Possible Background of Flood Myths

A world flood is not something that the Hebrew assemblers of scripture or their ancestors could have personally experienced.  The account of flood-like conditions presented in the Noah myth was “borrowed” from a Chaldean source, and then possibly flavored with details from Chinese flood accounts.  Remember, for generations before the 7th century BCE composing of scripture there had been vast migrations of people everywhere due to unsettled conditions around the world.  So the authors would know, if only at random, the myths of far east people.  The most likely historical time of the alleged worldwide flood would be c. 20,000 BCE when glacial problems and polar imbalance resulted in planetary disaster.

As recently as 20,000 BCE the North Pole of planet Earth was situated in the area now known as Hudson Bay in NE Canada.  This was the age of massive glaciations, and around 19,000 BCE (most likely 18,612 BCE) the tremendous weight of the glaciers began to strain the planet’s landmasses to their breaking point.  The total volume of ice that then covered the Northern Hemisphere has been estimated to have been around six million cubic miles.  There was, in addition, extensive glaciations in the Southern Hemisphere.  Consequently the  oceans of the world were around four hundred feet lower than in our modern world.  This was the setting for an unimaginable catastrophe for the planet.

For some reason in this period of time there was a sudden increase by about six to ten degrees centigrade in the temperature of the surface waters in the Atlantic Ocean.  This may have been caused by internal friction as land plates collapsed from the weight of the glaciers.  The great volumes of ice that had taken around forty thousand years to accumulate began to melt.  As billions of tons of ice became liberated, various sections of the Earth’s crust that had been pressed down by the weight began to rise, sometimes with sudden disastrous results.  There had been clear signs everywhere that planet-wide changes were building.   

Ancient Assyrian clay texts give an account of pre-deluge conditions; in that account the god Enlil ordered that a famine should prevail in the world, and so a lack of rain followed which led to the failure of the irrigation systems. Rather rapidly human life became so desperate that people were eating grass, but even plant life quickly became depleted.  Everywhere people begged heaven for water.  Families broke apart in sheer madness of hunger, and eventually this resulted in cannibalism.  As inconceivable as it may seem, the bulk of the world population that had long endured such drought and suffering would perish in an onslaught of water

As the ancient ice melted, glacier slippage began across the Northern Hemisphere, and landmasses started to bobble upward.  In the Southern Hemisphere a continent-sized chunk of ice plunged into the South Polar region which set off horrendous consequences.  An immense tidal wave was suddenly triggered in the Antarctic waters, and the avalanche of water rushed northward into the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.  This sudden change generated massive violent storms that released torrents of rain that swept ahead of the tidal wave.  According to the ancient clay texts, a great flooding of Earth was loosed “…on the seventeenth day of the second month to the month of Addar”—or lasting to the twelfth month.  In an older Noah version, Noah opened the hatch of the ark on the first day of the first month, which corresponds to the watery catastrophe lasting into the twelfth month.  So the inundating waters prevailed for five months.

Of this disastrous period the more ancient Sumerian Kings List reported that 120 “shars” had been wiped away virtually overnight by the flood.  A “shar,” researchers tell us, was equivalent to 3,600 years!  So 120 “shars” amount to 432,000 years!  This happens to match exactly with claims made by the Babylonian priest-astronomer named Berosus.  Berosus, using archives in the temple of Bel at Babylon, wrote in Greek three books of Babylonian-Chadean history.  Berosus died c 260 BCE.

When the North Pole shifted c. 20,000 BCE from where it had been located in what is today the Hudson Bay region, and moved to its present location, incomprehensible havoc overwhelmed the entire Earth from a double whammy.  The planet’s relatively thin crust was strained everywhere.  And the greatest continental rift that occurred in that timeframe is still visible down the length of the African continent.  It stretches from about 36 degrees north latitude in Syria to about 28 degrees south latitude in east Africa.  The jagged fracture line almost follows along a meridian, stretching for over one-third of the distance from pole to pole.  The sinking of this strip of Earth’s crust created the longest land valley on the planet.  This fracture begins in Syria, in the  Orontes River Valley, and jags back at Baalbek (Lebanon), extending to the Litani River Valley.  From there the break-line traces to Lake Hulch in Palestine, continues along the Jordan River to the Sea of Galilee, and on to the Dead Sea.  From there the rift courses along the Araba Valley to the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea and extends across this area into Africa. It is here that the rift is exposed in its enormity, tracing from the Sabie River in Transvaal and extending eastward to the Gulf of Aden, and then westward to Tanganyika and the Upper Nile.  This great rift culminates in the central Congo, marked by Lake Moeris and Lake Upemba.

Is it simply coincidence that a number of the sites mentioned along this great rift happen to play prominent roles in Hebrew and Christian scripture?

Related post: Myth of Noah

3 Responses to “Possible Background of Flood Myths”

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