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Genesis 7:1-16

Context

7:1 The Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, for I consider you godly among this generation. 1  7:2 You must take with you seven 2  of every kind of clean animal, 3  the male and its mate, 4  two of every kind of unclean animal, the male and its mate, 7:3 and also seven 5  of every kind of bird in the sky, male and female, 6  to preserve their offspring 7  on the face of the earth. 7:4 For in seven days 8  I will cause it to rain 9  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 10  that the Lord commanded him.

7:6 Noah 11  was 600 years old when the floodwaters engulfed 12  the earth. 7:7 Noah entered the ark along with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives because 13  of the floodwaters. 7:8 Pairs 14  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, 15  just as God had commanded him. 16  7:10 And after seven days the floodwaters engulfed the earth. 17 

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 18  burst open and the floodgates of the heavens 19  were opened. 7:12 And the rain fell 20  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. 21  7:14 They entered, 22  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. 23  7:15 Pairs 24  of all creatures 25  that have the breath of life came into the ark to Noah. 7:16 Those that entered were male and female, 26  just as God commanded him. Then the Lord shut him in.

1 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.

2 tn Or “seven pairs” (cf. NRSV).

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

4 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.

5 tn Or “seven pairs” (cf. NRSV).

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

7 tn Heb “to keep alive offspring.”

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

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

10 tn Heb “according to all.”

11 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.

12 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.”

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

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

15 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.”

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

17 tn Heb “came upon.”

18 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.

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

20 tn Heb “was.”

21 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.”

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

23 tn Heb “every bird, every wing.”

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

25 tn Heb “flesh.”

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



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