Water, Science & The Bible
Editor’s note: Today’s commentary is based on a talk Farah is giving to Chuck Missler’s Koinonia Institute in Idaho this weekend.
Maybe you saw the headlines in January of this year.
- “Planet Earth makes its own water from scratch deep in the mantle” – New Scientist, Jan. 27, 2017
- “Did Earth makes its OWN water deep in the mantle? New theory could solve the mystery of our planet’s liquid past” – Daily Mail, Jan. 27, 2017
- “Who needs asteroids? Earth makes its own water deep within the mantle” – Science Alert, Jan. 30, 2017
- “Earth’s water may have originally been formed deep within its mantle, study shows” – Phys.org, Feb. 3, 2017
- “Earth produces water from scratch deep within its mantle” – Telegiz, Jan. 31, 2017
The news reports were all based on a study published by Earth and Planetary Science Letters based on new research by Zdenek Futera at the University College Dublin in Ireland and several collaborators. It backs up previous work by others published in 2014 in the Scientific American and the theory known as “primary water.”
Why am I telling you all this?
Because the theory and the studies hold at least three world-shaking consequences:
- That far from Earth having a limited amount of fresh water for its teeming population, there may be an unlimited amount deep beneath its mantle.
- That virtually unreported in these findings is the fact that, if correct, this theory and these findings would seem to confirm the biblical account of the great Flood in the time of Noah.
- They could also provide a glimpse into future biblical prophecies about the period known as the “Kingdom of God” on Earth that the Bible predicts will occur after the return of Jesus the Messiah.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s first look at what this startling news would mean for an increasingly fresh water-starved world. Here’s what secular scientists are saying about this discovery.
While about 71 percent of the earth is covered with water, 96.5 percent of it is saline and undrinkable ocean water. Surface water is constantly being recycled through evaporation and rainfall. Even the water we use from wells is mostly recycled as part of this process.
But if, as more scientific studies suggest, “primary water” deep beneath the mantle or crust of the Earth exceeds the amount found in all the planet’s oceans, there is hardly a shortage. If it can be extracted to the surface through natural processes or through deep-well drilling, supplies would be unlimited for a thirsty world.
“It’s actually the confirmation that there is a very, very large amount of water that’s trapped in a really distinct layer in the deep Earth,” said Graham Pearson, lead author of the 2014 study and a geochemist at the University of Alberta in Canada. “It translates into a very, very large mass of water, approaching the sort of mass of water that’s present in all the world’s oceans.”
More scientists and researchers are coming to the conclusion that some of this “primary water” is still breaking through to the surface as a result of earthquakes just as the Genesis account of the Flood explained how the entire world was once covered with water. They are also theorizing that the vast reserves of highly pressurized “primary water” are actually causing quakes – again, just as the biblical Flood account described in Genesis 7:11 when “all the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”
Of course, many people today consider that account simply a myth, legend, superstition.
What does science say?
It’s left with two options for what accounts for all of the Earth’s water:
- It came from extraterrestrial sources – namely comets and asteroids;
- The Earth itself is actually manufacturing water
The latest studies pointing to vast reserves of fresh water – or “primary water” – are being used to lend credence to the second option. Why? Because the previous theory could not begin to explain how water equivalent to or exceeding the water in all of the Earth’s oceans could have found itself deep beneath the planet’s mantle.
So maybe there is another explanation – God made the water.
Which option is easier to accept?
- Comets and asteroids loaded with unimaginable amounts of water bombarded the Earth and left it, alone among the other observable planets in the solar system and beyond, with vast quantities of surface water. And, then there is the problem of where that water was created.
- The Earth itself is a vast water-creating machine. And, then there is the problem of how that just happened naturally – without direction through chance.
- Or God actually did create everything as the Genesis account says – the universe, the Earth and all life itself.
Each answer requires a certain degree of faith, I think you will agree.
As I was considering all this, I was gratified to find at least one scientist thinking along the same lines as me. His name is Andrew Snelling, a Ph.D geologist from Australia who serves as director of research for Answers in Genesis. He, too, noticed these recent studies and came to conclusions similar to my own.
“It is ironic that secularist scientists are still seeking to explain where the Earth’s water came from,” he writes. “For many years now, they have endeavored to fill in the difficult-to-explain pieces of their ‘story’ about how our home Earth ‘just happened’ to become so habitable for life over the course of its supposed billions-of-years history. Secularists believe the Earth condensed from clumpy matter flung out of the solar nebula 4.56 or so billion years ago. It was thus originally a hot, molten blob that cooled. They used to suggest that most of the water came from inside this cooling Earth, but not enough to fill the oceans we have on the Earth’s surface today. A once popular theory was that comets (which are essentially large, dirty snowballs) collided with the Earth and deposited their water on its surface.”
But that explanation, as I wrote, could not possibly explain oceans of water deep beneath the surface of the planet. With the new evidence for just that, a new explanation was needed – especially because the discovery would, in fact, lend scientific credence to the Genesis account of Creation and the explanation for the Flood. After all, the Flood account specifically says that much of the water broke free from deep inside the Earth.
“Of course, these same secularists and Bible skeptics say, as predicted in 2 Peter 3:3-6, that there never was a global flood on the Earth, even though it is still 70 percent covered in water, which averages more than two miles deep,” writes Snelling. “But ironically, they also say that, due to the many evidences of massive water erosion on Mars, there was a watery flood ‘of Biblical proportions’ on that planet in the past, even though that planet’s surface is dry today!”
Snelling, too, sees the recent studies as evidence of the biblical Flood account.
“The Bible’s description of that outbursting event is merely confirmed by the latest findings of the secular scientists,” he writes. “So the waters that came from inside the Earth, combined with the waters in the original, created oceans to produce the Genesis Flood.”
But there’s more in the Bible to suggest the waters of the deep could again break through the surface in the future – not for the purpose of destroying life on the planet but, instead, reviving it in a Garden of Eden-like setting.
I write about this in my new book, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age.”
The Bible has much more to say about water than it does in Genesis.
Both Old Testament and New speak about something called “living waters.”
Jeremiah 2:13 says, “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”
Later, in Jeremiah 17:13, we learn that this fountain of living waters is God Himself that has been forsaken: “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.”
In Zechariah 14:8, a prophetic book about the Day of the Lord, what Christians believe to be the Second Coming of Jesus the Messiah, we learn, “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.”
There’s more detail on the flow of these living waters provided in Ezekiel 47 as waters rush out from under the threshold of the Temple in Jerusalem toward the east. This will not be trickle of water like we see today in the Jordan. It will be river that cannot be passed over. It run eastward and go down into the Judean desert and into the Dead Sea. “And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh” (Ezekiel 47:9).
While we know these “living waters” are of God and could be produced entirely supernaturally, we also know that God uses what He has created in the natural world for His own purposes. Could it be these waters are just waiting to break forth on His timing?
Everyone has heard of the Dead Sea, the lowest point in the world. It’s truly lifeless, with a mind-blowing salinity level of more than 34 percent – 10 times saltier than ocean water and about twice as salty as Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Tourists from all over the world come to the Dead Sea today to experience its healing properties of the minerals, the very low content of pollens and other allergens in the atmosphere, the reduced ultraviolet component of solar radiation and the higher atmospheric pressure. They also come to float haplessly in the water that won’t allow you to sink.
There’s a historic town near the Dead Sea. It served as a refuge for David when he was running from King Saul, who was trying to kill him. It’s called En Gedi, as it was then. It’s a rocky, mountainous oasis in the midst of a wilderness today. But it, too, will take on new life when Jesus returns – becoming an abundant fishing village where today no fish are found.
It seems En Gedi will become lakefront beach property.
Ezekiel 47:10-12 tells us: “And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.”
Thus, the Dead Sea will be resurrected like the land of Israel and the nations during Jesus’ earthly reign as King.
But that’s not all these living waters will bring. Ezekiel 47:8-9 tells us the mountains of Israel will be tilled and sown and shoot forth branches and yield abundant fruit. But it will also cleanse people of their sins, an illustration of why believers partake in the ritual of baptism – today, just as they did in the time of Jesus and John the Baptist.
“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you,” we’re told in Ezekiel 47:25.
God promises to give Israel a new heart and a new spirit that will cause the nation to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments (Ezekiel 47:26-27). And that is the literal fulfillment of what Christians call the New Covenant – which was prophesied in Jeremiah 31 long before it was mentioned in the Greek Scriptures.
Israel will become what it was always designed by God to be – a light to the nations. These “living waters” will manifest not just spiritually but literally and physically.
All this blessing will cause people to say: “This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited” (Ezekiel 47:35).
Could it be that “living waters” are already stored abundantly deep beneath the Earth’s mantle, just waiting to be released to a thirsty world during “the restitution of all things”?