Genesis Chapters 7 & 8 The Ark to the Rainbow

Jun 21st, 2009 | By | Category: Genesis, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Genesis Chapters 7, 8 The Ark to the Rainbow

Gen. 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

God mentions “this generation.” Bible Students have often pondered, “How long is a generation?” Genesis 6:3, which reads, “Yet his [man’s] days shall be an hundred and twenty years,” seems to indicate that a generation is 120 years.

Gen. 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

The term “by sevens” means there were “seven pairs” (seven males and seven females) of clean animals. “By two,” then, signifies one pair (a male and a female) of unclean animals. The contrast is between “sevens” (plural) and “two” (singular).

The fact that the animals were paired indicates not necessarily that each pair was penned together but that at least they were side by side for companionship (rather than being adjacent to another species). Probably no births occurred on the Ark.

Gen. 7:3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

Seven pairs of fowls were taken on the Ark so that the survival of each species would be assured.

Gen. 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

The announcement “yet seven days” told Noah to get ready to load the animals into the Ark. Then would come the rain for 40 days and 40 nights. In other words, to allow time to load the animals into the Ark, God marked off seven days before the rain would start. It would have taken considerably longer if Noah had had to find the animals through his own efforts, but God caused the animals to “come unto” him (Gen. 6:20). We can be sure that the holy angels were guiding the animals and bringing them to Noah in harmony with God’s instruction.

Spiritual reasoning: The Gospel Age is symbolized as comprising seven epochs before the Time of Trouble begins. There is a picture within a picture. The 120 years are a literal time period; the seven days are a symbolic time period. Both time periods end simultaneously with the commencement of the “flood.”

Gen. 7:5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.

Gen. 7:6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.

Noah was 600 years old when the Flood came.

Gen. 7:7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.

Although verses 7-9 repeat the account of loading the animals and entering the Ark, they provide a little additional detail. Verse 7 is not a conflict. Noah and his family entered the Ark because of the Flood waters about to occur, but the Flood did not start until after the animals were all loaded.

Gen. 7:8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,

The expression “every thing that creepeth” refers to snakes, lizards, etc.

Gen. 7:9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

Verse 9 stresses the prominence of Noah. The animals came in pairs to Noah and then went into their assigned places in the Ark. As the animals arrived, Noah knew where each one would be housed and then probably gave the directive to his sons to put each animal on a specific floor and in a specific “nest” or compartment.

What a delight for Noah to see the male and female pairs of perfect animals come up to him! It is likely that God spoke to Noah verbally, audibly.

Gen. 7:10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.

Gen. 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.

Verse 11 is very specific regarding Noah’s age when the Flood began: 600 years, 2 months, 17 days. This verse and Genesis 8:13 show that the Ark experience was exactly one solar year (this statement will be explained later).

“All the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up, and the windows of heaven [King James margin: ‘floodgates’] were opened.” The thought is that something was happening on the surface of the earth as well as the rain coming down from above. The term “fountains of the great deep” pertains to waters down here, from beneath, whereas the expression “windows of heaven” refers to waters from above. The earth was starting to sink—gradually. As the land sank, the waters of the Mediterranean, the Caspian, and the Black seas, plus the Persian Gulf waters, began to run through valleys. Rivers flooded tremendously. The sinking was gradual, for if it had occurred too quickly, certain damage, destructive to God’s purpose, would have happened to the land. Then when the land rose slowly after the Flood, the mountains more or less retained their former state, and the topography of the land was not seriously altered. In the meantime, a heavy downpour of rain came from above.

The people would have been shocked to see the rain start and then the rivers overflow their banks and radical changes occur. They would have forsaken all usual pursuits and run in panic to the highest elevation they could find. The animals, too, would have been in confusion and pandemonium.

The veil, or canopy, was like a bubble around the earth. When the canopy broke at the poles, water cascaded down in the Mesopotamian area, and telluric snow and ice fell at the poles.

However, God prearranged that the force of the water would not directly hit the Ark, lest the Ark be broken. The water coming in from other areas was in addition to the seas emptying in and the rain coming down. Hence there were three sources of water: (1) the breaking veil, (2) the rain, and (3) the sinking of the land, which allowed seawaters to come in. The Flood was a multiple experience.

The term “windows of heaven” is very descriptive, for we can just picture the water gushing out. Malachi 3:10 reads, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Here in Genesis, the same phraseology shows that the result was an overwhelming blessing whether or not we realize it.

Gen. 7:12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

When we consider verses 4 and 12 together, the seven days are not to be included in calculating the number of days that the Flood prevailed. The 40 days and nights were the beginning of the Flood.

Gen. 7:13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

Again we have a duplication. The two witnesses not only emphasize the importance but also aid our dullness of understanding. Repetition etches the facts into our memories. The two witnesses would have to appear in Genesis, for surely details of the Flood would not occur in any other book of the Bible.

Verse 13 assures us that each of Noah’s sons had a wife, making a total of eight people in the Ark. The number is confirmed in 1 Peter 3:20, “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.” The Flood began on the 17th day and ended a “year” later on the 27th day (Gen. 8:14). One synodic year (354+ days) plus 10+ days equals 365.25 days, or one solar year. If a solar year (according to Noah’s age) were meant, the Flood would have lasted 375+ days. A lunar year of twelve 30-day months would not fit either. Therefore, a year in Noah’s day was based on the synodic calendar, in which every new moon started a new month (and not just every 30-day cycle). A 30-day month is an artificial month because a new moon does not occur every 30 days. The lunar year was in between the synodic year and the solar year; in other words, it was a compromise. But as time went on, the calendar was changed to solar years of 365 days. Up to Julius Caesar’s day, the lunar calendar of 360 days was used, but then the Julian calendar of 365- day years was made official. The refinement of the Gregorian calendar came later. Other calendars begin in either the spring or the fall, but Julius Caesar chose a middle date: January 1.

The Romans, who were ingenious in many ways, liked to average things out and were methodical and mathematical.

At the time of the Flood, the year began in the fall. Subsequently, in Moses’ day, the beginning of the year was changed to the spring, Nisan being the first month.

Gen. 7:14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

Gen. 7:15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

Gen. 7:16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

In verses 14-16, the primacy is again given to Noah. Eight people were on the Ark, but God commanded Noah, the animals went to Noah, and God shut Noah in the Ark. That is why the covenant is called the Noachic Covenant.

If we return to verse 4, the seven days that occurred before God brought the Flood are a reminder of the Gospel Age Church, which is being selected before the four winds are let loose. Pressure is there, like floodgates or sluice gates, just waiting to happen. Pressure builds behind the dam; when the gates are opened, out gushes the water. Similarly, water pressure built up behind the “window” in heaven before the Flood. When the window was opened, water poured forth. It is interesting that the window was clear and transparent. Hence when the

people looked up, they did not see the water, and they scoffed at Noah, saying, “All things continue as they were from the beginning.” The public was accustomed to a certain type of light and saw no change—until the water broke. Therefore, the windows emphasize (1) transparency and (2) a sluice gate. The four winds yet future are also transparent. They exist, but the world is unaware of them. The Flood is a symbolic picture of the end of the age. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man. The people were unaware until the day the Flood came suddenly.

God shut the door. God shut Noah in the Ark. After all the work Noah did and the faith he exercised, God sealed the eight people in the Ark. From inside the Ark, Noah and his family watched as the door miraculously closed, being locked and bolted, as it were. Noah was brilliant, but he probably had not thought about how to close the “door,” which was a ramp hinged from beneath. The ramp had to be heavy and strong enough to support animal traffic for a week. The symbolic meaning is that God will close the door to the high calling.

Q: Was the ramp above the waterline so that, when closed, there would be no leakage?

A: No. Since the water prevailed 15 cubits above the highest mountains, the buoyancy level would have been about 15 cubits. If the ramp were that high up, it would have hinged at the roof. (The Ark was 30 cubits high.) Therefore, the ramp probably hinged shut just below the window(s). Perhaps the ramp was pitched from the inside to make it waterproof. Or earlier Noah could have closed the ramp from the outside, waterproofed it with pitch, and then opened the ramp again to load the animals.

Gen. 7:17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.

Gen. 7:18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.

Gen. 7:19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

Gen. 7:20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.

All of the mountains in the Flood area sank down and were covered with at least 15 cubits of water; that is, there had to be a 15-cubit clearance for the boat to go over the highest mountain.

Gen. 7:21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:

Gen. 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. Gen. 7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

In verse 23, the emphasis is again on Noah. “Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” Noah’s receiving the primacy so often in this chapter comports well with his picturing Christ. The Church and the obedient of mankind are saved only because of him.

Q: Was there any spiritual significance to the animals?

A: Noah represents Christ, and the sons represent the Church. The unnamed wives picture the Sarah Covenant, under which the Church is developed. The Apostle Peter relates the Ark to baptism into Christ (1 Pet. 3:20,21). “We must all [the Church now and the world in the next age] appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10). The animals picture mankind, that is, the clean and the unclean of the world. Their judgment is yet future. They will be saved while in the Ark in the Millennium and judged at the end (if not cut off sooner).

It is not incongruous for the three wives to represent the Sarah Covenant (singular), for the Book of Revelation calls the Holy Spirit “the seven Spirits” (1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6). The closing of the door of the Ark represents the closing of the door to the high calling at the end of the Gospel Age. In Ezekiel’s Temple, the east gate will be shut to also show the closing of the door to the high calling.

Seven pairs of clean animals were put in the Ark because God knew Noah would offer sacrifices in thanksgiving and because man was allowed to eat meat once the Flood ended (Gen. 8:20). Noah offered of every clean beast and fowl. Also, four families were on the Ark (four pairs), and after the Flood, Noah distributed the clean animals among the four families, so that each son and his wife got a pair—and Noah and his wife also. Hence more of the clean animals were needed. Some of the unclean animals were mated and kept as a common heritage of all. This arrangement suggests that when the four families exited the Ark, they stayed together for a while before dispersing to different parts of the earth. They lived in a communal arrangement. After the unclean animals needed for work had multiplied sufficiently, they, too, were distributed. Other unclean animals were let loose to multiply on their own (for example, the lion and the elephant).

Gen. 7:24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

The waters prevailed for 150 days and then began to recede. The waters rose to a certain height for 40 days and remained there for an overall period of 150 days. (In other words, the 40 days and nights of rain were included in the 150-day time period.) Then the waters began to subside for another 150 days.

The following excerpt from Peloubet’s Dictionary states that the Flood was not universal: “Whether the flood was universal or partial has given rise to much controversy. The language of the book of Genesis does not compel us to suppose that the whole surface of the globe was actually covered with water. It is natural to suppose that the writer, when he speaks of ‘all flesh,’ ‘all in whose nostrils was the breath of life,’ refers only to his own locality. This sort of language is common enough in the Bible when only a small part of the globe is intended. Thus, for instance, it is said that ‘all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy corn’ and that ‘a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.’ The language must be understood in the sense it would bear to the authors. The world as then known was very small—travel was much circumscribed. The eye witnesses who handed down the story saw no part omitted, they met no survivors. The truth of the Bible would not be shaken were the flood to be limited to a comparatively small area in Asia. There are traditions held by people all over the globe which have preserved the memory of a great and destructive flood, from which but a small part of mankind escaped. They seem to point back to a common centre, whence they were carried by the different families of man as they wandered east and west, but may be explained otherwise. The traditions which come nearest to the biblical account are those of the nations of western Asia. Foremost among these is the Chaldean. Other notices of a flood may be found in the Phoenician mythology. There is a medal or coin of Apamea in Phrygia, struck as late as the time of Septimius Severus, in which the Phrygian deluge is commemorated. This medal represents a kind of square vessel floating in the water. Through an opening in it are seen two persons, a man and a woman. Upon the top of this chest or ark is perched a bird,

whilst another flies toward it carrying a branch between its feet. Before the vessel are represented the same pair as having just quitted it and got upon the dry land. Singularly enough, too, on some specimens of this medal the [Greek] letters … [for NOE] have been found on the vessel…. Tayler Lewis deduces ‘the partial extent of the flood from the very face of the Hebrew text.’ ‘Earth,’ where it speaks of ‘all the earth,’ often is, and here should be, translated ‘land,’ the home of the race, from which there appears to have been little inclination to wander.

Even after the flood God had to compel them to disperse. ‘Under the whole heavens’ simply includes the horizon reaching around ‘all the land’—the visible horizon. We still use the words in the same sense, and so does the Bible. Nearly all commentators now agree on the partial extent of the deluge. And very many of them suppose it to have taken place in that part of Asia which includes the modern Mount Ararat.”

Gen. 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 assuaged;

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

Four things happened: (1) a wind began to blow over the earth; (2) the fountains of the deep were stopped because the land that had gradually sunk now began to gradually rise; (3) the windows of heaven were stopped because the water that had cascaded down at the poles when the canopy broke, flowing into the Flood area, ceased to do so; and (4) the rainfall ceased. At the 150-day demarcation or midpoint of a 300-day period, the waters began to recede from off the earth continually. The first 150-day period is mentioned in Genesis 7:24; the second 150-day period is stated in Genesis 8:3.

Put succinctly, the four occurrences were (1) a wind blew, (2) the land began to rise, (3) waters  stopped flooding in from the broken canopy, and (4) the rain ceased. From the 150-day midpoint on, the continent began to rise. In other words, a reversal took place. The land gradually rose, pushing water back to the seas. The water had prevailed or dominated for 150 days, but now the water was being pushed back into the sea that had been drained dry. Stated another way, the seabeds sank for 150 days, and the seabeds rose for 150 days.

The term “windows of heaven” refers to the holes in the canopy at the poles through which the water poured. Hence the rain was one event, and the water rushing through the veil was a separate occurrence.

Gen. 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.

The word “returned” means “receded” (see the Revised Standard Version and the Hebrew). It took 150 days for the waters to abate; that is, the waters receded and receded and receded, and after 150 days, they were pushed back into the seabeds from which they originally came. But there was still quite a residue of water in the Flood area.

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

The Ark rested on the mountains (plural) of Ararat (on the 17th day of the seventh month).

“Mountains” refer to Greater and Lesser Ararat, which comprise one system. After floating for many days, Noah and family would have sensed a type of stability now and hence knew that the Ark had grounded. But being on the mountaintop, they were not able to see anything except water at this point. (The mountaintops were not seen until the tenth month.) The first 150 days, a broad period of time that included the 40 days and 40 nights of rain, extended from the 17th day of the second month (when the Flood started) to the 17th day of the seventh month (when the Ark rested atop Mount Ararat) (Gen. 7:11,12; 8:4). We know that the days recorded in Genesis chapters 7 and 8 in regard to the Flood are important because God took the time to spell them out in detail and with specificity. The 354+ days in a synodic year, plus the 10+ days, add up to a solar year of 365+ days.

A region, a town, and a mountain are all called Ararat. Ararat was once considered a “holy land,” that is, when there were no such places as Jerusalem and Mount Sinai. Until the Israelites exited Egypt, Mount Ararat was venerated as the place to worship Jehovah.

Gen. 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.

Verse 5 suggests that the waters began to recede on the 17th day of the seventh month, when the Ark rested on Ararat (verse 4). Verse 3 covers the entire second 150-day period of the abating waters. Verses 4 and 5 cover the second 150-day period plus an extra 2 1/2 months, at which time the mountaintops were seen.

The tops of the mountains that Noah and his family saw were probably the Caucasus Mountains, which are north of and as high as Ararat. The Ark rested on Greater Ararat, and from there, 2 1/2 months later, Noah and his family could see the Caucasus Mountains. (Their visibility was blocked by the Ark so that they could not see immediately up or down; that is, they could not see Ararat itself.) When Noah saw only the tops of the mountains, he knew that he and his family could not leave the Ark yet. Moreover, Noah waited until God told him he could leave the Ark (Gen. 8:15,16). How remarkable, for after all those months they would have been anxious to leave the Ark! It was a lot of work to feed and clean up after the animals. Yet even after they were convinced that the face of the earth was dry, Noah waited (Gen. 8:13). The delay was smart, for both humans and animals would have sunk in the mud. God told Noah to leave the Ark when the topsoil was sufficiently firm for safe disembarking.

To exit the Ark, Noah removed the top or roof, which would have been composed of big structural beams (Gen. 8:13). Of course the wood from the roof was helpful to Noah and family in a number of ways. Therefore, a fair section of the roof was probably removed.

The window was only one cubit (18 inches) high, so the view was limited, and because of its size, Noah could not squeeze out or even look down the side of the Ark. Both the thickness of the Ark and the height of the window limited Noah and his family so that they could only look outward and then downward; that is, they could only look out at a certain limited angle.

Noah and family left the Ark through the roof, but a makeshift ramp arrangement was probably built for the animals to exit the Ark. Part of the sturdy, rigid roof could have served as a ramp. Or Noah may have opened the door from the outside for the animals. The window went all the way around the Ark under the roof but was probably supported by dowels up against the roof. In other words, the “window” was actually open air all the way around, and the roof was just supported by enough dowels to secure it. There was no glass— just openness.

Gen. 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:

Noah removed that part of the Ark by cutting back the roof dowels. Or possibly a hatch or covering of some kind that had kept out the rain was lifted up. Let us consider the matter.

At the end of 40 days, “Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.” Compare Genesis 6:16. (1) “A window shalt thou make to the ark,” and (2) “in a cubit shalt thou finish it above.” The account is telling that there were two types of windows: (1) One was the open air space that circuited the entire Ark for a space of one cubit, or 18 inches, all the way around. This air was needed because of the carbon dioxide given off by the animals and the humans.

Ventilation was necessary to supply oxygen. Hence the 18-inch window could not have been closed-off glass or any other material. (2) The fact that Noah opened a window means there was an additional contrivance that could be opened—like a trapdoor of some kind—so that he could get a greater visual perspective of his surroundings. We do not know if this window was in the roof covering or on a side, but it was probably more like a transom type of window.

The earlier study of Genesis 8:1-5 could not be reconciled in the open-discussion type of study we had because we were comparing solar days with synodic months and a year. There were two 150-day periods. The Flood began on the 17th day of the second month, and the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat on the 17th day of the seventh month. Therefore, from a solar standpoint, which we cannot normally figure, it would seem that 5 x 30 (a lunar month) would be 150 days. When the Ark rested on the top of the mountains of Ararat on the 17th day of the seventh month, the waterline on the Ark would have been at least 15 cubits; that is, the mountain would have been at least 15 cubits beneath the surface (compare Genesis 7:20).

After the next or second 150 days, it was about a week before the 601st year, first month, first day (Gen. 8:13), which is one of the fixed periods. The fixed periods were (1) when the Flood began, (2) when the Ark rested on Ararat, (3) when the tops of the mountains were seen (Gen. 8:5), and (4) when the face of the earth was dried (Gen. 8:13) in the 601st year, first month, first day.

But five months from the time the Ark rested on Ararat (the expiration of the second 150 days) was near the end of October, close to the first day of the first month—only about one week before. It was a little more than 300 days from the day the Flood began until the 601st year, first month, first day. Stated another way, two 150-day periods equal 300 days. Two 40-day periods equal 80 days. And there were two or three 7-day periods. All of these occurred prior to the 601st year, first month, first day. In other words, all of the days are literal, accurate, solar days, but the dates, which are fixed points of time, are synodic, a different measuring rod. When Noah opened the window here in verse 6, he of course looked out. He had seen the mountaintops earlier (on the first day of the tenth month), and the Ark had rested on Ararat even earlier (on the 17th day of the seventh month). Now, after a 40-day period, Noah opened the window and sent forth a raven (Gen. 8:7).

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

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

Gen. 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.

Why did Noah send forth a raven first and then a dove? Does the expression “to and fro” mean that the raven went from mountaintop to mountaintop, resting as needed, or does it mean that the raven went back and forth to and from the Ark to the mountaintops?

The dove was a homing pigeon. Homing pigeons can go out all day, but when it is time to sleep, they return by instinct to the roost. So the dove definitely came back to the Ark at day’s end.

That is why a dove can be taken hundreds of miles away and a message tied to its feet, and it will return home with the message.

It seems likely that the raven went to and fro between the mountaintops. When the raven did not return, Noah was satisfied that ground was out there, not just mountaintops. Then Noah sent out the dove, knowing it would come back. The first time the dove came back emptyhanded; the second time it returned with an olive leaf; the third time it did not return at all. Why did the raven find rest but not the dove for the sole of her foot? Since the Caucasus Mountains were quite far away, the dove, which is a gentler bird, probably did not have the stamina to get there. The Caucasus range to the north in Russia is higher than even Mount Ararat, let alone Lesser Ararat and other peaks there.

The fact that Noah sent forth a dove “to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground” seems to support the possibility that the window he had made was in the center of the roof. A window in this location would prohibit him from seeing over the edge of the Ark, and therefore, he could not tell if the face of the ground was dry. After all, if he could see, why would he have to send out a dove? Noah was at a very high elevation with surrounding mountains being lower. The only higher mountains were the Caucasians, which were a long way off. Hence Noah could not see if the water had dried completely off the earth, and he sent out the birds. When the dove returned with the olive twig, Noah had some assurance.

Q: In the Egyptian religion, was the ibis a takeoff on the dove and the horus a takeoff on the raven?

A: That could be.

When the Flood occurred, the demons dematerialized but found that they were imprisoned, incarcerated, in tartaroo. From there, they saw all the details of the Flood. Hence other accounts of a flood (Babylonian, e.g.) can be part truth mixed with error. The only fully reliable account is the Hebrew one. Satan and the fallen angels have influenced the religions of the various Gentile nations, using a little truth with their slant on error.

Therefore, in observing the false religion of Egypt, we do see certain things. For example, the Ka is the symbol of the soul in the departed life. When a person dies and then is resurrected to the spirit plane, there is a change. We sow not only the body we will obtain, but we sow bare rain. Everybody’s life is being recorded in a “bank” so that at the time of resurrection, each can be called back as an individual with his own peculiar identity and a similar body. This truth is shown in the Egyptian religion. The doubling or duplication will occur, for the same identity will be put in a new body. Perfect “dubs” have been made for use in regenerating the human race.

“The waters were on the face of the whole earth” in the area where the Flood was. Luke 2:1 uses the phrase “all the world” to mean part of the world. In the beginning of Young’s Analytical Concordance, page xi, #29, reads: “The whole is frequently put forth for a part, e.g.—The ‘world’ for the Roman Empire or Palestine.” Also see #54.

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

Gen. 8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

The dove represents peace and the Holy Spirit. The “olive leaf [was] plucked off”; that is, there was a snapping off of an olive twig. The twig represents Christ. (The Hebrew says “leaf,” but to be “plucked off” implies part of the stem or twig too.) Jesus is the stem out of Jesse, and “Nazarene” means branch (Isa. 11:1). It is significant that the peace aspect was seen on the dove’s second return.

Q: Would the fact that the dove brought back an olive leaf indicate this was the spring of the year? Wouldn’t the Flood have swept away vegetation so that new growth would have to sprout?

A: If the continents sank, some areas were just submerged, and the trees and the grasses would have survived.

Q: Wouldn’t the leaves and grasses have rotted during the 150 days that the waters prevailed? Even things put in water in the refrigerator start to putrefy in a few days.

A: The trees would not rot. The leaves sprout as soon as sunlight and air reach them; they revitalize.

The order of sending forth the birds is as follows: (1) the raven did not return, (2) the dove returned, (3) the dove returned with an olive leaf and twig, and (4) the dove did not return (Gen. 8:12). The raven pictures the prevalence of sin, chiefly Satan. The sending forth of the dove the first time represents Jesus’ First Advent. The sending forth of the dove the second time and its return with the olive branch pictures Jesus’ Second Advent, when the Kingdom will be set up and the message of peace and hope will go out to the world.

As birds of prey, ravens were considered unclean under the Law (Lev. 11:15). The raven shows that Satan seemed to have a free hand until Christ came. Jesus’ coming at the First Advent—his leaving the holy courts of heaven to come to sinful earth—must have been a startling experience for the angels to observe. And it would have been traumatic for the angels, who did not have knowledge or understanding, to see Jesus being put to death. His life would have seemed to be a waste—until his resurrection. Both the holy and the fallen angels observed.

Comment: When the dove was sent out the third time, it did not return. The activity of the dove seems to picture Jesus’ turning the Kingdom over to the Father at the end of the Millennium, and the Father will then be all in all. The world will no longer need a Mediator at that time, so Jesus will assume another role elsewhere in the universe.

Q: When did the 601st year begin?

A: It started in the fall, around October, which was the beginning of each year, until the Passover was instituted. At that point, the year began in April. The Flood started in the second month (in November).

Q: With the different climate before the Flood, would the seasonal cycles have been the same?

A: There was a hothouse condition until the veil broke. Germination was quite different in the pre-Flood conditions. For example, the same crops were harvested two or three times each year.

Q: Would the timberline have been a factor on the mountains?

A: When the Flood subsided, no snow or ice was present. Snow, ice, and glaciers are the result of an accumulation. Noah’s descent on Mount Ararat was a different circumstance than going down the mountain now. At high altitudes, the snow and ice accumulated over the centuries. Each year some of the ice and snow melt, but not all; then more is deposited each winter. The snow and ice recede because of the heat in the summer and then build up even more each winter. Glaciers resist the heat, so water flows result underneath, causing the glaciers to move or slide. A glacier is very thick, but in time, it begins to work its way down.

Trees germinated at a certain level under the hothouse pre-Flood conditions, but after the Flood, as time passed, the trees did not prosper as much at the same altitude because of gradually changing conditions. Crops were planted at lower and lower levels to the point where we see them today.

Q: Of course summer, winter, cold, and heat, as mentioned in Genesis 8:22, would be a different condition from what existed prior to the Flood, but if Noah and family disembarked the Ark in November, would that first winter have been “normal” with snow and ice, or at least with the first snowfall? The question is being asked because the canopy had broken.

A: It was probably not a normal winter because trade winds were involved. A whole new system was developing, which may have taken a couple of years. Even the incident when Noah got drunk from the wine occurred quite some time later. Thermal ocean currents, the jet air stream, etc., all had to gradually develop into a condition where they can now even be charted. In time, snow and ice accumulated, and the very accumulation created new conditions.

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

The dove was sent forth three times with the following results: (1) The dove returned emptyhanded. (2) The dove returned with an olive leaf. (3) The dove did not return. “Noah knew that the waters were abated [vanished] from off the earth” when the dove brought back an olive leaf. However, the ground was still muddy and unstable, so Noah waited in the Ark lest the animals and humans sink into mud. In fact, he waited almost 57 more days for the ground to get firm enough for them to leave the Ark safely.

Gen. 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.

In the 601st year, the first month, the first day, the surface of the earth was dry, and Noah removed the “covering” (roof) of the Ark. “The waters were dried up from off [the face of] the earth: … the face of the ground was dry.” The surface was dry but not the ground itself. One and a half months later (verse 14) the ground was dry, and God said to leave the Ark. These two ending periods are significant.

The Ark would not have been on the peak of Ararat, for if it had been, the animals could not have walked down to lower altitude. The Ark lodged at one end where the mountain slopes downward. Over the years, excessively warm summers resulted in glacial movement, which caused the Ark to move down in one direction until it got to a still lower level. At present, the Ark is located at the end of the ice level where, in unusual years, it has been seen and even entered. Just before the Russian Revolution, 50 Russian soldiers made a geodetic scientific survey. They were on Ararat for quite some time, and they found the Ark. An English paper wrote up the account, but when the soldiers returned to Russia, the Revolution occurred, preventing the 50 men from being found and/or interviewed. Nouri saw the Ark but could not descend to it because of the ice and not having crampons. He wanted wealthy men to finance a trip to Ararat for the sacrilegious purpose of disassembling the Ark so that the pieces could be brought to Chicago and reassembled for the World’s Fair. With both sightings, there were multiple witnesses.

Verse 7 states that Noah sent forth a raven, which went to and fro until the waters were dried up from off the earth. But when were the waters “dried up from off the earth?” Verse 13 says it was the 601st year, first month, first day. The face or surface of the earth was dry at this point but not the ground itself. It is hard to sort out the sequence of some of these days.

The account backtracks, goes forward, repeats, goes ahead, goes back, etc. If the Flood is a type from the standpoint of the days that are enumerated, they would all have to harmonize and be significant. The dates might pertain to important happenings in the Time of Trouble. Perhaps, for example, when the Time of Trouble is occurring, there will be a glimmer of hope, as shown by the olive leaf. However, if one date has a special application, so do the other dates. Thus the year of the Flood could have a literal antitype, but the events are another matter—they have to be spiritually interpreted. Solar days are mixed in with a lunar arrangement in the books of both Genesis and Revelation.

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

One month and 26 days later the ground was sufficiently dry for Noah, his family, and the animals to leave the Ark and not sink into a quagmire. But, nevertheless, Noah waited until God gave the OK (verses 15-17).

Gen. 8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,

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

Noah had waited almost two months before getting God’s commandment to leave the Ark. Now God said, “Go forth.” Notice the order He specified: Noah, his wife, his sons, and his sons’ wives. Verse 18 gives the order in which they actually left the Ark, as recorded by Noah: Noah, his sons, Noah’s wife, and his sons’ wives. The natural deference among themselves was not the order God had announced. The same order according to natural deference had been followed in entering the Ark: Noah, his sons, Noah’s wife, the sons’ wives (Gen. 7:7). In regard to God’s order, it could be that each husband entered with his own wife; that is, they entered in pairs, two and two, for the twain were one flesh (Gen. 2:24).

The Logos probably spoke for Jehovah in this instance. At any rate, Noah would have heard an audible voice, perhaps just in the inner ear or perhaps an outward voice. We do not know if others heard this voice, but it was probably heard externally. Incidentally, Noah wrote down his experiences during the Flood and afterward.

Gen. 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.

Gen. 8:18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:

Gen. 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.

Gen. 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.

God said that the birds, the animals, and the creeping things would “breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.” Hence God indicated there would be a prosperity in their reproduction. And Noah believed this statement, for when he subsequently built an altar and sacrificed unto the Lord, he sacrificed “of every clean beast [animal], and of every clean fowl.” Noah had sufficient faith to go ahead and sacrifice of these precious few animals and birds, knowing the rest would multiply. God had provided for the sacrifices in advance by having Noah take seven pairs of each clean beast and bird (and only one pair of the unclean).

Imagine Noah and his family coming out of the Ark with the birds and the different kinds of animals of all shapes and sizes one full year later!

Comment: Some friends who own a large dairy farm in Maine said how joyous the cows are, after being cooped up in the barn all winter, to be let out into the barnyard that first spring day. Imagine, after one whole year, how these animals would have acted in leaving the Ark. All kinds of sounds would have been heard: brayings, honkings, neighings, mooings, etc. What a lot of excitement!

Reply: Yes, leaving the Ark was like resurrection into a new world—like coming into heaven— after being boxed in for so long.

Noah built an altar unto God, who had not yet specified any order for the sacrifices. The sacrifices were probably burnt offerings, and they may have been offered in pairs, male and female. Otherwise, since all of the birds and the animals were in pairs, to offer only the male or only the female would have left an oddball survivor.

Noah knew which animals and birds were clean and which were unclean because he was told to take seven pairs of the clean into the Ark but only one pair of the unclean. To offer the unclean would have made an extinct species. Deuteronomy 14:4-6 lists the clean animals: “These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.” When the clean birds were added, Noah’s sacrifice was very impressive and time-consuming. The animals and birds were probably all offered in one day.

Gen. 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.

God “smelled a sweet savour.” In other words, the sacrifice was pleasing to Him, and He said in His heart that He would “not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” God promised to never again smite every living thing. The curse on the ground from Adam’s day was not removed, but there would not be an additional curse to destroy all flesh as in Noah’s day. The thorns and briers remained, however.

Notice that God has a nose and a heart (plus eyes, ears, etc., according to other Scriptures). Man was created to resemble God in miniature—mentally, morally, and physically (instead of ethereally or spiritually).

God will never again curse the ground in any sense to bring about such a proportionate loss of life as occurred in the Flood. Millions will live through the Time of Trouble despite the great loss of life. “Neither will I again smite any more every thing living.” This promise proves God will not destroy the entire earth in the Time of Trouble or all flesh on it.

Even though the Flood “cleansed” the earth, there was still sin in Noah and his family, for none are righteous. The Adamic curse is on all. Noah was not being criticized, but the curse of death was on the genes. (Theoretically, if the genetic makeup were properly arranged, man would not die. Scientists are searching for the elixir of life through genetic engineering.

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

The climates will moderate, but “cold and heat” and the change of seasons will continue. The deserts will blossom, and extreme cold will become more moderate, so that the North and South Poles will not always be as icebound as at present. One way this change may be accomplished is that the earth could be tilted on its axis, affecting its orbit about the sun. The expression “seedtime and harvest” shows that men will “work” as Adam did in Eden, and some toil is good. Seed “time” indicates there is a time to cultivate fruit trees, plant them, etc., and the trees bring forth their fruit in season.

“While the earth remaineth,” the beginning clause, can be tied in with Hebrews 1:10-12, “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” Going into the far, far future, a time will come when the earth itself will wear out, and the human race will be transferred to another planet. There will be extensive interplanetary travel—way, way down the road, maybe a million years away. The extensive travel will be not just to other planets but to other solar systems. Man will be able to travel faster than light, but in order for that speed to function, man will have to be outside our solar system.

The earth will abide forever (Greek olam), but a time will come when it will be replaced (Eccl. 1:4). The replacement will be like going from one house to another—nothing radical, just a change. When one house decays, the inhabitants move to another house. Without this interpretation, Hebrews 1:10-12 would not mean too much. Some give it only a spiritual application, likening the kosmos to the present order, which is doomed for change. However, the passage is talking not about society but about the planet. And Psalm 102:25-27 supports the thought of planet Earth: “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” Natural observations confirm this thought, for all of the mountains are gradually coming down to the level of a plain, and erosions are irrevocable. Ultimately there would be a flat surface.

Verse 22 is another proof that there were climatic changes following the Flood. Prior to the Flood, distinctions were not made between cold and heat, and between summer and winter. There existed more of a hothouse condition.

The change of seasons is beautiful. The cycle reminds us of resurrection in the spring, for example. And Sinai, with its rock, is beautiful. Snow, too, has lessons and can be lovely.

Before the Flood, the eating of flesh was not authorized. In the Garden of Eden, fruit trees (plus the tree of life) provided variety in the human diet. Between Eden and the Flood, crops and vegetables were added to the diet. Cain was a tiller of the soil. The question is, Will man eat flesh forever? No. The diet will revert to that in Eden (plus vegetables?). Also, Genesis 9:3 indicates that when man was permitted to eat meat after the Flood, animosity then began between man and the animals. God said, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” When man started to hunt, fear and dread of man came on the animals. When hunting ceases, friendship will be re-established. On remote islands where man has not lived, birds and/or animals do not fear man. Therefore, when man eventually reverts to a fruit diet, a natural consequence will be peace between man and the animals. Isaiah 11:6, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, … and a little child shall lead them,” shows there will be harmony between man and the animals. The eating of meat is more of an expediency at present.

Q: But won’t the animals multiply too much and overrun the earth?

A: If man, after the Millennium, is like the angels and is thus unable to procreate, the same could be true of other flesh beings: the animals. The purpose of procreation was to fill the earth. Once the earth is filled, procreation will cease. The death sentence passed on the human race through a genetic factor. Procreation, too, can be altered by a genetic factor—overnight.

Q: Did the animals become carnivorous at the time man began to eat meat? Or were they carnivorous earlier? If the animals were still so docile and easily loaded on the Ark, perhaps they were not carnivorous yet, and certainly they were not carnivorous in Eden.

Comment: When Noah loaded food on the Ark for the animals, it was just herbage.

Reply: That reasoning would answer the question. The animals did not become carnivorous until after the Flood. They were not predators in the Ark, but when the fear and dread of man came on them after the Flood because they were hunted and cornered, they reciprocated for their own survival. Environment can change the temperaments of both man and beast. In fact, both heredity and environment can affect behavior.

Skins and hides that were used for clothing prior to the Flood came from sacrificed animals, so there was no unnecessary slaughter. Also, if the slain animal represented Jesus and the need for the shedding of blood, the spiritual lesson was interesting. The skin covering from the slain animal was used to make shoes, coats—coverings. Hence the sacrifice had side benefits for man. And Jesus had to die to procure the robe to cover our sins. The one sacrifice does both.

Q: If man lived longer prior to the Flood and did not have children until an older age, couldn’t that also have been true of the animals? An extended period before the animals bore their young would have prevented an overpopulation problem.

A: We do not know.

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