THE GENESIS FLOOD CHRONOLOGY



 Genesis flood

The Great Flood of God
Noah's Ark

Noah's ark faced the deluge




When one reads the account of the Flood, which is recorded in Genesis 6:1 to
9:19, it can be quite difficult to determine its overall chronology.


Scripture mentions several periods of time;

              7 days (before Flood)           - Gen 7:4
              7 days (before Flood)           - Gen 7:10
              7 days (after Flood)            - Gen 8:10
              7 days (after Flood)            - Gen 8:12
             40 days and 40 nights of rain    - Gen 7:4,12
             40 days of deluge                - Gen 7:17
             40 days                          - Gen 8:6
            150 days                          - Gen 7:24
            150 days                          - Gen 8:3


Scripture also presents several key dates; 

              17th of 2nd month, year 600*    - Gen 7:11
              17th of 7th month, year 600     - Gen 8:4
              1st  of the 10th,  year 600     - Gen 8:5
              1st  of 1st month, year 601     - Gen 8:13
              27th of 2nd month, year 601     - Gen 8:14

              * Calendar year of the life of Noah 


Due to the ambiguity present in this area of Scripture there has arisen
many different perspectives.


How should we distinguish error from wisdom?  What should we look for?


   1) Does the presented view show a coherent connection between
      the various dates and periods stated in Scripture.

   2) Is there a proper resolution of the conflict between the
      verses which repeatedly imply the Flood lasted 40 days and
      the clear indication that it lasted for a period of at least
      10 months.

   3) Is there a satisfactory clarification of exactly when the
      Flood ended. 

   

A Derived Flood Chronology.


 Noah told to start   -   1/1 enters ark
 to load the ark      |
                      |       after 7 days - Gen 7:4
 Start 40 days/nights -   8/1
                      |
    40 days/nights    |       after 7 sabbath days - Gen 7:10 
       of rain        |       (4/1,11/1,18/1,25/1,2/2,9/2,16/2) 
                      |
  Great Deluge starts -  17/2  DEEP BROKEN,  - Start 150 days - Start 280
                      |        HEAVEN        |                |       days
                      |        OPENED        |   150 days     |
                      |                      |   - Deluge     |
                      |                      |   - Gen 7:24   |
                      |                      |                |  40 Sabbath
                      |                      |                |     days
                      |                      |                |  - Gen 7:17
  Ark Rests           -  17/7  DEEP &        - Waters start   |  - Gen 8:6
                      |        HEAVEN        |  to decrease   |
                      |        STOPPED,      |                |
                      |        RAIN          |                |
                      |        RESTRAINED    |                |
                      |                      |                |
  Mountains seen      -   1/10               |                |
                      |                      |  150 days      |
  Window Opened       -  27/11               |  - Dry Wind    - 280 days
                      |                      |  - Gen 8:3           ended
                      |                      |
  Raven sent out      -   3/12               |
                      |      7 days,(implied)|
                      |                      |
  Dove sent out       -  10/12               |
                      |      7 days,Gen 8:10 |
                      |                      |
  Dove has olive leaf -  17/12 FLOOD ABATED  - 2nd 150 days ended
                      |
                      |      7 days,Gen 8:12
  Dove not return     -  24/12
                      |
                      |
  Ground 'parched'    -  1/1/601



                         *  27th day of 2nd month - Earth 'ashamed'




* Notes *


  1) 30 Day Months

     The first issue one observes from the provided Flood information
     is that it indicates the months were always composed of 30 days.
     Hence, we have 150 days from the 17th of the 2nd month to the
     17th of the 7th month and a further 150 days from the 17th of
     the 7th month to a presumed 17th of the 12th month. 


  2) The Weekly Sabbath Cycle

     The repetitive mention of 7 day periods indicates that the Sabbath
     cycle is important in determining the final Flood chronology.
     Indications are present in the text which suggest the weekly
     Sabbath fell on the following dates;
     
     Year 600,  Month 1  -  4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
                Month 2  -  2nd,  9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th
                Month 3  -  7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
                Month 4  -  5th, 12th, 19th, 26th
                Month 5  -  3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th
                Month 6  -  1st,  8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
                Month 7  -  6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
                Month 8  -  4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
                Month 9  -  2nd,  9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th
                Month 10 -  7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
                Month 11 -  5th, 12th, 19th, 26th
                Month 12 -  3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th   
 
     Year 601 - Month 1  -  1st,  8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
                Month 2  -  6th, 13th, 20th, 27th

     Note:  1)  Many of the important Flood dates fall on,
                or immediately following, weekly Sabbath days.

            2)  The 17th of 2nd month, the start of the deluge,
                was a day which followed a weekly Sabbath.


  3) Two Periods of 150 Days

     Two periods of 150 days are mentioned. (These represent
     an important structural element in the compilation of
     the Flood's chronolgy.)

     i)  Gen 7:24 - The first 150 days defines the period of
         rising waters and spans,

               17th of 2nd month  to  16th of 7th month.

          Gen  7:24  And the waters prevailed on the earth
                     one hundred and fifty days.

         [NB: On the following day, the 17th of the 7th month,
              the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat, refer
              Gen 8:4. ]

     ii) Gen 8:3  - The second 150 days defines the period of
         decreasing waters and spans,

               17th of 7th month  to  16th of 12th month.

          Gen  8:3   And the waters receded continually from
                     the earth. At the end of the hundred
                     and fifty days the waters decreased.

         [ NB: The Hebrew word found at the end of Gen 8:24
               (translated 'decreased' by the NKJV) is Strong's
               2637 and in other verses is commonly rendered
               'fail', 'lack' or 'want'. If one replaces the
               word 'decreased' with either 'failed', 'lacked'
               or 'wanted' the intended meaning becomes clear.              
               It seems that many compiling chronologies of
               the Flood have thought this comment was merely
               a repetition of the 150 days mentioned in
               Gen 7:24. ]


  4) Peak of the Flood

     Some have thought the Flood account would have had a delay
     between the peak of the Flood waters and the settling of
     the ark upon the mountains of Ararat.

     However, it is worth noting that the ark had a height of 30
     cubits (Gen 6:15) and the Flood only prevailed 15 cubits
     above the mountains (Gen 7:20).
     Assuming the ark was half submerged the ark would rest on the
     peak of the mountains of Ararat at the height of the Flood!


  5) When was the Ground was Completely Dry?

     Many translations indicate the Flood ended on the 27th day of
     the 2nd month of the 601st year of Noah.

          Gen  8:14   And in the second month, on the twenty
                      seventh day of the month, the earth was
                      dried.

     However, Genesis 7:6 states Noah was 600 years old during the
     duration of the Flood (which excludes the possibility that the
     Flood continued longer than 12 months).

          Gen  7:6    Noah was six hundred years old when
                      the flood of waters was on the earth.

     In addition Genesis 8:13, a prior verse, had already advised
     'the waters were dried up from the earth' and the 'surface of
     the ground was dry' at the start of 601st year.

          Gen  8:13   And it came to pass in the six hundredth
                      and first year, in the first month, the first
                      day of the month, that the waters were dried
                      up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering
                      of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface
                      of the ground was dry.

     The solution to this dilemma can be found by examining the meanings
     of the Hebrew words used.

       Gen 8:13 - 1/1/601

                  a) 'dried' - Strong's 2717 - to 'parch' (through drought)
                                               by analogy to 'desolate' or
                                               'destroy'
                  b) 'dry'   - Strong's 2720 - from 2717
                                               'parched' or 'ruined'

       Gen 8:14 - 27/2/601

                  a) 'dried' - Strong's 3001 - to 'be ashamed', 'confused'
                                               or 'disappointed';
                                               for water to 'dry up' and
                                               for herbage to 'wither'.

     Note -  If the ground was 'parched' on the 1/1/601 it
             was already dry and the Flood had ended!

          -  The Hebrew word for 'ashamed' in verse 14 must
             be understood in relation to the subject being
             discussed. The subject in this verse is not
             water, but rather the earth.
             
     Why would the earth would be 'ashamed' on the 'seven and twenty day'
     of the second month? 

     Obviously so soon following the Flood there would still be no
     New Year's grain ready to harvest.

     What is being implied is that on the seven and twentieth day
     of the second month there was a required offering or provision
     of grain which could not occur (due to the Flood).

     In the Old Covenant the first required New Year's grain offering
     is the presentation of a sheaf of grain during the Feast of
     Unleavened Bread in the month of Ahib (meaning 'green ears').
     This was performed by the Levitical Priesthood so it is unlikely
     that any earlier form of worship, applying at this time, would
     have required this of Noah.

     [The month of Ahib would normally be the first month. However,
     God's typical calendar year tended to be shorter than a normal
     solar year so provision had to exist to compensate for the
     difference. It seems that this verse confirms that the second
     month would become the month of Ahib (ie, green ears) if green
     ears of grain were not present in the fields in the first month.]     
     
     The 27th date is too late in the month to be a candidate for
     the wave sheaf day (which occurred after a weekly Sabbath and
     between the 15th and 21st). However, in this year the 27th day
     of the 2nd month did represent the first weekly Sabbath
     following what should have been the start of the New Year's
     harvest. So the 27th was the first Sabbath day upon which the
     people would have brought to God an offering of some of the
     New Year's grain harvest.


  6) Forty Days and Forty Nights

     When people think of the Flood they link it to the period of
     '40 days and 40 nights'.
     As a result when they study this topic in Scripture they are
     somewhat surprised to see that the text is picturing a Flood
     which spans over ten months.
     They also can be further confused when they notice a period
     of 150 days seems to define how long it took for the Flood
     to reach its maximum height.

     Hence, there is a need to look closely at exactly what
     Scripture does say about the '40 days and 40 nights'. 

     There are two verses which use the terminology 'forty days
     and forty nights'.

          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
                      face of the earth all living things
                      that I have made."

          Gen  7:12   And the rain was on the earth forty days
                      and forty nights.

     The deluge is described in Scripture as being composed of
     water coming from - fountains of the deep 
                       - windows of heaven
                       - rain  (refer Gen 8:2)

     Genesis 7:12 talks only about 'rain'.

     Genesis 7:4 initially mentions 'rain' and then goes on to
     talk about the deluge. But the question has to be asked,
     "Does the later text referring to the deluge relate to
     what happens during or following the '40 days and nights'?".

     Notice that the 17th day of the 2nd month (when the deluge
     was unleashed) would equate to the 47th day of the 600th
     year. Hence a literal 7 days folowed by a following 40 days,
     as depicted in Gen 7:4, would have the last day of the 40
     days being the day of the start of the Flood!

     Indicating that perhaps the '40 days and 40 nights' of rain
     may have only served the purpose of dampening the surface of
     the earth. 

     Apart from Gen 7:4, where a 7 day period is mentioned, there
     is also a 7 day period in Gen 7:10.

          Gen  7:10   And it came to pass after seven days
                      that the waters of the flood were on
                      the earth.

     If the two 7 day peiods were identical then the 7 day period
     would have to start on the 10th day of the 2nd month and not
     the 1st day of the 1st month of the year.

     However, we can still retain the first day of the first month
     timing if we envision the 7 days of Gen 7:10 to be 7 weekly
     Sabbath days. The days being 4/1/600, 11/1/600, 18/1/600,
     25/1/600, 2/2/600, 9/2/600 and 16/2/600.   

     Notes 1) Placing the '40 days and 40 nights' prior to
              the Flood provides a clear distinction between
              this period and the longer 150 day period of
              Gen 7:24. Otherwise they would share a mutual
              starting point and this 40 day period would be
              somewhat 'lost' in the longer 150 day period.
           2) Any rainfall prior to the deluge should not be
              considered part of the Flood as normal events
              continued to occur right up to the start of
              the deluge. 
              Matt 24:38 "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,"


  7) Seven Days for the Loading of the Ark

     One typically envisages the entry of the animals and Noah's
     family into the ark. So a period of 7 days on the surface
     can seem quite appropriate.
     However, if one also considers the necessity to load food
     (and other miscellaneous items) sufficient to span a period
     of ten months then a much longer period of time would seem
     to be needed.
     Hence, the Gen 7:10 seven day reference is likely to be a
     reference to the passing of 7 weekly Sabbaths. The 16th day
     of the 2nd month being the seventh Sabbath. The initial
     instruction being given on the first day of Noah's 600th year. 

    
  8) Other Forty Day Verses

     Apart from the two '40 days and 40 nights' verses there are
     two other 40 day references. 

          Gen  7:17   Now the flood was on the earth forty days.
                      The waters increased and lifted up the ark,
                      and it rose high above the earth.
 
          Gen  8:6    So it came to pass at the end of forty
                      days, that Noah opened the window of
                      the ark which he had made.
     
     Both these verses can be easily associated with the duration
     of the Flood, ie from 17/2/600 to the day when Noah first
     opened the window of the ark? A period of forty Sabbaths.

     The weekly Sabbaths being,

               23/2/600     3/5/600    13/7/600     23/9/600
               30/2/600    10/5/600    20/7/600     30/9/600
                7/3/600    17/5/600    27/7/600     7/10/600
               14/3/600    24/5/600     4/8/600    14/10/600
               21/3/600     1/6/600    11/8/600    21/10/600
               28/3/600     8/6/600    18/8/600    28/10/600
                5/4/600    15/6/600    25/8/600     5/11/600
               12/4/600    22/6/600     2/9/600    12/11/600
               19/4/600    29/6/600     9/9/600    19/11/600
               26/4/600     6/7/600    16/9/600    26/11/600

     The window of the ark being opened on the 27/11/600.
     The day after the 40th Sabbath. 

     [ Note:  1) Others commonly associate Gen 7:17 with the
                 period of the '40 days and 40 nights'.

              2) As the timing of Gen 8:6 means it can not be
                 associated with '40 days and 40 nights' verses
                 it is commonly believed to be talking about
                 the passing of 40 literal days since the date
                 when 'the tops of the mountains were seen'
                 (referred to in Gen 8:5). ]


  9) Closing Seven Day Intervals

     In deriving the chronology of the Flood it is important to
     place the sequence of closing 7 day intervals so that they
     have relevance and connection to the events and dates which
     finish the Flood. 

     Scripture records two later 7 day periods.

          Gen  8:10   And he waited yet another seven days,
                      and again he sent the dove out from
                      the ark.

          Gen  8:12   So he waited yet another seven days
                      and sent out the dove, which did not
                      return again to hm anymore.

     Another 3rd earlier 7 day period is implied by Gen 8:10,
     ie 'he waited yet another seven days'. 
                      
     So in summary,

     - The window of the ark is opened (following a Sabbath) and
       after 6 days the raven is released.
     - After 7 days the dove is first released and returns after
       finding no resting place.
     - After 7 days the dove is again released and returns with a
       freshly picked olive leaf.
     - After 7 days the dove is once more released and does not
       return.
     - After 6 days the final day of the year, and of the Flood,
       arives and is followed by the day Noah removes the covering
       of the ark. 
   

 10) Mountains Seen

     With the proposed chronology the normal rendering of Gen 8:5
     presents a difficulty.

          Gen  8:5    And the waters decreased continually
                      until the tenth month. In the tenth
                      month, on the first day of the month,
                      the tops of the mountains were seen.  

     The first portion of the verse indicates that the waters
     continued to decrease up until the start of the tenth month.
     The second portion of the verse continues to reinforce this
     dating stating that on the first day of the tenth month the
     mountain tops were seen.

     If one assumes that the 10th month is the 10th calendar month
     of the year, then we have a date with no connection to any
     other provided date or provided time period. However, this
     date does fall after a weekly Sabbath. The 30th day of the
     9th month being a Sabbath. (The date 1/10/600 occurs 32
     complete Sabbath periods from the start of the deluge.)

     [ Some chronologies pickup on the 40 days mentioned in the next
     verse and have Noah opening the window of the ark 40 days after
     the 1st of the 10th month. However, this site's presented view
     considers the 40 days in the subsequent verse as indicating a
     period of 40 Sabbath days. ] 

     Another alternate view of Gen 8:5 is to consider the '10th month'
     as the 10th calendar month of the Flood. So that the mountains
     are seen on the 1st day of the 11th month.

     With views that try to make a connection to 1/10/600 or 1/11/600
     one should consider if there exists,

       1)  a poor connection to the dove events,
       2)  a poor connection between the dating of the dove
           events and the finishing of the 2nd period of 150
           days, and
       3)  a poor connection between the dating of the dove
           events and the next major date, which is the 1st
           day of the new year.


 11) Prophetic Significance

     The Flood and the periods associated with it are likely to have
     prophetic significance.

     For example the 150 day period is also alluded to in Rev 9:5 as
     'five months'.
     NB: As the 'five months' of Rev 9:5 is a part of the description
         of the 5th trumpet there is perhaps a suggestion that the
         duration of the 6th trumpet might also symbolically correlate
         to the second 150 day 'dry wind' period of the Flood.





----------------------------------------------------------



To mail any comments click here   --->
(C-Heath@bibleinsight.com)
Email Contact



To read other articles click here --->
(Study Index Page)
Study Index Page