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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Genesis 8

 

 

Verses 1-22

Noah and His Family Leave the Ark - In Genesis 8:1-22 Noah and his family leave the ark.

Genesis 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;

Genesis 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;

Genesis 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.

Genesis 8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

Genesis 8:3-4Comments - The Length of the Flood- The Scriptures tell us that the Flood lasted from counts from the seventeenth day of the second month ( Genesis 7:11) to the seventeenth day of seventh month ( Genesis 8:4). This would make it five months, or one hundred fifty (150) days ( Genesis 8:3).

Genesis 7:11, "In the six hundredth year of Noah"s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."

Genesis 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.

Genesis 8:5Comments- We must ask the question, "Where did all of this enormous amount of water go to when it receded from off of the face of the earth?" We can find an answer in The Book of Jubilees which tells us that in order to cause the flood God "opened seven flood-gates of heaven, and the mouths of the fountains of the great deep, seven mouths in number..." (The Book of Jubilees 524). He then caused the flood to recede by opening up these seven abysses of the earth and the waters descended into the deep below.

"And the ark went and rested on the top of Lubar, one of the mountains of Ararat. And (on the new moon) in the fourth month the fountains of the great deep were closed and the flood-gates of heaven were restrained; and on the new moon of the seventh month all the mouths of the abysses of the earth were opened, and the water began to descend into the deep below." (The Book of Jubilees 528-30)

Genesis 8:6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:

Genesis 8:7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

Genesis 8:8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

Genesis 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.

Genesis 8:10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;

Genesis 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.

Genesis 8:12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.

Genesis 8:10-12Comments - The Symbol of the Dove- In Genesis 8:10-12, the dove flew until it found an olive leaf, which it brought back to Noah in the ark. Thus, we also the dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, hovering over the floodwaters in Noah"s day, just as the Spirit of God hovered over the earth in the beginning of creation.

Genesis 1:2, "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

Genesis 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.

Genesis 8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

Genesis 8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,

Genesis 8:15Comments- Note Noah"s obedience to God's Word. He waited for a Word from God before leaving the ark. He stayed in ark one year and about ten days. Note Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:14 to see the time period.

Genesis 7:11, "In the six hundredth year of Noah"s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."

Genesis 8:14, "And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried."

Genesis 8:14-15Comments - Noah's Time on the Ark Had a Purpose- In just over one year, all dead life had time to deteriorate so it would not stink in the land. This prevented Noah and his family, and particularly the animals on the ark, from contracting diseases by coming in contacting with rotting flesh.

Genesis 8:16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons" wives with thee.

Genesis 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.

Genesis 8:18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons" wives with him:

Genesis 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.

Genesis 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.

Genesis 8:20Comments- The practice of offering sacrifices of blood was practiced since the time of Abel ( Genesis 4:4). Josephus says that Noah offered a sacrifice unto the Lord out of fear that God would again bring a flood upon mankind yearly. He said Noah asked the Lord to allow the earth to continue on its course as in former days (Josephus Antiquities 137).

Genesis 4:4, "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering."

Genesis 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.

Genesis 8:21 — "and the LORD said in his heart" - Comments- Our sacrifices move the heart of God, and He gives something back to us. Noah's sacrifice moved the heart of God to make a promise to mankind.

Genesis 8:21Comments- In Genesis 8:21 God removes the curse from the ground, which he set in motion in Genesis 3:17. Seedtime and harvest is now set in motion on the earth. God is giving man a second opportunity to take dominion over the earth and to subdue it. A fruitful earth was one means of accomplishing God's original command to be fruitful and multiply. This is why God gave this command again to Noah in Genesis 9:1, "And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."

Thus Noah became a farmer ( Genesis 9:20).

Genesis 9:20, "And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:"

Thus, this verse is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Genesis 5:29.

Genesis 5:29, "And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed."

For one thousand years, or ten generations, the earth had been cursed, since the time of Adam and Eve:

Genesis 3:17, "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"

Now the earth was commanded to bring forth its abundance. We see this promise later in the life of Issac.

Genesis 26:12, "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him."

We see the earth's ability to bring forth is harvest under the Mosaic Law.

Leviticus 25:19, "And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety."

Genesis 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Genesis 8:22 — "While the earth remaineth" - Comments- The phrase "while the earth remainith" can easily be a reference to the fact that this present earth will one day pass away, that it is temporal, as prophesied in the book of Revelation and will one day pass away.

Because of man's human depravity and the divine judgment of the Flood, the characteristics of the earth have forever been changed. The earth will need redemption, in a similar way that mankind needs redemption. Romans 8:19-23 says that all creation will travail until this time of redemption has come. Just as man's mortal body will have to pass away in order for him to receive a resurrection body, so will this present earth have to pass away so that a new heavens and earth can be created.

As an example of this present earth's inability to fulfill God's original purpose and plan, we find Jesus passing by a fig tree at a time when He hungered. Because there were no figs on the tree, Jesus cursed it and it withered and died ( Matthew 21:18-19, Mark 11:12-26). Jesus cursed the tree because it failed to fulfill its purpose of providing fruit to mankind. The fig tree came to an end because it could not fulfill its destiny. It was created t provide fruit for the Creator of the universe, but because of the Fall and the corruption that followed, the fig tree could not do what it was created to do. Therefore, it was one part of God's creation that must be destroyed so that all things can be made new again. In contrast, the original earth in the Garden of Eden did not have summer and winter, cold and heat. Therefore, seedtime and harvest took place year round, so that fruit was always available. Adam and Eve could partake of any fruit at any season of the year. Jesus understood that this present earth was out of order when the fig tree could not provide fruit as man's request, and cursed the fig tree, which testified of the passing away of this present earth.

Genesis 8:22 — "seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" - Comments- God describes the characteristics of this new world after the Flood in Genesis 8:22. Paul describes these characteristics in his epistles as the "fashion (or form) of this world" ( 1 Corinthians 7:31). Before the Flood, there were no seasons as we know them today; there was no summer and winter, no season of hot weather and of cold weather. The seasons are commonly understood by scholars to have been relatively constant, with little variations in temperature. Plants would grow year round and not seasonally as we see them grow today. Thus, the emphasis of Genesis 8:22 is its emphasis on the primary characteristic of this post-flood earth, which has seasons. The development of a seed sown and its harvest is dependent upon three factors: temperature, rain, and sunlight. The cold and heat provide the temperatures, the summer and winter provide the rainy and dry seasons, and the day and night provide the sunlight and darkness, all of which are factors in the growth and maturity of the seed and its harvest.

We know in the pre-flood earth and in eternity there will be no such seasons of changing weather. In Heaven neither will there be day and night as there is in this age.

God will use these new characteristics during this present age to judge mankind, using such events as earthquakes, famine and floods. We see this in Jesus' description of the Great Tribulation in Matthew 23-24and in the book of Revelation. This is why God said in this verse, "As long as (this particular) earth remains…" In other words, as long as this earth with these characteristics remains, mankind will be governed by these characteristics.

Genesis 8:22Comments- Genesis 2:4 to Genesis 9:29 shows us the characteristics of the heavens and the earth prior to the flood and how man's sins altered these characteristics of nature. The heavens and the earth were originally without form and void ( Genesis 1:2). God then created them in seven days in a marvelous way so that the earth could serve mankind ( Genesis 1-2). Man's sinfulness altered these characteristics ( Genesis 3-8) until we have the earth in its present form ( Genesis 8:22), having fallen into the state of vanity until the redemption of the sons of God when it to will be made anew ( Romans 8:18-23).

Within the context of this statement in Genesis 8:22, God was promising Noah that He would never again disrupt the earth with a flood, so that there would always be an uninterrupted set of seasons. In other words, the earth would continue on a normal course until it comes to an end, and mankind enters eternity with the Lord, who destroys the present heavens and earth and makes them new again. The earthly cycles of day and night become a covenant that God cannot break ( Jeremiah 33:19-20). His covenant with day and night is reconfirmed after the flood with similar covenants of seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, and summer and winter ( Genesis 8:22), in which God will hold Himself faithful so that He will no longer violate them by causing another flood. Thus, Genesis 8:22 serves as a list of existing covenants that God has established, which are joined within the context of this passage of Scripture with God renewing His covenant and commission with the animal kingdom and with mankind to be fruitful and multiply.

Jeremiah 33:19-20, "And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah , saying, Thus saith the LORD If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;"

God had cursed the ground when Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden. After the flood, God removed that curse when Noah disembarked off of the ark and offer a sacrifice. God said in the Genesis 8:21, "I will not again curse the ground any more for man"s sake." Thus, the earth will now properly respond to seedtime and produce a harvest. This is what God is saying to Noah in this passage. Now the harvest will be determined by seasons, since prior to the flood, there was no cold and heat, summer and winter. There were no seasons like we know them today. Seedtime and harvest time will now have to be planned around the seasons of the year. Thus, this statement is important to Noah because he was a agriculturalist and perhaps herdsman, making his living from the ground. He was going to have to adjust his farming methods to these new characteristics of the earth.

Many recent preachers, such as Oral Roberts, 127] have pointed out in the last few years using this verse in Genesis 8:22, God will also use these characteristics to bless mankind. If mankind will learn to obey these new principles and laws of nature he can reap an abundant harvest. Roberts interprets spiritual principles from this text to teach that when we sow our finances and other types of gifts as unto the Lord, we are to expect some type of harvest from Heaven. Thus, these characteristics of the earth serve as God's instruments in effecting His plan of redemption for mankind upon the earth.

127] Oral Roberts, Miracle of SEED-FAITH (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Oral Roberts, c 1970).

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Genesis 8:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/genesis-8.html. 2013.

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