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An Eclipse Cycle in the Genesis Record

By: James D. Dwyer

Revision: June 18, 2013 +

Copyright © 2013=2016 James D. Dwyer

Chapters 7 and 8 of the book of Genesis have detail of a great flood event that occurred in the life of the patriarch Noah. Of significance here is that certain Jewish authors--those who flourished in an era when the old Jerusalem Temple stood--wrote down some additional information as to when on the time line the Genesis flood was believed to have occurred.

To be more specific as to when the Deluge might have occurred, an early-held belief about the Deluge arriving in sync with the spring season can clearly be recognized from writings attributed to the Jewish philosopher: Philo Judaeus (c. 25 BC - 45 AD). The commencement of the great flood on the first day of spring is manifest from a portion of his second dissertation on the book of Genesis--as follows:

"... the deluge fell on the day of the vernal equinox... the first man who was produced out of the earth was also created at the same season of the year, he whom the divine writer calls Adam... Since, therefore, the first beginning of the generation of our race, after the destruction caused by the deluge, commenced with Noah, men being again sown and procreated, therefore he also is recognized as resembling the first man born of the earth... putting them to shame because he would, unquestionably, never, after he had created the universe... have destroyed all the men who lived on the earth... if it had not been for the preposterous excess of their iniquities." (Questions and Answers on Genesis, Part 2:17; translation by Yonge).

The chronology for the patriarchs, shown in Chapter 5 of the book of Genesis, further shows that the flood came 1656 years from the creation of the first man (Adam). So, the composite Hebrew record is explicit in showing the following set of dual (or duplicate) equinox dates:

1. The creation of the first man (Adam) is shown at the time of the spring equinox.
2. The great flood came after 1656 years at the time of the spring equinox.

The cited description of a time span that began with a spring equinox and--after 1656 years--ended with a spring equinox is significant in the regard that a number of 604841 days is recognizable between 'the day that God created man' and the 'same day' that the Deluge occurred on. [Please take note here that each tropical year inherently occupies 365.24219 days. Thus, a time span that reaches from equinox to equinox across 1656 years is inherently equal to 604841days.]

The Hebrew record is additionally significant in describing an origin for the Sun and Moon up in front of (or prior) to the creation of the first man (on the 6th day). To here be more specific, a poem appears to represent the very first chapter of Genesis. This very famous song (or poem) relates a number of Divine creative acts that were sequentially performed on a 1st day, a 2nd day, a 3rd day, a 4th day, a 5th day, and a 6th day (all wrought throughout an initial week of creation). The verses that comprise this respective chapter relate that time was accounted for in association with the creation of light on the 1st day (and thereafter man was created on the 6th day of the same week).

The accounting of time that is shown in the composite Hebrew writings is of special interest in the regard that 604846 days can be counted FROM the noted 1st day of creation TO the day of the flood. This span of time also happens to inherently be equal to 20482 lunar periods. Thus, an interface with the Moon is manifested in the Hebrew record, and this respective alignment strongly points to a possibility that the ancients would have been mindful of a conjunction cycle at 20482 lunar months.

The Hebrew texts (those that indicate period astronomers held knowledge of a time cycle of 20482 months) then come very close to proving that an equinox date for the Deluge was also understood in association with the terminus of the lunar month.

But could ancient astronomers have held some other interest in (or had some other reason for) counting out a cycle of 20482 lunar months?

A most major reason for tracking a cycle of 604846 days (or 20482 lunar months) can be recognized by comparing this span of time with the eclipse record. To be more specific, this respective time cycle can be proven to almost always keep pace with the time of a solar eclipse. Thus, it would be a true axiom to state that if the Sun is eclipsed by the new Moon at any point along the time line then a followup eclipse will (in most instances) reoccur after 20482 months have passed by.

An eclipse cycle of 20482 months is easy for almost anyone to prove. All that is required is to first determine the date of a prior (or a future) solar eclipse. This can be done via using one of the current online catalogs of solar eclipses. (NASA is a good resource). Once an eclipse date has been determined then simply count forward or backward by 1656 years and then move forward or backward 5 more days. As another option try converting the date of any solar eclipse into the format of a Julian day number and then add or subtract 604846 days from it.

An eclipse will be found at the frequency of every 20482 months about 90 percent of the time.

The following table encompasses a time span 5 cycles of 1656 years, or 8280 total years. The first eclipse listed in the table would have occurred in the year -3838 (-3839 B.C.E). So, this instance of an eclipse would have occurred in the past (some 5851 years prior to the current year 2013). The last eclipse listed in the table is one that is predicted to occur in the year 4442 (which is 2429 years into the future from the current year 2013). The prior and future eclipses are listed to more fully illustrate that a solar eclipse can be predicted to occur right inline with the cited Genesis cycle (of 20482 months):

Date Julian Lunar Days of Day Months to Solar to Next Next Eclipse Eclipse Eclipse ----------- ------- ------- ------- 10/28/-3838 319529 20482 604846 10/20/-2182 924375 20482 604846 10/13/-0526 1529221 20482 604846 10/04/ 1130 2134067 20482 604845 10/14/ 2786 2738912 20482 604845 10/17/ 4442 3343757
Date of Solar Eclipses determined from the NASA Eclipse Web Site and/or 'Version of Sky View Cafe'.

The stated possibility that a solar eclipse might have occurred on the day of a great flood can seemingly be recognized from a certain Sumerian/Babylonian poem (or poems) that is (or are) somewhat similar to the Genesis record of a hero that survived a cataclysmic flood. Of significance here is that certain verses preserved among the Babylonians have detail of a blackening of the sky on that morning when the earth was destroyed. In example, a stanza within The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh relates that: "Early in the morning at dawn a black cloud arose from the horizon . . . [the gods] turned everything to blackness" (English translation from Wikipedia).

The set of Babylonian songs or poems that report a blackening of the sky at the beginning of a great flood then add weight to a possibility that the flood of Noah might have occurred not only at the time of a vernal equinox but also at the time of a solar eclipse.

The cited time cycle of 20482 lunar months has additional significance in the regard that this respective time cycle inherently interfaces with, or conjoins with, the rotation of the Earth.

Please take note that the Earth rotates one time every 24 hours, or also 86400 seconds. The rotational rate thus proves that any given longitude location on the globe will inherenly come back into the same alignment with a same phase of the Moon at the reoccurrence of each 49 lunar months (or also 1447 solar days).

This respective alignment of 1447 solar days with 49 lunar months is easy for almost anyone to prove. [Simply divide 1447 days into 49 equal time segments (or divide 1447 by 49). Each of the resulting time segments (the result of dividing 1447 by 49) can then be compared with the length of lunar period (which is 29.53059 days). A correct result of performing this division will not differ from the actual length of the lunar period by more than 2 seconds.]

Thus, because 20482 lunar months are exactly divisible by 49 then the Earth can be recognized to have stood in the same alignment with the Moon on both the 1st day of the Genesis record (at the beginning) as well as on the last day . . . at the end . . . on the day of the Deluge.

For additional information about the significance of biblical time cycles, refer to the following online publications:
  1. Was the Flood of Noah a Real Event?
  2. Significance of 40 Days
  3. Tracking the Day of the Sun
  4. A Significant Jubilee Cycle
  5. Significance of 70 years
  6. Time Portals or Annual Gates
  7. Significance of the Lunar Week
  8. A Count of 360 Days
  9. Chronology of Jubilees


Please feel free to download and distribute--but not sell--the articles and booklets listed above. (Note that the published material is subject to constant revision. Be advised that corrections, amendments, and new interpretations are frequently made.)

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Copyright © 2013-2016 James D. Dwyer