The Eschatological Background of the Genesis Flood

Eschatology of the Old Testament   -     By: Geerhardus Vos<br />
The flood in Genesis 7-8 was an historical event with many layers of meaning.  It was a time when Yahweh  judged the wicked justly – but it was more than that.  Geerhardus Vos explains (note: “deluge” is another term for “flood”).

“The cosmic extent of the deluge-event is both negative and positive.

First, negatively, the flood destroyed the world (cf. Gen. 6).  This is a catastrophic world-judgment.  This fact is confirmed by pagan mythology, where it is associated with the chaos-flood out of which the world arose.  The creation and the deluge both have cosmic significance.  It was not confined to man; but the purpose was that God repented that he had created the world.

Second, positively, it is the commencement of a new world-order.  The waters receded on the first day of the month and the first month of the year (cf. Gen. 8:13); therefore a new year.  It also possibly attaches itself to the periodicity [time periods] of history and the berit [covenant] principle.  Periodicity is generally shown by the covenants that appear at the beginnings of periods.

Now the deluge and the post-diluvian (post-flood) order of things prefigure eschatological crisis and the eschatological state.  In other words, the deluge and ‘new creation’ are typical [that is, a type] of the absolute end of the world and the final renewal of the world.

For more info, see 2 Peter 3:1-7 after reading flood account in Genesis.

The above quote was taken from Geerhardus Vos’ The Eschatology of the Old Testament, page 81.

shane lems
hammond wi

3 thoughts on “The Eschatological Background of the Genesis Flood”

  1. The Passover also marked the first day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar when the Exodus occurred.

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  2. “In other words, the deluge and ‘new creation’ are typical [that is, a type] of the absolute end of the world and the final renewal of the world.” I never thought of that.

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