Genesis 8
Pulpit Commentary
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;
Verse 1. - And God. Elohim, i.e. God in his most universal relation to his creatures. The supposition of two different accounts or histories being intermingled in the narrative of the Flood (Bleek, Eichhorn, Hupfeld, Kalisch, Alford, Coleuso) is not required for a sufficient explanation of the varying use of the Divine names. Remembered. From a root signifying to prick, pierce, or print, e.g., upon the memory; hence to remember. "Not that there is oblivion or forgetfulness with God, but then God is said to remember when he showeth by the effects that he hath taken care of man" (Willet). He remembers man's sins when he punishes them (Psalm 25:7; cf. 1 Kings 17:20), and his people's needs when he supplies them (cf. Nehemiah 5:19). The expression is an anthropopathism designed to indicate the Divine compassion as well as grace. Calvin thinks the remembrance of which Moses speaks "ought to be referred not only to the external aspect of things (i.e. the coming deliverance), but also to the inward feeling of the holy man," who, through grace, was privileged to enjoy "some sensible experience of the Divine presence" while immured in the ark. Noah, - cf. the Divine remembrance of Abraham and Lot (Genesis 19:29), the request of the Hebrew psalmist (Psalm 132:1) - and every living thing, - chayyah, or wild beast (vide Genesis 1:25; Genesis 7:14) - and all the cattle that was with him in the ark. A touching indication of the tenderness of God towards his creatures (cf. Deuteronomy 25:4; Isaiah 36:6; 145:9, 15, 16; Jonah 4:11). As a proof that God remembered the lonely inmates of the ark, he at once takes steps to accomplish their deliverance, which steps are next enumerated. And God made a wind - ruach. Not the Holy Ghost, as in Genesis 1:2 (Theodoret, Ambrose, LXX. - πνεῦμα), nor the heat of the sun (Rupertus); but a current of air (ἄνεμος), which "would promote evaporation and aid the retreat of the waters" (Murphy): - the ordinary method of driving away rain and drying the ground (vide Proverbs 25:23); the special instrumentality employed to divide the waters of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21) - to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged, or began to grow calm, after a period of commotion (cf. Esther 2:1; Esther 7:10) - the first stage in the returning of the waters. Καὶ εκόπασε τὸ ὕδωρ, and the water grew tried (LXX.). Cf. ἐκόπασεν ὁ ἄνεμος, Matthew 14:32; Mark 4:39; Mark 6:51.
The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
Verse 2. - The fountains also of the deep, and the windows of heaven were stopped. וַיִּסָּכְרוּ, from סָכַר = סָגַר, to surround, to enclose; literally, were shut up; ἐπεκαλύφθησαν (LXX.). Their opening was described in Genesis 7:11. And the rain from heaven was restrained. וַיִּכָּלֵא, literally, was shut up, from כָּלָא, to close. Cf. κλείω, κωλύω, κολούω, celo, occulo (Gesenius, Furst), συνεσχέθη (LXX). At the end of the forty days (Genesis 7:12; Augustine, Willet); at the end of the 150 days (Aben Ezra, Murphy).
And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
Verse 3. - And the waters returned from off the earth continually. Literally, going and returning. "More and more" (Gesenius). The first verb expresses the continuance and self-increasing state of the action involved in the second; cf. Genesis 26:13; 1 Samuel 6:12; 2 Kings 2:11 (Furst). Gradually (Murphy, Ewald). The expression "denotes the turning-point after the waters had become calm" (T. Lewis). May it not be an attempt to represent the undulatory motion of the waves in an ebbing tide, in which the water seems first to advance, but only to retire with greater vehemence, reversing the movement of a flowing tide, in which it first retires and then advances - in the one case returning to go, in the other going to return? The LXX., as usual, indicates the visible effect rather than the actual phenomenon: καὶ ἐνεδίδου τὸ ὕδωρ πορεύομενον ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς. And after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. Literally, were cut off, hence diminished; imminsutae sunt (Vulgate); ἠλαττονοῦτο τὸ ὕδωρ (LXX.). The first stage was the quieting of the waters; the second was the commencement of an ebbing or backward motion; the third was a perceptible diminution of the waters.
And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
Verse 4. - And the ark rested. Not stopped sailing or floating, got becalmed, and remained suspended over (Kitto's 'Cyclop.,' art. Ararat), but actually grounded and settled on (Tayler Lewis) the place indicated by עַל (cf. ver. 9; also Exodus 10:14; Numbers 10:36; Numbers 11:25, 26; Isaiah 11:2). In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month. I.e. exactly 150 days from the commencement of the forty days' rain, reckoning thirty days to a month, which seems to confirm the opinion expressed (Genesis 7:24) that the forty days were included in the 150. Supposing the Flood to have begun in Marchesvan, the second month of the civil year (about the beginning of November), "we have then the remarkable coincidences that on the 17th day of Abib (about the beginning of April) the ark rested on Mount Ararat, the Israelites passed over the Red Sea, and our Lord rose again from the dead" ('Speaker's Commentary'). Upon the mountains. I.e. one of the mountains. "Pluralis numerus pro singulari ponitur" (cf. Genesis 21:7; Genesis 46:7; Judges 12:7; vide Glass., 'Philoh Seer. Tract.,' 1. cap. 14. p. 866). Of Ararat.

1. It is agreed by all that the term Ararat describes a region.

2. This region has been supposed to be the island of Ceylon (Samaritan), Aryavarta, the sacred land to the north of India (Van Bohlen, arguing from Genesis 11:2); but "it is evident that these and such like theories have been framed in forgetfulness of what the Bible has recorded respecting the locality" (Kitto's 'Cyclopedia,' art. Ararat).

3. The locality which appears to have the countenance of Scripture is the region of Armenia (cf. 2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38; Jeremiah 51:27; Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, Vulgate).

4. In Armenia three different mountains have been selected as the site on which the ark grounded.

(1) The modern Ararat, which rises in Northern Armenia, about twelve miles south of Erivan, in the form of two majestic cones, the one 16, 254, and the ether 12,284 feet (Parisian) in height above the level of the sea (Hierony. mus, Furst, Kalisch, Keil, Delitzsch, and Lange). All but universal tradition has decided that the loftiest of these two peaks (called Macis in Armenian; Aghri-Dagh, i.e. the difficult or steep mountain, by the Turks; Kuchi Nuch, i.e. the mountain of Noah, by the Persians) was the spot where the sacred vessel first felt the solid land. Travelers describe the appearance of this amazing elevation as of incomparable and overpowering splendor. "It appeared as if the highest mountains in the world had been piled upon each other to form this one sublime immensity of earth and rocks and snow. The icy peaks of its double head rose majestically into the clear and cloudless heavens; the sun blazed bright upon them, and the reflection sent forth a radiance equal to other suns" (Ker Porters 'Travels, 1:132; 2:636). "Nothing can be more beautiful than its shape, more awful than its height. All the surrounding mountains sink into insignificance when compared to it. It is perfect in all its parts; no hard, rugged feature, no unnatural prominences; everything is in harmony, and all combines to render it one of the sublimest objects in nature" (Morier's 'Journey,' 1:16; 2:312, 345). The ascent of the Kara Dagh, or Greater Ararat, which the Armenians believe to be guarded by angels from the profane foot of man, after two unsuccessful attempts, was accomplished in 1829 by Professor Parrot, a German, and five years later, in 1834, by the Russian traveler Automonoff. In 1856 five English travelers, Majors Stewart and Frazer, Roy. Walter Thursby, Messrs. Thee-bald and Evans, performed the herculean task. The latest successful attempt was that of Prof. Bryce of Oxford in 1876 (vide 'Transcaucasia and Ararat:' London: Macmillan and Co., 1877).

(2) An unknown mountain in Central Armenia between the Araxes and lakes Van and Urumiah (Vulgate, super mantes Armeniae; Gesenius, Murphy, Wordsworth, Bush, 'Speaker's Commentary').

(3) A peak in the Gordyaean mountains, or Carduchian range, separating Armenia on the south from Kurdistan (Chaldea Paraphrase, Onkelos, Syriac, Calvin), near which is a town called Naxuana, the city of Noah (Ptolemy), Idshenan (Moses Chorenensis), and Nachid-shenan, the first place of descent (the Armenians), which Josephus translates by ἀπορατήριον, or the place of descent. Against the first is the inaccessible height of the mountain; in favor of the third is the proximity of the region to the starting-place of the ark.
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.
Verse 5. - And the waters decreased continually - literally, were going and decreasing - until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, - chodesh, a lunar month, beginning at the new moon, from chadash, to be new; νεομηνία, LXX. (cf. Exodus 13:5). Chodesh yamim, the period of a month (cf. Genesis 29:14; Numbers 11:20, 21) - were the tops of the mountains seen. "Became distinctly visible" (Tayler Lewis, who thinks they may have previously projected above the waters). Apparuerunt cacumina montium (Vulgate). The waters had now been subsiding ten weeks, and as the height of the water above the highest hills was probably determined by the draught of the ark, we may naturally reason that the subsidence which had taken place since the seventeenth day of the seventh month was not less than three hundred and fifteen inches, at twenty-one inches to the cubit, or about four and one-third inches a day.
And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
Verses 6, 7. - And it came to pass, literally, it was - at the end of forty days. Delaying through combined fear and sorrow on account of the Divine judgment (Calvin); to allow sufficient space to undo the effect of the forty days' rain (Murphy); probably just to be assured that the Deluge would not return. That Noah opened the window - chalon, a window, "so called from being perforated, from chalal, to bore or pierce" (Gesenius); used of the window of Rahab's house (Joshua 2:18); not the window (tsohar) of Genesis 6:16, q.v. - of the ark which ha had made: and he sent forth a raven. Literally, the orev, so called from its black color' (Gesenius; cf. Song of Solomon 5:11), Latin, corvus, a raven or crow; the article being used either

(1) because the species of bird is intended to be indicated (Kalisch), or

(2) because there was only one male raven in the ark, the raven being among the unclean birds (Leviticus 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14; Lunge); but against this is "the dove" (per. 8); or

(3) because it had come to be well known from this particular circumstance (Keil). Its peculiar fitness for the mission imposed on it lay in its being a bird of prey, and therefore able to sustain itself by feeding on carrion (Proverbs 30:17). To the incident here recorded is doubtless to be traced the prophetic character which in the ancient heathen world, and among the Arabians in particular, was supposed to attach to this ominous bird. Which went to and fro. Literally, and it went forth going and returning, i.e. flying backwards and forwards, from the ark and to the ark, perhaps resting on it, but not entering into it (Calvin, Willet, Ainsworth, Keil, Kalisch, Lunge, Bush, 'Speaker's Commentary'); though some have conceived that it no more returned to the ark, but kept flying to and fro throughout the earth (LXX., "καὶ ἐξελθὼν οὐκ ἀνέστρεψεν;" Vulgate, "qui egrediebatur et non revertebatur;" Alford, "it is hardly probable that it returned;" Murphy, "it did not need to return"). Until the waters were dried up from off the earth. When of course its return was unnecessary. Cf. for a similar form of expression 2 Samuel 6:23. Whether it entirely disappeared at the first, or continued hovering round the ark, Noah was unable from its movements to arrive at any certain conclusion as to the condition of the earth, and accordingly required to adopt another expedient, which he did in the mission of the dove.
And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
Verses 8, 9. - Also he sent forth - per. 10 seems to Warrant the inference that this was after an interval of seven days (Baumgarten, Knobel, Keil, Lange) - a dove. Literally, the dove. The Scriptural references to the dove are very numerous: cf. Psalm 68:14 (its beautiful plumage); Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 12:6 (its sacrificial use); Isaiah 38:14; Isaiah 59:11 (its plaintive notes); Psalm 55:6 (its power of flight); Matthew 10:16 (its gentleness); vide also the metaphorical usage of the term in Song of Solomon 1:15; Song of Solomon 5:12 (beautiful eyes); Song of Solomon 5:2; Song of Solomon 6:9 (a term of endearment). From him. I.e. from himself, from the ark; not ὀπίχω αὐτοῦ (LXX.), post eum (Vulgate); i.e. after the raven. Lange thinks the expression indicates that the gentle creature had to be driven from its shelter out upon the wide waste of water. To see if the waters were abated - literally, lightened, i.e. decreased (per. 11) - from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the solo of her foot. The earth being not yet dry, but wet and muddy, and doves delighting to settle only on such places as are dry and clean; or the mountain tops, though visible, being either too distant or too high, and doves delighting in valleys and level plains, whence they are called doves of the valleys (Ezekiel 7:16). And she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were upon (literally, waters upon; a much more graphic statement than appears in the A.V.) the face of the whole earth: then (literally, and) he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in (literally, caused her to come in) unto him into the ark.
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.
And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
Verse 10. - And he stayed. וַיָחֶל, fut. apoc., Hif. of חוּל, to turn, to twist, to be afraid, to tremble, to wait (Furst); fut. apoc. Kal (Gesenius). Yet other seven days. עוד, prop. the inf. absol, of the verb עוּט, to go over again, to repeat; hence, as an adverb, conveying the idea of doing over again the action expressed in the verb (cf. Genesis 46:29; Psalm 84:5). And again he sent forth - literally, he added to send (cf. vers. 12, 21) - the dove out of the ark.
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.
Verse 11. - And the dove came in unto him. Literally, to him. As the manner of doves is, partly for better accommodation both for food and lodging than yet he could meet with abroad, and partly from love to his mate (Peele). In the evening (of the seventh day). And, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off. Not as if "Deo jubente, uno die germinavit terra" (Ambrose), but because the olive leaves kept green under water (Chrysostom). Rosenmüller, Lange, and Kalisch quote Pliny (13. 50) and Theophrastus ('Hist. Plant., 4:8) to this effect. That the olive tree grows in Armenia is proved by the testimony of Strabo (11. 575), Horace (Od. I. 7. 7), Virgil (Georg. 2:3), Diodorus Siculus (1. 17), &c. On this point vide Kalisch. The leaf which the dove carried towards the ark was "taraf," freshly plucked; hence rightly translated by "viride (Michaelis, Rosenmüller) rather than by "decerptum" (Chaldee, Arabic) or "raptum" (Calvin). Κάρφος (LXX.) is just the opposite of "fresh," viz., withered. So Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
Verse 12. - And he stayed. וַיִּיָּחֶל; Niph. fut. of יָחַל (Gesenius); cf. וַיָּחֶל. (ver. 10), Hiph. fut. of חוּל (Furst, Delitzsch). Tayler Lewis, following Jewish authorities, would derive both from יָחַל; with Aben Ezra making the first a regular Niphal, and with Rashi the second a contracted Piel (vide Lunge, p. 308; Clark's 'For. Theol. Lib.'). Yet other seven days. The frequent repetition of the number seven clearly points to the hebdomadal division of the week, and the institution of Sabbatic rest (vide Genesis 2:1-3, Expos.). And sent forth the dove. "The more we examine these acts of Noah, the more it will strike us that they must have been of a religious nature. He did not take such observations, and so send out the birds, as mere arbitrary acts, prompted simply by his curiosity or his impatience; but as a man of faith and prayer he inquired of the Lord. What more likely then that such inquiry should have its basis in solemn religious exercises, not arbitrarily entered into, but on days held sacred for prayer and religious rest?" (T. Lewis). Which returned not again (literally, and it added not to return) unto him any more.
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.
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.
And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
Verse 14. - And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. יָבְשָׁה The three Hebrew verbs employed to depict the gradual cessation of the floods express a regular gradation; קָלַל (ver. 11), to be lightened, signifying their abatement or diminution (κεκόπακε τὸ ὕδωρ, LXX.); חָרַב (ver. 13), to be dried up, indicating the disappearance of the water (ἐξέλιπε τό ὕδωρ, LXX.); יָבֵשׁ (ver. 14), to be dry, denoting the desiccation of the ground (ἐξηράνθη ἡ γῆ, (LXX.). Cf. Isaiah 19:5, where there is a similar gradation: וְנָהָר יֶךחרַב וְיָבְשׁ, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.

The data are insufficient to enable us to determine whether the Noachic year was solar or lunar. It has been conjectured that the year consisted of twelve months of thirty days, with five intercalated days at the end to make up the solar year of three hundred and sixty-five days (Ewald); of seven months of thirty days and five of thirty-one (Bohlen); of five of thirty and seven of twenty-nine (Knobel); but the circumstance that the period from the commencement of the Deluge to the touching of Ararat extended over five months exactly, and that the waters are said to have previously prevailed for one hundred and fifty days, naturally leads to the conclusion that the months of Noah's year were equal periods of thirty days.

And God spake unto Noah, saying,
Verses 15-17. - And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark. For which command doubtless the patriarch waited, as he had done for instructions to enter in (Genesis 7:11), "being restrained by a hallowed modesty from allowing himself to enjoy the bounty of nature till he should hear the voice of God directing him to do so" (Calvin). Thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. The order is different, in Genesis 7:7, whence Ambrose noteth, "non commiscetur sexus in introitu, sod commiscetur in ingressu." Bring forth with thee - God having preserved alive the creatures that a twelvemonth before had been taken into the ark, and were now to be restored to their appropriate habitations on the earth - 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 (cf. Genesis 7:21; Genesis 9:10); that they may breed abundantly - sharatz, to creep or crawl, used of reptiles and small water animals (Genesis 1:20; Genesis 7:21); hence to swarm, or multiply (Genesis 9:7) - in the earth, and be fruitful (Genesis 1:22), and multiply - literally, become numerous - upon the earth.
Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.
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.
And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:
Verses 18, 19. - And Noah went forth, - in obedience to the Divine command, - and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, - in obedience to Noah, to whom alone the Divine instructions were communicated; - an early instance of filial subjection to parents. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, i.e. the chayyah, the remes, the 'oph, all creepers upon the ground (cf. Genesis 1:26; Genesis 7:8, 14), all of which had previously entered in. After their kinds. Hebrew, families, tribes (Genesis 10:18); i.e. not confusedly, but in an orderly fashion, as they had come in, each one sorting to its kind. Went forth out of the ark.
Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
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.
Verse 20. - And Noah builded an altar. Mizbeach, a place for slaying sacrifices, from zabach, to slaughter animals (Genesis 31:54), to slay in sacrifice (Leviticus 9:4; 1 Samuel 1:4), as θυσιαστήριον, from θύειν, is the first altar mentioned in history. The English term (from altus, high) signifies a high place, because the altar was commonly a raised structure or mound of earth or stones (Exodus 20:24). Keil thinks that altars were not required prior to the Flood, the Divine presence being still visibly among men at the gate of Eden, "so that they could turn their offerings and their hearts towards that abode." Poole, Clarke, Bush, and Inglis hold that the antediluvian sacrifices presupposed an altar. Unto the Lord. Jehovah, the God of salvation. And took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl. Vide Genesis 7:2. "Seldom has there been a more liberal offering in proportion to the means of the giver. His whole stock of clean animals, wherewith to fill the world, was seven pairs of each" (Inglis). And offered. By Divine appointment, since his service was accepted; and "all religious services which are not perfumed with the odor of faith are of an ill savor before God (Calvin); but "God is peculiarly well pleased with free-will offerings, and surely, if ever an occasion existed for the exercise of grateful and adoring sentiments, the present was one" (Bush). Burnt offerings. 'oloth, literally, things that ascend, from 'alah, to go up, alluding not to the elevation of the victims on the altar, but to the ascension of the smoke of the burnt offerings to heaven (cf. Judges 20:40; Jeremiah 48:15; Amos 4:10). On the altar.
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.
Verse 21 - And the Lord (Jehovah) smelled - as is done by drawing the air in and out through the nostrils; from the root ruach, to breathe; high., to smell - a sweet savor. Reach hannichoach literally, an odor of satisfaction, acquiescence, or rest; from nuach, to rest, with an allusion to Noah's name (vide Genesis 5:29); ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας (LXX.); (cf. Leviticus 2:12; Leviticus 26:31; Numbers 15:3; Ezekiel 6:13). The meaning is that the sacrifice of the patriarch was as acceptable to God as refreshing odors are to the senses of a man; and that which rendered it acceptable was

(1) the feeling from which it sprang, whether gratitude or obedience;

(2) the truths which it expressed - it was tantamount to an acknowledgment of personal guilt, a devout recognition of the Divine mercy, an explicit declaration that he had been saved or could only be saved through the offering up of the life of another, and a cheerful consecration of his redeemed life to God;

(3) the great sacrifice of which it was a type. Paul, by using the language of the LXX. (Ephesians 5:2), shows that he regarded the two as connected. And the Lord said in his heart. I.e. resolved within himself. It is not certain that this determination on the part of Jehovah was at this time communicated to the patriarch (cf. Genesis 6:3, 7 for Divine inward resolves which were not at the moment made known), unless the correct reading be to his (Noah's) heart, meaning the Lord comforted him (cf. Judges 19:3; Ruth 2:13; Isaiah 40:2; Hosea 2:14), which is barely probable. I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake. Literally, I will not add to curse. Not a revocation of the curse of Genesis 3:17, nor a pledge that such curse would not be duplicated. The language refers solely to the visitation of the Deluge, and promises not that God may not some. times visit particular localities with a flood, but that another such world-wide catastrophe should never overtake the human race. For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Genesis 6:5 assigns this as the reason for man's destruction; a proof of inconsistency between the Elohistic author and his Jehovistic editor (Bleek). "Hie inconstantiae videtur Deus accusari posse" (Luther). "God seems to contradict himself by having previously declared that the world must be destroyed because its iniquity was desperate" (Calvin). Some endeavor to remove the incongruity by translating כִּי as although (Bush, Inglis), but "there are few (if any) places were כִּי can be rendered although" (T. Lewis). Others connect it with "for man's sake," as explanatory not of the promise, but of the past judgment (Murphy), or as stating that any future cursing of the ground would not be for man's sake (Jacobus). The true solution of the difficulty appears to lie in the clause "from his youth," as if God meant to say that whereas formerly he had visited man with judicial extermination on account of his absolute moral corruption, he would now have regard to the circumstance that man inherited his depravity through his birth, and, instead of smiting man with punitive destruction, would visit him with compassionate forbearance (Keil, 'Speaker's Commentary'). Tayler Lewis regards the expression as strongly anthropopathic, like Genesis 6:6, and indicative of the Divine regret at so calamitous an act as the Deluge, although that act was absolutely just and necessary. Neither will I again smite any more every living thing, as I have done. There should be no more deluge, but -
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Verse 22. - While the earth remaineth. Literally, as yet, all the days of the earth, i.e. henceforth, so long as the earth continues, עֹד expressing the ideas of repetition and continuance (vide ver. 12). Seed-time and harvest, - from roots signifying to scatter, e.g. seed, and to cut off, specially grain; σπέρμα καὶ θερισμὸς (LXX.) - and cold and heat, - ψύχος καὶ καῦμα (LXX.) - and summer and winter. Properly the cutting off of fruits, from a root meaning to cut off, hence summer; and the time when fruits are plucked, hence autumn (including winter); the import of the root being to gather, to pluck off; θέρος καὶ ἔαρ (LXX.). The first term of each pair denotes the first half of the year, and the second term of each pair the second half. And day and night (cf. Genesis 1:5) shall not cease. Hebrew, lo yish-bothu, shall not sabbatise, or keep a day of rest; i.e. they shall continue ever in operation and succession. This Divine promise to conserve the orderly constitution and course of nature is elsewhere styled "God's covenant of the day and of the night" (cf. Jeremiah 33:20, 25).


1. The Babylonian.

(1) From the Chaldean monuments. As deciphered from the eleventh tablet of the Izdubar series, the story of the Flood is briefly this: - Izdubar, whom George Smith identifies with Nimrod, the founder of Babylonia, is informed by Hasisadra, whom the same authority believes to represent Noah, of a Divine commandment which he had received to construct a ship after a specified pattern, in which to save himself and "the seed of all life," because the city Surippak wherein he dwelt was to be destroyed. After first attempting to excuse himself, as he explains to Izdubar, on the ground that "young and old will deride him," Hasisadra builds the ship, and causes to go up into it "all my male servants and my female the ants, the beast of the field, the animal of the field, the sons of the people, all of them," while the god Shamas makes a flood, causing it to rain heavily. The flood destroys all life from the face of the earth Six days and nights the storm rages; on the seventh it grows calm. Twelve measures above the sea rises the land. The ship is stopped by a mountain in the country of Nizir. After seven days Hasisadra sends forth a dove, "which went and turned, and a resting-place it did not find, and it returned;" then a swallow, and finally a raven. On the decrease of the waters he sends forth the animals, and builds an altar on the peak of the mountain, and pours out a libation ('Chaldean Genesis,' Genesis 16; 'Records of the Past,' vol. 7:133-141).

(2) From Berosus. The god Kronos appeared to Xisuthrus, the tenth Mug of Babylon, in a vision, and warned him of an approaching deluge upon the fifteenth day of the month Desius, by which mankind would be destroyed. Among other things the god instructed him to build a vessel for the preservation of himself and friends, and specimens of the different animals. Obeying the Divine admonition, he built a vessel five stadia in length and two in breadth, and conveyed into it his wife, children, and friends. After the flood had been upon the earth he three times sent out birds from the vessel, which returned to him the second time with mud upon their feet, and the third time returned to him no more. Find. ing that the vessel had grounded on a mountain, Xisuthrus disembarked with his wife and children, and, having constructed an altar, offered sacrifices to the gods, in reward for which he was raized immediately to heaven ('Chaldean Genesis,' Genesis 3; Kalisch, p. 202; 'Encyclopedia Britannica,' art. Deluge, ninth edition).

2. The Egyptian. Though commonly alleged to be entirely unknown in the Nile valley, it is certain that the germs of the Deluge story are to be discovered even there. According to the Egyptian historian Manetho, quoted by Eusebius, Thoth, the first Hermes, erected certain pillars with inscriptions, which, after the Deluge, were transcribed into books. Plato also states in the Timaeus (chap. 5.) that a certain Egyptian priest informed Solon that the gods, when wishing to purify the earth, were accustomed to overwhelm it by a deluge, from which the herdsmen and shepherds saved themselves on the tops of the mountains. Josephus ('Ant.,' I.3.9) certifies that Hieronymus the Egyptian refers to the Flood. A conception altogether analogous to that of Genesis is likewise to be found in a myth belonging to the archaic period of Seti I., which represents Ra, the Creator, as being disgusted with the insolence of mankind, and resolving to exterminate them (vide Inscription of the Destruction of Mankind, ' Records of the Past,' vol. 6. p. 103). In short, the Egyptians believed not that there was no deluge, but that there had been several The absence of any indications of this belief in the recovered literature of ancient Egypt is not sufficient to set aside the above concurrent testimonies to its existence (Kitto, 'Bible Illustrations,' vol. 1. p. 150; Rawlinson's 'Historical Illustrations of O. T.;' 'Encycl. Britan.,' art. Deluge, ninth edition).

3. The Indian. Through the theft of the sacred Vedas by the giant Hayagrivah, the human race became fearfully degenerate, with the exception of seven saints and the good King Satyavrata, to whom the Divine spirit Vishnu appeared in the form of a fish, in. forming him of his purpose to destroy the earth by a flood, and at the same time to send a ship miraculously constructed for the preservation of himself and the seven holy ones, along with their wives, and one pair of each of all the irrational animals. After seven days the rain descended, when Satyavrata, confiding in the promises of the god, saw a huge ship drawing near, into which he entered as directed. Then the god appeared in the form of a fish a million miles long, with an immense horn, to which the king made the ship fast, and, drawing it for many years (a night of Brahma), at length landed it upon the highest peak of Mount Himavau. When the flood abated the god arose, struck the demon Hayagrivah, recovered the sacred books, instructed Satyavrata in all heavenly sciences, and appointed him the seventh Mann, from whom the second population of the earth descended in a supernatural manner, whence man is styled Manudsha (born of Mann). Vide Kalisch, p. 203; Auberlen's 'Divine Revelation,' p. 169 (Clark's 'For. Theol. Lib.' ).

4. The Grecian. It is sufficient here to refer to the well-known story of Deucalion and Pyrrha, first given in Pindar, and afterwards related by Apollodorus, Plutarch, Lucian, and Ovid, whose account bears so close a resemblance to the Biblical narrative as to suggest the probability of access to Hebrew or Syrian sources of information. The previous corruption of manners and morals, the eminent piety of Deucalion, the determination "genus mortals sub undisperdere," the construction of a boat by Divine direction, the bursting of the storm, the rising of the waters, the universal ocean in which "jamque mare et tellus nullum discrimen habebant," the subsidence of the flood, the landing of the boat on Parnassus with its double peak, the consultation of the Deity "per sacras sortes," and the answer of the god as to how the earth was to be re-peopled "ossaque post tergum magnae jactare parentis," are detailed with such graphic power as makes them read "like amplified reports of the record in Genesis." Indeed, by Philo, Deucalion was distinctly regarded as Noah. Cf. Ovid, 'Metamorph.,' lib. 1. f. 7; 'Kalisch on Genesis,' p. 203; Kitto's 'Bible Illustrations,' p. 150 (Porter's edition); 'Lange on Genesis,' p. 294, note by Tayler Lewis; Smith's ' Dictionary of the Bible,' art. Noah.

5. The American. Traditions of the Flood appear to be even more numerous in the New World than the Old. The Esquimatux in the North, the Red Indians, the Mexicans and the Brazilians in the central parts of America, and the Peruvians in the South have all their peculiar versions of the Deluge story. Chasewee, the ancestor of the Dog. rib Indians, on the Mackensie river, according to Franklin, escaped in a canoe from a flood which overflowed the earth, taking with him all manner of four-footed beasts and birds. The Astees, the Mixtees, the Zapotess, and other nations inhabiting Mexico all have, according to Humboldt, their Noahs, Xisuthrus, or Manus (called Coxcox, Teocipactli, or Tezpi), who saves himself by a raft, or in a ship, which lands upon the summit of Colhuacan, the Ararat of the Mexicans. The legends of the Tamanacks relate that a man and woman saved themselves from the Deluge, and repeopled the earth by casting behind them the fruits of the Mauritia palm tree (Kalisch, p. 205; Auberlen's 'Divine Revelation,' p. 171; Smith's 'Dictionary,' art. Noah). What, then, is the conclusion to be drawn from this universal diffusion of the Deluge story? The theory of Schirren and Gerland, as stated by the writer of the article Deluge in the 'Encyclopedia Britannica,' is that the Deluge stories were originally other-myths, descriptive of the phenomena of the sky, which have been transferred from the celestial regions to the earth; but, as Kalisch justly observes, "the harmony between all these accounts is an undeniable guarantee that the tradition is no idle invention;" or, as is forcibly stated by Rawlinson, of a tradition existing among all the great races into which ethnologists have divided mankind, - the Shemites, the Hamites, the Aryans, the Turanians, - "but one rational account can be given, viz., that it embodies the recollection of a fact in which all mankind was concerned."

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