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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CH133:

Ancient people thought that the water from rivers flowing into oceans spilled over the ends of the earth. On the other hand, Ecclesiastes 1:7 says, "All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again." This shows the Bible's unexpected accuracy.


Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, p. 201-202.


  1. Accuracy on one point does not show overall accuracy. Job 38:22, for example, says that snow and hail are kept in storehouses. Genesis 2:5-6 contradicts the water cycle.

  2. Ecclesiastes 1:7 does not describe the water cycle. It merely says that water returns to the source of streams; it does not say how. It was once believed that the water returned underground.

  3. Interpreting that passage literally completely rejects its context. The chapter says, briefly, that "there is nothing new under the sun," and gives several examples. If, in fact, knowledge of the water cycle were interpreted as a new bit of knowledge, it would contradict the chapter as a whole.

  4. Attributing a requirement of some special knowledge to account for this verse assumes the ancient Hebrews were idiots. Knowledge of a spherical earth is ancient, and with it no edge for water to spill over. It is theologically reasonable to assume that God is not constantly creating new water (Gen. 2:3). It is easy to see mists rising from waters and rain coming from clouds. A water cycle would be difficult not to deduce.

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created 2003-7-10