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Chapter 8

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The Flood continued from chapter 6 and 7 (ch. 8:1 - 22)  


In verse 1 of chapter 8 "God remembered" Noah and the animals in the ark.  Note that God didn't just remember Noah.  He remembered the animals as well.  Since God remembered Noah and the animals, He sent a wind and the waters dried up.  The wind obviously evaporated the water.  It must have been a pretty strong wind.


Verse 2 says that the flood gates from the heavens had closed.  It had now stopped raining.  Note the word "heavens" here. I believe this simply means the skies above us.  I don't believe it means the third heaven where Paul once visited, that is, that spiritual heaven.  The word "heavens" is also used in the creation account of Genesis 1 where it says that God created the heavens and the earth. I believe the word heavens here means the skies as well.   


One reason why the word "heavens" might be used here is because the water that fell from the sky was actually an umbrella of water above our immediate sky.  You can see this in the Genesis creation account of chapter 1 as well.   


We also see the terms "springs of the deep" used here.  The same word "deep" is used in Genesis 1:2. In both cases this is referring to the oceans that is fed by underground streams.  Thus once again, the flood came to be from rain above and flooding from underground rivers.


In verse 3 we learn that the water gradually dissipated from the earth.  The water didn't just suddenly and miraculously disappear.  The wind would have dried it up as seen in verse 1.  It took 150 days for this to happen.  That's 5 months.  That's quite a  while, especially for all in the ark.


Verse 4 tells us that on the 17th day of the 7th month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.  This doesn't mean that everyone got out of the ark.  The ark only rested on that day.   The mountains spoken of here would be a mountain range since the word mountains is plural.  So just where in the range it would have settled is unknown.  And where this range presently is isn't quite known either.  Some say it is in northern Turkey while others suggest that it is much farther east.


Verse 5 tells us that on the first day of the 10th month the tops of the mountains became visible.   We should note here that this chapter is describing the whole process of how and when the flood waters dissipated from the earth.  There is a clear progression of times and events here.


From verses 6 to 13 we see further progression of the water drying up. In verse 6 we see that Noah decided to open a window that he made in the ark.  This window might have actually been made during the time of the water drying up.  Or, maybe it was made when he first made the ark.  Anyway, after 40 days, that's after 40 days from the first day of the 10th months as seen in verse 5. 


Verse 7 tells us that Noah sent out a raven.  The bird kept on flying back to him until the earth was totally dried up. 


At some point in the process Noah sent out a dove as well as the raven as seen in verses 8 and 9.  Like the raven it would fly back until the ground was dry.   Verses 10 and 11 tells us that there was a 7 day rest from sending out the dove, but when Noah did send the bird out, the bird returned to him with an olive leaf in his beak. Noah then knew that the water had dried up from the land.


Verse 13 tells us that on Noah's first day of the first month of his six hundred and first year the water was dried up from the earth.  At this point he began to take the roof off the ark.  Verse 14 tells us that on the 21st day of the second month the water was completely gone.  Scholars say that Noah and the others were in the ark for 371 days.  That's more than a year.  That's a long time.  This number can be figured out when you read chapter 7 verse 11 that tells us when Noah entered the ark and chapter 8 verse 14 when he left the ark.


At this point, and only at this point did Noah leave the ark.  In verses 15 and 16 God told him to come out of the ark.   So the process of coming out of the ark was a dual process.  Noah kept on looking for the signs to leave the ark.  He knew the time was getting close, but he did not leave until God said, "come out of the ark."  God closed the door to the ark when Noah and the rest entered the ark, and they all stayed in the ark until God said, "come." 


I think I can compare this to the end of the present age in which we live.  We can look for the signs of Jesus' second coming, and we can do so with vigor, but we can't go anywhere until Jesus says come. 


Verse 17 simply tells Noah to let all of the animals go from the ark so they can once again multiply and fill the earth again.  It seems that the animals did not give birth while they were on the ark, and there's no account of any grandchildren being born to Noah while on the ark either.


Verses 18 and 19 simply confirm the fact that Noah, his family, and all the animals left the ark as they were told.


The first thing the Noah does, or at least the first thing we have record of him doing, is building an altar.  This is the first time the word "altar" is used in the Bible, although it is not the first time we see the use of one.  Although the word altar was not mentioned in the Cain and Abel story, it's highly certain that there was altars involved in their sacrifices.


Noah took "some of all the clean and unclean animals and sacrificed them" to the Lord.  Now that's a lot of animals.  That's a huge sacrifice.  I'm sure that took a long time to kill the animals and the sacrifice them.  So the repopulation of the animal kingdom on earth began with some of all the animals being sacrificed, set aside for the Lord.  This suggests to me that God wants us to put Him first in all things.  Give to God our best.  Give to Him first before anything else.


Verse 21 states once again the Noahaic Covenant. God told Noah that He'd never curse the ground again.  He said this after smelling the aroma from the burnt offerings.  The smell might well have smelled like a massive barb-a-que. 


He also said that He'd never destroy all living creatures with a flood of water again.  This doesn't mean that He won't destroy some or many living creatures, because He does as seen in the book of Revelation.


Also in verse 21 He said that even though man's inclinations of their hearts are evil from birth, He won't destroy the earth as He did in the flood.  Note here that our inclination towards evil is from birth.  We are born in sin.  I believe that we sin because we are sinners.  I don't believe we are sinners because we sin.  This is called in theological terms, "original sin."  Man is inherently evil, and evil from birth, as God Himself says here.


God Himself gives a prophecy in verse 22. He says, " as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, night and day, will never cease."  If you read the end of the book of Revelation, you will see that after the thousand year rule of Jesus, there will be a new heaven and a new earth.  The words of this verse most likely doesn't apply to this time, since there will be no day and no light, and that trees will produce fruit every month. 



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