When one reads the account of the Flood, which is recorded in Genesis 6:1-9:19,
it can be quite difficult to determine its overall chronology.
Scripture mentions several periods of time;
40 days and 40 nights - Gen 7:4,12
40 days - Gen 7:17, 8:6
150 days - Gen 7:24, 8:3
7 days - Gen 7:4,10, 8:10,12
Scripture also presents several key dates;
17th of 2nd month, year 600 - Gen 7:11
17th of 7th month - Gen 8:4
1st of the 10th - Gen 8:5
1st of 1st month, year 601 - Gen 8:13
27th of 2nd month - Gen 8:14
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 at least 9 months.
3) Is there a satisfactory clarification of exactly when the
The author has arrived at the following chronology.
Noah told to start - 1/1
to load the ark | or
| after 7 (normal or sabbath?) days
| - Gen 7:4,10
Great Deluge starts - 17/2 DEEP BROKEN, -- Start of 150 days
| HEAVEN OPENED |
| 40 days, 40 nights | 150 days
| - Gen 7:4,12 | - Deluge
Living Perished - 27/3 | - Gen 7:24
Ark Rests - 17/7 DEEP & HEAVEN -- Waters start
| STOPPED | to decrease
| RAIN RESTRAINED |
Mountains seen - 1/10 |
| | 150 days
- 26/11 40th Sabbath | - Dry Wind
| | - Gen 8:3
Raven sent out - 3/12 |
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) This resulting chronology of the Flood supports the view that
under God's calendar 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 the 17th of the 12th month.
2) Genesis 7:4 and 7:10 mention a period of 7 days for the loading
of the ark. In this respect one typically envisages the entry of
the animals and Noah's family into the ark. Therefore a period
of 7 days on the surface can seem quite appropriate.
However, if one also considers the necessity to load food for
nine and a half months and other miscellaneous items then
a much longer period of time would seem to be needed. Hence,
this 7 day reference could be a reference to the passing of
7 weekly Sabbaths (the 16th day of the 2nd month being the
seventh Sabbath) - this also allows the initial instruction
to have been given on the very first day of this year.
NB: There is also another, but perhaps not relevant, point
worth noticing is that the 17th day of the 2nd month
(the day of the unleashing of the Deluge) would equate
to the 47th day of the year. So a literal 7 days plus
a further 40 day period would have the final 40th day
falling on this momentous day.
3) 40 days and 40 nights.
Starting the 40 days and 40 nights at the start of the Flood
- 17th day of 2nd month - often leaves a lack of clarity
between this 40 day period and the longer 150 day period which
starts at that same time.
Some have picked up on the lifting of the ark mentioned in
Gen 7:17 and speculated that this event occurred on the 40th
However, perhaps a stronger defining of the 40 days can be
derived from Gen 7:4 which talks about the termination of
living creatures (ie, those that moved on the earth; birds,
cattle, beasts and creeping things - all in whose nostrils
was the breath of the spirit of life Gen 7:21,22).
Teaching us that only the initial 40 days of the 150 day
period was there loss of life.
4) The 40 day verses.
Gen 7:17 and Gen 8:6 are two verses which mention 'forty days'
and do not use the terminology of '40 days and 40 nights'.
Gen 7:17 says 'the Flood was on the earth 40 days' and many
just associate this with the period of the '40 days and
Gen 8:6 talks about the passing of a period of 40 days prior
to Noah opening the window of the ark, which is commonly
thought to connect to the passing of time since the date
when 'the tops of the mountains were seen' (Gen 8:5).
But can these verses both be referring to the total duration
of the Flood from the 17th day of the 2nd month to the day
when Noah first opened the window of the ark? A period of
perhaps 40 weekly Sabbaths.
5) Two periods of 150 days are mentioned in Gen 7:24 and Gen 8:3.
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.
[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,
18th of 7th month to 17th of 12th month.
[ NB: The Hebrew word found at the end of Gen 8:24
(translated 'decreased' by the NKJV) is Strong's
2637 and is in other verses commonly rendered
'fail', 'lack' or 'want'. ]
6) Some have thought Scripture indicates 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!
7) Many translations imply the Flood ended on the 27th day of the 2nd
month of the 601st year of Noah. This is not correct!
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.
8) The Hebrew words used for 'dried' (Gen 8:13) and 'dry' (Gen 8:14)
carry meanings not apparent from most translations.
Gen 8:13 - 1/1/601
a) 'dried' - Strong's 2717 - to 'parch' (through drought)
by analogy to 'desolate' or
b) 'dry' - Strong's 2717 - as above
Gen 8:14 - 27/2/601
a) 'dried' - Strong's 3001 - to 'be ashamed', 'confused'
for water to 'dry up' and
for herbage to 'wither'.
It is important to note the following points;
- 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.
Any explanation of this verse has to explain
why the earth had reason to be 'ashamed' on
the 'seven and twenty day' of the second month
of the 601st year.
9) 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 be still be no
new year's grain ready to harvest.
So, 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).
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).
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. Though it could represent the first weekly Sabbath
following a wave sheaf day. Therefore, it could picture the first
bringing into the temple of grain following the wave sheaf
(NB: Another alternative is that the 'seven and twentieth day'
is not identifying the 27th day, but rather a seventh day
(ie a Sabbath) falling on the twentieth day of the month.
Therefore it could represent the day prior to that year's
wave sheaf day. Keeping in mind that the wave sheaf
ceremony took place very early in the morning, well before
sunrise, it is indeed possible that the actual picking of
the sheaf was to occur late on the prior day (which would
always be a weekly Sabbath day ).
10) The repetitive mention of 7 day periods indicates that the Sabbath
cycle is important in determining the final Flood chronology.
It is from the 27th of the 2nd month reference that we are able
to identify which dates were Sabbaths.
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) The 7th Sabbath for the 600th year fell on the 16th
day of the second month. The day prior to the unleashing
of the deluge.
2) Days when the raven and dove were sent out, being
spaced 7 days apart. Gen 8:10,12.
3) Other Sabbath dates,
- 1st day, 1st month, 601 - Ark covering removed
- 17th day, 12th month, 600 - end of 2nd 150 days
4) An envisaged fortieth Sabbath, following the start of
the deluge, would have fallen on the 26th day of the
11) The Flood and the periods associated with it are likely to have
For example the 150 day period is also alluded to in Rev 9:5 as
Since Rev 9:5 is a part of the description of the 5th trumpet there
is the suggestion the following period of 150 days of dry wind would
correlate to the 6th trumpet.
A warning period of 40 days may reflect a period of 40 jubilees
before end-time judgment begins.