Introduction to Chapter 9

chapter 9 intro

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The flood wiped out almost everyone. Even most of the animals, which God mandated people to steward, died (Gen 1:26–28; Gen 7:13–15, 21–22). A new era of humanity was about to begin, with Noah as the forefather of all (Gen 7:23).[1]

By mentioning that “God remembered Noah” as the pivotal focus of the chiasm (Gen 8:1 within Gen 6:10–8:19),[2] Moses emphasized that Noah’s deliverance was no accident. The Lord himself saved Noah and his passengers,[3] fulfilling his promise of salvation (Gen 7:1–3).[4]

In this instance, God’s remembrance caused him to send a wind to blow over the surface of the earth to increase the evaporation of the water. He also sealed the springs of the deep and the windows of the heavens (Gen 8:1–3).[5]

Just as the Lord divided the waters on the second day of creation (Gen 1:6–7), he reestablished the separation between the watery deep and the sky.[6]

The flood remained entirely under God’s control, rather than merely acting as a force of nature.[7]

At the end of 150 days, the waters receded to their original locations and the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat (Gen 7:11–12; Gen 8:4).[8] This range now lies in eastern Turkey, southern Russia, and northwest Iran.[9]

Two and a half months later, the tops of the mountains appeared, echoing the separation of the waters from the ground on the third day of creation (Gen 1:9–10; Gen 8:5).[10]



Noah wanted to ensure everyone’s safety before disembarking.[11] After forty days, he released a raven to identify the direction of the nearest land mass. As expected, it never returned to him (Gen 8:6–7).[12]

Then, Noah sent forth a dove to determine whether low-lying areas had dried. She flew back to him, since the land at lower elevations remained inhabitable.[13]

Noah waited a week and tried again. This time, the dove brought a sign of fertility and new life: a freshly plucked olive leaf.[14] When he repeated the experiment seven days later, the dove failed to return (Gen 8:8–12).

He removed the covering of the ark and saw that the land had begun to dry. After almost two more months, the process was complete (Gen 8:13–14). A new world emerged from its watery grave, heralding the onset of another era in human history.[15]

Based upon the failure of the dove to return and his own observations, Noah knew that they could inhabit the earth. Yet, he waited to receive a signal from God (Gen 8:14–19).[16]



Before the flood, the Lord commanded Noah to bring various creatures on board to preserve their lives (Gen 7:2–3).

Now God ordered him to release them so the animals could reproduce and fill the earth (Gen 8:17–19),[17] once again fulfilling the mandate of the fifth and sixth days of creation (Gen 1:20–28).[18] This time, the Lord included even the land animals in his blessing.[19]

Noah did exactly as the Lord instructed. He and all his passengers disembarked to a renewed world, full of promise.[20]

Using our reckoning, Noah and his passengers remained on the boat for exactly one year.[16]

Even today, we can trust God to keep his covenants with us. When the Lord remembers, he acts. He remains merciful and true to his word.

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Go to Noah’s Grateful Response (Gen 8:20)

[Related posts include God Separates the Waters (Gen 1:6–8); Dry Ground Appears (Gen 1:9–13); Inhabitants of the Sea and Sky (Gen 1:20–23); Living Things from the Earth (Gen 1:24–25); Stewards of the Earth (Gen 1:26 cont.); Male and Female He Created Them (Gen 1:27); The Blessing of Fruitfulness (Gen 1:28); By Twos and Sevens (Gen 7:1–4); A Reversal of Creation (Gen 7:5–16); The Breath of Life Extinguished (Gen 7:21–24); God Remembered Noah (Gen 8:1); God Reverses the Flood (Gen 8:2–5); Renewal of the Earth (Gen 8:6–14); and Bring Them Out (Gen 8:15–19)]

[Click here to go to Chapter 8: Safely Through (Gen 8:1–19); or to Chapter 9: A Covenant with Noah (Genesis 8:20–9:17)]


[1]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 127.

[2]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 299.

[3]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 157.

[4]Kline, Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview, 232.

[5] Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 299.

[6]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 128.

[7]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 300.

[8]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 300.

[9]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 184–5.

[10]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 129.

[11]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 302.

[12]Matthews, Chavalas, and Walton, IVPBBCOT, Gen 8:12.

[13]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 304–5.

[14]Matthews, Chavalas, and Walton, IVPBBCOT, Gen 8:12.

[15]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 187.

[16]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 306–7.

[17]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 187.

[18]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 129.

[19]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 187.

[20]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 121.

[21]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 305.