Genesis
1-5 The Water Decreases; The Ark upon the Ararat 6-7 Noah Sends out a Raven 8-12 Noah Sends out a Dove Three Times 13-14 The Earth Is Dry Again 15-19 Out of the Ark 20 An Altar and an Offering 21-22 God’s Answer to the Offering
The Water Decreases; The Ark upon the Ararat

1But 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. 2Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; 3and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. 4In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. 5The 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.

God thinks of Noah and therefore of all that is with him in the ark (Hab 3:22LORD, I have heard the report about You [and] I fear.
O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years,
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy.
). Here is Noah a picture of the Lord Jesus. As God here thinks of Noah, God will for the sake of the Lord Jesus once put an end to the great tribulation in which the faithful remnant of His people will find itself. God always thinks of Him and in connection with Him.

Personal application: God thinks of each of His own who is in trouble and trials. He does not allow anyone to be tempted beyond ability, “but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1Cor 10:1313No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.).

The waters of the judgment recede steadily from the earth. God does not let the water disappear at once. First the ark “rested on the mountains of Ararat”. Ararat means ‘holy ground’. Someone ends up there because of his conversion. In the life of a person who repents, the first consequence is rest for his conscience. He may rest in knowing that his sins are forgiven. This does not mean that all the consequences of his life in sin are immediately gone. It often takes some time. Sometimes certain consequences are even permanent.


Noah Sends out a Raven

6Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; 7and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.

Noah opens the window in the ark and sends out a raven. The window at the top of the ark is the only opening (Gen 6:1616You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.) that can be opened; the door is closed and remains closed. The opening at the top of the ark represents the connection with heaven, with God. Only by being in contact with God can it become clear whether the earth is dry, whether all the water is gone, whether the judgment has been raged out completely.

It seems that the raven has flown back and forth between the ark and the water, without really getting back into the ark. Once the water has dried from the earth, the raven no longer comes to the ark. The raven is an unclean animal (Lev 11:13,1513‘These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard,15every raven in its kind,). It is a bird of prey that lives from death. The raven is a picture of the flesh, the restless, old nature of the believer.


Noah Sends out a Dove Three Times

8Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; 9but 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. 10So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. 11The 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. 12Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

Noah releases a dove three times. The dove is a clean animal, a picture of the Holy Spirit, Who can only find rest with Christ (Mt 3:1616After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove [and] lighting on Him,) and with the believer, because he has Christ as his life (1Cor 6:1919Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?).

When Noah sends her out the first time, most likely seven days after the raven was sent out – because the second time it says that he waits “yet another seven days” (verse 1010So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark.) –, she returns, because she can’t find rest anywhere. The second time, seven days later, Noah releases the dove again. Then she comes back with an olive leaf. That points to new life.

In the life of the believer, spiritual fruit will be discernible. God’s goal is that the new earth, the new life, produces fruit, fruit worked by the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:2222But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,). This fruit we see here in the picture of the olive leaf of the olive tree. The olive tree produces oil. Oil was later used for the anointing of priests, kings, and occasionally a prophet. Thus is the believer anointed with the Holy Spirit, he has the “anointing from the Holy One” (1Jn 2:2020But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.; 2Cor 1:2121Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,; 1Jn 2:2727As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.), through which he can produce the fruit of the Spirit.

When Noah sends out the dove for the third time, she does not return. Now he knows that the earth is dry.


The Earth Is Dry Again

13Now 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. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

The earth is dry again. This state is reached after a process. The same goes for the life of a believer. See also the spiritual application of Genesis 1.


Out of the Ark

15Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16“Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17Bring 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.” 18So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.

Noah went into the ark by order of God (Gen 7:11Then the LORD said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you [alone] I have seen [to be] righteous before Me in this time.). Now, together with all that is in the ark with him, he goes out of the ark by order of God. They enter a renewed earth (Psa 104:30b30You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the ground.
), to take possession of and enjoy all the blessings God has in store for them. The earth is populated with everything that comes out of the ark.

The life of the believer who has come ‘on dry land’ also looks like this. He is going to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:44Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.). He now looks at all things in a new, spiritual way, as God sees it. That is totally different before his conversion.


An Altar and an Offering

20Then 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.

The first thing Noah does when he has entered the new earth is to build an altar for the LORD and to offer him offerings. In doing so, he acknowledges that God has every right to the new earth. He offers burnt offerings of all clean animals, which are animals that man is later given as food.

This is the third time we read about an offering pleasing to God. The first time it is an offering that God brings to clothe man so that he may exist before Him (Gen 3:2121The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.). The second time it is Abel who offers an offering (Gen 4:44Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;). He is aware that he can only be accepted by God on the basis of the blood of an innocent one. Here it is a burnt offering on a new earth, brought on an altar.

A burnt offering is an offering that is exclusively for God (Lev 1:9,139Its entrails, however, and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.13The entrails, however, and the legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer all of it, and offer it up in smoke on the altar; it is a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.). It goes up completely in fire and smoke, while its smell rises to God. An altar speaks of offering and worship. The clean offerings speak of the Lord Jesus. We bring a burnt offering when we tell God Who the Lord Jesus is for Him, what His work means for Him (Heb 13:1515Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.). Bringing a burnt offering requires an understanding of the joy that God has found in the Lord Jesus, of the honor that God has been brought by the Lord Jesus in His work on the cross.

Bringing such an offering is an expression of the new life of someone who has come to conversion and walks in newness of life. His heart goes out to the Savior. Such a person can do nothing but honor God in this way. He wants to do this in his personal life, and he wants to do the same with other believers, as a church. Such worshippers the Father seeks (Jn 4:23-2423But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.24God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”).

The offering of Noah consists of clean animal and clean birds. The clean animal speaks of the Lord Jesus as Man on earth, the clean birds speak of Him as Man Who came from heaven.


God’s Answer to the Offering

21The 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.
22“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

It is impressive to see what the soothing aroma of the burnt offering does with the LORD. This gives rise to thoughts in Him which He also makes known to us, so that He allows us to share in what concerns Him on the basis of the offering.

He says to Himself that He will no longer curse the earth because of man. The reason He gives for this is almost the same as He gave in Genesis 6 (Gen 6:5-75Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.6The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.7The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”). There He says that He will destroy the earth, because the thoughts of man’s heart are only bad. And now He says that He will not destroy the earth for exactly the same reason. We see the solution when we pay attention to context.

The first is said before the flood, the second after it. First comes the judgment about man because of his anger. After the flood the LORD takes into account that the heart of man is bad “from his youth”. Evil is innate to man and that makes him all the more dependent on the grace of God. Therefore, after the flood, God takes another ground for His relationship with man. Judgment has not changed man’s heart, but God now sees the earth by the pleasant smell of the burnt offering.

The LORD smells the soothing aroma of the offering. “soothing aroma” is literally ‘the smell that gives peace’. God has found His joy and rest in the offering of the Lord Jesus, His Son (Eph 5:22and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.). He still finds it, despite the immutability of man. On the basis of the offering He will not destroy the earth again through water.

Through the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross, which always stands before God’s attention, God maintains the cycle of verse 2222“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
. On the basis of that work God still “causes His sun to rise on [the] evil and [the] good, and sends rain on [the] righteous and [the] unrighteous” (Mt 5:4545so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on [the] evil and [the] good, and sends rain on [the] righteous and [the] unrighteous.).

Chronology of the flood

Event

Time

Text

Noach enters the ark

2nd month 10th day

Gen 7:7-97Then Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him entered the ark because of the water of the flood.8Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground,9there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.

7 days later:
The rain starts

2nd month,
17th day

Gen 7:10-1110It came about after the seven days, that the water of the flood came upon the earth.11In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened.

40 days later:
The rain stops

3rd month,
27th day

Gen 7:1212The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.

150 days later:
The water subsides,
the ark at Ararat

7th month,
17th day

Gen 7:2424The water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days.; 8:44In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.

74 days later:
Mountaintops
visible

10th month,
1st day

Gen 8:55The 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.

40 days later:
Raven and dove send out

11th month,
11th Day

Gen 8:6-96Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made;7and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.8Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land;9but 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.

7 days later:
Dove send out, olive leaf

11th month,
18th day

Gen 8:10-1110So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark.11The 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.

7 days later:
Dove send out, doesn’t return

11th month,
25th day

Gen 8:1212Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

Noah sees the
land is dry

1st month,
1st day

Gen 8:1313Now 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.

70 days later:
Noah leaves the ark

2nd month,
27th day

Gen 8:16-1916“Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.17Bring 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.”18So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.19Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.

Total:
377 days

1 yr+17 days
in the ark

 

 


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