Genesis Chapter 8

Outline

God remembers Noah, and dries up the waters. (Verse 1-3.)

The ark rests on Ararat, Noah sends forth a raven and a dove. (Verse 4-12.)

Noah being commanded, goes out of the ark. (Verse 13-19.)

Noah offers sacrifice, God promises to curse the earth no more. (Verse 20-22.)


Eight is the number of New Beginnings in the Bible. God spared eight souls, Noah being the eighth, from the judgment that came upon the world. When Peter says below that Noah was the eighth person it does not mean the eighth from Adam, he means the eighth person on the Ark. God starts all over with eight people.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Notice the different terms used by Peter in his two Epistles in regard to Noah’s deliverance from the flood:

1 Peter 3:20 .., when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

God was not saying that the water had anything to do with Noah’s (Eternal) salvation. It was the Ark that saved Noah and his family from the waters of the flood. The water without Gods Ark would have killed Noah, not saved him. Besides, God is talking about Noah’s physical deliverance not his spiritual salvation here.

Baptism is a work and if we trust in it we will drown spiritually speaking. Peter goes on to say, in the same verse that the CHURCH OF CHRIST perverts, that water doesn’t put away the filth (Sin) of the flesh, but it is our faith rather in the resurrection of Christ that does.

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;

[Gen 19:29, Exod 2:24, 1st Sam 1:19, Psa 105:42, Psa 136:23 Exod 14:21, Exod 15:10, Psa 104:7]

[asswaged – relieve or lessen]

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

[Gen 7:11, Prov 8:28, Ezek 26:19]

3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.

[Gen 7:11]

[abated – diminished in intensity or amount; lessened]

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

The mountains of Ararat are located in modern day Turkey. The Ark has not as of yet been found and may never be, unless God wants it to be found. It could be rotted away for all we know or buried beneath 50 feet of ice and snow.

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.

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

[Gen 6:16]

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

[1st Kings 17:4]

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

[abated – diminished in intensity or amount; lessened]

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.

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

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.

[abated – diminished in intensity or amount; lessened]

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

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.

note that even though the ground was dry, Noah waited on God’s instructions and did not just leave the ark for dry ground.

Study Question

Who in a similar situation went ahead and did what he thought was best rather than waiting on God in I Samuel 13:1-13?

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

15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,

16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

[Gen 7:13]

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.

[Gen 1:22]

18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:

19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.

[Gen 1:24, Gen 6:20, Gen 7:14]

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.

[Lev 11:47]

Notice the first thing that Noah did was to offer up a sacrifice unto God. Noah was not sinless, nor was any of his family. An offering had to be offered which pictured the offering of Gods son (the one and only Lamb of God) to atone for Noah and his family:

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

God accepted Noah’s offering because it was of faith. When will we learn as Christians that without faith it is impossible to please God? Our works will never bring us Gods favor.

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.

[Isa 54:9 Gen 6:5, Prov 6:14, Jer 17:9, Matt 5:28, Matt 15:19, Mark 7:21]

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

[Jer 33:20, Jer 33:25]

the implication from this verse is that the earth will not be around forever.  Also, the climate and conditions upon the earth were quite different before the flood, hence God’s promise of these things.

Study Question

Instead of rain, how was the earth watered before the flood according to Genesis 2:6?


Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Verse 1-3 – The whole race of mankind, except Noah and his family, were now dead, so that God’s remembering Noah, was the return of his mercy to mankind, of whom he would not make a full end. The demands of Divine justice had been answered by the ruin of sinners. God sent his wind to dry the earth, and seal up his waters. The same hand that brings the desolation, must bring the deliverance; to that hand, therefore, we must ever look. When afflictions have done the work for which they are sent, whether killing work or curing work, they will be taken away. As the earth was not drowned in a day, so it was not dried in a day. God usually works deliverance for his people gradually, that the day of small things may not be despised, nor the day of great things despaired of.

Verse 4-12 – The ark rested upon a mountain, whither it was directed by the wise and gracious providence of God, that might rest the sooner. God has times and places of rest for his people after their tossing; and many times he provides for their seasonable and comfortable settlement, without their own contrivance, and quite beyond their own foresight. God had told Noah when the flood would come, yet he did not give him an account by revelation, at what times and by what steps it should go away. The knowledge of the former was necessary to his preparing the ark; but the knowledge of the latter would serve only to gratify curiosity; and concealing it from him would exercise his faith and patience. Noah sent forth a raven from the ark, which went flying about, and feeding on the carcasses that floated. Noah then sent forth a dove, which returned the first time without good news; but the second time, she brought an olive leaf in her bill, plucked off, plainly showing that trees, fruit trees, began to appear above water. Noah sent forth the dove the second time, seven days after the first, and the third time was after seven days also; probably on the sabbath day. Having kept the sabbath with his little church, he expected especial blessings from Heaven, and inquired concerning them. The dove is an emblem of a gracious soul, that, finding no solid peace of satisfaction in this deluged, defiling world, returns to Christ as to its ark, as to its Noah, its rest. The defiling world, returns to Christ as to its ark, as to its Noah, its rest. The carnal heart, like the raven, takes up with the world, and feeds on the carrion it finds there; but return thou to my rest, O my soul; to thy Noah, so the word is, Psalms 116:7. And as Noah put forth his hand, and took the dove, and pulled her to him, into the ark, so Christ will save, and help, and welcome those that flee to him for rest.

Verse 13-19 – God consults our benefit, rather than our desires; he knows what is good for us better than we do for ourselves, and how long it is fit our restraints should continue, and desired mercies should be delayed. We would go out of the ark before the ground is dried; and perhaps, if the door, is shut, are ready to thrust off the covering, and to climb up some other way; but God’s time of showing mercy is the best time. As Noah had a command to go into the ark, so, how tedious soever his confinement there was, he would wait for a command to go out of it again. We must in all our ways acknowledge God, and set him before us in all our removals. Those only go under God’s protection, who follow God’s direction, and submit to him.

Verse 20-22 – Noah was now gone out into a desolate world, where, one might have thought, his first care would have been to build a house for himself, but he begins with an alter for God. He begins well, that begins with God. Though Noah’s stock of cattle was small, and that saved at great care and pains, yet he did not grudge to serve God out of it. Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; we must never think that is wasted with which God is honoured. The first thing done in the new world was an act of worship. We are now to express our thankfulness, not by burnt-offerings, but by praise, and pious devotions and conversation. God was well pleased with what was done. But the burning flesh could no more please God, than the blood of bulls and goats, except as typical of the sacrifice of Christ, and expressing Noah’s humble faith and devotedness to God. The flood washed away the race of wicked men, but it did not remove sin from man’s nature, who being conceived and born in sin, thinks, devises, and loves wickedness, even from his youth, and that as much since the flood as before. But God graciously declared he never would drown the world again. While the earth remains, and man upon it, there shall be summer and winter. It is plain that this earth is not to remain always. It, and all the works in it, must shortly be burned up; and we look for new heavens and a new earth, when all these things shall be dissolved. But as long as it does remain, God’s providence will cause the course of times and seasons to go on, and makes each to know its place. And on this word we depend, that thus it shall be. We see God’s promises to the creatures made good, and may infer that his promises to all believers shall be so.