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
40 days and 40 nights of rain - Gen 7:12
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
3) Is there a satisfactory clarification of exactly when the
A Derived Flood Chronology
Noah told to start - 1/1
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 ABATED - Start 2 weeks drying
| 7 days,Gen 8:12
Dove not return - 24/12
Ground 'parched' - 1/1/601 - First day of new era
* 27th day of 2nd month - Earth 'ashamed'
* 'tenth' month of Gen 8:5 - not tenth month.
* Notes *
1) 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 chronology.)
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.
First period: started - 17th of 2nd month
ended - 16th of 7th month.
2) Gen 8:3 - The second 150 days defines the period of
Gen 8:3 And the waters receded continually from
the earth. At the end of the hundred
and fifty days the waters decreased.
Second period: started - 17th of 7th month
ended - 16th of 12th month.
[ NB: The Hebrew word found at the end of Gen 8:3
(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. ]
2) Peak of the Flood
Gen 7:20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits
upward, and the mountains were covered.
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).
3) 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
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
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'
- 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 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 Abib (meaning 'green ears').
This was performed by the Levitical Priesthood.
[The month of Abib 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 Abib (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.
4) 30 Day Months
An important issue one observes from the provided Flood timing
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
16th of the 7th month and a further 150 days from the 17th of
the 7th month to a presumed 16th of the 12th month.
5) Forty Days and Forty Nights - Gen 7:4,12
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 followed 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
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
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
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,"
6) 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.
7) Other Forty Day Verses - Gen 7:17, 8:6
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.
These verses are associated with the duration of the Flood, ie
from 17/2/600 to the end of the 40th Sabbath of the 26/11/600.
After the 40th Sabbath Noah was permitted to open the window
of the ark?
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
8) 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
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.
9) 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
Gen 8:12 So he waited yet another seven days
and sent out the dove, which did not
return again to him anymore.
Another 3rd earlier 7 day period is implied by Gen 8:10,
ie 'he waited yet another seven days'.
So in summary,
- After the 40th Sabbath the window of the ark is opened.
- The next Sabbath 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
- The next Sabbath the covering of the ark is removed.
10) 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 dilemmas.
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
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: 1) The removal of the covering of the ark on the
first day of year 601 certainly would have
allowed the tops of the mountains to have been
2) The first day of the new year was also the date
immediately following the final decreasing/drying
of the Flood waters.
(The very last date which was in anyway associated
with the Flood was the last day of year 600, ie
So while it is perfectly acceptable to translate
as 'tenth', the Flood story and the text of Gen 8:5 are
suggesting another translation is needed.
Given the Hebrew letters presented in Scripture there are some
other possible translations, ie Strong's H6223 or H6238.
H6223 means 'rich'. (H6223 is derived from H6238.)
H6238 means 'accumulate' suggesting 'grow/make rich'. Hence,
H6238 is usually rendered 'enrich' or 'become rich' or 'make
In the form we have the alternative meanings 'rich of'
or 'enriched of'.
In the Flood account this first month, in the 601st year of
Noah, was not the month of Abib! Rather is was the 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.
It was a month, the need for which, grew with the passing of
each normal 12 month year.
[ NB: A year composed of twelve 30 day months is going to
be short about 5 days each year. Over a number of
years this going to be a problem as God's years and
festivals were harvest orientated. Scripture is
indicating the adjustment takes the form of an
additional month placed at the start of the new year.]
So a corrected literal translation would read,
Gen 8:5 And the waters they began to go and abate
until the month 'enriched of'. In the
'enriched of', in one to the month, they
were seen the tops of the mountains.
Gen 8:5 And the waters they began to go and abate
until the month accumulated. In the
accumulated, in one to the month, they
were seen the tops of the mountains.
The mountains were not seen until the first day of the 601st
calendar year of Noah!
Despite opening the window of the ark some five weeks earlier
it seems this had not allowed Noah a perspective which would
enable him to see the tops of the mountains. That it was only
after the waters had fully dried and Noah set about removing
the covering of the ark that he for the first time saw the
tops of the mountains.
11) Prophetic Significance
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
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.