When one reads the account of the Flood recorded in Genesis 6:1-9:19 it can
be quite difficult to determine its overall chronology.
Nevertheless, the ark built by Noah did endure a literal deluge and the
bible does record a significant amount of information. Therefore, it
should be possible to assemble the actual Flood 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
However, 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) A proper resolution of the conflict between the verses which
repeatedly refer to the Flood lasting 40 days and the clear
indication that it lasted at least 9 months.
2) A clarification of exactly when the Flood ended. Did it end
in the latter part of the 600th year, or did it end on the
first day of the 601st year, or did it end on 27th day of the
2nd month of the 601st year?
3) Does the presented view show a connection between the various
periods and dates stated in Scripture.
The author has arrived at the following chronology.
Noah told to start - 1/1
to load the ark | initial 7 days - Gen 7:4,10
starts to rain - 8/1
| 40 days and 40 nights - Gen 7:4,12
40 days of rain end - 17/2 DEEP BROKEN, -- Start of 150 days
Great deluge starts | HEAVEN OPENED |
| | 150 days
| | - Deluge
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
| - waters receded |
Raven sent out - 3/12 |
Dove sent out - 10/12 |
| 7 days - Gen 8:10 |
Dove has olive leaf - 17/12 END OF FLOOD -- 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) The presented 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. In addition Scripture indicates there
was a further 150 days from the 17th of the 7th month to the
17th of the 12th month.
2) The only way to make a connection between the verses which
refer to the Flood lasting 40 days and the much longer duration
actually depicted in the story is to consider the '40 days' as
being 40 Sabbath days (ie, a span of about 280 days).
3) Genesis 7:4&12 specifically mention '40 days and 40 nights'.
One could simply view this as also being symbolic talk
referring to the 40 Sabbath days of the Flood. Therefore,
one would be suggesting that the '40 days and 40 nights'
description would be indicating an exact period of 280 days.
Another approach (that shown in the above chronology) is
to see '40 days and 40 nights' as describing a literal
40 day period. As both the '40 days and 40 nights'
verses simply mention 'rain' they could be referring to a
period of rain prior to the unleashing of the deluge.
Such a view helps to provide a reason for why the Flood
started on the 17th day of the 2nd month. A warning on the
1st day of that year plus the passing of a further 6 days
followed by 40 literal days would have the final 40th day
falling on the 17th day of the 2nd month.
4) The exact date when the 7 day warning is given by God is
not precisely stated.
Obviously the 10th day of the 2nd month is a reasonable
However, noting that the cover of the ark was removed on
the 1st day of the 1st month of the 601st year, some may
feel more comfortable with a solution which incorporates
the 1st day of the 1st month of the 600th year as a warning
Clearly the above '40 days and 40 nights' of prior rain
view provides a strong connection to the 1/1/600 date.
However, it is not strictly necessary to endorse this view
to have a start of the year connection. If the 7 days of
Gen 7:10 relate to 7 Sabbath days then the initial warning
would have also occurred close to the 1/1/600 date.
A solution is to view;
a) the seven days of Gen 7:4 as 7 literal days
(the 7 days 1/1/600 to 7/1/600), after which the
40 days and nights of rain occurred, and
b) the seven days of Gen 7:10 as 7 Sabbath days
from the start of the 600th year after which the
fountains of the great deep were unleashed.
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 mistakenly thought the text 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 previously
- 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, perhaps as offerings, following
the wave sheaf offering.
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) The fortieth Sabbath, following the start of the deluge,
would have fallen upon the 26th day of the 11th month.
Apparently this was the last day that the receding waters
were deemed to have covered the earth.
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.