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And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

7:18 prevailed. The word “prevailed” in the original conveys the meaning “were overwhelmingly mighty.” Not only would all land animals eventually drown, but the plant covering would be uprooted and rafted away, the soils eroded and finally even the mountains and hills washed away. In the sea depths, the eruption of the fountains of the great deep would also profoundly affect marine life. Great quantities of magma, metals and other materials were extruded from the earth’s mantle. The sediments from the lands were transported down to be deposited in the encroaching sea basins. Complex hydrodynamic phenomena–tsunamis, vortices, turbidity flows, cyclic erosion and deposition, and a variety of geomorphologic activity–took place throughout the year. Earth movements of great magnitude, and tremendous volcanic explosions shook the earth again and again, until finally, “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (II Peter 3:6).

7:18 face of the waters. The occupants of the ark, unaware of the convulsions in the depths below, rode safely and in comparative comfort, steered by God’s unseen hand away from the zones of hydrodynamic violence.

7:19 all the high hills. The double superlative precludes the use of “all” in a relative sense here. The obvious intent of the writer was to describe a universal inundation.

7:20 mountains. The words “high hills” and “mountains” are the same in the original Hebrew. The waters were 15 cubits (22.5 feet) above the highest mountains, patently including Mount Ararat, which is now 17,000 feet high. In the “local-flood” theory, Mt. Ararat would have had the same elevation before and after the Flood, but it should be obvious that a 17,000-foot flood is not a local flood!

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