Genesis Chapter 7
Genesis 7:1 “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.”
“Righteous (6:9; Job 1:1).
In this we see Noah’s very difficult task finished. A righteous man or woman should be about winning their entire family to Christ and generally will be able to. The best way to win them is by living a separated life every day. God mentioned again that He was pleased with Noah.
Verses 7:2-3: “Sevens … sevens”: The extra 6 pairs of clean animals and birds would be used for sacrifice (8:20), and food (9:3).
Genesis 7:2 “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that [are] not clean by two, the male and his female.”
“Clean … not clean”: The distinction relates to sacrifice (in 8:20). Later, it has to do with eating (in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14).
“By sevens … by two”: Literally, “seven sevens” of every clean beast, which may mean seven pairs or three pairs, plus one, with the extra one being used for sacrifice later on.
Genesis 7:3 “Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.”
“Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and his female”. That is, of such as were clean; seven couple of these were to be brought into the ark, for the like use as of the clean beasts, and those under the law; and so at this time, and here meant were turtledoves, and young pigeons that were for sacrifice; and the rest were for food.
The design of bringing both into the ark was to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth; that the species of creatures might be continued, both of beasts and birds, clean and unclean.
Whether of beasts or birds; and the reason was that their rapid multiplication was a matter of the highest importance, when the earth should be renovated, for their utility either as articles of food or as employed in the service of man.
In verse 2 the first separation of clean and unclean animals was made. Clean animals would have to be more abundant to be used as food for Noah’s family, and for sacrifice to God. This just goes into more detail. In verse 1, the call came. It is still our call to safety today.
Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Noah obeyed God’s voice and came into the ark. Just as Noah went into his ark of safety by the door, we must enter into safety through Jesus Christ our Lord. Noah had lived in a very evil time, but stayed in right standing with God. We must live pure lives in this evil generation as well.
Verse 3 tells exactly why God brought the animals into the ark. It was to preserve the seed of every variety. The fowls were in sevens for the same reason. The animals were for food and for sacrifice.
Genesis 7:4 “For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.”
God allowed one more week for sinners to repent.
“Rain … forty days and forty nights”: A worldwide rain for this length of time is impossible in post-Flood atmospheric conditions, but not then. The canopy that covered the whole earth (see note on 1:7), a thermal water blanket encircling the earth, was to be condensed and dumped all over the globe (verse 10).
These threatenings were from God; Divine in nature to purify the earth. Forty had always been a time of testing and trial, thus it rained forty days and forty nights. This seven days was an exacting time, again, seven means spiritually complete. The work was over. Divine judgment was here. God would destroy his creation.
In verse 5, we see the unquestioning obedience of Noah when God spoke.
Genesis 7:5 “And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.”
He prepared for his entrance into the ark, and all the creatures with him; got everything ready for them, the rooms for their habitation, and food for their sustenance.
Genesis 7:6 “And Noah [was] six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.”
When it began; he was in his six hundred and first year when it ended (Gen. 8:13).
His eldest son was now a hundred years old, since when Noah was five hundred years old he begat children (Gen. 5:32).
Noah was 500, he had Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and when the floods came he was 600. It seems approximately 100 years of obedience to God was necessary for Noah to be prepared.
Today the world ridicules the believers, just as they did in the days of Noah. We too, must keep the faith against all odds.
Genesis 7:7 “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.”
The call to Noah is very kind, like that of a tender father to his children to come in-doors when he sees night or a storm coming. Noah did not go into the ark till God bade him, though he knew it was to be his place of refuge. It is very comfortable to see God going before us in every step we take.
Noah had taken a great deal of pains to build the ark, and now he was himself kept alive in it. What we do in obedience to the command of God, and in faith, we ourselves shall certainly have the comfort of, first or last. This call to Noah reminds us of the call the gospel gives to poor sinners. Christ is an ark, in whom alone we can be safe, when death and judgment approach.
The word says, Come; ministers say, Come; the Spirit says, Come, come into the Ark. Noah was accounted righteous, not for his own righteousness, but as an heir of the righteousness which is by faith (Heb. 11:7).
A very popular reason to come to God is to avoid destruction.
Genesis 7:8 “Of clean beasts, and of beasts that [are] not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,”
In obedience to a Divine impulse. Nothing short of Divine power could have effected such a timely and orderly entrance of the creatures into the huge vessel.
Genesis 7:9 “There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.”
“Went in two and two unto Noah”: God compelled them to present themselves to Noah, as they did before to Adam, when he gave them names (Gen. 2:19).
In (Genesis 7:9 and Genesis 7:15), it is stated that “they came two and two,” and (in Genesis 7:16), that “the coming ones came male and female of all flesh.” In this expression “they came”, it is clearly intimated, that the animals collected about Noah and were taken into the ark, without his having to exert himself to collect them.
It seemed as if there were invisible chains pulling the lion and lioness, the tigers, serpents, crocodiles, birds, and every creature. Don’t you know it caused quite a stir for these animals and birds to congregate at the ark?
Genesis 7:10 “And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.”
For yet seven days, God spoke these words probably on the seventh or Sabbath day, and the days of the ensuing week were employed in entering the ark, in embarking the mighty troop, for whose reception ample provision had been already made.
As Noah prepared the ark by faith in the warning given that the flood would come, so he went into it, by faith in this warning that it would come quickly. And on the day Noah was securely fixed in the ark, the fountains of the great deep were broken up.
The windows of heaven were opened, and the waters which were above the firmament, that is, in the air, were poured out upon the earth. The rain comes down in drops; but such rains fell then, as were never known before or since.
If I understand the above, it seems that Noah was in the ark seven days before the flood began. This would be one really good argument for the Christians being in heaven seven years before the horrors begin. I personally believe the problems will begin while we are still here, as the rain began while Noah was on the earth.
But the above seven days of safety in the ark before the flood came, could possibly be symbolic of the seven years we will be in heaven before the holocaust begins. It really does not say exactly when it started raining, or exactly at what point Noah entered the ark.
Genesis 7:11 “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.”
“Month … day”: The calendar system of Noah’s day is unknown, although it appears that one month equaled 30 days. If calculated by the Jewish calendar of Moses’ day, it would be about May. This period of God’s grace was ended (6:3, 8; 7:4).
“All the fountains of the great deep broken up”: The subterranean waters sprang up from inside the earth to form the seas and rivers (1:10; 2:10-14), which were not produced by rainfall (since there was none), but by deep fountains in the earth.
“The windows of heaven were opened”: The celestial waters in the canopy encircling the globe were dumped on the earth and joined with the terrestrial and the subterranean waters (1:7). This ended the water canopy surrounding the earth and unleashed the water in 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 sequence in this verse, indicating that the earth’s crust breaks up first, then the heavens drop their water, is interesting because the volcanic explosions that would have occurred when the earth fractured would have sent magma and dust into the atmosphere, along with gigantic sprays of water, gas, and air, all penetrating the canopy triggering its downpour.
This rain did not just fall from the sky, but it came from springs and openings in the earth as well. Water came from everywhere. It started on May 17 as we think of time.
Genesis 7:12 “And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”
The windows of heaven were opened, and the waters which were above the firmament, that is, in the air, were poured out upon the earth. The rain comes down in drops; but such rains fell then, as were never known before or since. It rained without stop or abatement, forty days and forty nights, upon the whole earth at once.
Genesis 7:13 “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;”
“Entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah”: Not inconsistent with verses 4 and 5, which do not necessarily imply that the actual entry was made seven days before the Flood; but merely that Noah then began to carry out the Divine instructions.
The threefold recital of the entry: first in connection with the invitation or command (verse 5), and again in the actual process during the seven days (verse 7), and finally on the day when the Flood began (verse 15).
For sure we know that Noah was in the ark before the forty days and nights of rain, the other exact time that they entered the ark is speculation. I really believe verse 13 just means that the family all went in the same day. This warning God had given Noah in verse 4, that in seven days He would start the flood, was probably to give Noah a little more time to get his family into the ark.
Genesis 7:14-15 “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.” “And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life.”
There is a simple grandeur in the threefold description of the entrance of Noah and his retinue into the ark, first in the command, next in the actual process during the seven days, and lastly, in the completed act on the seventh day.
“Every living thing after its kind” is here unaccompanied with the epithet, evil or the qualifying term of the land or of the field, and therefore may, we conceive, be taken in the extent of Gen. 6:20; 7:2-3; 7:6.
At all events the whole of the wild animals did not need to be included in the ark, as their range was greater than that of antediluvian (before the flood), man or of the flood. “And the Lord shut him in.” This is a fitting close to the scene. The whole work was manifestly the Lord’s doing, from first to last.
Genesis 7:16 “And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.”
“And the Lord shut him in”: No small event is spared in the telling of this episode, although the details are sparse.
God preserved Noah and his family.
This verse tells us that safety comes from the Lord. The seal was set by the Lord. He puts his seal of safety on us as well when we decide to follow Him.
Genesis 7:17 “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.”
The flood of waters is described as a global flood. Universal terms (“all flesh,” “everything”), are used 30 times in describing this Flood. The double superlatives (“every living thing of all flesh,” and “all the high hills under the whole heaven”), clearly indicate that the author intended to state his case unmistakably.
The Hebrew word mabul (“deluge”), describes only this Flood, as does the New Testament Greek work kataklysmos, “cataclysm” (2 Pet. 3:3-7). The depth of the Flood and its duration indicate that it was no mere local flood. The size of the ark (95,700 square feet of deck space) and its gross tonnage indicate the magnitude of this Flood.
God’s promise (9:11), that He would never again send such a flood upon the earth also confirms its uniqueness. Our Lord Jesus referred to both the historicity and universality of this Flood as an example of the worldwide judgment to accompany His second coming (Matt. 24:37-44). The conclusion is inescapable: the universal Flood is presented as a fact of history in the Bible.
As the rain came, the water rose and floated the ark upward. It seems it rained forty days and nights. In the next few verses, we will see that the water did not immediately go down.
Genesis 7:18 “And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.”
“And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth”: Still they became greater and more powerful, as to bear up the ark, so to cast down houses, trees, etc. by the continual rains that fell, though perhaps they were not so violent as before, and by the constant eruptions of water out of the earth.
“And the ark went upon the face of the waters”: it floated about upon them, in an easy gentle manner; for there were no storms of wind or tempests raised, which might endanger it. (If much of the water came from volcanic activity, and if earthquakes accompanied the breaking forth of the fountains of the deep, many tidal waves would result).
This would completely destroy any remains of the old civilization and as well give the ark a rough sea to drift in. The ark’s dimensions would make it almost impossible to upset.
Genesis 7:19 “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that [were] under the whole heaven, were covered.”
“All the high hills”: This describes the extent of the Flood as global. Lest there be any doubt, Moses adds “under the heavens” (2 Pet. 3:5-7). There are over 270 flood stories told in cultures all over the earth, which owe their origin to this one global event.
We understand by this that the mountain tops were covered and the ark floated above it all.
Genesis 7:20 “Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.”
“Fifteen cubits upward”: The water level was 15 cubits (or about 22.5 feet) higher than the highest mountain, so that the ark floated freely above the peaks. This would include the highest peak in that area (8:4), which is approximately 17,000 feet high. That depth further proves it was not a local flood, but a global one.
In our studies, we know this would have not meant from the ground. These 15 cubits had to be above the highest mountain. Just as the plagues in Revelation get worse as each vial is poured out, this water and punishment was greater and greater.
Genesis 7:21 “And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:”
All the men, women, and children, that were in the world, excepting those in the ark, died. The resulting death of all by drowning is here recounted.
Genesis 7:22 “All in whose nostrils [was] the breath of life, of all that [was] in the dry [land], died.”
“All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life … died” This statement refers solely to man, whose higher life is exclusively expressed by the phrase “breath of life” (Gen. 2:7). It affirms the death of the whole of mankind.
Genesis 7:23 “And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained [alive], and they that [were] with him in the ark.”
The sum total of animal and vegetable life, with the exception of those in the ark, is here declared to be extinguished.
Here again, over and over, we see God making a difference between the lost sinners and those saved by Him.
Genesis 7:24 “And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.”
“Hundred and fifty days”: These days included the 40 day and night period of rain (7:12, 17). The Flood rose to its peak at that point (8:3). It then took over 2-1/2 months before the water receded to reveal other mountain peaks (8:4-5), over 4-1/2 months before the dove could find dry land (8:8-12), and almost 8 months before the occupants could leave the ark (8:14).
This time was a time of security for Noah and his family. When we look back at Noah and the flood, we can see symbolisms of our day. First, sin prevailed as it does now in our land. Second, Noah found favor in God’s sight as true Christians have found favor with God. Third, God provided a way out for Noah, Fourth, we are saved in tribulation. Fifth, God called Noah into the ark.
Jesus will blow a trumpet to call us to meet Him in the sky. Sixth, Noah knows rest and security in the ark. We will know peace and rest with Jesus. Seventh, we see Noah return to the earth. Christians will return with Jesus to earth.
Genesis Chapter 7 Questions
1. When God called Noah into the ark, He said because He had found Noah what?
2. What should a Christian man or woman be doing?
3. How many clean beasts should Noah bring into the ark?
4. Name two reasons for more clean than unclean animals.
5. God told Noah how many days ahead the rain would start?
6. How many days and nights was it to rain?
7. This number means what?
8. How old was Noah when the flood was on the earth?
9. What is a very popular reason to come to God?
10. What is one really good argument for seven years being spent in heaven by Christians?
11. What month of the year did the rain begin?
12. What day?
13. In verse 15 he describes what separates these from fish, what is it?
14. Who shut the door?
15. What was covered with the water?
16. How high did the waters prevail?
17. What comparison could be made with the flood and plagues?
18. How many days did the water prevail?
19. What was the first comparison to our day?
20. What was the second comparison to our day?
21. What was the third comparison to our day?
22. What was the fourth comparison to our day?
23. What was the fifth comparison to our day?
24. What was the sixth comparison to our day?
25. What was the seventh comparison to our day?