Did God Really
WHEN WAS THE GROUND DRY?
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
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
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
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
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 Strongs 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:
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 arks 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
it a little clearer. Here is what the NIV translation says:
the first day of the first month of Noahs 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.
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.
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