Answering The Atheist
July 13, 2003 / Volume 3, Issue 28
THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
How long did the flood last? Genesis 7:17 says forty days, but Genesis 7:24 and 8:3 reveal that it was one hundred and fifty days. Is there a contradiction?
Again, as with last week’s Bible moment, the questioner seems to think that Moses gives two different sets of facts in the same context. This is simply not the case. The questioner needs to stop looking for contradictions while reading, and actually read the text for what it says.
In verse 17, the writer is not indicating that all the waters of the flood had receded by the end of forty days. Verses 4 and 12 of this same chapter reveal that it would rain for forty days and nights. Verse 17 is about this same period of time, for as the rains were upon the earth, indeed, the flood was upon the earth. However, the writer does not say, forty days, and then the flood was over. This was the end of the rain. Friend, we need to read on.
Verses 18-23 tell of some of the things which took place during the flood, and then we arrive at verse 24, where the writer will tell us how long the waters prevailed on the earth, one hundred and fifty days. Note, the waters still had not receded, they prevailed one hundred and fifty days; at the end of which time, they began to recede.
There is no contradiction.
This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible