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Genesis 7:17-23

Context

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 1  the earth, and the ark floated 2  on the surface of the waters. 7:19 The waters completely inundated 3  the earth so that even 4  all the high mountains under the entire sky were covered. 7:20 The waters rose more than twenty feet 5  above the mountains. 6  7:21 And all living things 7  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 8  in its nostrils died. 7:23 So the Lord 9  destroyed 10  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. 11  They were wiped off the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark survived. 12 

1 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.

2 tn Heb “went.”

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

4 tn Heb “and.”

5 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.”

6 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.

7 tn Heb “flesh.”

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

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

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

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

12 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.



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