A Question I Was Asked:

Where Did All the Flood Waters Go?

Sceptics, atheists and evolutionists claim that the flood of Noah is an obvious fiction because if the waters reached even higher than Mount Everest where could such a huge volume of water have gone? They claim the quantity was too great simply to drain off and the earth itself was already saturated and so could not take it. What is your reply to that?

UK Apologetics Reply:

Okay, the point which is sometimes made is if the earth's surface was covered by something like 29,000 or more feet of water (Genesis 7:20), which is the approximate height of the highest parts of the Himalayas, how do you ever get rid of it?  Where could all that water have gone? It's a fair point for an atheist, of course, but Christians do not see this as a major problem for some of the reasons we will look at.

Genesis 8:1-5 states,

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 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. (Genesis 8:1-5).

The skeptic's assertion that there is presently not enough water on the Earth for there ever to have been the kind of flood described in Genesis 6-8 is based upon assumptions which are very questionable. We are not even aware of the height of the mountains of Noah's day, very possibly they were much lower since some of the huge seismic upheaval which threw up such huge mountains as the Himalayas occurred as the flood settled and the earth's crust re-adjusted.

Nor do we know the depth of the valleys of earth nor - perhaps more importantly - the ocean valleys. Therefore one simply cannot know how much water was on the Earth during the Noahic Flood. Why guess at something we simply cannot know?

However, Psalm 104 says something rather interesting:

5. He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. 6. You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7. But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; 8 they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them. 9. You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth. (Psalm 104:5-9).

First of all, in Psalm 104 creation is mentioned (verse 5), but from verse 6 there appears to be a reference to the waters of the Great Flood, a reference to the time when "the waters stood above the mountains" (6b), from then up to verse 9 there is a pretty clear reference to the Flood. These verses make it clear that the waters obeyed the command of God to recede "to the place you assigned for them" (verse 8). This does not tell us how God did it, of course, but a God who created this Earth, setting in in a definite place in the universe, would surely have no problem in dispersing of these floodwaters.

So, just as God miraculously created and formed the entirety of the Earth's topography during the week of creation (Genesis 1:9-13), and just as He miraculously sent flood waters upon the Earth in the days of Noah, it appears that God miraculously caused the waters to subside. Maybe it is just silly for us to attempt to work out how God might have done this. Do we try to work out how God created the Earth and Heavens in the first place? But, in answering this question we must keep reminding ourselves that we simply cannot know the height of the mountains of Noah's day, nor the depth of the oceanic valleys. One great upheaval of the Earth caused the Flood in the first place, but another was caused as the earth's crust resettled and there is a strong possibility that this caused some of the huge mountain ranges to be thrown up.

Some of the post-Flood catastrophic events would include the mountains being thrown up following the flood with much volcanic and seismic activity, to say nothing of continental drift. It is impossible that the earth could have quickly settled down following the flood - the upheaval had been too great. (Dr Marc Surtees, Edinburgh Creation Group).

Obviously if, overall, the earth was flatter in Noah's day than in our day (and many creationists believe that it was), it could well be that considerably less water was needed to entirely flood the earth than we might be inclined to believe. A further point is that God could well have caused a long dry and warming period following the Flood. Maybe no further rain occurred for a few years with an abundance of drying winds, perfect for good evaporation conditions.

So we must reject the atheist's assertion that the 'water dispersal problem of the Flood' means we must reject the whole concept of the Great Flood, especially since our Earth's surface shows unmistakeable signs that it was once entirely covered by water (something, incidentally, believed by many scientists). All parts of the earth are covered by sedimentary rock - therefore, all parts of the earth were once covered by water. But no matter what argument one might produce, this would be unlikely to cause atheists to suddenly believe the Bible, they would simply find something else to question or to argue about. This is because this is a faith issue.See this.

Robin A. Brace. October 17th, 2015.