This friendly exchange between Brian D of the USA and Dr Jonathan Sarfati of CMI-US (formerly CMI-Au) concerns chronological aspects of the time line of the Flood and Noah’s life.

Not that I should consider myself greater than Ussher or all the other ancient scholars, but I find continual discrepancy in all the recounts of the early Pre-flood fathers. This first came to light when I could not reconcile Methuselah’s death, the Flood, and Arphaxad’s birth as all being simultaneous and instantaneous. We can assume that Methuselah died a week before the flood and that the flood took place when Noah was 600.2 (a simplified rendering of 600 (2 months (17 days /30) /12)) years old (Gen. 7). Genesis 8 tells us the flood lasted a little over a year. Then Genesis 11:10 states that Arphaxad was born 2 years after the flood when Shem was 100. But If Noah was 500 when he had Shem (Gen. 5:32) and 600 when the flood came, then the math does not add up.

All this assumes that sons are born on fathers’ birthdays, that is, Shem is born on Noah’s 500th birthday. This is the erroneous assumption I find that has been handed down. To be born in one’s 500th year could be anywhere between the 500th birthday and the day before the 501st birthday. Therefore I have assumed that all fathers were their age plus half a year at the birth of their sons. The erroneous thinking also assumes that the men have died on their birthdays when in reality they could have been up to a year minus a day older. I understand that living a perfect set of years is traditional, but not always practical.

By adding half years to Seth and each successive generation and bringing the flood about when Noah was 600.2, this places the flood at A.M. 1660.7, or 8 months and 12 days into that year, a full 4 years and more beyond the accepted 1656. This also places the flood starting 1.2 years after Methuselah’s 969th birthday. In reality Methuselah could have died one day shy of his 970th birthday or roughly two and one half months before the flood. There is some flexibility. If one is flexible with the extra half year in Methuselah and Lamech’s term before fatherhood, the flood could be brought right to Methuselah’s death and A.M. 1659.7.

The flood then lasts for a year and ten days. Arphaxad is born in Shem’s 100th year and by assumption Noah’s 600th year. But the Flood started in Noah’s 600th year and ended in his 601st! Since we know the exact date of the Flood in relation to Noah’s age, I assumed that Shem was born 1 day shy of Noah’s 501st birthday and that Arphaxad was born one day shy of Shem’s 101st birthday. Given this, Arphaxad is then born 9 months after the flood ends, or 1.8 years before the flood starts. If Moses is to round up in this case, we see that two years could be acceptable….

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