Thursday, 18 October 2007

Noah's missing year

According to the Torah:
  1. Noah lived 600 years before the Flood
  2. The Flood lasted 1 full solar year
  3. Noah lived 350 years AFTER the flood
  4. Noah's total life-span is 950 years.
  5. But - Since 600 + 1 + 350 = 951, Therefore Noah SHOULD have lived 951 years!
Where is Noah's missing year?
What Commentaries deal with this?
--
Kol Tuv / Best Regards,
RabbiRichWolpoe@Gmail.com

6 comments:

Rafi G said...

I do not remember the name of the meforush who said this, but I remember learning that the missing year is because laws of nature were supposedly suspended for the year he was in the teivah. There was no day/night.

Anonymous said...

Is it clear that 350 years AFTER the flood means 350 years after the flood ENDED? Could it mean 350 years after the flood BEGAN?

Garnel Ironheart said...

I'm with Rafi G. When Noach offers his sacrifices, God says He won't suspend the laws of nature any more. This implies (according to Rashi and others) that they were suspended during the year of the flood.

What this implies, in a radical sense, is that we have no idea how long it really was from the time Noach entered the Ark to the time he offered his sacrifices, in terms of how we measure time. Thousands of standard years, if not tens of thousands could have passed. This would certainly answer lots of questions about how human civilization is a lot older than the date Noach came out of the Ark.

Rabbi Richard Wolpoe said...

BUT the Torah gives dates despite the supsension of nature. And Rashi coimpute this as 1 full solar year - 365 days, viz. from 17 Marchesvan of year 1 to 27 Marchesvan of year 2.

-RRW

Garnel Ironheart said...

The Torah also gives us dates throughout Creation but only hysterical Protestants and Chareidim believe they were actualy 24 hours long each. Just like the days during the first week of the world were an unspecified period of time and could better be translated as "eras" one could make the argument that this happened during the flood as well.

What's more, when did time start up normally again? God didn't announce the resumption of regular time until after Noah offered his sacrifices so who's to say that didn't happen a long time after he left the ark?

RabbiRichWolpoe said...

So if this is all true why did the text bother to:

1) Increment Noah's Age by 1 year from BEFORE the Flood Until After the Flood?
2) Give a chronicle of 1 solar year replete with starting and ending dates? - Viz. 17th of the 2nd month until 27th of the 2nd Month [if time indeed stood still??!!
3) How did Rashi presume 1 year based upon the text and not see your extrapolated inference instead?
4) List Time expended such as 40 days, 150 days, 1 week [3 separate times] etc.?
5) Give Noah's total age when imbedded was suspended immeasurable time?

If your inferences ARE TRUE, that would obviate the narrative and make the point of Peshat pointless!

KT
RRW