocean fell to the earth, fell in a succession of stupendous cataclysms, separated by unknown periods of time. The first ocean was necessarily impregnated with mineral and metallic salts, or filled with mineral and metallic particles, to a far greater extent than any other section or division of waters or exterior vapors, for the simple reason that in the system the heaviest vapors would settle lowest or nearest the earth as it cooled down.
"All such changes required a great length of time, and a progressive motion of declining matter from the equator, polar-wise; also the bands and belts of the earth's annular system necessarily presented the same general aspect that Jupiter's and Saturn's do today.
"A succession of concentric rings necessarily requires a vast lapse of time between the declension of one ring of vapors into the outskirts of the atmosphere, and the fall of the next succeeding one; so that each fall, or each ring, after it reached the attenuated atmosphere continued to revolve as a belt about the earth with an ever-decreasing velocity as it spread toward the poles and over-canopied the earth.
"The smoke or unconsumed carbon that arose from the burning world commingled with the upper vapors, darkened them, and formed inevitably dark bands or belts among bright vaporous ones, as we now see on some other planets.
"After a ring of vapors had fallen into the air, it is likely that it may have over-canopied the globe and finally descended to the earth, leaving the atmosphere clear, before another ring reached the atmosphere in its persistent decline.
"The apparent retardation of the moon is but a gradual recession of our satellite, caused by diminished attraction as the annular system declined; and the necessary check put upon the revolving rings necessarily caused them to sink and finally fall to the earth, if no other cause of their fall existed; and further, this retardation proves the former existence of an annular system about the earth.
"The Achaean metalliferous deposits are so located as to be inexplicable by the old theory of aqueous denudation, but beautifully in accord with the new.
"The Silurian beds, and particularly the order of their occurrence in the earth, utterly refute the idea that they were derived from pre-existing beds. Hence it is evident that during the Silurian age there was an annular system about the earth. In other words, it is evident that all the primeval waters did not fall before the dawn of life on the globe" (The Earth's Annular System, pages 72-74).
A very forceful argument is advanced by Mr. Vail to the effect that all planets are formed by universal or inexorable law; and since we now can see the rings surrounding Saturn, and can also see Uranus forming toward the uncompleted annular system, we must conclude that the earth also was developed by the progressive and successive collapse of aqueous canopies.
The birth, growth and development of worlds are regulated by inexorable laws of YEHOVAH God; and if one planet was ever surrounded by rings, a sister planet under the same circumstances, ruled by the same dynamic and static conditions of force, in process of development, must also be attended by rings during some stage of its career. Not that we should ignore the fact that circumstances must vary the resulting phenomena of ruling forces, but the great principles of planetary growth must be THE SAME on all planets. Continues Mr. Vail --
"It is, for instance, as essential that ring-formation should follow igneous action, as the oblatoidal form of a planet should follow its rapid rotation. They are pure results of acting forces everywhere apparent in the solar system, from the great burning, seething and smoking sun, to the utmost and smallest satellites. If we can detect this universal disposition in the worlds around us, we may rest assured that our own has passed through the same grand cycles of change. Nay, we may, in fact, read the geological history of the earth in the ringed and belted worlds of the solar system.
"It must now be clear that these features exhibited by the belted vapors of Saturn and Jupiter are vital considerations. Modern science has established beyond a doubt the fact that the motion of their polar belts is slower than the equatorial. From this we are forced to the conclusion that they revolve nearer their primaries" (The Earth's Annular System, pages 42-43).
If those belts could in any way increase their motion they would rise and revolve in a larger orbit. That is, they would move from the poles toward the equator. On the other hand, if the equatorial belts should lose the smallest part of their motion they would sink along the lines of least resistance and greatest attraction -- i.e., toward the poles. Now can it be possible in a universe of UNCHANGING LAW, that one planet could become the possessor of a ring system while another doesn't? Can it be possible that the earth, under the influences of these universal laws, avoided passing through the same mode of planetary development?
YEHOVAH God's laws are universal throughout the heavens, and what happens on Saturn or Jupiter, under the same conditions, happens on earth. If the laws of gravitation are universal, the causes of annular formation are also universal; and the same effects must follow. It can be said that unknown conditions may modify the operations of the law. Certainly this is true, but they may also modify the operations of the law of universal gravitation; yet, where is the man who doubts its universal application in the midst of all modifying tendencies? Observes Professor Vail:
"From this it must be seen that the mere fact that Jupiter's and Saturn's polar belts move more slowly than the equatorial, is positive proof that they have moved from the equatorial regions, and therefore there is a perpetual tendency in the solar system now for all belts to fall at the poles! Here, then, we are simply impelled to admit that the original form of all revolving planetary belts was annular, and that they were located in the equatorial regions of all planets during some period of their history. The supposition also that these belts must reach the surface of the planets in stupendous downfalls, during intervals of immeasurable time, receives here an emphatic avowal.
"Thus by following the path pointed out by the unerring voice of law, we may look upon those giant worlds, and read a history of the mighty changes that made our world what it is today. For unknown ages rings and belts attended the earth. One by one they declined and reached its surface around the poles (The Earth's Annular System, page 44).
The annular system relative to the earth, as advocated by Mr. Vail, is reasonable. It is supported by truth revealed in the Word of YEHOVAH God. YEHOVAH invites mankind to reason with Him, and we must therefore expect to find in His Word that which is reasonable when we properly apply it!
YEHOVAH God has divided the work of the preparation of the earth into periods of creation which he calls "days", and which are numbered in their order from one to seven. It seems clearly proven from the Scriptures, however, that the material forming the earth had been brought together and the earth formed LONG BEFORE the beginning of these epochs or creative days began. Long before the beginning of those seven days the molten mass had thrown off great quantities of mineral substances in vapor form, and these had formed into rings around the earth.
These great masses of hot vapors were heavy with carbon, thus causing "thick darkness" to surround the earth. Without a doubt this darkness extended for a great number of miles beyond the earth and all around it. In the book of Job there is written information concerning the beginning of the creative period which corroborates the Genesis account: "Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, and brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors" (Job 38: 8-10).
This thick darkness, extending all around the earth, formed the "swaddling band", and corresponds to the statement in Genesis that "darkness was upon the face of the deep". No light was then penetrating to the earth. Surrounded by numerous rings or canopies, composed of heavily carbonized vapors and other mineral substances, it was impossible for the light to penetrate that thick darkness which formed a band around the earth.
Light -- The First Creative "Day"
"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." This statement must refer to the light that came from the heavenly sphere illuminating the rings around the earth but not reaching the earth. Light is coexistent with YEHOVAH God. Concerning this it is written in YEHOVAH's Word: "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). "O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment; who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain" (Psalm 104:1,2).
The sun must have been created long before the earth became a form, because the sun is the center of attraction of the solar system. Light from the sun was shining through space, but had not yet shined upon the earth because of the "swaddling band" that surrounded it. YEHOVAH God needs only to express His will, and things transpire. The time came for the light to shine upon that which surrounded the earth. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day" (Genesis 1: 3-5).
Prior to the beginning of the first creative day, as described by the Genesis account, some of the rings around the earth may have fallen. It is apparent, however, that many remained. With the beginning of the first creative day or period, "darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
What is meant here by "the deep" and "the face of the waters"? Without a doubt there were waters ABOVE the earth and waters UPON the earth. This is obvious from the Genesis statement. The great deep, therefore, must have reference to the waters above the earth -- waters that could have been held up only by reason of the fact that they were revolving rapidly in an orbit about the earth. As soon as they would become inactive they would necessarily fall to earth. The lighter one of these rings would necessarily be farthest out from the earth and nearest the sun.
The time came when the spirit of YEHOVAH God, that is to say, His power, moved upon or took action upon the face of the waters, and the light penetrated this great deep or canopy that surrounded the earth. What this really means is that YEHOVAH God caused the sun's rays to shine upon the face of the waters or great deep, ILLUMINATING THEM. YEHOVAH pronounced the light good, and the light YEHOVAH called day and the darkness he called night, and YEHOVAH divided the light from the darkness. That was the beginning of the division of day and night. So far as the Bible discloses, such constituted the work of the first creative day, and concludes with the words: "And the evening and the morning were the first day." There is NO evidence to warrant the conclusion that at this time the light had penetrated to the earth.
The Firmament -- The Second Creative "Day"
The visible arch of the sky that we see when we look up is called the FIRMAMENT. It is a great aerial expanse containing the atmosphere and ether surrounding the earth. The work of the second creative day or period was devoted to preparing this great expanse and to dividing the waters. The firmament is called heaven because it is high and lofty, above the earth. "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" (Genesis 1: 6-8).
All the rings formed by the rising vapors surrounding the earth necessarily contained great quantities of water -- as well as carbon and other mineral substances. These revolved with greater rapidity near the equator and gradually spread out like an envelope toward the poles until they enveloped the earth as a canopy. As these rings neared the poles their motion was slowed, and both the weight and the slowing velocity caused them to fall. As each one fell, great pools of water or bodies of water were rained down upon the earth. All the mineral substances taken up in solution were brought down at the poles and were rushed on toward the equator.
There would then, of course, be water upon the earth and waters above the earth. David backs up this conclusion in the Bible when he says: "Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me" (Psalm 42:7); "Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains" (Psalm 104:6; Proverbs 8:27,28; Job 38:9-11). By the falling of these aqueous rings or canopies the oceans were formed, and these great bodies of water on the earth were separated from the deep above the earth by the firmament. The firmament was not holding up the water -- the great deep above the earth was held there by virtue of the fact that it was rapidly revolving in its orbit.
The firmament merely served to form A DIVISION between the waters on the earth and the great deep far out from and surrounding the earth. We understand the formation to be something like this: First the earth; then the firmament or earth's atmosphere; and beyond that many rings containing heavy carbon and other minerals and sublimations, the lighter rings containing hydro-carbons being still further from the earth, and the outermost ring being principally water. YEHOVAH God called the firmament above the earth heaven.
Land Appears -- The Third Creative "Day"
It was during the third creative day or epoch that the dry land appeared. Men have come up with many different theories regarding the process of bringing forth the dry land. The land might have been brought forth by pressure of water causing some portions to sink and others to rise -- or it might have been caused by waters running down into the crevices of the heated rock, which caused great upheavals. However it was done, YEHOVAH's statement is that it was done according to His will. There the controversy ends. YEHOVAH God then gathered together the waters on the earth in order that other portions of the earth might be free from water, as it is written: "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1: 9,10).
For the first time the Scriptures here mention the waters upon the earth as SEAS. The Biblical proof, therefore, is conclusive that there was a great deep ABOVE the earth, separate and distinct from the waters UPON the earth. The waters above the earth are designated in the Scriptures as "the deep"; whereas the waters upon the earth are called "the seas" or oceans.
The preparatory work progressed. The dry land did not appear suddenly but gradually, and no doubt its appearance covered a large part of the third creative day. During that period the earth brought forth grass and herbs, each yielding seed and fruit after his own kind. One kind of seed did not develop another kind of seed; but each kind produced its own seed -- which seed in due course produced other grass and herbs. "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day" (Genesis 1:11-13).
Because of the canopies or rings surrounding the earth the heat and conditions upon the earth were conducive to the growth of plants and herbs. It seems that plant life during that period grew rapidly and very large.
Lights in the Firmament -- The Fourth Creative "Day"
The Scriptural account of the fourth epoch or creative day reads:
"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:14-19).
If it is true, as we have seen, that the light which appeared at the command of YEHOVAH God on the first creative day was from the sun's rays, how can we harmonize that idea with the statement that the sun and moon could be seen on the fourth day? There is no proof in the Bible -- or anywhere else for that matter -- that the sun shone upon the earth on the fourth creative day. Also, there is no proof that if it were possible for a man to have been on the earth that he could then have seen the sun, moon and stars. The sun, moon and stars must have been created long prior to the time which we are now discussing; for the earth is one of the solar system, as already stated.
But the sun did not shine DIRECTLY on the earth on the fourth creative day. On the contrary, it is quite conclusive that even on the sixth day -- when Adam was on earth -- the sun did not shine, and that no man could see the sun prior to Noah's time. This does not refute the fact that the light emanating from the sun illuminated the "great deep", and, as the further statement of the scripture quoted above shows, that the sun appeared in the firmament. It should be noted that during the first creative day the statement is: "The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.... and there was light." This light was doubtless from the sun's rays, and it lighted the great body of water or deep above the earth and around the earth. On the second day or creative period, YEHOVAH God created the firmament; and on the fourth creative day the light from the sun's rays reached the firmament FOR THE FIRST TIME.
The Genesis record bears this out, where it is recorded: "God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night." Never before is there any mention made in the Bible of light in the firmament, and it must be taken as conclusive that the time mentioned here is the first time that light ever appeared in the firmament -- and this was on the fourth creative day. The light from the sun, moon and stars, shining through the depth of waters above the firmament and upon the firmament, lighted the firmament and divided the day from the night.
Then the statement follows that YEHOVAH God made two great lights to rule the day and the night. It does NOT follow that He made them at that time but they were previously made by Him, and now the time had come for one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. The sun was not then visible from the earth and could not have been. The light of the sun which illuminated the firmament would cast light upon the earth through the remaining rings which, by that time, were translucent. But the sun could not shine directly upon the earth.
One of the most conclusive proofs that Adam did not see the sun -- and that no man saw the sun until the flood of Noah's day -- is the fact that the rainbow appeared for the first time after Noah was delivered from the ark (Genesis 9: 9-13). That was the first time that the sun's rays lighted rainfall and produced the rainbow. In the day of Adam there was no rain, but the earth was watered by a mist rising from it (Genesis 2:5, 6). There could have been no rainfall as long as there was an aqueous canopy above the earth; and there could have been no flood, which the Bible says did occur, without the existence of such a ring or aqueous canopy. There could have been no rainbow until after that last aqueous canopy fell.
Therefore, the inevitable conclusion is that the sun's rays began to shine in the firmament or aerial expanse on the fourth creative day. Plants and herbs greatly increased from that day, because the sun shining in the firmament would warm it and cause a condition on the earth conducive to the growth of luxuriant plants. Up to this time, as the Bible discloses, no living creatures had appeared on the remade earth.
Sea and Air Creatures -- The Fifth Creative "Day"
The fifth creative day or period of time now opened. The aqueous ring or rings surrounding the earth, and forming the canopy, now received the light from the sun that would produce a condition conducive to animal life upon the earth. The spirit or invisible power of YEHOVAH God -- now operating upon the waters in harmony with his fixed law -- caused these waters to bring forth many moving, living creatures, such as fish and other creature life -- and fowl that flew above the earth.
"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas; and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day" (Genesis 1: 20-23).
During this fifth creative period YEHOVAH God brought into being great swarms of living creatures to inhabit the waters, whales, reptiles and creatures which could live out on land or in water, also shell-fish and like creatures. Geologists have discovered that there are immense beds of limestone in various parts of the earth that contain great quantities of shells of fish -- and these are called "shell-fish cemeteries". This would support the conclusion that after the beginning of this fifth creative day there was a falling of one or more of the rings near the poles, and an inrushing of snow and ice which swept to the equator and destroyed great quantities of these living creatures. Afterwards the way was opened for the creation and bringing forth of other living creatures.
Land Creatures and Man -- The Sixth Creative "Day"
With the opening of the sixth creative period or day the dry land had been separated from the waters for a considerable period of time. The earth's surface produced grass and herbs and fruit and these -- together with the climatic conditions -- were suitable for animal life. The Scriptural account concerning this creative period reads: "And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1: 24, 25).
Beasts of the earth have not always been the same. At one time there were great numbers of large animals upon the earth, including the mammoth and rhinoceros -- some of which were covered with long woolly hair. Great numbers of these mammoths roamed the earth. Some have been found frozen in the ice and snow of Siberia and Alaska, while skeletons of others have been recovered from the beds of earth and stone in the tropical regions.
Previous to the glacial record there had closed a long period of perpetual spring. The long-haired elephant, and many of his forebears and contemporaries, fed in luxurious forests and grassy plains toward the north pole, which are now covered with glaciers grinding their bones to dust. Northern regions -- which for untold ages had been covered with tropical vegetation and animals of innumerable forms -- began to be invaded by glaciers which slowly made their way toward the equator.
The only way glaciers are now formed is by vapors wafted over them from adjacent lands warmed by solar heat. However, they were not formed that way during the glacial epochs, but by the declension of annular vapors. Glacial ice cannot accumulate extensively now. It flows, and cannot be heaped up in large amounts, its rate of motion being proportionate to the slope of its bed. The source of those snows which turned into glacial ice and built a great continental ice cap over the northern hemisphere must be attributed to the earth's ring system. They accumulated in the St. Lawrence valley several thousand feet thick and towered over the New England mountains.
Snow seldom falls in arctic regions now. Sledge and vehicle tracks that were made several years ago can still be seen today. How, then, did those boundless reaches of snow and ice accumulate but by the decent of an orbiting canopy?
Animals are found entombed in the frozen soil and snows under the arctic circle. For many years a large trade has been carried on in ivory by Siberian traders who recovered it from the frozen soil. Many of the animals, such as the mammoth and rhinoceros, etc., remain undecayed, and in their stomachs and between their teeth are found the vegetation upon which they fed. And even the capillary blood vessels still retain their contents -- showing that there was not the slightest decomposition. The catastrophe which overwhelmed them was incredibly sudden. The climate was changed as if by a stroke, which congealed and sealed the land in ice, locking the mammoth and other animals inside.
Had those animals not been frozen as soon as they were killed putrefication and decomposition would have taken place. Nothing but the down-rush of snows from the earth's canopy could have done this. These remains are dredged from the northern oceans, and they are also found fossilized over large portions of Siberia -- in both cases, without a doubt, being dropped from icebergs. The mammoth is found frozen in a glacier; the glacier was originally snow; the destruction must necessarily have been sudden.
If not more than one tenth of the waters now upon the earth had fallen in the form of snow it would have covered the entire land surface of the globe more than 30,000 feet deep; and as one tenth must have fallen in polar regions it brings out the Annular Theory as a competent source. The sudden fall of snow sufficient to overwhelm a semitropical world could not accumulate in the atmosphere as it does now, and fall from there. It must have come from a source BEYOND the atmosphere.
A letter written by Mr. Vail, and appearing in the Scientific American, is of much interest regarding this point:
To the Editor of the Scientific American:
I have read with great interest in your issue of April 12 the note on the recent discovery of the body of a mammoth, in cold storage, by Dr. Herz, in the icebound region of Eastern Siberia. This, it seems to me, is more than a "Rosetta Stone" in the path of the geologist. It offers the strongest testimony in support of the claim that all the glacial epochs and all the deluges the earth ever saw, were caused by the progressive and successive decline of primitive earth vapors, lingering about our planet as the cloud vapors of the planets Jupiter and Saturn linger about those bodies today.
Allow me to suggest to my brother geologists that remnants of the terrestrial watery vapors may have revolved about the earth as a Jupiter-like canopy, even down to very recent geologic times. Such vapors must fall chiefly in polar lands, through the channel of least resistance and greatest attraction, and certainly as vast avalanches of tellurio-cosmic snows. Then, too, such a canopy, or world-roof, must have tempered the climate up to the poles, and thus afforded pasturage to the mammoth and his congeners of the Arctic world -- making a greenhouse earth under a greenhouse roof. If this be admitted, we can place no limits to the magnitude and efficiency of canopy avalanches to desolate a world of exuberant life.
It seems that Dr. Herz's mammoth, like many others found buried in glacier ice, with their food undigested in their stomachs, proves that it was suddenly overtaken with a crushing fall of snow. In this case, with grass in its mouth unmasticated, it tells an unerring tale of death in a snowy grave. If this be conceded, we have what may have been an allcompetent source of glacial snows, and we may gladly escape the unphilosophic alternative that the earth grew cold in order to get its casement of snow, while, as I see it, it got its snows and grew cold.
The graphic to the right represents the earth stripped of its annular appendage and with its last lingering canopy suspended over the regions of both poles as vast clouds. Over the tropics and much of the temperate zones the vapors had become so thin that the clear sky could be seen at times in certain places. The sun shone into this thin vapor sky and made it a most brilliant illuminator. The sun itself was dimly seen in this effulgent heaven as a conquering hero waging victorious contest with vapor foes.
During the igneous age the oceans went to the skies, along with a measureless fund of mineral and metallic sublimations; and if we concede these vapors formed into an annular system, and returned during the ages in grand installments, some of them lingering even down to the age of man, we may explain many things that are dark and perplexing today.
As far back as 1874 I published some of these thoughts in pamphlet form, and it is with the hope that the thinkers of this twentieth century will look after them that I again call up the "Canopy Theory".
ISAAC N. VAIL.
Professor Vail further comments in Waters Above the Firmament --
"Taking a geologic view of the physical conditions of the earth immediately prior to the great revolution that swept the mastodon and a world of other huge pachyderms from existence, we are amazed at its apparent completeness. It would seem that if man were to be the resident of a perfect clime and to live and enjoy the immunities guaranteed by a greenhouse world, he might well have begun his career at that time. The great primitive elephant, almost a third larger than that of this age, luxuriated in regions now apparently the eternal home of the glacier. Tropical vegetation flourished under the very Arctic circle...the Canopy is a competent cause of such tropical conditions just as we now see one enveloping the planet Jupiter. Just such a Canopy must have embraced the Earth again and again before our oceans reached their home on its surface" (Stonehenge Viewpoint, Santa Barbara, CA 1988, p. 101).
These were the conditions that were extant from the time of Adam to that of Noah when catastrophe struck:
"But what closed this universal tropic scene? We see a great elephant frozen up in the Arctic snows. We find him embedded in great masses of solid glacier ice. We find his bones scattered profusely all over the north polar world, his carcass many times buried entire in the frozen soil. Some all-involving and sweeping catastrophe has fallen upon this once luxuriant land. I say luxuriant for these animals were struck down and buried on the spot where they roamed and fed. They have been found with the food in their stomachs undigested. They are found without the least show of transportation after death. The climate then was warm enough to support vegetation for their existence. Besides, all over the polar world where the feet of the explorer have trod are abundant proofs of a former vegetation now overwhelmed. Here and there is seen the wreck of forests. Trees swept by mighty floods into the Arctic Ocean and piled up into vast hills and frozen in mud and sand, speak of deluge and death. Sometimes, as on the northern parts of Alaska, submerged forests tell the tale" (ibid., p. 101).
Professor Vail goes on to explain the CAUSE of this tremendous change in the world climate --
"Let us surmise the cause of this stupendous change. I have intimated that Canopy vapors that fell in the polar regions must necessarily fall as snow. I need not dwell long on this circumstance for it would seem to be an evident necessity. Attenuated vapors high in the terrestrial heavens, though in the full glare of the sun must have been congealed even though they enwrapped a world of bloom. But when these fell in regions where the sun could have but little direct influence, as in the polar lands, snows must have accumulated beyond measure....The cause of a tropical climate must be the cause of its destruction. If a Canopy makes a greenhouse clime, that clime disappears only as the Canopy disappears. If Canopy vapors protected the huge quadrupeds of pre-glacial times, the fall of Canopy vapors crushed them out of existence" (ibid.).
Continuing, Vail notes that
"the very condition in which these animals in the north polar world are found proves that they were destroyed by the accumulation of snows. That is, the pre-glacial animals were destroyed by the fall of the Canopy and the consequent accumulation of snows and the terrific impact of winter. In some instances the mammoth and Arctic rhinoceros have been found in the very snows of the Canopy times packed around them. Frozen in glacier ice that once fell as snow, they have remained in that condition since the very day of their death, since the very hour the snows broke in upon them, while on their forage ground. Immediately frozen up they have remained in their icy matrix till the day of their discovery. Their flesh is untainted after hundreds of centuries, and the very pupil of the eye is preserved. Some have particles of food lodged in their teeth. All these facts show that the snows that fell and entombed them have remained around them to this day. More than this: These facts show with a positive demonstration that the snows that entombed them fell with a down rush and suddenness; that Canopy snows ONLY could do" (Ibid.).
During this creative "day" mankind was also created by YEHOVAH God. We read about this in Genesis 1:26-30. Therefore, mankind coexisted with the woolly mammoth and the other denizens of the pre-flood age. Writes George E. Lankford --
"Mammoths and mankind lived together in North America millennia ago. One human even carved the image of a mammoth on a shell...in the Delaware River Valley....one archaeologist urged the examination of Native American legends for examples of the retention of the mammoth in oral tradition" ("Pleistocene Animals in Folk Memory," Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 93, Issue 369. 1980, page 293).
In 1998 fossil hunter Neville Hollingworth uncovered mammoth bones and a flint axe in a gravel pit in Latton, Wiltshire, England. Some of the bones showed evidence of cut marks -- possibly caused by the flint axe found alongside the mammoth bones. During the next year ice gravel experts Daryl Maddy and Simon Lewis of Cheltenham and Gloucester College excavated more bones and several more hand axes indicating, once again, that mammoth and man coexisted at this time.
Most people who believe in the Bible think that the Genesis account of the flood of Noah's time states that it covered the entire earth -- including the highest mountains. There are many problems with this. Where would all this water possibly drain to? If this amount of water fell the mountains would still be covered to this day! And what about the mammoths entombed in the great glaciers of the polar regions of the earth? Water that covered the highest mountains would negate the glaciers we find today. While the oceans did rise as a result of Noah's flood, they certainly didn't rise to the level most think today.
On the other hand, simple rainfall generated by the dynamics of our present atmosphere CANNOT account for Noah's flood. Today we know that water evaporates mainly from the world's oceans, condenses in the form of clouds and then falls to the earth as rain. Even if Noah had built his ark on the beach and rain fell in great quantities from the present atmospheric conditions, the oceans would not have risen at all. Water falling as rain over the land areas would flow right back into the oceans. In fact, the oceans would actually have diminished in size because the great basin areas of the world would have captured a large percentage of the rainwater and that water would not have returned to the sea. States Ernest Martin:
"The only way the oceans can rise is if water comes from some source other than the ocean itself such as ice caps melting or something similar. Simple rain, no matter how hard it comes down, will not cause the oceans to flood the earth because most of the water will quickly return to the oceans. One has to look elsewhere for the water that Moses said was the cause of the flood of Noah. It was no doubt that it was the water from "the windows of heaven" that primarily caused the flood."
If we consult the Bible we find this is exactly what Moses tells us. If we correctly translate a particular word that Moses used in the Genesis account, we find that he plainly informs us that the main bulk of the water descended "from above." In fact -- and take note of this -- he even tells us HOW MUCH water fell to the earth over the forty-day period. Explains Ernest Martin --
"The theologians who translated the King James Version completely misunderstood what Moses meant in Genesis 7:20 by rendering the Hebrew as: 'Fifteen Cubits UPWARD did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.' Notice the italicized word 'UPWARD.' Because most theologians automatically assumed that Moses meant that the mountains (even the highest of them) were completely submerged by the flood waters, they were led to translate the Hebrew word MALEMELAH (which actually means 'FROM ABOVE') by the word 'upward.' This is a major mistake. It transfers a meaning to the word that gives the English reader the very opposite impression from what the Hebrew intended" (Solving the Riddle of Noah's Flood, pp. 19-20).
Notice that Moses did not describe Noah's flood as an ocean deluge. The words "sea" or "ocean" do not appear in Genesis 6-8. Genesis 7:20 has 15 cubits (23 feet) of water falling from above: "Fifteen cubits FROM ABOVE did the waters prevail; and the mountains [could also be 'hills'] were covered." If, after the ark grounded, Noah surveyed the flood damage and concluded that the flood was more than ten thousand cubits deep, why would he (or Moses) forget to mention such an impressive number while remembering to mention an insignificant number like 15 cubits? Fifteen cubits defines the amount of rain that fell. It was not a deluge, but it was enough to breach the levees and cover the lowlands and some hills with water for many, many miles in all directions. It is a MISTRANSLATION to say the waters rose 15 cubits above the mountains. The 15 cubits refers to how much water fell -- not how deep the water was.
According to Webster's New World Dictionary, the English word "upward" means "toward a higher place" or, in other words, to proceed from the bottom to a higher place or position. However, the Hebrew word used by Moses in Genesis (that the King James' scholars incorrectly translated "upward") actually means to DESCEND "FROM ABOVE." To come "from above" means the exact OPPOSITE to the word "upward," and means to fall downward -- not to rise upward! This can be demonstrated in Joshua 3:13 and 16 where the self-same word is used to refer to the waters of the Jordan River flowing DOWNWARD toward the Dead Sea -- "from above." Notice: "And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that COME DOWN [MALEMELAH] from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap" (Joshua 3:13).
Now notice verse 16: "...that the waters which CAME DOWN [MALEMELAH] from upstream stood still, and rose up in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan." I don't believe we have to mention that water in all rivers flows DOWNWARD -- not upward! In Isaiah 45:8 the prophet Isaiah uses a variant of the same word -- MAMAEL -- to invoke: "Drop down, ye heavens, FROM ABOVE, and let the skies pour down righteousness."
So, relates Ernest Martin,
"The King James' translators (and followed by a host of others) have given a diametrically opposite meaning to the Hebrew word MALEMELAH and thereby missing the point entirely of what Moses meant. It is no wonder that people over the centuries have been confused in understanding the flood narrative" (Solving the Riddle of Noah's Flood, p. 20).
In actual fact Moses wrote that the waters of the flood came "from above." And as well as that, he even gave details about the EXACT amount of precipitation that fell "from above." "He said the waters 'prevailed' (or they came 'from above' in their strength) to the tune of fifteen cubits (just about 23 feet of water came down from the sky). In a word, Moses was reporting that 23 feet of water (that is, 276 inches of rainfall) fell to earth in that 40 day period. This would answer to about 7 inches of rainfall occurring on each of the 40 days and this represents about a third of an inch an hour. That was a lot of rain!" (ibid., p. 20).
Not nearly as much rain as could be calculated for a flood that covered Mt. Everest by 15 cubits!!
You might ask how Noah knew that about 276 inches (15 cubits) of rain came down during that 40 day period. The Bible doesn't reveal the answer to this question, but Noah could have received a revelation from YEHOVAH God, or he could have simply measured it with a rain gauge. People weren't stupid in Noah's day! He could also have measured the height of the waters after the flood against the height of some well known mountain or landmark near where the ark came to rest.
Critics of this understanding might argue that Moses recorded in Genesis that the mountains were COVERED by the waters that descended from the heavens -- and he meant even the highest mountains! The critics are right -- Moses did record that mountains were COVERED with water. However, most of us have not understood WHAT Moses actually intended when he used the Hebrew word for "covered." Or, perhaps, most of us have read into the word what we wanted it to mean, based on the erroneous understanding we have had for years regarding the flood account. But, to come to the truth, we must ascertain what YEHOVAH God (through Moses) means by this word or any other word that is used. We must not read our own prejudices or misconceptions into them. Explains Martin --
"The fact is, the mountains were indeed COVERED, but nowhere does Moses say (or even hint) that the mountains were SUBMERGED! There is a perfectly good Hebrew word (ahphaph) which, without ambiguity, means SUBMERGED (see II Sam. 22:5 and Jonah 2:5) and it could have been used by Moses if he intended to show that the mountains were SUBMERGED. Moses is simply telling his readers that the mountains (as well as all land masses including the oceans) were COMPLETELY DOUSED with 276 inches of rain that came 'from above.' The word 'covered' does NOT mean 'submerged.' Even today we in California often look at our mountains in winter and say how beautiful they are 'covered with snow.' In no way do we mean that the snow is so deep that the whole state of California is under 15,000 feet of snow so that Mount Whitney can be barely 'submerged'" (Solving the Riddle of Noah's Flood, p. 21).
While it is quite evident that the word "covered" does not mean "submerged" in the Hebrew -- does not Moses tell us in Genesis 8:5 that by the first day of the 10th month the tops of the mountains finally became visible? He certainly does, but he doesn't mean what most of us think he means! Think about this: With 15 cubits of water (276 inches) in the form of rain entering the earth's atmosphere and falling to the surface, a supersaturated atmosphere would have resulted creating thick clouds with extremely foggy conditions. This mantle of heavy clouds and rain surrounded the surface of the earth for a period of several months, causing all the mountains to be obscured from sight. In fact, Noah probably couldn't see a hand in front of his face -- at the best, not more than 20 yards in any direction from the ark! This lasted for about five months.
After 150 days (five months) of intense super-saturation of the earth's atmosphere, we read in Genesis 8:1 that YEHOVAH God caused a STRONG WIND to pass over the earth. Gradually the impenetrable fog and dense clouds dissipated and the atmosphere began to clear up. At the same time the waters began to recede and, because of the drying effect of the wind, the lower parts of the mountains could be seen through the clearing atmosphere. And, as Moses said in Genesis 8:5, "the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen" because the fog and clouds had cleared up enough to enable much better visibility.
If you examine the text carefully, you will see that Moses is only saying that the tops of the mountains COULD BE SEEN -- not that they emerged from under thousands of feet of water! He simply meant that the clouds and fog were dispersed by the "wind" that YEHOVAH God produced on the earth and that the tops of the mountains could now be seen for the first time. This is ALL that Moses means, and this can be clearly demonstrated from the meaning of the Hebrew words he used. Notice --
"When Moses said that the flood waters coming 'from above' caused the mountains to be COVERED, the Hebrew word he used was KAHSAH and that word has a basic meaning of 'TO HIDE' or 'TO CONCEAL.' It is translated 'TO HIDE' in Genesis 18:17; Job 33:17; Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 10:18, and 'TO CONCEAL' in Proverbs 11:13 and 12:23. It is often used to mean 'hiding one's flesh' by putting on clothing. With this in mind, it should be mentioned that Moses could easily have meant that the supersaturated atmosphere (with its thick clouds, fog and rain) caused the mountains to be 'HIDDEN FROM VIEW' by the waters that were coming 'from above.' This in fact was the cause. Only after a five month period of super-saturation of the atmosphere (and a two month drying out period) was it possible once again TO SEE the tops of the mountains. By Moses using the word KAHSAH in Genesis 7:19, 20, he meant that the mountains had been HIDDEN FROM VIEW for seven months. HE DID NOT MEAN THEY WERE SUBMERGED" (Solving the Riddle of Noah's Flood, pp. 22-23).
The understanding of the Hebrew word "kahsah" mentioned above fits properly with the context of the flood narrative Moses gave in Genesis. We should remember, however, that the Bible shows that in the pre-Adamic period the entire planet was submerged in water -- see Genesis 1:2, 9. In Psalm 104:6 the Bible even says "the waters stood above the mountains." But we should note carefully the Psalm was NOT talking of Noah's time. "The previous verse shows that the inundation was at a time in the first age of the world when God 'laid the foundations of the earth' (Psalm 104:5)" (ibid., p. 23). Even geology indicated -- as we have already seen -- that in the pre-Adamic age many mountain regions were once under water, thus explaining the fossil evidence. In fact, there were numerous submergences during the history of the earth -- caused by the collapse of numerous earth rings.
It is plain to see that the flood of Noah's time was an in-rush of waters from the polar heavens and a final collapse of a watery canopy that completely changed the world's climate -- entombing in ice the animals living in the polar regions and cutting short the life-span of mankind. States Stephen Bowers: "The presence of upper vapors entering the atmosphere on their way to the earth by the way of the polar regions necessitated an atmosphere of greater buoyancy and power, and this necessitated greater bodily frame. Hence it is said: 'There were giants in those days.' There were giants among animals as well as men" (The Ventura Observer, 1892).
That a tremendous change in the world's climate occurred at the time of Noah is recorded in the book of Genesis -- notice!
"Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made A WIND to pass over the earth [land], and the waters subsided....And the waters receded continually from the earth" (Genesis 8:1, 3).
Mr. Vail elaborates on this in his remarkable work --
"The FIRST WIND recorded in Genesis now offers a peculiar testimony. Its statement is plain, but so peculiar that it becomes one of uncommon interest. We have become familiar with the fact that winds could not occur under solar exclusion, and that the Golden Age was one when the storm-god slept. The winds we now have, being children of the sunbeam, were yet unborn. A deluge and a rainbow however, declare the inevitable and immediate birth. What must have been the character then of the first wind, when the opened heavens permitted the sun's heat to fall upon the earth's surface? Fully one half of the sphere was more or less placed under the omnipotent power of the sun. At that time, the mighty trade winds were set in motion; returning polar currents quickened their steps. Tornadoes and cyclones began to toy with land and sea. All this at the close of the deluge and not as the herald of a mighty rain. The first wind then that started the eternal round of air currents, could not have come as the winds of this age do, as the forerunners of the tempests, but as the herald of a new environment of earth, and the attendant of new and immortal scenes. This important fact is plainly and faithfully told by the author of Genesis: 'And God made a wind to pass over the earth and the waters were assuaged.' A wind powerful and fierce enough to conquer the deluge must have been no ordinary affair. But why did it come at the close of this great world-storm? And why thus for the first time? It must have been the grand commencement of a new age!" (Waters Above the Firmament, p. 100).
Further evidence of a massive change in the Earth's climate is found in Genesis 9:
"Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 'And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth [land]. Thus I establish my covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh [in the land] be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth [land].' And God said: 'This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I SET MY RAINBOW IN THE CLOUD, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the RAINBOW shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall NEVER AGAIN become a flood to destroy all flesh" (Genesis 9:8-15).
Commenting on this passage in Genesis, Professor Vail writes --
"With ordinary reason, one can see that during all that long period of antediluvian scenes, when the starry heavens were shut from the gaze of man, and when mists came from the vapor-encased skies above, that the occurrence of the RAINBOW was a physical impossibility. The sun unseen could not form a bow on the cloud. Now when the flood source was spent and the old heaven passed away, men could see that the rainbow would be proof positive that the Canopy as a flood source had passed away. The occurrence of the bow would be an infallible sign that all intercepting vapors had departed from the skies....It declares to all men that the deluge of Noah was THE FALL OF THE LAST EARTH CANOPY. It declares now, and for all time, that primitive man lived under a Canopy which in its perfection was competent to make an Eden world, and to prolong the life of men to 1000 years. It says there was a day when this earth was surrounded by a Canopy....The rainbow does not tell us that no deluges can come from terrestrial waters. It does tell us however that the heavens were opened at the time of the flood; and this is plainly an assertion that they closed before the flood; just as all witnesses from the dawn of day to the time of Noah testify" (Waters Above the Firmament, pp. 99-100).
The snows of the glacial epochs were raised from the fires of the infant earth to their orbit in the terrestrial skies. They encircled the equator as concentric rings for immeasurable amounts of time as dictated by the physical laws of YEHOVAH God. The rings declined as great canopies and protectors of the earth and its inhabitants -- and finally wound up their spiral course in the polar regions and the earth grew colder because they fell. Sometimes the fall was slow and without catastrophe; sometimes the fall was sudden and unspeakably appalling as in the flood of Noah's day. As the cyclone and flood vary in force and intensity today, so did the fall of canopies.
While the hairy mammoth and the woolly rhinoceros were grazing on the verdant plains near the polar regions in the fall of the year when the seeds were ripe the threatening canopy -- forever descending -- finally reached that level in the atmosphere where it passed beyond the control of centrifugal energy. The canopy then came under the stronger influence of gravity and plunged to the earth instantly freezing the animals where they stood. Other areas of the earth were affected by flood waters that caused Noah and his family to be afloat for five months.
Such wide-spread desolation as is credited to the collapse of the earth's last ring and canopy in Noah's time left an indelible impression upon the human mind. References to it are found in Aryan, Phoenician, Greek and Hebrew history. Since they were the guardians of civilization, it is not difficult to co-link even the rudest form of the flood traditions with the terrible visitation so graphically related by Moses in the book of Genesis. Its shadow will never pass from the historic page.
Today "educated" men and woman criticize and ridicule the narrative written down by Moses, yet the fact remains that a self-sustaining history is there -- and the combined "wisdom" of all time cannot shake it.
An account of that great catastrophe is found in the mythological narratives and traditional history of nearly every people and tribes that have lived on the face of the earth! It is found among the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Scythians and Celtic tribes. It has been discovered among the Peruvians and Mexicans; the aborigines of Cuba, of North America and the South Sea Islands. Even the inhabitants of Alaska preserve a tradition of the flood -- and all point unmistakably to the flood of Noah. Investigations in the ruins of Nineveh, Babylon and in ancient cities of Egypt confirm it by tablets preserved as veritable books.
Sums up Stephen Bowers:
"Tradition as she sits amidst the crumbling ages of the past sings it in our ears, while the sound of a deluge has gone out through all the earth. It would require volumes to present these traditions alone" (the Ventura Observer, 1892).
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