Genesis 7:19
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19  When the waters had swelled much more upon the earth, all the highest mountains everywhere under the sky were covered.

v’-ha-MA-yim ga-v’-RU m’-OD m’-OD al ha-A-retz vai-khu-SU kol he-ha-REEM ha-g’-vo-HEEM a-sher TA-khat kol ha-sha-MA-yim

יט  וְהַמַּיִם גָּבְרוּ מְאֹד מְאֹד עַל־הָאָרֶץ וַיְכֻסּוּ כָּל־הֶהָרִים הַגְּבֹהִים אֲשֶׁר־תַּחַת כָּל־הַשָּׁמָיִם׃

 7:19 All the highest mountains

This verse seems to contradict the assertion that Eretz Yisrael was not affected by the flood. The Ramban, a leading scholar in medieval Spain, solves this contradiction by stating that rain did not fall over the Land of Israel, but nevertheless, as there was no barrier surrounding the land, the flood waters entered the land from the surrounding lands. Even though the land was flooded, the powerful rain did not fall directly on Eretz Yisrael. As a result, the trees were not affected and at the conclusion of the flood, the dove was able to find an olive leaf in bloom. The image of a dove grasping an olive branch has become a symbol of peace. This icon, which emerged at the re-initiation of the world, when God’s anger was quenched and Noach was commanded to continue mankind anew, emerged from the Land of Israel, the land of peace.

A dove flies by the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Dove of Peace, President’s House, Jerusalem

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Comments ( 8 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • two things caught my attention this round. 1. in the mention of the timing of "after 7 days" in Gen. 7 and 8 is mentioned 4 times and the mention of 40 days twice, and the mention of 150 days twice. In these two chapters there is a sequence of order which is 7, 7, 40, 150, 150, 40, 7,7. and then 2. gen 7:24, the water held power over the earth for 150 days. not sure why this caught my attention but it did.

  • Shabbat Shalom all

    On a deeper level, when Torah speaks of mountains it is speaking of nations.

  • Shira, I'd love to hear the thoughts of a learned Rabbi about verse 11: – "In the six hundredth year of Noach’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened" What teaching there about this verse, 'all the fountains of the great deep broken up and the windows of heaven were opened'. I have a picture in my mind of the earth opening up and huge gushes of water spewed into the air.

    • Phyllis, this is what Rabbi David Kimchi (a medieval commentator who lived from 1160-1235) said about it: "As a result of tremendous amounts of rain having poured down from the skies, the crust of the earth was weakened, so that the waters underneath found it easy to burst forth in streams all over the place. This process, once started continued and accelerated and even when the 40 days of rain had stopped, the waters kept rising for 150 days due to the waters coming out of the bowels of the earth."

      • sound good to me, however the "fountains of the deep", obviously refers to the seas, may well have been caused by the eruptions of underwater volcanos. obviously

  • Let's look at this from a different angle. Let's take something we know beyond any shadow of doubt. After the waters abate and Noah starts to repopulate the earth, it is said Elohim put a rainbow in the sky. It was His covenant given to Noah to never again destroy the earth with water. It is my contention the rainbow was always there.
    It is well known that a rainbow is only seen as the sun shines through water crystals in the air, causing a multi-colored arch in the sky. Gen. 1: 7 speaks of "waters below the firmament" and "waters above the firmament". There can be no other explanation than to deduce a thick, water laden mist covering the whole earth. There really didn't need to be rain. For, the mist would not only cool and water the vegetation, but would block out the harmful rays from the sun. Hence, exaggerated longevity of age for men before Noah.
    What actually happened was this earth encircling mist turned into torrential rain, flooding the WHOLE earth, including the Land. This idea puts Scripture according to Moshe, science, and common sense together. If it were like the sages say, then their premise would have been explained just like Moshe described the unnatural Red Sea event.

  • This verse doesn't "seem" to contradict. It most certainly DOES contradict, and totally refutes the concept put forth by the sages in this matter. It is only pure conjecture to assume the Land wasn't affected, or that it didn't rain upon the land. Again, I must adamantly stand by what Moshe said.

    • agreed. Scripture says plainly that the earth entire was inundated. HaShem does not need our help in broadcasting what He did or didn't do. he has stated his ways plainly. we need only to listen. the dove's olive leaf was a clear signal that it was now possible to live in the area of the ark. it was not necessary to go off in search of the "unscathed" land of Israel–the as yet unknown land.

Genesis 7:19

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