2 Years Enigma

 

 

“Two Years after the Flood” problem

Previously, specialists such as Professor Gerhard von Rad had known for decades (not centuries) that there was an unresolved math enigma in the Book of Genesis.  The “Two Years after the Flood” problem came from combining three verses from three chapters. These are the verses:

Gen 5:32 (NAB)
When Noah was five hundred years old, he
became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Gen 7:11 (NAB)
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the
second month, on the seventeenth day of the
month: it was on that day that All the fountains
of the great abyss burst forth, and the floodgates
of the sky were opened.

Gen 11:10 (NAB)
This is the record of the descendants of Shem.
When Shem was one hundred years old, he
became the father of Arpachshad, two years after
the flood.

If the flood began when Noah was 600 years old, and he had become Shem’s father when he was 500, logic would suggest Shem was 100 years old when the flood started. (600 – 500 = 100). However, Gen 11:10 indicates Shem wasn’t 100 until two years after the flood. This left a discrepancy of about two years to resolve.

Comment: The claim that the words “two years after the flood” is simply a mistake and shouldn’t be there is incorrect. There are several ways to show that; for example, Noah would have been leaving a very young, live grandson on the ark.

 

Solution:

Mathematically per Genesis, parenthood and childhood/“life” begin simultaneously at conception, while “years old” and “age” start at birth. Here are the three verses again, this time with explanations among them.

Gen 5:32 (NAB)
When Noah was five hundred years old, he
became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Noah was 500 years old when he became Shem’s father, but that was at conception. Shem wouldn’t be born for about 9 months. Therefore, Noah was 501 years older than Shem.

Gen 7:11 (NAB)
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the
second month, on the seventeenth day of the
month: it was on that day that All the fountains
of the great abyss burst forth, and the floodgates
of the sky were opened.

With the flood beginning in the six hundredth year, second month, and seventeenth day of Noah’s life, he would have had 599 years, 1 month, 16 days of his life elapse.  Of that, his first 9 months of life were in his mother’s womb, so his age when the flood began would have been 598.

With Noah at that age when the flood began, Shem would have been only 97 years old. (Noah’s 598 – the 501 years age difference).

Since the flood lasted just beyond one year, at the end of the flood Shem would have been 98 years old (97 at start + 1 year of flood).

Finally, two years later Shem would have become 100 years old, as Gen 11:10 shows.

Gen 11:10 (NAB)
This is the record of the descendants of Shem.
When Shem was one hundred years old, he
became the father of Arpachshad, two years after
the flood.

Note: The “Two years after the flood” problem is the first of three math problems not easily seen within Genesis. This one had been known of for decades; the other two had not. The only solution to all three is that parenthood and childhood/“life” begin simultaneously at conception, whereas “years old” and “age” start at birth.  Thinking that way the math gets resolved; otherwise, it does not.