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Great flood

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The great flood was the flood sent by God to destroy humanity, land animals, and birds, except Noah, his family, and the creatures God commanded him to take on board the Ark.

While the Biblical account of the great flood is the most commonly known, especially to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, there are many extremely similar accounts of a flood found in cultures across the world, from Greece to Hawaii to Australia, as well as other Middle Eastern accounts.

Over the years, bibliosceptics have questioned the feasibility of the Great Flood or claimed that it was only a regional flood.

Biblical Account

According to Genesis 6-8 of the Bible, God looked upon the Earth and was sickened by the wickedness of man and by the existence of the Nephilim. All of humanity had turned from him and that "every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually," save for one man, Noah. God decided to cause a great flood, that would destroy everything living on land, including birds. He spoke to Noah, warned him of the impending disaster, and told him to build an ark, that he might be saved. He was to build it out of gopherwood and according to certain measurements. When completed, it would hold his family and representatives of all kinds of land-dwelling, air-breathing animal. These representatives were a pair of most kinds, and seven pairs of some.[1]

Noah went to work and continued despite the jeering of his neighbours. He tried to warn them of their impending doom, but their hearts had been hardened away from the message he brought.


The following timeline of the flood has been derived from the biblical description and the dates calculated by James Ussher. (NB: This table needs a bit of fine-tuning.)

Ussher decided that creation likely occurred on 23 October 4004 BC. Hence, in the table below, a new year starts on 23 October 2348 BC.

Date (according to Ussher) event Description of when Reference
30 November 2349 BC Noah and family board the ark Seven days before start of flood Genesis 7:1-4
7 December 2349 BC The flood starts 600th year of Noah's life, 17th day of 2nd month Genesis 7:11
18 January 2348 BC Rain stops 40 days after start Genesis 7:17
6 May 2348 BC Waters covered the mountains to a depth of 15 cubits685.808 cm
22.5 feet
270.003 inches
, wiping out all air-breathing, land-dwelling animals.
By 150 days after start Genesis 7:20-24, Genesis 8:3-4
19 July 2348 BC Mountain tops appear 1st day of 10th month Genesis 8:5
28 August 2348 BC Raven sent out 40 days later Genesis 8:6-7
4 September 2348 BC Dove sent out Genesis 8:8-9
11 September 2348 BC Dove sent out again and returned with a leaf seven days later Genesis 8:10-11
18 September 2348 BC Dove sent out for third time and did not return seven days later Genesis 8:12
23 October 2348 BC Noah removes the covering 601st year of Noah's life, first day of first month Genesis 8:13
18 December 2348 BC Disembarkation 27th day of second month Genesis 8:14-16


  1. Genesis 7:2-3(ESV)
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