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Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 7

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-6


Verses 1-6:

These verses expand Jehovah’s instructions to Noah of Ge 6:19. The distinction between clean and unclean beasts was already known and observed in the pre-flood world. This distinction appeared hundreds of years later, spelled out in the Mosaic Law, see Le 11. Noah was to take of the clean beasts, seven pair; of the unclean, only one pair, into the ark. Though not stated, this is implied in regard to the fowls of the air as well as to the beasts of the earth. The purpose was to preserve alive the various species of creature-life upon the earth, even as God preserved alive human life in the person of Noah and his family. The extra pairs of clean beasts were to have sacrifices available upon their coming out of the ark.

The time from the filling of the ark to the beginning of the flood-waters was seven days. The flood would begin when the rain began to fall. This occurred in the six hundredth year of Noah’s life.

Verses 7-10

Verses 7-10:

Noah and his wife, his sons and their wives, entered the ark as God instructed. That each had but one wife is evident from 1Pe 3:20. Noah and his sons did not follow the Cainite practice of polygamy.

It is apparent that the creatures of the animal kingdom obeyed some Divine impulse to enter the ark, or to allow Noah and his family to place them therein. It would have been manifestly impossible for Noah to find and gather all the various animals, creeping things, and fowls, and to drive them into the ark.

The animals, fowls, and creeping things taken into the ark were those of the species, not of variations of the same species. For example, there are many variations of cattle: Hereford, Angus, Brahama, Jersey, Holstein, etc. All are descended from the same species. The various breeds of cattle were evidently not included as such; merely the male and female of the species.

Verses 11-24

Verses 11-24:

The Scriptures are precise in fixing the exact date for the beginning of the Deluge: the six hundredth year, the second month, the seventeenth day, of Noah’s life. It is not possible to fix the date according to today’s calendar; However, Noah and his family followed the Lord’s instructions regarding the animal creatures, the creeping things, and the fowls. Then they entered themselves into the ark as Jehovah instructed. Noah himself did not close the door of the ark. It is significant that Jehovah Himself did this last remaining task.

After seven days’ waiting, the rains began. This in itself was unusual; Ge 2:5, 6 indicates that there was no rain upon the pre-flood world. The ground was watered by means of a mist. The rains continued to fall unabated for forty days and forty nights.

Another source of waters in the Deluge: the "windows of heaven were opened." This likely refers to the "waters which were above the firmament" (Ge 1:7), which surrounded the atmosphere or the visible heavens immediately above the earth.

The third source of waters: the "fountains of the great deep." These are subterranean springs and rivers, some of which today have outlets deep in the ocean floor.

The fact that these three natural sources of water produced the Deluge in no way negates the miraculous nature of this event. The Scriptures reveal that God frequently used natural events for miraculous purposes.

The Deluge was not confined to the geographical area where Noah lived. It extended over the entire planet. The tremendous weight of the waters, the silt and sediment deposits, the catastrophic effects of the Flood likely produced a change in the geography of the pre-flood world, with the post-flood earth little resembling what it formerly was. In numerous places throughout the world archaeologists have discovered layers of strata of one civilization upon another for a depth of hundreds of feet, then a stratus of clay and water-borne sediment several feet thick, with evidence of human habitation beneath this layer of clay.

Another evidence of the universality of the Flood is the very name of Noah and human etymology. Various forms of the name "Noah" may be found in the language and traditions of peoples throughout the world. The Sanskrit Manu can trace its derivation from an equivalent word in "Proto-Indo-European" language. "Manu" is the name of the flood-hero in the legends and traditions of India. Another name in ethnic tradition is "mannus," founder of West Germanic peoples. Egypt, Sumeria, Crete, Greece, the once mighty Congo Empire of Africa, Japan, all have traditions of a mighty hero whose name in these various languages bears striking resemblance to "Noah." Even on the American continent, both North and South America, this tradition holds among the native peoples. Wherever people settled after the Flood, they carried the Flood-tradition, though in the course of time it became corrupted to fit their own particular religion. All these traditions confirm the fact that the Deluge of Noah’s day was universal.

The highest mountain on earth today is Mount Everest. This mountain peak is a part of the Himalyas, and is situated on. the border of Nepal and Tibet. Its height is 29,028 feet above sea-level. If this was the highest peak in the pre-flood world, the flood-waters were approximately 29,052 feet deep, or about five and a half miles deep at sea-level.

All life-forms on earth "in whose nostrils (was) the breath of life" perished in the Deluge. Only Noah and his family, and the creatures in the ark, were saved alive.

The flood-waters continued to rise for one hundred and fifty days before they became quiet and began to abate.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Genesis 7". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/genesis-7.html. 1985.
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