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The first post in this series about Creation is In the Beginning.
Genesis 7:6 – 16 tells us Noah and his family entered the ark.
It names his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. It doesn’t name his wife or the three wives of his sons, thus we do not know their names. We do know that each son had one wife, as did Noah. This is an example of the biblical model of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. It goes all the way back to Genesis 2.
So eight people boarded the ark.
The passage also tells us about the flood itself. First, it tells us that it started seven days after Noah’s family boarded the ark. This might seem insignificant, until we ask ourselves the question, “Why wait?” It seems likely that the seven days are how long it took to get all the animals onto the ark. Loading up tens of thousands of animals would be a daunting task.
Jesus told us that “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)
Another possibility is that Noah preached to the other people for a week. But, Jesus’s words indicate that the flood came the same day Noah entered the ark.
In any case, we’re given a date: the seventeenth day of the second month in Noah’s six hundredth year. Now, there’s some wiggle room there. We don’t know how the ancients handled dates, because there weren’t many records that survived.
Pretend that Noah’s birthday was July 1. Noah is six hundred years old. So, did the flood start on August 18th? That would be the seventeenth day of second month of Noah’s six hundredth year. Or, it could have been February 17 of that year or the next year. We simply don’t know. In my ramblings, I’ll use February 17, 2349 BC. But, please know that I’m choosing that date only for convenience, because I know it’s not accurate.
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