● Chapter 8
The Water Receded
Gen 8:1: And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;
2: The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
3: And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
4: And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
5: And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
Noah and every air-breathing living thing that were with him in the Ark floated about on the high waters that flooded the Earth. They were the only survivors. The waters had covered the whole Earth for as high as 15 cubits (22.5 feet or 6.86 meters) above the mountain tops. It is estimated that about 800 million people died in the Flood.
After 40 days, the water sources of the great deep and the floodgates of the heaven shut up, and the rain stopped. God remembered His covenant with Noah and began to take steps to see his deliverance from the water. He made a wind to move over the Earth to evaporate the water. Day by day, the water gradually receded from upon the land. By the end of the 150th day, from whence “the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” to flood the Earth, the water had decreased. “And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.”
[Note: It had been debated that Noah’s Ark did not rest on the mountains of Ararat but on some other mountains. Some theorized that it rested on Mount Everest because it is the highest mountain. No one knows how high the mountains were in Noah’s day. They were not as tall as the tall mountains on the Earth today. It is for certain, the Ark rested on one of the peak of the mountain range of Ararat. The Ark being rested on some other mountains is just presumption. Today’s topography of the Earth and its continents were carved out after the Flood. The Earth was divided (split) only in the days of Peleg (Gen.10:25). More illumination in verse 22.]
A total of 150 days (5 months) passed since the day the rain fell. The Ark came to rest on Ararat. It no longer floated on the water of the Flood. No land was visible but the water continued to subside considerably for another 74 days, until the 1st day of the 10th month of the 600th hundred year of Noah’s life, and the tops of the mountains were seen. Noah could only see the mountain tops from the window of the Ark. He could not see the condition of the surface of the Earth. The edge of the bulwark of the Ark obstructed his view.
Gen 8:6: And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
7: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
The water decreased very slowly, little by little. The amount of water was so great that it took time to evaporate to the heaven above, and to seep through the different soil layers of the Earth to find its place to settle. Such great pressure would move and shift the soil layers about until the water was collected in large basins of seas and lakes, and in the deep ocean trenches about the continents of the Earth. “The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth” (Psa.104:8-9 ESV).
Noah allowed 40 days to lapse. At the end of the 40 days, or 264th day since the rain fell, Noah opened the window of the Ark and sent forth a raven to scout out the land. However, the raven simply flew back and forth. It never came back into the Ark. Noah could not tell if the raven had landed on the Ark, and then took off again. Given that the raven, an unclean bird, did not return to Noah into the Ark, it could be assumed that the raven might have landed on the abundance of rotting carcasses floating on the water, and pecked on them for food. It did that until the water was dried up from off the Earth.
Gen 8:8: Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9: But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
10: And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
11: And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
12: And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
Since the raven did not return unto Noah into the Ark, Noah decided to send forth a clean bird, a dove — 7 days later. The dove flew off to scout. Finding no place that was clean and proper for her feet, with the water still covered the surface of the Earth, the dove returned to Noah into the Ark. Noah then waited yet another 7 days before he sent out the dove again. This time the dove returned in the evening with tidings of good news. In her mouth was an olive leaf which she plucked off from a hardy olive tree that had sprouted new leaves while the water was subsiding. The young olive leaf was a sign to Noah that the water was abating, and life would soon return to the surface of the Earth.
Patiently, Noah waited for yet another 7 days before he again sent out the dove for further tidings concerning the condition of the Earth. The dove never returned to Noah for she had found trees to perch, and to rest her feet; 21 days after she was first sent out. Everywhere the ground was drying up. Vegetation was sprouting, and trees were budding.
[Note: There are two significant numbers mentioned in the record of the Flood events — 40 and 7. “40” is the number of probation and trial. God’s testing brings about temperance, patience and godliness. “7” is the number of spiritual perfection in the Agape of Yahweh which encompass peace, comfort, and rest.]
Gen 8:13: And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
The 1st day of the 1st month of Noah’s 601st year of life was the 314th day since the door of the Ark was shut and the rain fell. It was 29 days since the dove left the Ark, and did not return; Noah removed the covering of the Ark to see for himself the condition of the environment around him. Noah looked and he saw that the water was mostly dried up from off the Earth but the ground was still soggy. Therefore Noah and his family and all the animals could not leave the Ark just yet. Also, God had not commanded him to do so.
There are hidden mysteries in the form of types and shadows surrounding the events of Noah’s Ark and the Great Deluge. The covering of the Ark of Noah is just one. It is a type of the covering of the Ark of the Covenant, and also the covering of the Tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness. It speaks of God’s covering to protect and preserve life. Under the covering of Noah’s Ark were the family of Noah and all the air-breathing animals and fowls safely kept alive from the destruction of the Earth by the Deluge. About 900 years later, after the enslaved children of Israel left Egypt and were made to wander in the wilderness, God commissioned Moses to build Him a tabernacle (tent). With it were several furniture constructed out of wood and gold; to show Yahweh’s Presence among the people. One of the furniture was the Ark of the Covenant which was placed in the Most Holy Place (or the Holy of Holiest) in the tabernacle. Under the covering (the mercy lid of the Ark of the Covenant), where the cherubim of glory overshadowed, were “the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant” (Heb.9:4). These all speak of the life that came from the WORD of God to the children of Israel “for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1Cor.10:4) which was later manifested in the flesh of Jesus. Jesus Christ is the “Ark of the Covenant”, and whosoever will enter into Him is passed from death into life eternal, being under the covering of His wings. Lastly, under the covering of the Tabernacle of Moses were the Holy of Holiest (where the Ark of the Covenant was placed) and the Holy Place (which had the Seven Golden Lampstand, the Table of Shewbread, and the Golden Altar of Incense). These two areas speak of the Presence of Yahweh and His ministration of the Word of Life in Christ Jesus to a people who are made “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1Pet.2:9), who should show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. These people are the household of God, sanctified by the Blood of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. They are under the shelter of His everlasting arms, protected and preserved till the day of His Coming.
The Water Dried Up
Gen 8:14: And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
15: And God spake unto Noah, saying,
16: Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
17: Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
18: And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:
19: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
The 27th day of the 2nd month of Noah’s 601st year of life was also the 371st day since the rain fell to flood the Earth. On this day was the Earth dried, the ground was no longer soggy. And Yahweh then commanded Noah to leave the Ark with his family, and to also take with him all the fowls, animals and creeping creatures. So, Noah and all his “crew” left the Ark, everyone after their kinds, that they may be fruitful, to reproduce abundantly their kinds on the Earth.
The Scripture (verse 18, cf. vv.16) states that “Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him”. Genesis 7:7 (cf. vv.13) states: “And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood”. It is clear that 8 souls went into the Ark and the same 8 souls came out of the Ark. The total number of days when the rain fell to the day that Noah left the Ark was 370 days, which is a year (360 days) and 10 days. During those days, there was not one soul (be it a Serpent seed or a Sethic seed) born in the Ark. Yahweh had preserved 8 souls for a new beginning in His destruction of the Earth. The number 8 speaks of new life, new beginning.
Gen 8:20: And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21: And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Noah did not hesitate to build an altar and offer burnt offerings of one of each kind of clean animals and clean fowls. He did that on his own volition in thanksgiving and faith to El Shaddai who had shone His face upon him and his family. Noah was acknowledging that he was a sinner and his life was forfeited to Yahweh, the Almighty.
The fire consumed Noah’s freewill offerings of joy and gladness; the soothing sweet fragrance ascended unto Yahweh. Yahweh was much pleased and He promised within Himself that He would not again bring such a destruction on all living things upon the Earth just as He had done, even though the heart of Mankind is set on evil from his childhood.
The Earth Altered
Gen 8:22: While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Even though the planet Earth will remain forever (Ecc.1:4), the condition of its form and feature had changed after the Great Deluge. Recall that in the era before the Flood a fountain of water clouded the Earth: “Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains” (Psa.104:6). “When I made the cloud the garment thereof…” (Job 38:9a). Earth’s climatic condition was ideal and stable all year round because of the greenhouse condition caused by the garment of water that shrouded it. There were no extreme climates. That was its original state until “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, and the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Gen.7:11b-12). This great inundation of waters had completely altered the surface of the whole Earth. It took 370 days for the waters to subside and partially return to the heaven where it came from. The rest of it remained on the Earth till this day. God had adjusted the Earth’s topography. The thick aqueous layer of water that swaddled the Earth is no more. All that remains of it are the ‘bits and pieces’ of torn garments of clouds floating about in the heaven above us. From that time, after the Flood, as long as the Earth exists, there will be regulation for “seedtime” (time for planting, sowing) and “harvest” (time to reap what was sown) because the state of the atmosphere had changed which brought rainy seasons (the implementation of the cycle of rainwater). Due to the uneven placement of land and water, the Earth had become tilted, causing the Earth to wobble as it rotates on its axis, slowing down its revolution around the sun to 365¼ days. Together with the loss of the greenhouse condition, there came upon the Earth, “summer” and “winter” seasons, “cold” and “hot” temperatures, and the uneven period of “day” and “night” (that is, light and darkness). All these shall not cease until there comes another change to the Earth. It will, in the future, when God sets fire to it to bring in the New Heaven and New Earth (2Pet.3:7) and that the garment of water that once shrouded the Earth as a heavenly greenhouse will be restored. The new Earth will have more land surface than water as it was in the original creation. The Earth’s rotation will be back on an axis perpendicular to the sun with an annual revolution of 360 days.