Brow Publications, Kingston, Ontario (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) 2004
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Table Of Contents:
|Genesis 8:1-3||Genesis 8:18-19|
|Genesis 8:4-5||Genesis 8:20|
|Genesis 8:6-7||Genesis 8:21|
|Genesis 8:8-12||Genesis 8:22|
8:1-3 We can imagine the plight of the wild animals and domestic animals which had by now survived five months enclosed in the ark. And it is interesting that God was concerned for them. Finally a change of wind ended the constant rain, and the outflow of water from the earth also ceased.
8:4-5 The flood has begun in the second month of the year (7:11), and five long months later Noah noted that the ship had gone aground. The location is given as "the mountains of Ararat." That does not mean the very high Mount Ararat (16804 feet, 5122 meters). That mountain is 180 miles (288 km) to the north-east of the valley where it seems Seth and his descendants continued to live after their exclusion from the originally enclosed garden (2:10-14, 3:23-24, compare 4:16). It took another six weeks before the tops of the other small hills around the Eden valley became visible. We note again (as in 7:11-13) that Noah kept a very careful record of the exact day of the month for each of these events.
GENESIS 8:6-12 (The Dove Released)
8:6-7 Noah opened the khallon (an opening pierced in a wall) after the deluge had ceased. The raven was one of the birds which were not kosher for human consumption (Leviticus 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14). Presumably this carrion eating bird was able to pick at the animal carcases floating on the water.
8:8-12 The dove was a kosher bird and, after it was sent out, it was tame enough to settle on Noah’s hand. A week later he sent it out again and it came back with an olive leaf in its beak. Obviously olive trees had begun to sprout again. But the live leaf was not what the bird wanted to eat. Another week later the dove had found grains that it could eat. All four Gospels record that at his baptism Jesus saw "the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him" (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32). Based on this Christians have adopted the dove as a sign of the Holy Spirit.
GENESIS 8:13-19 (Noah and his Family leave the Ark)
8:13-17 Noah did not open up the roof of the ark till ten months had elapsed since the flood began (compare 7:11). Seven weeks later God told him it was time for him and his family and the animals that remained to leave the ark.
8:18-19 Noah’s sons did not begin to have children till after they had left the ship (10:1). By then it seems that some of the pairs of animals already had offspring in captivity, and they soon repopulated the area.
GENESIS 8:20-22 (Noah’s Sacrifice)
8:20 In the first chapter of Religion: Origins and Ideas we give evidence for the fact that the earliest religion of Genesis Man was a faith in God the Creator, who was approached on the basis of animal sacrifice. One or more animals were killed for the tribe to eat. There was a thanksgiving. "This animal is dying so we can eat." Then some of the meat, and at least the fat and entrails were cut out and burned on an altar. As the smoke of the sacrifice ascended the prayers of the tribe were pictured as ascending to God. This was still the practice among the Aryan tribes who came into India after about 2000 BC (see Word Thoughts VEDAS). It was an essential part of Homeric Greek religion.
In the Bible the first evidence of animal sacrifice may be suggested by "The LORD God made garments of skin for the man and for his wife" (3:21). This seems to have been the offering that Abel brought from his flock (4:4). After Noah’s sacrifice (8:20), the practice was continued by Abraham (12:7; 13:4, 18; 15:9), Isaac (26:25), and no doubt by others. Moses demanded the freedom to sacrifice (Exodus 8:27; 12:1-8, 26-27), and after the Exodus he set out rules for this to be continued on an altar of sacrifice (Exodus 27:1) in the Tabernacle enclosure.
8:21 We do not have to believe that the LORD literally smelled the smoke of the sacrifice, but this service of worship and prayer was certainly acceptable to him. Although the LORD knew that human hearts would still continue to plan evil, he promised never again to destroy all the crops and wild life in that way again. Here the term "humankind" might be limited to the descendants of Noah since it did not apply to destruction by fire of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and their surrounding area (Genesis 19:24-25).
8:22 We have seen (6:7, 11-12) that the earth does not usually mean the whole globe of our planet earth. But here the promise of the regular continuance of the seasons seems to have a wider application to all nations. We all assume that day and night and summer and winter are a permanent feature of the country in which we live.
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