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Answering The Atheist
July 6, 2003 / Volume 3, Issue 27

When did Noah enter the ark? Genesis 7:7-10 says it was seven days before the flood, while Genesis 7:11-13 says it was on the day that the flood began. Is there a contradiction?

It would seem quite silly for the Bible writer to make two contradictory statements in so close a proximity to one another. The questioner perceives that these texts contradict one another for two reasons, 1) because he has failed to read the text carefully, and 2) because he is seeking to find contradiction, which in turn, causes the careless reading mentioned.

Notice, between verses 7-10, we are plainly told that Noah and his family were in the ark seven days before the “..waters of the flood were upon the earth.” Does that mean Noah entered the ark seven days before it began to rain? No, that is the questioner’s assumption of what the text says. From verse 11-13, it is evident that Noah and his family entered the ark on the same day when the rain began. I suggest, and the Bible text reveals, that the whole surface of the earth was not instantaneously flooded, but that the waters prevailed upon the land in a steady progression which took seven days in total, at which time “...the waters of the flood were upon (ie. covering) the earth.”

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible