Entering into the Ark and Beginning of the Flood. (series:Lessons on Genesis)
by John Lowe
November 5, 2013
Commentary on the Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe
Lesson I.D.5: Entering into the Ark and Beginning of the Flood. (Gen. 7.6-16)
6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;
14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.
16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
This passage begins by repeating what was recorded in the previous section concerning Noah’s entrance into the ark along with his family and the creatures.
The date of this event is recorded in the eleventh verse: “In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month.” It happened when Noah was six hundred years old. He had completed the great task which the Lord had given him to do. The animals were gathered into the ark and the supplies needed to feed them and Noah’s family had been put away. There could be no doubt in Noah’s mind that everything was ready and that now was the time for God’s judgment on Man, when the Lord’s mighty hand shut the door to the ark. God shut the door to keep him safe and secure in the ark, but also to keep all others out. They didn’t know how long they would have to live in the ark, but God knew, and that’s all that mattered. David expressed this view very well when he said, “The course of my life is in Your power . . .” (Ps 31.15). One year and ten days later, the same God opened the door and invited them to come out to live on His freshly cleansed earth—“Then God spoke to Noah, "Come out of the ark, you, your wife, your sons, and your sons' wives with you” (Ge. 8.15, 16).
The calendar system used in Noah’s day is unknown, although it appears that one month equaled thirty days. If calculated by the Jewish calendar of Moses’ day, the rains began about May. This period of God’s grace was ended.
Notice should be made here of how the creatures entered—“after his kind”—which is the phrase used in the history of Creation. Probably all hostilities and enmities between the creatures ceased for the period of time they were within the ark, and ravenous creatures were not only mild and manageable, like the wolf and the lamb who will lay down together, but they were altered so that the lion did eat straw like the ox—“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (Isa. 11.6, 7). However, when they went out of the ark, all restraints were removed and they went back to being the same as they were before, because the ark did not alter their nature.
Now we see what happened when the deluge finally came.
After all the preparations had been completed, “the Flood” came. “All the fountains of the great deep were broken up.” Perhaps there was no need of a new creation of water, because of what was already stored beneath the earth and in the air for the benefit of man—“He gathers the waters of the sea into a heap; He puts the depths into STOREHOUSES” (Ps. 33.7). “Storehouses” refers to the enormous reservoirs of water that is stored in the clouds and in the bowels of the earth, which He can draw forth whenever He pleases. The water stored under the earth was called “the great deep” in verse 11 and in Genesis 1.2. This great reservoir of subterranean water confined by creative power on the second day of creation sprang up, by an extraordinary act of Divine power, and the earth’s surface was “broken up.” At the same time, there was a nonstop torrential rain that lasted for “40 days” and “40 nights” upon the entire earth, and joined at once with the waters erupting from the bowels of the earth. The celestial waters contained in the canopy encircling the globe dumped on the earth and joined the terrestrial and the subterranean waters. This ended the water canopy surrounding the earth; together, these phenomena began the new system of hydrology that has since characterized the earth (see Job 26.8; Eccl. 1.7; Isa. 55.10; Amos 9.6). The rain came down in drops; but the rain that fell then poured forth in a volume and violence which was never known before or sense. This was not an ordinary Flood, but one that broke suddenly upon a startled populace and defies description. As a result of this disaster the whole earth was flooded. Man cannot imagine the fury and the destructive might of the eruption, or the awfulness of the display of God’s power to destroy sinful beings. The effect of the deluge on men, women, children, animals, and plants, and on the earth’s surface cannot be imagined. The complete corruption of man was far worse than any of us can imagine—the destruction was necessary. No doubt the surface of “the earth,” the manner of life, and the longevity of life was changed by this catastrophe.
“The Flood” was God’s judgment against a wicked world. God opened the floodgates of Heaven so that torrential rains came down, and “all the fountains of the great deep broken up,” so that even the highest mountains were covered by water (v. 20). God had waited for over a century for sinners to repent, and now it was too late—“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near” (Isa. 53.6).
I am not going to include in this section the scientific and historical evidence for the Flood other than to say that I believe there is ample evidence for a great historical catastrophe. There are many fine books that substantiate a universal flood, such as The Genesis Flood by Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb.