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Genesis 6:5--8:22

Context

6:5 But the Lord saw 1  that the wickedness of humankind had become great on the earth. Every inclination 2  of the thoughts 3  of their minds 4  was only evil 5  all the time. 6  6:6 The Lord regretted 7  that he had made humankind on the earth, and he was highly offended. 8  6:7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe humankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – everything from humankind to animals, 9  including creatures that move on the ground and birds of the air, for I regret that I have made them.”

6:8 But 10  Noah found favor 11  in the sight of 12  the Lord.

The Judgment of the Flood

6:9 This is the account of Noah. 13 

Noah was a godly man; he was blameless 14 

among his contemporaries. 15  He 16  walked with 17  God. 6:10 Noah had 18  three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

6:11 The earth was ruined 19  in the sight of 20  God; the earth was filled with violence. 21  6:12 God saw the earth, and indeed 22  it was ruined, 23  for all living creatures 24  on the earth were sinful. 25  6:13 So God said 26  to Noah, “I have decided that all living creatures must die, 27  for the earth is filled with violence because of them. Now I am about to destroy 28  them and the earth. 6:14 Make 29  for yourself an ark of cypress 30  wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover 31  it with pitch inside and out. 6:15 This is how you should make it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 32  6:16 Make a roof for the ark and finish it, leaving 18 inches 33  from the top. 34  Put a door in the side of the ark, and make lower, middle, and upper decks. 6:17 I am about to bring 35  floodwaters 36  on the earth to destroy 37  from under the sky all the living creatures that have the breath of life in them. 38  Everything that is on the earth will die, 6:18 but I will confirm 39  my covenant with you. You will enter 40  the ark – you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 6:19 You must bring into the ark two of every kind of living creature from all flesh, 41  male and female, to keep them alive 42  with you. 6:20 Of the birds after their kinds, and of the cattle after their kinds, and of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you so you can keep them alive. 43  6:21 And you must take 44  for yourself every kind of food 45  that is eaten, 46  and gather it together. 47  It will be food for you and for them.

6:22 And Noah did all 48  that God commanded him – he did indeed. 49 

7:1 The Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, for I consider you godly among this generation. 50  7:2 You must take with you seven 51  of every kind of clean animal, 52  the male and its mate, 53  two of every kind of unclean animal, the male and its mate, 7:3 and also seven 54  of every kind of bird in the sky, male and female, 55  to preserve their offspring 56  on the face of the earth. 7:4 For in seven days 57  I will cause it to rain 58  on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the ground every living thing that I have made.”

7:5 And Noah did all 59  that the Lord commanded him.

7:6 Noah 60  was 600 years old when the floodwaters engulfed 61  the earth. 7:7 Noah entered the ark along with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives because 62  of the floodwaters. 7:8 Pairs 63  of clean animals, of unclean animals, of birds, and of everything that creeps along the ground, 7:9 male and female, came into the ark to Noah, 64  just as God had commanded him. 65  7:10 And after seven days the floodwaters engulfed the earth. 66 

7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month – on that day all the fountains of the great deep 67  burst open and the floodgates of the heavens 68  were opened. 7:12 And the rain fell 69  on the earth forty days and forty nights.

7:13 On that very day Noah entered the ark, accompanied by his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, along with his wife and his sons’ three wives. 70  7:14 They entered, 71  along with every living creature after its kind, every animal after its kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, everything with wings. 72  7:15 Pairs 73  of all creatures 74  that have the breath of life came into the ark to Noah. 7:16 Those that entered were male and female, 75  just as God commanded him. Then the Lord shut him in.

7:17 The flood engulfed the earth for forty days. As the waters increased, they lifted the ark and raised it above the earth. 7:18 The waters completely overwhelmed 76  the earth, and the ark floated 77  on the surface of the waters. 7:19 The waters completely inundated 78  the earth so that even 79  all the high mountains under the entire sky were covered. 7:20 The waters rose more than twenty feet 80  above the mountains. 81  7:21 And all living things 82  that moved on the earth died, including the birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all humankind. 7:22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life 83  in its nostrils died. 7:23 So the Lord 84  destroyed 85  every living thing that was on the surface of the ground, including people, animals, creatures that creep along the ground, and birds of the sky. 86  They were wiped off the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark survived. 87  7:24 The waters prevailed over 88  the earth for 150 days.

8:1 But God remembered 89  Noah and all the wild animals and domestic animals that were with him in the ark. God caused a wind to blow over 90  the earth and the waters receded. 8:2 The fountains of the deep and the floodgates of heaven were closed, 91  and the rain stopped falling from the sky. 8:3 The waters kept receding steadily 92  from the earth, so that they 93  had gone down 94  by the end of the 150 days. 8:4 On the seventeenth day of the seventh month, the ark came to rest on one of the mountains of Ararat. 95  8:5 The waters kept on receding 96  until the tenth month. On the first day of the tenth month, the tops of the mountains became visible. 97 

8:6 At the end of forty days, 98  Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 99  8:7 and sent out a raven; it kept flying 100  back and forth until the waters had dried up on the earth.

8:8 Then Noah 101  sent out a dove 102  to see if the waters had receded 103  from the surface of the ground. 8:9 The dove could not find a resting place for its feet because water still covered 104  the surface of the entire earth, and so it returned to Noah 105  in the ark. He stretched out his hand, took the dove, 106  and brought it back into the ark. 107  8:10 He waited seven more days and then sent out the dove again from the ark. 8:11 When 108  the dove returned to him in the evening, there was 109  a freshly plucked olive leaf in its beak! Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. 8:12 He waited another seven days and sent the dove out again, 110  but it did not return to him this time. 111 

8:13 In Noah’s six hundred and first year, 112  in the first day of the first month, the waters had dried up from the earth, and Noah removed the covering from the ark and saw that 113  the surface of the ground was dry. 8:14 And by the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth 114  was dry.

8:15 Then God spoke to Noah and said, 8:16 “Come out of the ark, you, your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. 8:17 Bring out with you all the living creatures that are with you. Bring out 115  every living thing, including the birds, animals, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Let them increase 116  and be fruitful and multiply on the earth!” 117 

8:18 Noah went out along with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives. 8:19 Every living creature, every creeping thing, every bird, and everything that moves on the earth went out of the ark in their groups.

8:20 Noah built an altar to the Lord. He then took some of every kind of clean animal and clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 118  8:21 And the Lord smelled the soothing aroma 119  and said 120  to himself, 121  “I will never again curse 122  the ground because of humankind, even though 123  the inclination of their minds 124  is evil from childhood on. 125  I will never again destroy everything that lives, as I have just done.

8:22 “While the earth continues to exist, 126 

planting time 127  and harvest,

cold and heat,

summer and winter,

and day and night will not cease.”

1 sn The Hebrew verb translated “saw” (רָאָה, raah), used here of God’s evaluation of humankind’s evil deeds, contrasts with God’s evaluation of creative work in Gen 1, when he observed that everything was good.

2 tn The noun יֵצֶר (yetser) is related to the verb יָצָר (yatsar, “to form, to fashion [with a design]”). Here it refers to human plans or intentions (see Gen 8:21; 1 Chr 28:9; 29:18). People had taken their God-given capacities and used them to devise evil. The word יֵצֶר (yetser) became a significant theological term in Rabbinic literature for what might be called the sin nature – the evil inclination (see also R. E. Murphy, “Yeser in the Qumran Literature,” Bib 39 [1958]: 334-44).

3 tn The related verb הָשָׁב (hashav) means “to think, to devise, to reckon.” The noun (here) refers to thoughts or considerations.

4 tn Heb “his heart” (referring to collective “humankind”). The Hebrew term לֵב (lev, “heart”) frequently refers to the seat of one’s thoughts (see BDB 524 s.v. לֵב). In contemporary English this is typically referred to as the “mind.”

5 sn Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil. There is hardly a stronger statement of the wickedness of the human race than this. Here is the result of falling into the “knowledge of good and evil”: Evil becomes dominant, and the good is ruined by the evil.

6 tn Heb “all the day.”

sn The author of Genesis goes out of his way to emphasize the depth of human evil at this time. Note the expressions “every inclination,” “only evil,” and “all the time.”

7 tn Or “was grieved”; “was sorry.” In the Niphal stem the verb נָחָם (nakham) can carry one of four semantic meanings, depending on the context: (1) “to experience emotional pain or weakness,” “to feel regret,” often concerning a past action (see Exod 13:17; Judg 21:6, 15; 1 Sam 15:11, 35; Job 42:6; Jer 31:19). In several of these texts כִּי (ki, “because”) introduces the cause of the emotional sorrow. (2) Another meaning is “to be comforted” or “to comfort oneself” (sometimes by taking vengeance). See Gen 24:67; 38:12; 2 Sam 13:39; Ps 77:3; Isa 1:24; Jer 31:15; Ezek 14:22; 31:16; 32:31. (This second category represents a polarization of category one.) (3) The meaning “to relent from” or “to repudiate” a course of action which is already underway is also possible (see Judg 2:18; 2 Sam 24:16 = 1 Chr 21:15; Pss 90:13; 106:45; Jer 8:6; 20:16; 42:10). (4) Finally, “to retract” (a statement) or “to relent or change one’s mind concerning,” “to deviate from” (a stated course of action) is possible (see Exod 32:12, 14; 1 Sam 15:29; Ps 110:4; Isa 57:6; Jer 4:28; 15:6; 18:8, 10; 26:3, 13, 19; Ezek 24:14; Joel 2:13-14; Am 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9-10; 4:2; Zech 8:14). See R. B. Chisholm, “Does God ‘Change His Mind’?” BSac 152 (1995): 388. The first category applies here because the context speaks of God’s grief and emotional pain (see the following statement in v. 6) as a result of a past action (his making humankind). For a thorough study of the word נָחָם, see H. Van Dyke Parunak, “A Semantic Survey of NHM,” Bib 56 (1975): 512-32.

8 tn Heb “and he was grieved to his heart.” The verb עָצָב (’atsav) can carry one of three semantic senses, depending on the context: (1) “to be injured” (Ps 56:5; Eccl 10:9; 1 Chr 4:10); (2) “to experience emotional pain”; “to be depressed emotionally”; “to be worried” (2 Sam 19:2; Isa 54:6; Neh 8:10-11); (3) “to be embarrassed”; “to be offended” (to the point of anger at another or oneself); “to be insulted” (Gen 34:7; 45:5; 1 Sam 20:3, 34; 1 Kgs 1:6; Isa 63:10; Ps 78:40). This third category develops from the second by metonymy. In certain contexts emotional pain leads to embarrassment and/or anger. In this last use the subject sometimes directs his anger against the source of grief (see especially Gen 34:7). The third category fits best in Gen 6:6 because humankind’s sin does not merely wound God emotionally. On the contrary, it prompts him to strike out in judgment against the source of his distress (see v. 7). The verb וַיִּתְעַצֵּב (vayyitatsev), a Hitpael from עָצָב, alludes to the judgment oracles in Gen 3:16-19. Because Adam and Eve sinned, their life would be filled with pain; but sin in the human race also brought pain to God. The wording of v. 6 is ironic when compared to Gen 5:29. Lamech anticipated relief (נָחָם, nakham) from their work (מַעֲשֶׂה, maaseh) and their painful toil (עִצְּבֹן, ’itsÿvon), but now we read that God was sorry (נָחָם, nakham) that he had made (עָשָׂה, ’asah) humankind for it brought him great pain (עָצָב, ’atsav).

9 tn The text simply has “from man to beast, to creatures, and to birds of the air.” The use of the prepositions עַדמִן (min...ad) stresses the extent of the judgment in creation.

10 tn The disjunctive clause (conjunction + subject + verb) is contrastive here: God condemns the human race, but he is pleased with Noah.

11 tn The Hebrew expression “find favor [in the eyes of]” is an idiom meaning “to be an object of another’s favorable disposition or action,” “to be a recipient of another’s favor, kindness, mercy.” The favor/kindness is often earned, coming in response to an action or condition (see Gen 32:5; 39:4; Deut 24:1; 1 Sam 25:8; Prov 3:4; Ruth 2:10). This is the case in Gen 6:8, where v. 9 gives the basis (Noah’s righteous character) for the divine favor.

12 tn Heb “in the eyes of,” an anthropomorphic expression for God’s opinion or decision. The Lord saw that the whole human race was corrupt, but he looked in favor on Noah.

13 sn There is a vast body of scholarly literature about the flood story. The following studies are particularly helpful: A. Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic and the Old Testament Parallels; M. Kessler, “Rhetorical Criticism of Genesis 7,” Rhetorical Criticism: Essays in Honor of James Muilenburg (PTMS), 1-17; I. M. Kikawada and A. Quinn, Before Abraham Was; A. R. Millard, “A New Babylonian ‘Genesis Story’,” TynBul 18 (1967): 3-18; G. J. Wenham, “The Coherence of the Flood Narrative,” VT 28 (1978): 336-48.

14 tn The Hebrew term תָּמִים (tamim, “blameless”) is used of men in Gen 17:1 (associated with the idiom “walk before,” which means “maintain a proper relationship with,” see 24:40); Deut 18:13 (where it means “blameless” in the sense of not guilty of the idolatrous practices listed before this; see Josh 24:14); Pss 18:23, 26 (“blameless” in the sense of not having violated God’s commands); 37:18 (in contrast to the wicked); 101:2, 6 (in contrast to proud, deceitful slanderers; see 15:2); Prov 2:21; 11:5 (in contrast to the wicked); 28:10; Job 12:4.

15 tn Heb “Noah was a godly man, blameless in his generations.” The singular “generation” can refer to one’s contemporaries, i.e., those living at a particular point in time. The plural “generations” can refer to successive generations in the past or the future. Here, where it is qualified by “his” (i.e., Noah’s), it refers to Noah’s contemporaries, comprised of the preceding generation (his father’s generation), those of Noah’s generation, and the next generation (those the same age as his children). In other words, “his generations” means the generations contemporary with him. See BDB 190 s.v. דוֹר.

16 tn Heb “Noah.” The proper name has been replaced with the pronoun in the translation for stylistic reasons.

17 tn The construction translated “walked with” is used in Gen 5:22, 24 (see the note on this phrase in 5:22) and in 1 Sam 25:15, where it refers to David’s and Nabal’s men “rubbing shoulders” in the fields. Based on the use in 1 Sam 25:15, the expression seems to mean “live in close proximity to,” which may, by metonymy, mean “maintain cordial relations with.”

18 tn Heb “fathered.”

19 tn Apart from Gen 6:11-12, the Niphal form of this verb occurs in Exod 8:20 HT (8:24 ET), where it describes the effect of the swarms of flies on the land of Egypt; Jer 13:7 and 18:4, where it is used of a “ruined” belt and “marred” clay pot, respectively; and Ezek 20:44, where it describes Judah’s morally “corrupt” actions. The sense “morally corrupt” fits well in Gen 6:11 because of the parallelism (note “the earth was filled with violence”). In this case “earth” would stand by metonymy for its sinful inhabitants. However, the translation “ruined” works just as well, if not better. In this case humankind’s sin is viewed has having an adverse effect upon the earth. Note that vv. 12b-13 make a distinction between the earth and the living creatures who live on it.

20 tn Heb “before.”

21 tn The Hebrew word translated “violence” refers elsewhere to a broad range of crimes, including unjust treatment (Gen 16:5; Amos 3:10), injurious legal testimony (Deut 19:16), deadly assault (Gen 49:5), murder (Judg 9:24), and rape (Jer 13:22).

22 tn Or “God saw how corrupt the earth was.”

23 tn The repetition in the text (see v. 11) emphasizes the point.

24 tn Heb “flesh.” Since moral corruption is in view here, most modern western interpreters understand the referent to be humankind. However, the phrase “all flesh” is used consistently of humankind and the animals in Gen 6-9 (6:17, 19; 7:15-16, 21; 8:17; 9:11, 15-17), suggesting that the author intends to picture all living creatures, humankind and animals, as guilty of moral failure. This would explain why the animals, not just humankind, are victims of the ensuing divine judgment. The OT sometimes views animals as morally culpable (Gen 9:5; Exod 21:28-29; Jonah 3:7-8). The OT also teaches that a person’s sin can contaminate others (people and animals) in the sinful person’s sphere (see the story of Achan, especially Josh 7:10). So the animals could be viewed here as morally contaminated because of their association with sinful humankind.

25 tn Heb “had corrupted its way.” The third masculine singular pronominal suffix on “way” refers to the collective “all flesh.” The construction “corrupt one’s way” occurs only here (though Ezek 16:47 uses the Hiphil in an intransitive sense with the preposition בְּ [bet, “in”] followed by “ways”). The Hiphil of שָׁחָת (shakhat) means “to ruin, to destroy, to corrupt,” often as here in a moral/ethical sense. The Hebrew term דֶּרֶךְ (derekh, “way”) here refers to behavior or moral character, a sense that it frequently carries (see BDB 203 s.v. דֶּרֶךְ 6.a).

26 sn On the divine style utilized here, see R. Lapointe, “The Divine Monologue as a Channel of Revelation,” CBQ 32 (1970): 161-81.

27 tn Heb “the end of all flesh is coming [or “has come”] before me.” (The verb form is either a perfect or a participle.) The phrase “end of all flesh” occurs only here. The term “end” refers here to the end of “life,” as v. 3 and the following context (which describes how God destroys all flesh) make clear. The statement “the end has come” occurs in Ezek 7:2, 6, where it is used of divine judgment. The phrase “come before” occurs in Exod 28:30, 35; 34:34; Lev 15:14; Num 27:17; 1 Sam 18:13, 16; 2 Sam 19:8; 20:8; 1 Kgs 1:23, 28, 32; Ezek 46:9; Pss 79:11 (groans come before God); 88:3 (a prayer comes before God); 100:2; 119:170 (prayer comes before God); Lam 1:22 (evil doing comes before God); Esth 1:19; 8:1; 9:25; 1 Chr 16:29. The expression often means “have an audience with” or “appear before.” But when used metaphorically, it can mean “get the attention of” or “prompt a response.” This is probably the sense in Gen 6:13. The necessity of ending the life of all flesh on earth is an issue that has gotten the attention of God. The term “end” may even be a metonymy for that which has prompted it – violence (see the following clause).

28 tn The participle, especially after הִנֵּה (hinneh) has an imminent future nuance. The Hiphil of שָׁחָת (shakhat) here has the sense “to destroy” (in judgment). Note the wordplay involving this verb in vv. 11-13: The earth is “ruined” because all flesh has acted in a morally “corrupt” manner. Consequently, God will “destroy” all flesh (the referent of the suffix “them”) along with the ruined earth. They had ruined themselves and the earth with violence, and now God would ruin them with judgment. For other cases where “earth” occurs as the object of the Hiphil of שָׁחָת, see 1 Sam 6:5; 1 Chr 20:1; Jer 36:29; 51:25.

29 sn The Hebrew verb is an imperative. A motif of this section is that Noah did as the Lord commanded him – he was obedient. That obedience had to come from faith in the word of the Lord. So the theme of obedience to God’s word is prominent in this prologue to the law.

30 tn A transliteration of the Hebrew term yields “gopher (גֹּפֶר, gofer) wood” (so KJV, NAB, NASB). While the exact nature of the wood involved is uncertain (cf. NLT “resinous wood”), many modern translations render the Hebrew term as “cypress” (so NEB, NIV, NRSV).

31 tn The Hebrew term כָּפָר (kafar, “to cover, to smear” [= to caulk]) appears here in the Qal stem with its primary, nonmetaphorical meaning. The Piel form כִּפֶּר (kipper), which has the metaphorical meaning “to atone, to expiate, to pacify,” is used in Levitical texts (see HALOT 493-94 s.v. כפר). Some authorities regard the form in v. 14 as a homonym of the much more common Levitical term (see BDB 498 s.v. כָּפָר).

32 tn Heb “300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.” The standard cubit in the OT is assumed by most authorities to be about 18 inches (45 cm) long.

33 tn Heb “a cubit.”

34 tn Heb “to a cubit you shall finish it from above.” The idea is that Noah was to leave an 18-inch opening from the top for a window for light.

35 tn The Hebrew construction uses the independent personal pronoun, followed by a suffixed form of הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) and the a participle used with an imminent future nuance: “As for me, look, I am going to bring.”

36 tn Heb “the flood, water.”

37 tn The verb שָׁחָת (shakhat, “to destroy”) is repeated yet again, only now in an infinitival form expressing the purpose of the flood.

38 tn The Hebrew construction here is different from the previous two; here it is רוּחַ חַיִּים (ruakh khayyim) rather than נֶפֶשׁ הַיָּה (nefesh khayyah) or נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים (nishmat khayyim). It refers to everything that breathes.

39 tn The Hebrew verb וַהֲקִמֹתִי (vahaqimoti) is the Hiphil perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive (picking up the future sense from the participles) from קוּם (qum, “to rise up”). This may refer to the confirmation or fulfillment of an earlier promise, but it is more likely that it anticipates the unconditional promise made to humankind following the flood (see Gen 9:9, 11, 17).

40 tn The perfect verb form with vav (ו) consecutive is best understood as specific future, continuing God’s description of what will happen (see vv. 17-18a).

41 tn Heb “from all life, from all flesh, two from all you must bring.” The disjunctive clause at the beginning of the verse (note the conjunction with prepositional phrase, followed by two more prepositional phrases in apposition and then the imperfect verb form) signals a change in mood from announcement (vv. 17-18) to instruction.

42 tn The Piel infinitive construct לְהַחֲיוֹת (lÿhakhayot, here translated as “to keep them alive”) shows the purpose of bringing the animals into the ark – saving life. The Piel of this verb means here “to preserve alive.”

43 tn Heb “to keep alive.”

44 tn The verb is a direct imperative: “And you, take for yourself.” The form stresses the immediate nature of the instruction; the pronoun underscores the directness.

45 tn Heb “from all food,” meaning “some of every kind of food.”

46 tn Or “will be eaten.”

47 tn Heb “and gather it to you.”

48 tn Heb “according to all.”

49 tn The last clause seems redundant: “and thus (כֵּן, ken) he did.” It underscores the obedience of Noah to all that God had said.

50 tn Heb “for you I see [as] godly before me in this generation.” The direct object (“you”) is placed first in the clause to give it prominence. The verb “to see” here signifies God’s evaluative discernment.

51 tn Or “seven pairs” (cf. NRSV).

52 sn For a study of the Levitical terminology of “clean” and “unclean,” see L. E. Toombs, IDB 1:643.

53 tn Heb “a male and his female” (also a second time at the end of this verse). The terms used here for male and female animals (אִישׁ, ’ish) and אִשָּׁה, ’ishah) normally refer to humans.

54 tn Or “seven pairs” (cf. NRSV).

55 tn Here (and in v. 9) the Hebrew text uses the normal generic terms for “male and female” (זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, zakhar unÿqevah).

56 tn Heb “to keep alive offspring.”

57 tn Heb “for seven days yet,” meaning “after [or “in”] seven days.”

58 tn The Hiphil participle מַמְטִיר (mamtir, “cause to rain”) here expresses the certainty of the act in the imminent future.

59 tn Heb “according to all.”

60 tn Heb “Now Noah was.” The disjunctive clause (conjunction + subject + predicate nominative after implied “to be” verb) provides background information. The age of Noah receives prominence.

61 tn Heb “and the flood was water upon.” The disjunctive clause (conjunction + subject + verb) is circumstantial/temporal in relation to the preceding clause. The verb הָיָה (hayah) here carries the nuance “to come” (BDB 225 s.v. הָיָה). In this context the phrase “come upon” means “to engulf.”

62 tn The preposition מִן (min) is causal here, explaining why Noah and his family entered the ark.

63 tn Heb “two two” meaning “in twos.”

64 tn The Hebrew text of vv. 8-9a reads, “From the clean animal[s] and from the animal[s] which are not clean and from the bird[s] and everything that creeps on the ground, two two they came to Noah to the ark, male and female.”

65 tn Heb “Noah”; the pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.

66 tn Heb “came upon.”

67 tn The Hebrew term תְּהוֹם (tÿhom, “deep”) refers to the watery deep, the salty ocean – especially the primeval ocean that surrounds and underlies the earth (see Gen 1:2).

sn The watery deep. The same Hebrew term used to describe the watery deep in Gen 1:2 (תְּהוֹם, tihom) appears here. The text seems to picture here subterranean waters coming from under the earth and contributing to the rapid rise of water. The significance seems to be, among other things, that in this judgment God was returning the world to its earlier condition of being enveloped with water – a judgment involving the reversal of creation. On Gen 7:11 see G. F. Hasel, “The Fountains of the Great Deep,” Origins 1 (1974): 67-72; idem, “The Biblical View of the Extent of the Flood,” Origins 2 (1975): 77-95.

68 sn On the prescientific view of the sky reflected here, see L. I. J. Stadelmann, The Hebrew Conception of the World (AnBib), 46.

69 tn Heb “was.”

70 tn Heb “On that very day Noah entered, and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and the wife of Noah, and the three wives of his sons with him into the ark.”

71 tn The verb “entered” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

72 tn Heb “every bird, every wing.”

73 tn Heb “two two” meaning “in twos.”

74 tn Heb “flesh.”

75 tn Heb “Those that went in, male and female from all flesh they went in.”

76 tn Heb “and the waters were great and multiplied exceedingly.” The first verb in the sequence is וַיִּגְבְּרוּ (vayyigbÿru, from גָּבַר, gavar), meaning “to become great, mighty.” The waters did not merely rise; they “prevailed” over the earth, overwhelming it.

77 tn Heb “went.”

78 tn Heb “and the waters were great exceedingly, exceedingly.” The repetition emphasizes the depth of the waters.

79 tn Heb “and.”

80 tn Heb “rose fifteen cubits.” Since a cubit is considered by most authorities to be about eighteen inches, this would make the depth 22.5 feet. This figure might give the modern reader a false impression of exactness, however, so in the translation the phrase “fifteen cubits” has been rendered “more than twenty feet.”

81 tn Heb “the waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward and they covered the mountains.” Obviously, a flood of twenty feet did not cover the mountains; the statement must mean the flood rose about twenty feet above the highest mountain.

82 tn Heb “flesh.”

83 tn Heb “everything which [has] the breath of the spirit of life in its nostrils from all which is in the dry land.”

84 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

85 tn Heb “wiped away” (cf. NRSV “blotted out”).

86 tn Heb “from man to animal to creeping thing and to the bird of the sky.”

87 tn The Hebrew verb שָׁאָר (shaar) means “to be left over; to survive” in the Niphal verb stem. It is the word used in later biblical texts for the remnant that escapes judgment. See G. F. Hasel, “Semantic Values of Derivatives of the Hebrew Root r,” AUSS 11 (1973): 152-69.

88 sn The Hebrew verb translated “prevailed over” suggests that the waters were stronger than the earth. The earth and everything in it were no match for the return of the chaotic deep.

89 tn The Hebrew word translated “remembered” often carries the sense of acting in accordance with what is remembered, i.e., fulfilling covenant promises (see B. S. Childs, Memory and Tradition in Israel [SBT], especially p. 34).

90 tn Heb “to pass over.”

91 tn Some (e.g., NIV) translate the preterite verb forms in this verse as past perfects (e.g., “had been closed”), for it seems likely that the sources of the water would have stopped before the waters receded.

92 tn The construction combines a Qal preterite from שׁוּב (shuv) with its infinitive absolute to indicate continuous action. The infinitive absolute from הָלָךְ (halakh) is included for emphasis: “the waters returned…going and returning.”

93 tn Heb “the waters.” The pronoun (“they”) has been employed in the translation for stylistic reasons.

94 tn The vav (ו) consecutive with the preterite here describes the consequence of the preceding action.

95 tn Heb “on the mountains of Ararat.” Obviously a boat (even one as large as the ark) cannot rest on multiple mountains. Perhaps (1) the preposition should be translated “among,” or (2) the plural “mountains” should be understood in the sense of “mountain range” (see E. A. Speiser, Genesis [AB], 53). A more probable option (3) is that the plural indicates an indefinite singular, translated “one of the mountains” (see GKC 400 §124.o).

sn Ararat is the Hebrew name for Urartu, the name of a mountainous region located north of Mesopotamia in modern day eastern Turkey. See E. M. Yamauchi, Foes from the Northern Frontier (SBA), 29-32; G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:184-85; C. Westermann, Genesis, 1:443-44.

96 tn Heb “the waters were going and lessening.” The perfect verb form הָיָה (hayah) is used as an auxiliary verb with the infinitive absolute חָסוֹר (khasor, “lessening”), while the infinitive absolute הָלוֹךְ (halokh) indicates continuous action.

97 tn Or “could be seen.”

98 tn The introductory verbal form וַיְהִי (vayÿhi), traditionally rendered “and it came to pass,” serves as a temporal indicator and has not been translated here.

99 tn Heb “opened the window in the ark which he had made.” The perfect tense (“had made”) refers to action preceding the opening of the window, and is therefore rendered as a past perfect. Since in English “had made” could refer to either the ark or the window, the order of the phrases was reversed in the translation to clarify that the window is the referent.

100 tn Heb “and it went out, going out and returning.” The Hebrew verb יָצָא (yatsa’), translated here “flying,” is modified by two infinitives absolute indicating that the raven went back and forth.

101 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Noah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

102 tn The Hebrew text adds “from him.” This has not been translated for stylistic reasons, because it is redundant in English.

103 tn The Hebrew verb קָלָל (qalal) normally means “to be light, to be slight”; it refers here to the waters receding.

104 tn The words “still covered” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

105 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Noah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

106 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the dove) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

107 tn Heb “and he brought it to himself to the ark.”

108 tn The clause introduced by vav (ו) consecutive is translated as a temporal clause subordinated to the following clause.

109 tn The deictic particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) draws attention to the olive leaf. It invites readers to enter into the story, as it were, and look at the olive leaf with their own eyes.

110 tn The word “again” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

111 tn Heb “it did not again return to him still.” For a study of this section of the flood narrative, see W. O. E. Oesterley, “The Dove with the Olive Leaf (Gen VIII 8–11),” ExpTim 18 (1906/07): 377-78.

112 tn Heb In the six hundred and first year.” Since this refers to the six hundred and first year of Noah’s life, the word “Noah’s” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

113 tn Heb “and saw and look.” As in v. 11, the deictic particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) invites readers to enter into the story, as it were, and look at the dry ground with their own eyes.

114 tn In v. 13 the ground (הָאֲדָמָה, haadamah) is dry; now the earth (הָאָרֶץ, haarets) is dry.

115 tn The words “bring out” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

116 tn Following the Hiphil imperative, “bring out,” the three perfect verb forms with vav (ו) consecutive carry an imperatival nuance. For a discussion of the Hebrew construction here and the difficulty of translating it into English, see S. R. Driver, A Treatise on the Use of the Tenses in Hebrew, 124-25.

117 tn Heb “and let them swarm in the earth and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”

118 sn Offered burnt offerings on the altar. F. D. Maurice includes a chapter on the sacrifice of Noah in The Doctrine of Sacrifice. The whole burnt offering, according to Leviticus 1, represented the worshiper’s complete surrender and dedication to the Lord. After the flood Noah could see that God was not only a God of wrath, but a God of redemption and restoration. The one who escaped the catastrophe could best express his gratitude and submission through sacrificial worship, acknowledging God as the sovereign of the universe.

119 tn The Lord “smelled” (וַיָּרַח, vayyarakh) a “soothing smell” (רֵיחַ הַנִּיהֹחַ, reakh hannihoakh). The object forms a cognate accusative with the verb. The language is anthropomorphic. The offering had a sweet aroma that pleased or soothed. The expression in Lev 1 signifies that God accepts the offering with pleasure, and in accepting the offering he accepts the worshiper.

120 tn Heb “and the Lord said.”

121 tn Heb “in his heart.”

122 tn Here the Hebrew word translated “curse” is קָלָל (qalal), used in the Piel verbal stem.

123 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) can be used in a concessive sense (see BDB 473 s.v. כִּי), which makes good sense in this context. Its normal causal sense (“for”) does not fit the context here very well.

124 tn Heb “the inclination of the heart of humankind.”

125 tn Heb “from his youth.”

126 tn Heb “yet all the days of the earth.” The idea is “[while there are] yet all the days of the earth,” meaning, “as long as the earth exists.”

127 tn Heb “seed,” which stands here by metonymy for the time when seed is planted.



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