This question differs somewhat but is along the same line as Does Genesis 7:6 chronologically follow Genesis 7:11?.

Gen 7:6 is often questioned chronologically (i.e. since heaven was opened to release the water of the flood with Gen 7:11).

Gen 7:11 In the 600th year of the life of Noah, in the 2nd month, in the 17th day of the month, in this day have been broken up all fountains of the great deep, and the net-work of the heavens hath been opened, (KJV)

Gen 7:6 And Noah was 600 years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. (KJV)

The Young's Literal Translation (YLT) seems to have Gen 7:6 more in a past tense, possibly even after the flood.

Gen 7:6 and Noah [is] a son of 600 years, and the deluge of waters hath been upon the earth. (YLT)

Could Gen 7:6 be at the same time as Gen 8:13, possibly even the same day?

Gen 8:13 And it cometh to pass in the 601st first year, in the 1st [month], in the 1st of the month, the waters have been dried from off the earth; (YLT)

1 Answer 1


I would say the answer is contained right in both verses. Gen 7:6 says Noah was 600 "when the flood of waters was upon the earth," while 8:13 says "the waters have been dried off the earth" (emphasis added in both verses). The waters cannot be both "upon" and "dried off" at the same time. Gen 7:6 is about a year before 8:13.

Update from Comment

The Hebrew word there (היה; hayah) is in the perfect tense, so "hath been" is a perfectly fine translation, as is "was." This is because the perfect in the Hebrew has a broad range referring simply to a condition/state that is present at the time, which English would put a present tense verb (is/am), or a simple past (was/were); or it can have a concept of completed action viewed as a whole, which may or may not be actually finished yet, but simply described that way. That it could/would be described as completed by Moses would be no surprise, since the event was long past by his time.1

However, even if viewing it as a "completed action" idea, what action is 7:6 stating was completed? Not necessarily the whole period of the flood itself, but rather at what point the flood had reached a stage of having "waters upon the earth," which was only 7 days (7:10) from the time God told Noah (7:1-4) to enter the ark. The waters remained upon the earth until they were dried up, but the point is that on that 7th day from the time that God told Noah to "load up" (so to speak) the waters were "upon the earth," and so Gen 7:6, is simply a statement that sometime during the time the waters were such, including 7 days from warning, Noah was 600 years old.

As I noted in my answer to the other question, 7:6 is likely a summary statement of the flood event. However, contextual location in the text would seem to argue against it being viewed as making a statement in any way specifically tied to the exact timing of Gen 8:13. There is simply no warrant (nor need) to make that connection. All Gen 7:6 is saying is that during the full stage flood time, Noah was 600 years old. That he was still 600 at the end (being in his 601st year) may be relevant in determining a broad range of when he turned 600 during the event (since it lasted a little over a year), but other than that, there is no need to equate the two.

That all the major translations make it a reference to the fact of without reference to completion of the event ("was"/"were" in KJV/NKJV; "came" in ESV/NASB/NIV) is strong indication that the translators do not see a warrant to shift to a "hath been" emphasizing the past aspect, as much as emphasizing the "state of" the waters at the time Noah was that age.

1Information on the perfect tense in Hebrew is from Ronald J. Williams, Williams' Hebrew Syntax, 3rd. ed., p.67

  • Yes. That's why I was also reading the YLT's Gen 7:6 with "waters hath been" upon the earth. Mar 31, 2014 at 20:53
  • Sorry, I blew past that little detail (YLT) in the question, so I updated my answer with more specifics.
    – ScottS
    Mar 31, 2014 at 22:55
  • Thanks. My remaining question would be about the flood having lasted more than one year, so his age would have changed over that stretch of time. Apr 1, 2014 at 14:59
  • Right, it changed. In the answer to the other question, I note that Noah apparently wasto be 599 ("in the six hundredth year") of his life at the start of the flood (making Gen 7:11 true). During the flood, while the waters were "upon the earth," he became 600 years old (making the summary statement Gen 7:6 true), which put him into the 601st year of his life, which is still his age at the end of the flood (making Gen 8:13 true). In answer to your question, Gen 7:6 could be 7 days from warning up to before the waters dried up in Gen 8:13, but probably is some period in between.
    – ScottS
    Apr 1, 2014 at 15:24
  • That's a great, very helpful answer. Thanks. Apr 4, 2014 at 20:27

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