The Noah 120 years to build up the ark fallacy

Since I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I have heard of the fallacy (no biblical grounds) of Noah building the ark for 120 years. But what the Scriptures really said about it? Some preachers had he scenario of Noah preaching about a flood (water coming down from the skies down to the earth) but they (the preachers of this fallacy) that before the flood of Noah, it didn’t rain on the earth, therefore people didn’t know what a flood meant. So, let’s put the facts straight using the Scriptures in the proper order and context.

  • Noah received a command from God to build up an ark:
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou (Noah)  shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Gen. 6:11-22

Observe what these passages are saying:

  • Make thee an ark of gopher wood. v. 14
  • But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark. v. 18
  • Thou, and thy sons (Shem, and Ham, and Japheth), and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. v. 18

When Noah received the command from God to build up the ark (v.14) Noah’s three sons were already married, since their wives are mentioned in v. 18, not by their own name though. We need to make that clear to have a better understanding of what really happened. The passages from Gen. 6:11-22 are BEFORE Noah started to build the ark. correct? OK. here is the question, if Shem was 100 years old two years after the flood, hoe can Noah spent 120 years building the ark? for the following passage revealed Shem’s age AFTER the flood:

“These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad TWO YEARS AFTER the flood.” Gen. 11:10

Meaning: Shem was 98 years old when they came out of the ark. even more, they were in the ark one year and seventeenth days. how we came up with that number of days? for the light that is shed that is expressed in the following passages:

“And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.” Gen. 7:11
“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.” Gen. 6:12
“And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” Gen. 8:14-16

That’s a total of “one year and seventeenth days”, which mean that Noah’s son, Shem, was about 97 years old. There is not even one passage of the Scriptures that refers to Noah spending 120 years building the ark. It’s just a fallacy and yet, we find born again Christians repeating it without searching if such thing is based on the Scriptures. only eight people were saved:

“Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” 1 Pet. 3:20
“And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” 2Pet. 2:5

What about the passage in Gen. 6 that speaks about 120 years? is that passage related to Noah? or someone else? well, let’s see what the passage is saying according to the context of the text. One thing we must can reading the Scriptures is to keep our own opinions out of it, and let’s the bible speak for herself. The passage that talks about 120 years is found in Gen. 6:3 that says;

“And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”

This passage does not have anything to do with Noah but instead is prophecy upon Adam. Observe how the Orthodox Jewish Bible translated this passage:

“And Hashem said, My Ruach [Hakodesh] shall not always strive with Adam, for that he also is basar: yet his yamim shall be a hundred and twenty shanah.” Gen. 6:3

The word that is translated “man” in the Hebrew is “‘âdâm”, which is used in the particular sense and not in a plural sense. This is confirmed by the words that followed “Adam or man”; “My spirit shall not always strive with man (the first man created) , for that HE ALSO IS FLESH”. Adam was corrupted same as all the rest of men and according to the passage itself, The Lord gave Adam 120 years more for him to changes his way back to God. The prophecy it was executed in Adam. According to Gen. 5:5 Adam died of the age of 930 years old:

“And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.”

So, Adam lived 930 years minors 120 years given by God in Gen. 6:3 that would made Adam of the age of 810 years old when God told prophesied in Gen. 6:3 about the death of Adam. That day when Adam died some prophecies were fulfilled literally upon Adam.

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen. 2:17
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Heb. 9:27
“For the wages of sin is death.” Rom. 6:23

It’s not stated in the Scripture if Adam corrected his way before The Lord.


Blessings upon you and yours!!!




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