Genesis 7

 

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה לְנֹחַ בֹּא אַתָּה וְכָל בֵּיתְךָ אֶל הַתֵּבָה כִּי אֹתְךָ רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק לְפָנַי בַּדּוֹר הַזֶּה  7:1

Gene. 7:1         And the Lord said to Noah, “Come, you and all your house, into the ark, for I have seen you righteous before Me among this generation.”

מִכֹּל הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהוֹרָה תִּקַּח לְךָ שִׁבְעָה שִׁבְעָה אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּמִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא טְהֹרָה הִוא  7:2

שְׁנַיִםאִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ

Gene. 7:2         “From every clean beast you shall take seven to you, seven each and its mate.  And of the beast that is not clean bring two, a male and its mate.”

How was Noah to know which animals were clean and which were not?     More>>

גַּם מֵעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם שִׁבְעָה שִׁבְעָה זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה לְחַיּוֹת זֶרַע עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ  7:3

Gene. 7:3      “Also from the fowl of the air seven by seven, male and female, to keep seed alive over the surface of all the earth.”

Was God here informing Noah how seeds were spread and fertilized?  Or did Noah, the tenth generation of humanity, already understand that fact?  Notice that here God doesn’t specify different numbers for clean and unclean birds.  Is this another oversight by the scribe?  Or were relatively more unclean birds necessary because they were the carrions, helping to preserve cleanliness on the earth?

כִּי לְיָמִים עוֹד שִׁבְעָה אָנֹכִי מַמְטִיר עַל הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לָיְלָה וּמָחִיתִימָה אֶת  7:4

 כָּל הַיְקוּם אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָ

Gene. 7:4      “For in seven more days I will be sending rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights so that I can blot out every living thing that I have made from the face of the land.”

I ask you, could forty days and nights of steady rain bring enough water to cover the earth to a height necessary to blot out all life on land?  Let’s say no life existed above twelve thousand feet.  Then we are talking about a shell of additional water beyond the seas eight thousand miles in diameter and two miles thick.  This is a volume of water nearly comparable to that contained in all the oceans of the earth:  4002 mile radius X 2 pi r cubed – 4000 mile radius X 2 pi r cubed.  The difference of these two figures is somewhere in the neighborhood of 96 Million cu miles. That amount of water falling in forty 24-hour periods would require a continuous downpour of more than 50 inches per hour.  This is an impractical minimum, however.  If the entire atmosphere, say up to an altitude of 40 miles, were totally saturated with moisture, i.e., 100% humidity, it would not contain enough moisture to sustain that rainfall for forty days and nights.  So the flood was a miracle, apparently the first to be performed after Creation.

וַיַּעַשׂ נֹחַ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּהוּ יְהוָה  7:5

Gene. 7:5         And Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him.

וְנֹחַ בֶּן שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וְהַמַּבּוּל הָיָה מַיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ  7:6

Gene. 7:6         And Noah was six hundred years of age when the deluge became water upon the earth.

And Noah’s sons were one hundred years old.  Lamech, Noah’s father, the last survivor of Noah’s progenitors,  had died five years before the flood (see v. 5:30).   Adding up the years between the births of each recorded generation, we find that the flood occurred 1,654 years after Adam’s creation.                       [Return to Gene. 5:32]

וַיָּבֹא נֹחַ וּבָנָיו וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּנְשֵׁי בָנָיו אִתּוֹ אֶל הַתֵּבָה מִפְּנֵי מֵי הַמַּבּוּל  7:7

Gene. 7:7       And Noah went into the ark, and his sons and his wife and the wives of his sons with him, from before the waters of the flood.

מִן הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהוֹרָה וּמִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנָּה טְהֹרָה וּמִן הָעוֹף וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר רֹמֵשׂ  7:8

Gene. 7:8         From clean beasts and from beasts that are not clean, and from fowl, and from everything that  is creeping on the ground,

שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם בָּאוּ אֶל נֹחַ אֶל הַתֵּבָה זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֱלֹהִים אֶת נֹחַ  7:9

Gene. 7:9      two by two, male and female, they came to Noah to the ark, as God had commanded Noah.

וַיְהִי, לְשִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים וּמֵי הַמַּבּוּל הָיוּ עַל הָאָרֶץ  7:10

Gene. 7:10     And it happened for the seven days; then the waters of the flood were upon the earth.

It appears from this verse that the animals were gathered into the ark for the entire seven days after God’s warning (see v. 7:4).  It must have been quite a sight.  I wonder; were Noah’s neighbors looking on curiously, perhaps mocking Noah?

בִּשְׁנַת שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה לְחַיֵּינֹחַ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּשִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה  7:11

נִבְקְעוּ כָּל מַעְיְנֹת תְּהוֹם רַבָּה וַאֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמַיִם נִפְתָּחוּ

Gene. 7:11     In the year of the six hundredth year in the life of Noah, in the second month, on the month’s seventeenth day – on that same day – all the springs of the great deep were split and the windows of the heavens were opened,

The great deep indicated in this verse must be the waters beyond the heavens (see Gene. 1:7).  This establishes that the flood was more than just a great natural downpour.           [Return to Gene. 8:2]

וַיְהִי הַגֶּשֶׁם עַל הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לָיְלָה  7:12

Gene. 7:12     and the rain continued upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

I suspect that this verse is really the end of v. 7:11, and should not have been separated from it.

בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בָּא נֹחַ וְשֵׁם וְחָם וָיֶפֶת בְּנֵינֹחַ וְאֵשֶׁת נֹחַ וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת נְשֵׁי בָנָיו  7:13

אִתָּם אֶל הַתֵּבָה

Gene. 7:13     In this same day Noah entered the ark, and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and the wife of Noah, and the three wives of his sons with them,

                                                                                                          [Return to Gene. 10:1]

הֵמָּה וְכָל הַחַיָּה לְמִינָהּ וְכָל הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ וְכָל הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ לְמִינֵהוּ  7:14

וְכָל הָעוֹף לְמִינֵהוּ כֹּל צִפּוֹר כָּל כָּנָף

Gene. 7:14     they and every beast belonging to its kind and and all the cattle belonging to its kind and every creeping thing creeping upon the earth belonging to its kind and every fowl belonging to its kind, every bird of every sort.

וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל נֹחַ אֶל הַתֵּבָה שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם מִכָּל הַבָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁרבּוֹ רוּחַ חַיִּים  7:15

Gene. 7:15     And they came to Noah to the ark two by two of all flesh wherein there is the breath of life.

וְהַבָּאִים זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה מִכָּל בָּשָׂר בָּאוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֹתוֹ אֱלֹהִים וַיִּסְגֹּר יְהוָה בַּעֲדוֹ  7:16

Gene. 7:16     And those going in, male and female from all flesh, went in as God had commanded him, and the Lord shut him in.

וַיְהִי הַמַּבּוּל אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם עַל הָאָרֶץ וַיִּרְבּוּ הַמַּיִם וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת הַתֵּבָה וַתָּרָם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ  7:17

Gene. 7:17     As the deluge continued forty days upon the earth, then the waters increased and bore up the ark and it was lifted above the earth.

This verse provides another insight into the scribe’s writing style, or the manner of dictation, if that was how this got recorded, or the typical written style of the time.  The addition of the words “forty days upon the earth” are unnecessary, adding no new information.  Yet they are repeated here and elsewhere, as if to emphasize the miracle of the rain.

וַיִּגְבְּרוּ הַמַּיִם וַיִּרְבּוּ מְאֹד עַל הָאָרֶץ וַתֵּלֶךְ הַתֵּבָה עַלפְּנֵי הַמָּיִם  7:18

Gene. 7:18     And the waters prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark went upon the surface of the waters.

וְהַמַּיִם גָּבְרוּ מְאֹד מְאֹד עַל הָאָרֶץ וַיְכֻסּוּ כָּל הֶהָרִים הַגְּבֹהִים אֲשֶׁר תַּחַת כָּל הַשָּׁמָיִם  7:19

Gene. 7:19     And the waters prevailed very exceedingly upon the earth, so that all the high mountains that were under the whole of heaven were covered.

חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה אַמָּה מִלְמַעְלָה גָּבְרוּ הַמָּיִם וַיְכֻסּוּ הֶהָרִים  7:20

Gene. 7:20     Fifteen cubits upwards the waters prevailed and the mountains were covered.

The meaning of this verse seems to be that (1) the water was fifteen cubits, about twenty-two feet, above the mountains, or (2) the water rose another twenty-two feet and covered the mountains.  If the meaning is the latter, then this would be another example of the type of repetition and elaboration that we encountered in Genesis Chapter 1, where one verse contains a statement and the next verse basically repeats the same information but adds something extra, as if to make the repetition worthwhile.

וַיִּגְוַע כָּל בָּשָׂר הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ בָּעוֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבַחַיָּה וּבְכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ עַל הָאָרֶץ וְכֹל  7:21

הָאָדָם

Gene. 7:21     And all flesh creeping upon the earth perished, with fowl, and with cattle, and with beast, and with every swarming thing swarming upon the earth, and every human.

כֹּל אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁמַת רוּחַ חַיִּים בְּאַפָּיו מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר בֶּחָרָבָה מֵתוּ  7:22

Gene. 7:22     Everything of which the breath of the spirit of life was in its nostrils, all that had been on dry land, died.

In this verse and v. 7:21 we once more encounter the pattern that I mentioned above in relation to v. 7:20 -- repetition and elaboration.  Verse 7:22 adds that all the dead had the breath of the spirit of life in them.  But this leads to another consideration:  Obviously, all the freshwater fish survived, and it seems reasonably evident from this verse that sea creatures (possibly other than mammalian sea life) have no souls.

וַיִּמַח אֶת כָּל הַיְקוּם אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה מֵאָדָם עַד בְּהֵמָה עַד רֶמֶשׂ וְעַד עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם  7:23

וַיִּמָּחוּ מִן הָאָרֶץ וַיִּשָּׁאֶר אַךְ נֹחַ וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה

Gene. 7:23     And He blotted out every living substance that was upon the surface of the ground, from human to beast, to creeping thing and to fowl of the air, and they were blotted out from the earth.  And only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.

וַיִּגְבְּרוּ הַמַּיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ חֲמִשִּׁים וּמְאַת יוֹם  7:24

Gene. 7:24     And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.

 

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