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One hundred years have passed since we were first introduced to Noah (Gen 5:32; Gen 7:6).

In contrast to wickedness, sexual violence, and corruption wherever the Lord looked, in Noah God saw the one upright person on earth (Gen 6:1–12).[1]

Therefore, the Lord made a covenant with him. In turn, Noah expressed his faith by building and equipping the ark as the Lord had commanded (Gen 6:13–22).[2]

God had already informed Noah that a pair of each kind of animal would come to the ark (Gen 6:19–20).[3]

Then, the Lord clarified his earlier directive,[4] saying that seven pairs of every clean animal and of every type of bird would join him (Gen 7:1–3). Not until after the flood receded would the rationale for the extra clean animals become clear (Gen 8:20).[5]



After decades of preparation, at last the time came. In only one week, forty days of rainfall would begin which would wipe out every land animal (Gen 7:4).

Moses condensed all of Noah’s effort in carrying out an incredible amount of difficult work into this brief statement, “And Noah did according to all which the Lord had commanded him” (Gen 7:5).

By including an exact date for this event, Moses imbued the flood account with historical credibility.[6] He named two sources of flooding: a great eruption of water from a subterranean ocean (“the great deep”), and a massive downpour from above (Gen 7:11).[7]

By releasing these waters, the Lord returned the earth to its original chaos. God was undoing his great act of separating the waters above from the waters below the earth in a reversal of the creation order (Gen 1:1–2, 6–10).[8]



Moses emphasized the salvation of those inside the ark, rather than the fate of those who did not seek refuge there.[9]

The sense of the text is that Noah and his family served as grand marshals of this parade, followed by the animals, who entered two by two. God led them to Noah to preserve a remnant (Gen 7:13–15).[10]

The Lord’s act of sealing Noah and those with him inside the ark emphasizes that they received divine protection (Gen 7:16).[11] While the storm raged all around them, the one who had shut them in guaranteed their safety (Gen 7:17).[12]

God’s grace saved Noah and his entourage, in contrast to the experiences of the heroes in other Ancient Near Eastern flood texts, whom most of the gods sought to kill.[13]



Outside of the boat, eerie desolation reigned.[14] The waters triumphed over the earth,[15] lifting the ark above the tallest mountains (Gen 7:18–20). Chaotic waters which covered the earth at the beginning of God’s creative activity once again surged like hostile warriors to undo the order which the Lord had put into place.[16]

This condition lasted for 150 days before the flood began to recede (Gen 7:24).

Despite this savage tempest, “The ark proceeded on the surface of the waters” (Gen 7:17). God in his mercy had shut Noah and his fellow passengers inside and he would bring them through the storm without harm (Gen 8:1).[17]

Yet, every person, land animal, and bird left outside perished (Gen 7:21–23).

In contrast to the ones whom the flood washed away, Noah and his passengers were left behind.[18] The same waters which rendered divine judgment preserved a righteous remnant.[19]

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Go to God Remembered Noah (Gen 8:1)

[Related posts include In the Beginning of God’s Creating (Gen 1:1–2); God Separates the Waters (Gen 1:6–8); Dry Ground Appears (Gen 1:9–13); Seeking Relief (Gen 5:28–32); Sons of God or Sons of the Gods? (Gen 6:1–2); Descendants of Seth as the Sons of God (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Fallen Angels as the Sons of God (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Kings as Sons of the Gods (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Taking Wives for Themselves (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); It is Good Not to Touch (1 Cor 7:1‒5); Limiting Human Life Spans (Gen 6:3); Nephilim in the Land (Gen 6:4); God Grieves (Gen 6:5–6); Wiping Out Everyone (Gen 6:7); Noah Found Favor (Gen 6:8); Righteous and Blameless (Gen 6:9–10); Violence Filled the Earth (Gen 6:11–12);  The End Was Near (Gen 6:13); Specifications for an Ark (Gen 6:14–16); A Deluge to Ruin All Flesh (Gen 6:17); God Establishes a Covenant (Gen 6:18); Two of Every Kind (Gen 6:19–22); By Twos and Sevens (Gen 7:1–4); A Reversal of Creation (Gen 7:5–16); The Waters Prevail (Gen 7:17–20); The Breath of Life Extinguished (Gen 7:21–24); One Will Be Left (Matt 24:40–41); Cast into the Inferno (Rev 19:20–21); Ancient Literature; and Author and Date of Genesis]

[Click here to go to Chapter 7: God Opens the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 7:1–24); or  to Chapter 8: Safely Through (Gen 8:1–19)]


[1]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 286.

[2]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 137.

[3]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 176.

[4]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 137.

[5]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 176.

[6]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 139.

[7]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 291.

[8]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 181.

[9]Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative: A Biblical-Theological Commentary, 126.

[10]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 138–9.

[11]Kline, Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview, 226.

[12]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 139.

[13]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 182.

[14]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 140.

[15]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 182.

[16]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 140.

[17]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 296.

[18]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 297.

[19]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 140.