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I've often heard it said that the flood of Noah was the first time that the earth experienced rain. This is the passage people use:

Genesis 2:5-6 ESV When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground

Is this saying that it didn't rain at all until Noah's time, or just in the creation week? The flood didn't happen for over 1000 years after creation--that's a lot of time to not have any rain. Is there more scripture that adds credence to the argument that there was no rain before the flood? Is there scripture that says otherwise?

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cf. Ancient Hebrew Cosmology. You may want to search online. I have read it didn't rain and the flood was caused by the gates of the waters above being opened ... On another note, how is this question not eliciting opinions? –  FMS Sep 2 '14 at 23:18
I hope you don't mind, but the title was opinion-based and off-topic, but the body is saved by the last sentence. I edited your title to bring it in line with the question. Please refrain from link-bait titles. –  David Sep 4 '14 at 4:01

3 Answers 3

In support of the idea that it did not rain is the very next verse:

Genesis 2:6

But a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.

No further mention is made of rain until the Flood account. Anything beyond this is conjecture on our part.

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Other translations say streams, which makes more sense to me, but the effect is the same: no rain needed. –  fredsbend Sep 2 '14 at 23:01
This question makes me wonder: if it did not rain, how did the streams further up get water? –  Steve Sep 3 '14 at 5:41
Pressure and surface tension. Ground water levels moves up and down with pressures; it is not level at all. When there is a lot of surface area to attach to, water will "climb" by the surface tension. As an experiment, put a piece of paper in a cup of water about half way in. In about an hour, the water will have climbed up the paper at least four or five inches. This is a simplification, and I personally don't think it is enough to water all the plants everywhere on today's Earth. That is why there is a following theory that the Earth was relatively flat and the Flood drastically changed it. –  fredsbend Sep 3 '14 at 16:38

It may be reading things a little too much into the text, but it is possible to infer the prior existence of rain from God's address to Noah in:

Genesis 7:4 ESV For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.

If rain was going to be an entirely new phenomenon, you'd perhaps expect God to explain it a little more at the time - without this explanation, it looks like Noah knew what God was talking about already.

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I think that does qualify as reading into the text. There's a lot of conversation between God and Noah that must have happened that is not recorded in Genesis. –  fredsbend Sep 2 '14 at 23:04

Hi there is a very clear answer in the Bible regarding rain before the time of Noah:

Hebrews 11:7

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

God warned Noah that He will bring floods of water upon earth.

Genesis 6:17

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

Even a small rain will cause a river to flood. So it is clear that if Noah have not seen a flood, then the event which leads to flood could not have occured in his lifetime, especially considering that people lived a very very long life.

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