Prophetic Malbim Describes August 2010 Discovery


the-black-seaBy Rabbi Yair Hoffman

There is a remarkable Malbim on the book of Yonah 2:4. The Malbim discusses how Yonah was caught in a┬áriver under the sea – where the waters of the river were separate from the ocean waters. Until this month – this was generally thought to be a physical impossibility.

Below, however, we find an article written by Richard Gray – the science editor of the British newspaper the telegraph. The results are striking. The reader is urged to see the Malbim with his or her own eyes. The term utilized by the Malbim – “Levav Yamim” clearly means sea bed.

“Researchers working in the Black Sea have found currents of water 350 times greater than the River Thames flowing along the sea bed, carving out channels much like a river on the land.

The undersea river, which is up to 115ft deep in places, even has rapids and waterfalls much like its terrestrial equivalents.

Coral reefs suffer mass bleaching If found on land, scientists estimate it would be the world’s sixth largest river in terms of the amount of water flowing through it.

The discovery could help explain how life manages to survive in the deep ocean far out to sea away from the nutrient rich waters that are found close to land, as the rivers carry sediment and nutrients with them.

The scientists, based at the University of Leeds, used a robotic submarine to study for the first time a deep channel that had been found on the sea bed.

They found a river of highly salty water flowing along the deep channel at the bottom of the Black Sea, creating river banks and flood plains much like a river found on land.

Dr Dan Parsons, from the university’s school of earth and environment, said: “The water in the channels is denser than the surrounding seawater because it has higher salinity and is carrying so much sediment.

“It flows down the sea shelf and out into the abyssal plain much like a river on land. The abyssal plains of our oceans are like the deserts of the marine world, but these channels can deliver nutrients and ingredients needed for life out over these deserts.

“This means they could be vitally important, like arteries providing life to the deep ocean.

“The key difference we found from terrestrial rivers was that as the flow goes round the bend, the water spirals in the opposite way to rivers on land.”

The undersea river discovered by Dr Parsons and his colleagues, which is yet to be named, stems from salty water spilling through the Bosphorus Strait from the Mediterranean into the Black Sea, where the water has a lower salt content.

This causes the dense water from the Mediterranean to flow like a river along the sea bed, carving a channel with banks around 115 feet deep and 0.6 of a mile wide. It is the only active undersea river to have been found so far.

Scientists have long suspected they can form, after sonar scans of the sea bed have revealed meandering channels in many of the world’s oceans, although none have been found before to have currents of water flowing through them.

Among the largest of these channels is off the coast of Brazil where the Amazon enters the Atlantic Ocean.

Most are believed to have formed when sea levels were much lower and the channels have been found to be up to 2,500 miles long and be several miles wide.

The channel in the Black Sea, although much smaller, is the only one to be found still flowing and proves that these mysterious channels are formed by underwater rivers.

Unlike ocean trenches, which are geological formations that form at the deepest parts of the ocean due to movements of the tectonic plates, the undersea river channels meander like rivers on land and form banks in the same way by eroding the silt from the bottom of the channel and building it up at the edges.

Dr Parsons found that the Black Sea river is flowing at around four miles per hour with 22,000 cubic metres of water passing through the channel every second – 350 times greater than the flow of the Thames and 10 times greater than Europe’s biggest river, the Rhine.

The Black Sea river flows only for around 37 miles until it reaches the edge of the sea shelf and dissipates into the deep sea.

Dr Parsons said data from the research will also be important for oil companies looking to drill in areas where these rivers exist.

He said: “This is the first time we have been able to show that there is a flow through a natural channel system and take direct measurements of what the flow is like and how that is linked to the shape and morphology of the channel.”

This article appeared in the August 1st edition of the Telegraph.

The Malbim, Rav Meir Leibish Ben Yechiel Michel Weiser passed away in 1879. The motif of his commentary was to prove the Divine origin of the Torah – as a counter measure to the rise of the Reform movement. The fact is that the commentary of the Malbim is filled with such gems.

{The Five Towns Jewish Times}

{ Newscenter}


  1. what daf gemerra was he commenting on?
    that’s not a mesecta. what is that???
    tell all the baali teshuva chumash is also tomorrow.
    tell that to the ffb’s toooooooo

  2. Reb Chaim Brisker ZL has said that the Malbim was written B’Ruach hakodesh. this just reconfirms. The Malbim was also a huge fighter of the haskala movement – so much so that when he was niftar – his talmidim buried him secretly – as they were afraid the maskilim would revenge him after death. That is why although he died in 1879 it is unknown where his kever was.

  3. The Malbim writes that Kibutz Goliyos will start in America as we say in Davening “V’soleichaynu Komemius L’artzeinu” The Malbim explains that to mean that when Moshiach comes to gather the Yidden, we will walk with a straight back, not with a hunch (figuritavely). And that the Malbim says is referring to Yidden in America. Reb Boruch Ber said that from this we see that Malbim was written with Ruach Hakodesh.

  4. who cares what the people say torah is truth no matter what they find!!! BTW Tosfos holds that even thogh the people “proved” the earth turns around the sun and the rabbis could not refute it, they stuck to their guns, beacuse they know it from the torah!!!!

  5. #7

    I’m having trouble understanding you. We KNOW that the Earth goes around the sun. Are you saying that we should still believe the opposite despite having proven this to be a fact?

  6. We do not KNOW that the Earth goes around the sun. It appears from Tanach that the sun goes around the Earth. According to Einstein, from a scientific view, it is impossible to make an absolute statement about what goes around which as all motion is relative and from the point of view of the earth, the sun goes around the earth and from the sun’s point of view, the opposite is true.

    The Gemora in fact related that the dispute between the Chachamim and the philosophers was whether the sun goes around the Earth. The philosophers said that the sun goes to the other side of the earth at night while the Chachamim said that the sun went to some place in the sky.

    Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l explained to me that the two sides were arguing apples and oranges. The Chachamim agreed to the philosophers’ view from a physical standpoint but were voicing a spiritual opinion, not a physical one.

    What I do not understand is, since acoording to Einstein you can call it whatever you want because objectively the answer is relative, why are Jewish children taught the sun-centric view of the universe, which has its roots in Avodah Zara, for those who have studied world history, instead of the earth-centric view which is more consonant with our Torah sources?

  7. “Can u post the mareh makom of that malbim”
    on my own site, i give the actual text of the malbim and discuss it at some length. do a Google search for the words malbim yonah whirlpool. alas, i don’t believe that this article accurately describes the malbim’s point.

    namely, if we carefully consider the malbim’s words, he explicitly considers “levav yamim” to be the sea and the sea at its surface, not the sea bed. and the “nahar” is called that because it is a current, that is moving water, not because it is a river. and this nahar moves like a whirlpool, dragging yonah from the “levav yamim” down to the bottom.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here