on Genesis 7 :11
In the six hundredth year, etc. - This must have been in the beginning of the six hundredth year of his life; for he was a year in the ark, Genesis 8:13; and lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood, and died nine hundred and fifty years old, Genesis 9:29; so it is evident that, when the flood commenced, he had just entered on his six hundredth year.
Second month - The first month was Tisri, which answers to the latter half of September, and first half of October; and the second was Marcheshvan, which answers to part of October and part of November. After the deliverance from Egypt, the beginning of the year was changed from Marcheshvan to Nisan, which answers to a part of our March and April. But it is not likely that this reckoning obtained before the flood. Dr. Lightfoot very probably conjectures that Methuselah was alive in the first month of this year. And it appears, says he, how clearly the Spirit of prophecy foretold of things to come, when it directed his father Enoch almost a thousand years before to name him Methuselah, which signifies they die by a dart; or, he dieth, and then is the dart; or, he dieth, end then it is sent. And thus Adam and Methuselah had measured the whole time between the creation and the flood, and lived above two hundred and forty years together. See Genesis 5 at the end, Genesis 5:32 (note).
Were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened - It appears that an immense quantity of waters occupied the center of the antediluvian earth; and as these burst forth, by the order of God, the circumambient strata must sink, in order to fill up the vacuum occasioned by the elevated waters. This is probably what is meant by breaking up the fountains of the great deep. These waters, with the seas on the earth's surface, might be deemed sufficient to drown the whole globe, as the waters now on its surface are nearly three-fourths of the whole, as has been accurately ascertained by Dr. Long. See the note on Genesis 1:10.
By the opening of the windows of heaven is probably meant the precipitating all the aqueous vapours which were suspended in the whole atmosphere, so that, as Moses expresses it, Genesis 1:7, the waters that were above the firmament were again united to the waters which were below the firmament, from which on the second day of creation they had been separated. A multitude of facts have proved that water itself is composed of two airs, oxygen and hydrogen; and that 85 parts of the first and 15 of the last, making 100 in the whole, will produce exactly 100 parts of water. And thus it is found that these two airs form the constituent parts of water in the above proportions. The electric spark, which is the same as lightning, passing through these airs, decomposes them and converts them to water. And to this cause we may probably attribute the rain which immediately follows the flash of lightning and peal of thunder. God therefore, by the means of lightning, might have converted the whole atmosphere into water, for the purpose of drowning the globe, had there not been a sufficiency of merely aqueous vapours suspended in the atmosphere on the second day of creation. And if the electric fluid were used on this occasion for the production of water, the incessant glare of lightning, and the continual peals of thunder, must have added indescribable horrors to the scene. See the note on Genesis 8:1. These two causes concurring were amply sufficient, not only to overflow the earth, but probably to dissolve the whole terrene fabric, as some judicious naturalists have supposed: indeed, this seems determined by the word מבול mabbul, translated flood, which is derived from בל bal בלל or balal, to mix, mingle, confound, confuse, because the aqueous and terrene parts of the globe were then mixed and confounded together; and when the supernatural cause that produced this mighty change suspended its operations, the different particles of matter would settle according to their specific gravities, and thus form the various strata or beds of which the earth appears to be internally constructed. Some naturalists have controverted this sentiment, because in some cases the internal structure of the earth does not appear to justify the opinion that the various portions of matter had settled according to their specific gravities; but these anomalies may easily be accounted for, from the great changes that have taken place in different parts of the earth since the flood, by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, etc. Some very eminent philosophers are of the opinion "that, by the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep, we are to understand an eruption of waters from the Southern Ocean." Mr. Kirwan supposes "that this is pretty evident from such animals as the elephant and rhinoceros being found in great masses in Siberia, mixed with different marine substances; whereas no animals or other substances belonging to the northern regions have been ever found in southern climates. Had these animals died natural deaths in their proper climate, their bodies would not have been found in such masses. But that they were carried no farther northward than Siberia, is evident from there being no remains of any animals besides those of whales found in the mountains of Greenland. That this great rush of waters was from the south or south-east is farther evident, he thinks, from the south and south-east sides of almost all great mountains being much steeper than their north or north-west sides, as they necessarily would be if the force of a great body of water fell upon them in that direction." On a subject like this men may innocently differ. Many think the first opinion accords best with the Hebrew text and with the phenomena of nature, for mountains do not always present the above appearance.
on Genesis 7 :11
on Genesis 7 :11