Genesis 7 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

Click chart to enlarge
cChart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Summary Chart of
The Book of Genesis
Focus Foundation Events
(Four Events)
(Events Predominant)
Foundation People
(Four People)
(People Predominant)
Divisions Creation
(Ge 1-2)
(Ge 3-5)
(Ge 6-9)
(Ge 10-12)
(Ge 12-24)
(Ge 25-26)
Jacob's Conflicts
(Ge 27-36)
(Ge 37-50)
Topics Beginning of the Human Race
(Race As A Whole)
Beginning of the Hebrew Race
(Family of Abraham)
Faithfulness of Mankind
Faithfulness of One Man's Family
Historical Biographical
Place Eastward
From Eden to Ur
From Canaan to Egypt
Time ~2000+ Years
(20% of Genesis)
About 300 Years
193 Yr in Canaan, 93 Yr in Egypt
(80% of Genesis)
Primeval History
of Humanity
Patriarchal History
of Israel
Author Moses


  • Ge 1:1-25 - The Universe (Everything)
  • Ge 1:26-2:25 - The Human Race
  • Ge 3:1-7 - Sin Enters the World
  • Ge 3:8-24- God Promises Redemption from Bondage to Sin
  • Ge 4:1-15 - Family Life
  • Ge 4:16ff - Civilization
  • Ge 10:1-11:32 - The Nations of the World
  • Ge 12:1ff - The Story of Israel and the Jews

Genesis 7:1  Then the LORD said to Noah, "Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.

  • Enter (Come - see note below) - Ge 7:7,13 Job 5:19-24 Ps 91:1-10 Pr 14:26 18:10 Isa 26:20,21 Eze 9:4-6 Zep 2:3 Mt 24:37-39+, Lk 17:26, 27+ Ac 2:39 Heb 11:7 1Pe 3:20 2Pe 2:5 
  • thee - Ge 6:9 Ps 33:18,19 Pr 10:6,7,9 11:4-8 Isa 3:10,11 Php 2:15,16 2Pe 2:5-9 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Hebrews 11:7+  By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 

1 Peter 3:20+ who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.

2 Peter 2:5+ and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God (NOTE THE POWERFUL, PURIFYING EFFECT OF FEARING GOD-SEE NEXT PHRASE) and turning away from evil.

2 Chronicles 16:9+  “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His (HE FOUND 8 HEARTS THAT HE COULD STRONGLY SUPPORT - CAN HE STRONGLY SUPPORT YOU DEAR READER?). You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.”


Jack Arnold introduces the description of the flood with these remarks - In the modern age of science and skepticism the truth of the Flood has been all but forgotten. Somehow it's testimony to the awfulness of sin and the reality of divine retribution is so disturbingly unwelcome that men have sought at all costs to ex­plain it away.  In most unbelieving circles the Flood is referred to as legend or myth (ED: cf Peter's similar words "it escapes their notice" - see discussion of 2Pe 3:5); that is, they are only stories thought up in the imagination of primitive, religious men.  NOTE.  True Christians, who believe in the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture, should never refer to the Flood as a Bible story. It is not a story. (ED: A story is defined as an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment. See Wikipedia note) It is his­torical fact that God has recorded in the Bible for men. It actually happened and is not legend or myth.

Then - An important time phrase (occurs over 3600x in Bible) that should not be glossed over. Here it marks progression in the narrative.

The LORD said to Noah, "Enter the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos), you and all (kol - whole) your household - Jehovah gives Noah a command to enter. Just imagine if Noah had not obeyed! Note that Jehovah is in control of the timing as to when Noah, et al, were to enter the Ark.

THOUGHT - This is a good reminder that when we are considering "when" to do something, we might do well to entreat the LORD if the timing is right. Just a thought to consider. Obviously this could be carried to the extreme, like "When do I eat dinner tonight?" I am referring more to major decisions in our life, like should I go to the mission field or should I apply to a seminary, etc. It's just a good idea for us to consult with our  omniscient Father. As Jesus said "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Mt 6:33+) Or in the great prayer Jesus taught "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Mt 6:10+)

Noah was the leader and had to guide his family. Men, fathers, husbands, you are the leader of your family and you need to hear from the LORD and guide your family.  This passage reminds me of Paul's words to the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:31+ charging him to "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Of course, while the text says nothing of the faith of the other 7, it is clear that each of the other 7 individuals had to exercise personal faith. (See note below by Jon CoursonMorris adds that "Noah was undoubtedly a man of great wealth, in order to finance the building of the Ark; but he and his sons and their wives willingly left it all behind because of their faith that God would perform what He had promised. The balance between man’s free choice and God’s electing grace is one which man, in finite understanding, can never fathom; but both are true. God promised Noah that his family would be saved (Ge 6:18) long before they voluntarily chose to enter the Ark (Ge 7:7), but choose they did when the time arrived." (BORROW  The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings) (See D L Moody's sermon on Genesis 7:1 - “COME THOU AND ALL THY HOUSE INTO THE ARK”)

Several versions (KJV, ASV, YLT, NET, AMP) have come in place of enter which prompted an interesting comment by Henry Morris -  It is significant, too, that the Lord said “Come into the Ark,” not “Go.” God would be in the Ark with them, and although the Flood would soon be unleashed in devastating fury, they were all safe with Him. (BORROW  The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings) The Septuagint has the verb eiserchomai which literally, in a local sense go or come into, and supports the English translation of "come". Also the Hebrew word (bo) is used in 2290 verses and is translated came (590) and enter (127), so this also supports the translation of "come." W H Griffith Thomas adds "It is noteworthy that God said 'Come' into the ark, not 'Go.' Surely we have here the suggestion that in some sense God would be with him there. 'His presence is salvation.' The personal character of the invitation is also noteworthy, 'Come thou.' Yet again, the inclusion of his family in the invitation should be observed, 'Come thou and all thy house.'"

Spurgeon - Notice that the Lord did not say to Noah, “Go into the ark,” but “Come,” plainly implying that God was himself in the ark, waiting to receive Noah and his family into the big ship that was to be their place of refuge while all the other people on the face of the earth were drowned. The distinctive word of the gospel is a drawing word: “Come.” Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;” and he will say to his people at the last, “Come, ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” “Depart” is the word of justice and judgment, but “Come” is the word of mercy and grace. “The Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark;” —

For - term of explanation - What is Yahweh explaining to Noah? He is saying basically "you're the remnant and there are no more." He is explaining why Noah could enter the Ark. Only the righteous could enter the Ark. 

You alone I have seen to be righteous (saddiq; Lxx = dikaios) before Me in this time - I have seen speaks of -God's evaluative discernment which of course is always flawless. Before Me means in My sight, before My face, speaking of God's omniscience for "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil (see Ge 6:5+) and the good." (Pr 15:3+) In this case, God saw the "good" in a man named Noah. Righteous (saddiq; Lxx = dikaios) does not mean Noah was sinless, but that he had been declared righteous by God (he was "positionally righteous"), by grace (Ge 6:8+) through faith as explained in Hebrews 11:7...

By faith (pistis) Noah, being warned (chrematizo) by God about things not yet seen, in reverence (eulabeomai) prepared an ark for the salvation (soteria) of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith (pistis). (NOTE: THIS PASSAGE IS "BOOKENDED" BY FAITH!)

Spurgeon on I have seen (you) to be righteous - Therefore God drew a distinction between him and the unrighteous, for he always hath a special regard for godly people. (Read Psalm 1:1-3+ and then Ps 1:4-6).

This must have been a striking statement to Noah, to realize 8 people were all that were salvageable from the entire population of the world. In truth Yahweh is speaking only to Noah but we have to assume that the other 7 individuals were also righteous although that is not definitively stated. We saw in Ge 6:9+ that "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God." God never actually says his family is righteous but by implication they must have been because God excludes those who are not righteous from receiving an invitation to a divine cruise. 

W H Griffith Thomas on I have seen - The thought of God watching His servants is at once a joy and a responsibility, an inspiration and a warning. When the life is wholly surrendered to God and lived in genuine sincerity the thought of 'Thou God seest me' is a delight. Not seldom in Holy Scripture have we expressions telling us that God is 'well pleased'96 with His faithful servants. The thought that our life can give pleasure to God is one of the greatest incentives to holy living. (Genesis 7 At the Flood)

Utley says "Notice that Noah's righteousness affects his family. This is a biblical truth. This does not mean that someone can be right with God based on another person's merit, but it does imply that spiritual blessings flow from those who know God to those with whom they are acquainted and with whom they are intimately involved (cp. Dt. 5:9-10+; 7:9, 1Co 7:14+)."

W H Griffith Thomas on righteous - This practically sums up everything that God demands from man. Article XI. of the Church of England defines justification as ' accounted righteous before God.' Somewhat similar in idea is the description of Zacharias and Elisabeth. ' They were both righteous before God' (see Gen. 17:1; 1 Kings 2:4; 2 Kings 20:3; Job 1:1; Acts 23:1; Phil. 3:6). The Old Testament is necessarily concerned only with the divine requirement of righteousness. It remained for New Testament times to reveal the provision of a perfect righteousness in Christ Jesus (Ro 3:20-26). (Genesis 7 At the Flood)

W H Griffith Thomas on before Me - Once again we have the thought of Noah's contemporaries brought before us, but this time from the divine side. God here proclaims His servant's righteousness, and bears witness thereto. Like Abel and Enoch before him, 'he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his life (Heb. 11:4-7). 'When a man's ways please the Lord' God always lets other people know it. (Genesis 7 At the Flood)

Ark (08392tebah  is a box like structure which is used in only two settings in the OT - a "big box" referring to Noah's Ark (26 times). It is not the word used later for the “ark of the covenant,” but it is the word used for the ark of bulrushes in which Moses was hidden as a baby (Ex 2:3; 2:5+). In both situations the occupants were in danger of dying (God's judgment in the flood and Pharaoh's decree to kill the male infants) and in both situations the occupants were rescued from the water. So in both "divine rescues" the result was not just salvation for Noah and Moses, but respectfully the salvation and perpetuation of the human race and the deliverance of the Chose People. (See Epic of Gilgamesh which is a secular writing that parallels the Biblical account of the flood). Ronald Youngblood adds that "Noah's ark as a symbol of salvation is compared to the ordinance of baptism in 1 Peter 3:20f+, and as a symbol of God's protection from external evil, it was frequently sketched by the early Christians on the walls of the catacombs under the streets of ancient Rome." (TWOT)

Tebah - 28x/25v - ark(26), basket(2). - Gen. 6:14; Gen. 6:15; Gen. 6:16; Gen. 6:18; Gen. 6:19; Gen. 7:1; Gen. 7:7; Gen. 7:9; Gen. 7:13; Gen. 7:15; Gen. 7:17; Gen. 7:18; Gen. 7:23; Gen. 8:1; Gen. 8:4; Gen. 8:6; Gen. 8:9; Gen. 8:10; Gen. 8:13; Gen. 8:16; Gen. 8:19; Gen. 9:10; Gen. 9:18; Exod. 2:3; Exod. 2:5

Ark in the Greek Septuagint (2787)(kibotos) means box, a wooden box, a coffer, a chest, a sea-faring vessel or boat like the ark (Latin - arca) of Noah (Moffatt says something like a barge) Note that kibotos is used for the Ark (aron) of the Covenant even though that Hebrew word for Ark (aron) is different than the Hebrew word for Noah's Ark (Mt 24:37-39+, Lk 17:26, 27+; Heb 11:7; 1 Pt 3:20, 4Macc 15:31). The ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies (Heb 9:4; Rev 11:19). Kibotos - 6v - ark (6) - Matt. 24:38; Lk. 17:27; Heb. 9:4; Heb. 11:7; 1 Pet. 3:20; Rev. 11:19. 

Righteous (adjective) (06662saddiq from sadaq = to be just or righteous) is an adjective with describes one as upright or just. This root basically connotes conformity to an ethical or moral standard. And so saddiq pertains to a person being in accordance with a proper (right) standard (God's standard being the ultimate arbiter of what defines righteousness acceptable to God). Saddiq can also convey the sense of innocence (guiltless) when describing one having no sin or wrongdoing according to a right (righteous) standard (Ex 23:7). In the first use of saddiq in Scripture God says "Noah was a righteous (Lxx = dikaios) man." (Ge 6:9, 7:1 cp 2Pe 2:5-note) Saddiq describes Jehovah (Isa 26:7, 45:21, Jer 12:1, Lam 1:18, etc) In Ex 9:27 Pharaoh testified (correctly) "Jehovah is the Righteous One!" Messiah is called a "righteous Branch" (Jer 23:5), the "Righteous One" (Isa 24:16, Isa 53:11). In Jer 20:12 we see that the Righteous one "tests the righteous." Mal 3:18 gives an interesting working "definition" of righteous - "the righteous and the who serves God and one who does not serve Him." The coming King (Messiah - first advent) is "just" (Lxx = dikaios) (Zech 9:9) (Of course He is also righteous in His Second Advent but that return is prophesied in Zech 9:10). In one of the most notable uses Hab 2:4-note says "the righteous (Lxx = dikaios) will live by his faith." Israel was accused by Jehovah of selling "the righteous for money." (Amos 2:6, cp Amos 5:12, Hab 1:4, 13-note, Isa 5:23-note) Hosea helps us understand "practical righteousness" writing that "the ways of the LORD are right (Hebrew = yashar = to be straight), and the righteous (Lxx = dikaios) will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them." (Jer 12:1, Hos 14:9) In a prophecy to be fulfilled when Messiah returns "Then all your people will be righteous (this parallels Ro 11:26-27-note when the remnant of the nation of Israel is delivered! cp Isa 26:2); They will possess the land forever (finally fulfilling the land promise to Jacob - national Israel will possess the land), the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified

Saddiq in the Pentateuch - Gen. 6:9; Gen. 7:1; Gen. 18:23; Gen. 18:24; Gen. 18:25; Gen. 18:26; Gen. 18:28; Gen. 20:4; Exod. 9:27; Exod. 23:7; Exod. 23:8; Deut. 4:8; Deut. 16:19; Deut. 25:1; Deut. 32:4

NOTE: Noah was declared righteous and so was positionally righteous before God, but his positional righteousness resulted in practical righteousness (his obedience to build the ark, etc). AXIOM - There is no positional righteousness without practical righteousness. That is, don't say you are saved (positionally righteous) and then go and live the rest of your life like you did before you said you were saved because that is a deadly deception which will one day be brought to light and clarified by Jesus! (see Jesus' warning Mt 7:21-23+ where "does" in v21 and "practice" in v23 are both in the present tense = speaking of one's lifestyle or habitual practice)! 

Jon Courson writes - God said to Noah, “You, as the leader of the family, you as the patriarch of the clan, you as the father, Noah, are to expect your sons and their wives to be in the ark—the place of salvation—with you and your wife.”

  • Could this be why blood on the doorposts during Passover spared not only the one who applied it but the entire house? (Exodus 12:13)
  • Could this be why the Holy Spirit fell on Cornelius and his house? (Acts 10)
  • Could this be what Paul meant when he said to the Philippian jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house”? (Acts 16:31)
  • Could this be what the writer of Hebrews referred to when he wrote: By faith, Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house? (Hebrews 11:7)

I believe so. Am I suggesting a new doctrine? Dad, get saved and everyone else is included? No, I’m not talking about a doctrine, but about a dynamic. By faith, Noah prepared a place for his family on the ark even before his kids were conceived. So you open your heart, Dad, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and by faith say, “I am believing my sons and daughters and their spouses and our grandchildren will be on board the Good Ship Salvation.” (ED: WHEN I WAS SAVED 38 YEARS AGO, MY 2 OLDEST CHILDREN WERE SAVED A FEW WEEKS LATER. IT WASN'T ME BUT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST IN ME WHO ENABLED A RADICAL TRANSFORMATION IN MY LIFE - 2Cor 5:17). 

Certainly, each man, woman, and child must make his own decision regarding salvation, but they can do so, seeing the reality of faith lived out before them, just as Noah’s family observed him pounding away on the ark day after day.

W H Griffith Thomas - This chapter is noteworthy for the points of time mentioned. The details can best be studied along these lines.
First, we have the last week preceding the flood (Ge 7:1-6). During this time God gave the final invitation to Noah, and announced to him the coming of the flood within seven days.

Then we have the day on which Noah entered into the ark (Ge 7:7-10). It requires very little imagination to realise the solemnity of the occasion, and the procession and the entrance of all those who were to be preserved from the Flood.

Next comes a record of the forty days of rain (Ge 7:11-17). Together with the rain we are told of the movements of the great deep, both combining to bring about the Divine judgment.

The chapter closes with the statement of the one hundred and fifty days during which 'the waters prevailed upon the earth' (Ge 7:18-24). The word 'prevailed' is the keynote of this section, and may suggest not merely a physical prevalence of the Flood, but a spiritual prevalence of Divine judgment, irresistible, irretrievable, irrevocable.

Parallelism between the flood as the great act of de-creation and the re-creation after the flood is underlined in Genesis by the literary design of the story. It is written in a large mirror-image pattern (‘extended chiasmus’ or ‘palistrophe’) which emphasizes the symmetry of the story. Here just some of the most obvious features of this structure are noted. (For fuller discussion see Wenham, Genesis 1–15 pp. 155–158). (New Bible Commentary, page 66)

 Noah’s sons (Ge 6:10)

Noah’s sons (Ge 9:18–27)

Enter the ark (Ge 7:1)

 Leave the ark (Ge 8:16)

 Seven days (Ge 7:4)

 Seven days (Ge 8:12)

Seven days (Ge 7:10)

Seven days (Ge 8:10)

Forty days (Ge 7:17)

Forty days (Ge 8:6)

 Mountains covered (Ge 7:20)

Mountains uncovered (Ge 8:5)

Flooding for 150 days (Ge 7:24)

Water receding for 150 days (Ge 8:3)

God remembered Noah (Ge 8:1)

C H Spurgeon - From A Family Sermon

‘And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark … 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.’ Genesis 7:1, 7

From the time of Noah’s entrance he is to find all his pleasure in the ark. There are no outdoor amusements for him or his family; he cannot even find pleasure in the scenery, for that is blotted out by the deluges of rain; the valleys have vanished and even the hills have disappeared as the deluge has increased. If he is to find any pleasure, he must find it inside the ark. It was a melancholy prospect indeed, if he could look out from the window, but his joy and delight lay within the chambers of the ark, for there was he saved and there he dwelt with God. All his food also to supply his necessities he must find inside the ark. He had no barn nor warehouse to look to, and there was no port at which he could take in cargo. Whatever need might arise must be met by the stores within the ark, for there was nothing outside but death. All his work was inside the ark too. He had nothing to do now except within that vessel, no fields to plough, no shops to keep, nothing to do but what was inside the ark. Now, when a soul comes to Christ, it commits itself to him for everything: Christ must feed it; you must no longer eat for your soul anything but the bread of heaven; Jesus must become meat and drink to you for his ‘flesh is meat indeed’ and his ‘blood is drink indeed’. Now you are to find your pleasure in him, your choicest delights, your sweetest joys, all in Christ Jesus, who is our hope, crown, delight and heaven. Henceforth your service must be to him only. ‘Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price’, and all that you have to do in this world now lies within the circumference of Christ’s will. The commonest duties of life are now to be brought within the sacred circle. You have nothing to do outside in the waters of sin, self and Satan. You need neither fish in the waters of sin, nor go boating upon the waves of worldliness; you are in danger if you do

James Smith - THE ARK OF SALVATION Genesis 7:1–7

Since Cain and Abel there have always been two classes in the world. The Cain posterity are mighty in their own eyes, while in the eyes of God they are only evil, and that continually. The Abel line, like Noah, find grace in the eyes of the Lord. The only hope for man is that he “finds grace.” Christ, the Divine Ark, is God’s open door of mercy for all who will enter.

I. The Place of Refuge. “Ark!” This was God’s appointed way of salvation. The ark was—

1. A PLACE OF SAFETY. No condemnation here. God is our refuge. Hid with Christ in God.
2. A PLACE OF SEPARATION. Saved ones are always set apart for God (Psa. 4:3). Separated from sin and judgment to be witnesses for Him.
3. A PLACE OF SAFETY. Noah’s wants were all met in his hiding-place (Isa. 32:2; Phil. 4:19).

II. The Divine Invitation. God said, “Come unto.” It is with God’s own invitation that men have to do (Matt. 11:28). Instead of obeying and entering in—

1. SOME LOOK AT IT. Their interest only constrains them to take a passing glance at the great provision.
2. SOME TALK ABOUT IT. Their curiosity is awakened.
3. SOME SNEER AT IT. Laughing at these who accept.

III. The Acceptance of the Offer. (Ge 7:7).

1. NOAH WENT IN. He believed for himself, and took the decided step.
2. HIS WIFE WENT IN. Sad when a house is divided on this momentous subject. What if the husband had not gone?
3. HIS SONS WENT IN. The promise is to you, and to your children.
4. HIS SONS’ WIVES WENT IN. “Believe, … and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

Croft Pentz  Noah and the Ark Genesis 6:5–22; 7:1–24

      A.      Greatness of sin—“Wickedness of man was great in the earth.”
      B.      Grief of sin—“That every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

II.  THE PLAN—Ge 6:6–7
      A.      Problem—v. 6. God was sorry. God had been pleased after creation with all He had made (Gen. 1:31). But now, God was sorry He had made man.
      B.      Plan—v. 7. God said He would destroy man and creation. God must always deal with sin and destroy it. Remember, man had 120 years to repent (Ge 6:3).

      A.      Person—v. 8. Nothing is said of Noah until he was 500 years old. He lived to be 950 (Gen. 9:29). Noah’s grandfather was Methuselah, the oldest man in the Bible—969 years old (Gen. 5:27).
      B.      Personality—v. 9. Note two things about Noah: (1) He was a just man—meaning he lived right. (2) He was perfect. This does not mean that he had attained sinless perfection. It means that he lived according to God’s will.

IV.  THE PLIGHT—Ge 6:11–13
      A.      Degradation of the earth—vv. 11–12. It was corrupt. It was sinful. Although God had created man perfect, after the first sin of Adam and Eve, sin grew worse.
      B.      Destruction of the earth—v. 13. God, who had created man, would destroy man. According to the Scofield Bible, 1,651 years had passed from the time of creation until this time.

      A.      Size of the ark—Ge 6:14–16. The Living Bible says the ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet high, 45 feet wide. (A football field is 360 feet long including the end zones—this will give you an idea how long the ark really was.) It was three stories high. There was only one window, near the top. It took Noah 120 years to build.
      B.      Safety in the ark—Ge 6:17–22. Only the people and animals who were in the ark were safe from the flood God would send to destroy the earth. (It never had rained before.) Noah did all that God told him to do.
      C.      Symbol of the ark—Jesus is like the ark. Unless we are in Him, we cannot be safe. Outside of Christ there is no safety.

      A.      Design—Ge 7:1–16. The animals went into the ark two by two, except that there were seven of the animals that could be used for sacrifice. Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives went into the ark. All others died. An estimated 137 million people lived at that time.
      B.      Death—Ge 7:17–24. It rained for forty days and nights. All living things died. If man rejects God, there is no other way … no other hope.

Croft Pentz -  Noah Obeys God -- Genesis 6–8
    Noah walked with God—Ge 6:9
      A.      Agreement (Amos 3:3). To walk together, both must agree. This is why many don’t walk with God—they can’t agree with Him.
      B.      Acceptance (Gal. 5:16). If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

    Noah was a just (righteous) man—Ge 6:9
      A.      Source of righteousness (2 Cor. 5:17). Begins with salvation.
      B.      Separation and righteousness (2 Cor. 6:17)
      C.      Sanctification and righteousness (2 Cor. 7:1)

    Noah was a consecrated man—Ge 6:9
    He was perfect (He did God’s perfect will). Note three types of God’s will in Romans 12:2.
      A.      Good. This means the new convert.
      B.      Acceptable. This means the growing Christian.
      C.      Perfect. This means the mature Christian.

    Noah was an obedient man—Ge 6:22; 7:5
      A.      The plan. Build an ark. God would destroy the sinful world.
      B.      The problem. Build an ark on dry ground? It had never rained before. God would destroy the world by rain?
    Noah didn’t understand, but he obeyed God fully!

    Noah was a faithful man. Noah worked for 120 years in building the ark—Ge 6:3
      A.      Word. He was faithful to God’s word and prepared an ark (see Heb. 11:7).
      B.      Work. He worked because he had faith (see James 2:17). Faith believes before it sees (Heb. 11:1; see also Heb. 11:6).

    Noah preached God’s Word (2 Peter 2:5). “A preacher of righteousness.”
      A.      Concern. He was interested in man’s safety.
      B.      Compassion. He was interested in man’s soul.

    All died except Noah’s family, which was saved—Ge 7:23
      A.      God’s plan (John 1:12). Accept Him and be saved.
      B.      God’s provision (John 3:1–8). If you are not born again, then you are lost.

C H Spurgeon - excerpt from introduction to the sermon A FAMILY SERMON (Genesis 7:1,7) 

GOD in infinite grace had entered into covenant with Noah that he would preserve him and his family alive. The tenor of that covenant you will find in the 18th verse of the 6th chapter. “With thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” There was a positive foretelling of Noah’s coming into the ark and finding safety. The thing was fixed, and ordained so to be, and yet, when the time came, Noah was not carried into the ark by force, nor lifted into it against his will by a benevolent violence. He was bidden to come into the ark in the most natural manner possible; and he entered it voluntarily and cheerfully. He and his family left their houses to find a home in the ark, and so they were saved. The covenant promise and purpose were fulfilled, but Noah acted in perfect freedom, as much choosing to go into the ark as others chose to keep out. Now, beloved, there is a decree in heaven ordaining the salvation of the Lord’s chosen people. It is useless to deny that decree, for even if it were not so, yet no difficulty would be withdrawn, it would only be shifted to another place. Some of us, instead of denying predestination, like to think upon it, and find rivers of consolation springing from the everlasting purpose of the living God. But, albeit that God hath purposed and decreed the salvation of his elect, yet this by no means prevents our speaking in the Lord’s name to all men; nor does it set aside the necessity that those men should cheerfully accept the gospel of God, and arouse themselves to obey its command, by the power of grace. My hearer, I cannot tell whether thy name is written in the Lamb’s book of life from before the foundation of the world, but I can assure thee that to thee is the word of this salvation sent, and that it bids thee believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, with this assurance—that if thou doest so thou shalt be saved, for so hath the Lord most solemnly declared. The method of the divine arrangement involves an active consent on our part and a willing obedience to the gospel command. The purpose is sure, but it is unknown and unrevealed till the gospel is made known and brought home with effectual power so that the heart accepts it, the spirit obeys it, and the man is saved—saved as a free agent, saved as a voluntary being, yet not saved apart from the secret, almighty purpose of the Most High, nor without the effectual working of his grace. And so we come here, at this time, believing that there are some in this house concerning whom the Lord hath purposed that they shall be Christ’s in the day of his appearing. We address you all hoping that the Spirit of God will apply the word with special power to the chosen, that they may see that they themselves must believe in Jesus,—that they must be actively awakened to repentance, to prayer, to a change of life, to confidence in Christ. When this shall happen, then shall the covenant purpose be known to them, and fulfilled in them, for they shall be saved from the wrath to come. Not knowing, therefore, who is to come into this net, we cast it into the sea, believing that Christ knows every fish in the sea and what fish will come to the net. We do not wish to know this ourselves, for it is quite enough for us to know how to cast in the net and to be fishers of men. The practical work belongs to us, and the result we leave with the Lord.

There are two things in the two texts. The first is the call,—“The Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark.” The second is the obedience to the call,—“And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark.”
I. First, then, THE CALL.

C H Spurgeon - excerpt from introduction to the sermonNOAH’S EMINENCE (Genesis 7:1) 

GOD keeps his eyes upon the sons of men, and he searches among them for certain individuals upon whom he delights to fix his gaze. These are not the kings and princes; these are not the men of talent or of fashion; these are not the men who are regarded by their fellows as famous. When God speaks of having seen Noah, he speaks of having seen one of the kind of men for whom he was looking, namely, a righteous man. There is not a righteous man upon the earth whom God does not see. He may be in a very obscure position, his circumstances may be those of poverty, he may be anything but famous; but so long as he is righteous, God delights to look upon him. He looks upon him so as to take care of him; so that, if destruction is to come upon the face of the earth, an ark is to be prepared for the preservation of righteous Noah and his family. “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” Whoever else he does not see, he is sure to see the righteous; but “the face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.”

Now, what God delights to look upon, we should delight to look upon, so we will fix our mind’s eye upon the righteous man mentioned in our text, and notice, first, the eminence of Noah’s character; secondly, try to find out wherein that eminence consisted; and, thirdly, consider the gracious reward given to him because of that eminence.

I. So, first, we are to notice THE EMINENCE OF NOAH’S CHARACTER

Genesis 7:2  "You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female;

  • every clean - Ge 7:8 Ge 6:19-21 8:20 Lev 11:1-47 De 14:1-21 Ac 10:11-15 
  • not - Lev 10:10 Eze 44:23 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


You shall take with you of every clean (tahor) animal by sevens, a male and his female - This is added instruction to Ge 6:19 where Noah was told "you shall bring two of every kind into the ark." The key phrase is Ge 6:20 where God promises the animals will "will come to you." This clearly was a supernatural "migration" so to speak. 

Seven in Genesis - Gen. 5:7; Gen. 5:26; Gen. 5:31; Gen. 7:2; Gen. 7:3; Gen. 7:4; Gen. 7:10; Gen. 7:11; Gen. 8:4; Gen. 8:10; Gen. 8:12; Gen. 8:14; Gen. 11:21; Gen. 21:28; Gen. 21:29; Gen. 21:30; Gen. 23:1; Gen. 25:17; Gen. 29:18; Gen. 29:20; Gen. 29:27; Gen. 29:30; Gen. 31:23; Gen. 33:3; Gen. 37:2; Gen. 41:2; Gen. 41:3; Gen. 41:4; Gen. 41:5; Gen. 41:6; Gen. 41:7; Gen. 41:18; Gen. 41:19; Gen. 41:20; Gen. 41:22; Gen. 41:23; Gen. 41:24; Gen. 41:26; Gen. 41:27; Gen. 41:29; Gen. 41:30; Gen. 41:34; Gen. 41:36; Gen. 41:47; Gen. 41:48; Gen. 41:53; Gen. 41:54; Gen. 46:25; Gen. 47:28; Gen. 50:10

Henry Morris - The "clean" (tahor) kinds of beasts and birds were those suitable for domestication and a form of fellowship with man, as well as for sacrificial offerings. Apparently three pairs of each of these were preserved in order to allow for wider variation in breeding after the Flood. The seventh was offered by Noah in sacrifice when they left the ark (Genesis 8:20). (BORROW The Defender's Study Bible

And of the animals that are not clean (tahor) two, a male and his female - This repeats the instruction of Ge 6:19. These would be used for sacrifice (Ge 8:20) and food (Ge 9:3). - How many of each type of animal did Noah take on the ark? Seven pairs of each kind of clean animal and one pair of each kind of other animals were taken on the ark (Genesis 6:19-20; 7:2-3). By “clean” the Bible means animals that were "acceptable for sacrifice." That is why seven pairs of the clean animals were taken – so some of them could be sacrificed after the Flood was over without endangering the species.

Spurgeon - Of the clean creatures which might be offered in sacrifice to God you see that there was a larger proportion than there was of the unclean, that there might be sufficient for sacrifice without the destruction of any species. The unclean beasts were mostly killers and devourers of others, and therefore their number we to be less than that of the clean species. Oh, that the day might soon come when there would be more of clean men and women than of unclean, when there would be fewer sinners than godly people in the world, though even then there would be the ungodly “by two” like the unclean beasts.

Gleason Archer -New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties - How can Genesis 6:19 be reconciled with Genesis 7:2?

Genesis 6:19 relates God’s command to Noah: “You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you” (NIV). Genesis 7:2–3 records God’s additional instruction: “Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.” Some have suggested that these diverse numbers, two and seven, involve some sort of contradiction and indicate conflicting traditions later combined by some redactor who didn’t notice the difference between the two.

It seems strange that this point should ever have been raised, since the reason for having seven of the clean species is perfectly evident: they were to be used for sacrificial worship after the Flood had receded (as indeed they were, according to Gen. 8:20: “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it”). Obviously if there had not been more than two of each of these clean species, they would have been rendered extinct by their being sacrificed on the altar. But in the case of the unclean animals and birds, a single pair would suffice, since they would not be needed for blood sacrifice.

Walter Kaiser - Genesis 6:19–20; 7:2–3  How Many Animals Went into the Ark? - Hard Sayings of the Bible

During the last century and a half, the prevailing nonevangelical interpretation of the Noah story has been that this is not one story but at least two separate stories poorly patched together in an attempt to make them one unified whole. Evidence offered for the existence of two original stories is the fact that Noah is first told to take two of each kind of animal on board the ark and then to take seven of each clean kind.

In the final analysis, according to one eminent critical scholar, there is only one piece of evidence for the disunity of the Noah story, and that is repetition or repeated occurrence. The repetition, he reasoned, makes no sense unless two or more narratives have been conflated.

Repetition can sometimes be a sign of divergent traditions and of an editor having welded together several versions of the same story, or even different stories. But there are other explanations for this same phenomenon. Repetition is one of the most fundamental tools of the literary artist. Its presence does not necessarily indicate that the literary piece is a composite hodgepodge reflecting heterogeneous elements of mixed sources, oral or written.

To claim, as many have done, that Genesis 6:19–20 came from a priestly source around 450 B.C. and that Genesis 7:2–3 came from an earlier Yahwistic source around 850 B.C. is to say that the editor of the material let the contradiction stand. There is no need for such extravagant theories of origins, especially since we have a second-millennium flood story from Mesopotamia, the Gilgamesh Epic, with many of the same details. The Gilgamesh Epic, only unearthed in this century, could hardly have incorporated the so-called priestly and Yahwistic sources from the fifth and ninth centuries B.C., having been written and buried long before then. Why then must we suppose that Genesis incorporates such allegedly later sources?

The truth is that there is no inherent incompatibility between the two texts as they presently stand. Genesis 7:2–3 is just more precise than 6:19–20 on the question of the types and numbers of animals and birds that would board the ark.

Noah’s first instruction was to admit pairs of all kinds of creatures on the ark to preserve their lives (Gen 6:19–20). That was the basic formula. Then he was given more specific instructions about admitting seven pairs of each of the clean animals and seven pairs of each kind of bird. The purpose of this measure was to become clear only after the flood. Birds would be needed to reconnoiter the earth (Gen 8:7–12), and the clean animals and birds would be offered in sacrifice to the Lord (Gen 8:20). If Noah had taken only one pair of each and then offered each of these pairs in sacrifice, these species would have become completely extinct.

The simplest and most adequate explanation is that chapter 6 of Genesis contains general summary directions—take two of each. After Noah had understood these general instructions, God spoke more specifically about the role the clean beasts and birds were to play.

Scripture does not indicate how the distinction between “clean” and “unclean” arose. Later on the Mosaic law would sanction this distinction and formally define it. But we are left without any indication of the origin of the distinction, just as we are left in the dark regarding how and when the whole idea of sacrifices started. Cain and Abel both sacrificed, but a formal declaration inaugurating this ritual is not recorded.

If some analysts still wish to excise the clean animals from the so-called priestly account of the Genesis flood story, they only introduce into what they are calling the Yahwistic account the very sort of repetition that they had earlier taken as a sign of divergent sources. This is too high a price to pay just to avoid admitting that perhaps the accounts of the boarding of pairs of unclean animals are connected with the boarding of seven pairs of clean animals. Genesis 7:6–15 does not support a Yahwistic-and-priestly-source explanation; indeed, it causes unusual trouble for such an analysis of the material.

QUESTION - What made some animals clean and others unclean (Genesis 7)?

ANSWER - Noah took two of every kind of animal into the ark, right? Not exactly. The Bible states, “Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth” (Genesis 7:2–3). The Hebrew phrase translated “seven pairs” literally means “seven sevens,” so there is some question as to whether Noah took seven specimens of each “clean” species (three pairs and an extra) or seven pairs. Either way, he was told to take more clean animals than unclean on the ark. Only the unclean animals came in pairs (Genesis 6:19).

Leviticus 11 defines the difference between clean and unclean animals, but Noah lived before the giving of the Law. We are not told how Noah knew which animals were clean and unclean, but he obviously knew the difference. Sacrifices to God were made before the Mosaic Law (Genesis 4:4), which means God had somehow communicated to man what animals were suitable for sacrifice (and, later, for eating).

Leviticus 11 specifies which birds, land animals, and sea creatures were clean and unclean. Here are a few of the clean and unclean animals in those lists:

Clean animals: land animals that chew the cud and have a divided hoof, such as cattle, deer, goats, and sheep; seafood with both fins and scales, such as bluegill, grouper, and cod; certain birds, including chickens, doves, and ducks; and even some insects, such as grasshoppers and locusts.

Unclean animals: land animals that either do not chew the cud or do not have a split hoof, such as pigs, dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, and rats; seafood lacking either fins or scales, such as shellfish, lobster, oysters, and catfish; some birds, such as owls, hawks, and vultures; and other animals, such as reptiles and amphibians.

While the New Testament teaches that we are no longer judged regarding what foods we eat (Colossians 2:16), nutritionists have noted that the listings of clean and unclean foods in the Old Testament actually provide a guideline for a healthy diet. In a time period lacking modern food safety techniques, a diet consisting of only clean animals would have protected people against many health problems.

Ultimately, God’s distinction between clean and unclean animals was about more than one’s diet. Many of God’s regulations were to remind His people, Israel, that they were set apart to worship the one, true God. The original audience of Genesis 7, during Moses’ day, would have associated the reference to clean animals with the animals God had given them for food as well as sacrifice. It would only make sense to include more clean animals than unclean on the ark. Noah made a sacrifice immediately after the Flood (Genesis 8:20). Since seven (or seven pairs) of every clean animal had been aboard, the sacrifices would still have left plenty of animals to begin replenishing the

Genesis 7:3  also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.


Also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth - Although God adds the instruction for birds by sevens, He does not distinguish clean and unclean (not all birds were "clean" - Lev 20:25). 

If the Flood were only local, the ark would not have been needed at all.

In Ge 7:2, 3 God says that Noah must take some of every kind of animal “to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.” That would not be necessary if the flood were only local. THIS WAS A GLOBAL FLOOD WHETHER YOU BELIEVE THAT OR NOT! 

Henry Morris on keep offspring alive - God's purpose for the ark was to "keep seed alive" in the earth, a statement meaningful only in the context of a universal flood. The ark was far too large to accommodate merely a local or regional fauna. In fact, if the Flood were only local, the ark would not have been needed at all. Noah's family, as well as the birds and beasts, could far more easily have simply migrated away from the region to be flooded.


Genesis 7:4  "For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made."

  • For - Ge 7:10 2:5 6:3 8:10,12 29:27,28 Job 28:25 36:27-32 37:11,12 Am 4:7 
  • forty days - Ge 7:12,17 
  • and every - Ge 7:21-23 6:17 
  • destroy - Heb. blot out, Ge 7:21,23 6:7,13,17 Ex 32:32,33 Job 22:16 Ps 69:28 Rev 3:5 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Psalm 29:10 The LORD sat as King at the flood; Yes, the LORD sits as King forever. 

SPURGEON'S COMMENT - Flood follows tempest, but Jehovah is ready for the emergency. No deluge can undermine the foundation of his throne. He is calm and unmoved, however much the deep may roar and be troubled: his government rules the most unstable and boisterous of created things. Far out on the wild waste of waters, Jehovah "plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm, "Yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. Jesus has the government upon his shoulders eternally: our interests in the most stormy times are safe in his hands. Satan is not a king, but Jehovah Jesus is; therefore let us worship him, and rejoice evermore.


For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights - God says in 7 days they earth (that sounds like earth and not a local or regional rainfall) the rain will fall round the clock for 40 days and nights. SYMBOLIC NUMBERS IN SCRIPTURE

Why seven more days? John MacArthur astutely observes that in His great mercy "God allowed one more week for sinners to repent. rain…forty days and forty nights. A worldwide rain for this length of time is impossible in post-Flood atmospheric conditions, but not then. The canopy that covered the whole earth (see note on under the firmament in Ge 1:7), a thermal water blanket encircling the earth, was to be condensed and dumped all over the globe (Ge 7:10). (See MSB Notes)

Related Resources:

Henry Morris - This seven-day period of final warning and preparation marks the first of many references to seven-day intervals during the Flood year. This fact makes it obvious that the practice of measuring time in seven-day weeks had been in effect throughout the period between the creation week and the Flood.  A worldwide rain lasting forty days would be impossible under present meteorologic conditions. The condensation of the antediluvian vapor canopy, the "waters above the firmament," (Genesis 1:6-8) is the only adequate explanation.

And I will blot out (machah) from the face of the land every living thing that I have made - While God does not state that this is the purpose of the 40 days of continual rain, it is clear from Ge 6:17+ that the purpose is to bring a flood that will destroy all flesh. The verb blot out (machah) is translated in the Septuagint (Lxx) with the verb exaleipho which means literally to completely wipe off, to remove by wiping off, as when a blackboard is erased. The idea is that God by this flood will "wash the globe clean" (so to speak as it still had 8 sinners in the Ark) and cause everything with breath of life to cease by obliterating it. What a contrast is this "washing" of the filthy sinful earth with Titus 3:5+ where He "washes" filthy sinners clean, Paul writing "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit." 

Spurgeon - It is the prerogative of the king to have the power of life and death, and it is the sole prerogative of the King of kings that — “He can create, and he can destroy.” But what destructive power is brought into operation because of human sin! Sin must be a very heinous thing, since God, Who despiseth not the work of his own hands, will sooner break up the human race, and destroy every thing that liveth rather than that sin should continue to defile the earth. He has destroyed the earth once by water because of sin, and he will the second time destroy it by fire for the selfsame reason. Wherever sin is, God will hunt it; with barbed arrows will he shoot at it; he will cut it in pieces with his sharp two-edged sword, for he cannot endure sin. Oh, how foolish are they who harbour it in their own bosoms, for it will bring destruction to them if they keep it there!

Steven Cole - In Ge 7:4, God tells Noah that He is about to blot out every living thing that He has made. Why have Noah go to all the bother of building an ark of this size if the flood was merely local? The animals could just as easily have fled the area (along with Noah and his family) and returned afterward.

Morris - "Every living substance" includes the plant life on the land. All the lush vegetation of the pre-Flood world was to be uprooted, transported and buried in great sedimentary beds, many of which would eventually become the world's coal beds.

Warren Wiersbe entitles Genesis 7 "A secure man who waited on God “Do not be like the horse or like the mule,” God counsels in Psalm 32:9, and Noah obeyed that counsel. The horse sometimes wants to rush ahead impetuously, and the mule wants to drag its feet and stubbornly stay back; but Noah walked with God and worked for God and let God arrange the schedule....During that final week before the flood, they finished gathering the animals and putting in their supplies. They followed the Lord’s instructions, trusted His covenant promise, and knew that there was nothing to fear. " (Bible Exposition Commentary - OT)


There were forty days during which the rain fell


Throughout another 110 days the waters continued to rise, making 150 days in all for their “prevailing” (Ge 7:24) 


The waters occupied 74 days in their “going and decreasing” (AV margin). This was from the 17th day of the seventh month to the 1st day of the tenth month (Ge 8:5). There being 30 days to a month, the figures in days are 13 plus 30 plus 30 plus 1


Forty days elapsed before Noah sent out the raven (Ge 8:6–7)


Seven days elapsed before Noah sent out the dove for the first time (Ge 8:8). This period is necessary for reaching the total and is given by implication from the phrase “other seven days” (Ge 8:10)


Seven days passed before sending out the dove for the second time (Ge 8:10)


Seven days more passed before the third sending of the dove (Ge 8:12)


Up to this point 285 days are accounted for, but the next episode is dated the 1st of the first month in the 601st year. From the date in Ge 7:11 to this point in Ge 8:13 is a period of 314 days; therefore an interval of 29 days elapses


From the removal of the covering of the ark to the very end of the experience was a further 57 days (Ge 8:14)




This table appears in E. F. Kevan’s commentary on Genesis in The New Bible Commentary, ed. F. Davidson (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1953), pp. 84–85 (BORROW). As is pointed out in our discussion below, the Flood probably reached its maximum depth after the first forty days, instead of rising throughout the 150 days as Kevan indicates. - From The Genesis Flood - Whitcomb and Morris, page 2. (BORROW) - How long was Noah on the ark? Noah entered the ark in the 600th year of his life, on the 17th day of the 2nd month (Genesis 7:11-13). Noah left the ark on the 27th day of the 2nd month of the following year (Genesis 8:14-15). Therefore, assuming a lunar calendar of 360 days, Noah was on the ark for approximately 370 days.

HERE IS ANOTHER CHRONOLOGY The Flood Chronology - John MacArthur 

  1.   In the 600th year of Noah (second month, tenth day), Noah entered the ark (Ge 7:4, 10, 11).
  2.   In the 600th year of Noah (second month, seventeenth day), the flood began (Gen. 7:11).
  3.   The waters flooded the earth for 150 days (5 months of 30 days each), including the 40 days and 40 nights of rain (Gen. 7:12, 17, 24; 8:1).
  4.   In the 600th year of Noah (seventh month, seventh day), the waters began to recede (Ge 7:24; 8:1).
  5.   The waters later receded to the point that (600th year, seventh month, seventeenth day) the ark rested on Ararat (Gen. 8:3, 4).
  6.   The waters continued to abate so that (600th year, tenth month, first day) the tops of the mountains were visible (Gen. 8:5).
  7.   Forty days later (600th year, eleventh month, tenth day) Noah sent out a raven and a dove (Gen. 8:6). Over the next 14 days, Noah sent out two more doves (Gen. 8:10, 12). In all, this took 61 days or two months and one day.
  8.   By Noah’s 601st year on the first month, the first day, the water had dried up (Gen. 8:12, 13).
  9.   Noah waited one month and twenty-six days before he disembarked in the second month, the 27th day of his 601st year. From beginning to end, the Flood lasted one year and ten days from Gen. 7:11 to Gen. 8:14.

Blot out (wipe)(04229machah means to twipe, to wipe out and is often connected with divine judgment as with God wiping out all life in the flood (Ge 6:7, Ge 7:23); Amalek (Ex 17:14+), destroying Jerusalem (2 Ki 21:13); threatening to wipe out Israel's name (Dt. 9:14). Ps. 51:1 = "blot out my transgressions"; Ps. 51:9 = "blot out all my iniquities. " Ps 69:28 = " May they be blotted out of the book of life." 

Maachah - 30v - blot(12), blotted(11), destroys(1), utterly blot(1), wash off(1), wipe(1), wipe...away(1), wiped(1), wipes(3), wiping(1). Gen. 6:7; Gen. 7:4; Gen. 7:23; Exod. 17:14; Exod. 32:32; Exod. 32:33; Num. 5:23; Deut. 9:14; Deut. 25:6; Deut. 25:19; Deut. 29:20; Jdg. 21:17; 2 Ki. 14:27; 2 Ki. 21:13; Neh. 4:5; Neh. 13:14; Ps. 9:5; Ps. 51:1; Ps. 51:9; Ps. 69:28; Ps. 109:13; Ps. 109:14; Prov. 6:33; Prov. 30:20; Prov. 31:3; Isa. 25:8; Isa. 43:25; Isa. 44:22; Jer. 18:23; Ezek. 6:6

Bolt out (erase, wipe away) (1813exaleipho from ek = out, intensive [adds sense of "completely" - see also Vincent's note below] + aleipho = wipe, cover over, besmear) means literally to completely wipe off. Literally exaleipho means to remove by wiping off, as when a blackboard is erased. The word was applied to the process of obliterating writing on any material. Some of the uses in Scripture retain this literal meaning but most uses speak of a figurative blotting out or wiping off. The idea in all the uses is to cause something to cease by obliterating or eliminating any evidence. Twice in the Revelation God promises He will wipe away every tear. A number of uses in both OT (Septuagint) and the NT use this verb to describe the blotting out or wiping away of sins. Exaleipho was used by Thucydides of whitewashing a wall.

Steven Cole - The flood was historical. While there are some difficult problems to consider, I think we must take the biblical account at face value. The text clearly presents this as an eyewitness, historical account, not as a parable or fairy tale. For example, the precise date (7:11), as Derek Kidner states, “has the mark of a plain fact well remembered; and this is borne out by the further careful notes of time in the story” (Genesis [IVP], p. 90). While the miraculous is obviously present (especially in the way God gathered the animals to Noah), there is nothing mythical about it.

Also, the New Testament clearly interprets the flood as historical. Both the apostle Peter and the Lord Jesus refer to it as an example of the way people in the end times will scoff at God’s judgment (2 Pet. 2:5; 3:3-10; Matt. 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27). Either Jesus was mistaken; or He was deceptively using something He knew not to be true as if it were true; or He knew what He was talking about when He referred to Noah and the flood as historically true.

Outside of the Bible, there is the widespread evidence of flood stories in many cultures. While there are variations in the stories, as would be expected over thousands of years, the wide distribution of these stories from every continent of the world points to a common source (Tim LaHaye and John Morris, The Ark on Ararat [BORROW], see page 230 for fascinating chapter - "UNIVERSAL FLOOD TRADITIONS").


Geologically, there is debate even among Christian scholars about the evidence for a worldwide flood. Some, such as the late Bernard Ramm, argue for a localized flood because they see a number of scientific problems with a universal flood. But there are many lines of geologic evidence which may point to a universal flood and which are not easy to explain in any other way. I cannot deal with the technical aspects of it here, but refer you to The Genesis Flood - Whitcomb and Morris (BORROW) if you want more detail.

Just over a century ago, the German scholar, C. F. Keil, put the scientific issue in focus when he wrote, “However impossible, therefore, scientific men may declare it to be for them to conceive of a universal flood of such a height and duration in accordance with the known laws of nature, this inability on their part does not justify any one in questioning the possibility of such an event being produced by the omnipotence of God” (Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament [Eerdmans], 1:146-147).

But, biblically the evidence for the flood as historically true is incontrovertible. Culturally, there is a massive body of independent traditions which points to a common historical event as their source. Geologically, evidence does not definitely prove the flood, but neither does it disprove it. And there is much evidence that supports the flood.

Genesis 7:5  Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him.

  • all that - Ge 6:22 Ex 39:32,42,43 40:16 Ps 119:6 Mt 3:15 Lu 8:21  Joh 2:5 Joh 8:28,29 13:17 Php 2:8 Heb 5:8 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him - Note Noah did without questioning God or complaining to Him, obeying ALL the commands of the LORD. This is what we would expect from a righteous man. Of course one wonders how this obedience was energized because Noah did not have the indwelling Spirit as we do today. We can obey today because the Spirit gives us the desire to obey and the power to obey (Php 2:13NLT+). In some way (I think supernaturally) Noah was enabled to have the desire and the power to obey God. 

W H Griffith Thomas on the LORD had commanded him  -  The Word of God is brought constantly before us in connection with Noah (Ge 6:13, 22; 7:5, 9, 16; 8:15, 21; 9:1, 8, 12, 17), as indeed it is all through the Bible. God speaks, man listens; God commands, man obeys. The Word of God is at once the standard and the guide of life, and no life or service is possible unless it is ever subject thereto. (Genesis 7 At the Flood)

Spurgeon makes an excellent point on did according to all that the LORD had commanded him - Here was positive proof of his righteousness, in that he was obedient to the word of the Lord. A man who does not obey God’s commands may talk about righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith, but it is clear that he does not possess it, for faith works by love, and the righteousness which is by faith is proved by obedience to God. “Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him,” and so proved that he was righteous before God.

Genesis 7:6  Now Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of water came upon the earth.


Now - This functions almost like a pause button to check the chronology of the events. 

Noah was six hundred years old when the flood (mabbul; Lxx = kataklusmos - English cataclysmof water came upon the earth - In Ge 5:32+ we read that "Noah was 500 years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth." If we can equate the 120 years in Ge 6:3+ with the time Noah was building the Ark, these sons would not have been able to help him build the first 30-40 years. This would assume he began to build when he was about 480 years old. Some have speculated he hired pagans to help him build the Ark, which is possible. If you have ever carried a 10 foot 4x4, you know that carrying planks that would have been necessary for the sides of the Ark would have been much heavier and almost impossible for one man to maneuver. 

Spurgeon - He was nearly five hundred years old when he began to preach about the flood, — a good old age to take up such a subject. For a hundred and twenty years he pursued his theme, — three times as long as most men are ever able to preach, and now at last God’s time of long-suffering is over, and he proves the truthfulness of the testimony of his servant by sending the flood that Noah had foretold.

Genesis 7:7  Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood.

  • Ge 7:1,13-15 6:18 Pr 22:3 Mt 24:37-39+, Lk 17:26, 27+ Heb 6:18 11:7 1Pe 3:20 2Pe 2:5 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Then - Marks progression in the narrative.

Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him entered the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos In Ge 7:1 he was told to enter (or come) and now they are entering.

Jack Arnold on why Noah obeying God and entering the Ark was such a great step of faith - This was a great step of faith for Noah. He had prepared for 120 years for this event. He constructed the ark in obedience to the word of God in the face of ridicule and contempt by his con­temporaries. There were no physical signs of coming judgment (ED: READ THAT AGAIN!). The skies were clear of clouds, the sun was rising and setting, as it had for generations (ED: ARNOLD EMBELLISHES A BIT BUT HE IS PROBABLY ACCURATE). Business was going on as usual, people were eating, drinking and getting married (ED: JESUS CONFIRMED THIS IN Mt 24:37-39+; Lk 17:26, 27+). There were no physical signs of impending judgment. Yet, the Flood came as God had said it would, and Noah’s faith was rewarded. 

Because (term of explanation) of the water of the flood (mabbul; Lxx = kataklusmos - English cataclysm) - One has to wonder what the lost world is thinking watching Noah herding the animals into the Ark? We have no record of any of the lost coming to ask Noah for a boarding pass? 

Flood (03999)(mabbul) is a term used only for the global flood of Noah's day, even the one use outside of Genesis and even there may allude to the great flood (Ps 29:10). It is significant that mabbûl always occurs with the definite article ("THE" SPECIFIC UNIQUE ONE OF A KIND FLOOD) when it refers to Noah's flood (e.g., Ge 6:17; 9:28) and without the article when it refers to some future, destructive flood which God promises He will never send (Ge 9:11, 15). Mabbul used for the flood and then explained by the phrase "waters upon the earth." Note that other lesser floods are denoted by various other Hebrew words. This Flood was not to be comparable to other later local floods; it was to be absolutely unique in all history. This word is related to an Assyrian word meaning “destruction.” The phrase “a flood of waters” could thus well be translated by “the hydraulic cataclysm.” 

NET NOTE - The noun מַּבּוּל (mabbul, “flood”) appears only in Ps 29:10 and in Gen 6–11, where it refers to the Noahic flood. Some see a reference to that event here. The presence of the article (perhaps indicating uniqueness) and the switch to the perfect verbal form (which could be taken as describing a past situation) might support this. However, the immediate context indicates that the referent of מַּבּוּל is the “surging waters” mentioned in Ps 29:3. The article indicates waters that are definite in the mind of the speaker and the perfect is probably descriptive in function, like “thunders” in Ps 29:3. However, even though the historical flood is not the primary referent here, there may be a literary allusion involved. The psalmist views the threatening chaotic sea as a contemporary manifestation of the destructive waters of old.

Walter Kaiser on mabbul - A technical term reserved for the watery catastrophe which God brought on the earth during the days of Noah. That event was so well known that mabbûl usually occurs with the definite article (except in Genesis 9:11, 15). mabbûl is used only once outside Genesis 7-11. Psalm 29:10 says that "the Lord sits upon the flood, indeed, the Lord is enthroned king forever." Instead of Baal, the god of storm and thunder who according to the Ugaritic myths defeated yam the sea god, the Lord's voice is heard in the thunder, and it is he who reigns over the destructive forces of nature, in this case the storm so beautifully described in Psalm 29.

All attempted etymologies for this word have failed because of linguistic difficulties. A few of the suggestions have been: the Akkadian root nbl "to destroy," Akkadian abūbu from the alleged wabūbu "cyclone," Akkadian bubbulu, biblu, bibbulu "inundation," which is the best suggestion yet. But it also fails since the term is not used in any of the Akkadian flood stories. Hebrew ybl "to flow, stream" or nbl "waterskin" have also been suggested. But these suggestions are not linguistically supported and appear to be parents to the unwarranted thought that mabbûl refers to a "heavenly ocean" or a "heavenly store of water in jars."

While God himself brought the waters of the flood on the earth because of man's sin (Genesis 6:17; Genesis 7:6), afterward he covenanted never again to destroy the earth with water (Genesis 9:11, 15). Thus God's own can be certain that the earth will endure until the desired eschaton comes. (See TWOT

Mabbul - 13x/12v - flood(13) Gen. 6:17; Gen. 7:6; Gen. 7:7; Gen. 7:10; Gen. 7:17; Gen. 9:11; Gen. 9:15; Gen. 9:28; Gen. 10:1; Gen. 10:32; Gen. 11:10; Ps. 29:10

Flood (2627)(kataklusmos [English = cataclysm] from kata = intensifies meaning + kludon = dashing or surging wave, a surge, a violent agitation of the sea from kluzo = to billow, dash over, dash against) is a noun that refers to an inundation, a deluge and all 4 NT uses (3 by Jesus Himself) refer to Noah's flood (Mt 24:38,39, Lk 17:27+, 2Pe 2:5+). Central to the word is the idea of a violent torrent of water. More than a great body of water, the emphasis is upon its destructive force. It pictures the water as swift and turbulent. In sum, all of the NT uses and most of the uses in the Septuagint refer to the Genesis flood (exceptions - Ps 32:6, Da 9:26, Nah 1:8). The related verb katakluzo means to surge over completely, to inundate (cover with a flood, figuratively to overwhelm), to deluge, to overflow or to submerge. Kataklusmos in the NT - 4x in 4v - Mt 24:38, 39; Luke 17:27; 2Pe 2:5 - Kataklusmos occurs 16x in 15v in the Septuagint, most describing the Genesis flood - Gen 6:17; 7:6,7, 10, 17; 9:11, 15, 28; 10:1, 32; 11:10; Ps 29:10; 32:6; Dan 9:26; Nah 1:5


One Door into the Ark

One door into Salvation

Ark Saved from Physical Judgment

Christ saves from Spiritual Judgment

Ark Saved from Temporal Judgment

Christ saves from Eternal Judgment

Ark was entered by faith

Christ is received by faith

God closed the door, sealing them secure

God seals believers with His Spirit until the day of redemption

Genesis 7:8  Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground,


Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground - Imagine snakes crawling and birds flying and Noah is in control because God is supernaturally controlling the parade of animals. Genesis 7:8-9 is a repetition of Genesis 6:18-19 and the reference to the “clean” animals in Genesis 7:8 is a repetition of Genesis 7:2-3.

Spurgeon - This largest and most complete menagerie that was ever gathered together was not collected by human skill; divine power alone could have accomplished such a task as that.

Genesis 7:9  there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.

  • Ge 7:16 2:19 Isa 11:6-9 65:25 Jer 8:7 Ac 10:11,12 Ga 3:28 Col 3:11 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


there went into the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotosto Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah - Clearly God is supernaturally orchestrating the animal parade but Noah is still responsible to carry it out (God's Sovereignty/Man's responsibility). 

Spurgeon - They “went in.” Noah had not to hunt or search for them, but they came according to God’s plan and purpose, even as, concerning the salvation which is by Christ Jesus, his people shall be willing to come to him in the day of his power; with joyfulness shall they come into the ark of their salvation.

Matthew Poole says the animals "went by the secret (AKA "SUPERNATURAL") impulse of their great Creator and Governor."

F B Meyer - Genesis 7:9   As God had commanded.

This is the secret of a Holy and Blessed Life. Most of our sorrows and disappointments have come on us because we have chosen our own path, and done according to our own will.

In obeying, we must sometimes walk in the dark. — When Noah began to walk with God, he knew not that it would lead him into collision with his generation, with the suggestions of common sense and experience, and with much that he held dear as life. But walking on each day, he grew strong to trust in the bare word of his Almighty Guide, and grasped it as men in the catacombs will keep their hand on a tiny string or cord, until the first streak of daylight appear. Obey absolutely the voice that speaks in thy heart; the way is dark, but it is the way.

In obeying, we must learn to wait. — For one hundred and twenty years the long-suffering of God waited, and during that weary period this true heart failed not. Then for seven days the patriarch waited within the closed doors. It is not easy to bear the long strain of endurance. To rush into the battle, to do something desperate, to strike for liberty — this is the choice of the flesh; but to live in hourly fear, to toil on without result, to see the years stealing away the bank or shoal on which our heart had erected its structures of hope — this is hardest of all, unless our hope is anchored beyond life’s ebb and swell.

In obeying God others obey us. — How came it that these creeping things and flying fowls, these living creatures, clean and unclean, entered the Ark so tamely and submissively? Surely a Divine constraint was upon them. When we are under authority, we can say “Go,” “Come,” “Do this.” All things serve the man who serves the Divine Master, Christ

Genesis 7:10  It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth.

  • after seven days - Ge 7:4 
  • waters - Ge 7:4,17-20 6:17 Job 22:16 Mt 24:37-39+, Lk 17:26, 27+
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


It came about after the seven days (See Chronology), that the water of the flood (mabbul; Lxx = kataklusmos - English cataclysmcame upon the earth - NLT = "One week later, the flood came and covered the earth." Seven is the number of perfection or completion. It was the end of the period of grace for the corrupt world and marked the beginning of God's judgment on that world. So after preparing for over 100 years Noah and the animals had to be patient in the Ark for 7 more days until it began to rain! Talk about faith! Not just Noah this time but also the 7 family members demonstrated faith. For example, there is no record of his sons complaining (I can only imagine my 4 children in a similar scenario!). No one jumped ship, saying God is not going to keep His Word! And as far as I can discern from the text, God had not told them how long it would be before it began to rain! 

Spurgeon - Perhaps the world was in its prime, when the trees were in bloom, and the birds were singing in their branches, and the flowers were blooming on the earth, “the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”

Genesis 7:11  In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.

  • second month - The first month was Tishri, which answers to the latter end of September and first half of October; the second was Marchesvan, which answers to part of October and part of November.
  • all - Ge 1:7 6:17 8:2 Job 28:4 38:8-11 Ps 33:7 74:15 Pr 8:28,29 Isa 24:19 Jer 5:22 51:16 Eze 26:19 Am 9:5,6 Mt 24:37-39+, Lk 17:26, 27+ 1Th 5:3 
  • windows - or, flood-gates, Ge 1:7 8:2 2Ki 7:2,19 Ps 78:23,24 Mal 3:10 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month (See Chronology) -  Why does the Spirit give such specific (exact) dating of the events related to the flood? One logical conclusion is that the specific dating emphasizes the reality of the event. This was a historical event! It really happened! God had patiently waited for over a year for sinners to repent but to no avail and now the waters of judgment must come. One is reminded of Peter's words that "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2Pe 3:9+) We see here that there is an end to His patience! So what's the takeaway....

Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near”
-- Isaiah 55:6

Morris - The exact date of the Flood's onset must have been noted for some reason. The ark landed on the mountains of Ararat exactly 150 days or five months later (Genesis 8:3,4+). The implication is that the primeval year contained twelve months of thirty days each (cf 30 day months in Revelation 11:2,3+, see discussion above).

On the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened - The fountains burst open is clearly a supernatural act of Yahweh. Great volcanic explosions and eruptions are clearly implied in this description. This activity would continue for 150 days until "the floodgates of the deep...were closed" (Ge 8:2), by the same One Who had closed the door of the Ark! 

Morris on the fountains of the great deep -  The physical cause of the Flood is clearly identified as the eruption of the waters in the "great deep" and the opening of the "windows of heaven." These are quite sufficient in themselves to explain all the phenomena of the Flood. The antediluvian hydrologic cycle was apparently controlled by a system of subterranean pressurized reservoirs and conduits, but these fountains were all cleaved open in one day, releasing tremendous quantities of water and magma to the earth's surface and dust and gas into the atmosphere. The resulting combination of atmospheric turbulence and dust nuclei of condensation was probably the immediate cause of the precipitation of the vapor canopy. The cataclysmic restoration of the primeval deep which resulted left the antediluvian world completely devastated. (BORROW The Defender's Study Bible)

Whitcomb - the expression “fountains of the great deep were broken up” points unmistakably to vast geological disturbances that are incompatible with the local-Flood concept, especially when these disturbances are said to have continued for five months.  (BORROW The Genesis Flood The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications)

Bob Utley on the floodgates of the sky - It is uncertain what this term means. It is something that lets something through. (1) windows ‒ Gen. 7:11; 8:2; 2 Ki 7:2,19; Isa. 24:18; Mal. 3:10, (2) lattice ‒ Eccl. 12:3, (3) chimney ‒ Hosea 13:3

NET NOTE - The Hebrew term תְּהוֹם (téhom, “deep”) refers to the watery deep, the salty ocean—especially the primeval ocean that surrounds and underlies the earth (see Gen 1:2). The watery deep. (fountains of the great deep) The same Hebrew term used to describe the watery deep in Gen 1:2 (תְּהוֹם, tihom) appears here. The text seems to picture here subterranean waters coming from under the earth and contributing to the rapid rise of water. (ED: INTERESTING POINT) The significance seems to be, among other things, that in this judgment God was returning the world to its earlier condition of being enveloped with water—a judgment involving the reversal of creation. On Gen 7:11 see G. F. Hasel, “The Fountains of the Great Deep,” Origins 1 (1974): 67–72; idem, “The Biblical View of the Extent of the Flood,” Origins 2 (1975): 77–95.

Jack Arnold - There are several theories about where the great amounts of water came from:

1.  Canopy Theory.  The proponents of this theory say that before the Flood there was a water canopy that surrounded the earth (Gen. 1:7). They think the earth at one time was very much like the planet Saturn today, surrounded by rings, forming a canopy over the earth. Many scientists believe that the rings of Saturn are made up of ice particles, which would, of course, be water, sus­pended in vast, thick rings around the planet. If something like that were true of the earth of that day, then perhaps the Flood represents a collapse of that canopy of vapor, water, or ice. NOTE: This accounts for the sudden death of not just a few but large numbers of great mammoths and other animals suddenly imbedded in ice. These animals are being discovered in the Arctic regions. Evidently at one time the area was tropical, but it was suddenly plunged into sub-freezing temperatures of such intensity that animals immed­iately perished, frozen in a quick deep-freeze. They are discovered now with buttercups still in their mouths, unchewed, so sudden was their death!

2.  Heavenly Body Theory. These proponents say that all the water can be accounted for by the near approach to earth of a heavenly body. Today scientists are watching the approach to earth of a heavenly body, one of the asteroids, a miniature planet called “Icarus” which is nearing the earth at a great speed. They are saying the earth is now safe. Yet, they admit that if Icarus de­viated less than one percent from its course, it would swing into a collision with the earth. POINT: It is a possibility that the near approach of a plan­etary body to the earth in Noah’s day upset the whole gravitational equilibrium of the earth, raised the ocean levels, created tides both of water and possibly of the solid earth itself, and thus caused the flood. Perhaps this heavenly body also had a vapor trail that turned to ice when it hit earth’s atmosphere and put great sheets of ice on the earth, which we now know as glaciers.

3.  Conclusion. The Canopy Theory is still the best approach to the subject of where the waters came from, and Morris comments:

Occasionally, critics say there was not enough water to cover the earth. There is an equivalent depth of water vapor in the present atmosphere of less than two inches and this would hardly suffice for such a catastrophe.” But there is plenty of water in the present ocean basins if the topography were slightly redistributed. If the earth’s crust were evened out to form a smooth ball the waters in the oceans would cover it to a depth of nearly two miles! These oceans now contain, of course, the tremendous quantities of water that came up from “the fountains of the great deep” and down from “the windows of heaven” during the Flood. (Henry Morris, Science, Scripture and Salvation)

QUESTION - What is the canopy theory?

ANSWER - The canopy theory seeks to explain the reference in Genesis 1:6 to “the waters above the firmament,” assuming that “firmament,” or “expanse,” as the Hebrew word is alternatively translated, refers to our atmosphere. According to the canopy theory, there was a canopy of water above the atmosphere until the cataclysm of Noah’s day, at which point it disappeared either by collapsing upon the earth or dissipating into space. It is presumed to have consisted of water vapor because a canopy of ice could not have survived the constant bombardment of celestial objects like meteoroids which perpetually barrage the earth’s atmosphere.

While Genesis 1:20 (KJV) does say that birds fly in the firmament, suggesting the earth’s atmosphere, it also says that the sun, moon and stars reside there (Genesis 1:14-17), suggesting the entire sky from the earth’s surface outward, where birds fly and celestial objects reside. The Hebrew word alternatively translated “firmament” in some translations and “expanse” in others is raqiya. It appears nine times throughout the first chapter of Genesis (in verses 6-8, 14-18 and 20) and eight more times throughout the rest of the Old Testament (in Psalms, Ezekiel and Daniel).

According to Genesis, before there was air or land or any form of life, the earth was a formless mass of primordial water. On the second day of creation, God created the raqiya, placing it in the midst of the water, thereby separating it into two parts: “the waters above the firmament [raqiya]” and the waters below it. The waters below the raqiya He named “sea” (yam in Hebrew) and the raqiya itself He named “heaven,” “air” or “sky,” depending on your translation of the Hebrew word shamayim. But Genesis does not provide a name for the waters above the raqiya, nor is there any water above our atmosphere today, assuming that raqiya does mean “atmosphere.”

Advocates of the canopy theory once speculated that the collapse of such a vapor canopy might have provided the water for the heavy rains which inundated the earth during Noah’s flood. One problem with the canopy theory, however, is, the latent heat of water and the sheer quantities of water involved. If such a vapor canopy were to collapse into rain, it would literally cook the entire planet. This is because when water converts from vapor to liquid, energy or latent heat is released in the process, causing the surrounding area to heat up; this is known as an exothermic result. Conversely, when water converts from solid form—ice—to liquid or from liquid to vapor, energy is absorbed and the surrounding area is cooled—an endothermic result.

The Genesis account calls for five-and-a-half weeks of constant rain. If a canopy consisting of enough water vapor to provide that amount of rain were to collapse, it would cook the entire planet. This is not to say that there was no vapor canopy or that it did not collapse, only that, if it did, it could not have provided the amount of rain in question (the less water, the less heat).

It is interesting to note that, if a frozen canopy were able to exist in the atmosphere despite cosmic bombardment, its collapse into liquid rain would have an extreme cooling effect and might be an explanation for the commencement of the Ice Age. Despite the fact that we know that it happened, the complex factors involved in getting an Ice Age started makes it seem impossible and baffles modern science to this day. Advocates of the canopy theory also cite the existence of a canopy as a possible cause for a variety of pre-flood anomalies, including human longevity and the apparent lack of rain or rainbows. They claim that such a canopy would filter out much of the cosmic radiation that is harmful to humans and cause the lack of rain or rainbows. However, opponents dispute such a canopy’s ability to produce these results.

In defense of the view that raqiya means “atmosphere,” the reference in Genesis 1:14-17 to the sun, moon and stars residing there may have simply been a phenomenological statement, just as our modern terms “sunset” and “sunrise” are phenomenological descriptions. That is, we know full well that the sun is stationary and doesn’t really “rise” or “set,” despite our usage of terms implying its movement from our earth-bound vantage point.

Whatever the case may be, there is no canopy up there today and any suggestion that there was one in the past is speculation because there simply isn’t enough evidence one way or the other, except for the one enigmatic reference to waters above the firmament in Genesis 1:6, and no one claims to know for sure what that means.

Genesis 7:12  The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.

  • forty - Ge 7:4,17 Ex 24:18 De 9:9,18 10:10 1Ki 19:8 Mt 4:2 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

40/40 RAIN

The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights (See Chronology) - Just as God had decreed so it came to pass. It always does, beloved. God is faithful to perfectly carry out His word.

THOUGHT - What promises of God do you need to believe today? His timing may not be our timing, but He is always true to His Word. 

Note that although the rain stopped after forty days (27th day of 3rd month) the water level continued to rise for another 110 days and reached its peak after 150 days (Ge 7:24), the Ark resting on Mt Ararat (Ge 8:4).

Steven Cole - Verses 11 and 12 say that the source of the flood was not only 40 days and nights of rain, but also the breaking up of the great deep. This points to massive changes in the oceans and subterranean vaults of the earth, and describes much more water than that of a local flood. 

David Guzik on the number 40 - The number 40 becomes associated with testing and purification, especially before coming into something new and significant. This is seen in Moses’ time on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:18, Deuteronomy 9:25), the spies’ trip to Canaan (Numbers 13:25), Israel’s time in the wilderness (Numbers 14:33, 32:13), Elijah’s miraculous journey to Sinai (1 Kings 19:8), and Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (Mark 1:13).

Ed Comment - All uses of the number 40 in Scripture - Gen. 5:13; Gen. 7:4; Gen. 7:12; Gen. 7:17; Gen. 8:6; Gen. 18:29; Gen. 25:20; Gen. 26:34; Gen. 32:15; Gen. 50:3; Exod. 16:35; Exod. 24:18; Exod. 26:19; Exod. 26:21; Exod. 34:28; Exod. 36:24; Exod. 36:26; Num. 13:25; Num. 14:33; Num. 14:34; Num. 32:13; Deut. 2:7; Deut. 8:2; Deut. 8:4; Deut. 9:9; Deut. 9:11; Deut. 9:18; Deut. 9:25; Deut. 10:10; Deut. 25:3; Deut. 29:5; Jos. 5:6; Jos. 14:7; Jdg. 3:11; Jdg. 5:8; Jdg. 5:31; Jdg. 8:28; Jdg. 12:14; Jdg. 13:1; 1 Sam. 4:18; 1 Sam. 13:1; 1 Sam. 17:16; 2 Sam. 2:10; 2 Sam. 5:4; 2 Sam. 15:7; 1 Ki. 2:11; 1 Ki. 6:17; 1 Ki. 7:38; 1 Ki. 11:42; 1 Ki. 19:8; 2 Ki. 8:9; 2 Ki. 12:1; 1 Chr. 29:27; 2 Chr. 9:30; 2 Chr. 24:1; Neh. 5:15; Neh. 9:21; Ps. 95:10; Ezek. 4:6; Ezek. 29:11; Ezek. 29:12; Ezek. 29:13; Ezek. 41:2; Ezek. 46:22; Amos 2:10; Amos 5:25; Jon. 3:4; Matt. 4:2; Mk. 1:13; Lk. 4:2; Acts 1:3; Acts 4:22; Acts 7:23; Acts 7:30; Acts 7:36; Acts 7:42; Acts 13:18; Acts 13:21; Acts 23:13; Acts 23:21; Heb. 3:9; Heb. 3:17

Bob Utley on 40 - Forty ‒ number for time sometimes literal (exodus and wilderness wanderings, e.g., Ex 16:35); Dt. 2:7; 8:2 or can be literal or symbolic
 (1) flood, Ge 7:4,17; 8:6
 (2) Moses on Mt. Sinai, Exod. 24:18; 34:28; Deut. 9:9,11,18,25
 (3) divisions of Moses life:   (a) forty years in Egypt  (b) forty years in the desert  (c) forty years leading Israel
 (4) Jesus fasted forty days, Matt. 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2

Genesis 7:13  On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark,

  • day - Ge 7:1,7-9 6:18 Heb 11:7 1Pe 3:20 2Pe 2:5 
  • and Shem - Ge 5:32 6:10 9:18,19 10:1,2,6,21 1Ch 1:4-28 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


On the very same day (See Chronology) - What day? In context clearly the day the rain began to fall. The judgment of God had begun.

Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos) Eight people entered the ark: (1) Noah (2) Noah’s wife (3) Shem (4) Shem’s wife (5) Ham (6) Ham’s wife (7) Japheth (8) Japheth’s wife.

Spurgeon - These eight persons are very carefully mentioned. “The Lord knoweth them that are his,” “and they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up” — or, shut up — “my jewels,” as he was about to do in the case. In similar fashion, God makes a very careful enumeration of all those who believe in him, precious are they in his sight, and they shall be preserved when all others are destroyed.

Alexander Maclaren said "For a hundred and twenty years the wits laughed, and the “common-sense” people wondered, and the patient saint went on hammering and pitching at his ark. But one morning it began to rain; and by degrees, somehow, Noah did not seem quite such a fool. The jests would look rather different when the water was up to the knees of the jesters; and their sarcasms would stick in their throats as they drowned. So is it always. So it will be at the last great day. The men who lived for the future, by faith in Christ, will be found out to have been the wise men when the future has become the present, and the present has become the past, and is gone for ever; while they who had no aims beyond the things of time, which are now sunk beneath the dreary horizon, will awake too late to the conviction that they are outside the ark of safety, and that their truest epitaph is, “Thou fool.” (Exposition on Genesis 6)

Herbert Lockyer- Noah's Wife, Sons' Wives  Genesis 6:18; 7:1, 7, 13; 8:16, 18

While nothing is said of the uprightness of Noah's wife, whose name we do not know, his three sons whose names are given, and their wives who are unnamed, all of them must have shared the righteousness God commended in Noah (7:1), otherwise they would not have been saved by water (1 Peter 3:20). They were among the uncorrupted flesh and were included in the divine invitation, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark." As Noah was 600 years old when the Flood came (7:6), he had had a long life walking with God. He had endured much scorn from the ungodly as he went on building the ark, and preaching righteousness, calling on the ungodly to repent before judgment fell. During all those trying years, and in the tremendous venture of going into the ark with all its living cargo, Noah's wife must have been a source of great encouragement to him. In his sons and their wives he found those in full sympathy with his faith and witness, and thus became the source of a new race on a purified earth. All the nations of the earth sprang from the children of the nameless wives of Shem, Ham and Japheth, who bore their children after they settled again upon the earth (Genesis 9:8, 9). (BORROW All the women of the Bible : the life and times of all the women of the Bible)

Genesis 7:14  they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds.


They (the 8 humans) and every beast (chayyah - wild animals) after its kind (min - species), and all the cattle (behemah - domestic animals) after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds - Imagine what the scoffers were thinking as they watched this orderly "animal parade" (surely supernaturally enabled)! Every creeping thing is Hebrew remes (Lxx - herpeton = reptile, creeping animal; Latin serpo; hence, serpent) which refers to “creepers-crawlers” including insects, small reptiles, most amphibians and small mammals. 

Spurgeon - “Every bird of every sort,” that is, every kind of bird; they are all mentioned over again. God makes much of salvation, oh, that we also did! We may recount and rehearse the story of our rescue from universal destruction, and we need not be afraid or ashamed of repeating it. As the Holy Ghost repeats the words we have here, you and I may often tell out the story of our salvation, and dwell upon the minute particulars of it, for every item of it is full of instruction.

Genesis 7:15  So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life.

Related Passage:

Genesis 6:20  “Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.


So they went into the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotosto Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life - They went into the Ark with Noah, once again alluding to the Creator's control over His creatures.

Breath of life occurs 5x/5v - Gen. 2:7; Gen. 6:17; Gen. 7:15; Isa. 2:22; Rev. 11:11

Warren Wiersbe "They didn’t know how long they would live in the ark, but the Lord knew, and that’s really all that mattered. “My times are in Your hands” (Ps 31:15 nkjv)..(Bible Exposition Commentary - OT)

Morris on two of all flesh - Two of every kind of land animal entered the ark, including those animals (for example, dinosaurs) that have become extinct in the millennia following the Flood. The animals were all young animals, since they would have to spend the year in the ark without reproducing and then emerge to repopulate the earth after the Flood. The animals entering the ark possessed genes for the remarkable physiologic abilities of migration and hibernation. These were not needed in the equable climates of the primeval world, but would be vital for survival in the post-Flood world. After being installed in their respective "rooms" in the ark, and after a good meal, most of them probably spent most of the Flood year in a state of hibernation.

C H Spurgeon - excerpt from introduction to the sermonTHE PARABLE OF THE ARK (Genesis 7:15) 

CHRIST always taught by parables. Hence the popularity and the power of his teaching. The masses never were, and perhaps, never will be, able to receive instruction in any other way than by parabolic illustrations. He who would be a successful minister must open his mouth in parables; he who would win the hearts of the multitude must closely imitate his Master, and preach in parables which all men can understand. I believe there are few living men who are able to devise a parable. Those who do possess this rare ability are very scarce indeed; nor do I myself profess to belong to the honourable confraternity. I have sometimes endeavoured to fashion a parable; and though I found it easy, at times, to manufacture a figure, yet a parable I can by no means make. I am happy to say it is not required of me to do so, for God’s Word, if it be rightly used, is suggestive of a thousand parables; and I have no reason to fear that I shall be short of subjects for preaching, when I am able to find such parables as I do in God’s Word. I shall preach to you this evening a parable. It shall be the parable of the ark. While I do so, you must understand that the ark was a real thing,—that it was really made to float upon the waters, and carry in it Noah and his family, and “two and two of all flesh.” This is a fact, not a myth; but I shall take this real fact, and use it as a parable. Making the ark represent salvation, I shall preach to all who are within sound of my voice the parable of the ark. The ark, which saved from the floods of water, is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ as the means of salvation, by whom multitudes of all flesh are preserved, and saved from perishing in the floods of eternal perdition.

I. First, then, in working out this parable I shall remark, that THERE IS BUT ONE MEANS OF SALVATION.

Genesis 7:16  Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him.

  • as - Ge 7:2,3 
  • the - 2Ki 4:4,5 De 33:27 Ps 46:2 91:1-10 Pr 3:23 Mt 25:10 Lu 13:25 Joh 10:27-30 1Pe 1:5 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages: 

Revelation 3:7+  “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this

Revelation 22:15+ Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters (SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD DESCRIPTION OF THOSE IN Ge 6:5+), and everyone who loves and practices lying.

Luke 13:24-28+Strive (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) to enter through the narrow door (BEFORE IT IS CLOSED BY JEHOVAH! cf Mt 7:13,14+) ; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able (SEE THE DEPICTION BELOW OF THOSE TRYING TO ENTER THE ARK!). 25 “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up (aorist imperative) to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26 “Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27 and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART (aorist imperative, cf Mt 7:23+) FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’ 28 “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out (NET NOTE ON "being thrown out" - "he present accusative participle, ekballomenous, related to the object humas, seems to suggest that these evildoers will witness their own expulsion from the kingdom".)


Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him - Note the great phrase as God had commanded him - imagine not obeying at this juncture! 

THOUGHT - Oh, for this statement as God had commanded to be the warp and the weft of our life beloved. This is only possible as we remain filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (Eph 5:18+) for then we are supernaturally enabled to obey God's command to walk (conduct our day to day life) by the Spirit (Gal 5:16+).  God grant us the grace to walk like Noah walked, close to Thee, pleasing Thee, obeying Thee, all for Thy great glory and honor. In Jesus' mighty Name. Amen. (Pray that now beloved!) 

And the LORD (Jehovah) closed it behind him - What did that mean? Noah was now delivered from the darkness and depravity of the violent, corrupt earth. There was now a clear separation between the ungodly and the godly! One is reminded of Psalm 1:6 stating that "the LORD (Jehovah) knows (yada - speaks of know intimately) the way of the righteous (NOAH), but the way of the wicked (ALL THE LOST WORLD) will perish."

Morris on closed it behind - How He did this is not recorded, but somehow the door to the Ark was shut and sealed, without the help of any human hands. This provided a final assurance to the occupants that they were in the will of God and under His protection. The old world was forever dead to them from that moment on. Their life was henceforth a new life and they were to live in a new world. The Ark of safety endured the batterings of the Flood for them, as the Flood destroyed the world of the ungodly which would otherwise soon have destroyed them. So Christ, in dying for our sins, triumphed over sin “that He might deliver (exaireo = RESCUE) us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Galatians 1:4+). (BORROW  The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings)

Spurgeon - Now the jewels are all in, and therefore the casket is closed.

Note that only Jehovah could close the door! Recall the title Jesus gives Himself in the Revelation declaring He is the One Who "opens and no one will shut, and Who shuts and no one opens." (Rev 3:7+) The hand of the Holy One of Israel shut the door to the ark and created a clear divide between those who would live and those who would die (cf the "great chasm fixed" in Lk 16:26+). Genesis 7:21 makes it clear, EVERY LIVING CREATURE that remained on the earth perished in the flood. When the door to the ark was shut, there was no provision for those who remained behind to live.

THOUGHT - The Door of salvation does not remain open forever Jim Wilson - During the age of grace, we have the chance to prepare to meet our maker, but I don't want you to think that you have unlimited time-you don't. There is a difference between unlimited time and an unspecified time. Like in the parable, the maidens didn't know the specific time that the groom would come, but that didn't mean their time was unlimited. How much time do you have to prepare to meet your maker? I don't know. And neither do you. YOU HAVE UNTIL GOD STOPS DEALING WITH YOU. Don't think for a minute that God will always deal with you. In Exodus 8:15 Pharaoh hardened his heart, it says, "But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the Lord had said." Several more times, the scripture says that Pharaoh hardened his heart and then in Exodus 9:12 it says "And the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses." Pharaoh's deadline was unspecified, but it wasn't unlimited. The time came where he could no longer do the right thing because God hardened his heart. If the Spirit of God is dealing with you, don't waste away your opportunity to respond, because today could be the day that He stops. (Fresh Sermons) 

Steven Cole: Even though the door was open until the last possible moment, there is a sense in which those outside the ark had sealed their own doom years before the flood. There are very few deathbed conversions. A person fixes his mind in unbelief so that he can continue in his sinful ways. He deliberately ignores warning after warning. Perhaps he thinks that when he has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, he will repent. But by then it’s too late. God has closed the door of salvation. (God's Warnings Genesis 7:1-24)

George Brooks - The ark is a picture of Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ, God provides safety and security. God also invites the world to come to Jesus and be saved. When the Lord saves us He shuts us in into safety and security.

The rabbinical Midrash adds to the what the Scripture says writing that God closed the door in order to keep the wicked out of the ark. They even go so far as to assert that God surrounded the ark with lions and bears to keep the people away.

Wenstrom - The fact that the Lord closed the ark behind Noah is a picture of grace, which is all that God is free to do in imparting unmerited blessings to mankind based upon the merits of the Person and Finished Work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Grace means that God does the work and we reap the benefits by faith in Him. The fact that the Lord closed the ark behind Noah and that Noah did not do it for himself is a reminder to Noah and his family that the Lord “alone” delivered him and his family from the Flood and that Noah did “not” deliver himself.

W H Griffith Thomas on The Divine Protection  -  'The Lord shut him in.' This suggests that he was not dependent upon himself for safety, but upon the Lord. It was a divine, not a human fastening, that guaranteed his perfect shelter. Those whom God protects never need have any fear (ED: cf 1Pe 1:5+ = " protected by the power of God through faith [AS WAS NOAH] for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."). (Genesis 7 At the Flood)

ILLUSTRATION - A woman who works for the IRS in Utah has the job of communicating with delinquent taxpayers. On one occasion she called Anchorage and was patched through to a ham operator in the Aleutian Islands. Two hours later the ham operator reached the taxpayer’s home base and from there reached him at sea with his fishing fleet. After the woman identified herself as being with the IRS in Utah, there was a long pause. Then over the static from somewhere in the North Pacific came: “Ha! Ha! Come and get me!” (Reader’s Digest [10/82].) Like that tax-dodger, a lot of people think that judgment will never happen. Some may be able to dodge the IRS. But no one can dodge God’s day of reckoning. But people look around and see the wicked literally getting away with murder. The unrighteous often seem to fare pretty well in this life. And so people mistakenly conclude that judgment will never happen. They mistake God’s patience and grace in delaying the day of judgment to mean that it will never take place and that they can sin without consequence. But the familiar story of the flood is given to warn us: Because God’s judgment on the earth is a fact, we must take the means of escape He has provided.  Unfortunately, the story of Noah and the great flood is often regarded as a fairy tale, not as fact. But it is in the Bible to show that…God’s judgment on the earth is a fact. At no other point in history has God’s judgment on the earth been as severe and widespread as it was at the flood. At various times God has judged individuals, groups, and even whole nations. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed when God rained fire and brimstone on them. God ordered Israel to destroy the Canaanites because of their sin. Israel itself was judged by the Babylonian captivity. Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70 because of rejecting the Messiah. There are many more examples in the Bible. But no other judgment in history was as widespread and severe as that of the flood. As such, the flood stands as the past example, bar none, of the fact of God’s judgment on the whole earth. Just as He judged the whole earth with the flood, so He will judge the whole earth in the end times, and none will escape. (God's Warnings Genesis 7:1-24)

Steven Cole - God had shut Noah in; God must bring Noah out by His command. Noah kept waiting on God even when God was apparently silent. Obedience during the silent times is the best guarantee that you’ll obey God in those critical moments which determine the course of your life. If God has shut you in to some difficulty, wait patiently and obediently upon Him to bring you out in His way and time. Maybe God has shut you up to being single, but you want to be married. But God doesn’t seem to be listening to your prayers. If you disobey God and take matters into your own hands by dating unbelievers, you will thwart what He is trying to teach you about waiting on Him and you may miss His provision for you later. In the silent times, we must remember the Lord by waiting patiently and obediently for His timing.

C H Spurgeon - Shut in or shut out (full sermon)

‘The LORD shut him in.’ Genesis 7:16

The Lord shut Noah in. Take notice that this was very close shutting, so as to keep out the water. I fancy that if you saw a huge vessel lying upon the dry land where the floods would come to float it, you would be very anxious about that great opening in its side. It was evidently a huge doorway, for a pair of elephants had passed through it, so that it was a gaping leak which would take in enough water in an hour to sink the ark to the bottom. How could the great door be closed? All the timbers are watertight, and the ship is well calked, and pitched inside and outside with pitch; but all will go for nothing unless we can secure the big door. Merely to shut the door will be of no use. When the rain begins to fall in torrents from above, and the waters leap up from below, and the ship commences to rise, she will take in any quantity of water at the points where the door fits into the wood. Shipwrights will be wanted, and the calkers must come, and the men with the pitch. No shipwright could manage to shut so huge a door close enough for safety unless you gave him time, and called in the help of other workers. Hence ‘the LORD shut him in’ because nobody else could safely be trusted to shut such a door, against which a forty days’ tempest was to beat most furiously. What a mercy it is that when we get into Christ by faith, and are shut in from the world with him, we are perfectly safe, because the Lord himself has shut us in. We are not only brought to Christ Jesus by divine power, but we are preserved in Christ Jesus unto eternal life by the same divine might.

C H Spurgeon - Morning and Evening - 

         “The Lord shut him in.” —Genesis 7:16

Noah was shut in away from all the world by the hand of divine love. The door of electing purpose interposes between us and the world which lieth in the wicked one. We are not of the world even as our Lord Jesus was not of the world. Into the sin, the gaiety, the pursuits of the multitude we cannot enter; we cannot play in the streets of Vanity Fair with the children of darkness, for our heavenly Father has shut us in. Noah was shut in with his God. “Come thou into the ark,” was the Lord’s invitation, by which he clearly showed that he himself intended to dwell in the ark with his servant and his family. Thus all the chosen dwell in God and God in them. Happy people to be enclosed in the same circle which contains God in the Trinity of his persons, Father, Son, and Spirit. Let us never be inattentive to that gracious call, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee, and hide thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation be overpast.” Noah was so shut in that no evil could reach him. Floods did but lift him heavenward, and winds did but waft him on his way. Outside of the ark all was ruin, but inside all was rest and peace. Without Christ we perish, but in Christ Jesus there is perfect safety. Noah was so shut in that he could not even desire to come out, and those who are in Christ Jesus are in him for ever. They shall go no more out for ever, for eternal faithfulness has shut them in, and infernal malice cannot drag them out. The Prince of the house of David shutteth and no man openeth; and when once in the last days as Master of the house he shall rise up and shut the door, it will be in vain for mere professors to knock, and cry Lord, Lord open unto us, for that same door which shuts in the wise virgins will shut out the foolish for ever. Lord, shut me in by thy grace.

J J Knapp in Loins Girded - 

         “The Lord shut him in.” —Genesis 7:16

Noah was shut in away from all the world by the hand of divine love. The door of electing purpose interposes between us and the world which lieth in the wicked one. We are not of the world even as our Lord Jesus was not of the world. Into the sin, the gaiety, the pursuits of the multitude we cannot enter; we cannot play in the streets of Vanity Fair with the children of darkness, for our heavenly Father has shut us in. Noah was shut in with his God. “Come thou into the ark,” was the Lord’s invitation, by which he clearly showed that he himself intended to dwell in the ark with his servant and his family. Thus all the chosen dwell in God and God in them. Happy people to be enclosed in the same circle which contains God in the Trinity of his persons, Father, Son, and Spirit. Let us never be inattentive to that gracious call, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee, and hide thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation be overpast.” Noah was so shut in that no evil could reach him. Floods did but lift him heavenward, and winds did but waft him on his way. Outside of the ark all was ruin, but inside all was rest and peace. Without Christ we perish, but in Christ Jesus there is perfect safety. Noah was so shut in that he could not even desire to come out, and those who are in Christ Jesus are in him for ever. They shall go no more out for ever, for eternal faithfulness has shut them in, and infernal malice cannot drag them out. The Prince of the house of David shutteth and no man openeth; and when once in the last days as Master of the house he shall rise up and shut the door, it will be in vain for mere professors to knock, and cry Lord, Lord open unto us, for that same door which shuts in the wise virgins will shut out the foolish for ever. Lord, shut me in by thy grace.

Robert Hawker - And the Lord shut him in.—Gen. 7:16.

IT was a sweet invitation to the patriarch Noah, when the Lord called him to the ark. Jehovah did not say, Go thou into the ark; but “Come.” So saith Jesus to his people: “Come with me, from Lebanon, my spouse; with me, from Lebanon.” Yes, precious Jesus! to be with thee is heaven; for thou thyself art the heaven of the soul. But observe further, my soul: when Noah had entered the ark, what kept him there? “The Lord shut him in.” Yes! neither bolts nor bars were his security; but God himself, in his covenant engagements, kept him. The Patriarch could no more get out, than the unbelieving carnal throng (who, perhaps, hung about the ark when they saw the flood arise, and felt its power) could get in. Precious Jesus! and what is it keeps thy people now? Is it not thyself? Are not thy redeemed eternally secure in thee, and thy blood and righteousness, as Noah in the ark? Yes! thou who hast the key of all things; thou openest, and none shutteth; thou shuttest, and none openeth. In thee my soul is kept secure; for the Lord Jehovah hath shut me in; and I shall ride out all the storms and floods of sin and Satan, and Noah-like, rise above the fountains of the greatest deeps, being shut in in the ark Christ Jesus.

G Campbell Morgan - Gen. 7.16.
In wrath, God ever remembers mercy; He always keeps alive His work; in the midst of the years He ever makes it known. In this history we are looking out upon an awful desolation resulting from the act of God made necessary by the sin of man. Everywhere the destroying and cleansing waters prevail, but riding upon them, in absolute security, is the ark. Within it are eight souls. They constitute the link between the first Divine purpose, and the ultimate realization thereof. They are safe, for God has shut them in. They are there because they have listened to Him, have believed in Him, have obeyed His word. Therefore are they safe; and much more, the purpose of God is safe, for through them He will move on toward the final triumph. Again we see the first illustration of a principle and method which have obtained in all human history. God's judgments are always discriminative in their exercise, and beneficent in their issue. The darkness has never completely mastered or extinguished the light. He has always found a remnant of faithful souls, through whom He has been able to move onward to the goal; and they have ever been safe in His keeping. Surely this old story should speak with searching and comforting power to our hearts. It searches us as it compels us to define our own relation to Him. Are we such men and women as He can shut in the ark of His pre-serving Grace, and through whom there-fore He can work for the fulfilling of His purposes?

Genesis 7:17  Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth.


Then - This is a strategic time phase. All are in the Ark and here comes the flood.

The flood (mabbul; Lxx = kataklusmos - English cataclysmcame upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos), so that it rose above the earth - The flood has the definite article ("the") preceding it in the Hebrew (and in the Greek Septuagint) indicating it is a unique flood, and in context a one of a kind flood, never to be repeated again in the history of the world. 

Morris on lifted up the ark - The ark was thirty cubits high and, when loaded, probably had a draft of almost fifteen cubits. As soon as the water rose to a level of fifteen cubits above the platform on which it had been constructed, it would begin to float.

Spurgeon - Just as it had been foretold, for God’s providence always tallies with his promises or with his threats. “Hath he said, and shall he not do it?” You can see it begin to move until it is afloat. The same effect is often produced on us; when the flood of affliction is deep, then we begin to rise. Oh, how often have we been lifted up above the earth by the very force that threatened to drench and drown us! David said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted,” and many another saint can say that he never was floated until the floods were out, but then he left the worldliness with which he had been satisfied before, and he began to rise to a higher level than he had previously attained.

Henry Morris - Even conservative Christians, although professing belief in the divine inspiration of Scripture, have often ignored the significance of the Flood. They have been intimidated by the evolutionary geologists and paleontologists who, for over a hundred years, have insisted that all of earth history should be explained in terms of slow development over great ages by the operation of the same natural processes which now prevail, completely rejecting the concept of the universal Flood at the dawn of history. Many Christians have attempted to work out a compromise with evolutionary geology by explaining the Flood as a local flood, caused by a great overflow of the Euphrates or some other river in the Middle East. It must be settled here, therefore, first of all, that the Bible record does describe a universal, world-destroying Flood. (BORROW  The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings)

Genesis 7:18  The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.

  • water prevailed - Ex 14:28 Job 22:16 Ps 69:15 
  • ark - Ps 104:26 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


The water prevailed (gabar; Lxx - epikrateoand increased greatly upon the earth - Note the emphasis in these two verses (Ge 7:17-18). In Ge 7:17 the water increased and in Ge 7:18 it prevailed and increased greatly. Clearly the Spirit wants us to see that was a ever growing global flood. 

Morris on prevailed (gabar) - The word "prevailed" in the original Hebrew conveys the meaning, "were overwhelmingly mighty." Not only would all land animals eventually drown, but the plant covering would be uprooted and rafted away, the soils eroded and finally even the mountains and hills washed away. In the sea depths, the eruption of the fountains of the great deep would also profoundly affect marine life. Great quantities of magma, metals and other materials were extruded from the earth's mantle. The sediments from the lands were transported down to be deposited in the encroaching sea basins. Complex hydrodynamic phenomena--tsunamis, vortices, turbidity flows, cyclic erosion and deposition, and a variety of geomorphologic activity--took place throughout the year. Earth movements of great magnitude and tremendous volcanic explosions shook the earth again and again, until finally, "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (2 Peter 3:6). (BORROW The Defender's Study Bible

NET NOTE - Hebrew = “and the waters were great and multiplied exceedingly.” The first verb in the sequence is וַיִּגְבְּרוּ (vayyigbéru, from גָּבַר, gavar), meaning “to become great, mighty.” The waters did not merely rise; they “prevailed” over the earth, overwhelming it.

And the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotosfloated on the surface of the water - This is not an insignificant statement for clearly there was considerable tumult produced by the fountains of the great deep burst open. The point is that God "steered" the Ark away from those areas where fountains burst open and He successfully stirred them for 150 days. As an aside, I see no evidence that the Ark had any steering capability. There is no mention for example of a rudder. Noah was the human captain, for there was no need because they had a divine captain. 

Parunak: The same event that brings death to the world, lifts up the ark and delivers Noah and his family. We need to learn to see God’s providential blessing even in things that the world considers disasters. Cf. the murder of Christ, which brings judgment to the unbeliever but salvation to us, Acts 2:23. More generally, Ro 8:28.

Prevailed (01396)(gabar) means to be strong, mighty, to be strong, to prevail. Of human/physical strength (Eccl 10:10). Of superior strength over another (Ex 17:11). Of something more abundant or superior (Ge 49:26, Ge 7:18-20, Jer 9:3). Figuratively describes the unity of friendship (1Sa 1:23). The godly prevail because the Lord strengthens them (1Sa 2:9; Zech 10:6).

Gilbrant - Gāvar (gabar) and the other derivatives of the same root are associated with might and strength, often in the context of war. This verb is usually translated to "be strong," "to prevail" or "to have strength." The verb is attested in Old Aramaic, Mishnaic Hebrew, Targumic Aramaic, Syriac, Mandaic, Akkadian and Arabic. A nominal form is attested in Phoenician, Old Aramaic and Moabite. Gāvar occurs in four stems in the Hebrew. The concept of strength is present in all.

In the Qal this word usually means "to be superior" or "to prevail." When Joshua fought the Amalekites at Rephidim, the Israelites prevailed when Moses held his hands up, but the Amalekites prevailed when Moses' hands became tired and lowered (Exo. 17:11). In a metaphoric context, Jerusalem weeps because her enemies have prevailed (Lam. 1:16).

Gāvar is also used to denote the strength of something. Job asks why the wicked grow strong in power (Job 21:7). In the account of the flood, the waters grew strong, and the water level rose, overpowering the earth (Gen. 7:18ff, 24).

Gāvar is sometimes used in the comparative with the preposition min (HED #4623) rendering the meaning "to be stronger." After the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, David lamented that they had been stronger than lions (2 Sam. 1:23). In the genealogical lists which begin in 1 Chronicles, Judah is said to have been stronger than his brothers (1 Chr. 5:2).

The preposition ʿal (HED #6142) sometimes follows gāvar to mean "to prevail over." In the initial stages of the battle during which Uriah was killed, the enemy (as expected) was prevailing over Joab's army (2 Sam. 11:23). The psalmist declares that the Lord's steadfast love toward his people is great or strong (Ps. 117:2; see also Ps. 103:11).

In the Piel stem this word has a causative meaning. Through the prophet Zechariah, the Lord promised to cause Judah to become strong (Zech. 10:6, 12). In Ecclesiastes, gāvar is used with chayil (HED #2524) for one who becomes strong in strength or exerts all one's strength (Ecc. 10:10).

Only one Hiphil, usage is found since the Piel is causative for this word. The angel Gabriel told Daniel, in an apocalyptic context, of a strong or firm covenant that a wicked ruler would make with many people after the sixty-two periods of seven years (Dan. 9:27).

Gāvar is used in the Hithpael in Isa. 42:13 as the Lord shows himself mighty against his enemies. The Book of Job describes the wicked and the righteous, who are arrogant toward God (Job 15:25; 36:9). (Complete Biblical Library)

Gabar - 24v - become(1), conducts himself arrogantly(1), exert(1), great(2), magnified(1), make a firm(1), prevail(5), prevailed(9), strengthen(2), stronger(1), surpassed(1). Gen. 7:18; Gen. 7:19; Gen. 7:20; Gen. 7:24; Gen. 49:26; Exod. 17:11; 1 Sam. 2:9; 2 Sam. 1:23; 2 Sam. 11:23; 1 Chr. 5:2; Job 15:25; Job 21:7; Job 36:9; Ps. 12:4; Ps. 65:3; Ps. 103:11; Ps. 117:2; Eccl. 10:10; Isa. 42:13; Jer. 9:3; Lam. 1:16; Dan. 9:27; Zech. 10:6; Zech. 10:12

Epikrateo (from epi = upon +  krateo = be strong or possess power and thus means to take hold of, grasp, hold fast) means to have power, to hold power, to prevail over, to get the mastery of (Ge 47:20), to rule over (Ezra 4:20). Note both uses in Ge 7:18-19 are in the imperfect tense indicating the idea of over and over and fits with the phrase in Ge 7:19 of more and more (a vivid picture of the power of water to overwhelm land). Also in Ge 7:20, 24. 

Henry Morris -  In the next several verses of Genesis 7 appear a considerable number of reasons to prove that the Bible is describing a worldwide Flood, not a local flood. Some of these are as follows:

      (1) The wording of the entire record, both here and throughout Genesis 6–9, could not be improved on, if the intention of the writer was to describe a universal Flood; as a description of a river overflow, it is completely misleading and exaggerated, to say the least.

      (2) Expressions involving universality of the Flood and its effects occur more than thirty times in Genesis 6–9.

      (3) The Flood “was [or better, ‘was coming’] forty days upon the earth.” A continual downpour lasting for forty days, concurrently with a bursting of great clefts in the crust (Ge 7:11–12) would be impossible under present uniformitarian conditions.

      (4)  The Flood which came on the earth was the mabbul a word used solely in connection with the Noahic Flood. The ordinary Hebrew words for a local flood are not used here at all.

      (5)  The water rise was quickly sufficient to “bear up the ark,” indicating a depth of at least twenty feet in the earliest stages of the Flood, since the Ark was at least forty-four feet high and heavily loaded. As already noted, the Ark was far too large to accommodate a mere regional fauna and was more than adequate to house two of every species of land animal in the whole world, living or extinct.

      (6) As the rains continued, the waters “prevailed,” (gabar) a word which means, literally, “were overwhelmingly mighty,” and would be quite inappropriate in the setting of a local flood. Job 12:15 says that the waters “overturned the earth.”

      (7) The construction, outfitting, and stocking of the Ark, so that it “went upon the face of the waters” had all been an absurd waste of time and money if the Flood were to be only a local flood. Migration would have been a far better solution to the problem, for Noah as well as the birds and beasts.
      (8) The waters covered all the “high hills” and the “mountains” (“hills” and “mountains” are the same word in the original, the repetition being a case of Hebrew parallelism for the purpose of emphasis). (Ge 7:19,20)

      (9) The waters not only “were overwhelmingly mighty” (translated “prevailed” in Ge 7:18) but “prevailed exceedingly” over the earth.

    (10) All the mountains “under the whole heaven” were inundated under at least fifteen cubits of water (half the height of the Ark, probably representing its depth of submergence), telling us that the Ark could float freely over all the mountains. These would patently include at least the mountains of Ararat, the highest peak of which reaches 17,000 feet. A 17,000-foot Flood is not a local flood!

    (11) The mountains were “covered.” The Hebrew word here, kasah, conveys a very positive emphasis; it could well be rendered “overwhelmed,” as it is translated in some instances. The waters not only inundated the mountains but eventually washed them away.

      (12)      A double superlative—“all the high mountains under all the heavens”—cannot possibly allow the use of the word “all” here in a “relative” sense, as sometimes maintained by proponents of the local flood theory.

Genesis 7:21–23

      (13) “All flesh died that moved upon the earth.” In a local flood, most of the fauna can escape death by fleeing the rising waters or by swimming to dry ground if necessary (or by flying away, in the case of birds); but this would be impossible in a universal Flood.

      (14) “Every man” died, in accordance with the very purpose of the Flood. In a local flood, most people escape. Furthermore, there is no longer any question that ancient man occupied the entire globe at a date (as calculated by anthropologists, at least) much earlier than the date of any supposed “local flood” corresponding to the event described in Genesis. A local flood would not have reached “every man.”

      (15) Not only did everything with “the breath of life” die (this including animals, as well as man, further confirming that animals possess the ruach, or “spirit” of life), but so was “every living substance destroyed.” The word translated “living substance” is one word in Hebrew, yequm, and is simply translated “substance” in Deuteronomy 11:6. It clearly refers here to vegetation, as well as animals. In fact, God had told Noah: “I will destroy man with the earth” (Genesis 6:13).

      (16) Only Noah and those with him in the Ark survived the Flood, so that all present men are descended from Noah’s three sons (see also Genesis 9:1, 19). Likewise, all the earth’s present dry-land animals came of those on the Ark (Genesis 8:17, 19; 9:10). The very purpose of God had been to destroy all other living men (Genesis 6:7) and land animals (Genesis 6:17, 7:22).

Genesis 7:24 For the third time the word “prevailed” (gabar) is used, this time indicating that the waters prevailed 150 days. It was not until after this period that the “fountains of the deep” and the “windows of heaven” were shut (Ge 8:2) and the waters began to retreat. The extreme duration of the Flood indicates still further Biblical reasons for regarding it as universal.

      (17) No local flood continues to rise for 150 days.

     (18)  Even after the waters began to abate, and the Ark grounded on the highest of the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4), it was another 21/2 months before the tops of other mountains could be seen (8:5).

      (19) Even after four months of receding flood waters, the dove sent out by Noah could find no dry land on which to light (8:9).

      (20)  It was over an entire year (7:11; 8:13) before enough land had been exposed to permit the occupants to leave the Ark.

In view of all the above considerations, it is almost inconceivable that men professing to believe the Bible could endorse the local flood theory. Nevertheless, many evangelicals have been so intimidated by the pretensions of modern scholarship that they would sooner give up “the praise of God” than “the praise of men” (John 12:43). To the above twenty reasons may be appended the following additional Biblical reasons for believing in a worldwide flood:1

      (21) God’s promise never to send such a Flood again (Genesis 8:21; 9:11, 15) has been broken repeatedly if it were only a local or regional flood.

      (22) The New Testament uses a unique term (kataklusmos, “cataclysm”) for the Flood (Matthew 24:39; Luke 17:27; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:6) instead of the usual Greek word for “flood.”

      (23) New cosmological conditions came into being after the Flood, including sharply denned seasons (Genesis 8:22), the rainbow along with rain (Genesis 2:5; 9:13–14), and enmity between man and beasts (Genesis 9:2).

      (24) Man’s longevity began a long, slow decline immediately after the Flood (compare Genesis 5 and Genesis 11).

      (25) Later Biblical writers accepted the universal Flood (note Job 12:15; 22:16; Psalm 29:10; 104:6–9; Isaiah 54:9; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:5, 6; Hebrews 11:7).

      (26) The Lord Jesus Christ accepted the historicity and universality of the Flood, even making it the climactic sign and type of the coming worldwide judgment when He returns (Matthew 24:37–39; Luke 17:26, 27).

(BORROW  The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings)

James Smith - “THE WATERS PREVAILED.” Ge 7:18: Mt 24:37–39

The waters of judgment shall ultimately prevail against all ungodliness. See here an example of—

1. The waters prevailing over their unbelief.
2. The waters prevailing over all their indifference.
3. The waters prevailing over all their pleasures.
4. The waters prevailing over all their efforts to save themselves.

Genesis 7:19  The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.

  • all the high mountains everywhere - Job 12:15 Ps 46:2,3 104:6-9 Jer 3:23 2Pe 3:6 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries



The water prevailed (gabar; Lxx - epikrateomore and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered (kacah/kasah; Lxx = epikalupto) - So that marks the result of the rising waters. Where are some high mountains that would be "everywhere"? Clearly the massive Himalayan Mountains would (1) be included in the description of "everywhere" and (2) are declared as covered over by the flood! If you cannot see a global event in phrase the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered then you are not reading it literally. I see articles even from evangelical sources that suggest a possible regional flood, but to do so is to ignore verses like Ge 7:19. If we read this verse literally the conclusion is clear that this was not a regional flood (see map of region of Mesopotamia above) but a global flood.

THOUGHT - Skeptics will persist in their skepticism no matter what the text says or the geological evidence reveals because to acknowledge Genesis 6-8 as truth means that there is a God Who has judged the ancient world's sin and will someday judge their sin when they die. They want to try to sweep that truth under the rug instead of putting it under the blood (of Jesus which would wash them white as snow!)

NET NOTE - Heb “and the waters were great exceedingly, exceedingly.” The repetition emphasizes the depth of the waters.

Morris on all the high mountain - The double superlative precludes the use of "all" in a relative sense here. The obvious intent of the writer was to describe a universal inundation.

Spurgeon - If Moses had meant to describe a partial deluge upon only a small part of the earth, he used very misleading language; but if he meant to teach was that the deluge was universal, he used the very word which we might have expected that he would use. I should think that no person, merely by reading this chapter, would arrive at the conclusion that has been reached by some of our very learned men, — too learned to hold the simple truth. It looks as if the deluge must have been universal when we read that not only did the waters prevail exceedingly upon the earth, but that “all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven;” that is, all beneath the canopy of the sky, “were covered.” What could be more plain and clear than that?

Believer's Study Bible on high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered - The author implies that the highest waters covered the Ararat mountain range, the height of which is approximately 16,000 ft. (8:4). Surely a flood more than 3 miles in depth could not be confined to any portion of the earth. The Hebrew word kol, used twice in the verse (translated "all" and "the whole") adds to the impression that the Flood was a universal phenomenon. No one could have escaped the catastrophe except those in the ark. The amount of repetition in Ge 7:17-24 marks these verses as the climax of the flood account.

John MacArthur -  Lest there be any doubt, Moses adds “under the whole heaven” (cf. 2Pe 3:5–7). There are over 270 flood stories told in cultures all over the earth (ED: SEE NOTES), which owe their origin to this one global event. (See MSB Notes)

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge - At the present day every mountain where search has been made, conspire in one uniform, universal proof that they all had the sea spread over their highest summits; shells, skeletons of fish, etc., having been found there. 

John Whitcomb and Henry Morris in the subtopic THE DEPTH OF THE FLOOD (BORROW The Genesis Flood The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications) state that "One of the most important Biblical arguments for a universal Flood is the statement of Genesis 7:19–20:

And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.1

One need not be a professional scientist to realize the tremendous implications of these Biblical statements. If only one (to say nothing of all) of the high mountains (The present Mt. Ararat, on or near which the Ark was said to have grounded, is some 17,000 feet in elevation! Of course, unless uniformitarianism be presupposed, it is not necessary to assume that antediluvian mountains were this high. See below, pp. 266–270.) had been covered with water, the Flood would have been absolutely universal; for water must seek its own level—and must do so quickly! Herbert C. Leupold makes the following statement concerning the exegesis and interpretation of this crucial text of Scripture:

A measure of the waters is now made by comparison with the only available standard for such waters—the mountains. They are said to have been “covered.” Not merely a few but “all the high mountains under all the heavens.” One of these expressions alone would almost necessitate the impression that the author intends to convey the idea of the absolute universality of the Flood, e.g., “all the high mountains.” Yet since “all” is known to be used in a relative sense, the writer removes all possible ambiguity by adding the phrase “under all the heavens.” A double “all” (kol) cannot allow for so relative a sense. It almost constitutes a Hebrew superlative. So we believe that the text disposes of the question of the universality of the Flood. (BORROW H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis page 300)

The phrase “fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail” does not mean that the Flood was only fifteen cubits (22 feet) deep, for the phrase is qualified by the one which immediately follows: “and the mountains were covered.” Nor does it necessarily mean that the mountains were covered to a depth of only fifteen cubits, for this would require that all antediluvian mountains be exactly the same altitude.

The true meaning of the phrase is to be found in comparing it with Genesis 6:15, where we are told that the height of the Ark was thirty cubits. Nearly all commentators agree that the phrase “fifteen cubits” in Ge 7:20 must therefore refer to the draught (the depth of water needed for a boat to be able to float:) of the Ark. In other words, the Ark sank into the water to a depth of fifteen cubits (just one-half of its total height) when fully laden. Such information adds further support to this particular argument for a universal Flood, because it tells us that the Flood “prevailed” over the tops of the highest mountains to a depth of at least fifteen cubits.

If the Flood had not covered the mountains by at least such a depth, the Ark could not have floated over them during the five months in which the waters “prevailed” upon the earth.

Genesis 7:20  The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.

  • and the mountains - Ps 104:6 Jer 3:23 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Mount Ararat, 16, 854 ft High


The water prevailed fifteen cubits (22.5 feet - see cubit) higher, and the mountains were covered  (kacah/kasah; Lxx = epikalupto) - Obviously, a flood of twenty feet did not cover the mountains; the statement must mean the flood rose about 22.5 above the highest mountain. It seems that the writer wants to make sure we understand the mountains were covered (but not with snow!) This does not sound (or look) like a regional flood! Look at Mt Ararat in the picture above (which surely would qualify as a "high mountain" in Ge 7:19) and then envision water 22.5 feet above that peak! And then try to imagine (and it will take a lot of imagination!) that such a flood of this magnitude was only present in the region of Mesopotamia (see map of Mesopotamia). It takes more "faith" to believe the latter (regional flood) than it does to believe God's the former (global flood) in God's sure Word of Truth! 

NET NOTE - Heb “rose fifteen cubits.” Since a cubit is considered by most authorities to be about eighteen inches, this would make the depth 22.5 feet. 

Morris writes that "The waters were 15 cubits (22.5 feet) above the highest mountains, patently including Mount Ararat, which is now 17,000 feet high. In the "local-flood" theory, Mount Ararat would have had the same elevation before and after the flood, but it is obvious that a 17,000 foot flood is not a local flood. (BORROW The Defender's Study Bible

Covered (concealed) (03680kacah/kasah  means literally to cover as the frogs covered Egypt (Ex 8:6), the Shekinah glory cloud the cloud of God’s glory covered Mount Sinai or the Tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex 24:15 Nu 9:16), the waters of the Red Sea covered the Egyptians (Ex 15:5). In its figurative sense kacah can describe dishonor or shame covering the guilty (Ps 69:7; Jer. 3:25) or the Israelites’ covering the altar with tears (Mal 2:13). Kasah can mean keep to oneself, not respond with knowledge, i.e., keep information from others, though known and understood by oneself (Pr 12:16, 23). Cover for clothing or secrecy as in Ge 9:23. In a metaphorical sense, kasah describes shame covering the guilty (Ps. 69:7; Jer. 3:25; Hab. 2:17), the Israelites' covering the altar with tears (Mal. 2:13), the concealing of Joseph's blood to hide his brothers' guilt and sin (Ge 37:26). In contrast David he psalmist found reconciliation with God by not concealing his sin but confessing it (Ps 32:5; Pr 10:11).


Some evangelical scholars today are questioning whether the flood was universal; that is, did it cover the whole earth? (The issue is over the meaning of “whole earth” (Ge 8:9). Some say that this can be translated “whole land” speaking of a localized flood in the Mesopotamia basin.

The Arguments Against a Localized Flood

1.  Depth of the Flood.  The Floodwaters went 15 cubits above the tops of the mountains (Ge 7:20). This depth was evidently the depth to which the ark sank in the water, half its height, so that it could now float freely over the highest mountaintops. NOTE: Mount Ararat, where the ark landed, is over 17,000 feet high, and it is in the Mesopotamia basin. If the waters covered that mountain alone, it could not have been a local flood.

2.  Duration of the Flood.  The great amounts of water over a long period of time would produce no local flood. The slow rate of decline for the water level is cited as showing that it had to be more than a local deluge.

3.  Need for an Ark.  If it was only a local flood, Noah and his family could have moved over to a dry area by the warning of God. He could have migrated rather than built an ark

4.  Expressions of Universality (Ge 6:7,17; 7:4; 8:9,21; 9:11,15).   These expressions certainly indicate that the Flood was universal.

5.  Peter’s Statement.  In 2 Peter 3:3-7, Peter speaks of the “earth that then was”, which definitely indicates that the flood was a worldwide catastrophe.

6.  Testimony of Christ (Luke 17:27).  He testifies to the fact of the Flood and says it “destroyed them all.” This is a statement of universality for all men on the earth had to be touched by the Flood, and surely men had migrated out of the Mesopotamian basin by this time.

7.  Promise of God (Ge 9:11).  God promised that He would never destroy the world again by flood, and this would have little meaning if it were only a localized flood. There are many who have died in local floods since the days of Noah.

8.  Ancient Records.  A universal flood is mentioned in the records of almost all ancient peoples. The Sumerians, Babylonians and Egyptians all have recorded history of the Flood but most of them are distorted and are obviously not factual. But it shows that ancient men had a concept of a universal flood, for all post-Flood people descended from Noah and his sons. (cf. Morris and Whitcomb, Genesis Flood, pp. 38-39).

Genesis 7:21  All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;

  • Ge 7:4 6:6,7,13,17 Job 22:15-17 Isa 24:6,19 Jer 4:22-27 12:3,4 Ho 4:3 Joe 1:17-20 2:3 Zep 1:3 Mt 24:38, 39+, Lk 17:26, 27+ Ro 8:20,22 2Pe 2:5 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind - This verse clearly supports a global flood and global death. You ask how is that so? Well, even if man had not spread throughout the globe (which some skeptics claim), surely the wild animals had spread and even if they had not spread, do you think they would have remained in the region of a flood and died? I do not think so, for surely they would have fled to higher ground. And what about the birds? They could have easily migrated thousands of miles to areas that were not flooded. But then God's Word would not be true, for here we see all the animals on the earth perished. Could it be much clearer? I think not! Moses is recording the description of a global flood. One does not need geological discoveries to buttress support that this was a global flood! I am thankful for the "creation" websites that record the corroborating geological evidence, but God's Word by itself is enough for me. If I have difficulty believing truth like this, then frankly I would have difficulty in believing that One Man on a Cross instantaneously took all of sins past, present and future away! 

THOUGHT - If you think that belief in the truths in Genesis 1-11 is not important, then I would have you read one of the most incredible stories of apostasy that I have ever read (other than that of Judas Iscariot). Take a moment and read the Tragic Tale of Charles Templeton and pay careful attention to when his beliefs began to falter. I think you might be surprised. I will give you a clue -- it was not in the New Testament but in the Old! 

Genesis 7:22  of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died.

  • breath of life - Heb. breath of the spirit of life, Ge 2:7 Ge 6:17 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died - To perished in v21 is added died. The writer is saying God's prediction that all flesh would die (Ge 6:17) is fully fulfilled. 

Genesis 7:23  Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.

  • every living substance - Ge 7:21,22 Job 22:15-17 Isa 24:1-8 Mt 24:38+, Lk 17:26, 27+ 1Pe 3:20 2Pe 2:5 
  • and Noah - Ex 14:28-30 Job 5:19 Ps 91:1,9,10 Pr 11:4 Eze 14:14-20 Mal 3:17,18 Mt 25:46 Heb 11:7 1Pe 3:20 2Pe 2:5,9 3:6 
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Thus He blotted out (machah; Lxx = exaleipho) every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out (machah; Lxx = exaleiphofrom the earth - Note the emphasis on death in this passage (added to "all flesh...perished" Ge 7:21, "all...died" Ge 7:22) = "blotted out."  God has "wiped the slate clean" so to speak! God has exterminated the vermin from the earth. 

Steven Cole - Ge 7:21,  22 say that all animals in whose nostrils were the breath of life died. Verse 23 sums it up by saying that God blotted out every living thing from the land “from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky ... and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.” How much more plainly could you say it?

And only Noah was left (sha'ar/sa'ar; Lxxkataleipo = left behind), together with those that were with him in the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos) - Note that word "only" - only those in the Ark were saved from God's righteous wrath and only those who are in the "Ark" of Jesus Christ will be saved from God's righteous wrath and eternal punishment. This reminds me of 1Th 1:10 which describes believers as those who "wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come." What is the divine wrath to come that is in some ways analogous to the global flood? It is the Seventieth Week of Daniel, often called the Tribulation, the last 3 years known as the Great Tribulation (cf Mt 24:15+ with Mt 24:21+, Da 12:1+) or the Time of Jacob's Trouble. I believe all followers of Jesus alive at that time will like Noah and his family be saved from this righteous wrath by being caught up in the air before the "flood" of God's wrath comes on planet earth! 


Spurgeon - This is the counterpart of what will follow the preaching of the gospel those who are in Christ shall live, shall rise, and reign with him for ever but none of those who are outside of Christ shall so live. “Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”

Note the verb left (sha'ar/sa'ar) which can also be rendered remnant. In effect in preserving Noah and family, God left a remnant of mankind as a manifestation of His boundless mercy. That He preserved Noah was wholly based on His amazing grace not Noah's worthiness. This idea of a remnant of righteous men and women is very important in regard to the nation of Israel. While most of Israel was not a righteous remnant but perished over the millennia, God has remained faithful to His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to preserve a faithful remnant of the nation of Israel. See the study of Remnant of Israel

Utley has an interesting note that "Originally all humans were "children of Adam," but now all humans will be "children of Noah."' (ED: AND ONLY THOSE IN THE ARK OF CHRIST WILL BE "CHILDREN OF GOD." John 1:11-13+)

NET NOTE - The Hebrew verb שָׁאָר (sha’ar) means “to be left over; to survive” in the Niphal verb stem. It is the word used in later biblical texts for the remnant that escapes judgment. 

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge - The most incontestable evidence has been afforded of the universality of this fact:  the moose deer, a native of America, has been found buried in Ireland; elephants, native of Asia and Africa, in the midst of England; crocodiles, natives of the Nile, in the heart of Germany; and shell fish, never known in any but the American seas, with the entire skeletons of whales, in the most inland counties of England.

Left (remnant) (07604sha'ar/sa'ar means to remain, be left over, to leave, to let remain. The first Biblical use of sha'ar is in the context of judgement, Moses recording that after the worldwide flood "only Noah was left" and was in essence a "remnant." (Ge 7:23). The second use also describes God's judgment, this time on Sodom and Gomorrah stating that "those who survived fled to the hill country." (Ge 14:10; Lxx = kataleipo). Sha'ar describes Pharaoh's army = "not even one of them remained." (Ex 14:28; Lxx = kataleipo)

Genesis 7:24  The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.

  • Ge 8:3-4, compare with Ge 7:11 of this chapter,
  • Genesis 7 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Genesis 8:3-4  and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. 4 In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.

150 DAYS.

The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days - So from 2-17 to 7-17 there are 150 days, which equates to 30 days for each of those 5 months.  Note that this 150 days included the 40 day and night period of rain (Ge 7:12, 17).

SOME PROPHETIC THOUGHTS TO PONDER - An understanding of the length of time of 30 days for a month becomes critical in the book of the Revelation where we see several repeated time phrases that all equal the same time of 3.5 years. An understanding of these time phrases functions like a divine key to illuminate your understanding the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Note that if you multiply 42 months by 30 days the result is 1,260 days (Rev 11:3+). The somewhat enigmatic phrase "time, times and half a time" in Rev 12:14+ (and Da 7:25+, Da 12:7+) is clearly parallel to the 1,260 days of Rev 12:6+ because the same event is described in both passages - Satan's persecution and attempt to annihilate Israel during the last 3.5 years which Jesus warned the Jews about in Mt 24:15-20+ and specifically designated as The Great Tribulation in Mt 24:21+, the one of a kind, never to be repeated tribulation (which absolutely eliminates the preterist interpretation of fulfillment of Matthew 24 in 70 A.D. The Jewish Holocaust of Nazi Germany was a far worse tribulation for the Jews, but a final and even more horrible time is coming at the hands of the Antichrist when 2/3's of the Jews in the world will lose their life (cf Zech 13:8-9+)! 

  1. Rev 11:2+ = 42 months (Gentiles desecration the rebuilt Jewish Temple)
  2. Rev 11:3+ = 1,260 days (the two witnesses begin their ministry).
  3. Rev 12:6+ = 1,260 days (for the Dragon to persecute Israel)
  4. Rev 12:14+ = a time, times, and half a time (for the Dragon to persecute Israel)
  5. Rev 13:5+ = 42 months (for the Beast to rule the world).
  6. Da 7:25+ = a time, times, and half a time ("Little horn" Da 7:8+ rules world, parallels Rev 13:5+)
  7. Da 12:7+ = a time, times, and half a time (describes the length of the "time of distress" which is also "one of a kind" in Da 12:1+). 

    TAKEAWAY - In the first global judgment God is incredibly specific in recording the timing of the events. In a similar way in the prophecy of the Revelation which in its essence is predominantly about global judgment, God is just as detailed in His timing as He was with the flood. It strikes me that God wants men everywhere to repent and is giving them significant time markers to warn them that the judgment of the Second Coming is near. And in fact from Rev 7:9+ John writes "behold (he wants our attention!), a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne" and in Rev 7:14+ we discover that "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Personally I think that many of this great harvest of souls, a great multitude, will read the Revelation of Jesus Christ including the very specific time phrases listed above and it will become very clear the end is near and they will repent and believe in Messiah. 

    AXIOM - God makes know to his bondservants the things which must soon take place (Rev 1:1+). We are not only His bondservants but we are also His friends, because our Lord tells us what he is doing (John 15:15+).

Steven Cole - Then there is the time which it took for the flood waters to abate. The water prevailed upon the earth for 150 days (Ge 7:24). This means that it took 110 days after the rain stopped for the water to recede enough for the ark to touch down on Mount Ararat (Ge 8:3, 4). It took another ten weeks for the water level to go down enough for the tops of other mountains to become visible (Ge 8:5). All told, it was just over a year before it was safe for Noah and those on the ark to disembark (Ge 8:14-15). No local flood would require that much time to subside.

NET NOTE - The Hebrew verb translated “prevailed over” suggests that the waters were stronger than the earth. The earth and everything in it were no match for the return of the chaotic deep.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge - The breaking up of the fountains of the great deep, and the raining forty days and nights, had raised the waters fifteen cubits, or twenty-two feet and a half, above the highest mountain; after which forty days, it appears to have continued at this height one hundred and fifty days more.

Steven Cole - Then there is the time which it took for the flood waters to abate. The water prevailed upon the earth for 150 days (7:24). This means that it took 110 days after the rain stopped for the water to recede enough for the ark to touch down on Mount Ararat (Ge 8:3, 4). It took another ten weeks for the water level to go down enough for the tops of other mountains to become visible (Ge 8:5). All told, it was just over a year before it was safe for Noah and those on the ark to disembark (Ge 8:14-15). No local flood would require that much time to subside

Paul Apple - What do we learn about Accountability before God from this study of Noah’s Flood?

For the non-believer:

     Judgment is coming and it is very real
     Judgment will be catastrophic in its scope
     Judgment will be inescapable – Don’t miss the boat!

For the believer:

We will all stand before the Judgment seat of Christ – there still is accountability; but at issue will not be our eternal destiny but the extent of our rewards

Norman Geisler - When Critics Ask - Genesis 7:24—Did the flood rains last forty days or one hundred fifty days?

PROBLEM: Genesis 7:24 (and Ge 8:3) speak of the flood waters lasting for 150 days. But, other verses say it was only 40 days (Gen. 7:4, 12, 17). Which is correct?

SOLUTION: These numbers refer to different things. Forty days refers to how long “the rain fell” (Ge 7:12NIV), and 150 days speaks of how long the flood “waters prevailed” (cf. Ge 7:24).

At the end of the 150 days “the waters decreased” (Ge 8:3). After this it was not until the fifth month after the rain began that the ark rested on Mt. Ararat (Ge 8:4). Then about eleven months after the rain began, the waters dried up (Ge 7:11; 8:13). And exactly one year and ten days after the flood began, Noah and his family emerged on dry ground (Ge 7:11; 8:14).

D L Moody's sermon on Genesis 7:1 - “COME THOU AND ALL THY HOUSE INTO THE ARK”

I want to call your attention to a text that you will find in the seventh chapter of Genesis, first verse. When God speaks, you and I can afford to listen. It is not man speaking now, but it is God. “The Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark.”
Perhaps some sceptic is reading this, and perhaps some church-member will join with him and say,
“I hope Mr. Moody is not going to preach about the ark. I thought that was given up by all intelligent people.”
But I want to say that I haven’t given it up. When I do, I am going to give up the whole Bible. There is hardly any portion of the Old Testament Scripture but that the Son of God set His seal to it when He was down here in the world.
Men say, “I don’t believe in the story of the flood.”
Christ connected His own return to this world with that flood: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”
I believe the story of the flood just as much as I do the third chapter of John. I pity any man that is picking the old Book to pieces. The moment that we give up any one of these things, we touch the deity of the Son of God. I have noticed that when a man does begin to pick the Bible to pieces, it doesn’t take him long to tear it all to pieces. What is the use of being five years about what you can do in five minutes?

A Solemn Message

One hundred and twenty years before God spake the words of my text, Noah had received the most awful communication that ever came from heaven to earth. No man up to that time, and I think no man since, has ever received such a communication. God said that on account of the wickedness of the world He was going to destroy the world by water. We can have no idea of the extent and character of that antediluvian wickedness. The Bible piles one expression on another, in its effort to emphasize it. “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at His heart.… The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Men lived five hundred years and more then, and they had time to mature in their sins.

How the Message was Received

For one hundred and twenty years God strove with those antediluvians. He never smites without warning, and they had their warning. Every time Noah drove a nail into the ark it was a warning to them. Every sound of the hammer echoed, “I believe in God.” If they had repented and cried as they did at Nineveh, I believe God would have heard their cry and spared them. But there was no cry for mercy. I have no doubt but that they ridiculed the idea that God was going to destroy the world. I have no doubt but that there were atheists who said there was not any God anyhow. I got hold of one of them some time ago. I said,
“How do you account for the formation of the world?”
“Oh! force and matter work together, and by chance the world was created.”
I said, “It is a singular thing that your tongue isn’t on the top of your head if force and matter just threw it together in that manner.”
If I should take out my watch and say that force and matter worked together, and out came the watch, you would say I was a lunatic of the first order. Wouldn’t you? And yet they say that this old world was made by chance! “It threw itself together!”
I met a man in Scotland, and he took the ground that there was no God. I asked him,
“How do you account for creation, for all these rocks?” (They have a great many rocks in Scotland.)
“Why!” he said, “any school boy could account for that.”
“Well, how was the first rock made?”
“Out of sand.”
“How was the first sand made?”
“Out of rock.”
You see he had it all arranged so nicely. Sand and rock, rock and sand. I have no doubt but that Noah had these men to contend with.
Then there was a class called agnostics, and there are a good many of their grandchildren, alive to-day. Then there was another class who said they believed there was a God; they couldn’t make themselves believe that the world happened by chance; but God was too merciful to punish sin. He was so full of compassion and love that He couldn’t punish sin. The drunkard, the harlot, the gambler, the murderer, the thief and the libertine would all share alike with the saints at the end. Supposing the governor of your state was so tender-hearted that he could not bear to have a man suffer, could not bear to see a man put in jail, and he should go and set all the prisoners free. How long would he be governor? You would have him out of office before the sun set. These very men that talk about God’s mercy, would be the first to raise a cry against a governor who would not have a man put in prison when he had done wrong.
Then another class took the ground that God could not destroy the world anyway. They might have a great flood which would rise up to the meadowlands and lowlands, but all it would be necessary to do would be to go up on the hills and mountains. That would be a hundred times better than Noah’s ark. Or if it should come to that, they could build rafts which would be a good deal better than that ark. They had never seen such an ugly looking thing. It was about five hundred feet long, and about eighty feet wide, and fifty feet high. It had three stories, and only one small window.
And then, I suppose there was a large class who took the ground that Noah must be wrong because he was in such a minority. That is a great argument now, you know. Noah was greatly in the minority. But he went on working.
If they had saloons then, and I don’t doubt but that they had, for we read that there was “violence in the land,” and wherever you have alcohol you have violence. We read also that Noah planted a vineyard and fell into the sin of intemperance. He was a righteous man, and if he did that, what must the others have done?. Well, if they had saloons, no doubt they sang ribald sangs about Noah and his ark, and if they had theaters they likely acted it out, and mothers took their children to see it.
And if they had the press in those days, every now and then there would appear a skit about “Noah and his folly.” Reporters would come and interview him, and if they had an Associated Press, every few days a dispatch would be sent out telling how the work on the ark was progressing.
And perhaps, they had excursions, and offered as an inducement that people could go through the ark. And if Noah happened to be around they would nudge each other and say:
“That’s Noah. Don’t you think there is a strange look in his eye?”
As a Scotchman would say, they thought him a little daft. Thank God a man can afford to be mad. A mad man thinks everyone else mad but himself. A drunkard does not call himself mad when he is drinking up all his means. Those men who stand and deal out death and damnation to men are not called mad: but a man is called mad when he gets into the ark, and is saved for time and eternity. And I expect if the word crank was in use, they called Noah “an old crank.”
And so all manner of sport was made of Noah and his ark. And the business men went on buying and selling, while Noah went on preaching and toiling. They perhaps had some astronomers, and they were gazing up at the stars, and saying, “Don’t you be concerned. There is no sign of a coming storm in the heavens. We are very wise men, and if there was a storm coming, we should read it in the heavens.” And they had geologists digging away, and they said, “There is no sign in the earth.” Even the carpenters who helped build the ark might have made fun of him, but they were like lots of people at the present day, who will help build a church, and perhaps give money for its support, but will never enter it themselves.
Well, things went on as usual. Little lambs skipped on the hillsides each spring. Men sought after wealth, and if they had leases, I expect they ran for longer periods than ours do. We think ninety-nine years a long time, but I don’t doubt but that theirs ran for nine hundred and ninety-nine years. And when they came to sign a lease they would say with a twinkle in their eyes:
“Why, this old Noah says the world is coming to an end in one hundred and twenty years, and it’s twenty years since he started the story. But I guess I will sign the lease and risk it.”
Someone has said that Noah must have been deaf, or he could not have stood the jeers and sneers of his countrymen. But if he was deaf to the voice of men, he heard the voice of God when He told him to build the ark.
I can imagine one hundred years have rolled away, and the work on the ark ceases. Men say, “What has he stopped work for?” He has gone on a preaching tour, to tell the people of the coming storm—that God is going to sweep every man from the face of the earth unless he is in the ark. But he cannot get a man to believe him except his own family. Some of the old men have passed away, and they died saying: “Noah is wrong.” Poor Noah! He must have had a hard time of it. I don’t think I should have had the grace to work for one hundred and twenty years without a convert. But he just toiled on, believing the word of God.
And now the hundred and twenty years are up. In the spring of the year Noah did not plant anything, for he knew the flood was coming, and the people say: “Every year before he has planted, but this year he thinks the world is going to be destroyed, and he hasn’t planted anything.”

Moving in

But I can imagine one beautiful morning, not a cloud to be seen, Noah has got his communication. He has heard the voice that he heard one hundred and twenty years before—the same old voice. Perhaps there had been silence for one hundred and twenty years. But the voice rang through his soul once again, “Noah, come thou and all thy house into the ark.”
The word “come” occurs about nineteen hundred times in the Bible, it is said, and this is the first time. It meant salvation. You can see Noah and all his family moving into the ark. They are bringing the household furniture.
Some of his neighbors say, “Noah, what is your hurry? you will have plenty of time to get into that old ark. What is your hurry? There are no windows and you cannot look out to see when the storm is coming.” But he heard the voice and obeyed.
Some of his relatives might have said, “What are you going to do with the old homestead?”
Noah says, “I don’t want it. The storm is coming.” He tells them the day of grace is closing, that worldly wealth is of no value, and that the ark is the only place of safety. We must bear in mind that these railroads that we think so much of, will soon go down; they only run for time, not for eternity. The heavens will be on fire, and then what will property, honor, and position in society be worth?
The first thing that alarms them is, they rise one morning, and lo! the heavens are filled with the fowls of the air. They are flying into the ark, two by two. They come from the desert; they come from the mountain; they come from all parts of the world. They are going into the ark. It must have been a strange sight. I can hear the people cry, “Great God! what is the meaning of this?” And they look down on the earth; and, with great alarm and surprise, they see little insects creeping up two by two, coming from all parts of the world. Then behold! there come cattle and beasts, two by two. The neighbors cry out, “What does this mean?” They run to their statesmen and wise men, who have told them there was no sign of a coming storm, and ask them why it is that those birds, animals, and creeping things go toward the ark, as if guided by some unseen hand.
“Well,” the statesmen and wise men say, “We cannot explain it; but give yourselves no trouble; God is not going to destroy the world. Business was never better than it is now. Do you think if God was going to destroy the world, He would let us go on so prosperously as He has? There is no sign of a coming storm. What has made these creeping insects and these wild beasts of the forest go into the ark, we do not know. We cannot understand it; it is very strange. But there is no sign of anything going to happen. The stars are bright, and the sun shines as bright as ever it did. Everything moves on as it has been moving for all time past. You can hear the children playing in the street. You can hear the voice of the bride and bridegroom in the land, and all is merry as ever.”
I imagine the alarm passed away, and they fell into their regular courses. Noah comes out and says: “The door is going to be shut. Come in. God is going to destroy the world. See the animals, how they have come up. The communication has come to them direct from heaven.” But the people only mocked on.
Do you know, when the hundred and twenty years were up, God gave the world seven days’ grace? Did you ever notice that? If there had been a cry during those seven days, I believe it would have been heard But there was none.
At length the last day had come, the last hour, the last minute, ay! the last second. God Almighty came down and shut the door of that ark. No angel, no man, but God Himself shut that door, and when once the master of the house has risen and shut to the door, the doom of the world is sealed; and the doom of that old world was forever sealed. The sun had gone down upon the glory of that old world for the last time. You can hear away off in the distance the mutterings of the storm. You can hear the thunder rolling. The lightning begins to flash, and the old world reels. The storm bursts upon them, and that old ark of Noah’s would have been worth more than the whole world to them.
I want to say to any scoffer who reads this, that you can laugh at the Bible, you can scoff at your mother’s God, you can laugh at ministers and Christians, but the hour is coming when one promise in that old Book will be worth more to you than ten thousand worlds like this.
The windows of heaven are opened and the fountains of the great deep are broken up. The waters come bubbling up, and the sea bursts its bounds and leaps over its walls. The rivers begin to swell. The people living in the lowlands flee to the mountains and highlands. They flee up the hillsides. And there is a wail going up:
“Noah! Noah! Noah! Let us in.”
They leave their homes and come to the ark now. They pound on the ark. Hear them cry:
“Noah! Let us in. Noah! Have mercy on us.”
“I am your nephew.”
“I am your niece.”
“I am your uncle.”
Ah, there is a voice inside, saying: “I would like to let you in; but God has shut the door, and I cannot open it!”
God shut that door! When the door is shut, there is no hope. Their cry for mercy was too late; their day of grace was closed. Their last hour had come. God had plead with them; God had invited them to come in; but they had mocked at the invitation. They scoffed and ridiculed the idea of a deluge. Now it is too late.
God did not permit anyone to survive to tell us how they perished. When Job lost his family, there came a messenger to him: but there came no messenger from the antediluvians; not even Noah himself could see the world perish. If he could, he would have seen men and women and children dashing against that ark; the waves rising higher and higher, while those outside were perishing, dying in unbelief. Some think to escape by climbing the trees, and think the storm will soon go down; but it rains on, day and night, for forty days and forty nights, and they are swept away as the waves dash against them. The statesmen and astronomers and great men call for mercy; but it is too late. They had disobeyed the God of mercy. He had called, and they refused. He had plead with them, but they had laughed and mocked. But now the time is come for judgment instead of mercy.


The time is coming again when God will deal in judgment with the world. It is but a little while; we know not when, but it is sure to come. God’s word has gone forth that this world shall be rolled together like a scroll, and shall be on fire. What then will become of your soul? It is a loving call, “Now come, thou and all thy house, into the ark.” Twenty-four hours before the rain began to fall, Noah’s ark, if it had been sold at auction, would not have brought as much as it would be worth for kindling-wood. But twenty-four hours after the rain began to fall, Noah’s ark was worth more than all the world. There was not then a man living but would have given all he was worth for a seat in the ark. You may turn away and laugh.
“I believe in Christ!” you say; “I would rather be without Him than have Him.”
But bear in mind, the time is coming when Christ will be worth more to you than ten thousand worlds like this. Bear in mind that He is offered to you now. This is a day of grace; it is a day of mercy. You will find, if you read your Bible carefully, that God always precedes judgment with grace. Grace is a forerunner of judgment. He called these men in the days of Noah in love. They would have been saved if they had repented in those one hundred and twenty years. When Christ came to plead with the people in Jerusalem, it was their day of grace; but they mocked and laughed at Him. He said: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Forty years afterward, thousands of the people begged that their lives might be spared; and eleven hundred thousand perished in that city.
In 1857 a revival swept over this country in the east and on to the western cities, clear over to the Pacific coast. It was God calling the nation to Himself. Half a million people united with the Church at that time. Then the war broke out. We were baptized with the Holy Ghost in 1857, and in 1861 we were baptized in blood. It was a call of mercy, preceding judgment.

Are Your Children Safe?

The text which I have selected has a special application to Christian people and to parents. This command of the Scripture was given to Noah not only for his own safety, but that of his household, and the question which I put to each father and mother is this: “Are your children in the ark of God?” You may scoff at it, but it is a very important question. Are all your children in? Are all your grandchildren in? Don’t rest day or night until you get your children in. I believe my children have fifty temptations where I had one. I am one of those who believe that in the great cities there is a snare set upon the corner of every street for our sons and daughters; and I don’t believe it is our business to spend our time in accumulating bonds and stocks. Have I done all I can to get my children in? That is it.
Now, let me ask another question: What would have been Noah’s feelings if, when God called him into the ark, his children would not have gone with him? If he had lived such a false life that his children had no faith in his word, what would have been his feelings? He would have said: “There is my poor boy on the mountain. Would to God I had died in his place! I would rather have perished than had him perish.” David cried over his son: “Oh, my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom, would God I had died for thee!” Noah loved his children, and they had confidence in him.
Someone sent me a paper a number of years ago, containing an article that was marked. Its title was: “Are all the children in?” An old wife lay dying. She was nearly one hundred years of age, and the husband who had taken the journey with her, sat by her side. She was just breathing faintly, but suddenly she revived, opened her eyes, and said:
“Why! it is dark.”
“Yes, Janet, it is dark.”
“Is it night?”
“Oh, yes! it is midnight.”
“Are all the children in?”
There was that old mother living life over again. Her youngest child had been in the grave twenty years, but she was traveling back into the old days, and she fell asleep in Christ asking, “Are all the children in?”
Dear friend, are they all in? Put the question to yourself now. Is John in? Is James in? Or is he immersed in business and pleasure? Is he living a double and dishonest life? Say! where is your boy, mother? Where is your son, your daughter? Is it well with your children? Can you say it is?
After being superintendent of a Sunday-school in Chicago for a number of years, a school of over a thousand members, children that came from godless homes, having mothers and fathers working against me, taking the children off on excursions on Sunday, and doing all they could to break up the work I was trying to do, I used to think that if I should ever stand before an audience I would speak to no one but parents; that would be my chief business. It is an old saying—“Get the lamb, and you will get the sheep.” I gave that up years ago. Give me the sheep, and then I will have someone to nurse the lamb; but get a lamb and convert him, and if he has a godless father and mother, you will have little chance with that child. What we want is godly homes. The home was established long before the Church.
I have no sympathy with the idea that our children have to grow up before they are converted. Once I saw a lady with three daughters at her side, and I stepped up to her and asked her if she was a Christian.
“Yes, sir.”
Then I asked the oldest daughter if she was a Christian. The chin began to quiver, and the tears came into her eyes, and she said,
“I wish I was.”
The mother looked very angrily at me and said, “I don’t want you to speak to my children on that subject. They don’t understand.” And in great rage she took them all away from me. One daughter was fourteen years old, one twelve, and the other ten, but they were not old enough to be talked to about religion. Let them drift into the world and plunge into worldly amusements, and then see how hard it is to reach them. Many a mother is mourning to-day because her boy has gone beyond her reach, and will not allow her to pray with him. She may pray for him, but he will not let her pray or talk with him. In those early days when his mind was tender and young, she might have led him to Christ. Bring them in. “Suffer the little children to come unto Me.” Is there a prayerless father reading this? May God let the arrow go down into your soul! Make up your mind that, God helping you, you will get the children in. God’s order is to the father first, but if he isn’t true to his duty, then the mother should be true, and save the children from the wreck. Now is the time to do it while you have them under your roof. Exert your parental influence over them.
I never speak to parents but I think of two fathers, one of whom lived on the banks of the Mississippi, the other in New York. The first one devoted all his time to amassing wealth. He had a son to whom he was much attached, and one day the boy was brought home badly injured. The father was informed that the boy could live but a short time, and he broke the news to his son as gently as possible.
“You say I cannot live, father? O! then pray for my soul,” said the boy.
In all those years that father had never said a prayer for that boy, and he told him he couldn’t. Shortly after, the boy died. That father has said since that he would give all that he possessed if he could call that boy back only to offer one short prayer for him.
The other father had a boy who had been sick some time, and he came home one day and found his wife weeping. She said:
“I cannot help but believe that this is going to prove fatal.”
The man started, and said: “If you think so, I wish you would tell him.”
But the mother could not tell her boy. The father went to the sick room, and he saw that death was feeling for the cords of life, and he said:
“My son, do you know you are not going to live?”
The little fellow looked up and said: “No; is this death that I feel stealing over me? Will I die to-day?”
“Yes, my son, you cannot live the day out.”
And the little fellow smiled and said: “Well, father, I shall be with Jesus to-night, shan’t I?”
“Yes, you will spend the night with the Lord,” and the father broke down and wept.
The little fellow saw the tears, and said: “Don’t weep for me. I will go to Jesus and tell Him that ever since I can remember you have prayed for me.”
I have three children, and if God should take them from me, I would rather have them take such a message home to Him than to have the wealth of the whole world. Oh! would to God I could say something to stir you, fathers and mothers, to get your children into the ark.