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 6:1-9:19,
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
      Flood ended. 

   

The author has arrived at the following chronology.


   Noah told to start    -   1/1 enters ark
   to load the ark       |    or
                         -  10/2
                         |       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
   - after 40 days       |                           |
                         |                           |
                         |                           | 
    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 (and
     other miscellaneous items) to span a period of ten months 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: An interesting observation 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 41st
     day.

     However, perhaps a stronger defining of the 40 days can be
     derived from Gen 7:4 which talks about the death 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
     40 nights'.
     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) Mountains seen.

     Gen 8:5 advises the mountain tops became visible on the 1st day
     of the 10th month.

     It is common for many Flood chronologies to read this as the
     10th month of the calendar year. These chronologies then
     pickup on the 40 days mentioned in the next verse and have
     Noah opening the window of the ark (with the subsequent
     raven/dove sequences following).
     The weakness of this approach is that results in,
     - 1)  a failure to make a connection between the dating
           of the dove events and the finishing of the 2nd
           period of 150 days and,
     - 2)  a failure to make a connection between the dating
           of the dove events and the next major date, which
           is the 1st day, 1st month of year 601.
     Clearly the interpreting of the 40 days of Gen 8:6 as a
     reference to the passing of 40 weekly Sabbaths overcomes
     the above two weaknesses and is what is portrayed in the
     above illustrated chronology.

     Another approach to understanding Gen 8:5 is to read the
     '10th month' not as 10th month of the calendar year, but
     as the 10th calendar month of the Flood. So that the
     mountains are seen on the 1st day of the 11th month.
     Hence, a 40 day period from the 1st of the 11th month
     would have the raven and dove being released together on
     the 10th day of the 12 month and the dove returning with
     the olive leaf 7 days later on the 17th day of the 12th
     month (this being the end of the 2nd period of 150 days).
     This approach has two disadvantages,
     1) it tends to date the appearance of the mountains tops
        quite close to the finishing of the Flood and,
     2) it does not offer an end an explanation as to why the
        Deluge was upon the earth 40 days (Gen 7:17).


  6) 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'. ]


  7) 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!


  8) 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.


  9) 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
                                               'destroy'
                  b) 'dry'   - Strong's 2717 - as above

       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'.

     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.


 10) 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 is likely that it
     represents the first day of bringing into the temple some of the
     new years grain harvest.

     (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 occurred late on the prior day (which would
          always be a weekly Sabbath day ).


 11) 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
                11th month.


 12) 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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