Answer by John Mackay
The Biblical record in Genesis 1-10, from Creation through to the end of Noah’s flood indicates that before Noah’s day very tall mountains such as Everest didn’t even exist! Furthermore, the Biblical description of the flood covering all the highest hills and mountains under the whole heavens (Genesis 7:19-20), is a phrase which certainly does mean the flood was worldwide. Therefore, Jesus could use Noah’s deluge as an illustration of the coming global judgment which will end this world.
At the geological end, Noah’s flood is the first event in earth’s history capable of producing huge fossil layers on planet earth, which along with the description of God raising up the dry land and mountains to end the flood, would be the primary cause of uplift that would eventually result in high mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, where the rocks are provably full of flood dumped fossils, many also showing evidence of severe pushing around as well.
So the short version answer is: NO! Extremely tall mountains such as Everest did not exist in the pre flood world from Adam to Noah.
Now let’s add extra data to this picture. What else can we find out?
Most people are surprised to find that many mountains are not even the same size today that they were 100-200 years ago. For example: Mount Cook (New Zealand) lost 10m (33ft) of height when the top fell off in 1991. During 2014, it lost another 30m (100ft) due to more accurate measuring, and it is now listed as 3,724m (12,217ft). The wel- known Mount St Helens blew 396m (1,300ft) off the peak of its volcanic cone in the 1980’s. There is also the almost forgotten volcanic mountain of Paricutin in Mexico, which wasn’t there in 1942, was a hot patch of soil in February 1943, grew 50m high on the 20th February, and by its last eruption in 1952 was 3,170m (10,400ft) high. Even the Mountain in question (Everest) changed its height this year due to an April 2015 earth quake.
How Tall Is Mt Everest?
Disease, climate, scorpions, weighty equipment as well as a rugged terrain made the British aim of mapping India a hard job during 1802. One result was the demotion of the South American Andes and the exaltation of the Himalayas as the world’s tallest mountains. By 1852 they showed that Peak XV (now Everest), was at the top of the world. In 1856 they had its height estimated as 8,839m (29,002ft) above sea level. A 1999 GPS survey altered that by 10m (33’). But this year (2015), European Space Agency Satellites showed Mount Everest had lost about 2.5cm (1inch) after the devastating April earthquake in Nepal. Nevertheless, seismologists expect it to regain the height over the next two to three years, as peaks in the Himalayas grow about one cm per year due to earth movement.
Mt Everest Geological Evidence
According to those who have climbed it, Mount Everest is comprised of many sedimentary layers, some fossil rich, and all produced under water, as well as some highly pushed around sediments now metamorphosed or even melted. All the layers show additional evidence of movement both sideways as well as up.
If you like details; the top 300m (1000ft) is Limestone (Ordovician) which includes beds of recrystallised dolomite with clay rich laminae and siltstones. The fossil rich beds near the summit are composed of carbonate pellets and finely fragmented remains of trilobites, crinoids, and ostracods, so it is a detrital bed where remains were washed in, dumped and buried, then later pushed up and around.
The normal suggestion that it is an uplifted zone that originally formed underwater, creates no problems for the Biblical picture of Noah’s flood in Genesis 6-7 followed by uplift described in Genesis 8, particularly when you realise that the Psalmist (a Hebrew reader and writer), in his commentary on Genesis 1 – 9, states in Psalm 104, that the Lord raised up the mountains and sank down the valleys. Psalm 104 begins as a commentary on the waters covering the Earth at creation, then moves to saying that waters have run off the Earth and now God has set a boundary where water will never again cover the earth. In doing so the Psalmist jumped from the raising of the dry land on Day 3 of creation (where the water also ran off the earth as the land lifted up), to the raising of the dry land and particularly forming the mountains and valleys at the end of Noah’s flood, which now have one new feature: a boundary so water can never again flood the whole earth.
Add to this the description of God’s work in Amos 4:13, where it states that our “God lifts up the mountains”. Note the present tense!
All of this means the land we know of as Mount Everest is definitely a feature that commenced its growth in the uprising of the land at the end of Noah’s flood, and can still be pushed around from on high.
Climate Change Evidence
Now think of the fact that a mountain that is over 8,000 metres tall casts an enormous shadow for much of the year on the side away from the sun. This radically affects the temperature of that area, and induces both a warm side and cold side of the mountain. These temperature differences produce large variations in air pressure, which in turn results in high winds. Suddenly your climate is severely interfered with. However, in the first world where everything was very good, and there was no rain, and neither summer nor winter were mentioned till after the Flood. (Genesis 8 & 9). Therefore, high mountains were out.
For those of you who like looking into the background of the Hebrew language; most older translations of Genesis chapter 7:19-20, which describes the final ascent of the flood waters over the land, use the English words “high hills” in verse 19, and yet in verse 20 use “mountains” for the same Hebrew word ‘har’. (see Strong’s 2022) This word is best known in the name Har-mageddon, or Mount Megiddo, correctly related by most to the final battle of Armageddon. ‘Har’ means mountain or range of hills. Sometimes ‘har’ becomes the name of the mountain as well, as in Mount Har in Syria, and sometimes the a has slipped to an o, and the word is pronounced Hor, as in the mountain on which Aaron died. (Deuteronomy 32:50)
This use of ‘high hills’ first then ‘mountains’ in the older translations, is most likely so you don’t miss the point of seeing the progression of water increasing, until all the high land under the whole heaven was covered by 15 cubits (6.7m, 22ft) of water. Tie all this with the presence of flood dumped fossils in water laid rocks at the top of Everest, and you can rule out the world’s highest peak as having been a problem to Noah’s navigation during the flood.
Furthermore you can dump the questions such as “If the water covered Mt Everest, how could there have been enough water?” etc. Going back to the short answer: Did Mt Everest exist before the flood? NO! Therefore, do you need enough water to cover 8,000m tall mountains? Again, NO!
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