NIV – But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
KJV -- And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters aswaged;
Alex. LXX – And God remembered Noe, and all the wild beasts, and all the cattle, and all the birds, and all the reptiles that creep, as many as were with him in the ark, and God brought a wind upon the earth, and the waters stayed.
Hebrew – And remembered God Noah and every living thing and all the cattle which were with him in the ark. And made to pass God a wind over the earth and subsided the waters.
In each of these translations, the beginning word is a conjunction. This means the chapter divisions should not have been put in where they were by the people who did them. This is a direct continuation of the narrative from Genesis 7:24.
The word for wind is ‘ruwach’ – the same as the word for ‘spirit,’ meaning ‘to blow, to breathe, to smell, a violent exhalation, a blast, a breath….’ The LXX Greek uses ‘pneuma’ which is always ‘spirit.’ It is used with ‘theos’ which means ‘god” and so it is God the Spirit which is over, or on, the earth. This was not mean to be a reference to a wind.
The LXX states God "brought" a wind upon the earth. The word in the Greek is "epigagen." It is not used in the New Testament and we were not able to find its meaning.
Psalm 104 has reference to this time in history. Here are verses 5-9, from the Hebrew:
NIV – Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down.
KJV – The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
Alex. LXX – And the fountains of the deep were closed up, and the floodgates [literal Greek is 'cataracts'] of heaven, and the rain from heaven was withheld. And the water subsided, and went off the earth, and after a hundred and fifty days, the water was diminished,
Hebrew – And stopped the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens; and was restrained the rain from the heavens. And retreated the waters from the earth going and retreating; and diminished the waters at the end of one hundred and fifty days.
It appears that perhaps both the floodgates of heaven and the fountains of the deep were stopped the same day. If that is so, then the rain was, from start to finish, the direct result of the explosions of water upward from under the crust.
When Dr. Bernard Northrup was alive, he was a good friend of ours. He was an expert in Greek and Hebrew and assisted in checking a number of translations of the Bible into various other languages. He pointed out something to us in this verse that was interesting. The Hebrew here gives the best picture of what was going on: the waters were going back and forth during their recession. The Hebrew indicates a wave action which the other translations do not.
NIV – And on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
KJV – And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
Alex. LXX – And the ark rested in the seventh month on the twenty-seventh day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.
Hebrew – And rested the ark in the seventh month on the seventeeth day of the month on the heights of Ararat.
The water started going down at the end of forty days and at the end of 150 days, or about five months, the waters were pretty well down. It took a little over four months for 40 days’ worth of flooding to recede enough for the Ark to land on the high ground. This means that all the fossilization which the standard creation model claims happened in the year Noah was on the Ark actually had to take place in that 150 days, or about five months.
There is a ten day difference between the ancient LXX and the more modern versions. However, this simply is not important in terms of the devastation of the Flood itself. Each of the timings has Noah and his family on the Ark for exactly one year.
The Flood had started to recede as soon as the rain stopped falling, on day forty-one. It took over four more months, however, for the Ark to touch ground on the heights of Ararat.
There are strong disagreements regarding whether or not the mountain we know as Ararat in Turkey now is the same place the Ark landed. To date, all possible observations of what may be the Ark have proved false -- they are either rock formations, ice formations, or tricks the light plays with either. With the extreme meltback on Ararat in the last ten years, there has been no sign of any structure there on the mountain. Investigation continues.
However we sincerely doubt any Ark will be found there. Mt. Ararat in Turkey is a vocanic mountain whose main height was reached via eruptions after the Flood. The word "Ararat" comes from the Latin, meaning "altar," and Ararat may simply mean "holy ground" and may not refer to the mountain we know as Ararat today. We know where Noah landed was high ground. We know he built an altar there. The word Ararat may simply refer to this. For some other suggestions regarding where the Ark landed, see the section on the Babel catastrophe.
NIV – The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
KJV – And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
Alex. LXX – And the water continued to decrease until the tenth month. And in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the heads of the mountains were seen.
Hebrew – And the waters were going and falling until the tenth month; in the tenth month on the first day of the month were seen the tops of the mountains.
It is not until the next verse that Noah opens the window. But somehow he can still see the mountains. It seemed strange to us that he landed in the middle of the seventh month but did not see mountain tops for two and a half more months. So we looked up the word translated as 'tops' and 'heads.' It is "rosh." It means to shake, as a head shakes. It also means 'first or foremost' as a matter of rank. What this Hebrew word is indicating, then, is not that Noah first saw the tops of the mountains, but that the waters had receded enough by then that he could see them shaking. Earth movements would have been somewhat violent for some time as the earth was settling back into the voids left by the exploded waters.
NIV – After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark, and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.
KJV – And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: and he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
Alex. LXX – And it came to pass after forty days Noe opened the window of the ark which he had made. And he sent forth a raven [in the Greek the definite article is used and it is 'the' raven]; to see if the water had ceased. And it went forth and returned not until the water was dried from off the earth.
Hebrew – And it was at the end of forty days; and opened Noah the window of the ark which he had made, and he sent out the raven; and it went out going out and returning until were dried up the waters from off the earth.
The immediate thing we noticed was confusion between the LXX and the other translations. Did the raven continue circling around UNTIL the waters dried up and THEN came back to the Ark? This is what the LXX seems to imply. The others make more sense -- that the raven kept coming and going until the waters had dried up.
There is a further question here: which forty day period is being spoken of? In the preceding verse, Noah and/or his sons have seen the mountains. If the window was not opened, how did they see them? If the window was already opened at this time, was it opened after the rain stopped, on day forty? Was it opened forty days after landing on the moutain? In all the translations except the LXX, the raven goes back and forth. Forty days after the mountain tops were seen shaking, why would the raven have to continue going back and forth? There were places to land. So was the raven first sent out much earlier than we have traditionally supposed?
There is another option, which fits with the traditional way of seeing this verse (that Noah opened the window 40 days after seeing the mountains): If the window were actually covered with glass or some other clear substace, Noah could have seen outside long before he opened the window. Remember, these were not primitive people, but from an advanced civilization, as indicated in chapter 4.
NIV – Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark.
KJV – also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
Alex. LXX – And he sent a dove ["the" dove in the Greek] after it to see if the water had ceased from off the earth. And the dove, not having found rest for her feet, returned to him into the ark, because the water was on all the face of the earth, and he stretched out his hand and took her, and brought her to himself into the ark.
Hebrew – He also sent out the dove from him, to see if had receded the waters from off the earth’s face. But no found the dove rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned to him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of all the earth and he put out his hand and took her and pulled her into him to the ark.
This, again, looks like this happened before the mountains were seen, because "the water was on all the face of the earth" or "on the face of all the earth." It doesn't look like any land has been seen yet. So did this happen earlier than traditionally thought? Was it simply that the earth movements on the mountains were still too violent for the dove to feel save to land? If so, then why is it written that water was still over the face of all the earth?
The possible answer to that is that the mountain tops and water were all Noah could see. If that is the case, he landed in a mountain range and his view of any other land was blocked. This would also agree with the study done on Babel, and where it was. In the long run, this kind of thing is fun to try to figure out, but, again, it is not salvation doctrine and therefore not worth fighting about.
NIV – He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked live leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
KJV – And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent for the dove out of the ark; and the dove came into him in the evening; and lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days and sent forth the dove; which returned not again to him any more.
Alex. LXX – And having waited yet seven other days, he again sent forth the dove from the ark. And the dove returned to him in the evening, and had a leaf of olive, a sprig in her mouth; and Noe knew that the water had ceased from off the earth. And having waited yet seven other days, he again sent forth the dove and she did not return to him again any more.
Hebrew – And he waited yet seven days another, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. And came in to him the dove the time of the evening. And behold, an olive leaf newly plucked in her mouth! So knew Noah that had receded the waters from off the earth. And he waited yet seven days another; and sent forth the dove, and not did she again return to him any more.
It is two weeks from the time the dove is first sent out that it does not return again. By this time they had seen fresh leaves in its mouth. Then, finally, the dove did not return.
NIV – By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
KJV – And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
Alex. LXX – And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year of the life of Noe, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water subsided from off the earth, and Noe opened the covering of the ark which he had made, and he saw that the water had subsided from the face of the earth. And in the second month the earth was dried, on the twenty-seventh day of the month.
Hebrew – and it was in the one and six hundred year at the beginning on the one of the month, were dried up the waters from off the earth. And removed Noah the covering of the ark and looked and lo, was dried the face of the earth. And in the month second, on the seven twenty day of the month, was dry the earth.
The word translated ‘removed’ is ‘suwr’ – primitive root meaning ‘to turn.’ Very similar to the word used for ‘gate.’ The implication is that this was some kind of hinged opening that Noah opened, rather than ‘removed.’ Noah himself opened the covering. “Covering” is “mikceh” – meaning ‘a covering, weatherboarding.’ from ‘kacah’ meaning ‘to plump or fill up, implication to cover, clothe in secrecy, to conceal, to hide.’ It will still be almost two months before the Lord tells Noah to leave the Ark, but at least he can now see the land was drying, at least on the mountains where he was. Then, finally, two months later, the earth was dry.
NIV – Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you – the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground – so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it.”
KJV – And God spoke to Noah saying, Go forth of the ark, you, and your wife, and your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. Bring forth with you every living thing that is with you, of all flesh, both of fowl and of cattle and of every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful and multiply upon the earth.
Alex. LXX – And the Lord God spoke to Noe, saying, Come out from the ark, you and your wife and your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. And all the wild beasts, as many as are with you, and all flesh both of birds and beasts, and every reptile moving upon the earth, bring forth with thee: and increase you and multiply upon the earth.
Hebrew – And spoke God to Noah, saying, Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and wives your sons with you. Every living thing that is with you, of all flesh, of fowl, of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth, bring out with you; and let them swarm upon the earth, and bear and multiply on the earth.
The interesting difference here between the ancient Alexandrian LXX and the later Masoretic translations is that the LXX says God told Noah and his family to multiply and the others say the animals are to multiply. Animals will multiply without directions; so the original may be correct here (especially as the direction is given in 9:1 as well).
NIV – So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds – everything that moves on the earth – came out of the ark, one kind after another. Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offering on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”
KJV – And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his son’s wives with him: every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creeps upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark, and Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every living thing as I have done.
Alex. LXX – And Noe came forth, and his wife and his sons, and his sons’ wives with him. And all the wild beasts and all the cattle and every bird, and every reptile creeping along the earth after their kind, came forth out of the ark. And Noe built an altar to the Lord, and took of all clean beasts, and of all clean birds, and offered a whole burnt-offering upon the altar. And the Lord God smelled a smell of sweetness, and the Lord God, having considered, said, I will not any more curse the earth, because of the works of men, because the imagination of man is intently bent upon evil things from his youth, I will not therefore any more smite all living flesh as I have done.
Hebrew – And went out Noah; and his sons and his wife and wives his sons with him; every animal, every creeping thing and every fowl, all which creeps upon the earth; after their families, they went forth out of the ark. Then built Noah an altar to Jehovah, and took of every animal clean and of every bird clean and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And smelled Jehovah the fragrance soothing and said Jehovah in his heart, Not will I curse again the ground for the sake of man, because the thought of heart man’s is evil from his youth, and not will I again strike every living thing as I have done.
(personal comment: cannot imagine what the Ark must have smelled like inside after a year...)
Noah and his family and the animals leave the Ark. Noah's first act was to sacrifice to the Lord from among the clean animals. This has some interesting connotations: 1) they knew to sacrifice, just as Cain and Abel had done; 2) the differentiation between clean and unclean animals had been made long before Moses; 3) the animals were tame enough to be caught and killed. There were probably seven pairs of clean animals aboard.
“Smelled” is “ruach” which is also translated ‘spirit’ as well as ‘breath’ and ‘life.’ This, again, may be referring to the Spirit of God. This verse may well then read, “And the Spirit of Jehovah, the fragrance soothed…” and similar in the other translations. EXCEPT that the word for ‘fragrance’ is ‘reyach,’ a derivative of ‘ruach.’ Same root, meaning, ‘breath, scent,’ etc. This appears to be one of the Hebrew word plays, or puns.
“Soothing” is ‘miychoach’ – meaning restful or pleasant, delight, from a word meaning rest or to settle down.
The Alexandrian translates ‘having considered’ instead of ‘said in his heart,’ which makes a lot more sense. His words appear to be spoken, for they are recorded here.
There are some important things to be said about God's words here:
1. There is a shadowing of the same words from before the Flood, when God's remark in Genesis 6:5 was that every inclination of the mens' hearts was evil all the time; or that all men were brooding on evil all the time. The purpose of the Flood was obviously not to wipe out evil from the earth. So what was the purpose? We will look later at the genealogies and notice that the lifespans of men dropped in half immediately after the Flood. They will drop in half again immediately after Peleg's time and then gradually finish dropping to the top age of 120 years we have today (and have had since Moses). This is exactly in line with God's promise that His Spirit will not strive with man forever, but man's days will be 120 years (Genesis 6). Why did man's lifespan drop so significantly after the Flood? The Flood was mankind's first exposure to radioactivity, as these materials had been torn up from the depths of the earth by the bursting waters. Thus, mutations may have first been introduced at this point, and some of these mutations, affecting the eight people who survived, must have had a good deal to do with lifespan.
2. It is very important to understand that 'inclination' or 'bent' or 'imagination' is NOT action. Actions come from the heart, and God judges the heart, but our entire legal system is predicated upon the fact that man can, at least to some extent, control the inclinations toward disobedience and evil.
3. There is a constant reference to "man's" or "men's." For this reason, and instead of taking the term generically to include all humans, there has been a very ancient argument about the idea that sin is transmitted through the father. Bolstering this argument was the fact that Jesus was sinless and had a virgin mother. There are a number of biblical indications that this idea is wrong, and the first is here in Genesis 8:21. The word for 'heart' -- in which there is always a tendency to sin from a person's youth -- is 'leb,' and is 'widely used for feelings, the will, the intellect, the center of anything.' (Strongs 3820) In other words, the indication is that our sin natures are matters of the soul, not matters of the body. They are not a matter of physical inheritance but a matter of the permanent condition of the human race. In Romans 5:14, Paul refers to Adam as "a pattern of the one to come." Not "ones," plural, but "one," who is Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:45, Christ is referred to as the "last Adam." Why this designation? Because these are the two men on earth who were created with the capacity to sin but not the tendency, which all the rest of us have. If Christ could not have sinned, or been tempted, then the temptations from Satan would have meant nothing and his prayer in the Garden that "not my will, but thine, be done" would have been meaningless. He was tempted, but He did not sin. Adam also was tempted and did not have the inclination to rebel, but chose to anyway. We are told that God judges the heart. That is where rebellion originates and that has nothing to do with physical genetics. Since Adam, and until one is born again in Christ and given a new heart, that tendency to rebel is part of the human condition.
4. The NIV is wrong when it translates to "childhood" instead of "youth." There were specific times and designations in the life of a person in this culture: Alfred Edersheim, in Sketches of Jewish Social Life chapter 7 on the 'Upbringing of Jewish Children' lists the stages of growth as follows:
Youth was generally a young man (generically including girls) in the teens. This is also when we see major rebellion starting in our children. We see sin nature present in young children, and if they are not raised properly, this can become quite nasty, but it is not until the teen years that we see the desire to rebel and the action start to become very apparent.
4) There is evidently a recinding of the curse on the earth after the Flood. What the earth was like before the Flood, when it was cursed, we don't know. But the Lord says here that He will no more curse the earth because of man.
NIV – “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
KJV – While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Alex. LXX – All the days of the earth, seed and harvest, cold and heat, summer and spring, shall not cease by day or night.
Hebrew – While remains the earth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night not shall cease.
The difference between the ancient Alexandrian and the texts taken from the Masoretic cannot be emphasized enough in this particular verse. Day and night had already been established. The seasons, as we read from the Alexandrian, are new. This indicates an axis tilt of the earth – something which will be given another bit of evidence later in chapter 9. God is saying, in effect, that in the same way that day and night will not cease, from now on the seasons will not cease. In scientific terms this means the axis tilt will never be fully corrected.
An axis tilt would have initiated the jet streams and the subsequent Hadley cells which drive our seasonal weather systems now.
Why the axis tilt? Possibly the force of the explosions of the ‘fountains of the abyss’ could have caused this. The original land mass was basically all one continent, and was therefore all on one side of the earth, so a massive group of violently bursting waters would cause the action which required some kind of reaction – very possibly an axis tilt.
Any explosions under water would have had their force buffered by the water, as the following pictures again demonstrate: