Genesis 5:32 NIV

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

All Noah's ancestors had children when they were around one hundred years but when it came to him it is said he had children when he was five hundred years old.

6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father[b] of Enosh.

9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan.

12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel

1 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.

But when it it came to Noah he is said to have had children when he was five hundred years old

Could there be something significant about why it took him this long to have children?

  • 1
    You are assuming that Noah had no earlier children. Perhaps he had already had many earlier children.
    – Dottard
    Apr 21, 2021 at 11:24
  • @Dottard,since there is no record of other children then we have to work with the three mentioned. Apr 21, 2021 at 11:40
  • 2
    That is true - but it does not eliminate the possibility that Noah had many other children earlier
    – Dottard
    Apr 21, 2021 at 11:45
  • The story of Noah's Flood echoes both Egyptian and Babylonian influences. The 500, representing half of a thousand, is decimal (Egyptian); the 600 is sexagesimal (Babylonian).
    – Lucian
    Apr 30, 2021 at 0:35

2 Answers 2


Being we only have the information of his three sons, I think we have to go with that, but Noah may have had daughters before his 3 sons. They naturally got married, moved away, and were not part of his family anymore, or made it into the ark.

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    Jan 5, 2022 at 18:17

Some verses that I can think of that might explain this.

  1. Noah was special and this was identified by this father Lamech realized it. Specifically is says he did something that helped ease the curse God put on the earth/soil/Farming. Noah would have come up with something innovative that helped people grow more food. Also, remember he has the skills to build the Titanic that did not sink also.

Genesis 5:11 And he named him Noah, saying, "This one will provide us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands, out of the very soil which the LORD placed under a curse.

  1. The below verse is what we are trying to understand. Key points are a. Japheth the firstborn was born when Noah was 500, unlike Noah's ancestors who had firstborns between 75 - 120. b. Unlike previous generations all the 3 sons are mentioned rather than only mention the firstborn. c. This was probably to show that these 3 will populate the earth.

Genesis 5:32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

  1. The below verse specifically mentions multiplication & growth, I believe this had to do with more food and health for the people (Did Noah have something to do with this. Link back to Genesis 5:11)

Genesis 6:1 And it came to pass when man commenced multiplying upon the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them.

  1. This growth and prosperity caused corruption and Sin

Genesis 6:5 And the Lord saw that the evil of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of his heart was only evil all the time.

  1. Noah remained faithful to God and God blessed him.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9 These are the generations of Noah, Noah was a righteous man he was perfect in his generations; Noah walked with God.

  1. This is not a strong point but here goes. God planned to save Noah and his sons to populate the world after the flood. So he ensured that he had children only after the plan to flood the world kicked in ie. when Noah was 500. Had Noah had sons when he was say 100, then when Noah was going to start building the ark, his sons would have been 400 years old and probably among the evil people. Now you may say, God did not need his sons, he could have populated the earth with Noah & his wife. Yes, I agree he could, but he did not and I don't know why? This is the best I could understand. Sorry.

Genesis 6:18 And I will set up My covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you and your sons, and your wife and your sons' wives with you.

G-d Bless

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