Noah's Flood

QUESTION: When was Noah's flood?

ANSWER:

Noah’s Flood is thought to have occurred sometime during the 3rd Millennia BC (between 3000 and 2000 BC). We can determine this by adding up the ages provided in Genesis chapter 11 from the flood to Abraham. From there, we can use established chronologies to determine how long ago Abraham lived.

For example, Arphaxad was born to Noah’s son Shem two years after the flood. When Arphaxad was 35, he had Shelah. Shelah had Eber when he was 30. Eber had Peleg when he was 34. Peleg had Reu when he was 30. Reu had Serug when he was 32. Serug had Nahor when he was 30. Nahor had Terah when he was 29. There is a little ambiguity as to whether Terah was 70 years old or 130 years old when he had Abraham. We will take the lower age in order to establish at least how long ago Noah’s flood occurred. There is also some ambiguity as to how long ago Abraham lived. He is thought to have lived sometime between 2100 and 1800 BC, but even this range of dates is disputable. Once again we will take the lower figure to establish at least how long ago the flood occurred.

Adding these figures together, we arrive at 4098 years ago. Given all of the ambiguities (not just the major ambiguities like when Abraham lived but minor ones as well, like did Arphaxad have Shelah on his 30th birthday or was it mid way through his 30th year, etc.) the flood could have happened as long as 5000 years ago. Archbishop Ussher’s famous chronology fixes the year of Noah’s flood around 2348 BC (4354 years ago).

In summary, when was Noah’s flood? Only God knows for sure. As far as we can tell, it happened some time during the 3rd Millennia BC.

The Flood - Learn More!

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