BIBLICAL OCEANOGRAPHY

James L. Melton

Throughout history it has been commonly believed that the ocean floors are basically smooth, like large hollowed-out bowls, but modern oceanographers know better. There are actually thousands of underwater mountains, called sea mounts, some even as high as 10,000 feet. How do you suppose the writer of the Book of Jonah had access to this information in 860 B.C.? Jonah 2:3-6 says, "For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the MOUNTAINS; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God."

Apart from the tides, most have historically thought the oceans were like large still lakes without current. That is, until the 1800's when Matthew Fontaine Maury discovered RIVERS in the oceans. The Cromwell Current runs over thirteen thousand miles through the Pacific, and the Florida Current has over four thousand times the flow of the Mississippi. These "ocean rivers” were finally discovered because Dr. Maury insisted on believing Psalm 8:8 literally: "The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the PATHS of the seas."

Today it is estimated that there are some thirty million trillion tons of water trapped beneath the earth's surface, and much of this water makes it's way up to the ocean floors in the form of sea springs. Although this is a fairly modern discovery, the Bible informed us of this thousands of years ago: "Hast thou entered into the SPRINGS OF THE SEA? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?" (Job 38:16)

"When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the FOUNTAINS OF THE DEEP:" (Prov. 8:28)

It is also known today that our ocean floors often contain giant canyons known as submarine canyons. Of course, this is nothing new. David had this knowledge in 1000 B.C.: "And the CHANNELS OF THE SEA, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils."

As the good Doctor always said, once in a while "science" catches up with the Bible.