124 God's Covenant With Noah Genesis 8
As the flood waters recede and Noah and his family are able to leave the ark he makes a sacrifice to God in an attempt to prevent God from destroying the earth again and God assures him that no matter how evil the people may become he will never again destroy the ground or strike down every living creature. What an amazing covenant God makes with Noah and the rest of mankind.
Genesis 8 The End of the dreadful Flood.
The flood is the reversal of creation. Noah has to start over again like Abram will have to and Jesus will also have to thousands of years later.
8:1 But, “God remembered Noah . . . in the boat.”
“But,” negates the peril of the flood. The meaning is that God had been caring for the ark! “Remembered” is focussed on Noah and God’s care for him. Remember the Sabbath day means this day is the focus of the week as a relationship with the Creator. Noah was the messiah for the flooded earth.This verb means God is going to act. When we remember we need to act.
“wind to blow, the floodwaters began to recede.” 8:2 underground waters stopped; torrential rains stopped.
Wind=breath=Spirit in 1:2 (same feminine Hebrew word, ruah). Same Spirit which created order out of the primeval chaos is now creating order again from the watery chaos. Gives some idea of where the water was coming from and is amazing detail about the mechanism to end the flood over 4000 years ago. Regrowth on Mt Saint Helens is great support for a short history of the earth as regenerative processes occurred very rapidly.
8:3-4 “floodwaters receded. After 150 days, exactly five months.”
Hebrew uses 150 days and 17th day of seventh
Noah had no timeline of the flood. It would have seemed “forever” for him. The flood commenced on the 17th day of the second month (7:11) and the ark touched land on the 17th day of theseventh month (8:4) so the Hebrew month has 30 days.
“the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.”
5165 m. above sea level. How did the ark get to this altitude? If all mountains were put in the ocean the water would be 3000 metres above sea level.
We are not sure when the mountains were lifted by plate tectonics to their current heights. Was it during the generation of the flood waters, or during the drying period, or after the flood? It would seem that if the mountains were lifted before the ark found land it is difficult to understand where all the water came from and went. If they were lifted during the drying period how did the ark gain its elevation?
8:5 “Two and a half months later, other mountain peaks became visible.”
Is Ararat (5137 m) that much higher than ten surrounding peaks? (At least 1000 m or 3000 feet.)
1. Little Ararat (3925 m) 10.4 km away. 2. Mount Tendürek (3584 m) 52.1 km away. 3. Tenduruk Dagi (3584 m) 57.7 km away. 4. Aktas Dağı (2715 m) 67.5 km 5. Agmagan-karadag (3560 m) 74.5 km 6. Geghama mountains (3597 m) 74.5 km 7. Azhdahak (3597 m) 80.4 km 8. Mount Aragats (4090 m) 95.6 km 9. Dar-alages (3329 m) 106.5 km 10. Porak (2800 m) 131.6 km
8:6 “After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat
The Chaldean Noah says, "When the storm came to an end and the terrible water-spout ceased, I opened the window and the light smote upon my face. I looked at the sea attentively observing, and the whole of humanity had returned to mud, like seaweed the corpses floated. I was seized with sadness; I sat down and wept and my tears fell upon my face."
The emotion displayed in this account is missing in the Genesis account. This lack of emotional expression is common in Hebrew writings.
8:7 “and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up.”
40 days because this is a pivotal time period during which we may imagine the anxiety that Noah would have felt with the food supply in the boat diminishing every day. The raven is a carrion eater and could find food since some of the dead animals would be observed. "The raven in seeking food settles upon every carcass it sees, whereas the dove will only settle on what is dry and clean." [Note: Keil and Delitzsch, 1:149.]
8 He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. 10 After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again.
It would seem that Noah released this dove 7 days after the 40 days. We would then have three occurrences of 7 days on addition to the 40 days. Some have tried to construct a chronology of the flood using 150 days+40 days+7 days +7 days +7 days = 211 days plus? See appendix.It seems that Moses is drawing attention to the use of 40 days and 7 days. Both of which are used recurringly in both Old and New Testaments.
11 This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak.
The dove needed fresh vegetative material to survive. This was a test to see if trees and shrubs were growing again on dry land. Noah was in relationship with the animals.
"The olive tree will put out leaves even under water." [Note: Keil and Delitzsch, 1:149.]
This is probably the origin of the symbolism of the dove with an olive leaf for peace. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone.
12 He waited another seven days and thenreleased the dove again. This time it did not come back.
8:13 “Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months (NASB on the first day of the first month=10 months + 13 days) after the flood began,[c] the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. 14 Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry!”
10 months and 13 days + 2 months = 12 months and 13 days. 30x12 + 10 days = 370 days
Further evidence that this was a universal flood. Local floods do not last this long.
8:15 “Then God said to Noah, 16 “Leave the boat, all of you—you and your wife, and your sons and their wives. 17 Release all the animals—the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.”
Detail added after “all” is a literary/cultural device for story telling. Is it to tell that none of them died? What did they eat and what did they drink? What did they do with the animal/human waste? We can only guess. Children would enjoy “little animals that scurry along the ground.” 8:18 “So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. 19 And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair.”
The boat is mentioned 8 times in the story.
Verse 18 is the complement of verse 16. Confirms this story has an oral basis.
8:20 “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose.“
Approved when? Before the flood, after the flood (9:3), in Moses’ time (Leviticus 11) which was 1500 years later.
8:21 “And the LORD was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice” and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. 22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
“The LORD was pleased with the aroma”—anthropomorphism. Noah and his family were pleased to have a barbeque and assumed the LORD enjoyed it too. “said to himself” how would Moses know about a God soliloquy? “Never again curse the ground” = ”never again destroy all living things” even though their thoughts are continually evil/violent. How do we reconcile this with the earth being destroyed by fire at the end of the world/millennium? (2 Peter 3:5-7; Revelation 20:13-14). The answer lies with the knowledge that God will take the saved off the planet before it is destroyed by fire.
"Both Noah and Abraham represent new beginnings in the course of events recorded in Genesis. Both are marked by God’s promise of blessing and his gift of the covenant." [Note: Sailhamer, "Genesis," p. 91.]
Ian Hartley, November 2022.
Appendix:Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
Noah delays apparently another month, and, on the first day of the new year, ventures to remove the covering of the ark and look around. The date of the complete drying of the land is then given. The interval from the entrance to the exit consists of the following periods: Rain Waters prevail Waters subside Noah delays Sending of Raven and dove Another month Interval until the 27th of the 2nd month Sum total of days 40 days (Included in the 150 days) 150 days (8:3 measured from the start of the rain) 99 days (No evidence for this time period) 40 days 20 days (Seems this should be 3x7=21 days) 29 days (evidence lacking) 57 days (no evidence for this calculation) 365 days (Contrived total)Hence, it appears that the interval was a lunar year of three hundred and fifty-six days nearly, and ten days; that is, as nearly as possible, a solar year. This passage is important on account of the divisions of time which it brings out at this early epoch. The week of seven days is plainly intimated. The lunar month and year are evidently known. It is remarkable that the ten additional days bring up the lunar year in whole numbers to the solar. It seems a tacit agreement with the real order of nature. According to the Hebrew text, the deluge commenced in the 1656th year of the race of man. According to all texts it occurred in the time of Noah, the ninth in descent from Adam. The preferred chronology is that given in verse 14 which indicates a year and ten days, or 360 + 10 days=370 days or 12 x 29 (lunar month) + 10 days = 344+10=354 days.
Appendix 2Jewish Calendar
Jewish time reckoning is lunisolar, which means that the calendar keeps in sync with the natural cycles of both the Sun and the Moon. Featuring a body of complex regulations, exceptions, and mathematical rules, it is also designed to satisfy a number of requirements conveyed in the Jewish Holy Scripture. The Hebrew calendar is a comparatively imprecise system in terms of reflecting the duration of a solaryear, which is the time it takes Earth to complete a full orbit around the Sun. In comparison with the timing of the astronomical seasons, it is off by 1 day every 216 years. Months in the Jewish Calendar. Name, number of days.
Nisan, 30 Iyar, 29 Sivan, 30 Tammuz, 29 Av, 30 Elul, 29 Tishrei, 30 Marchesbvan (Cheshvan), 29 or 30 Kislev, 30 or 29 Tevet, 29 Shevat 30 Adar, 29 (Even months 29 days, odd months 30 days) A year in the Hebrew calendar can be 353, 354, 355, 383, 384, or 385 days long. Regular common years have 12 months with a total of 354 days. Leap years have 13 months and are 384 days long. In addition to these regular (kesidrah) year lengths, both common and leap years can be a day shorter (cheserah or deficient year with 353/383 days) or a day longer (shlemah or complete year with 355/385 days). These alterations are designed to prevent Rosh Hashana and other holidays from falling on certain days of the week. In practice, a day is added to the 8th month (Marcheshvan) or subtracted from the 9th month (Kislev). In civil contexts, a new year in the Jewish calendar begins on Rosh Hashana on Tishrei 1. However, for religious purposes, the year begins on Nisan 1.