Ellen G. White Statements Relating to Geology and Earth Sciences

Chapter 14—How The Earth’s Surface Was Changed By The Flood

Basic 1864 Statements Concerning The Flood

The Beginning of the Great Deluge—Upon the eighth day the heavens gathered blackness. The muttering thunders, and vivid lightning flashes, began to terrify man and beast. The rain descended from the clouds above them. This was something they had never witnessed, and their hearts began to faint with fear. The beasts were roving about in the wildest terror, and their varied voices seemed to mourn out their own destiny and the fate of man. The storm increased in violence until water seemed to come from heaven like mighty cataracts. The boundaries of rivers broke away, and the waters rushed to the valleys. The foundations of the great deep also were broken up. Jets of water would burst up from the earth with indescribable force, throwing massive rocks hundreds of feet into the air, and then they would bury themselves deep in the earth. EGWSRGES 46.4

The people beheld the destruction, first of the works of their hands. Their splendid buildings, their beautifully arranged gardens and groves, where they had placed their idols, were destroyed by lightning from heaven. Their ruins were scattered everywhere.... EGWSRGES 46.5

The violence of the storm increased, and there were mingled with the warring of the elements the wailing of the people who had despised the authority of God. Trees, buildings, rocks, and earth, were hurled in every direction. The terror of man and beast was beyond description. And even Satan himself, who was compelled to be amid the warring elements, feared for his own existence.... EGWSRGES 46.6

The animals exposed to the tempest rushed toward man, choosing the society of human beings, as though expecting help of them. Some of the people would bind their children and themselves upon powerful beasts knowing that they would be tenacious for life and would climb the highest points to escape the rising water. The storm does not abate its fury the waters increase faster than at first. Some fasten themselves to lofty trees upon the highest points of land, but these trees are torn up by the roots, and carried with violence through the air, and appear as though angrily hurled, with stones and earth, into the foaming waters which nearly reached the highest points of land. The loftiest highs are at length reached, and man and beast alike perish by the waters of the flood.—Spiritual Gifts 3:69-72. (The Spirit of Prophecy 1:73-76.) EGWSRGES 46.7

The Earth at the End of the FloodThe whole surface of the earth was changed at the flood. A third dreadful curse now rested upon it in consequence of man’s transgression. The beautiful trees and shrubbery bearing flowers were destroyed, yet Noah preserved seed and took it with him in the ark, and God by His miraculous power preserved a few of the different kinds of trees and shrubs alive for future generations. Soon after the flood trees and plants seemed to spring out of the very rocks. In God’s providence seeds were scattered and driven into the crevices of the rocks and there securely hid for the future use of man. EGWSRGES 47.1

The waters had been fifteen cubits above the highest mountains. The Lord remembered Noah, and as the waters decreased He caused the ark to rest upon the top of a cluster of mountains, which God in His power had preserved and made them to stand fast all through that violent storm. These mountains were but a little distance apart, and the ark moved about and rested upon one, then another of these mountains, and was no more driven upon the boundless ocean. This gave great relief to Noah and all within the ark. As the mountains and hills appeared they were in a broken, rough condition, and all around them appeared like a sea of roiled water or soft mud. EGWSRGES 47.2

The Burial of Animal and Plant Life After the Flood—In the time of the flood the people and beasts also gathered to the highest points of land, and as the waters returned from off the earth, dead bodies were left upon high mountains, and upon the hills as well as upon the plains. Upon the surface of the earth were the bodies of men and beasts. But God would not have these to remain upon the face of the earth to decompose and pollute the atmosphere, therefore He made of the earth a vast burying ground. He caused a powerful wind to pass over the earth for the purpose of drying up the waters, which moved them with great force—in some instances carrying away the tops of mountains like mighty avalanches, forming huge hills and high mountains where there were none to be seen before, and burying the dead bodies with trees, stones, and earth. These mountains and hills increased in size and became more irregular in shape by collection of stones, ledges, trees, and earth which were driven upon and around them. The precious wood, stone, silver and gold that had made rich, and adorned the world before the flood, which the inhabitants had idolized, was sunk beneath the surface of the earth. The waters which had broken forth with such great power, had moved earth and rocks, and heaped them upon earth’s treasures, and in many instances formed mountains above them to hide them from the sight and search of men. EGWSRGES 47.3

The beautiful, regular-shaped mountains had disappeared. Stones, ledges, and ragged rocks appeared upon some parts of the earth which were before out of sight. Where had been hills and mountains, no traces of them were visible. Where had been beautiful plains covered with verdure and lovely plants, hills and mountains were formed of stones, trees, and earth, above the bodies of men and beasts. The whole surface of the earth presented an appearance of disorder. Some parts of the earth were more disfigured than the others. Where once had been earth’s richest treasures of gold, silver and precious stones, was seen the heaviest marks of the curse. And countries which were not inhabited, and those portions of the earth where there had been the least crime, the curse rested more lightly. EGWSRGES 47.4

Before the flood there were immense forests. The trees were many times larger than any trees which we now see. They were of great durability. They would know nothing of decay for hundreds of years. At the time of the flood these forests were torn up or broken down and buried in the earth. In some places large quantities of these immense trees were thrown together and covered with stones and earth by the commotions of the flood. They have since petrified and become coal, which accounts for the large coal beds which are now found. This coal has produced oil.—Spiritual Gifts 3:76-79. (Spirit of Prophecy 1:79-82.) EGWSRGES 48.1

The Ark by Itself Could Not Have Withstood the Violence of the Flood—The ark was made of the cypress or gophir wood, which would know nothing of decay for hundreds of years. It was a building of great durability which no wisdom of man could invent. God was the designer, and Noah His masterbuilder. EGWSRGES 48.2

After Noah had done all in his power to make every part of the work correct, it was impossible that it could of itself withstand the violence of the storm which God in His fierce anger was to bring upon the earth. The work of completing the building was a slow process. Every piece of timber was closely fitted, and every seam covered with pitch. All that men could do was done to make the work perfect; yet after all, God alone could preserve the building upon the angry, heaving billows, by His miraculous power.—Spiritual Gifts 3:66. EGWSRGES 48.3

The Reactions of the Animals in the Ark to the Fury of the Flood—The ark was severely rocked and tossed about. The beasts within expressed by their varied noises the wildest terror, yet amid all the warring of the elements, the surging of the waters, and the hurling about of trees and rocks, the ark rode safely. Angels that excel in strength guided the ark and preserved it from harm. Every moment during the frightful storm of forty days and forty nights the preservation of the ark was a miracle of almighty power.—Spiritual Gifts 3:71. EGWSRGES 48.4