Genesis 8:1-22 – The Ark

Genesis 8:1-22 – The Ark

Chapter 8:1-2 That God remembered does not denote that God forgot but is a Hebraic term meaning that God once again began to work on their behalf, and began preparing the renewed world for them.  He caused the wind to pass over the earth (this word in the Hebrew is the same word used for Spirit, Ruach) and plugged up the fountains of the deep.  It was God’s wind or Spirit that was at work in creating the world.  (Psalm 104:69)  “You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. (7) But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; (8) they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them. (9) You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.” 

V 3-4 – The result of this rapid removal of the waters would be to form huge inland lakes, along with great rivers that would etch out canyons and valleys, with huge deposits of silt in their basins.  Geologist’s report that there is evidence of high-water levels in the not so distant past.  These and other extensive indications are documented in the book “The Genesis Flood” by Henry Morris.  The Ararat region which includes Mt. Ararat in modern day Turkey in Asia Minor consists of elevations of 17,000 feet.  Biblical archaeologists believe that it was in this range that the Ark came to rest as the waters abated after 150 days here is one recent article.  There have been numerous reports of sightings of the Ark by explorers and mountain climbers. 

Vv. 5-12 – Noah and the others waited 7 months for the waters to recede enough for them to leave the Ark.   After 2 months they were able to see the tops of nearby mountains.  40 days later Noah released a raven, which was a meat eating, unclean bird.  It probably rested and dined on unclean carcasses and never returned to the Ark.  He also released a dove and it returned.  A week later he sent the dove out again, and it returned with an olive leaf, which was an indication that trees were beginning to grow on the renewed earth. 

Vv. 13-14 – The flood started on the 17th day of the second month, and this was the 27th day of the second month one year later, which made for a total of 371 days, a period of 53 weeks.  Here are some of the changes that occurred to the world after the flood: The oceans were more extensive and the land less.  The thermal blanket that protected the earth was now punctured with the result that  brought ultra violet rays increased. There were greater temperature differentials and both the northern and southern latitudes became permanently cold.  Rugged mountains and steep valleys made more land uninhabitable.  Winds and storms, rain and snow were now made possible ending the static nature of weather prior to the flood.  The under pinions of the earth were now unstable making earthquakes more likely.  Huge masses of fossil life became buried which are now the source of our fossil fuels.  Still greater crushing caused coal and diamonds to be formed. 

V. 15-19 – As God commanded Noah and his family to go into the ark to find rest and protection from the flood of judgment, God now command Noah and his family to come out of the ark to begin the process of reinhabiting the earth. The animals are also called to come forth as well and to begin the process of reproduction and repopulation.  “every kind of living creature that is with you the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it.” This means that all the animals that exist today come from the animals present on the ark.  Similarly, all the nations and people of the world are directly related to Noah and his children. 

V 20 – In thanksgiving for the deliverance of himself and his family, Noah built an altar. The offering of sacrifice had been acceptable in Abel’s sacrifice and once again we see blood offered as a means of approaching God and giving thanks.  Noah had taken extra clean animals for just this reason.  He made preparation to give thanks well ahead of time. Since the sacrifice was 1/7 of the appropriate animals available this was a costly sacrifice since clean animals were more valuable for sacrifice. 

V 21 -The “soothing” (hannihoah, Heb.) aroma reflects the ongoing play with the name “Noah” in the narrative. Noah comforted God which in some way is related to the doctrine of propitiation (Rom. 3:25). Propitiation in the New Covenant can be defined as the work of Jesus on the cross in which His death met the demands of the righteousness of God against sin, both satisfying the requirements of God’s justice and canceling the guilt of man.  So, God was appeased by the offering of Noah and He promised never to curse the ground again.  God declares here that man’s nature from birth is to do evil, this is the concept of original sin. Because man is helpless to save himself, and his thoughts are not Godward or godly, he desperately needs the grace of God.  It is for this reason that God must and has taken the initiative to save him.  This is the definition of grace. 

V22 God gave Noah and all mankind assurance that nature would be predictable and dependable, “as long as the earth endures”.  Someday, however the “Day of the Lord” will come.  (2 Pet 3:10) “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”  The climax of the age to come will be with the destruction of the old order. This section is the only place where Scripture teaches the destruction of the world by fire. God will then create a new heaven and new earth, in which righteousness will be the norm (cf. Rev. 21; 22). 

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