WHILST DOING WORK in connection with the
proposed Concordant Version of the Hebrew Scriptures, and in
particular with the passage relating to the Deluge, it was
observed that the Septuagint, that is the Greek translation,
differed in some details of the dates. In our Authorized Version
in Genesis 7:11 we have "the seventeenth day of the second
month." This represents the current Hebrew text, but the
Septuagint rendering is twenty-seven, or, what is more to the
point, the text from which the Septuagint was translated had
twenty-seven. The same features apply also to the words
"seventeenth day" of our Authorized Version in chapter 8, verse
4. On the other hand, in chapter 8, verse 14, our Authorized
Version has "seven and twentieth day" from the Hebrew, and this
instance agrees with the Septuagint.
Another detail of difference is that in chapter 8, verse 4,
our Authorized Version, representing the Hebrew, has the words
"tenth month" twice. But for the second of these the Septuagint
has "eleventh month."
The real basis of our investigation of the Old Testament
Scriptures is of course the Hebrew text, but reflection upon the
value, or otherwise, of these differences in the Septuagint,
suggested the query as to whether there was internal evidence in
the record that would indicate a preference for one rather than
the other. The thought arose: Are the details equivalent to or
comparable with a vessel's log-book, and if so, would the
various items fill up the whole period?
It will be seen that the Hebrew, and with it the Authorized
Version, give the period of Noah's confinement to the ark as one
year and eleven days, but the Septuagint gives exactly one year.
The vocabulary of our proposed Concordant translation was
sufficiently decided to permit consideration of the particulars
of the passage, so, with this assistance, the matter was
examined, and the following gives the procedure and the result.
Jehovah God is locking the ark about Noah and his family in
the year six hundred of Noah's life (7:10,13,16). This was on
the twenty-seventh day of the second month.
Jehovah God is speaking to Noah and his family to fare
forth from the ark on the twenty-seventh day of the second month
of year six hundred and one of Noah's life (Gen.8:13-15).
Thus Noah and his family and whatsoever was with him in the
ark were there for the period of one year. Now a year in the
scriptures has 360 days. How do the details given of the dates
and periods compare with the above? If we carefully examine the
various statements we will find that they are in the fullest
Seven days after the entry into the ark the springs of the
vast abyss are rent, and the crevices of the heavens are opened,
and the downpour is coming on the earth forty days and forty
nights (Gen.7:11,12,17). The water increased exceedingly and is
having the mastery till it is fifteen cubits above the lofty
mountains (Gen.7:17-20). All in the drained area died (7:22).
Only Noah and that which is with him in the ark remained (7:23).
The water is lofty on the earth for 150 days (7:24).
Then the water is subsiding, for God passes a wind over the
earth, and the springs of the abyss are held in check, and the
downpour from the heavens is shut up. From the end of 150 days,
the water is abating; it is going and returning off the earth
The ark rests on the mountains of Ararat in the seventh
month, on the twenty-seventh day. This is exactly five months
from the entry into the ark, or the 150 days mentioned above
(8:4). Moreover, the abating proceeds until the tenth month, and
on the first day of the eleventh month the heads of the
mountains appear (8:5). This gives us three days to complete the
seventh month, with thirty days from months eight, nine and ten,
which with the one day of the eleventh month, totals 94 days. So
we add a further 94 days to the 150, making 244, and leaving a
period of 116 days before the exit from the ark.
At the end of forty days, Noah is opening the window of the
ark and is sending forth a raven to see if the water on the
earth is slight (8:6,7), and it returns not until the drying of
the waters off the earth. Noah also sends a dove after it, to
see if the water is slight above the surface of the ground. The
dove finds no resting place and returns (8:8,9). Here we have
two quite short periods, one the time between the sending forth
of the raven and the sending forth of the dove, and the other
the time the dove was away. These we will decide later. We need
however to add the forty days to make 284 days and so leave 76
yet to be filled.
Noah waits further another seven days and sends out the
dove. It returns at evening time with an olive leaf in its mouth
(8:10). Thus Noah knows that the waters are slight above the
earth (8:11). Here we can add seven plus one, the latter being
the day the dove is away on this occasion, or eight days, making
our total now to be 292, and leaving 68 days still to be
Noah waits a further seven days and again sends out the
dove. This time it returns no more (8:12). We add this seven,
making 299 and reduce our remainder to 61.
In the year six hundred and one of Noah's life, in the
first month, and day one, the water drains off the earth. And
Noah removes the covering of the ark (8:12). Now from this date
to the next (8:14), viz. month two and day twenty-seven, is
equal to 57 days, that is, thirty plus twenty-seven from months
one and two. So that adding this number to the 299 we reach 356,
and reduce our remainder to four days. Two of these days can
reasonably be allocated for the sending out of the raven before
sending out the first dove, and two days for the sending of this
first dove to make its search when it finds no place for the
sole of its foot. Thus we account for the whole of the 360 days
stated by the dates, as adjusted by the evidence from the
Septuagint, for the beginning and the ending of Noah's residence
in the ark in view of the waters of the deluge.
It is suggested that this method of procedure for the
Concordant Version of the Old Testament, in which the Hebrew is
carefully compared with the evidence of the Septuagint, is
vindicated by results such as the above, and it is hoped that
the faith of God's saints in His word may indeed be confirmed
thereby, and their understanding facilitated and enhanced.
E. H. Clayton
to Martin Lee (GoodNewsGospel.info)
to copy and distribute this document.