Did God Really Say?

Noahs Flood - ContradictionsSample Chapter


HUMANIST ACCUSATION: Genesis 8:13 describes the earth as being dry on the first day of the first month. But Genesis 8:14 informs us the earth was not dry until the twenty-seventh day of the second month.

Here are the two verses they reference:

Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. - Genesis 8:13-14

A fact the humanists continually ignore is that the Bible was not written in English. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, with a few sections in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek.

Greek follows a logic similar to our own and lends itself to a word-for-word translation much better than Hebrew does. But, in the above verses we are dealing with Hebrew.

First... if you are not carrying a bias against the Bible (that bias being that the Bible is full of contradictions), you probably would not see a problem with this English translation. Notice the first sentence says the water is dried up. So the standing water is gone, but, that does not mean the earth is dry.

Those of us who live here in Oregon, where it rains A LOT, understand what is being said. While there may not be water running through the streets, and the streets may even be dry, there still is mud and muck... a lot of it.

So what these verses are saying is that the water was gone by the first day of the first month, but the ground was still muddy and mucky. It took until the 27th day of the second month for the ground (earth) to be dry and firm.

Another Way to Get the Answer - Hebrew

If we look at this from a technical view, going to the original Hebrew we see that two different words are used.

In verse 13 the Hebrew word "charab" is translated as "dried up." A more detailed translation would be "the face of the ground was dry." So the standing water is gone. In verse 14 the Hebrew word "yabesh" is used. This word literally means "to be desolate" and in this context it means to be without moisture. So in verse 14 the ground is being described as completely dry and firm.

I assume you do not read Hebrew. So how can you know there are two different Hebrew words used here that have different meanings? Hopefully you are attending a good (conservative Biblically) church, and are able to ask your pastor or an elder. Going to the leaders of your church is generally a good first option. One of the purposes of the church is to help you grow in your knowledge of God and the Bible.

A second option is to have a reference book, like the one you are reading now. It is also handy to have a good study Bible, such as a MacArthur Study Bible. A very useful reference is Strong’s Concordance. It includes both a Greek and Hebrew dictionary that will help you understand the original words used in scripture.

The third option is to turn to the internet. To see what was available I did a search for "Bible Contradiction Genesis 8:13" and found the following web site: https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/times-of-recession. It is okay to get help on the internet, BUT be sure the web site you use is one that is Biblically solid. There is A LOT of bad information on the internet. For example, Wikipedia often comes up at the top of the search listings, but it is not a reliable source of information related to the Bible nor Christianity. The web sites I recommend for these types of questions are:


Another option is to look at multiple Bible translations. We're using the NASB here, which is a word-for-word translation. But, since it is difficult to translate Hebrew word-for-word, often a paraphrase translation will provide a better understanding. For example the Christian Standard Version (CSV - another very good translation) translates these verses this way:

In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water that had covered the earth was dried up. Then Noah removed the ark’s cover and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth was dry. - Genesis 8:13-14

That makes it a little clearer. Here is what the NIV translation says:

By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

Paraphrase translations, such as the NIV, often work better for the Old Testament. Be careful, there are many poor and deceptive translations. Good translations include: KJV, NASB, NKJV, ESV, CSV (and HCSV), NIV, and NLT.

CONCLUSION: There is no contradiction.

NEXT ACCUSATION (God Is Cruel): The Old Testament contains an interesting contradiction in the story of the census taken by King David and the resulting punishment of the Israelites. God was so angered by the census that he sent a plague that killed 70,000 men.

Is there anything wrong with taking a census? No. Let's find out what was really happening. Turn to the next chapter.