Noah's Flood and God's Calendar

Revised 07-19-19

In light of the recent unprecedented floods in the Midwestern United States, I decided to review the account of Noah’s flood in Genesis 7 and 8. This study resulted in bringing to my attention the very detailed recording of the passage of time as the events of the Flood took place. These events are given to us as inspired by Christ, the Word, in a chronology of days and months through which God reveals a system for measuring time that parallels the present calculations of the Hebrew Calendar

THE SCRIPTURAL ACCOUNT OF THE FLOOD.

Noah’s Ark in the Great Biblical Event

Genesis 7:11: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”  This verse gives us the starting day of the Deluge: the seventeenth day of Iyar, the second month. The fact that the Noachian Flood began in the second month of the year tells us that it was the season of spring.

As will be shown by the Exodus account the sacred calendar had 30 days for the first month of the year. The account of the Flood states that the forty days of rain started on the seventeenth day of the second month, revealing the passage of 46 days from the first day of the year to the beginning of the Flood. Genesis 7:11: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” 

The breaking up of the fountains of the deep depicts massive earthquakes releasing immeasurable quantities of water, producing incredible tsunamis and storms of violence that modern man has never witnessed. No man-made shelter could have withstood the enormity of the violence that passed over the face of the earth. Verse 12: “And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.” 

This verse records that the initial length of the outpouring of water was forty days, and Genesis 7:17 confirms it: “Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.”

Note that it was the accumulation of water during the forty days that resulted in lifting the Ark high above the earth. The description in Verses 17 through 23 is relating what took place as a result of the forty days of rain and the breaking up of the fountains of the deep.  At the end of forty days, the Ark was fifteen cubits above the highest mountain (v. 20).                                                                                                                                           

Genesis 7:24: “And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.” The basic meaning of the Hebrew word that is translated “prevailed” is to be “strong, mighty” (Brown, Driver and Briggs, p. 149). The waters did not prevail over the earth on the first or second day of the Flood. They prevailed at the end of the forty days when the Flood reached its maximum depth, making the one hundred and fifty days of prevailing consecutive to the forty days of rain. Both periods of time need to be included in order to determine the total length of time of the events of the flood year. 

As recorded in the scriptural account, God did not allow the level of the Flood waters to drop until they had prevailed for one hundred and fifty days. He prevented this by sending additional rain and by bringing up waters from the fountains of the deep. God caused the waters to continue for one hundred and fifty days to maintain the level at fifteen cubits above the highest mountains. This ensured the death of all air-breathing life on land. 

FLOOD WATERS DISSIPATE

Genesis 8:1-3:“Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the one hundred and fifty days the waters decreased.” 

These verses describe the process by which God began to dry up the Flood waters. This process continued for an extended period of time as demonstrated by the word translated “decreased” or “abated” 2637 at the end of Verse 3. This word is used in the account to describe the removal of the waters from the flooded earth.  Gesenius gives the following definition of this word: “(1) to be devoid of anything, to lack, to be without, followed by an accusative.” As we continue to examine the scriptural account, we will learn the exact length of time that it took for the waters of the Flood to recede and the ground to become dry. 

 Genesis 8:4: “Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.” This verse gives the impression that the Ark settled down on the mountains of Ararat because the waters had started to decrease. However, for the Ark to rest on the ground would have required the depth of the water to have fallen considerably. The highest mountains were covered to a depth of fifteen cubits - not a great depth until you consider that fifteen cubits of water were above the tallest mountain on earth. As Mount Ararat is only 17,000 feet the amount of water would have been much greater than 15 cubits. 

In addition, consider that the date given for this occurrence, the seventh month, the seventeenth day, was only 194 days into Noah’s six hundredth year, (Nisan 1 through Tishri 17). However, the scriptural account records that 236 days of that year had passed before God started to dry up the flood waters (46 plus 40 plus 150 equals 236). If you figure that the forty days of rain were part of the 150 days, the total would still be 196 days before the waters began to decrease. It was therefore impossible for the Ark to have been lodged on the ground on the seventeenth day of the seventh month as the waters had not yet begun to decrease. 

SEVEN DAY CALENDAR OF FLOOD YEAR        

The following calendar shows the progression of days in increments of the seventh day Sabbath for the year of the flood. In the yellow square it shows the Sabbaths preceding the start of the flood, including the 17th day of the second month which was the beginning day of the forty days of the deluge. 

The second yellow square shows that the seventeenth of the seventh month was also a Sabbath. The last day of the forty days of rain was the 28th day of the third month, a Thursday. The Gregorian date was June 4th. The last day of the first 150 days was on the 30th day of the eighth month, a Sunday. The Gregorian date was the 1st day of November.

THE MEANING OF “RESTED”

What then is the meaning of the word “rested” in Genesis 8:4? The word “rested” 5117 is describing a stopping of movement or activity. The same Hebrew word is used in Exodus 20:11: “God rested on the seventh day.”  His activity or movement ended. 

The use of this word in Genesis 8:4 tells us that the Ark remained immobile at a specific location. It was no longer rolling and plunging through churning, turbulent Flood waters. The winds that had driven it ceased to blow, the waves subsided, and the waters surrounding the Ark became calm and placid. The Ark came to a stop as if God had anchored it above the tops of the mountains. God maintained the location of the Ark at Mt. Ararat not because it was physically stuck but because God wanted it there.  It did not settle upon the ground until after the waters had fully abated.

THE FLOOD ENDS 

The scriptural account reveals that the decreasing of the waters took place gradually over the remaining months of the year. To determine the total passage of time in the account of the Flood, it is necessary to know the exact date that the last of the waters dried up. This date is recorded in Genesis 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.”  This verse tells us that the waters were dried up on the first day of the six hundredth and first year, and Noah’s removal of the covering confirmed this fact. This state of dryness was reached exactly one hundred and fifty days from the time that the waters had ceased to prevail. 

It should be noted at this point that counting the initial forty days of the Flood as part of the one hundred and fifty days of the waters prevailing would make the six hundredth year only 345 days in length (46 days to the beginning of the Flood plus 150 days of the waters prevailing plus 150 days of the waters decreasing equals 346 days, minus 1 day for the first day of the 601st year equals 345 days). There is no yearly cycle, either calculated or observed, that would fit a 345-day year. This fact confirms that the 40 days of rain and the 150 days of the waters prevailing were two separate periods of time, just as the 150 days of the waters abating were separate from the 150 days of the waters prevailing. These three periods of time extended from the second month of the six hundredth year of Noah’s life to the first month of his six hundredth and first year. Genesis 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.” 

WHAT NOAH WAITED FOR

This verse states that on the first day of the first month all the Flood waters were gone and the earth was dry, but the scriptural account extends beyond this point.  Genesis 8:14: “And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried.”  This verse may seem to contradict the preceding verse, but the word used in Verse 13 to describe the dryness of the earth does not have the same meaning as the word used in Verse 14. The Hebrew word that is translated “dried” and “dry” 2717 in Verse 13 is chareb.  However, the Hebrew word translated “dry” 3001 in Verse 14 is yabesh.  Gesenius notes that these two Hebrew words represent different levels of dryness. The first denotes an absence of water, and the second represents a condition more akin to that of a lack of moisture, or withered. Verse 13 depicts a condition of no standing water whereas Verse 14 is describing dry soil that is no longer saturated. This stage of dryness was reached 56 days after the Flood waters dried up.

The account records that Noah remained in the Ark until the earth reached this second stage of dryness. There was good reason for waiting to leave the Ark until the soil had dried. If Noah had released the animals before the ground was dry, the elephants and other large animals might have gotten bogged down and entrapped in mud.

DAY COUNT OF FLOOD YEAR

After the withdrawal of the Flood waters and drying of the ground, the earth was prepared to receive the survivors of the Flood. They had entered the Ark on the seventeenth day of the second month in the six hundredth year of Noah’s life. Below is a computation of the number of days that passed in the year of the Flood.

Gen. 7:11 Flood begins 17th day of 2nd month 
(30 days in the 1st month plus 16 days in the 2nd) 46 days
Gen. 7:12 Rain for 40 days and 40 nights  40 days
Gen. 7:24 Waters prevail     150 days
Gen. 8:3 Waters abate 150 days
  Total   386 days
Gen. 8:13 Water dried on first day of the next year  -1 day 
Total:   385 days

The chronological facts that are recorded in the account in the book of Genesis clearly establish a period of 385 days in the year of the Noachian Flood. This year length is significant because it is the exact number of days required for an excessive leap year in the Hebrew Calendar. This remarkable account of the Flood, which God inspired to be recorded in His Word, is indisputable evidence that the Hebrew Calendar bears His stamp of approval. There can be no doubt that the calculations of the Hebrew Calendar have been the basis of God’s true calendar from the beginning.

NOAH’S KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S CALENDAR

The account of this great flood reveals that Noah had a good working knowledge of the time elements which make up the movement of the moon about the earth, and the earth about the sun.  Consider that the sun and the moon were not visible for most of the time Noah spent on the ark. It is stated in Genesis 6:13: “You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above.” Consider that the window was given a single dimension of about 25 inches or 1 cubit in height. All of the passengers of the ark were air breathing, therefore the window was necessary for light and most important a source of fresh air. Because of the necessity for fresh air and because Noah was only given one dimension for the window by God it can be concluded that the window extended the entire length of the ark.  In Genesis 8:6 Noah opens the window. Unlike today’s windows of glass these openings would have a lattice to prevent the birds from leaving the ark. The opening needed a large overhang to protect it from rain coming in, thus Noah’s view was restricted to that of the horizon, which is proven by the following scripture. 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.”

WINDOWS OF THE ARK

Noah needed to remove the covering so that he could see the condition of the land below the ark, showing that the windows were not in the side, but set back from edge, supporting the need for a large overhang to keep rain from entering the ark.  Noah made the calculations for the passage of time, not by sight, but by using the calculations of the sacred calendar. His record of the passage of time resulted in a year length of 385 days for the flood year, which was an inter-calculated thirteenth month year.

Yet he recorded the day count and placed the months correctly within the passage of days. Looking at the description of the ark it can better be understood that the numbering of the months by Noah was done through understanding how the calculation of the days established the month; not by sighting the moon.  Those who believe there was a 60 day year think the change to a 365.242 day year occurred during the year of the flood. Consider the great change that would be needed to go from a 360 day year to a 365.242 day year. The earth would have needed to slow down by 5.242 days on its trip around the sun. And the moon would have to increase the cycling of the earth by one half day.

By knowing that the flood year contained 385 days, and that it is the longest day count of the Hebrew calendar, plus the record of births and deaths of the patriarchs of Genesis 5, the exact year of the flood can be established.

In the past chronologist have compiled the data of Genesis 5 as follows: 

 

 

Antediluvian Patriarchs       

Years Lived Before Their Son’s Birth

Genesis 5:3

Adam

130

Genesis 5:6

Seth

105

Genesis 5:9

Enos

90

Genesis 5:12

Cainen

70

Genesis 5:15

Mahalaleel

65

Genesis 5:18

Jared

162

Genesis 5:21

Enoch

65

Genesis 5:25

Methuselah

187

Genesis 5:28

Lamech

182

Genesis 7:6

Noah age at the Flood

600

 

Total Years before the Flood

1656

 

Based on this information they conclude the flood began in 1656 AM, or 2391 BC, as the chart shows.  However, if a chart is made showing both their birth and death years it is found that Methuselah would have died two years after the date chronologists use for the flood, as the following chart shows.

 

Births and Deaths Chart

 

Date of birth using the first day of the year BC

Birth Year AM

Years of life

Year of death BC

Year of death AM

Genesis 5:3-5

Adam

March 25, 4046 BC

    1 AM

930

   

Genesis 5:6-8

Seth

3915 BC

131 AM

912

   

Genesis 5:9-11

Enos

3810 BC

236 AM

905

   

Genesis 5:12-14

Cainan

3720 BC 

327 AM

910

   

Genesis 5:15-17

Mahalaleel 

3650 BC 

397 AM      

895

   

Genesis 5:18-20

Jared

3585 BC

462 AM

962

   

Genesis 5:21-23

Enoch

3424 BC 

626 AM

365

   

Genesis 5:25-27

Methuselah

3358 BC

689 AM

969

   

Genesis 5:28-31

Lamech 

3171 BC

876 AM

777

   

Genesis 5:5

Adam’s  death

     

3115 BC

931 AM

Genesis 5:21-23

Enoch death

     

3059 BC

911 AM

Genesis 5:7

Seth’s death

     

3003 BC

1043 AM

Genesis 5:28-29

Noah 

2989 BC

1058 AM

950

   

Genesis 5:11

Enos’ Death

     

2905 BC

1141 AM

Genesis 5:14

Cainan’s Death

     

2810 BC

1237 AM

Genesis 5:17

Mahalaleel’s  Death

     

2755 BC

1292 AM

Genesis 5:18

Jared Death

     

2623 BC

1424 AM

Genesis 5:10-11

Shem

2483 BC 

1564 AM

600

   

Genesis 5:31

Lamech

     

2394 BC

1653 AM

Genesis 5:27

Methuselah’s Death

     

2389 BC

1658 AM

This chart more accurately shows the passage of time from creation to the flood, but is still short of the flood date by three years.  It is because the flood year must contain 385 days, and that does not occur until 1661 AM, or BC 2386 as shown on the calendar.

As the first chart shows, there can never be less than 1656 years; but as the second chart shows it is possible to add years and still be biblically correct. The calendar shows accurately the flood year having 385 days, which is the number of days required, giving the date for the flood as 1661 AM, or 2386 BC. God left man with this marker of time in Genesis so man could know how God tracks time. 

The point is that the years of the flood would be determined by using the base figure of 1656 AM, or 2391 BC, and then moving forward to a year that has a length of 385 days.  Going to the calendar generator for the BC year 2391, which is AM year 1656, and coming forward, the first year containing 385 days is 2383 BC, or 1661 AM as the calendar shows on page 4 of this article.

The chronological facts that are recorded in the account in the book of Genesis clearly establish a period of 385 days in the year of the Noachian Flood. This year length is significant because it is the exact number of days required for an excessive leap year in the Hebrew Calendar.  This remarkable account of the Flood, which God inspired to be recorded in His Word, is indisputable evidence that the Hebrew Calendar bears His stamp of approval. There can be no doubt that the calculations of the Hebrew Calendar have been the basis of God’s true calendar from the beginning. 

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