Genesis 8 Commentary

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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 8:1  But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.

  • God remembered - Ge 19:29 Ge 30:22 Ex 2:24 1Sa 1:19 Ne 13:14,22,29,31 Job 14:13 Ps 106:4 132:1 136:23 137:7 Am 8:7 Hab 3:2 Rev 16:19 18:5 
  • the cattle - Nu 22:32 Ps 36:6 Jon 4:11 Ro 8:20-22 
  • a wind - Ex 14:21 Ps 104:7-9 Pr 25:23 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages: 

Genesis 19:29  Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.

Genesis 30:22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb.

Exodus 2:24+ So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Nehemiah 5:19 Remember me, O my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

Jonah 2:7 While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple. 

Luke 23:42+ And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”

Jeremiah 31:34+  “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” 


But - Here is another one of those glorious terms of contrast, in this case contrasting the fate of all life on earth that perished with the life of Noah and the animals that survived the flood. 

God (Elohim) remembered (zakar) Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle (domestic animals) that were with him in the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos) - God had not "forgotten" Noah. The point is that now God acts based on His previous commitment in Ge 6:18+ "I will establish My covenant with you." In short, God shows He is a trustworthy covenant Partner. Recall that Noah's name means "Rest" and he will now experience a degree of rest from the corrupt and violent world. 

Wiersbe - Centuries later, God’s wind would bring the locusts into Egypt and later drive them into the sea (Ex. 10:10–20). God’s wind would also open up the Red Sea and make a dry path for the people of Israel as they left Egypt (Ex 14:21–22; 15:10). The stormy wind fulfills God’s word (Ps. 148:8).

James M Boice - Are you in that state (feeling abandoned as Noah may have felt) even as you read these words? Do you feel abandoned? Does God seem to have forgotten you? If that is the case, the eighth chapter of Genesis is for you particularly, for its theme is that God has not forgotten. God remembers.....God remembered Noah in three ways. First, he began to remove the water, the aftermath of his great judgment on the world....The second way God remembered Noah was by giving him a sign through the sending out and return of the dove....The third way God remembered Noah was by words. He spoke to him again, saying, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it” (vv. 16–17).

Steven Cole -  Genesis 8 implies that Noah and those with him in the ark were the only living creatures on earth after the flood (esp. Ge 8:1, 15-17). God’s promise not to destroy the earth in this manner again (Ge 8:21-22; 9:15-16) would not be true if the flood was merely local, because there have been many severe local floods in history. Genesis 9:19 and Ge 10:32 state that the whole earth was repopulated from Noah’s three sons. So the biblical evidence that the flood was universal is overwhelming.

Spurgeon - Noah had been shut up in the ark for many a day, and at the right time God thought of him, practically thought of him, and came to visit him. Dear heart, you have been shut out from the world now for many days, but God has not forgotten you. God remembered Noah, and he remembers you. Does God remember cattle? Then he will certainly remember men made in his own image He will remember you, though you think yourself the most worthless one on the face of the earth: “God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark.”

Wenham on God remembered - “God remembered Noah.” Similarly, God “remembered” Abraham after the destruction of Sodom (19:29); he “remembered” Rachel (30:22), and he “remembered” his covenant made in 9:15, 16, etc Man is bidden not simply to “remember” the past but the future (e.g., Isa 47:7; Eccl 11:8), which suggests that the word is more equivalent to “think about” than to a concept of recall. However, since its usual reference is to the past, “remember” suits most passages. When God remembers, he acts, e.g., saving Lot, giving Rachel children, bringing Israel out of slavery (Exod 2:24; 6:5). This is the first time God is said to have remembered someone, and this passage is a paradigm of what that means in practice; cf. H. Eising, TDOT 4:64–82. Note God’s concern for the animals as well as Noah (cf. Jon 4:11; Matt 6:26; 10:29). “A wind”: cf. the wind of God at creation which hovered over the waters, Gen 1:2.(BORROW - Genesis. 1-15 WBC)

John Phillips on God remembered Noah - The figure of speech used is anthropopatheia, whereby human feelings and experiences are ascribed to God. As though God could ever forget! It is a touching and lovely way to bring before us God’s loving and tender care for His servant. Indeed, God’s compassionate concern extended to all the creatures that were in the ark. How interminable the days and weeks and months must have seemed after the silence descended and the waters lapped ceaselessly around the ark. Had God forgotten? Was the experience to go on forever? No. God remembered. (BORROW Exploring Genesis: An Expository Commentary.) 

Bob Utley "remembered" This term (Qal IMPERFECT with waw) is used in the sense of God taking appropriate and personal action towards someone (cf. Gen. 8:1; 9:15,16; 19:29; 30:22). The covenant God is about to act again because of who He is and what He wants. Noah will be the beginning of a new humanity.

W H Griffith Thomas on The Divine Preservation  -  God remembered Noah.' The servant was not forgotten by his Lord, and this point, which is the culminating thought of the section, shows the constant divine care of Noah and his family-There is only one thing that God forgets with reference to His children, that is, their sins. 'Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.' (ED: Heb 8:12, Jer 31:34, cf Heb 10:17) As for God's people themselves, the words are blessedly and eternally true, 'They shall not be forgotten of Me. (Genesis 7 At the Flood

W H Griffith Thomas on The Lord's Action (Ge 8:1-5).—The divine judgment is now drawing to its close. The servant is remembered by God and the covenant established is now to be carried out in full. The waters from above and below were restrained, and the ark now100 rests in safety upon the mountains of Ararat. The place of rest seems to have been the territory known by the name of one of the peaks (cf. 2 Kings 19:37, R.V.). (Genesis 8 After the Flood)

John MacArthur - God’s covenant with Noah brought provision and protection in the midst of severe judgment. The remnant was preserved and God initiated steps toward re-establishing the created order on earth. the waters subsided. (See MSB notes)

NET NOTE - The Hebrew word translated “remembered” often carries the sense of acting in accordance with what is remembered, i.e., fulfilling covenant promises 

and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided God again demonstrates that even in the face of chaos He can bring order. He used natural wind to dry the ground and evaporation returned water to the atmosphere. This recalls God's use of wind in Ex 14:21+ "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided." There the wind provided a way of escape for Israel and in Genesis 8 the wind provides a new world for Noah to experience. 

Spurgeon - Winds and waves are wholly under God’s control. I suppose that this was a very drying wind, so the waters began to turn to vapor, and gradually to disappear. It is God who sends the winds; they seem most volatile and irregular, but God sends them to do his bidding. Blow it east, or blow it west, the wind comes from God; and whether the waters increase or are assuaged, it is God’s doing. Are the waters very deep with you, dear friend? God can dry them up, and, singularly enough, he can stop one trouble with another, he can dry up the water with the wind. I have known him very strangely with his people, and when they thought they were quite forgotten, he has proved that he remembered them, and both the winds of heaven and the waters of the sea have had to work their good. There is not an angel in heaven but God will make him to be a servant to you if you need him; there is not a wind in any quarter of the globe but God will guide it to you if it is necessary; and there are no waves of the sea but shall obey the Lord’s will concerning you.

Bob Utley -  on subsided - This rare term (Qal IMPERFECT with waw) is used for the abating of the king's anger in Esther 2:1. The water here is an expression of God's anger over mankind's evil (cf. Ge 6:5,11,12,13). See Ge 6:5+.

Pritchard on subsided - It is significant that the flood did not disappear in a day. The waters rose slowly and fell slowly. Even so, God usually works deliverance for us gradually, little by little, day by day, step by step. We don’t get into trouble overnight and we don’t get out of trouble overnight either.

THOUGHT - Nothing can rush, change or hinder God’s designs for his children. In our doubt and confusion, we rest on this truth: God can make the dry ground appear anytime he chooses. We may feel forgotten and abandoned in the flood, but the dry land will appear in due time.

African Study Bible There is always hope no matter the crisis. God remembers us even before we call, but He is pleased when we turn to Him in our troubles. He hears us and has the power to make the waters of our problems recede. Our trust in the all-powerful God gives us peace and enables us to face any problem. God always remembers us. Sometimes He causes our problems to resolve; other times He does not. But in every crisis He gives us the grace and strength to endure.

Warren Wiersbe - When you’re going through a storm, it’s easy to feel forsaken. “I think the Lord has forgotten me,” said a church member whom I was visiting in the hospital. In her mind, she could recall Hebrews 13:5 and quote it (“I will never leave you or forsake you” [nkjv]); but in her heart, she felt lonely and abandoned. Where was her God? When would the storm end? Feeling forsaken is a normal human emotion that most of us have experienced, whether we admit it or not. “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?” asked the psalmist. “Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Ps. 10:1 nkjv). Paul confessed that his troubles in Asia had been so severe that he almost gave up on life (2 Cor. 1:8), and Jesus, who experienced all our human trials, cried from the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46 nkjv). Feeling desolate is nothing new to the people of God; but then they recall the song: God is still on the throne, And He will remember His own!

Remembered (record, mention) (02142zakar means to recall, call to mind or to be brought to remembrance. The first use of zakar is wonderful for it says "God remembered Noah" remembering His covenant (Ge 6:18), declaring later "I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 “When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Ge 9:15-16)

Similarly we see "that God remembered Abraham" and for that reason (based on covenant), He spared Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Ge 19:29). The Lord remembered both Rachel and Hannah and enabled them to conceive and bear sons (Ge 30:22; 1 Sam. 1:11, 19).

When Israel was in bondage in Egypt "God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." (Ex 2:24, 6:5, cp Lev 26:42, 45, Ps 98:3 [lovingkindness = covenant term] Ps 105:5, 106:45, 109:16, Ezek 16:60) Moses interceded for Israel asking God to "remember" the Abrahamic covenant and pass over their stubbornness, wickedness and sin (Dt 9:27)

Thus we see these many of the early uses of zakar speaks of God's good memory (so to speak - for His memory is perfect) is based on the fact that He is in covenant with those He recalls to mind. To remember” implies a previous commitment made by God and announces the fulfillment of that commitment. The idea of remember here means “to pay attention to, to fulfill a promise and act on behalf of somebody.” For example, God’s promise “and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 10:17) means that God doesn’t hold our sins against us and treat us as sinners. Certainly God knows what we’ve done, but because of our faith in Jesus Christ, our sins are “forgotten.”

If you are like me and from time to time think God has forgotten you, recall to mind that you are in covenant with Him (New Covenant) and on that basis He will (forever) remember you! I love Hezekiah's prayer

"Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly." (2Ki 20:3)

King David called on the people -

"Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth...Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations." (1Chr 16:12, 15)

Nehemiah repeatedly called on God to remember in his prayers (Neh 1:8, 4:14, 5:19, 6:14, 13:14, 13:22, 29, 31). I think Nehemiah gives us a good "template" to imitate when we make petition to the Most High God! I love David's prayer to God not to remember and then to remember (Ps 25:6-7). Korah gives us a great pattern to imitate when we are downcast in Ps 42:4, 6.

Many of the psalms speak of either men remembering God (often in form of a prayer) or of God remembering men (e.g., Ps 78:35, 39) Ps 78:42 is a warning to all believers = "They did not remember His power, The day when He redeemed them from the adversary." Have you been saved? Then you have experienced His power! And doubtless there are countless other instances we could all remember (if we choose to!) in which His great power has been palpably present to enable or deliver us! 

Lord, give us ready recall of Your past power in our life that we might apply it to our present circumstances. Amen

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.

Jeffery Smith: The means God used – sent a wind: common thread throughout Scripture

     Ge 1:2 – echo of creation; Spirit brought order out of chaos; same word; bringing a new world into existence; a new creation

     Event of deliverance from Egyptian bondage at the Red Sea – Ex. 14:21 – a strong east wind

     Dry bones in Ezekiel 37:9

     New birth – John 3:8

     Day of Pentecost – Acts 2:2 – signal that God was about to do something God acts in the context of human helplessness; when we can do nothing to save ourselves; God causes the wind to come and blow – all of grace

Bob Utley -  Genesis 8:1-5 Notice how the repetitious literary pattern highlights the dropping water levels.

  1. the water subsided, Gen. 8:1
  2. the water receded steadily from the earth, Gen. 8:3
  3. the water decreased, Gen. 8:3
  4. the water decreased steadily, Gen. 8:5

You can almost feel the water level drop bit by bit. The waters of chaos are being pushed back into their boundaries.

  1. waters above the vault
  2. waters around the dry land (i.e., the deep)

Also notice that YHWH often uses a gradual natural activity. He could have done it instantly but He did it progressively, as He did in Genesis 1. God used natural means (not exclusively but often) to accomplish His will (Egyptian plagues [cf. Exodus 7-11], quails of the exodus [cf, Exod. 16:13], strong wind dried bottom of the Red Sea [cf. Exodus 14], landslide at the city of Adam stopped the Jordan River for Israel's crossing [cf. Josh. 3:16], etc). Usually these events use natural

  1. timing
  2. intensity
  3. locality

God is sovereign but He created the physical realm and then used it for His purposes.


There is an obvious parallel between Genesis 1:2,6-13 and Genesis 7, in that watery chaos of the original creation returns. SPECIAL TOPIC: WATERS

There is an obvious parallel between Gen. 1 and Gen. 8 in God restoring a life-sustaining land

  1. compare Gen. 1:2 with 8:1
  2. compare Gen. 1:6-7 with 8:2
  3. compare Gen. 1:22,24 with 8:17
  4. compare Gen. 1:28 with 9:1-2

Genesis 8:1-19 is a reversal of Gen. 7:11-24. This is surely literary structuring. See "Opening Statements" at Gen. 1:1-2:3, K. 3.

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. 

Robert S. Candlish, a nineteenth-century expositor of Genesis, puts Noah’s possible train of thought like this: “Far down in the unfathomable depths below lies a dead and buried world. Noah, shut up in his narrow prison, seems to be abandoned to his fate. He cannot help himself. And in this universal visitation of sin—this terrible reckoning with sinners—why should he obtain mercy? What is he, that when all else are taken, he should be left? May he not be righteously suffered to perish after all? Is he not a sinner, like the rest? Does he not feel himself to be ‘the chief of sinners’?” (The book of Genesis expounded in a series of discourses)

F B Meyer - Genesis 8:1   God Remembered Noah

He cannot forget thee, though all hearts that loved thee are cold in death, and though floods of trouble surge and break around. He comes nearest when there is none else to intercept his love. The floods but bear us nearer to his heart, above the tops of the highest hills.

He could not forget because his honor was pledged. — There was a tacit understanding between Noah and himself, that if his servant obeyed his mandate He would be responsible for the consequences that obedience might involve. There is no need to make bargains with God, as Jacob did. It is far better simply to obey, sure that whatever the highest honor may demand, God will be equal to it. He will have prepared more than we expected.

He could not forget, because He rode the waters with his child. — He said, “Come thou into the Ark,” evidently He was inside; and when it is said that God shut him in, it was from inside that the door was locked. Whatever happened to Noah was an experience for his Almighty Friend. They had walked together on the earth; they now shared together the seclusion of the Ark. God is identified in the experiences of his saints. Their pangs, and tears, and waiting-hours are his. He can no more forget, than a mother her sucking child.

He could not forget, because Noah was a type of his beloved Son. — Across the dark sea of death, the cross of Jesus has brought Him and his own: so that we now belong, not to the old world which is under the curse, but to the world of Resurrection-Life. The dark woes of Calvary were imaged there: how could God forget? Reckon on God’s faithfulness: He will not leave thy soul in Hades. 

Jon Courson has an intriguing thought on the use of the Hebrew word wind in Ge 8:1 (God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.) - The Hebrew word translated “wind” is ruach which is also translated “spirit.” In other words, the world (OF NOAH) was covered with water and the Spirit moved across the water just as He did at creation (Genesis 1:2), and land became visible. Water being a picture, or type of the Word (cf Eph 5:26), it is always when the Spirit moves across the pages of Scripture that my world becomes clear again.

Steven Cole has a similar thought - Genesis 8 reminds us of the creation account in Genesis 1. In both accounts, the earth is covered with water. In Genesis 1 the Spirit moved; here God caused the wind (same Hebrew word as “Spirit”) to blow. In both accounts the dry land is separated from the waters, vegetation sprouts and the earth is prepared for man. Both chapters show us God’s gracious provision for His creatures.

Remembered in Prayer

Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her. Genesis 30:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 30:1–2, 22–24

In the large African church, the pastor fell to his knees, praying to God. “Remember us!” As the pastor pleaded, the crowd responded, crying, “Remember us, Lord!” Watching this moment on YouTube, I was surprised that I shed tears too. The prayer was recorded months earlier. Yet it recalled childhood times when I heard our family’s pastor make the same plea to God. “Remember us, Lord!”

Hearing that prayer as a child, I’d wrongly assumed that God sometimes forgets about us. But God is all-knowing (Psalm 147:5; 1 John 3:20), He always sees us (Psalm 33:13–15), and He loves us beyond measure (Ephesians 3:17–19).

Even more, as we see in the Hebrew word zakar, meaning “remember,” when God “remembers” us, He acts for us. Zakar also means to act on a person’s behalf. Thus, when God “remembered” Noah and “all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark,” He then “sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded” (Genesis 8:1). When God “remembered” barren Rachel, He “listened to her and enabled her to conceive. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son” (30:22–23).

What a great plea of trust to ask God in prayer to remember us! He’ll decide how He answers. We can pray knowing, however, that our humble request asks God to move. By:  Patricia Raybon (Reprinted by permission from Our Daily Bread Ministries. Please do not repost the full devotional without their permission.)

In what area of your life do you need God to remember you? How willing are you to pray with such intent and purpose?

Dear heavenly Father, grow my understanding of Your remembrance of me. Then, where I need You to act, please remember me.

God Remembers

God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. —Genesis 8:1

Today's Scripture: Genesis 8:1-17

A Chinese festival called Qing Ming is a time to express grief for lost relatives. Customs include grooming gravesites and taking walks with loved ones in the countryside. Legend has it that it began when a youth’s rude and foolish behavior resulted in the death of his mother. So he decided that henceforth he would visit her grave every year to remember what she had done for him. Sadly, it was only after her death that he remembered her.

How differently God deals with us! In Genesis, we read how the flood destroyed the world. Only those who were with Noah in the ark remained alive. But God remembered them (Ge 8:1) and sent a wind to dry the waters so that they could leave the ark.

God also remembered Hannah when she prayed for a son (1 Sam. 1:19). He gave her a child, Samuel.

Jesus remembered the dying thief who said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Today You will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42-43).

God remembers us wherever we are. Our concerns are His concerns. Our pain is His pain. Commit your challenges and difficulties to Him. He is the all-seeing God who remembers us as a mother remembers her children, and He waits to meet our needs. By:  C. P. Hia (Reprinted by permission from Our Daily Bread Ministries. Please do not repost the full devotional without their permission.)

There is an Arm that never tires
When human strength gives way;
There is a Love that never fails
When earthly loves decay.

To know that God sees us brings both conviction and comfort.

F B Meyer - Our Daily Walk The Soul's Venture

IT IS very helpful to ponder these words, for it gives the assurance that not only will God take care of cattle, and birds, and every living thing, as we learn from Deut. 25:4; Ps. 104:11-22; Jonah 4:11; Matt. 6: 26; but that He will much more think of and care for us, His children! Like Noah and his family, you may be shut away from all human help. It may be as impossible for you, as it was for him, to extricate yourself. You may have the responsibility of providing for those in need. Your supplies may be continually decreasing before your eyes, but God remembers you amid the waste of waters, and beneath those dark cloud-covered skies. As a mother cannot forget her sucking child, so God cannot forget you.

The ark grounded on the lower slopes of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, and the waters decreased so rapidly, that, as Noah had reaped the harvest before the Flood came, he left the ark in time to sow for the succeeding year. Dare to trust the times and seasons of your life to your Heavenly Father's care. He only waits to be trusted, and then life becomes woven into a beautiful mosaic of His loving forethought and care.

Be sure to guard against raven-like thoughts, which are restless and evil-feeding; seek to cultivate meek, gentle, pure, and dove-like thoughts that cull the olive-leaves of promise from the Word of God. Presently He who said "Come in," will say "Go forth!" Then build your altar of self-sacrifice and self-giving.

PRAYER - Heavenly Father, strengthen me that I may look, not on the dark cloud, but for Thy rainbow; not on what Thou hast taken or withheld, but on what Thou hast left; not on the stormy waters, but on the face of Jesus. AMEN. 

Parunak: “God remembered Noah... .” Not a casual, passive response, as though God were liable to a “senior moment.”

• It is deliberate. To see this, consider how the verb is used of people:

    o They can be commanded to remember (and mostly, God is the object): Eccl 12:1; Isa 46:8 (bring to mind); Deut 32:7.

    o They can be condemned for not remembering. Ezek 16:22, 43

 It is personal. What God remembers is mostly people or events associated with people (e.g., their sin, their misfortune). (And what people mostly remember or forget is God.)

 It is active. Always associated with action.

    o Here, he remembers and withdraws the waters.
o Ge 19:29, he remembers Abraham and thus delivers Lot from the cities of the plain before the judgment.

    o Ge 30:22, he remembers Rachel and gives her a child.

    o When he remembers sin, it is to punish it, Jer 14:10.

We tend to think of forgetting as accidental, outside of our control. And it may be, in cases of dementia. But with healthy people, if you really care about something and focus your attention on it, you don’t forget it. Isa 49:15 , “Can a woman forget her sucking child?” “I forgot” is less an excuse than a confession that “I didn’t care.” Conversely, if something is really important to you, you remember it. Thus Moses uses the word to remind us how precious Noah and his cargo are to God. The Lord has had his eye on them the whole time.

James Boice: It is God’s nature to remember. He is faithful. To be sure, this is the first time in the Bible where we are told that God remembered something. But this was not the last time. Genesis 19:29 tells us that “God remembered Abraham” and rescued his nephew Lot. “God remembered Rachel,” Isaac’s wife, and she conceived (Genesis 30:22). Psalm 9:12 tells us that God “remembers...the afflicted.” Many times God is said to remember His covenant or His promises. The psalmist writes that He “remembered us in our low estate” (Psalm 136:23).


  1. Ge 8:1-5 PROVIDING REST -- CAUSING THE WATERS TO RECEDE SO THE ARK CAME TO REST Brings order and new life out of chaos and destruction

Norman Geisler - When Critics Ask -  Genesis 8:1—Did God temporarily forget Noah?

PROBLEM: The fact that the text says that “God remembered Noah” seems to imply that He temporarily forgot him. Yet the Bible declares that God knows all things (Ps. 139:2–4; Jer. 17:10; Heb. 4:13) and that He never forgets His saints (Isa. 49:15). How then could He temporarily forget Noah?

SOLUTION: In His omniscience, God was always aware of Noah being in the ark. However, after Noah was left in the ark for over a year, as if he were forgotten, God gave a token of His remembrance and brought Noah and his family out of it. But, God had never forgotten Noah, since it was He that warned Noah in the very beginning in order to save him and the human race (cf. Gen. 6:8–13). We often use a similar expression when we “remember” someone on their birthday, even though we had never forgotten they existed

Genesis 8:2  Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;

  • fountains - Ge 7:11 Pr 8:28 Jon 2:3 
  • the rain - Job 37:11-13 38:37 Mt 8:9,26,27 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed - This is a direct divine reversal of Ge 7:11 where "all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened."

And the rain from the sky was restrained - This is a direct sovereign reversal of  Ge 7:12 "The rain fell upon the earth.'

Bob Utley on the floodgates of Heaven - 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

Spurgeon - God works upwards, and stops the windows of heaven. He works downwards, and stays the breaking up of the fountains of the deep.

“He everywhere hath sway,
And all things serve his might.”

Be not afraid; he can open the windows of heaven, and pour down abundant blessings for you, and he can let down the cellar-flaps of the great deep, and stop its flowing fountains.

“When he makes bare his arm,
What shall his work withstand?” 

Genesis 8:3  and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.

  • continually - Heb. in going and returning
  • hundred - Ge 7:11,24 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


and the water receded steadily from the earth - This is a reversal of Ge 7:17, 24 where "the flood came upon the earth...the water prevailed upon the earth." 

and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased - The Flood rose to its peak at 150 days (Ge 7:24). It then took over 2.5 months before the water receded to reveal other mountain peaks (Ge 8:4, 5), over 4.5 months before the dove could find dry land (Ge 8:8–12), and almost 8 months before the occupants could leave the Ark (Ge 8:14), which totals to around 371 days (See Chronology)

Wenham the water decreased (or receded) - Exactly the same description is given of the Red Sea returning to its place in Exod 14:26, 28, and the Jordan likewise, in Josh 4:18, the other great saving acts associated with water in the OT. Here the waters are pictured as returning to their normal place, above the sky and below the earth. (BORROW - Genesis. 1-15 WBC)

John Phillips remarks that "It was His will that the earth be fully ready for the redeemed and that all traces of His wrath be erased before they be permitted to come out of the ark (BORROW Exploring Genesis: An Expository Commentary.) 

James Freeman - New Manners and Customs (BORROW) - Ge 8:3–4 “Mount Ararat” - Mount Ararat consists of two volcanic peaks in extreme eastern Turkey, near the border with Armenia and Iran, on which the ark rested after the Flood subsided. The name Ararat is the Hebrew form for Urartu, the Assyrian name of an Assyrian-Babylonian kingdom that flourished between the Aras and the Upper Tigris rivers from the 9th to the 7th century B.C. Ararat is a sacred place to the Armenian people. The Persian people call it Koh-i-nuh, “Noah’s Mountain,” and have a legend that refers to Ararat as the cradle of the human race.

From the lowlands of the Aras River, Ararat rises to a height of nearly 17,000 feet. It has two conical peaks: Little Ararat and Great Ararat. Except for a 7000-foot spur on the northwest that merges with a long ridge, the mountain is completely isolated by surrounding plains that rise about 2500 to 4500 feet above sea level. From an elevation of about 8800 feet, Little Ararat rises to 12,840 feet, and Great Ararat rises to 16,854 feet. (Three encyclopedias give different elevations for both mountains. They list Little Ararat from 12,782 feet [3896 meters] to 12,840 feet [3925 meters], and Great Ararat from 16,804 feet [5122 meters] to 16,854 feet [5137 meters]).

Above the 14,000-foot level, Great Ararat is covered with perpetual snow. Considering the high elevations of the areas surrounding the peaks, the region is remarkably fertile and pasturable. Some archaeologists believe that Ararat received more rainfall in biblical times than it does today. If so, the pasturable areas may have been even more productive in ancient times.

The first successful climb of Great Ararat in modern times was in 1829 by a German, Johann Jacob von Parrot. On July 2, 1840, an earthquake struck the mountain and tore off great masses that avalanched down and destroyed a village, a convent, and a chapel—the last settlements on the mountain. In the summer of 1949, an American expedition ascended Mount Ararat in an unsuccessful attempt to search for evidence of the existence of Noah’s ark. Recent expeditions, one headed by a former American astronaut, have reported finding timbers that some believe came from the ark.

Modern Mount Ararat, however, is neither excluded nor specifically identified in the Scriptures as the resting place of the ark. The phrase, “came to rest on the mountains of Ararat,” places it in the range of mountains in which Ararat is located. It’s not wrong to attempt to discover the location of the ark, or whatever remains of it, but the truth of Noah’s Flood doesn’t depend upon locating the ark or its remains. The Scriptures are sufficient evidence in themselves.

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

  • the ark - Ge 7:17-19 
  • Ararat - Ararat is generally understood to be Armenia, as it is rendered elsewhere, in which there is a great chain of mountains, like the Alps or the Pyrenees, upon the highest part of which, called by some, "The Finger Mountain," the ark is supposed to have rested. 2Ki 19:37 Isa 37:38 Jer 51:27 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Ararat in 3D - Don't become dizzy!

In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month - (See Chronology) In the seventh month, refers to the seventh month of the year, not of the deluge. By this time Noah and family had been on the Ark for over a year!  This exact date underscores that this was a definite historical event. And by the way, what other event took place on the seventeenth day of the seventh month? The Resurrection of Jesus Christ! (See note by Jon Courson

The ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotosrested (nuach) upon the mountains of Ararat - This occurs exactly five months after the start of the flood (Ge 7:11) or 150 days (see note). Of course the mountain was not revolving as in the depiction above! But how did the Ark just happen to land on the mountains of Ararat? There is no evidence that the Ark had any rudder or stirring capability, so clearly God rested the Ark on the mountains. Note while this could be the specific mountain named Ararat, the text says "mountains" so it leaves the precise location in question. 

Wiersbe - In later years, the seventh month was very special to the Jews, for during that month they ushered in the new year with the Feast of Trumpets and celebrated the day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:23–44).

Wenham on rested - “Rested” (wattānaḥ), clearly a paronomastic allusion to Noah’s name (nōăȟ; cf. Ge 5:29+ = “This one will give us rest"). (BORROW - Genesis 1-15)

Bob Utley on the the mountains of Ararat -  This has been explained in three ways: (1) a mountain on the Turkish/Armenian border; (2) a mountain to the north of Mesopotamia near Lake Van; (3) the term itself refers to a whole mountain range (Assyrian urartu), not specifically a peak (notice the PLURAL "mountains")

NET NOTE has a different interpretation of mountains (plural) -  Obviously a boat (even one as large as the ark) cannot rest on multiple mountains. Perhaps (1) the preposition should be translated “among,” or (2) the plural “mountains” should be understood in the sense of “mountain range” (see E. A. Speiser, Genesis [Anchor Bible], 53 - BORROW). A more probable option (3) is that the plural indicates an indefinite singular, translated “one of the mountains” (see W. Gesenius, E. Kautsch, A. Cowley Hebrew Grammar, BORROW 400 §124.o).

NET NOTE  Ararat is the Hebrew name for Urartu, the name of a mountainous region located north of Mesopotamia in modern day eastern Turkey. See E. M. Yamauchi Foes from the northern frontier : invading hordes from the Russian steppes, 29-32;  G. J. Wenham, Genesis. 1-15 (WBC), 1:184–85; C. Westermann, Genesis 1-11, 1:443–44.

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.

Spurgeon - God told Noah when to go into the ark, but he did not tell him when he should come out again. The Lord told Noah when to go in, for it was necessary for him to know that; but he did not tell him when he should come out, for it was unnecessary that he should know that. God always lets his people know what is practically for their good. There are many curious points on which we should like to have information, but God has not revealed it, and when he has not revealed anything, we had better not try to unravel the mystery. No good comes of prying into unrevealed truth. Noah knew that he would come out of the ark one day, for was he not preserved there to be a seed-to keep the race alive? Noah was not told when he should be released, and the Lord does not tell you when your trouble will come to an end. It will come to an end; therefore wait, and be patient, and do not want to know the time of your deliverance. We should know too much if we knew all that will happen in the future. It is quite enough for us if we do our duty in the present, and trust God for the rest. Still, I think that Noah must have been very pleased when he felt the ark grating at last on the mountains of Ararat. He could not build a cook for his big ship; but God had prepared a berth for it on the mountain side Now, as he looked out, he could see, here and there, a mountain top rising like an island out of the great expanse of water.

Significance of the ark coming to its resting place

Significance of Jesus resting after completing His work of redemption

Significance of God wanting His people to enter in to an eternal rest

Rested (lay, leave, place/put, set/settle, deposit)(05117nuach/nuah  means to rest or pause and as noted from the many ways it is translated (see list of words below), nuach has many uses in the OT. Nuach essentially conveys a basic sense of absence of movement and of being settled in a particular place with overtones of finality. The first use in Ge 2:15 describes how God "put" Adam in the Garden. The next use describes a physical setting down of something (Ge 8:4, cp 2Sa 21:10, Ex 10:14, Josh 3:13).

ARARAT [ISBE] - ar'-a-rat ('araraT): A mountainous plateau in western Asia from which flow in different directions the Euphrates, the Tigris, the Aras and the Choruk rivers. Its general elevation is 6,000 feet above the sea. Lake Van, which like the Dead Sea has no outlet, is nearly in its center. The Babylonian name was Urartu, the consonants being the same in both words. In 2 Ki 19:37 and Isa 37:38 the word is translated in the King James Version Armenia, which correctly represents the region designated. It was to Armenia that the sons of Sennacherib fled. In Jer 51:27 Ararat is associated with Minni and Ashkenaz, which according to the Assyrian monuments lay just to the east of Armenia. In Gen 8:4 the ark is said to have rested "upon the mountains of Ararat," i.e. in the mountainous region of Armenia, the plural showing that the mountain peak known as Ararat was not referred to. This peak is of volcanic origin and lies outside the general region, rising from the lowlands of the Araxes (Aras) River to a height of 17,000 feet, supported by another peak seven miles distant, 13,000 feet high. It is only in comparatively modern times that the present name has been given to it. The Armenians still call it Massis, but believe, however, that Noah was buried at Nachitchevan near its base.

The original name of the kingdom occupying Armenia was Bianias, which Ptolemy transliterated Byana. Later the "B" was modified into "V" and we have the modern Van, the present capital of the province. The "mountains of Ararat" on which the ark rested were probably those of the Kurdish range which separates Armenia from Mesopotamia and Kurdistan. In the Babylonian account the place is called "the mountain of Nizir" which is east of Assyria. Likewise Berosus locates the place "in the mountain of the Kordyaeans" or Kurds (Ant., I, iii, 6), while the Syriac version has Hardu in Gen. 8:4 instead of Ararat. The Kurds still regard Jebel Judi, a mountain on the boundary between Armenia and Kurdistan, as the place where the ark rested.

This elevated plateau of Armenia has still many attractions, and is eminently suited to have been the center from which the human race spread in all directions. Notwithstanding its high elevation the region is fertile, furnishing abundant pasture, and producing good crops of wheat and barley, while the vine is indigenous. Moreover there are unmistakable indications that in early historic times there was a much more abundant rainfall in all that region than there is now, so that the climate was then better adapted to the wants of primitive man. This is shown by the elevated beaches surrounding lakes Van, Urumiah, and, indeed, all the lakes of central Asia. Great quantities of mammoth bones have been found in these bordering lacustrine deposits corresponding to those found in the glacial and postglacial deposits of Europe and America. It should, also, be remembered that the drying up of the waters of the flood is represented to have been very gradual--it being 170 days from the time the waters began to subside before Noah could disembark. It may have been many centuries before the present conditions were established, the climate, meanwhile, being modified to a corresponding degree by the proximity of vast surrounding bodies of water.

Armenia abounds in inscriptions carved on the rocks, altar stones and columns, but they have been only imperfectly translated. The script is cuneiform and each letter has only a single phonetic character attached to it. But there are introduced a good many borrowed ideographs which have assisted in the decipherment. According to Sayce this cuneiform syllabary was introduced from Assyria after the conquest of Shalmaneser II in the 9th century BC. George Frederick Wright

Jon Courson - In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on a mountain named Ararat, the ark came to rest. The seventh month would become the first month in the Hebrew religious calendar when the Jews were delivered from their Egyptian bondage (Exodus 12:1–5). And it was on the fourteenth day of the first month—Passover—when Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God was nailed to a cross. Maybe now you’re beginning to see the significance of the text before us. But wait. The ark rested on the seventeenth day—that’s three days after Passover. What took place three days after Jesus was crucified? He rose again. Therefore, the ark rested on the mountain the very day Christ would rise from the dead. Just as the ark rested on Resurrection Day, so too, our faith rests on the fact of the Resurrection.....Our faith rests on the fact of the Resurrection. If Christ has not risen, then we are, as Paul said, most miserable (1 Corinthians 15:19). We don’t know what to say to the Taoist, to the Mormon, to the Buddhist. If Christ did not rise from the dead, we do not know if we’re headed in the right direction. But if, on the other hand, He did rise from the dead, He did something no one else in history has ever done. The Resurrection is conclusive proof that we are on the right track. Our ship of faith rests on the mountain of the Resurrection. (Courson's Application Commentary, Old Testament, Volume 1 - Genesis-Job) )


Source: John MacArthur - MSB Notes (note all mountains link to Wikipedia articles)

  •   Mt. Ararat (in modern Turkey), where Noah’s ark came to rest (Gen. 8:4).
  •   Mt. Carmel, where Elijah was victorious over the prophets of Baal (1 Kin. 18:9-42).
  •   Mt. Ebal (opposite Mt. Gerizim), where Moses commanded that an altar be built after the Hebrews entered the Promised Land (Deut. 27:4).
  •   Mt. Gerizim, where Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:20).
  •   Mt. Gilboa, where King Saul and his sons were killed in a battle with the Philistines (1 Chr. 10:1, 8).
  •   Mt. Hermon, a mountain range that marked the northern limit of the conquest of Canaan (Josh. 11:3, 17).
  •   Mt. Lebanon, the source of cedar wood for Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem (1 Kin. 5:14, 18).
  •   Mt. Moriah, where Abraham brought Isaac for sacrifice (Gen. 22:2) and the location of Solomon’s temple (2 Chr. 3:1).
  •   Mt. Olivet, or Mt. of Olives, where Jesus gave the discourse on His Second Coming (Matt. 24:3).
  •   Mt. Pisgah, or Nebo, where Moses viewed the Promised Land (Deut. 34:1).
  •   Mt. Seir, south of the Dead Sea, the location to which Esau moved after Isaac’s death (Gen. 36:8).
  •   Mt. Sinai, or Horeb (near Egypt), where the law was given to Moses (Ex. 19:2-25).
  •   Mt. Tabor, 6 miles east of Nazareth, served as a boundary between Issachar and Zebulun; also Barak launched his attack on Sisera from Tabor (Judg. 4:6–15).
  •   Mt. Zion, originally limited to the SW sector (2 Sam. 5:7), was later used of all Jerusalem (Lam. 1:4).

Genesis 8:5  The water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.

  • decreased continually - Heb. were in going and decreasing, the tenth. Ge 7:11 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Mount Ararat 16, 854 ft High and surrounding mountains


The water decreased steadily (NET - "kept on receding") until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible (See Chronology) Why would God's Spirit inspire Moses to give exact dates for these events? Clearly this detail speaks to a definite historical event that took place on this day.

THOUGHT- Believe it or not! You can choose to not believe, but you can not choose the consequences you will incur if this disbelief of the Flood Event causes to to disbelief the rest of the Bible. If your disbelief extends to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the consequence you will incur will be eternal separation from Jesus! Be very careful when you begin to doubt sections of God's Word like the Genesis Flood. 

Wenham - “Over two months later, after a gradual decline, the water had fallen sufficiently for the mountain tops to be seen. “The withdrawal proceeds in steps: Ge 8:4 corresponds to Ge 7:18 (ark floats—ark touches bottom): Ge 8:5 corresponds to Ge 7:19–20 (hills are covered—tops of hills become visible” (McEvenue, Narrative Style, 65). Note also the correspondence with the account of creation: “on the third day dry land appeared” (1:9). The third dated event in the flood story is the appearance of the mountains.. (BORROW - Genesis 1-15)

NET NOTE on water decreased steadily (NET - "kept on receding") - Heb “the waters were going and lessening.” The perfect verb form הָיָה (hayah) is used as an auxiliary verb with the infinitive absolute חָסוֹר (khasor, “lessening”), while the infinitive absolute הָלוֹךְ (halokh) indicates continuous action.

John Phillips writes "The Spirit of God notes that the ark “rested” on the seventeenth day. It is no coincidence, surely, that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the very same day of the very same month." In Exodus 12:2 the seventh month was changed to the first month (known to the Jews as Abib, or Nisan). On the tenth day of that month they secured their Passover lamb. They killed it on the fourteenth day. The Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the seventeenth day.  Having passed through the waters of judgment He stood in resurrection upon the earth. Thus we find our rest in Him, not in a Jewish Sabbath. (BORROW Exploring Genesis: An Expository Commentary.) 


(1 Kgs. 6:1,37-38; 8:2)

(Nippur Calendar)

(Geezer Calendar)


Abib ("greenheads" of barley)




Ziv (spring brilliance)




















Ethanim (permanent water source)




Bul (rains on produce)




















Genesis 8:6  Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made;

  • opened the window - Ge 6:16 Da 6:10 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Source: Truthnet

Then it came about ("it came to pass") at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotoswhich he had made - Noah is on "higher ground" and about to step on dry ground, all the result of the doing of the LORD. 

THOUGHT- Beloved, we have "dry ground" to stand on in Christ, our firm Foundation, as the hymn writer said (click to play)...

   ' How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
   Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
   What more can He say, than to you He hath said—
   To you, who for refuge to Jesus have fled.'

Wikipedia's comment on the flood and Noah's ark is typical of the opinion of most of the world - "The story in Genesis is based on earlier flood myths originating in Mesopotamia, and is repeated, with variations, in the Quran, where the Ark appears as Safinat Nūḥ (Arabic: سَفِينَةُ نُوحٍ "Noah's ship") and al-fulk (Arabic: الفُلْك)."

COMMENT - Note Wikipedia's description. First it calls it a story, not a historical fact. Second, it classifies it as a "myth." Third, it says the story is based on earlier myths. And then Satan counterfeits it like he always does by repeating it in the Quran! The lost world does not dare the Genesis flood as what it was, a historical account of the pouring out of God's wrath on an utterly depraved rebellious world. To acknowledge the truth of the global flood, is to acknowledge that God has the right to judge sin and that He will judge the sin of every person. Either each unrighteous person will personally receive the eternal death their sin deserves or the Righteous One Who was made sin will pay the price of death on the Cross for those who believe and they will personally receive eternal life. 

W H Griffith Thomas The Servant's Attitude (Ge 8:6-14).—It was an attitude of Faith. Noah was on the alert and responsive to the divine movements. Having opened the window, he sent forth a raven, which wandered hither and thither and did not return. Then he sent forth a dove, but the dove found no resting-place and returned to him in the ark. It was also an attitude of Hope. Having waited seven days more, again he sent forth a dove, and the dove came back with an olive leaf, so that Noah now knew that the waters were abating. It was also an attitude of Patience. He waited seven days longer before sending out the dove a third time, and when the dove did not return, Noah must have known that the day of deliverance was at hand. When God pledges His word and establishes His covenant, His servants have a strong foundation for their faith, hope, and patience.  (Genesis 8 After the Flood)

Bob Utley on the window" This is a different term (challon; Lxx - thuris = window diminutive of thura window and thus a small opening) from the ambiguous terms of Ge 6:16 (tsohar literally "roof,"). Its size and location are uncertain but probably in the roof itself.

Wenham (BORROW - Genesis 1-15) - Apparently the window must have been in the roof of the ark; at least it did not allow Noah to see the waters receding, which is why he resorts to sending out the birds. Gispen notes that before the electronic era sailors used to use birds in this way to discover if land was close.

NET NOTE Hebrew = “opened the window in the ark which he had made.” The perfect tense (“had made”) refers to action preceding the opening of the window, and is therefore rendered as a past perfect. Since in English “had made” could refer to either the ark or the window, the order of the phrases was reversed in the translation to clarify that the window is the referent.

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


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.

Genesis 8:7  and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.

  • a raven - Lev 11:15 1Ki 17:4,6 Job 38:41 Ps 147:9 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth - It is interesting that Noah first sends out an unclean bird (Lev 11:13, 15, Dt 14:12, 14) who did not return. Flew here and there is not clear but is it clear the raven had to survive for this species to propagate (because there were only 2 on the Ark). Presumably he found carrion among the dead carcasses strewn throughout the area. It seems that Noah would have then known there were dead bodies that had drowned in the flood. God had told him there would be no survivors of this catastrophe. While God killed the sinners with the flood, their bodies would have still been present. The text does not not relate what Noah and family might have seen when they venture out but theoretically it could have been quite a horrendous scene!

THOUGHT - It is worth mentioning that both the raven and the dove have been allegorized, respectively as "Satan" and the "Holy Spirit." These "interpretations" seem a bit far fetched and demonstrate the potential danger of allegorical interpretation, which is especially prominent in commentaries on the Revelation. The safest approach to ensure the most accurate interpretation of the Bible is to read the text literally

MacArthur on raven - Ravens survive on a broad range of food types. If any food was available outside the ark, the raven could survive. In contrast, a dove is much more selective in its food choices. The dove’s choice of food would indicate that new life had begun to grow; thus Noah and his family could also survive outside the ark. (See MSB Note)

Spurgeon thinks the raven was "Sometimes alighting on the ark; then flying away again." I wonder whether Noah sent out these creatures on the Sabbath mornings. The mention of seven days, and the resting in between seems to look like it. Oh, dear friends, sometimes people send out a raven on the Lord’s day morning, and it never brings them anything. Send out a dove rather than a raven; come to the house of God with quiet, gentle, holy expectation, and your dove will come back to you. It may be that it will bring you something worth bringing one of these days, as Noah’s dove brought to him.

Bob Utley on raven....dove (Ge 8:8) - Be careful not to allegorize these birds! There is an exact parallel in Mesopotamian literature (i.e., Gilgamesh Epic, Gen. 11:145-155), which seems too specific for coincidence. There is a literary or worldview relationship between the Bible (i.e., Genesis 1-11) and Mesopotamian literature. In my opinion the Ancient Near Eastern traditions about creation were known to all humans before the Tower of Babel dispersion in Genesis 10-11 (ED: EXPLAINING HOW THEY SPREAD WORLDWIDE - SEE FLOOD LEGENDS). These traditions became polytheistic in the culture not guided by YHWH.

Raven [NAVE]

  • A black carnivorous bird, Prov. 30:17; Song 5:11.
  • Forbidden as food, Lev. 11:15; Dt. 14:14.
  • Preserved by Noah in the ark, Ge 8:7.
  • Fed Elijah, 1Ki 17:4-6.
  • Cared for by divine providence, Lk 12:24.
  • BORROW helpful resource Raven and Dove on page 54 in  All the birds of the Bible : their stories, identification and meaning by Alice Parmelee

Genesis 8:8  Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land;

  • a dove - Ge 8:10-12 Song 1:15 2:11,12,14 Mt 10:16 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated (receded) from the face of the land - The dove   is a clean animal which was suitable for sacrifices to the LORD (Lev 1:14, Lev 12:6). 

Wenham (BORROW - Genesis 1-15) - Nothing is said here about how long Noah waited after sending out the raven before sending out the dove, but Ge 8:10 “another seven days” implies a week.

Dove, Turtledove [NAVE] 

  • Sent out from the ark by Noah, Gen. 8:8-11.
  • Mourning of, Isa. 38:14; 59:11; Nah. 2:7.
  • Domesticated, Isa. 60:8.
  • Nests of, Jer. 48:28.
  • Harmlessness of, typical of Christ's gentleness, Matt. 10:16.
  • Sacrificial uses of, Gen. 15:9.
  • Prescribed for purification: Of women, Lev. 12:6, 8; Luke 2:24; of Nazirites, Num. 6:10; of lepers, Lev. 14:22.
  • Burnt offering of, Lev. 1:14-17.
  • Trespass offering of, for those with little resource, Lev. 5:7-10; 12:8.
  • Sin offering, for those who touched any dead body, Num. 6:10.
  • Market for, in the temple, Matt. 21:12; John 2:14.
  • Symbolical Of the Holy Spirit, Matt. 3:16; Luke 3:22; John 1:32.
  • BORROW helpful resource Raven and Dove on page 54 in  All the birds of the Bible : their stories, identification and meaning by Alice Parmelee

Genesis 8:9  but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.

  • found - De 28:65 Eze 7:16 Mt 11:28 Joh 16:33 
  • and she - Ps 116:7 Isa 60:8 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passage:

Proverbs 12:10  A righteous man (NOAH) has regard for the life of his animal (THE DOVE), But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel. 


but the dove found no resting place (manoach) for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos), for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotosto himself. - Note the play on words as resting place (manoach) with Noah's name (noach) Wenham (BORROW - Genesis 1-15) quips that "Literally, “the dove found no mānôȟ (resting place).” She looked for another Noah outside the ark, but finding none, she returned to the Noah she knew." 

Wenham (BORROW - Genesis 1-15) says in his careful Noah illustrates his righteousness not only by his piety toward God but by his devoted concern for the animals; he was an archetypal conservationist. This is another respect in which he is an imitator of God (cf. Ge 8:1).

Excerpt from Spurgeon's introduction of "The Dove's Return to the Ark" - THE sending forth of the raven and of the dove, have furnished ready materials for numerous allegories with which divines in different ages have sometimes edified, and more frequently amused their hearers. We cannot afford time to mention many of them, but one of the host may serve as a specimen. Certain expositors have fancied that the mission of the raven prefigured the sending forth of the law, which was black and terrible, and which came not back to man bearing any token of comfort, or sign of hope; and that afterwards the Lord sent forth the gospel, foreshadowed by the dove, which by-and-by came back to sinful man, bearing the olive-branch of peace; thus they illustrated the great truth, that there is no peace on the terms of the law, for that raven can only croak hoarsely and fiercely, but there is peace on the ground of the gospel, for the dove bears the olive-branch in her mouth. Such farfetched allegories as these, at the time when they were contrived and carried out may have had their value, and have been instructive to an undiscerning age; it is not, however, to be regretted that the Church of to-day has far less taste for such childish things. We are quite as willing as any men to see allegories where they are really clear, for we remember the words of Paul concerning Hagar and Sarah, “which things are an allegory,” but we are not ready to follow the quaint and queer inventions of spiritualists whether ancient or modern. The clue must be evident, or we had rather not enter the labyrinth.

There is one adaptation of the incident before us which seems so naturally to suggest itself, that I could not help using it this morning. The dove may well picture the believer’s soul. That soul sometimes flies abroad to and fro, and takes a survey of all things, but it finds no rest for the sole of its foot anywhere except in Christ Jesus; and, therefore, however long its flight, it is sure eventually to return to its own proper resting-place. The child of God can never be content out of his God: he who has once had Christ in him, the hope of glory, can never be satisfied to rest or glory except in the Lord Jesus.

Excerpt from Spurgeon's sermon "THE WEARY DOVE’S RETURN" - NOAH knew that God would in due time let him out of the ark. He was quite sure that the Lord had not put him into the ark to make a great coffin of it, that he and all those living creatures that went in with him should perish there; and, because he believed in God, therefore he removed the covering of the ark, and looked abroad, expecting by-and-by to see not only the tops of the mountains, but also a dry and green earth once more. True faith often goes to the window. If your faith turns her face to the wall, and expects nothing, I do not think it is genuine faith. Faith has eyes, and therefore she looks afar off, and she often watches as the watchman of the night looks for the grey dawn of the morning. You remember the story of the child who went to a prayer-meeting, which was called together to pray for rain. She expected that God would send the rain, so she took her umbrella with her because she wanted to get home in the dry. I wish that you and I had learned the same simple art of faith. Having prayed, and having believed, let us expect; let us open the window, and look out. God never failed an expectant people yet; but a great many of his people fail to expect; and if you do not expect, you are not likely to receive. David said, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him;” and when your expectation is from him, it will not be disappointed. It is a great pity when we keep the shutters up, so that we cannot look out of the window to see the dry land.

Next, because Noah expected the earth to be dry, he sent out the raven; and when the raven did not answer his purpose, he sent out the dove. After the dove came back with no tidings, he waited seven days, and then sent her out again; and when she returned with only an olive leaf in her mouth, he waited seven days more, and then sent her out again. Oh, dear friends, often send out your doves! Be looking out for blessings; you have asked for them, God has promised to give them, send out your doves to see whether the blessings are not there; and if you do so constantly, and perseveringly, verily, I say unto you, you shall have your reward.

Still, notice that Noah, when he had the best evidence that he could get that the earth was dry, did not dare to go out of the ark till God opened the door. So, gather all the information you possibly can about your position, and act according to the rules of common sense; but, after you have done that, still wait upon God. When you know from your ravens and your doves that the earth is getting dry, do not come out till he that shut the door opens it for you. Dear people of God, I wish that we had more of that old habit of looking to Providence. We have become so wise, nowadays, that we do not require the fiery-cloudy pillar. We run without divine guidance; but, mark you, we often have to run back again. We are guests at the table of Providence, and if we will let God carve for us, our plate will always have a sufficiency on it; but if we get carving for ourselves, we shall cut our fingers, and not cut much else, and we shall have great cause to be ashamed that, instead of trusting God, we took to trusting ourselves. Do not trust your raven, do not trust your dove, trust your God; and if you go where he guides you, you will go the right way, even if it should be a rough way, and you will have to say, “Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

Now to come a little closer to the text, and to what we are about to say upon it. I do not know where the raven rested, whether he did, as some suppose, alight on the corpses floating on the flood, which I hardly think is likely, for God was preparing the earth for Noah to come back upon it, and he would not leave it strewn with carcases, as some have imagined. Whether the raven returned to the ark, but refused to come in; or whether it found a resting-place on the slimy boughs of trees, or on the tops of the mountains, which we are told began to be visible, I cannot tell. This I do know, that, wherever the raven rested, the dove could not do so; there was no clean place fit for the dove’s clean nature. So it had to return to the ark; and when, weak and weary, it could hardly reach the ark, being heavy with the damp, perhaps mired with the filthy water into which it may have fallen in its weariness, while just able to get as far as the ark, it might have perished in the waters had not Noah perceived his little bird coming to the window. I suppose he was there already looking out for her, and he stretched forth his hand, and caught her, and pulled her in, and she was safe in the ark again.

There are three lessons which I am going to try to teach you from this simple little incident.....

Genesis 8:10  So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark.

  • waited yet another seven days - Ps 40:1 Isa 8:17 26:8 Ro 8:25 
  • seven - Ge 8:12 7:4,10 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


So he waited yet another seven days (See ChronologyAnd again he sent out the dove from the ark - Noah is clearly a very patient man! Noah seems to be thinking in terms of "sevens." 

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

Genesis 8:11  The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth.

  • an olive - Ne 8:15 Zec 4:12-14 Ro 10:15 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, (hinneh - draws attention) in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf - Mission accomplished! Freshly picked and not a residua of the plants that had been destroyed and may have been deposited as dead debris on the ground. And note that implication is that this was not just dry ground but ground that had already sprouted plants with branches and leaves, an observation which certainly suggests this was a supernaturally enabled sprouting this soon after the flood had destroyed every living thing. 

NET NOTE - behold, (hinneh) "draws attention to the olive leaf. It invites readers to enter into the story, as it were, and look at the olive leaf with their own eyes." 

Henry Morris - The olive tree is extremely hardy and can grow and thrive on almost barren rocky slopes. The fresh olive leaf plucked by the dove proved the land was beginning to produce a vegetal cover and so would soon be ready to support its human and animal residents again. Both seeds and cuttings from pre-Flood plants were abundant in the sediments of the Flood and could grow again as soon as adequate sunlight and dry land were available. Experiments have shown that seeds of a wide variety of plants will sprout even after many months of submergence in salt water.  (BORROW The Defender's Study Bible

So - Term of conclusion. Noah's sighting the olive leaf allowed him to come to a firm conclusion. 

Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth - Imagine the celebration of the 8 souls who had been on a floating barge for over a year. One wonders if anyone ever became sea sick? In any event the olive leaf would have brought all of them great joy. 

Spurgeon - The waters were abated as far as the fruit trees; not only the tallest forest trees, but some of the fruit trees were uncovered from the water. The dove had plucked off “an olive leaf.” Perhaps you have seen a picture of the dove carrying an olive branch in its mouth, which, in the first place, a dove could not pluck out of the tree, and in the second place, a dove could not carry an olive branch even if she could pluck it off. It was an olive leaf, that is all. Why cannot people keep to the words of Scripture? If the Bible mentions a leaf, they make it a bough; and if the Bible says it is a bough, they make it a leaf.

OLIVE [SMITH] The olive was among the most abundant and characteristic vegetation of Judea. The olive tree grows freely almost everywhere on the shores of the Mediterranean, but it was peculiarly abundant in Palestine. See (Dt 6:11; 8:8; 28:40) Olive yards are a matter of course in descriptions of the country like vines and cornfields. (Judges 15:5; 1 Samuel 8:14) The kings had very extensive ones. (1 Chronicles 27:28) Even now the is very abundant in the country. Almost every village has its olive grove. Certain districts may be specified where at various times this tree been very luxuriant. The cultivation of the olive tree had the closest connection with the domestic life of the Israelites (2 Chronicles 2:10) their trade, (Ezekiel 27:17; Hosea 12:1) and even their Public ceremonies and religious worship. In Solomon?s temple the cherubim were "of olive tree," (1 Kings 6:23) as also the doors, vs. (1 Kings 6:31,32) and posts. ver. (1 Kings 6:33) For the various uses of olive oil see OIL. The wind was dreaded by the cultivator of the olive for the least ruffling of a breeze is apt to cause the flowers to fall. (Job 15:33) It is needless to add that the locust was a formidable enemy of the olive. It happened not unfrequently that hopes were disappointed, and that "the labor of the olive failed." (Habakkuk 3:17) As to the growth of the tree, it thrives best in warm and sunny situations. It is of moderate height, with knotty gnarled trunk and a smooth ash-colored bark. It grows slowly, but lives to an immense age. Its look is singularly indicative of tenacious vigor, and this is the force of what is said in Scripture of its "greenness, as emblematic of strength and prosperity. The leaves, too, are not deciduous. Those who see olives for the first time are occasionally disappointed by the dusty color of their foiliage; but those who are familiar with them find an inexpressible charm in the rippling changes of their slender gray-green leaves. (See Ruskin's "Stones of Venice," iii. 175-177.) The olive furnishes the basis of one of Paul?s allegories. (Romans 11:16-25) The Gentiles are the "wild olive" grafted in upon the "good olive," to which once the Jews belonged, and with which they may again be incorporated, (The olive grows from 20 to 40 feet high. In general appearance it resembles the apple tree; in leaves and sterns, the willow. The flowers are white and appear in June, The fruit is like a plum in shape and size, and at first is green, but gradually becomes purple, and even black, with a hard stony kernel, and is remarkable from the outer fleshy part being that in which much oil is lodged, and not, as is usual, in the almond of the seed. The fruit ripens from August to September. It is sometimes eaten green, but its chief value is in its oil. The wood is hard, fine beautifully veined, and is open used for cabinet work. Olive trees were so abundant in Galilee that at the siege of Jotapata by Vespasian the Roman army were driven from the ascent of the walls by hot olive oil poured upon them and scalding them underneath their armor. --Josephus, Wars, 3; 7:28. --ED.)

Related Resources:

Genesis 8:12  Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

  • And he - Ps 27:14 130:5,6 Isa 8:17 25:9 26:8 30:18 Hab 2:3 Jas 5:7,8 
  • seven - Ge 8:10 2:2,3 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


Then - Narrative is progressing closer and closer to the time when the land will be dry. 

He waited yet another seven days (See Chronology) - The perfect number seven speaks of completion and this seven would bring a perfect completion to the end of their cruise. 

John Phillips (BORROW  Exploring Genesis: An Expository Commentary.) -  The repeated Sabbaths (ED: "SEVENS") connected with that part of the story suggest that Noah was acting out of a spirit of deep religious exercise, not capriciously or arbitrarily. Such spiritual exercise surely augered well for the new beginning about to be made on a new earth. 

And sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again - Clearly the earth was now dry for the dove had found a place to perch. 

Spurgeon - Noah could read something from that leaf that the dove brought to him, but he learned more when she did not return to him. He knew that she had found a proper resting-place, and that the earth was clear of the flood.

Genesis 8:13  Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up.

Source: Answersingenesis


Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month (See Chronology), the water was dried up from the earth - Beloved, let your faith be encouraged by the living Word (Ro 10:17+), for each notation of an exact date repeatedly points to and clearly emphasizes an actual historical event. Otherwise God is just "making up" dates.

THOUGHT - There are not too many times in Scripture where one encounters such an abundance of very specific chronology as we find here in the passages on the Global Flood and Noah's Ark. God knew men would seek to mythologize the global flood because they do not want to believe He will truly judge their personal sins! And so He makes it crystal clear that He judged all the inhabitants of the world for their personal sins and the recalcitrant (having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority) refusal to repent of their sins and believe in Him. 

Then Noah removed the covering of the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos), and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up - See depiction above of the possible covering Noah removed. Covering (mikseh; Lxx = stege - covering of a room or house) is an interesting word because of the 11 of the 12 uses refer to the animal skin (most often porpoise skin, but also ram's skin) covering of the Tabernacle (Ex 26:14, Ex 36:19, et al), which could be the meaning in Ge 8:13 (i.e., the covering of the opening could have been animal skin). 

Spurgeon - That was a happy New Year’s day for Noah. He was glad to find himself at rest once more, though not yet at liberty. Why did not Noah come out? Well, you see, he had gone in by the door, and he meant to come out by the door, and he that opened the door for him, and shut him in, must now open the door for him, and let him out. He waits God’s time, and we are always wise in doing that. You lose a great deal of time by being in a hurry. Many people think they have done a great deal when they have really done nothing. Better take time in order to save time. Slow is sometimes faster than fast. So Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked out, but he did not go out till God commanded him to do so.

Genesis 8:14  In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

  • Ge 7:11,13,14 From this, it appears, that Noah was in the ark a complete solar year, or 365 days; for he entered it on the 17th day of the 2nd month, in the 600th year of his life, and continued in it till the 27th day of the 2nd month, in the 601st year of his life, as we see above.
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry (See Chronology) - So Noah waits nearly two months for the complete drying of the earth.

Spurgeon - “The face of the ground was dry” in the first month; “the earth was dried,” the second month. Noah might have thought it was dry enough before; but God did not think so, there was enough mud to breed a pestilence, so Noah must wait until God had made the earth ready for him.

Wiersbe - Noah saw that the ground indeed was dry, but he didn’t make a move out of the ark until the Lord told him to leave. Twenty-six days later, that order came and he obeyed it (Ge 8:15).

THOUGHT - Let us ponder the lesson from Noah so that we too will learn to wait upon the LORD and His perfect timing. Have you stepped out too soon (so to speak) into ground that looked dry and sank down in the miry clay? I have and likely you have too! - 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. 

Genesis 8:15  Then God spoke to Noah, saying,


Then - Marks progression in the flood account. After the waters receded and the ground was dry. 

God (Elohim) spoke to Noah, saying - God speaks after fulfilling His promises to Noah and family. Apparently this is direct speech because there is no mention of a dream or vision. (SEE WAYS OF REVELATION)

Spurgeon - Noah must wait till God speaks to him. Oh, that some people would wait for God’s command, but they will not! He shall bless thy going out and thy coming in if thou wilt go forth and come in when he bids thee. “Go forth,” says the Lord, “Go forth of the ark.”

W H Griffith Thomas The Lord's Command (Ge 8:15-17).—At last the time had come for Noah to leave the ark, and the Word which had so clearly told him to enter, now with equal clearness tells him to come forth with his family, and to bring forth with him everything that he had taken in. God never commands before the time required for obedience. Step by step He makes known His will. He is never too soon and never too late. (Genesis 8 After the Flood)

Genesis 8:16  "Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons' wives with you.

  • Ge 7:1,7,13 Jos 3:17 4:10,16-18 Ps 91:11 121:8 Da 9:25,26 Zec 9:11 Ac 16:27,28,37-39 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

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.


God's commands and Noah's obedience to those commands in Ge 8:15-19 are a reversal of the passages in Ge 7:1-4,5.

Go out of the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos), you and your wife and your sons and your sons' wives with you - God's first command is to go into a new world, freshly, divinely "sanitized!" I am reminded of Jesus' commission "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20+) Faith is not passive but active --  Noah manifested his faith first by waiting and then by walking forth when God said "go." Obedient faith responds to God’s Word.

Wiersbe makes a good point - Was Noah revealing unbelief when he sent out the birds or opened the hatch to look at the terrain? No, he was simply using available opportunities to gather data. It isn’t wrong to have an understanding of the situation; just don’t lean on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5–6). Obeying the will of God involves not only doing the right thing in the right way for the right motive, but it also means doing it at the right time. “My times are in Your hands” (Ps. 31:15 nkjv).

Bob Utley on Go out - This is the first of several commands in Genesis 8:16-17.

  1. "go out," Qal IMPERATIVE, Gen. 8:16
  2. "bring out," Hiphil IMPERATIVE, Gen. 8:17
  3. "breed abundantly," Qal PERFECT with waw used in an IMPERATIVAL sense , Ge 8:17; the IMPERATIVE forms in Ge 1:22,28; 9:1
  4. "be fruitful," Qal PERFECT with waw used in an IMPERATIVAL sense (cf. Ge. 1:22,28; 9:1,7), Ge 8:17
  5. "multiply," Qal PERFECT with waw used in an IMPERATIVAL sense (cf. Ge 1:12,28; 9:1,7), Ge 8:17
    These commands are parallel to Ge 1:22,24. In a sense God is starting over. The waters of chaos destroyed all air-breathing land life except what was on the ark (also excluding the sea life). God's original purpose is continued (cf. Ge 6:18).

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (page 1016) - Beyond demonstrating God’s power and his hatred of evil, Noah’s flood also embodies God’s determination to bring new life out of the chaos wrought by human sin. God will find a way to rescue those who trust in him, carrying them through disaster and giving them a fresh start. Thus God shuts Noah and his family and the animals in the ark, and they float on the flood until the waters recede. Then God tells them, “Come out of the ark.… Bring out every living creature that is with you … so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful” (Ge8:16–17NIV).

Genesis 8:17  "Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth."

  • Bring - Ge 7:14,15 
  • breed - Ge 1:22 9:1,7 Ps 107:38 144:13,14 Jer 31:27,28 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Genesis 1:22+ God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

Be Fruitful and Multiply on the Earth


Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth -  In the Septuagint be fruitful and multiply are both commands in the present imperative. Note that God's commands are also addressed to the animals to procreate and propagate their species (cf Ge 1:20, 22 for the divine commands originally given just to fish and birds but now given to all animals). Noah certainly cannot may they obey these commands. Clearly this reflects God's supernatural orchestration of what amounts to a "re-creation," just as He orchestrated the original creation. God is in control beloved. 

THOUGHT - Perhaps your life seems a bit chaotic and possibly even out of control. It might be a good time to meditate on God's control of the chaotic situation in Genesis 6-8. You might take a moment and listen to Twila Paris' song God is In Control and be encouraged that you too can trust that He is control of your current situation.

MacArthur - In the process of replenishing the created order that He had judged with destruction, God repeated the words of the blessing which He had put upon non-human creatures (Ge 1:22). Noah faced a new world where longevity of life began to decline immediately; the earth was subject to storms and severe weather, blazing heat, freezing cold, seismic action, and natural disasters. (See MSB notes)

Spurgeon - That was a very wonderful procession, it was the new beginning of everything upon the earth. Whatever evolution or any other folly or evil of man may have done, everything had to begin again over. Everybody was drowned save these great fathers of the new age, and all must begin from this stock.

Harvest and Thanksgiving

Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. Exodus 23:16

Today's Scripture: Genesis 8:15–9:3

Several thousand years ago, God spoke directly to Moses and instituted a new festival for His people. In Exodus 23:16, according to Moses’s record, God said, “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.”

Today countries around the world do something similar by celebrating the land’s bounty. In Ghana, the people celebrate the Yam Festival as a harvest event. In Brazil, Dia de Acao de Gracas is a time to be grateful for the crops that yielded their food. In China, there is the Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival. In the United States and Canada: Thanksgiving.

To understand the fitting goal of a harvest celebration, we visit Noah right after the flood. God reminded Noah and his family—and us—of His provision for our flourishing existence on the earth. Earth would have seasons, daylight and darkness and “seedtime and harvest” (Gen. 8:22). Our gratitude for the harvest, which sustains us, goes to God alone.

No matter where you live or how you celebrate your land’s bounty, take time today to express gratitude to God—for we would have no harvest to celebrate without His grand creative design. By:  Dave Branon (Reprinted by permission from Our Daily Bread Ministries. Please do not repost the full devotional without their permission.)

Dear Creator God, thank You so much for the wondrous way You fashioned this world—with seasons, with harvest-time, with everything we need to exist. Please accept our gratitude.

What are you thankful for? Share at

Gratitude is the memory of a glad heart.

Genesis 8:18  So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him.

Noah Descending from Ararat


So - Term of conclusion, in this case the fitting "conclusion" to God's commands. He was obedient in Ge 6:22, Moses recording "Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did," and he continues to be obedient. 

Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him - Once again we see Noah's obedience to the LORD's command to bring out every living thing from the Ark.

W H Griffith Thomas As the servant had obeyed implicitly, accurately, and immediately before the Flood, so he does now. He went forth at once at the command of God. Obedience to be real must be prompt and full. This is one of the supreme tests of genuine living. (Genesis 8 After the Flood)

Genesis 8:19  Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.


Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark (tebah; Lxx = kibotos) - Note the repetition of every, which suggests that everything that went in alive, came out alive, clearly evidence of God's supernatural superintendence of all the details! Clearly the animal's departure was at the behest of the LORD (however the LORD speaks to/controls animals). 

Henry Morris -  Here it is again asserted, as clearly as could be expressed, that all the present land animals in the earth have descended from those on the ark. (BORROW The Defender's Study Bible

Genesis 8:20  Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.


Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. Noah's offering of burnt offerings on the altar was an act of worship in response to God’s covenant faithfulness in rescuing him and his family.

THOUGHT - This is a good practice for us to imitate. How often do I "build an altar" in my Quiet Time and thank God for saving me and my family (I think all 4 of my children are "in the Ark" with the possible exception of my youngest daughter Lauren - prayers please!) 

Spurgeon makes an excellent point on every clean animal and of every clean bird - Common sense would have said, “Spare them, for you will want every one of them.” But grace said, “Slay them, for they belong to God. Give Jehovah his due.” I have often admired that widow of Sarepta. When she had but a handful of meal, she made a little cake for God’s prophet first, but then God multiplied her meal and her oil (Read 1Ki 17:9-24 - and if you have time for an amazing sermon read Spurgeon's sermon "The Inexhaustible Barrel" on 1Ki 17:16 or listen to it on YouTube) - . Oh, if we would but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all things should be added unto us (Mt 6:33+)! Out of the small stock he had, Noah took of the clean beasts, and of the clean fowls, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

Bob Utley on Then Noah built an altar - His first act was that of worship and thanksgiving. Sacrifice is an ancient institution (cf. Gen. 4:3; 12:7,8; 13:18; 22:9; 26:25; 33:20; 35:7). This is also the first act of Gilgamesh in the Gilgamesh Epic after the flood. What was the purpose of sacrifice? (1) It seems originally it was an act of worship and fellowship (i.e., Abel and Cain in Genesis 4). (2) Job 1:5 may point the way. Job's yearly sacrifices had a propitiatory significance. Fallen humans needed a way to be restored to God's favor. Exodus 12 is a foreshadowing of a propitiatory sacrifice where animal blood (i.e., life - Lev 17:11+) saves a human family (i.e., firstborn).

W H Griffith Thomas - Noah's first act on landing upon the earth was to build an altar and to offer sacrifices. Thereby he testified at once (a) to his gratitude to God for deliverance, (b) to his need of sacrifice in approaching his God, and (c) to the consecration of his life to the service of God as symbolised by the burnt offering. (Genesis 8 After the Flood)

Parunak: Building an Altar.—This is the first reference in the Bible to “building an altar,” an activity that preoccupies godly men in every age of the OT, down through Jeshua the son of Jozadak the high priest (Ezra 3:2) upon the return of the Babylonian exiles to Jerusalem. We can imagine that Cain and Abel in Gen 4 had altars, but this is the first explicit mention of constructing one.

In Genesis, building an altar marks the travels of Abraham (Ge 12:7 in Shechem, Ge 12:8 in Bethel; Ge 13:18 in Hebron; Ge 22:9 on Mt. Moreh to offer Isaac), Isaac (Ge 26:25 in Beersheba), Jacob Ge 35:7 in Bethel). In every case, it is the first thing the builder constructs when he arrives at a place. In fact, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in tents, so it was the only sort of permanent structure they constructed. So for Noah, newly landed on an earth destitute of civilization, the first structure he feels a need to construct is an altar for worship. He doesn’t start with a house, or a barn, or a bridge over a nearby stream. Of all the many things to which he might have devoted his effort, he starts with an altar.

Application: What is your first priority in moving to a new location? It ought to be identifying the believers and getting to know them, so that you can join them in worship. Whatever the reason for your move, you should make your spiritual home your priority.

Extent of the Offerings.—Note the extravagance of Noah’s offering: he offered “of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl.” One might expect he would offer a sheep one day, a dove the next, and a goat the third, for example, stretching out his supplies. But he offers up representatives of every kind that he had brought aboard, severely depleting his resources.

Application: It has become unfashionable to inconvenience ourselves in worshipping God. Churches seek to schedule their services so that people don’t have to give up their weekend time. We hire professionals so that people don’t have to invest their own effort in Bible study to have something to share with their brothers and sisters. We are less and less interested in sacrificing anything in our worship. But sacrifice is of the essence of worship: see David’s spirit in 2 Sam 24:18-24, “neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.”

QUESTION - What made some animals clean and others unclean?

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

Related Resource:

Genesis 8:21  The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

  • smelled - Lev 1:9,13,17 26:31 Song 4:10,11 Isa 65:6 Eze 20:41 Am 5:21,22 2Co 2:15 Eph 5:2 Php 4:18 
  • curse - Ge 3:17 4:12 5:29 6:17 
  • the imagination - Ge 6:5 Job 14:4 15:14-16 Ps 51:5 58:3 Pr 20:9 Ec 7:20 Isa 47:12 Isa 47:15 48:8 53:6 Jer 8:6 17:9 18:12 Mt 15:19 Joh 3:6 Ro 1:21 3:23 8:7,8 Eph 2:1-3 Jas 1:14,15 4:1,2 1Jn 5:19 
  • neither - Ge 9:11-15 Isa 54:9,10 
  • as I - 2Pe 3:6,7 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries

Related Passages: 

2 Corinthians 2:15+ (OUR LIFE AN AROMA OF CHRIST) For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;

Philippians 4:18+ But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

Ephesians 5:1-2+ Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 


The LORD (Jehovah) smelled the soothing aroma - CSB = "pleasing aroma";  Soothing aroma indicates God accepted Noah’s sacrifice. Soothing is literally "savour of rest" as the Hebrew word soothing (nihoah) is derived from nuach which means to rest. Again note the similarity with Noah's name in Hebrew "Noach" meaning to rest (Ge 5:29)! As an aside, if God refused to “smell” the fragrance of the offering, it meant that He was displeased with the worshippers (see Lev. 26:31; Isa. 1:11–15). The idea is that Noah’s sacrifice was a propitiation, or satisfaction, of God’s righteous requirement. God was pleased with the sacrifice and then gave the promise to never again destroy every living creature with a flood.

Spurgeon on smelled the soothing aroma - Until then, the earth had been obnoxious to Jehovah. He had put it away from him as a foul thing, drowned beneath the flood; but after the offering of Noah’s sacrifice, the Lord smelled “a savour of rest.” Noah’s faith was pleasing to God. It was Noah’s confidence in a bleeding sacrifice that gave him acceptance with the Lord. God thought upon his Son, and that great Sacrifice to be offered long afterwards on the cross, and he “smelled a sweet savour.” God always speaks comfortable words to those who bring an acceptable sacrifice. If you would hear the voice of a divine promise, go to the atoning blood of Jesus. If you would know what perfect reconciliation means, his to the altar where the great Sacrifice was presented.

Bob Utley"The Lord smelled the soothing aroma" This phrase is used in the Bible in the sense of God accepting an offering (especially Leviticus and Numbers). It does not imply that the meat was food for God as it was in the Gilgamesh Epic (cf. Gen. 11:159-161). The Bible never views the sacrificial system as food for divine beings as the surrounding nations did.

NET NOTE - The LORD “smelled” (וַיָּרַח, vayyarakh) a “soothing smell” (רֵיחַ הַנִּיהֹחַ, reakh hannihoakh). The object forms a cognate accusative with the verb. The language is anthropomorphic. The offering had a sweet aroma that pleased or soothed. The expression in Lev 1 signifies that God accepts the offering with pleasure, and in accepting the offering he accepts the worshiper.

And the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man - The LORD spoke these words not to Noah but to Himself. God had cursed the ground because of Adam’s sin (Ge 3:17) and had added a further curse because of Cain’s sins (Ge 4:11–12) The acceptance of the sacrifice is followed by assurance of no curse of the ground by a flood. God would speak this promise in the form of a solemn, binding covenant with Noah and all creation in Genesis 9:11 and Genesis 9:15+.   The Edenic curse is still in effect, of course, but there would be no other curse added. We await the ultimate removal of the curse in the New Heaven and New Earth for in Rev 22:3/revelation-22-commentary#22:3 we read "There will no longer be any curse." 

Spurgeon - Thus we see what we may expect so long as the earth remains, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. So that you all live under a covenant, — a gracious covenant, and, by virtue of it, the day succeeds the night, the summer follows the winter, and the harvest in due course rewards the labour of the seedtime. All this ought to make us long to be under the yet fuller and higher covenant of grace, by which spiritual blessings would he scoured to us, — an eternal day to follow this earthly night, and a glorious harvest to follow this time of seed-sowing. (SPURGEON'S COMMENT BEGS THE QUESTION - DEAR BELIEVER WILL YOU HAVE A GLORIOUS HARVEST? YOU WILL IF YOU OBEY JESUS COMMANDS IN Mt 6:19-21+!)

For - Term of explanation. What is Jehovah explaining? 

The intent of man's heart (leb) is evil from his youth - Hebrew =  “the inclination of the heart of humankind.” The evil so evident before the flood (cf. Gen. 6:5,11,12,13) is still within fallen mankind, as Noah and his family will soon sadly demonstrate!

Warren Wiersbe - God’s reason given in verse 21 has been variously explained, and your explanation depends to some degree on your translation of the text (SEE >60 TRANSLATIONS). Did God say “for the imagination of man’s heart is evil” (kjv, niv margin), or did He say “even though every inclination of his heart is evil” (niv)? The Lord had originally sent the flood because of the evil hearts of the people (Ge 6:5), so not to send another judgment would make it look like the flood was a mistake or a failure, or that God had given up on the human race created in His own image. If we translate Ge 8:21 “for,” then we have God saying, “The human heart is incurably wicked. The flood wiped out the transgressors, but it couldn’t change hearts. Therefore, to have another judgment won’t solve the problem.” If we translate it “even though,” then we have God saying: “Yes, they deserve judgment because their hearts are wicked. And to persist in sin and not learn their lesson from this flood only shows how evil they are. But in grace, I will not send another flood or curse the ground.” Perhaps both are true. The important thing is that God spoke these words in response to Noah’s sacrifice, and that the sacrifice was a picture of the sacrifice of Christ (Heb. 10:1–10; Eph. 5:2). O

And I will never again destroy (nāḵāh - strike) every living thing, as I have done - This is God's promise that He will not destroy men with another global flood. This is not a promise to never destroy the world, because 2Pe 3:3–10+ clearly teaches that "the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." (2Pe 3:10+).

John MacArthur - Regardless of how sinful mankind would become in the future, God promised not to engage in global catastrophe by flood again (cf. Ge 9:11). 

Soothing (sweet) (05207nihoah from nuach  = to rest) means a quieting, soothing, tranquilizing. In 20 of the 43 uses of nichoach, this noun (usually with the sense of an adjective) is used with the phrase "burnt offering." Almost all uses describe the odor of a sacrifice as pleasing or acceptable to God. Sadly, we see this word used to describe Israel's offering to idols (Ezek 6:13-note, Ezek 15:19, Ezek 20:28), which is in stark contrast with Jehovah's assessment of His rebellious people in Ezek 20:14 where they are described as a soothing aroma! - “As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples (Gentiles) and gather you from the lands where you are scattered (A prophecy that is unfulfilled, but which will be when Messiah returns and all Israel is saved - Ro 11:26-27-note); and I shall prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations."

Norman Geisler - When Critics Ask - Genesis 8:21—Did God change His mind about never destroying the world again?

PROBLEM: According to this verse, after the flood, God promised, “Nor will I again destroy every living thing.” Yet Peter foretells the day in which “the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

SOLUTION: After the flood, God only promised never again to destroy the world in the same way “as I have done” (Gen. 8:21), namely by water. The rainbow is a perpetual symbol of this promise. The second time God destroys the world it will be by fire, not by water. It will “be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). Even so, God will not then destroy all living things. Humans will be saved in their resurrected and imperishable physical bodies (1 Cor. 15:42).

QUESTION - Why would the aroma of a sacrifice be important to God?

ANSWER - On sixteen different occasions in the book of Leviticus, an “aroma” is mentioned as something pleasing to the Lord. Specifically, the aroma of a sacrifice is important to God.

The importance of a sacrifice’s aroma is not the smell but what the smell represents—the substitutionary atonement for sin. The very first mention of God smelling the aroma of a burnt offering is found in Genesis 8:21. Noah offered a burnt offering of clean animals and birds after leaving the ark. We are told it was a “pleasing” aroma to God. The idea is that Noah’s sacrifice was a propitiation, or satisfaction, of God’s righteous requirement. God was pleased with the sacrifice and then gave the promise to never again destroy every living creature with a flood.

In Leviticus, a pleasing aroma is mentioned in connection with the various offerings of Jewish tabernacle worship. Leviticus 1:9 says, “The priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.” As in the case of Noah’s offering, what pleased the Lord was the commitment to offer worship in His name as He commanded. The “pleasing aroma” is also mentioned in Leviticus 1:9 and 13, emphasizing the action of propitiation rather than the actual smoke of the burnt offering.

The same is true in Leviticus 2 regarding the grain offering. Despite the fact that this offering involved grain rather than meat, it had “an aroma pleasing to the LORD” (verse 2).

Even the larger sacrifice at the yearly Feast of Weeks focused on the redemption of sinners as the reason for the pleasing aroma. Leviticus 23:18 states, “Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.”

Offerings made to false gods were also described as having a “pleasing aroma”—to the idols, at least (Ezekiel 6:13, ESV). The smell of the incense may have been appealing to the idolaters who offered it, but such false worship displeased the Lord, who demanded worship only of Him and sacrifice only to Him.

The New Testament reveals Christ as the final sacrifice for sin, the ultimate propitiation: “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2). Jesus, the Son of God, was the only One who could provide the eternally pleasing sacrifice. He alone is the One of whom the Father says, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11)

Related Resource:

Excerpt from Spurgeon's sermon on Genesis 8:21 - "HUMAN DEPRAVITY AND DIVINE MERCY" - 

PETER tells us that Noah’s ark and baptism are figures of salvation. He puts the two together as pictures of the way by which we are saved. Noah was not saved by the world’s being gradually reformed and restored to its primitive innocence, but a sentence of condemnation was pronounced, and death, burial, and resurrection ensued. Noah must go into the ark and become dead to the world; the floods must descend from heaven, and rise upward from their secret fountains beneath the earth, the ark must be submerged with many waters—here was burial; and then after a time, Noah and his family must come out into a totally new world of resurrection life. It is the same in the figure of baptism: the person baptized, if he be already dead with Christ, is buried; not purified and improved, but buried beneath the wave; and when he rises he professes that he enjoys newness of life. Baptism is setting forth just what Noah’s ark sets forth, that salvation is by death and burial. You must be dead to the world; the flesh must be dead with Christ, buried with Christ—not improved, not made better, but utterly put aside as unimprovable, as worthless, dead, a thing to be buried and to be forgotten; and we must come forth in resurrection life, feeling that above us there is a new heaven, and beneath us a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness, seeing that we are new creatures in Christ Jesus.

It would be very instructive to dwell upon each point of the resemblance between Noah’s deliverance and the salvation of every elect soul. Noah enters into the ark: there is a time when we distinctly enter into Christ and become one with him. Noah was shut in the ark so that he could never come out again till God should open the door: there is a time when every child of God is shut in, when faith and full assurance give him an evidence that he is indissolubly one with Christ Jesus; grasped in Christ’s hand so that none can pluck him thence, hidden in Christ’s loins so that none can separate him from the love of God. Then comes the flood: there is a season in the Christian’s experience when he discovers his own depravity; he is saved, he is in the ark, he is however still a sinner, still the subject of inbred lusts: on a sudden all these conniptions break up, they beat upou his ark, they assail his faith, they endeavour if possible to drown his soul in sin, but he is not destroyed by them all, for by the grace of God he is where other men are not, he is where he cannot be drowned by sin, he is in Christ Jesus. He mounts as the floods deepen; the more he feels the depth of his depravity, the more he admires the fulness of the atoning sacrifice, the more terrible the temptation the more joyous is his consolation in Christ Jesus; and so he rises in holy communion towards his God. Then comes the wind: typical of the breath of the sacred Spirit by which the floods of corruption are assuaged and peace reigns within, and the soul sings, “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Then the tops of the mountains appear: sanctification takes place upon a part of the man; there are some bright graces which glisten out of the general flood of corruption, there are some points of his new-born nature which delight him with their beauty. His ark has grounded and settled: he no longer floats, so to speak, tossed about with a struggling faith, and contending unbelief, but he feels that as Christ Jesus is for ever seated firmly at the right hand of God, so he, in Christ Jesus, has entered into rest. The ark grounded on the top of Ararat: so does the believer’s experience come to a settled condition; he is no more moved about with fears and questioning, but he rejoices in hope of the glory of God. He sends forth his thoughts in search after evidence of his complete salvation, and probably he sends out some of his own ignorant carnal expectations, just as Noah sent out the raven; these ignorant imaginations of what the work of the Spirit is, go forth and they never return because no unclean child of the old Adam can be a discerner of the new world. Then he sends out the dove—holy desires, earnest prayers go to and fro; by and bye they come back with a token for good, some choice mercy from the hand of God, an olive branch of assured peace, and the believer surely knows not only that he is in Christ, not only that he is grounded in Christ, but that all the waters are assuaged, all sin is gone, all danger removed, all death destroyed. Then occurs a period wherein God opens the door; Christ had been as a sort of prison to the Christian up till then, the cross had been a burden, he did not rejoice in liberty; but God the Father now comes with the blessed Spirit and opens the door, and the believer is fully at liberty in the new world.

The saved soul’s first act is, like Noah, to build an altar unto God and, as a priest, to offer sacrifice, which as it rises to heaven, is accepted because it is a memorial of Christ. The Lord smells a sweet savour, and though the believing man is still full of sin and from his youth up has evil imaginings, yet he hears the covenant voice which says, “I will no more curse, I will no more smite;” he hears the covenant promise which confirms for ever the faithfulness of God, and he rejoices to inherit, like Noah, a new world wherein dwelleth righteousness.

I do not lay any stress upon these interpretations, but I know the apostle says concerning Hagar and Sarah, “which things are an allegory,” and I believe that the book of Genesis is a book of dispensational truth, and if it were rightly read, not by the eye of curiosity, but by the heart of the student who has been made wise to see the deep things of God, very much of divine and holy teaching would be discoverable in it. But now I come to the text itself.

We have here, first, a very sad and painful fact, “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth;” we have, secondly, God’s most extraordinary reasoning, “I will not again curse the ground for man’s sake, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil;” then, thirdly, we have some inferences less extraordinary but practical to ourselves from the text.

Genesis 8:22  "While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease."

  • While the earth remaineth - Heb. as yet all the days of the earth, Isa 54:8 
  • seedtime - Most of the European nations divide the year into four distinct parts, called quarters or seasons; but there are six divisions in the text, which obtained in Palestine among the Hebrews, and exist among the Arabs to the present day. According to this gracious promise, the heavenly bodies have preserved their courses, the seasons their successions, and the earth its increase for the use of man. Ge 45:6 Ex 34:21 Ps 74:16,17 Song 2:11,12 Isa 54:9 Jer 5:24 Jas 5:7 
  • day - Jer 31:35 33:20-26 
  • Genesis 8 Resources - Multiple sermons and commentaries


While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease - Why would God say this at this time? Because the flood had interrupted the normal cycle of the seasons for a year, but He promises that would never be repeated. God continues His revelation to Noah after his sacrifice. Here God says that as long as the earth exists there will be seasons will exist and this is vital because without seasons (see Wikipedia) to grow and harvest, we could never be sure of having the necessities for life. 

THOUGHT - Are you in a valley spiritually speaking, doubting God's faithfulness to you as His child? Clearly the days, seasons, etc, are ever present reminders of God's faithfulness. Thank Him for the Sun this morning as a clear reminder of His faithfulness, not to mention His sovereign control over the entire universe and your personal life! 

Steven Cole adds this THOUGHT - Often when God is silent in our lives, it’s because He wants to bring us into a situation where He makes all things new. But sometimes He has to destroy the old before He can remake the new. But we can count on His faithfulness during the silence, knowing that He has saved us in the past, He has promised to preserve us in the future, and He is providing for us in the present.

Behind Nature’s ‘laws’ is Nature’s Lord!
-- A W Pink

Spurgeon on summer and winter (the seasons- They never have ceased. He have this year had a long and dreary winter; it looked as if spring would never come. Only a few days ago, the chestnuts were just beginning to turn green, and then there came the little spikes, and now you can see them in full flower. How faithfully God fulfils his covenant with the earth! How truly will he keep his covenant with every believing sinner! Oh, trust ye in him, for his promise will stand fast for ever!

Warren Wiersbe - God’s “covenant of day and night” is especially meaningful to the people of Israel, for it guarantees them His care and protection so that they will never cease to be a nation (Jer. 33:19–26). God’s promise that He will not send another flood is assurance to the Jews that His covenant with them will never be broken (Isa. 54:7–10, 9,10). We’re prone to take for granted sunrise and sunset, the changing face of the moon and the changing seasons, but all of these functions are but evidences that God is on the throne and keeping His promises. All creation preaches a constant sermon, day after day, season after season, that assures us of God’s loving care. We can trust His Word, for “there has not failed one word of all his good promise” (1 Kings 8:56)

G Campbell Morgan - Gen. 8.22.
These words are part of the new covenant which God made with man after the Flood. In that judgment of a corrupt race the order of Nature had been set aside. One whole lunar year had been a year of judgment (compare Gen. 7. I I with Gen. 8. 13, 14), and during that time there had been neither seedtime nor harvest, nor cold nor heat, nor summer nor winter, nor day nor night, so far as the experience of man and the condition of the earth were concerned. The purpose of that particular judgment being accomplished, God rein-stated man in his relationship to the earth, putting him under a new order of life, that of the government of man by man (see 9. r-6). In doing so He restored, and abidingly confirmed, the natural order. The next judgment of the earth will be its final fire-cleansing (see 2 Peter 3. 7 and 12). Until then this order abides. It is well that we remember that this covenant has never failed, and that the continuity and regularity of the seasons is due to the faithfulness of God. Through the ages man has lived by seedtime and harvest, by cold and heat, by summer and winter, by day and night; and this because God has been faithful and patient. The sorrows of humanity are all due to man's misuse of these things. If they were properly used under the Divine government, there would be neither pain nor poverty, but perfect human conditions. All earthly blessings flow from these Divine arrangements. All earthly curses result from human misuse of them.

May Day

While the earth remains . . . day and night shall not cease. — Genesis 8:22

Today's Scripture: Genesis 8:15-22

When I was a young girl in West Michigan, we always celebrated spring and the blooming of the first flowers on May 1. I’d make a basket out of construction paper and fill it with any flowers I could find—mostly daffodils and violets. Then I would place the basket on my neighbor’s doorstep, knock on her door, and quickly hide behind a bush. I’d peek out to watch her as she opened the door and picked up her surprise. When she went inside, I’d run home.

The beauty of springtime flowers and the regular changing of the seasons reminds us of God’s faithfulness. When Noah and his family and the animals came out of the ark after the flood waters receded, God gave them this promise: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). And He’s been faithful to keep that promise ever since. God “made the worlds,” and He continues to uphold “all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:2-3).

Let’s thank God today for His beautiful creation and for His faithfulness in sustaining His world and us.By:  Anne Cetas (Reprinted by permission from Our Daily Bread Ministries. Please do not repost the full devotional without their permission.)

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Look at the wonder of creation and say, "What a wonderful God!"

Norman Geisler - When Critics Ask - Genesis 8:22—If seedtime and harvest were never to be interrupted, then why were there famines?

PROBLEM: God promised Noah: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest … shall not cease.” However, there are many famines recorded, even in Bible times, when there has been no harvest (cf. Gen. 26:1; 41:54).

SOLUTION: “Cease” (shabath) means to come to an end, to be eliminated, to desist completely. This passage only promises that the seasons will not cease, not the crops. It refers to “seedtime” and harvesttime, not necessarily to the actual planting and harvesting of a crop. And the seasons have never stopped completely since this promise was made to Noah. Further, this general promise was not intended as a guarantee that there would be no temporary interruptions. It was only a statement about the permanent cycles of the year until the end of time.

W H Griffith Thomas - (ED: THIS WOULD MAKE A GREAT SERMON OUTLINE) - Let us now review these three Ge 6-8, and read them afresh in the light of New Testament teaching. In view of the words of the Apostle Peter (1 Pet. 3:20), it is not wrong to regard the story of the flood as a great pictorial and symbolical lesson full of spiritual truths. It is sometimes said that history never repeats itself, but there is a sense in which it does in relation to spiritual and moral realities. Our Lord distinctly tells us that the history of Noah will repeat itself in the day of His coming (Matt. 24:37-42). What were the days of Noah, and what will be the days of the Son of Man?

1. Days of sin.

(a) God's Way was abandoned. The earth had become corrupt through sin, and man's heart was only evil continually.
(b) God's Word was speaking. The Ark was the Divine protest against sin; while Noah, a preacher of righteousness, ever witnessed to the certainty of retribution and the limited time of God's Spirit among men (Ge 6:3).
(c) God's Will was unheeded. For 120 years103 Noah preached without obtaining a single convert. This shows the awful extent of man's depravity, and the certainty of that wrath of God which is the manifestation of the Divine holiness against sin. 'It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.'

2. Days of sorrow.

We think of the people at the time of the Flood, and our thought goes on to those who will be living similarly in the days of the Son of Man.

(a) God's Message was neglected. Every nail driven into the ark was like an appeal from God, and yet all the testimony was fruitless year after year.
(b) God's Refuge was rejected. There was no other way of salvation except the Ark; no human device was sufficient. They might get up to the highest peak of the highest hill, and yet there would be no salvation.
(c) God's Gift was lost. They had the offer of salvation and life. They neglected and then rejected it, and as a consequence they lost it.

3. Days of salvation.

(a) God's Grace was working. Noah was the solitary saint of those days, and this shows that goodness is possible, even amidst the most adverse circumstances. He lived as well as preached; his life testified as well as his words to the reality and opportunity of the grace of God.
(b) God's Love was planning. The instructions about the Ark, the invitation to enter, the protection within the Ark, the cessation of the Flood, and the deliverance of Noah and his house, all testify to the reality of God's love in providing this way of salvation.
(c) God's Power was keeping. How significant it is to read, 'The Lord shut him in'! There was ample room and perfect provision in the Ark. No anxiety, no possibility of leakage or wreck; one door of entrance, and that protected by Divine power. The Ark was a home for saved people. So far as we know, there was no sail, no mast, no rudder; only God! And that was enough!

Thus, as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. Days of evil and yet of good. Amid the evil days an opportunity for salvation and an invitation to partake of the Divine mercy. Days of peril and of loss; and yet the opportunity of pardon, peace, protection, preservation. 'Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.' (2Co 6:2+). 

Excerpt from Spurgeon's sermon on Genesis 8:22 THE SERMON OF THE SEASONS

OUR Saviour constantly taught the people by parables, and I think he would have his ministers do the same. The condition of things just now, both as to weather and business, furnishes a very plain and instructive parable which it would not be wise to pass over. Every morning when we wake we hope for a change of wind, a glimpse of the sun, and the end of the frost; but still we moan with the poet—

           “Oh, the long and dreary Winter!
           Oh, the cold and cruel Winter!”

We say to ourselves, Will spring-time never come? In addition to this, trade and commerce continue in a state of stagnation; crowds are out of employment, and where business is carried on, it yields little profit. Our watchmen are asked if they discern any signs of returning day, and they answer, “No.” Thus we bow our heads in a common affliction, and ask each man comfort of his fellow; for as yet we see not our signs, neither does the eastern sky grow grey with the hopeful light of the long-expected morning. Having faith in God we faint not, but believe that a lesson of love for us is written by his hand in these black characters. Let us spell it out with childlike confidence.

Our text takes us back to the time when the waters of the flood had just assuaged, and God opened the door of the ark and bade Noah and his family come forth into a new world. For a time there had been a confusion: the seasons were mixed up, the perpetual downpour of the rain had almost turned day into night, and whether it was summer or winter could scarcely be told. The frame of nature seemed to be out of joint, her order suspended. And now the Lord, in making a promise to Noah that he would never destroy the earth again with a flood, also declares that while the earth remaineth there shall be no more of the confusion of the seasons and mingling of day and night which had brought such destruction upon all living things. As there should be no more a general deluge, so should there be no more a serious disarrangement of the course of the seasons and the temperature appropriate thereto. Seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, are to succeed each other in their perpetually unchanging change, so long as the present reign of forbearance shall last. Till comes the close of time, the rolling year, made up of alternate day and night, shall pass through cold and heat in due order. We are grateful to God for thus settling in his mind that so it shall be. We are at ease because we know that he will not lift his hand again to destroy every living thing with a flood of water. He will deal with men in longsuffering, and tender mercy, and forbearance. He will not use the stern weapons of destruction, but will try the tender ministrations of patience and grace, that men may be led to repentance. There will come an end to this dispensation; but while the reign of forbearance lasts, nature shall keep her appointed marches, and we need not fear a disorderly rush or a destructive chaos. “Four seasons fill the measure of the year.” In their mysterious round they come and go, and all combined display a moving harmony of wise design most glorifying to our God. Fear not in the day of tempest, for the rain shall not deluge the earth. The Lord setteth his bow in the cloud as the ensign of his covenant with mankind. Fear not in the black midnight: God will rekindle the lamp of day, and chase away the darkness.

It is very singular that when the Lord thus ushers in the reign of forbearance he gives as his reason the following statement:—“I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” This is very singular, because this seems to have been the powerful reason why the Lord had already destroyed the guilty race from off the face of the earth. In the fifth and sixth verses of the sixth chapter we read: “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.” Here we have almost the same words. Can the reason for judgment become the argument for mercy? Assuredly it can. God who changeth not absolutely, yet changeth his hand in his dealing with men. He had left them to themselves and permitted them to live through centuries; but the longer they lived, the more wicked they grew, until sin reached to a horrible degree of infamy. Man becomes a bad enough sinner when he lives to be seventy; but what he became at seven hundred or more it is somewhat difficult to guess. We wonder not that there were giants in those days—giants in crime as well as in stature. The Lord saw that however long man lived he only grew a greater adept in sin, for the imagination of his heart remained evil, and even grew to an intolerable height of iniquity; and therefore he said that he would destroy the race and begin anew. But when the Lord looked down upon those whom he had spared, who were to be the parents of a new race, he saw that in them also there was the same fountain of evil, and that their hearts also yielded evil desires and devices continually. Then he resolved to shorten the life of man, so that no individuals might ever arrive at so horrible a ripeness and cleverness of iniquity; but at the same time he said: “I will bear with them. I have dealt sternly with them, but they do not change; the few whom I have snatched from a watery grave are still inclined to sin. This dreadful expedient has not washed away the rebellious tendencies of the human heart. Therefore I will deal leniently and gently with them, manifesting a long forbearance, that man may have space for repentance. I will no more destroy every living thing, because destruction itself does not avail to banish sin.” Thus it seems by no means difficult to see how that which to divine holiness was a reason for judgment may be used by divine pity as a reason for mercy.

But what, think you, could have made the reasoning assume this new form? I attribute it to one thing never to be forgotten. Read the verse which precedes our text: “And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast and of every clean fowl and offered burnt offerings on the altar; and the Lord smelled a sweet savour.” The sacrifice is the turning-point. Without a sacrifice sin clamours for vengeance, and God sends a destroying flood; but the sacrifice presented by Noah was typical of the coming sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son, and of the effectual atonement therein provided for human sin. The very shadow of the one great propitiation changed the state of the world. Now the Lord pleads with himself for grace as once he argued for doom. He speaketh of course after the manner of men; it is only to our apprehension that these things are so, for Jehovah changeth not, and he is always love and wisdom. For the sake of the sacrifice God resolves to bear with man, as with one who is incurably unwise, or desperately sick. He determines to look upon the evil tendency of man’s imagination rather as an inveterate disease than as an unbearable provocation. He deals very patiently with the race, and no more sweeps it away in his wrath. See what the Lord will do when a sacrifice is provided! Methinks I hear him say of the earth, “Deliver it from flood, and bid the seasons keep their round of beneficence; for I have found a ransom.”

I. Thus I introduce to you the text, and I would have you notice, dear friends, that in that text there is first of all a hint, A SOLEMN HINT, OF WARNING. It begins thus: “While the earth remaineth.”