About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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Chapter 7

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The Flood
(continued form chapter 6    ch. 7:1 24)

 

In the NIV, chapter 7 continues on under the same title as chapter 6 The Flood.

 

In verse 1 God told Noah that it was time to go into the ark, and that he should now take the rest of his family.  God once again makes the point that Noah is a righteous man in his generation.  Noah wasn't sinless, but he was righteous due to the fact that he trusted God with his life.  Hebrews 11:7 tells us that.     

 

In verse 2 God tells Noah to "take seven of every clean animal, both male and female."  I take this to mean that  Noah was to take seven pairs of clean animals.  One thing we need to notice here is the words "clean animals."  This is the first mention of clean animals.  The Law of Moses speaks of clean and unclean animals.  Yet here we have clean animals mentioned a few hundred years before the law came into existence.  This is just another example that much of the Law of Moses was already known to people before Moses' day. Somehow, in some place, God must have told someone what animals were clean and what animals were unclean.  As I have said before, much of the Law of Moses was already around before Moses.  It was only codified in the written law in Moses' day.

 

One thing to note here is that clean and unclean animals are associated with two things in the Law of Moses, and probably well before the law.  Clean and unclean animals are associated with food and sacrifices.

 

Besides the clean animals, God told Moses to take only 2 pairs of unclean animals into the ark.  It seems that  God was more interested in the reproduction of clean animals.  Clean animals were animals that had cleft hoofs and chewed the cud.  All other animals were unclean.  There were separate designations for birds.  There's differences in thinking when it comes to just why God made these designations with animals.  Some say for dietary reasons, others for moral reasons. It might well be a combination of both. We do know that in Acts 10 God told Peter that all animals were clean in His eyes.  So it would appear that clean and unclean animals were only a temporary designation. 

 

Clean and unclean animals are only part of a larger discussion concerning cleanness itself.  People could be clean or unclean.  Situations and circumstances could be clean and unclean.  Much of this concerned moral issues.  Some unclean situations concerned the shedding of blood, in murder, in child birth, in a woman's period, and so on.  This topic is a large topic and I won't get involved in that now.      

  

Verse 3 is a duplication of verse 2 except the clean and  unclean are birds and not animals.

 

In verse 4 God tells Noah a bit more of his plan.  Once Noah, his family, and the animals were in the ark, God said that it would rain in seven days.  Why God made Noah wait in the ark for seven days I don't know, but I know seven is an important number, and I'm sure God has His reasons, and I'm quite sure that it is prophetic in some sense of the word. 

 

Verse 4 also states that it would rain for forty days and forty nights.  Forty is another one of those special Biblical numbers.  It's associated with testing and judgment.

 

Verse 5 tells us that Noah "did all that the Lord had commanded him."   Why did Noah obey God?  Hebrews 11:7 tells us that he feared God and trusted God to do as He said He would do. Fear and trust in God are very important if you want to be a Godly and righteous person.   When the text uses the word "fear", I believe it means being afraid, not just reverence.  Noah was afraid not to put his trust in God.  He was afraid of the consequences if he didn't     

 

In verse 6 the text says that Noah was 600 years old when it started to rain.  By my calculations, according to the genealogy of  chapter 5, the year was 1056. That's not 1056 B.C., but 1056 years from the creation of Adam, that 's assuming the genealogy of chapter 5 is as it is stated.  Some scholars suggest that there is more to the genealogy than what is stated due to the fact that the Hebrew word for "father" and "grandfather" is the same word.  

 

Verse 7 simply states that Noah, his wife, and his family entered the ark to "escape the flood."  The word "escape" is important here.  That is what salvation is all about.  It is escaping God's wrath.  I've asked people before what it means to be saved.  What are we actually saved from?  Many have a hard time answering this question.  People give varying answers, but the simple fact is that we are escaping God's wrath, and in that sense of the word, we are escaping God Himself.

 

Verse  9 tells us that all the animals and birds came to the ark and entered the ark with Noah.  Some say that God told the animals to come to the ark. Other's say that since man still probably had authority over the animals, Noah asked them into the ark.  It might well be a combination of both.  Most likely many of these animals came from a distance.  God probably communicated with them so that they instinctively knew to go to the ark, as birds instinctively know to fly south in the winter.

 

Verse 10 confirms the word of the Lord.  In seven days the flood waters came to the earth.   

 

In verse 11 we learn that when Noah was 600 years old the flood waters began to cover the earth.  I've figured the date to be 1056, that is, 1056 years after Adam was created.  As I've mentioned earlier, this was the same year that Methuselah died.  Most scholars feel, and it is Jewish tradition, that Methuselah was not alive when the flood came.

 

Verse 11 says that "the springs of the great deep burst open."  These words are very significant, especially in light of modern science which says that much of the  present geological structure of the earth is due to events that took place millions of years ago. The Hebrew word translated as "burst open" here means "to cleave and then to open."  This is the picture.  There  were large and massive underground rivers.  I might even suggest that these rivers might actually be oceans since the word "deep" is used to describe this water.  The word deep is used in Genesis 1:2 to describe the water that covered the whole earth.  So to me, there was an underground ocean and it exploded upward to the surface of the earth by way of millions of streams.  The Hebrew word means "to cleave, and then to burst open."  To me that suggests lots of pressure.  The underground ocean was shut up, the streams were cleaved, or tightly closed and at one certain point in time, at God's command, the streams were loosened and there was a massive explosion of water upward to the surface of the earth.

 

Along with this water was the rain that came from another massive body of water that enveloped the earth above the sky as seen in the Genesis 1 creation account.  The water from above and the water from beneath would have done serious damage to the earth.  The earth's geological structure would have certainly gone through great change because of the flood.  The flood was not a prolonged gentle rain.

 

Verse 12 tells us that the rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights.  That's a lot of rain.  That shows us how much water there actually was above our sky at that time.  This was God's judgment on the earth.  I think this was one major rain storm, such a rain storm that has never since been seen.

 

Verse 13 says that "on that very day" Noah and his family entered the ark.   It's a little confusing to me just when Noah and the rest of his family entered the ark.  In verse 1 God told Noah to enter the ark with his family and the animals.  In verse 4 God told Noah that in seven days it would start raining.  Verse 7 says that Noah, his family, and the animals entered the ark.  Verse 10 then says that in seven days it started to rain as God predicted it would.  On the surface this suggests to me that Noah, his family, and the animals were in the ark for seven days before it began to rain.  Yet that being said, verses 11 and 13 tells us that on the 17th day of the second month it began to rain, and on that very day Noah and his family entered the ark.  This suggests that they entered the ark on the day it began to rain, not seven days earlier.  I'm not one hundred percent sure how to correlate these events.  It might be possible that it took Noah seven days to get all the animals into the ark.  Maybe he began that process the day God told him to load up the animals.     

 

Verse 14 speaks of the three different types of animals that entered the ark.  This list of three appears in Genesis 1 in the creation account.  They are, livestock, wild animals, and creatures that move along the ground.   It's still somewhat unclear to me why there is a distinction between livestock and wild animals.  My only guess is that livestock are those animals that man has specific dealings with, possibly for milk for one example.

 

In verse 15 we note that pairs of all creatures that "have the breath of life in them" came to Noah.  Once again we note that these animals "came to Noah."  In relation to this, chapter 6 verse 19 God told Noah, "you bring" the animals to the ark.  Chapter 6 verse 20 says that these animals "will come to you."   Chapter 7, verse 2 God told Noah, "take with you ," as in , you take the animals.  Putting all these verses together suggests to me that the animals came to Noah.  So maybe God led them to Noah.  Once they came to Noah they followed his command to enter the ark and Noah put them inside.  So how the animals got into the ark is a combination of God and Noah.

 

Here we see the words "breath of life."  In the creation account we know that God breathed into man the breath of life (Genesis 2:7).   Genesis 1:30 tells us that the animals had the breath of life in them as well, although there is no written record that God breathed into them. God actually created them in a secondary way.  He told the earth to create the animals.  Nevertheless, animals, like man have the breath of life in them.  I've suggested that when God breathed into man, something of God was placed into man, and because animals have the breath of life in them as well, I'd also have to say that something of God was placed in animals at creation as well.  At this point animals became a living soul as did man when man received the breath of life from God.  This suggests to me that animals, having a living soul, are eternal and spiritual like man.  They weren't created in God's likeness and image as man was, but they had to have become a living soul.  The thing that distinguishes man from animals is that man was created in God's likeness and image while animals weren't.

 

Verse 17 says that once all the animals were in, "the Lord shut the door."   I wouldn't think that Noah would have had the capability to shut the door from the inside, but nonetheless, God made sure the door was shut, because He shut it tight.  And so it is with our salvation.  As Noah and the rest were saved by God closing the door, so we are saved by the door that is closed on us, and that door is Jesus as seen in John 10.

 

Verse 17 confirms the fact that the rain fell for forty days straight. 

 

Verse 18 tells us that the flood waters rose greatly and that the ark floated on top of the water.   Verse 19 tells us that the waters covered all the high mountains on the earth.  This tells me that prior to the flood that there were mountains.  I believe these mountains came into existence in the creation account when God separated the dry land from the seas.  We see in verse 20 just how high the waters got.  The water rose about twenty feet about the highest mountain top.  That's a lot of water.  That's a major flood with major capabilities of changing the structure of the earth.

 

Verse 21 to 23 tells us that every living creature on the earth, and all the birds perished.  Once again, there is no mention of fish perishing here.  Verse 22 specifically says that "everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died."  This is a point for the argument that fish did not die.  First of all, they don't have nostrils, and second of all, they don't live on dry land. 

 

Verse 24 tells us that the waters flooded the earth for 150 days.

 

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