We are now talking about the Zuni Megasequence which was characterized by: Intensified runaway subduction, Intensified earthquakes, Greater volcanic activity, The possibility for the largest tsunamis, the highest water level, greater deposition of sediment. 

Genesis 7:18


And the waters were strong

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and increased greatly on the earth and the vessel came and went

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on the face of the waters.


Then the waters prevailed and rose to cover more and more of the earth and the ark moved back and forth on the surface of the seas.

Genesis 7:19


And the waters strengthened [themselves] exceedingly exceedingly

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on the earth and covered all the proud and exalted hills

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which [are] under all the heavens.


and the waters were undeterred as they continued gaining more and more strength until they covered all the frequently admired high places which God had made.

Genesis 7:20


Five [and] ten cubits upward the waters prevailed and covered the hills.


The waters were unrelenting until they reached about 15 cubits above the tops of the hills.


The options are that God told Noah, Noah could have taken depth soundings, or Noah made calculations based on what he observed. It is possible that God told Noah that the depth of the water was more than what was needed to cover any giant on the top of the tallest hill. 15 of the early cubits would have been about 25 feet today. This does not prove they had giants of 25 feet tall; it could mean it was enough water to cover him with several feet of water, or that 25 feet was enough to cover him with water twice as deep as he was tall. The twice his height option fits well with the way God does things. The point was that no one survived outside the ark. 

A moon pool for ventilation could have been used by Noah to take depth soundings; while throwing something out of the small air gaps at the top of the ark would have been close to impossible. In fact, they could have built into the ark, the cables, pullies and other things they would need to take such soundings from the moon pool. But the only thing that soundings would do is show how deep the water was under their location, which constantly changed. Maybe the statement about 15 cubits (Gen 7:20) simply shows the smallest sounding they recorded (thus the highest point of land) after the water covered everything.

It is also possible that Noah was close to the highest hill in his area, which he could see by peeking out of the air vents at the top of the ark. He was able to note how quickly the water was rising toward the top of the highest hill. He probably calculated that increase in cubits per day. After the top of the hill was surpassed, he kept up his calculations until something felt different. There was probably a pause which came when the level of the water stopped rising.    Noah did not sense that the water was no longer rising, but he probably felt the pause, possibly as a lessening in the frequency and harshness of the waves.

 We can be sure that when the waters overtopped the highest hills, the last surviving humans would have been swept off of their high perches by waves which relentlessly reached higher and higher. It would have been useless to try to survive by hanging on to floating logs, or by building a small raft. Those waves made all such efforts futile.

North America was now moving away from North Africa at a rate of meters per second; it ended up over 3,000 miles from where it started! Early in the Zuni, South America began to pull away from Africa.

Genesis 7:24


And the waters prevailed

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on the earth fifty and one hundred days.

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Now the flood waters had the entire world controlled in their mighty grasp for one hundred and fifty days.

Genesis 8:3


Then the waters turned back from the earth, and the waters continually turned back

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and were lacking

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at the end of fifty and one hundred days.   (See comments below.)


Since the seen and unseen sources of water stopped adding water to the earth’s surface, the water level continued to go down and lessen so that by the end of the one hundred and fiftieth day since the beginning of the flood, the water level was noticeably lower.  (See comments below.)


It appears that the number 150 was another way to communicate completeness in ancient times, possibly because it is three units of 50. Sometimes soldiers were divided into units of 50 rather than 100, and then combined as desired. The Hebrew society was organized in such a way that certain men were leaders over 100 men, others were over 50, and others over 10 men. The number three was usually a symbol of completeness, thus three times fifty was completeness on a large scale.

Therefore, this verse communicates that the waters were strong and prevailed completely; no one was able to successfully resist them. By the 150th day, the water had already accomplished its purpose and was obviously receding. It had successfully proven that it was victorious.


– They were locked in the ark for 7 days before the catastrophes began.

– Around day 40 the ark floated.

– Somewhere between day 40 and day 150 the waters reached their highest level. That would have been the end of the Absaroka Megasequence.

– Then the waters began to recede.

– by day 150 it was obvious that they were receding.

The next lesson in this study is PHASE 5.2  METAL SHIPS, OR A WOODEN CONTAINER?


1: "strong":

This verb means “to be strong, to be mighty, to prevail.” This becomes a central theme in the flood narrative – that the waters were stronger than anything trying to hold them back. They kept advancing unhindered.


This word means “to walk, to go or come.”

3: "exceedingly, exceedingly":

This word can mean “exceedingly, abundantly, muchness, or more.” This phrase with the double use of the same word is often rendered in English as “more exceedingly,” or “exceedingly more.” But I wanted you to see that the Hebrew text uses the same word twice in a row for emphasis, even though it sounds strange to say it that way in English.

4: "proud and exalted hills":

This word can mean “hill or mount.” We would call them hills or low mountains, for the tall mountains had not yet been lifted up. The fact that this noun is described by the adjective “proud, exalted, or high” tells us that this is referring to the highest hills at that time.

5: "prevailed":

This word means “to be strong, to be mighty, to prevail.”

6: The number 150

For the symbolic meaning of the number 150, see my comment after Gen 8:3.

7: "turned back" and "turned back":

I take the first “turned back” to refer to the causes, i.e. that sources of water and runaway subduction reversed course, and the second “turned back” to refer to the result, i.e. that the water level was lowered and continued to go down steadily.

8: "were lacking"

The emphasis of this word is “to lack, to diminish.” It is sometimes rendered as “decreased” but the main idea is always that of something “lacking.”