When May 21, 2011 came and went just like any other day, those who had spent thousands of hours studying the Bible over the last number of years were in shock. They had to reassess their understanding, thinking that the beginning of the Day of Judgment must have been only spiritual in nature. Then the focus turned to October 21, and when that day also passed with no outward signs, there was complete consternation. Since the timeline of history seemed perfect, and all of the proofs lined up wonderfully, these determined people concluded that there must be more to the story.
This study has followed the search for this missing piece at the very end of time. For these dedicated people, it started to look like an awfully interesting coincidence that the Day of Judgment was exactly 5 months long, and Noah’s ark floated on the water for exactly 5 months as well. Since Noah’s journey wasn’t complete, maybe if they could line up our calendar with his, they could follow along to see what was still in store for us. Indeed, the calendars paralleled each other beautifully, and with an impressive list of proofs, they determined that the very last day had to be December 28, 2011, not October 21.
As a prosecuting attorney builds his case on as much evidence as he can find, so too we search the Bible for every piece of information that can support our argument for showing Truth. Even so, that attorney will also search desperately for a motive, as that helps substantiate his position immensely. The law of God is eternal, and so His principles continue as law into whatever worlds are in the Heavens. For us, we can learn all that we need to know about those laws in the Bible. There is only one set of rules, and the Bible teaches that God Himself must also follow these laws. However, God is under no obligation to explain his actions to us. If He is going to show us why He added 68 days to the end of earth’s calendar, it can only be because of His love and kindness toward the human race.
Before we can address the question of why the calendar was extended, we should tie up a few loose ends to solidify our adventure in Noah’s ark. First, let’s take a look at the boat itself. In Genesis 6:15, God is telling Noah exactly what the dimensions must be: “…The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.“ A cubit is about 18 inches, so the ark was about one and a half football fields in length, and 45 feet high, the height of a 3 or 4 story building! We know that the rain continued non-stop for forty days and nights. At the end of that period, the water would be at its highest level throughout the earth before starting to recede, which was about 22 to 23 feet above the highest mountain tops: “Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” (Genesis 7:20). In Chapter 8 verse 3, we read, “And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.“ God is telling us that after the forty day rain, the water level dropped over the last 110 days of Noah’s 5 months of floating on the water. Continuing on: “And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.“ (Genesis 8:5). This adds another 74 days to the 110 days, or 184 total days that it took the water to drop about 22 feet from its highest point until the mountain tops were visible. Assuming that the water receded at a fairly constant rate, the ark would have rested on the spot on Mount Ararat in about 8 to 9 feet of water. Looking at Noah’s ark as a 45′ tall vessel, we would expect it to float over the land in 22 feet of water, but it would probably bottom out in only 8 or 9 feet of water. This reasoning helps bolster our confidence that our findings concerning Noah’s schedule of events are accurate.
A definite point of confusion is how that we can know for sure that the 40 days that Noah waited before he opened the window followed immediately after the day the ark rested on the mountain. In the Bible, the passage about the 40 days is positioned on the page after the mountain tops were visible, which was 74 days after the ark landed. We can get some help on this by taking a closer look at the one window in Noah’s ark: “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;…” (Genesis 7:16). Noah had one small 18 inch square window, and we can clearly see that the door was on the side, but the window was in the roof. The ultimate purposes of the window were for Noah to keep track of the day and night cycles to count days, and to allow the birds to check for land. Since the roof had to be a solid waterproof component of the ark to keep out the pounding rain, Noah could not see what was going on outside at all. Finally, as described in Genesis 8:13, Noah dismantled the roof and looked down at the ground for the first time. This was 90 days after the mountains were above the water line, or 164 days after the ark rested. Day 74 after the ark stopped moving, when the mountains appeared out of the water, was like any other day had been for Noah for some time. There was nothing to signal him to immediately start counting off another 40 days of waiting. We now know that day 74 was the day the dove landed, but Noah did not see that happen either, as he only knew that it did not return.
One final piece of old business is clarifying how we know that all of Noah’s months were 30 days each, as the Bible does not spell it out word for word. One strong piece of evidence is that when we make that assumption, everything fits neatly into place. We know that the 17th day of the 2nd month to the 17th day of the 7th month is stated as totaling 150 days, which at least averages out to be 30 day months. Also, Genesis 8:14 declares, “And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.“ This was the last official day of the flood, which began on the 17th day of the second month in the previous year. Using 30 day months, we arrive at a total of 370 days, or (10×37). Spiritually this represents complete (10) judgment (37), and so we have harmony with this supposition. In addition, as with an algebra problem in school, there have to be some known constants to work with to solve for the unknowns. God always seems to give just enough information so that eventually we can find Truth.
Now, getting back to this matter of an explanation of why God would add 68 days after the 5 month Day of Judgment, we have the whole Bible at our disposal for our search. Since we can justify the end time calendar of events through the period of the 5 month Day of Judgment, we must first look at these months to give us some reason to continue yet farther in time. Besides Revelation Chapter 9 and Genesis Chapter 8, there is one more place in the Bible describing a curious period of 5 months. Luke 1:24-25 says: “And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.“. The context here is centered around Elisabeth, the wife of Zacharias, who was an upstanding priest who had just completed his scheduled duties in the temple. These verses describe how Elisabeth hid in shame from the world for being pregnant. However, there was no reason why Elisabeth should feel ashamed at all, as this was a legitimate pregnancy, and she had every right to bear a child. This discrepancy should cause us to take special note, and realize that these verses must be a parable of something else.
It turns out that Elisabeth’s baby would grow up to be John the Baptist, the man who announced and baptized the Lord Jesus. When we jump down to verse 41, we find that something interesting happened to this baby while it was still inside Elisabeth’s womb: “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:“. This is a clear message that John the Baptist, as a fetus, was given a new eternal soul, and the promise of salvation that goes along with it. We have correctly realized for centuries that this teaches us that human life begins at conception, and that salvation is possible for babies before birth. But could this somehow also lead to the answer we are searching for? The answer is a resounding YES!
To put this all in perspective, we need to go back to Noah’s window one more time. The word window is used 14 times in the Old Testament, and 13 of those times, the original Hebrew word means just that, a window. But in Genesis 6:16, as God is relaying his instructions regarding the construction of the ark, this Hebrew word for window is entirely different. It focuses on the light the window gives, and the root of the word goes back to the meaning of producing light from oil, a figure of anointing. This window is a symbol of salvation, and we had already assumed that, as the dove flew out of it to the Promised Land. But now we can see that Noah’s window leads to even more incredible consequences for us today, as God has so craftily hid this surprise information in the Book of Luke.
Elisabeth is a picture, or portrait of all of the women of the world who have conceived or will conceive on or after May 21, 2011. She conceived “after those days,” and hid herself for 5 months, to hide her reproach among the world. When the Day of Judgment began, the salvation process as we had come to understand it was finished. This is essentially true for all of those conceived before May 21, as you are either in the ark or outside of it in a hopeless condition. For these pregnant women who started a life on or after May 21, the world is basically saying to them, “How dare you bring a baby into the world with no more hope of salvation, destined to die with no chance for eternal life!” But as we read Luke 1:25 again, God in his mercy is taking away that shame, in the only way possible. And that way must be by offering the hope of salvation to every bundle of human life conceived on or after May 21. John the Baptist is a portrait of those babies out of that group who were chosen and not forgotten by God. Most of us hadn’t thought much about this rather large group of human lives, but the Lord Jesus Christ had planned to save some of them too, and the world couldn’t end on October 21 until they were safe and secure as well.
“…then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” (Genesis 8:9). As Noah reached out through that window to pull his dove into the ark, so too the Lord Jesus will be reaching out when the window is opened for us on November 24, pulling baby doves into the ark as a final 34-day celebration of the miracle of salvation. How could we ask for a more wonderful Thanksgiving! We now know that the raven was released when the window opened, so the world will continue along, business as usual, with no outward sign of God’s handiwork once again. But this time we can be certain, that 3 days after we are reminded on Christmas of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, His purpose (3) will be fulfilled perfectly.