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 1st 150 days
                      |        HEAVEN           |
                      |        OPENED           |
                      |                         |   150 days
                      |                         |   - waters
                      |                         |     prevail
                      |                         |   - Gen 7:24
                      |                         |
                      |                         |
                      |                         |
                      |                         |
  Ark Rests           -  17/7   DEEP/HEAVEN     - Start 2nd 150 days
                      |         STOPPED         |
                      |                         |
                      |                         |   150 days
                      |                         |   - waters
                      |                         |     recede
                      |                         |   - Dry wind
                      |                         |   - Gen 8:3
  40th Sabbath        -  26/11                  |
  (Gen 7:17,8:6)      |                         |
                      |                         |
  Raven sent out      -   3/12                  |
                      |      7 days,(implied)   |
                      |                         |
  Dove sent out       -  10/12                  |
                      |      7 days,Gen 8:10    |
                      |                         |
  Dove has olive leaf -  17/12                  - End 2nd 150 days
                      |      7 days,Gen 8:12
                      |
  Dove not return     -  24/12
                      |
                      |
  Ground 'parched'    -  1/1/601



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

                         *  'tenth' month of Gen 8:5 - not tenth month.



* 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) 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 we view the 7 days of Gen 7:10 to be 7 weekly Sabbath days.
     The days would be 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,"


  3) Seven Days for the Loading of the Ark

     Readers usually only envisage the entry of the animals and
     Noah's family into the ark. Therefore, a period of 7 days
     may 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.


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


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


  5) The Weekly Sabbath Cycle

     One can see that the that the Sabbath cycle is important in
     determining the final Flood chronology.
     Indications 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.


  6) When was the Ground 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 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'
                                               - 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 '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 (a 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.

     [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 in this year the 27th of the second month was the
     first day the people of faith were to have brought to God an
     offering of some of the New Year's grain harvest.


 7) Genesis 8:5 - 'tenth' month

          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.  

          A more literal translation provides;

          Gen  8:5    And the waters they began to go and abate
                      until the month tenth. In the tenth, in
                      one to the month, they were seen the tops
                      of the mountains.  
     
     In trying to compile a coherent and integrated connection
     between the biblically provided dates and periods, this verse
     raises a few dilemas.

     1) The first portion of the verse indicates that the
        waters continued to decrease 'until' (ie, only 'as
        far as') the start of the tenth month.
        Yet we know this was not the case! The waters were
        still decreasing in the twelfth month!

     2) The second portion of the verse states that on the
        first day of the tenth month the mountain tops were
        'seen'. (Some translations render 'seen' as 'appeared',
        however the Hebrew word, Strong's H7200, means 'to see'.)
        Prior to the opening of the window or removal of the
        covering it would not have been possible for Noah and
        his family to have 'seen' the mountain tops as the ark
        was covered inside and outside with pitch! - Gen 6:14.
        We know that the window of the ark was opened late 11th
        or early 12th month and the covering was not removed until
        the first day of the first month of the next year.
           
     What most Flood chronologies fail to fully acknowledge is
     that something is not quite right with the 'tenth' month
     timing of Gen 8:5.

     If one ignores the two references to 'tenth' in this verse
     then one would conclude that the month being alluded to in
     Gen 8:5 was the first month of the new year!
     (NB: The waters were still decreasing in the twelfth month
          so the opening of the ark window, about the start of
          the twelfth month, is not a viable option.)
        
     So while it is perfectly acceptable to translate tenth
     as 'tenth', the Flood story and the text of Gen 8:5 are
     suggesting another translation is needed.

     Another possible translation is Strong's H6223, which means
     'rich'. In the form tenth it means 'rich of'.

     In the Flood account this first month, in the 601st year of
     Noah, was not the month of Abib! Rather is was an extra month
     which was needed in some years to keep God's calendar in tune
     with the seasons.
     This first month was actually entirely composed of additional
     calendar days. It was a month 'rich of' extra days.
     
     So a corrected literal transaltion would read,

          Gen  8:5    And the waters they began to go and abate
                      until the month 'rich of'. In the 'rich of',
                      in one to the month, they were seen the
                      tops of the mountains.  
     
     The mountains were seen when Noah removed the ark covering,
     on the first day of the 601st calandar year of Noah!          


  8) 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.)

     1)  Gen 7:24 - The first 150 days defines the period of
         the prevailing of the waters,

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

         It appears to span,

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

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

     2)  Gen 8:3  - The second 150 days defines the period of
         decreasing waters.

         It appears to span,

               17th of 7th month  up 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. ]


  9) Peak of the Flood

     It is interesting to note 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).
     

  10) 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.
     - A period of time passes and 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.
     - A period of time passes.
     - The covering of the ark is removed.



 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.





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