Genesis Chapter Eight

 

Read Genesis 8:1-5 – The Ark Comes to a Rest

 

v.1And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;”

 

            What does this word “ASSWAGED” mean?  The currently accepted spelling is assuaged and it means (1) “to make milder or less severe; relieve; ease; (2) to appease, satisfy; (3) to soothe, calm, or mollify.”  God remembered Noah, ark and all the creatures that He had saved.  So much the same as he controlled the Red Sea in Exodus 14:21; God calmed the waters of the earth and caused them to be soothed.

 

v.2-3The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.”

 

            God, in his response to Job, asked this question:

 

“Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,” Job 38:37  

 

and, of course, the answer is God.  When God remember Noah he stopped the fountains of the earth, the rain ceased and after 150 days the waters went to their rightful place on the new earth.

 

v.4  And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.”

 

            Exactly five months has passed since the “FOUNTAINS OF THE GREAT DEEP BROKEN UP, AND THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN WERE OPENED.” (Genesis 7:11).  The ark comes to rest on the top of a mountain called Ararat.  Where is this mountain located?  “A district of Armenia (east of Turkey, north of Iraq), a lofty plateau overlooking the plain of the river Araxes on the north and Mesopotamia on the south.  Opinions differ as to the peak on which the ark of Noah rested.  It is probably to the identified with the lofty snowclad summit of Massis, called by the Persians; Mountain of Noah.”  This mountain is about 17,000 feet and is in the region where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers rise.

 

v.5And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.”

 

            So the water continued to subside for about another 2˝ months until the tops of the mountain could be seen.

 

Read Genesis 8:6-14 – Dry Land Again

 

v.6-7And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.”

 

            After forty days, forty days after the first of the tenth month, Noah started trying to find out if there was dry land for him, his family and the animals on the ark to occupy.  God had told him precisely when the flood was coming, told him how escape it, provided him the means to maintain life on earth but has not yet told him that the earth was dry.  Noah wants to find this out for himself.  So Noah sends out a raven.  Scripture tells us that this bird went to and fro until the waters were dried up.  One commentator indicates that this bird probably flew back and forth but returned to the ark to roost and rest without coming to Noah and says that the original Hebrew means that the bird was “going forth and returning.”

 

v.8-9Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.”

 

In addition to the raven, Noah also sent out of the ark a dove.  The dove did not find a place to set her foot; a place of peace or that satisfied her, indicating that there was still too much water on the earth.

 

v.10-11And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.”

 

            The wording of scripture would indicate that this time the dove did not return near as quickly as she had done in verse 9.  When she does return she brings a branch from an olive tree in her mouth.   Noah understands that this means that the waters were continuing to subside and that now there was living plants on the earth that would be needed to sustain him, his family and the animals that were on the ark.

 

v.12And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.”

 

            Noah waits another seven days and sends out the dove again.  This time she does not return and Noah knows that she has found a resting place to her liking and the means to sustain her life.

 

v.13-14And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.”

 

            New Year’s Day or Noah’s birthday; what a day that must have been.  It now has been about 10˝ months since God destroyed the earth with the great flood.  Noah opens the ark to the extent that he can see that there is dry land but God tells us that the earth wasn’t entirely dried until the second month and twenty-seventh day; one year and ten days after the flood.  Noah and his family are probably getting restless and wish to leave the ark but God is not ready for them just yet and they must wait another 2 months and 27 days.  Since God shut and sealed the only door it would logical that God would also need to open that door as well.

 

Read Genesis 8:15-19 – Noah Leaves the Ark

 

v.15-16And God spake unto Noah, saying, 16Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.”

 

            God does things when he is ready.  God told Noah when to go into the ark now God tells Noah when to leave the ark as well.  In these verses we also have another lesson that most people never learn.  We’re told through the pen of the Apostle Peter:

 

I Peter 5:6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”

 

            As children of God we must in all our ways acknowledge God and set his precepts before us in our hearts, minds and way of living.  Only those who follow God’s direction and submit to his government will live under God’s protection.  Only those that are steadfast in God’s word as their rule and are guided by the Word given by His grace will reap the rewards of his blessings.

 

v.17Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.”

 

            Just as at the beginning:

 

Genesis 1:22  And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”

 

The earth is to be re-populated, replenished from those that survived and thus we have our ancestry confirmed.  Not only human ancestry but also all of the creatures that Noah carried with him on the ark.  If we could trace our linage as the generations of Jesus was traced by the Holy Spirit in the gospels of Matthew and Luke we would eventually end our search here at the feet of Noah.

 

v.18-19And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: 19Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.”

 

            Noah, his wife, and his sons went out of the ark taking with them all of the creatures that God had caused to join them.  They were alive, having escaped the wrath of God because of the faithfulness of Noah:

 

Hebrews 11:7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

 

His faith not only extended the salvation from death to him and his family but also to those creatures that were with him.  Noah, at least on this occasion, was a good steward of God and able to give a good account of the responsibility that God had given him.

 

Read Genesis 8:20-22 – Noah’s Worship

 

v. 20And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”

 

            The first order of business that we find to be conducted after Noah and his family are delivered is their worship to God.  So, just as Abel had done several hundred years before, Noah now makes offerings of beasts and blood to God.  We read here of clean beasts and fowls vs unclean, something we usually associate with the Mosaic Law with God’s dietary restrictions:

 

Leviticus 11:1-2And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.

            Considering that God never changes (Malachi 3:6).  Since he gave instructions to the patriarchs and also to the Israelite nation about animals that were clean and unclean; should we be concerned about these things today?  No, we are under a different covenant with God that does not have these instructions in it, they apply only to those to whom they were given.

 

v.21And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.”

 

            God was pleased with Noah and the worship of Noah’s family.  He promises two things in addition to the rainbow covenant that we find in Chapter Nine; he will not curse the ground as he did with Cain and he will not totally destroy every living thing from the earth again until the end of time when the earth and universe will be destroyed and replaced with a new heaven and a new earth.

            Even though “ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. (Romans 3:23); we now have a Saviour who “HATH GIVEN HIMSELF FOR US AN OFFERING AND A SACRIFICE TO GOD FOR A SWEETSMELLING SAVOUR. (Ephesians 5:2), providing for us a continual cleansing through our obedience to God and through our prayers to God.

 

v.22.  While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

 

            While the earth remains: the seasons will continue, spring for planting and seeding, fall for harvest, heat and cold, summer and winter, night and day; God will not again disturb the order of his creation.  God keeps his promises, not only those that have to do with this earth but those that have to do with His Son and his son’s kingdom.