Fountains of Great Deep
The word 'fountain' is primarily, but not exclusively, used in scripture for a
fountain of water - a spring. Some verses even add the phrase "of water" to
clarify what comes out of the fountain.
1 Kings 18:5a (ESV)
And Ahab said to Obadiah, "Go through the land to all the springs
(fountains) of water and to all the valleys. . ."
Psalm 114:8 (ESV)
who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring (fountain) of water.
Since fountains are primarily of water, we would expect the fountains in Genesis 7
to be of water unless the author specifically tells us otherwise. But, that is exactly
what the text does. These were fountains of great deep. These were not fountains of
water but fountains of (consisting of) great deep.
"Great deep" has two potential meanings. The sea (submarine) can be called the great deep,
or anything far underground (subterranean) can be called great deep (Barrick, 2008).
The definite article 'the' found in our English translations might suggest that the sea is
the preferred answer. However, the definite article is not in the original Hebrew. The
literal translation is, "fountains of (consisting of) great deep."
Is this event describing fountains consisting of seawater gushing out or fountains of great
deep (lava) erupting - volcanos? There are two clues in the context that suggest the latter.
This page is in development 2/11/2014
Copyright 2014 Mark Amunrud. All rights reserved.