Genesis 7: Noah and the Flood

1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, 3 and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth.

-Though clearly stated, it’s often missed that Noah took seven pairs (14) of every clean animal and only 1 pair (2) of every unclean animal. Keep in mind that 7 seems to be God’s number throughout scripture. When the Israelites are rescued out of Egypt and Moses gives the people the law they are told all about clean and unclean animals and it becomes a part of the natural law in Israel. What makes a clean animal? It would be very lengthy to get into here so more will be said when we get to Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In short, scientists today have found that animals considered “clean” are in fact very sanitary and safe to eat where as animals considered “unclean” are more likely to have diseases. Moreover, there is a metaphorical aspect to clean and unclean animals as well. Throughout scripture, we are given the example of a sheep as a desired follower of God. Sheep go wherever the shepherd leads and are very loyal. They do nothing without the shepherd guiding them, literally. They have no independence and will even remain still even while a predator is eating a sheep right next to it. This is the type of obedience God commands of us towards Him. Many animals seem to be created in a way like this to teach us how we should be and how we should behave. Animals with split hooves are considered clean and are careful signifying that we should tread lightly and think about every step we take. There are several reasons why God might have told Noah to take seven pairs of clean animals. God was not only saving Noah’s family but revealing to him what animals he can eat to stay healthy and preserve his life and the life of his family. God was interested in repopulating the human race and it wouldn’t have done much good if Noah’s descendants all died from some disease. Noah was commanded also to take “every kind of food” and by every that would include meat. So the quantity of these clean animals must have been enough to provide safe meat during the voyage as well. Having these also provided Noah with the means to send birds out to check for dry land and to make a sacrifice once the ordeal was over. Even after eating and sacrificing what they needed, there still would have been extra clean animals improving the rate of reproduction so that his descendants can start raising herds of clean animals in their new life.

4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5 And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.

-Verse 5 says Noah did everything. Many answer the criticism of how Noah was able to find every kind of animal and they say that God brought the animals to him. It doesn’t say God did this. In fact, it shows God’s specific instructions as to what Noah needs to do. Then it says that Noah did it. We aren’t told exactly but from Genesis 6:3, it may be that Noah was warned 120 years in advance of the flood occurring which would have given him ample time to find these animals and even raise and breed these animals so that a young male and female of each type was available when it came time to enter the ark. Noah may have been the world’s first zoo keeper and may have been finding and raising animals for over a hundred years to get everything right. If God was going to bring every animal and everything needed to Noah then why the advance warning, why wait? God could have told him when he’d only have enough time to build the ark. Why would Noah have to build the ark in the first place if God was going to do everything? God is in complete control and has complete sovereignty yet He does command us to do things and we are expected to do them. God could force anyone to do anything if He chose yet instead allows us the option to follow Him or face the consequences. I won’t start a Calvinism vs Armenianism debate here but we can definitely say for sure that being a follower of God requires faith but also obedience. Noah had faith and was given these tasks with the expectation he would obey and he did.

6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, 9 two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah.

-Even though Noah is said to be the only one righteous, God allows Noah to take his wife and son’s and their wives with him. Obviously Noah would need at least his own wife to repopulate the Earth but why were his sons necessary given that they were worldly too like all those God was eliminating. We see here the importance of family and the father in the family unit. The father is the leader of his family and has authority over everyone else. God didn’t just judge Noah as righteous but included his whole family as being part of him even if they individually did not meet the same criteria. The same is said for kings and leaders of nations. God is a God of order and structure and works within His own established structure of what He has created when He interacts with us. That does not mean that within a married couple only the husband can receive communication from God since he’s the head of the family because the contrary happens often including in scripture. While the family does have a structure as the father being the head, we also each have our own individual soul and relationship with God. So it depends on what is relevant in each situation. In this situation, God communicating only with Noah was an individual-based decision but saving his whole family was based on family structure. Mankind was not meant to be alone so how could God save only Noah or even only Noah and his wife and leave his sons to die? The family reflects the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The husband has the authoritative Father role, the wife has the submissive Son role, and the sons have the obedient Holy Spirit role. God could no more split his family in this way then He could split Himself. Granted, when Lot and his family were escaping Sodom, Lot’s wife looked back and died so Lot’s wife did not survive. The difference in this case is his wife was already being saved but she chose defiance and went outside God’s family structure by not obeying her husband when she looked back. This would be the same as if one of Noah’s sons decided to jump out of the ark and take his chances during the flood. God did not fail, that person chose to be a fool.

10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth. 11 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. 12 And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

-According to the account, everyone went in the ark AND THEN seven days later the water came. They were inside seven days for nothing. Not for nothing of course because again, seven is God’s number. It always signifies God’s work. It took seven days as proof it was from God. It even happened on the seventh day of the month. This is His calling card, so to speak. His seal. This section also says that the fountains of the deep forth which means not only did it rain but water came up from the ground as well. Also, the “windows of the heavens” probably isn’t just a poetic way of saying that it started raining. Given the theory about the layer of water in the sky protecting the atmosphere and prolonging life, the “window” seems to be describing this layer following down to earth where as it had been held by a window before.

13 On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, 14 they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. 15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in.

-This information has been repeated again and again it seems to be God saying it anew to make sure that we understand it. In this case, we need to understand that yes, every single type of animal was on the ark. Yes, really. It’s as if God anticipated resistance to the believability of this story.

17 The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind.

-This description is included most likely to make sure we understood that nothing survived, nothing. So nothing, certainly no “Nephilum”, whatever they were exactly, could have survived either. Everything being destroyed means everything was destroyed and there was no life. According to this description, if Mt. Everest was the same height now as it was then, then the water would have gotten 29,028 feet plus 15 cubits above current sea level. That is a lot of water but if there was that much and it didn’t all return to the atmosphere, where did it all go? The answer might be found in Psalm 104:5-8, “He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.” This passage refers to the flood and mentions mountains rising and valleys sinking. This would suggest the earth was more “flat” before the flood and deep valleys were created that made the oceans into what we have today. It’s possible we may not have had oceans pre-flood like we do today. Plus, such massive weight probably would have caused tectonic disturbances that would have raised mountains up. So that is where the overwhelming majority of the water went, down valleys that are our modern day ocean floor possibly created by earthquakes that also caused mountains to raise. In the next chapter, it says God sent a mighty wind to abate the waters so he must have got the ball rolling.

22 Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.

-The description “in whose nostrils was the breath of life” again proves the point last chapter about God’s “spirit” not abiding man any longer referring to simply life God has already given. According to this, after the rained stopped, there was a whole 150 days or a whopping 5 months before the waters subsided enough to leave the ark. Having done the preparation and waiting possibly over a hundred years and then having to wait half a year through this whole ordeal…Noah is the king of patience and a much greater man than me!

Spanish words:
conservar = to keep, maintain, preserve
faz = face, vosage, face of a coin
diluvio = flood
suceder = to happen, succeed
lluvia = rain
silvestre = wild
superficie = surface
aliento = breath
prevalecer = to prevail, prevail over


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