Was the flood in Genesis global or contained in a certain area of the world?
2 Peter 2:5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.”
There are key words and phrases here that must be adhered to, one of eight and flood on the world of the ungodly
God said he would not judge the world again by a flood (not a country), since we have had many devastating local floods, it proves that the flood in Genesis was more than just a local flood, but a global flood.
When we look at the descriptions and they are consistent, Noah’s family was the only ones to survive.
Gen 6:7-8 the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.”
God looked for someone obedient to him and found one. We read in Gen. 6:9 “This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Thus only his family would be chosen for survival of the flood.
So he commissioned Noah to build the ark for his family.
“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 “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” (Genesis 6:17).
In other words only those God had separated to build the ark would be alive afterwards.
Gen 6:18-21 “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark-- you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.”And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.”Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.”
Gen 7:4 “For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.” V:6-7 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth. So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood.”
So his family were the only human occupants according to the Bible. When it comes to something so significant the Bible does not negate information but gives the details we need to understand. Here is how the Bible describes the flood.
Gen 7:17-24 “Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.”
All means ALL in this context.
It also states only “NOAH ONLY REMAINED ALIVE, AND THEY THAT WERE WITH HIM IN THE ARK. V.22-24. On these verses alone there is sufficient proof that the flood was not localized, but wiped everything out except Noah and his family. If the flood were only in a local region, there would have been no need to bring two of every kind of animal on the ark, since animals would have survived outside of the flood area.
Gen. 8:1 “Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.”
As the psalmist points out Ps 74:15 You broke open the fountain and the flood; you dried up mighty rivers.”
Gen. 9:11 “Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
2 Pet 3:5-7 “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
II Thess. 1:6-9 “Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,
and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”
The Judgment of the last days is compared to Noah’s flood. (Matthew 24:37-39; 2 Peter 3:6,7). Consider if the first worldwide flood did not destroy life on the earth then neither will the judgment be worldwide when Jesus returns. We know that the last day’s judgment will be universal and worldwide, affecting all on earth because the same is true for the first judgment.
2 Pet 2:4-5 “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly”
Even Job refers to this event. ”Will you keep to the old way which wicked men have trod, Who were cut down before their time, whose foundations were swept away by a flood?” (Job 22:15-16)
Matt 24:38-39 “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, “and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Luke 17:26-27: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: “They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”
God promised to never destroy the earth with a flood again. If it was local, then He did not keep his promise because we have had many local catastrophes by floods (Gen. 9:14-15). The next judgment will be just as far reaching and will deal with the evil and corruption that has grown in these last days. It will then enter a thousand year reign of righteousness headed by the Messiah Yeshua Ha Machiach, who will then bring the fallen creation to a conclusion and we will enter a eternal order where sin and death are removed permanently.