(Gen 8:1 NASB) But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.
Gen 8:1: The text states that, “Elohim caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.” This wind described here would undoubtedly have been a strong wind due to the sudden changes of temperature on the earth. Sudden freezing temperatures would have occurred in the polar regions and large amounts of evaporation would have taken place near the equator. However, these winds would not have accounted for the subsiding of the waters. There must have been a huge rearrangement of the earth’s landscape (Psalm 104:6-9). “… The mountains rose; the valleys sank down…” (NAS) Those verses obviously deal with the Flood because of the reference to the covenant with Noah (no more worldwide flooding).
(Gen 8:2 NASB) Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;
Gen 8:2: The volcanic action of this event probably formed the mountains we have today and the collapse of the enormous underground water reservoirs formed the deep oceans.
The wind that Elohim caused over the earth (v.1) may have the little extra push that caused the underground reservoirs to collapse since they were no longer pressurized.
(Gen 8:3 NASB) and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.
Gen 8:3: The Hebrew expression for “the waters receded steadily…” refers to a rapid subsidence of the waters. The word for “receded’ is the same word used when the waters of the Red Sea and the Jordan returned after Elohim opened them up. This would further point to the explanation given in the first two verses about the collapse of the underground reservoirs forming the oceans.
Depending on the topography, huge continental lakes and enormous rivers would be formed that would take years to level off. It is significant to mention that, all over the world, interior lakes and seas show levels in the somewhat recent past that are much higher than they are today. Rivers everywhere show that they once carried far greater amounts of water and sediment than they do presently. A thorough study of this subject is done by Dr. Henry Morris in his book “The Genesis Flood.”
(Gen 8:4 NASB) And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.
Gen 8:4: The ark rested on Mount Ararat after 150 days in the waters. It is significant that the text mentions that the ark “rested” as though it were finished with its work. If the ark is indeed a picture of Messiah, then the ark “finished” its mission. Messiah also finished His work of salvation (John 19:30).
(Gen 8:5 NASB) And the water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.
(Gen 8:6 NASB) Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made;
(Gen 8:7 NASB) and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.
(Gen 8:8 NASB) Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land;
(Gen 8:9 NASB) but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark; for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.
(Gen 8:10 NASB) So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark.
(Gen 8:11 NASB) And the dove came to him toward evening; and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth.
(Gen 8:12 NASB) Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.
Gen 8:12: The ark was securely anchored on dry land after 150 days, but they needed to wait until the waters receded enough for them to disembark. They were in the ark over a year, 371 days altogether.
Apparently the raven that was sent out just flew away. A raven is a scavenger and there was a lot of dead flesh lying around for the raven (crow) to eat. The world, as it was, was absolutely wonderful to the raven. The raven is classified as an unclean animal.
The dove, however, is listed as a clean bird. The dove kept returning to the ark with a message. Why is the dove with an olive branch a symbol of peace? I dunno. In this case, it was kind of a homing pigeon. The dove could only find comfort in the ark until the waters receded and it was safe.
(Gen 8:13 NASB) Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up.
(Gen 8:14 NASB) And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.
Gen 8:14: Here are some of the implied physical changes in the world after the flood:
1. The oceans are much more extensive. They now contain the “waters above the firmament” and the subterranean reservoirs of the great deep.
2. The land areas are much less extensive than they were before the flood. Much more land is now uninhabitable.
3. The vapor barrier is now dissipated, so that strong temperature differentials were inaugurated. This led to the freezing of the northern and southern regions of the planet which are now uninhabitable.
4. The uplifting of the mountain ranges emphasized rugged topography. This made more the land essentially uninhabitable.
5. Wind, storms, rain, and snow now make the whole environment less hospitable to man.
6. The loss of the vapor canopy now allows harmful radiation into the atmosphere that was once filtered out. This led to shorter life spans after the flood.
7. Tremendous glaciers, lakes, and rivers existed for a time, but gradually settled into its present state as we see it today.
8. Due to the breaking up of “the fountains of the deep,” the crust of the earth is in a state of instability causing earthquakes, volcanoes, and seismic activity that we still see today.
(Gen 8:15 NASB) Then God spoke to Noah, saying,
(Gen 8:16 NASB) “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.
Gen 8:16: In Genesis 7:1, Elohim told Noah to “come into the ark (kjv)” which was implying that Elohim was with them on the ark. Now Elohim is telling them to “Go out of the ark,” not “come out of the ark.” Elohim was still with them on the ark up until the time when they left it.
(Gen 8:17 NASB) “Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
(Gen 8:18 NASB) So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.
(Gen 8:19 NASB) Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.
Gen 8:19: Noah and his family as well as all the animals could radiate out from Mount Ararat to open country. They could move east into Asia, west into Europe, south into Africa, and the penguins could go north to Siberia. We know geologically that land bridges existed across the Bering Straits into the Americas and that one also existed down the Malaysian Straits into New Guinea and possibly into Australia. These existed during the ice age when large amounts of ocean water were stored as ice and the sea level was much lower than it is today. These land bridges enabled the descendants of the animals on the ark to spread to the whole world.
Why did Elohim choose Mount Ararat as the landing place for the ark? Modern computer studies have shown that the geographical center (or centroid) of all the earth’s land masses is located right next to Mount Ararat. This gives the remainder of the world’s animals, two or fourteen of each, the best opportunity to repopulate the earth.
Lack of competition permitted the animals to multiply very rapidly. There were no restraints from the animals pressing forward to the most desirable habitat for that type of animal. These conditions (rapid multiplication, inbreeding populations, and rapidly changing environments) were conducive to rapid variations of animals within “their own kind” (for example: different kinds of dogs and cats).
Some animals such as many dinosaurs and mammoths could not adjust to the drastically changed environment and therefore became extinct. Many of these extinctions probably took place during the Ice Age. The sharp changes in temperature following the flood caused a great buildup of ice and snow near the polar regions. These ice sheets formed at this time radiated down into Europe and the northern third of the United States. The ice age probably lasted for several hundred years (not millions of years) until the climate of the earth settled to what we are accustomed to today.
What we see today as alleged “Global Warming” is likely just the stabilization of temperatures since the time of the flood. We have measured possibly one degree increase in average temperature in the last 100 years. If these measurements are accurate, then the one degree is hardly worth mentioning. Especially if one takes into account somewhat recent time frame since these events.
(Gen 8:20 NASB) Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Gen 8:20: There have been several ark expeditions in modern times and, while the ark has not yet been found, there have been some interesting discoveries in that area. One of which was an ancient altar just down the mountain from where the ark is said to be. It has ancient hieroglyphic-type writing on it that definitely refers to worship and is possibly among the oldest writings ever found.
(Gen 8:21 NASB) And the LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
Gen 8:21: Noah’s prayer of that day is one we are still benefiting from today.
Elohim said He will never again curse the ground for man’s sake. He is referring to the curse of the ground because of man’s first sin (Gen. 3:17). This led to the life and death struggle that all of nature, including mankind, endures to this day.
Elohim is saying here that He would never again declare judgment on all living things and on the earth. There is continual testimony for all of us to see regarding both the curse on the ground and the judgment of the flood. The testimony of the curse is found in the structure of the basic laws of science, which are the laws of thermodynamics. The testimony of the flood is found everywhere in the earth’s crust, the worldwide fossil graveyard, and the universal evidence of historic catastrophe. Man has somehow distorted this evidence into a system of evolution and uniformity. Man isn’t doing this because Elohim’s Word hasn’t explained to us the world around us, but because man himself is intentionally and willfully ignorant (2 Peter 3:4-5).
(Gen 8:22 NASB) “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.”
Gen 8:22: Elohim is telling Noah that nature would be predictable and dependable as long as the earth remains.
Because of the flood, the world’s physical features have been forever changed as well as its hydrologic system. Formerly it was a cycle of surface water running into underground conduits that were heated and pressurized. From there it penetrated the ground like a geyser and misted the ground for moisture. Now we have the present cycle of evaporation and condensation. That system will continue at least until the return of Messiah.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas