At a time when people used to believe the ocean floor was a flat plain, the Bible said there were underwater mountains and valleys.
Today, scientists have found thousands of these ocean-bottom mountains all over the world. Valleys are also found dividing them. But they weren’t discovered until modern times, many centuries after the Bible was written.
So where in the Bible does it describe this phenomenon long before science?
The first passage is found in the book of Jonah. Written between 793 and 758 B.C, it records the prophet Jonah being pursued by God after disobeying his command to preach to the people of Ninevah (an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia).
Jonah is then famously swallowed up by a big fish before being spat out on the shore three days later. In chapter 2, the Bible describes his descent into the depths of the sea:
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
Firstly, it is clear that Jonah is under the water. He says the deep has enclosed him (v5).
Secondly, the Bible describes him descending down into the water where the bottoms of the mountains are (v6). These are ‘mountains plural’ in the heart of the Mediterranean sea.
Science has confirmed that underwater mountains are often found in chains, thousands of miles long on the ocean floors.
‘You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.’
Not only does the Bible refer to these underwater mountains, but it also describes the valleys which divide them.
‘The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of breath from his nostrils.’
2 Samuel 22:16
Google the word ‘valley’ and it will say it means, ‘a low area of land between hills or mountains.’ Where there are mountains there are valleys and according to 2 Samuel that is exactly what we find on the seafloor.
But what does it mean when it says the ‘foundations of the earth?’ Let’s allow the Bible to define its own terms by comparing scripture with scripture:
“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say. “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.”
From the context, it’s clear the foundations of the earth refer to mountains. The mountains are also called ‘everlasting’ in scripture (Habakkuk 3:6). But we know from 2 Samuel 22:16 that the foundations of the earth are found below sea level. Therefore the foundations of the earth do refer to underwater mountains.
‘By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up. The surging waters stood up like a wall; the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.’
Could Moses and the Israelites have seen these underwater mountains when crossing the red sea?
It’s obviously not by coincidence that the Bible writers were the first to describe them. This was revelation from the Lord. He supernaturally revealed those mountains to his people in history and he supernaturally revealed them in His Word.
We’ve just uncovered one revelation. Why not investigate and uncover the ultimate revelation of The Bible itself? With sixty-six books written by 40 authors over a period of 1500 years it truly is a treasure chest of discovery. Inside you will find ancient prophecies, scientific facts and most important of all, God’s revelation to man. Why not start with John’s gospel?
Adam James Brennan is a Digital Producer at Premier
Written by: Miriam Emenike
© Premier Christian Communications 2022
Premier consists of Premier Christian Media Trust registered as a charity (no. 287610) and as a company limited by guarantee (no. 01743091) with two fully-owned trading subsidiaries: Premier Christian Communications Ltd (no. 02816074) and Christian Communication Partnership Ltd (no. 03422292). All three companies are registered in England & Wales with a registered office address of Unit 6 April Court, Sybron Way, Crowborough, TN6 3DZ.