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In the six hundredth year of the life of NOAH, in the second month, on the seven-and-tenth day of the month, on this day, all the spring-like sources

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of the great abyss

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burst open, and the window lattices

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of the heavens were opened. (See comment below.)


In the six hundredth year of the life of THE COMFORT OF REST, during the second month and precisely on the seventeenth day of that month, yes, on that very day, all the valves that can open and close located in the dark and foreboding depths, were thrown open, and the restraining forces that control the water coming from the sky no longer restrained that water.  (See comment below.)


1: "spring-like sources":

This word is usually rendered “spring or fountain”, but it comes from another word meaning “eye.” An eye can be opened or closed. That is the idea behind a spring of water; it can open to produce flowing water (like flowing tears), or it can close to prevent any flow of water. A spring is an “eye” of the earth.

This is referring to the fissures that God opened up in the ocean floor. They were not shaped like eyes, but they opened at this point, after remaining closed since the week of creation. These fissures divided the ocean floor into what we call tectonic plates.

2: "great abyss":

This is the Hebrew word for “sea, depth or abyss,” all of which have dark and foreboding overtones.

Notice that the “eye-like and spring-like sources” mentioned in this verse were in the depths of the ocean, not under the ground of the supercontinent. It appears that this statement is talking about something different than what we call ground water. Either there was ground water before the flood, just like today, but it played only a small role in the flood and therefore is not mentioned, or there was no ground water back then and the ground water we have today is a consequence of the flood.

3: "window lattices":

A lattice is designed to restrict what comes in through an opening. In ancient times its purpose was to keep the sun from shining in but allow some air to move in and out. The way the word is used, it appears that their lattices could be closed and reopened. If they were stationary lattices, the closing of them would mean putting something flat and preferably solid over the opening, like some pieces of wood. This would be helpful during the coldest days of the year. If they were more like louvers or shutters, they could be controlled more easily, but left more gaps for air to come in.


Before there was any subduction of the ocean floors, what produced the evaporation that made the first rains happen all over the entire super-continent?

I believe God kept it from raining before the flood and accumulated the evaporated water until just the right moment. That means it was a drought that produced the necessary build-up of water for the first part of the flood. Usually, droughts are only found in certain parts of the world at one time. When one area is getting too little rain, some other places are getting too much rain. But in this case, the drought was felt all over the world at the same time.

I think this holding back of the rain is what prepared the way for the statement, “the window lattices of the heavens were opened.” This statement implies that they had been closed for a while. God held back the rain for a while in order to have a large amount of it stored up for the beginning of the flood.

Something similar could probably be said about the springs of the great deep. It is quite possible that the wickedness of mankind was the spiritual cause behind the pressure that was built up under the ocean floors. But God did not allow the ocean floor to break open prematurely; He waited until the right moment, after His great patience had given mankind many opportunities to repent during a period of 120 years  (Gen 6:3).