Genesis 7:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 7:11, NIV: "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month--on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened."

Genesis 7:11, ESV: "In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened."

Genesis 7:11, KJV: "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."

Genesis 7:11, NASB: "In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened."

Genesis 7:11, NLT: "When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky."

Genesis 7:11, CSB: "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the sources of the vast watery depths burst open, the floodgates of the sky were opened,"

What does Genesis 7:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse points to a very specific day in the life of Noah for the beginning of the flood. Scholars have suggested many possible reasons this date might be significant. The most obvious one may be that including a specific date for the beginning of the flood gives the report authenticity. In short, the flood is not a myth. It began on an actual day in the history of the world. On that day, the Creator began to destroy much of what He had made and nearly all of the wickedness sinful humanity had made on the earth.

In addition to a specific starting date, chapter 8 will give exact dates for the landing of the ark, for the receding of the waters, for the drying of the earth, and for the exodus from the ark. Clearly, the text means for us to understand exactly how long each phase of the flood lasted, from beginning to end. This cataclysmic judgment of God was a historical event in the life of the world.

We are told that on that day all the fountains or springs of the great deep burst forth. The picture is of geyser spewing its contents into the sky, implying that a great underground ocean had existed and had been under some amount of pressure since the beginning of creation. In addition, the "windows of heaven" were opened. Great torrents of rain poured from the sky.

The language is poetic, but it also parallels God's work on the second day of creation. Genesis 1:7 tells us that God created an "expanse" of atmosphere between the waters below and the waters above. Some scholars speculate that the waters above created a kind of canopy around the earth. They suggest that in this moment that canopy was broken and the waters above the earth poured down to create the flood. Others dispute this, but either interpretation is compatible with the text.

In any case, the earth was about to revert to its original state of being covered by water.