Updated: Nov 18
I recently ran across a book that tied the date for Halloween, October 31, with the start of Noah’s flood. Following the dispersion of mankind at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11), almost every ensuing culture has maintained a legend regarding a “Great Flood.” Often such traditions are also associated with a great “Day of Death,” as well as a “new beginning.”
In the Bible, this story is linked to the salvation of Noah, his family, and the animals of the earth. Interestingly, these traditions are all tied to the fall of the year—specifically the end of October and the beginning of November. This book, “The Great Flood and Halloween” by Frank Humphrey, suggests that there is a connection between the flood of Noah’s time and the pagan holiday known today as Halloween.
Did the flood of Noah’s day begin in the fall of the year? Many scholars believe that the calendar used in Genesis regarding the creation began in the fall, with the first month beginning somewhere from mid-September to mid-October. For example, Ussher’s chronology for creation began on October 22, 4004 BC.
Before God had Moses change the start of the yearly calendar to the spring season, the original calendar of the Hebrews began in the fall. The first month was originally Tishri and the seventh month was Nisan (these are not the original names…the original names were changed after the Babylonian captivity).
Today the Jews have two calendars. The religious calendar begins in the spring and the civil calendar begins in the fall. So, in Noah’s time, the calendar started in the fall (this will be proven when we get to Genesis 8:11). Genesis 7:11 states that the flood began “in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month.”This would coincide with Heshvan 17 on the modern lunisolar Jewish calendar. The date on the solar calendar that coincides with Heshvan 17 for the start of the flood is October 31 in our scenario.
Authors Note: I believe the Antediluvian calendar was a fall-to-fall calendar with the first month in September/October or Tishri. The seventh month would be March/April or Nisan. It is a lunar (or lunisolar) calendar with the months beginning on the new moon phase, just like the Jewish calendar. A lunar calendar has approximately 29.5 days per month while a solar calendar (Julian or Gregorian) calendar has approximately 30.5 days per month. I believe the calendar employed in Genesis 7 -8 is a 30-day-per-month calendar, as the moon couldn’t be observed inside the ark. Noah simply counted daylight days and figured 30 days per month.
To find out what date the 17th day of the 2nd month (Heshvan) occurred we need to first find out when the 1st day of the 2nd month began. In this case, it should be on October 15 (if October 31 is the 17th day of the 2nd month). October 15 would be the day after the conjunction of the second new moon of fall, according to the Biblical Jewish calendar. We would need to consult with Nasa’s AstroPixels website for this. Unfortunately, it only goes back to the year 2000 BC.
According to Nettles’ chronology, A Chronology of Mankind – 6000 Years of History (rev310.net), the Great Flood began in the year 1656 AM or 2304 BC. There is, however, a way to figure out the approximate date for the 1st day of the 2nd month of 2304 BC. Every 19 years, the Metonic lunar cycle realigns on the same calendar date (within a few hours). Every 133 (19 x 7) years it realigns approximately on the same calendar date as well. So, if we subtract 399 (3 x 133) from 2304 BC we get 1905 BC. In other words, 1905 BC should align (lunar phases) similarly with 2304 BC on the calendar.
However, according to AstroPixels - Six Millennium Catalog of Phases of the Moon, the year 1905 BC does not align with the dates we are looking for, but 1903 BC does. So, the year 1903 BC aligns (regarding lunar phases) with the year 2302 BC (1903 + 399 = 2302). It is possible that the Nettles chronology could be off by two years or the flood didn’t actually occur in that year. Either way, let’s assume 2302 BC is the correct year (for the flood to have started on October 31) and examine the timing of the events that transpired on Noah’s ark for that fateful year.
”In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” (Genesis 7:11). October 14, 2302 BC is the conjunction of the second new moon of fall for 2302 BC, so the following day, October 15, would be Heshvan 1 (the first day of the second month). That would make Tuesday, October 31, 2302 BC, the 17th day of the 2nd month (Heshvan), which is the starting date of the Great Flood. Epochs later, Halloween, the Day of the Dead, would be celebrated on October 31 on the Julian calendar.
“And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:12). On this day the rain stopped. 40 days from October 31/Heshvan 17 is December 9/Kislev 26. Approximately 2,148 years later, Kislev 26,164 BC, would become known as the 2nd day of Hanukkah on the Jewish calendar. The abomination of desolation in the Jewish Temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes was stopped by Judas Maccabeus and the Jews and the cleansing of the Temple had begun at this time.
“And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:3-4). This would seem to indicate the Antediluvians had a 360-day calendar (30 days per month) as there are five months between Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:4.
Although this could be true, it is not a sure thing. As I mentioned before, I believe they were using a lunar (possibly a lunisolar) calendar much like the Jewish calendar. They knew there were approximately 29.5 days per month, but since they couldn’t see the moon they just counted 30 daylight days and that was a month. Our reckoning will be determined by a 30 day per month calendar (both Julian and Jewish).
150 days from October 31 or Heshvan 17 (and also the 17th day of the seventh month according to the Jewish civil calendar) is March 30 or Nisan 17. This Jewish date in history is what would eventually become the 3rdday of the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the Jews. The LORD gave the Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread to Moses and the Israelites in 1446 BC, approximately 1856 years from the Great Flood.
“And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen” (Genesis 8:5). By counting 30 days per month, this would be June 12 or Tammuz 1 on the Jewish civil calendar. June 20 is usually considered the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
“So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made” (Genesis 8:6). 40 days from June 12/Tammuz 1 would be July 21 or Av 10. This is 1 day after the infamous 9th of Av in Jewish history. See The Dog Days of Summer :: By Randy Nettles - Rapture Ready.
“And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth” (Genesis 8:10-11). This would have occurred on July 28 or Av 17.
The dove brought back an olive leaf in her mouth, which meant it was the summer season. Av would be the 11th month on a fall-to-fall calendar. The 11th month on a spring-to-spring calendar would be Shevat and would occur in January or February. An olive tree wouldn’t have been growing in the middle of the winter season. This proves the flood began in the fall and not the spring.
“So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore” (Genesis 8:12). This would have occurred on August 4 or Av 24.
“And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry” (Genesis 8:13). Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw the surface of the ground was dry on this day of September 10 or Tishri 1, which would become known as the Feast of Trumpets to the Israelites during the time of Moses and Joshua. I would imagine Noah would have sounded the trumpet on this day if he would have had one.
THE AMAZING NUMBER 53
The occupants of the ark had to wait another 57 days to exit the ark because the ground was still extremely muddy. “And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried” (Genesis 8:14). This occurred on Tuesday, November 5, 2301 BC, or Heshvan 27 on the Jewish calendar. From Tuesday, October 31 (Heshvan 17), 2302 BC, to Tuesday, November 5 (Heshvan 27), 2301 BC is 371 days or 53 weeks. Now I don’t know if 2302-2301 BC is the correct year of the Great Flood or if it actually began on October 31, but it is possible. One thing I do know from scripture is that it lasted for 371 days or 53 weeks.
53 is an interesting number, as there were 53 days from Christ’s crucifixion to the start of the Holy Spirit-filled Church on Pentecost. The number 53 appears to represent the amount of time (be it days, weeks, or years) it takes to go from complete disaster to complete victory, from death to new beginnings. I would imagine that Noah and company felt like they were entering a coffin when they boarded the ark, but I’ll bet they felt like they were on “cloud nine” when they first stepped foot on the dry ground of the transformed earth.
Also, isn’t it interesting that Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the torture and death of the Messiah (Jesus) is found in chapter 53? In this prophecy by Isaiah, the Messiah is portrayed as the “suffering Servant,” the “sin-bearing Messiah,” and a “Man of sorrow.” Verses 1-9 describe Jesus’ suffering and death, but verses 10-12 describe His ultimate victory over sin and death.
“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; He has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:10-12).
An intriguing timeline of 53 years occurs in the sixth century BC. This timeline begins in the 6th year of Israel’s King Jehoiachin’s captivity. Ezekiel had a vision where he ‘sees’ the glorious personage of the Lord. “And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there. Then I looked, and there was a likeness, like the appearance of fire—from the appearance of His waist and downward, fire; and from His waist and upward, like the appearance of brightness, like the color of amber” (Ezekiel 8:1-2). This would have occurred onAugust 18, 592 BC on the Julian calendar.
Ezekiel’s spirit is transported to the Temple in Jerusalem where he witnesses idol worshipping and other abominations occurring there. Ezekiel 9 describes the wicked being slain for their evil actions. Ezekiel 10 (a must-read) describes the Shekinah glory of the Lord appearing in the Temple for the last time.
“Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory. And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, like the voice of Almighty God when He speaks. Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight” (Ezekiel 10:4-5;18-19).
Of course, we know Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. 53 years from 592 BC is 539 BC. This is the year we find Daniel in Babylon praying for the Jewish exile to end, as Jeremiah’s prophecy of a 70-year exile is about to expire. This is when the angel Gabriel appears in a vision and gives him the prophecy of the 70 weeks. In the fall of this year, on October 12, 539 BC the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon and took control of the city. Later King Cyrus of Persia issued a proclamation that the Jews could return to Judah and rebuild their temple in Jerusalem.
A potentially significant future event regarding 53 years could occur in the year 2026, as this is 53 years from the Yom Kippur War (also known as the Ramadan War) that started on October 6, 1973, or Tishri 10 (the Day of Atonement) on the Jewish calendar. See The 1290th & 1335th Day of Dan. 12:11-12 (rev310.net) for a possible scenario.
In all of these past examples, we see death and destruction in the beginning, but after 53 days, weeks, or years we see redemption and new beginnings. God made an unconditional covenant with Noah and his sons (and their descendants) and all living creatures that He would never again destroy the Earth with a flood. The sign of the covenant would be the rainbow in the clouds after a rain.
God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man” (Genesis 9:1-5).
Noah and his seven family members began a new life on a newly transformed earth. From hundreds of millions of people before the flood to eight people after the flood, humankind would survive and would repopulate the earth. 8 is the number associated with ‘resurrection’ or ‘regeneration.’ 8 is a new number 1, if you will. Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week, the eighth day (the day after the Sabbath).
The firstborn were to be given to Yahweh on the eighth day. “You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. Likewise, you shall do with your oxen and your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me” (Exodus 22:29-30).
Also, circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day, because it was the foreshadowing of the true circumcision (regeneration) of the heart. “In Him, you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead (Colossians 2:11-12).
Eight people who spent 371 days or 53 weeks with thousands of animals on a wooden ark would survive their great tribulation known as the Great Flood. The Great Tribulation mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:21-22 will be even worse and will last much longer. “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, those days will be shortened.
However, just as God gave Noah the plans to build the ark and for him and his family to escape the coming apocalypse so has he given us (in Christ) the means to escape our coming apocalypse. “And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Of course, I am referring to the Rapture of the Church which Paul reveals in detail in 1 Corinthians 15:51-51 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36).
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
P.S. I just found a multiple of 53 that I thought I should include. It doesn’t quite fit the pattern of the others but it is interesting nonetheless. According to the Nettles chronology, Abram entered the Promised Land of Canaan in the year 2084 from creation or 1876 BC. At this time, the LORD made an unconditional promise to Abram (Abraham). “The Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your descendants I will give this land. And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him” (Genesis12:7).
In 33 AD, Jesus died, was resurrected, and ascended to the Promised Land of Heaven. From 1876 BC to 33 AD is 1908 years or 53 years x 36. Many scholars believe Jesus was approximately 36 years old at the time of his death. This same Jesus was the LORD who appeared to Abram in the form of a theophany 19 centuries earlier and promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants forever.
Before Jesus was crucified, he gave us (in Christ) this promise, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Everlasting life on the new Earth and the new Heavens sounds pretty good to me.