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This question asks why the flood didn't end on the 18th of Cheshvan (one year after the start). My question is more basic: why does the torah give us precise dates here at all? Bereishit 7:11 tells us it began on the 17th of the second month and Bereishit 8:14 tells us it ended on the 27th of the second month a year later -- but I don't think we get another precise date before the exodus begins. (One can of course question which month is meant by the second month -- the other question assumes Cheshvan -- but regardless of which it is, the torah identifies a specific month and specific dates.)

Why is it important to tell us the flood began and ended on these exact dates?

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To tell us it was a complete solar year? – Menachem Oct 31 '13 at 5:07
@Menachem Just say ויהי אחרי שנה תמימה or so. Also, who cares that it was a complete solar year? – Double AA Oct 31 '13 at 6:50
similar judaism.stackexchange.com/q/17810/759 – Double AA Oct 31 '13 at 6:50
@Menachem, we get durations without dates all over the place; we know how old people were, that Avraham circumcised Yitzchak on the 8th day, how long the famine in Mitzrayim was... the text is clearly able to tell us about durations without giving us exact dates. So why the exact dates here? – Monica Cellio Oct 31 '13 at 12:38
I like this question even though I get the sense that there is a question of literary veracity - the more detail, the more acceptable as an accurate story. There is also a parallel to all the later events based in precise dates (holidays, kingships, wars). – Danno Oct 31 '13 at 17:46

See Rashi on chapter 8 verse 4 where he deduces based on the dates given how submerged in the water the Teiva was - 11 cubits. An interesting point from which we can derive with a bit of calculation and Archimedes' priniciple, a possibly even more fascinating point: that it weighed around 15,645 metric tonnes (based on Rabbi Hadar Margolin's proposition that the Ama was 46.5 cm - ספר הידורי המידות).

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A book written by a human claiming to be divine will not include dates (or any specific details) lest someone spot an error in them and then claim that it is not divine. The Torah being divine is not afraid to include specific details; thus this proves that the Torah is a Divine Document.

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Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Duvid, and thanks for the interesting answer. Editing in a source for it could make it much more valuable. – Scimonster Oct 20 '14 at 15:16
This is only true if those humans expect there target audience to become sophisticated enough before those humans die to spot the error. 3000 years ago most people were probably illiterate and didn't have records to check anyway. Hence this is a weak proof which only sounds good to our modern critical-thinking minds. – Double AA Oct 20 '14 at 15:17
@DoubleAA Why does it have to be those humans? Wouldn't humans 5 bajillion years later also be part of the consideration? Why were "those humans" alive then their only target audience? Unless they only wanted to make up a religion for a short while. (Still means they had to have the expectation that humans would eventually become sophisticated enough.) – Y ez Oct 20 '14 at 15:34
@YEZ Sure. If I was making up a cult for my benefit, why would I can what happens to it in 500 years? I'll be long gone. – Double AA Oct 20 '14 at 15:35
@DoubleAA If you have a guy who was reaping tremendous benefit from not planting every 7th year or never having bacon, then I hear. But seemingly the only benefit of making up such a religion with such restrictions and no clear individual who stands to make out like a bandit is the eternalization of himself through his religion. – Y ez Oct 20 '14 at 15:46

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