The Flood (cont’d), 1-24
Gen 7:1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.
Gen 7:2 Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate,
“Clean … unclean” – Scripture does not indicate how this distinction arose, but the Mosaic law would reinforce and clarify it.
There is widely supposed to be a contradiction between Gen 6:19-20, in which the animals were to enter the ark in twos, and the present passage, where the clean animals were to be taken in sevens. The discrepancy is due, it is said, to the use of two different sources (Gen 6:19-20 from a priestly source around 450 B.C. and Gen 7:2-3 came from an earlier Yahwistic source around 850 B.C.). Later editors must then had allowed the contradiction to stand. There is no contradiction, however, and no need to postulate separate sources, if we simply suppose that Gen 6:19-20 gives the basic instruction (two of each kind) and 7:2f) adds further detail (two of each kind and 7 of all clean animals). Gen 7:8,9 does not speak of the numbers of animals going in, but the manner. Seven of each clean animal (three pairs, with another animal to be used for sacrifice) marched into the ark by twos, and the other animals also went in by pairs.
Gen 7:3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.
Gen 7:4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”
Gen 7:5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.
Gen 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.
Gen 7:7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood.
Gen 7:8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground,
Gen 7:9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah.
Gen 7:10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.
Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.
Gen 7:12 And rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights.
Gen 7:13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.
Gen 7:14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings.
Gen 7:15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.
Gen 7:16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
Gen 7:17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth.
Gen 7:18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.
Gen 7:19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.
All the high mountains…were covered – This does not necessarily mean that the water reached to their tops. John Walton explains: ‘This verb is used for a wide variety of ‘covering’ possibilities. A people or weeds can be so vast that it covers the land (Num. 22:11; Prov. 24:31); a blanket or clothing covers someone (Ex. 28:42; 1 Kings 1:1). Something can be covered in the sense of being overshadowed (cherubim wings covering the ark, 2 Chron. 5:8; clouds covering the sky, Ps. 147:8)… Even today when someone walks in from a downpour we might say, ‘You’re covered with water!’ If Genesis 7:19 is taken the same way, it suggests that the mountains were drenched with water or coursing with flash floods, but it does not demand that they were totally submerged under water.’
Gen 7:20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.
Gen 7:21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished— birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.
Gen 7:22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.
Gen 7:23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
Only Noah was left – ‘Very likely some of them, when the rains descended and the floods came, as they were sinking in the waters, could say, “I helped to caulk her and to tar her. I helped, when the beats were coming in, to take fodder into the ark, and now I am lost myself.” You subscribed to the building of a house of prayer and never pray. You help to support the ministry, yet have no share in the good truth.’ (The Best of Spurgeon, 228)
Gen 7:24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.