The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Genesis 8

Gen 8:1

"Is it about oxen that God is concerned?" (1Co 9:9,10).

GOD REMEMBERED NOAH...: "You couldn't feel much more isolated than Noah and his family must have felt as they floated about in the ark for a year and ten days. They lived in semi-darkness with only themselves and the animals for company. They had no view of the world outside -- except for a small window at the top of the ark. And if they had looked out, most of what they would have seen would have been water. But this isolation, while it must have been unpleasant in many ways, was for the saving of all who were on the ark. Even so, they must have felt alone and forgotten during much of that time.

"But God doesn't forget. We read that He 'remembered' Noah and all who were with him in the ark.

"Sometimes we can feel isolated, alone or forgotten by the world around us. Maybe we feel that we have not been recognised as we should as we worked for the Lord. But we can take comfort in what God said about Noah. God will remember us and the time will come when we will find release from the situation we are in.

"In the meantime we can be sure that our trials are designed to aid in our salvation.

"Have hope.

"God cares" (RP).

REMEMBERED: Heb "zakar", watched over, protected: cp Psa 1:6.

WIND: "Ruach", cp Gen 1:2n.

THE WATERS RECEDED (ASSWAGED): Did God raise the mountains to facilitate runoff? Ocean floors lowered to accommodate vast new water supply: Note Psa 104:5-9.

Gen 8:3

Were there great tidal waves, which at last settled down?

The same 150 days as Gen 7:24.

Gen 8:4

ARARAT: See Halley 75. Armenia in Turkey. Harsh, lofty, inaccessible peaks. Authorities also mention other areas (Spk 71,72).

Gen 8:6

FORTY: 40 is the number of probation: Gen 7:4.

WINDOW: "Challon", a small aperture at the skylight ("zohar").

Gen 8:7

RAVEN: "Oreb" (from "arab") = dark, dusky, black. An unclean bird (Lev 11:15). Nevertheless (as sinful men), even the raven is cared for by God: Luk 12:24; Mat 5:45.

TO AND FRO: Never returns to shelter of ark. Resting on floating carcasses?

Gen 8:8

DOVE: "Yonah". The form of the Holy Spirit: Mat 3:16n. A clean bird, only one used in sacrifice (Lev 1:14). Harmlessness (Mat 10:16), the multitude of righteous (Son 1:15; 2:14; 4:1...). The "lamb" among bird life.

TO SEE IF THE WATERS HAD RECEDED (ABATED): The dove will settle only in dry and clean places.

Gen 8:9

NO PLACE TO SET ITS FEET: A parable of the righteous, who find no lasting place of rest in this wicked world.

BROUGHT IT BACK... IN THE ARK: "The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you" (Psa 116:6,7). Tired, and with no place to set its feet or lay its head, the dove found its way back to the Ark of safety, and Noah stretched out his hand to receive it back to himself. The "father" looked for, and then received back to his bosom the "prodigal son", who -- weary with looking for but finding no resting place -- returns to its home!

Gen 8:10

SEVEN DAYS: The covenant period.

Gen 8:11

OLIVE LEAF: The "earnest" of the promised inheritance: peace. A symbol of Israel in Hos 14:6. Wild olive branch sym Gentiles in Rom 11:19.

Gen 8:12

IT DID NOT RETURN: Now it goes forth to claim its "inheritance".

Gen 8:13

FIRST MONTH... FIRST DAY: A new beginning: Other new year's days: Exo 40:2 (tabernacle established); 2Ch 29:17 (Hezekiah sanctified temple); Ezr 7:9 (Ezra starts for Jerusalem from Babylon); Ezr 10:17 (foreign wives put away); Eze 45:18 (Ezekiel's temple to be sanctified).

COVERING FROM THE ARK: "On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations" (Isa 25:7). Sym return of Christ, when God is revealed more openly: 1Jo 3:2; Isa 66:14.

DRY: "Charevu": only the surface was dry as yet.

Gen 8:14

COMPLETELY DRY: "Yabeshah": earth dry, more thoroughly, in ct to v 13.

Gen 8:15

"Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets" (Amo 3:7).

Gen 8:17

BRING OUT: Man was to be the "shepherd" to all living creatures as they came out of the ark. Sym immortal saints teaching and guiding mortal nations in kingdom.

BE FRUITFUL AND INCREASE (MULTIPLY): Abundant physical life then points toward abundant spiritual life in Kingdom (Isa 65:19-22).

Gen 8:18


TOGETHER WITH HIS SONS... HIS WIFE... HIS SONS' WIVES: Family life was important then, now, and in future: Eph 6:1-3; Mic 4:4; Zec 12:12; Psa 68:8; Mat 19:29.

Gen 8:20

Vv 20-22: Divine promise to Noah.

ALL THE CLEAN ANIMALS: That is, all the clean sacrificial animals.

BURNT OFFERINGS: Note: a formal system of worship by sacrifice at this early date (see Lev 1:1-17: requirements of burnt offering).

Gen 8:21

PLEASING AROMA (SWEET SAVOUR): AV mg: "a savour of rest". The word "rest" is related to "Noah" (cp Gen 5:29).

NEVER AGAIN WILL I CURSE: Or, better, "I will not add to the curse..." -- ie of Gen 3:17. The same curse remains, but no worse is imposed.

EVIL: Psa 58:3; Pro 20:9; Ecc 7:20; Jer 10:23; 17:9; Rom 3:20.

NEVER AGAIN WILL I DESTROY ALL: Although the earth will be purged with fire: 2Pe 3. But the earth will not literally be burned up: 2Pe 3:6-13n. Cp Ecc 1:4; Psa 148:6; Isa 45:18.

Gen 8:22

The earth will not literally be burned up: 2Pe 3:6-13n. Cp Ecc 1:4; Psa 148:6; Isa 45:18.

Six divisions of Hebrew year, roughly equal to 2 months each. The year-long Flood had confounded normal cycle of seasons, but never again will this happen.

SEEDTIME AND HARVEST: The first 2 divisions of year require man's cooperation. But with the others, everything is in God's hands.

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