Genesis 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.
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(13) The first day of the month.—It will be plain to any one studying the following table that this was exactly one month after the day on which Noah, for the third time, sent out the dove (Genesis 8:12):—

The flood commenced in the second month, called

Marchesvan, on day 17.

The waters prevail during 150 days = 5 months,

unto month 7, day 17.

Mountain-tops seen on month 10, day 1,

i.e., after73 days.

Noah sends out raven at end of40 days.

Dove thrice sent out, at intervals of

7 days= 21 days.

134 days.

But from the seventeenth day of the seventh month to the first day of the first month of the following year, there are:—

Of the seventh month13 days.

Five months of 30 days each = 150 days.

First day of new year1 days.

164 days.

It was thus very slowly that the earth returned to its normal state. The intervals of seven days between the sending forth of the birds prove that the division of time into weeks was fully established, and also suggests that religious observances were connected with it.

The covering of the ark.—The word is elsewhere used of the covering of skins for the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:14; Numbers 4:25), and it has probably a similar meaning here. To have removed the solid framework of the roof would have been a very laborious task, and still more so to have broken up the roof itself. But as the asphalte employed for filling up the interstices between the beams in the hulk of the ark would have been difficult to manage for the roof, it was apparently protected from the rain by a covering, probably of skins sewn together.

No one can read the narrative without noticing that Noah is not only described as shut up within the ark, but as having very slight means of observing what was going on around. Had there been a deck, Noah would have known exactly the state of the flood, whereas, peeping only through the zohar, he seems to have been able to see but little, possibly because his sight was obstructed by the overhanging eaves of the roof. Thus the freshly-plucked olive-leaf was like a revelation to him. But when these skins were taken off, there were numerous apertures through which he could obtain an uninterrupted view, and he “looked, and, behold, the face of the adâmâh was dry.”

Genesis 8:13-14. Noah removed the covering of the ark — Not the whole covering, but so much as would suffice to give him a prospect of the earth about it: and behold the face of the ground was dry; and in the 27th day of the second month was a fit habitation for Noah.

8:13-19 God consults our benefit, rather than our desires; he knows what is good for us better than we do for ourselves, and how long it is fit our restraints should continue, and desired mercies should be delayed. We would go out of the ark before the ground is dried; and perhaps, if the door, is shut, are ready to thrust off the covering, and to climb up some other way; but God's time of showing mercy is the best time. As Noah had a command to go into the ark, so, how tedious soever his confinement there was, he would wait for a command to go out of it again. We must in all our ways acknowledge God, and set him before us in all our removals. Those only go under God's protection, who follow God's direction, and submit to him.Noah delays apparently another month, and, on the first day of the new year, ventures to remove the covering of the ark and look around. The date of the complete drying of the land is then given. The interval from the entrance to the exit consists of the following periods:

Rain continued 40 days Waters prevailed 150 days Waters subside 99 days Noah delays 40 days Sending of the raven and the dove 20 days Another month 29 days Interval until the 27th of the 2nd month 57 days Sum-total of days 365 days

Hence, it appears that the interval was a lunar year of three hundred and fifty-six days nearly, and ten days; that is, as nearly as possible, a solar year. This passage is important on account of the divisions of time which it brings out at this early epoch. The week of seven days is plainly intimated. The lunar month and year are evidently known. It is remarkable that the ten additional days bring up the lunar year in whole numbers to the solar. It seems a tacit agreement with the real order of nature. According to the Hebrew text, the deluge commenced in the 1656th year of the race of man. According to all texts it occurred in the time of Noah, the ninth in descent from Adam.

13, 14. Noah removed the covering of the ark—probably only as much of it as would afford him a prospect of the earth around. Yet for about two months he never stirred from his appointed abode till he had received the express permission of God. We should watch the leading of Providence to direct us in every step of the journey of life. The words month and day are ofttimes, for brevity sake, omitted by the Hebrews, as being easily understood. Thus the first of the feast, Matthew 26:17, is the first day of the feast, Mark 14:12.

And it came to pass, in the six hundred and first year,.... Of Noah's life, and so the Septuagint adds, in the first month:

the first day of the month; so that it was the first day of the year, New Year's Day, and a joyful one it was to Noah and his family, when they saw dry ground; which they had not seen for above ten months: according to R. Joshua, this was the month Nisan, which was the first month with the Jews on sacred accounts; but according to R. Eliezer it was the month of Tisri, as Jarchi observes, which was their first month on civil accounts, and was their most ancient way of reckoning; and so the Targum of Jonathan explains it, adding, and Tisri; which answers to part of September, and part of October; and according to Bishop Usher (x), this day was Friday, October 23, A. M. 1657:

the waters were dried up from off the earth: by the wind that continued to pass over it, and by the sun, which exhaled great quantities of it throughout the whole summer season; as it was from the end of the one hundred days, when the wind was first made, and the waters began to assuage to this time; as well as also by their soaking into the earth, and by returning to the cavities and receptacles in it:

and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked; not the roof of it, at least not the whole, only a board or two; though perhaps this was a covering made of skins, that was thrown over the ark, like that which was put over the tabernacle of Moses, and was made of skins, Exodus 26:14 where the same word is used as here: the use of this might be to hang over the window and defend it from the rain; so that the uncovering of the ark was only putting by, or turning up this covering, that he might be able more clearly to see, out of the window, how things were:

and, behold, the face of the ground was dry; the ground or surface of the earth looked dry; but was not so dry and hard as to bear heavy bodies, or the foot to tread on it, being soft and tender, through the water so long upon it, and had left mud and slime, not yet sufficiently hardened by the wind and sun to walk upon.

(x) Ut supra. (Annales Vet. Test. p. 4.)

And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the {g} 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.

(g) Called in Hebrew Abib, part of March and part of April.

Verse 13. - And it came to pass (literally, it was) in the six hundredth and first year (of Noah's life; so LXX.), in the first month, - τοῦ πρώτου μηνὸς, (LXX.); the word for month (expressed in vers. 4, 14) being omitted in the Hebrew text for brevity, - the first day of the month, the waters were dried up - the root signifies to burn up or become dry in consequence of heat (Furst); "it merely denotes the absence of water" (Gesenius) - from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark - mikseh, from kasah, to cover; used of the covering of the ark (Exodus 26:14) and of the holy vessels (Numbers 4:8, 12), and hence supposed to be made of skins (Knobel, Bush); but "the deck of an ark on which the rain-storms spent their force must surely have been of as great stability as the ark itself (Lange) - and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. Genesis 8:13Noah waited some time, and then, on the first day of the first month, in the 601st year of his life, removed the covering from the ark, that he might obtain a freer prospect over the earth. He could see that the surface of the earth was dry; but it was not till the 27th day of the second month, 57 days, therefore, after the removal of the roof, that the earth was completely dried up. Then God commanded him to leave the ark with his family and all the animals; and so far as the latter were concerned, He renewed the blessing of the creation (Genesis 8:17 cf. Genesis 1:22). As the flood commenced on the 17th of the second month of the 600th year of Noah's life, and ended on the 27th of the second month of the 601st year, it lasted a year and ten days; but whether a solar year of 360 of 365 days, or a lunar year of 352, is doubtful. The former is the more probable, as the first five months are said to have consisted of 150 days, which suits the solar year better than the lunar. The question cannot be decided with certainty, because we neither know the number of days between the 17th of the seventh month and the 1st of the tenth month, nor the interval between the sending out of the dove and the 1st day of the first month of the 601st year.
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