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In Genesis 7:6 we read Noah was 600 years old when the flood landed.
Only four verses later we read he'd been in his 600th year when the flood began.

Why would the author write of the events in that order and give the same age twice in this way?

Gen 7:6-11, KJV:

And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

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    a year is 12 months long. There is the year, from January to December & the birthday year from your birthday year to the next. Generally speaking i think Bible writers gave the years of people so that we in the future could use that information to calculate the times. or its just a case of writing style. i see no impact the repetition has on understanding the passage. Jan 13 '14 at 19:42
  • Thanks. I understand what you're saying, and I keep wondering why ages specifically would be repeated. The repeating of a person's age is done for only 3 people in Genesis. It's for Noah in the case above, Abraham when he becomes a father and his son Isaiah is born, and with Joseph in the last 5 verses of Genesis. Do you also see no impact on understandings re: those? hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q/6236/2873 Jan 13 '14 at 19:55
  • One thing that seems a little odd is regarding Noah and Joseph. In both cases, the same number/age for those two is given the first time, and then again only 4 verses later. Jan 13 '14 at 19:59
  • "the flood landed". Did you mean "the ark landed" or is that your way of saying "the flood of waters was upon the earth"? Apr 21 '17 at 16:49
  • @A Child of God Gen 7:6 doesn't note the ark. What I have is one way to note how water came down from the sky.biblehub.com/genesis/7-6.htm Dec 29 '21 at 1:52
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Noah’s age is not the only detail in the story that gets repeated. In fact many of the points of the story are repeated. The parallels between 7:6 and 7:11 may not be anything specific to Noah’s age. For example, the story repeats:

  • The number of animals taken into the ark (7 clean and 2 unclean in verse 7:2f, then 2
  • clean and 2 unclean in verse 7:8f)
  • Noah’s age (verse 7:6 and verse 7:11)
  • Noah et al entering the ark (verse 7:7 and verse 7:13)
  • The length of the flood (40 days in verse 7:17, 150 days in verse 7:24, apx. a year based on verse 8:13)
  • All life being ended (7:21, 7:22, and 7:23)
  • The earth drying out (8:13 and 8:14)

One explanation is to take a Document Hypothesis type approach to this text. From this point of view, the account is a combination of two (or more) different traditions of the Noah/flood story. If that is true, it would appear the different traditions were intermingled to create a single telling of the story (this is a different approach than the creation story, where the two accounts are kept separate). Based on this approach, the repeating of Noah’s age could just be an indication that this detail was present in both traditions.

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If you pay close attention to the context of the passage you cited you will see that the first time Noah's age is mentioned it only gives the year. The second time it's mentioned it tells you the exact day and month the Flood occured in Noah's 600th Year. There's no mystery behind such a straightforward text.

And really when you take vv.1-5 into account you will see that the first mention is God telling Noah that He will send the Flood in a week and to get the animals ready in pairs of make and female and to separate the clean from the unclean. vv. 6-11 show the fulfillment of God's word. It's nothing new from the pattern which we read of in Genesis 1:1-2:3 where Moses tells us what God said, and then follows it up with what He did. God is showing us from the beginning that when He says He's going to do something that He keeps His Word and fulfills it to the letter.

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Probably to emphacise Noah lived 600 years and built an ark to show how long people lived back then under God's clean Creation and that Moses did not make a mistake when he wrote it. He wrote 600 then in word spelling form 600th using 2 different words, so its clear Moses did not write a mistake of ink on paper. When sin had done more damage to the world people only live max to about 100 and many people only 70, so it shows following God and his will leads to life and long life.

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    – agarza
    Dec 25 '21 at 13:59
  • Just a thought, but could the question have anything to do with how long Noah and his family had to remain in the ark before they could emerge onto dry land?
    – Lesley
    Dec 27 '21 at 12:08

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