Deadly Cataclysm, Genesis 8-9:19

“Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.” Genesis 7:17-24.

The above has been included for context. From here we will continue into Genesis chapters 8 through 9:19.

“Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.” Genesis 8:1.

“Then God remembered” is indeed a curious statement because we know that God is omniscient, He knows everything, so He never forgot anything.

This is what may be called an anthropomorphism (dictionary; ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human, esp. to a deity). I had to look this one up.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7.

No matter how pleasant and homey the ark would have been made inside, cabin fever could have set in soon enough. Cabin fever and the sounds of chaos outside the ark likely set everyone on edge within a short period, faith or no faith.

Many Christians may think that way right now as we watch the world fall apart and wonder when God is either going to bring revival to America or send the Lord Jesus Christ to take us home as the world again sinks into chaos and goes through the flood of evil called the tribulation.

Faith or no faith, it is hard to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, when our mind continually screams out, “It is a train!”

“Faith dispels fear, but only in proportion to its strength.” Jamison, Fausset, Brown commentary.

“And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.” Genesis 8:3-4.

There can be little doubt that the writer used a Jewish calendar when he recorded the month and day that the ark rested on Ararat.

The month according to the Jewish calendar was Tis’ri which corresponds with our months September/October. The ark landed on Ararat in the month of October.

The feast that the Jews celebrate at this time is the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, which, this year was from 10-22-21 to 10-29-21.

The connection here is that the Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated by the Israelites in commemoration of the first place they camped, in booths or tabernacles, after they left Egypt. The feast is meant to celebrate the Father’s loving care given to them during their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.

The significance of this for Noah is that the ark had settled safely on the mountains of Ararat bringing its occupants to a new land and rest as Noah’s father Lamech had prophesied.

“And he called his name Noah [literally means rest], saying, ‘This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands [by preserving lives], because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.’” Genesis 5:29.

“And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried. Then God spoke to Noah, saying, ‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’” Genesis 8:14-17.

After 371 days, fifty-three weeks on board the ark, the men, their wives, and the animals set foot on dry ground in a new and far more hostile world.

“Then 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. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.’” Genesis 8:20-21.

More than one expositor has stated that the words “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake…” as having the meaning of, “I will not add to curse the ground anymore.”

By this God is saying that He had cursed the ground once when sin came into the world through Adam and Eve (see Genesis 3:17).

And it could be said that He cursed it again by flooding it, completely changing the surface of the earth. He now states that He will not do this again even though He knows that He will be sorely provoked again.

“So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that moves on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.’” Genesis 9:1-3.

Just as God blessed Adam and Eve, so He blesses Noah and his sons who are the patriarchs of all the races of man from this point on. But as you read the blessings above, note the differences from the original blessing below.

“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.’” Genesis 1:28-29.

The blessing is similar and still gives them dominion over the animal kingdom, but with a difference; the animals will now be in dread of them. The theory is that men, particularly the ungodly line of Cain, had begun to eat animal flesh.

I would exclude the godly line from this practice because they would have continued to eat the food which God had given to them.

Now God knowing the depravity of man perhaps made this allowance. There is the added possibility that because of the change in climate, and the nutritional value of plants due to soil depletion, God had given animals over to the same unnatural act of eating each other. God then brought nature (if you will) into a natural balance, by creating a whole new food chain.

While all animals were given into men’s hands, God, at the same time put fear and dread within the hearts of all animals for their own self-preservation.

Here is a possible example of why God put the fear into animals. The Dodo bird was discovered on the island of Mauritius which is east of Madagascar in 1598 A.D. In less than a hundred years after its discovery the bird became extinct.

The most widely held belief for its extinction has been because the flightless bird was so slow, and dumb, (hence, dumb as a Dodo) that it was a simple matter of catching it and killing it for food. There are other reasons such as the introduction of predators not native to the island eating these poor creatures because they had no defenses.

My point is this, men are lazy and if they can catch dinner without too much effort, they are going to over hunt and destroy a species overnight. A much poorer example but one you may agree with is that of the American buffalo.

The buffalo population is said to have been so extensive that one could go for miles and see the prairie covered with them.

While the Indians were practical in their hunting tactics and in the use of every part of the buffalo, the Europeans and American hunters were simply out to kill animals and hunted them almost to extinction; even sinking to the barbaric level of shooting them from trains as they passed through.

Animals have good reason to fear man, and God knew it, and mercifully He gave them a healthy fear of us.

God’s instructions to Noah continue with this.

“But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” Genesis 9:4.

From a practical standpoint this means that the animal should be drained of its blood before eating it. This ensures that the animal is dead and from a health standpoint blood is not the healthiest thing to eat or drink since it can contain parasites and pathogens.

A targum is a spoken paraphrase, explanation, or expansion which a Rabbi would use while reading the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament). Such a targum was given on this passage on the eating of blood.

“But the flesh which is torn from a living beast at the time that its life is in it, or which is torn from a beast while it is slain, before its breath is gone out, ye shall not eat.”

The idea of eating an animal while it is still alive is reprehensible, yet it must have happened for God to warn against it. This is something to expect from a jackal or a hyena, not from humans.

“Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” Genesis 9:5-6.

This is perhaps, the most important verse among all that have been discussed in this post because it establishes human government, something which God had not ordained before the flood.

Simply put, God requires that any animal that kills a human being should be put to death; there is no room for argument here.

By extension if the owner of said killer animal knew that it was dangerous but did nothing to keep it under control, he too should be put to death because he did nothing to prevent the death. It is as if he held a weapon in his own hand to kill.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” Genesis 9:6.

By striking out against another person the murderer is striking out against the image of God. By man his blood shall be shed; it is the duty of the judge to condemn to death a murderer and the function of government to carry out the sentence.

This is the highest and most solemn of duties which require a form of civil government to carry out faithfully and dispassionately. This is not revenge, it is punishment.

Too many godless people who do not value life try to value those who take it, calling the death penalty barbaric and vengeful. God has not changed His mind by the way; these two verses in Genesis 9:5-6 are still in effect.

From Genesis 9:8-17 God tells them of His perpetual covenant with both mankind and the animals that He will never again destroy the earth by water and sets the rainbow in the clouds as a sign of that covenant.

“And God said: ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud…’” Genesis 9:12-14.

Again, scoffers like to snicker at the stupidity of Christians who have never heard of light refraction and the fact that God did not just invent it after some local flood that Noah rode out in a boat.

Well, that is their problem, you cannot teach the willfully ignorant. But there is an explanation; once again, it did not rain before the flood, so there would not have been any rain droplets in the sky for the sun to refract through.

It is even possible that the skies were cloudless because of a canopy which surrounded the whole earth causing weather conditions to be perfect.

Anyone who may have mined crystals or made glass before the flood, and they were a very advanced civilization, would have seen light refracted through the jewel creating a small rainbow.

One footnote on the rainbow, the homosexuals and other groups have adopted the rainbow as a sort of logo. The rainbow is a beautiful thing which they have taken to show a form of solidarity among ungodly men. But it is a sign of rebellion against God.

It is also a challenge, “You destroyed the world once, but we will not bend, we defy You to do it again.”

When the Titanic was built one man was quoted as saying that even God could not sink it. God is a lot more capable than most folks think He is.

“Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.” Genesis 9:18-19.

Shem was the father of the Shemites, or Semites. Ham was the father of the Canaanites, Egyptians, and the dark skinned races in Africa. Japheth was the father of the Europeans, Germans, Greeks, and the Russians, to name a few.

There are books that cover the migrations of the sons of these three men, one of which is “The Beginning of the World” by Henry M. Morris; published by Master Books.

Genesis chapter ten is also called the table of the nations; read it over it is quite interesting. Chapter ten has been omitted from this study because of its complexity and it would be difficult to do it justice in short posts like these.

Deadly Cataclysm, Genesis 8-9:19 taken from posted on 9-17-14, updated on 11-29-21.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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