Genesis 8: The Flood Subsides

1 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3 and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated,

-The bible often says “God remembered” and that does not mean that God had forgotten something and then went “Oh, yeah, that Noah guy, right, I should do something about that!” The word remembered in this case is more along the lines of “brought to attention”. God simply chose to bring to attention and act on Noah’s predicament at this time but was perfectly aware of his situation, literally, and did not forget or get distracted.

4 and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

-Recall last chapter that the rain started on the second month, on the seventeenth day. The ark came to rest on the seventh month on the seventeenth day, 150 days total. The second month on the Hebrew calender is Iyyar and the seventh month is Tishrei. The mountains of Ararat are a known place at the very Eastern edge of Turkey bordering Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran.

5 And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.

-The length of time was 73 days from the time the ark touched land and the tops of the mountains were seen. The tenth month on the Hebrew calender is Tevet.

6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7 and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth.

-We’re now up to a total of 263 days since the flood started. Noah sent forth a Raven but it did not say it came back, verse 7 says it went to and fro until the waters dried up. It seems likely the Raven went out and found dead carcasses to feed off of and perch on to where it saw no need to return to the ark. This is why a Raven is an unclean bird, it is a scavenger that eats anything and has no loyalty.

8 Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. 9 But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him.

-Dove’s being a clean animal are not scavengers and can be trained so they are considered clean.

10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. 11 And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.

-We’re now at 270 days total. How did the dove know to bring back an olive leaf as a sign of dry land? God may have been guiding the animal or the dove may have simply been bringing the leaf back to build a nest.

12 Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore. 13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.

-With seven more days that makes a total of 277 days from the start of the flood. The first month on the Hebrew calendar is Nisan which also just so happens to be exactly 227 days from the seventeenth of Iyyar.

14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out.

-Total time of start of rain to new life: 1 year and 10 days.

15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.

-What an amazing act of obedience that Noah and his family still did not leave the ark even though the dove they sent out had not returned after providing proof of dry land and it appeared to be dried out. Wouldn’t they want to explore? They patiently waited until God told them it was OK. We also see the command given to Adam and Even repeated with Noah and his family to be fruitful and multiply the earth. God’s intentions for us have not changed despite the physical changes of earth and “starting over” with Noah’s line.

God’s Covenant with Noah

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

-We aren’t told why Noah did this but the last time we were told of someone doing this was Cain and Abel. So perhaps in Seth’s line over the generations the idea of making animal sacrifices to God as Abel did was passed down to those who chose to live righteously. We also don’t know if Noah realized that was what the clean animals were for or was told that God is pleased by sacrifices of clean animals.

21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

-This doesn’t say that the Lord changed His mind based on being sufficiently appeased it just says that He smelled it and afterwards stated the Noahitic covenant. Its a stated order of events, not a cause and effect. This is an important pronouncement because God does not lie or exaggerate which means the earth will never again be wiped clean of life nor will the seasons or way the Earth functions be altered as it was when the layer of mist fell altering the amount of foreign elements that can get in and its effect on the decay rate of elements here on earth. We do know Earth really will be destroyed once and for all in the Book of Revelation but verse 22 says “while the earth remains”. The earth will not remain when God’s final plan for mankind begins.

Spanish words:

acordar = to agree, reward, remind
bestia = beast
cerrar = to close
decrecer = to decrease, decline,go down
retirar = to remove, take back, retract
reposo = rest
suceder = to happen
cuervo = raven
paloma = dove, pidgin
percibir = to perceive
juventud = youth
cesar = to stop, cease


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