Genesis 8 - Outline of Genesis (MENU page)
8:1 And 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;
8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped,
and the rain from heaven was restrained;
8:3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually:
and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month,
upon the mountains of Ararat.
8:5 And 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.
God remembered Noah... - This does not mean that God had forgotten him, but that
He took further action according to His promise, when the time was right. cp. 9:14,15; 19:29
The judgment had ended. The time for His people's rest had come. cp. Isa 26:20,21
The ark rested.
upon the mountains of Ararat.-
This is a mountainous region in eastern Armenia. A specific mountain is not identified.
8:6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days {after v.5, ie., 265 days from 7:11},
that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
8:7 And he sent forth a raven,
which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
8:8 Also he sent forth a dove from him,
to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
8:9 But 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.
8:10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening;
and, lo, in her mouth [was] an olive leaf pluckt off:
so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
8:12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove;
which returned not again unto him any more.
8:13 And 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.
Noah's precisely dated journal is another evidence of the historicity of this event.
The elapsed time is in keeping with the worldwide nature of the Flood.
From the beginning of rain until Noah departed from the ark, there were 370 days (cp. 7:11 with 8:13-16). This assumes months of 30 days. Since a true lunar month is 29.5 days, the actual time may have been exactly one 365 day solar year.
Noah evaluated conditions outside the ark-
  1. a raven and a dove were sent out. v.6-9 (Day 265)
    The raven, content to feed on rotting flesh, did not return.
    The dove returned, having found no 'rest' in corruption.
  2. 7 days later (day 272), a dove was sent out, and returned with an olive leaf. v.10,11
    Thus, Noah knew that the waters had receded below the level of tree branches.
  3. 7 days later (day 279), a dove was sent out and did not return, having found conditions suitable to sustain life. v.12
  4. (Day 320) Noah looks from the window, and observes that the land is dry. v.13
Yet, after observing that conditions were probably suitable (cp. v.11 and v.13),
Noah waited in the ark an additional 57 days (v.13 and v.14). Why?
Because his 'walk' with God was by faith, not by sight. 2Cor 5:7
The God who had instructed him to 'come into the ark' (7:1), would let him know when to depart. Psa 27:13,14; 32:8
8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
8:16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.
8:17 Bring 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.
8:18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:
8:19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl,
[and] whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
8:20 And 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.
8:21 And 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.
8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat,
and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Noah worshipped the LORD. cp. Psa 32:10,11
Note that he did not venerate the ark.
  • The ark is never again seen, in scripture.
    The ark's location is unknown today, even though many have searched for it, seeking evidence to 'prove' the Bible. Through the centuries, there have been many reports of sightings (including second hand reports by Josephus and Marco Polo, and a few eyewitness accounts from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries). However, none of these reports has been confirmed. Someday, the LORD may choose to bring the ark to light (perhaps from the side of a melting glacier). But men, who refuse God's Word, will not believe, even if they were to see it (cp. Luk 16:31).
         There are a few shrines in Turkey and Armenia which purport to house remnants of the ark. In those places, religious pilgrims worship before a few ancient pieces of wood, from questionable sources. In contrast, Noah probably ripped pieces from the ark, to burn on the altar, or to build shelters. The ark had served its purpose.
  • The ark pictures salvation through Christ.
    The sinner is saved by Christ alone, as pictured by Noah's safe passage, within the ark, through the waters of judgment. There is a similar picture in a believer's baptism. But salvation is accomplished by Christ, not by the picture. 1Pet 3:21,22
  • In contrast, human religion makes much of its relics and rituals.
    Fleshly religion makes salvation by 'Christ and the sacraments (or, ordinances).'
    That is, baptism (or the eucharist, and/or some other ritual) is considered essential.
    In effect, Christ becomes nothing without the grace bestowed by the sacrament.
    Trust placed in earthly ritual displaces that which is essential, namely, faith in Him alone. cp. Gal 5:2-6; Col 2:4-13
    ''Superstition makes everything of the ordinance... faith uses it according to divine appointment.'' [CHM]
Noah's trust was in the LORD, who alone would fulfill His promises,
of salvation through the flood, and of security into the future.
Verses 21,22 form the preface to the covenant which the Lord established with Noah (which is the subject of ch. 9).

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