Seven, Ten Generations
A New Beginning
And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.
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.
The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained.
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 7:24-8:5)
There is a new beginning following a Flood in Genesis chapter one, and sixteen hundred and fifty-seven years later there is another new beginning following a Flood in Genesis chapters eight and nine. The order seen in God’s restoration following the second is exactly the same order seen in His restoration following the first. And this must be the case, for the unchangeable pattern surrounding God’s work in this respect was established in the first.
In Genesis1:2, God used raging waters (the thought conveyed by the Hebrew word tehom, translated “deep”) to destroy the pre-Adamic earth following Satan’s attempt to “exalt” his throne. And in Genesis 7:11ff, God used exactly the same means to destroy those upon the earth following Satan’s attempt to corrupt the human race by and through the cohabitation of “the sons of God [angels within Satan’s kingdom]” with “the daughters of men [female offspring from the lineage of Adam],” preventing the appearance of the Seed of the woman from Genesis 3:15 (Genesis 6:1-4).
Particulars surrounding the way in which God brought about the pre-Adamic Flood and the resulting destruction are not given in Scripture. The simple statement is made concerning existing conditions at the time of the Flood — raging waters covering a darkened earth — and aside from commentary such as 2 Peter 3:5, 6 (which provides little more in the way of particulars), God has seen fit to leave the matter unrevealed.
However, God did provide revelation concerning how He went about restoring this ruined earth for man, prior to man’s creation. He devoted almost an entire chapter to details pertaining to this restoration, for an evident reason (Genesis 1:2b-25).
But revelation surrounding the Noachian Flood is quite different. God saw fit to provide numerous particulars concerning both the way in which He brought this Flood about and the way in which He effected restoration following the Flood. Part of Genesis chapter seven is devoted to the former (vv. 11-24), and part of chapter eight is devoted to the latter (vv. 1-14).
Destruction by a Flood
The waters that flooded the earth during Noah’s day came from two sources — from above the atmosphere and from below the earth’s surface (Genesis 7:11). During the restoration of the earth following the previous Flood in Genesis 1:2, God, on the second day of His restorative work, had placed the waters that He later used to flood the earth once again in two locations — above the atmosphere and below the atmosphere (Genesis 1:6-8), with the waters below the atmosphere placed both above and below the earth’s surface.
(The waters above the atmosphere evidently existed in the form of a vapor canopy surrounding the earth. Significant amounts of water in a liquid form would have affected light coming from the sun. And the amount of water content that God placed above the atmosphere could only have been a tremendous amount [evident by the amount of rainfall at the time of the Flood].)
When God flooded the earth a second time, during Noah’s day, He broke open “the fountains of the great deep” and opened “the windows of heaven [i.e., ‘the floodgates of heaven’]” (7:11).
Subterranean waters began to gush up, and torrential rain (the primary meaning of the Hebrew word translated “rain” in Genesis 7:12 [geshem, as distinguished from matar in v. 4, a more general word for “rain”]) began to fall through the atmosphere from the opened floodgates above the atmosphere (which could only have resulted from the vapor canopy condensing).
From the account given in Genesis, this continued unchanged for forty days and nights. Then, at the end of this time, the highest mountain peak on earth was covered to a depth of “fifteen cubits [about twenty-five feet]” (7:12-20). And, except for the eight individuals and the animals in the ark,
. . . 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.
The subterranean waters though didn’t cease gushing up at the end of forty days; nor did the torrential rain cease coming down from above at this time. Rather, both continued, with no revealed change, for another one hundred and ten days (7:24-8:2).
It was only after a full one hundred and fifty days that the subterranean waters ceased gushing up and the torrential rain ceased coming down (the same word for “rain” is used in the Hebrew text for rainfall during both the first forty days [7:12] and the additional one hundred and ten days [8:2], which, as previously noted, refers [particularly contextually] more specifically to “torrential rain”).
In this respect, what could only have been vast quantities of water continuing to come up from below and down from above for an additional one hundred and ten days could only have significantly added to the depth of the water which had already accumulated and completely covered the earth at the end of the first forty days. And, from the time involved, possibly almost three times as much more water accumulated on the earth’s surface during the additional one hundred ten days as had initially accumulated during the first forty days.
Thus, at the end of the full one hundred and fifty days, the water level could only have been far above that which is seen at the end of forty days, when the highest mountain peak on earth was covered to a depth of about twenty-five feet. The water depth one hundred ten days later would undoubtedly have been at least hundreds, possibly thousands, of feet above the highest point on earth; we’re not told.
(Note that the topography of the antediluvian earth was quite different than that which exists today. Mountain peaks in the antediluvian world could only have been considerably lower, for reasons that become evident when one views Scripture dealing with how God restored the earth following the Flood.
God’s restoration following both the Flood preceding man’s creation in Genesis chapter one and the Flood during Noah’s day in chapter eight involved the movement of water from one place to another, allowing dry land to appear [cf. Genesis 1:9, 10; 8:5-14], with the water moved to different places in each instance.
Restoration following the Flood that preceded man’s creation in chapter one occurred by God placing part of the water above the atmosphere and part below the atmosphere, both on the surface and below the surface of the earth [1:2, 6, 7].
Restoration following the Flood during Noah’s day in chapter eight occurred by God raising portions of the land beneath the water [ultimately forming mountainous or high terrain] and lowering other portions of the land [forming mainly ocean basins], with water moving from the land being raised to the land being lowered, as seen in Psalm 104:5-9:
You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever,
You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hastened away.
They went up over the mountains; they went down into the valleys, to the place which You founded for them.
You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not return to cover the earth.
Part of the water flooding the earth had come from subterranean sources. It appears evident though that this subterranean supply of water was left on the surface of the earth at the time of the restoration following the Flood, for only about three percent of the earth’s total water supply lies in subterranean sources today. The remainder, about ninety-seven percent, lies on the surface of the earth, mainly in the oceans. And it is evident that none of this water was placed back in the heavens above the atmosphere, for it is not there today.
[These figures — three percent and ninety-seven percent — are derived from The U.S. Geological Survey’s records from past years. The accuracy could be somewhat open to question; though, with today’s technology, the figures are probably fairly accurate.]
Then, concerning the antediluvian mountains, how high would they have been for water to have covered all of them at the end of the first forty days of the Flood? We can know that vast changes in the earth’s topography began to occur at the end of the full one hundred fifty days, immediately following the time that God closed the floodgates of heaven and stopped the subterranean waters from coming up. But, the elevation of antediluvian topography, no one knows; nor can they know, for there is no data to work with.)
Thus, at the end of the first forty days of the Flood, the ark rested, floated, on a shoreless ocean, with the water level about twenty-five feet above the highest point on earth. And the ark continued floating on a shoreless ocean, with subterranean waters continuing to gush up from below the earth’s surface and torrential rain continuing to fall from the supply of water above the atmosphere for another one hundred and ten days, which could only have progressively raised the water level higher and higher.
Only at the end of the full one hundred and fifty days did God step in and close both the floodgates of heaven and the fountains of the deep (8:2). Apparently all of the water above the atmosphere had fallen (for, again, none remains there today), though that would not appear to be the case with the water below the earth’s surface (for, as previously stated, about three percent of the earth’s total water supply can be found below the earth’s surface today).
God apparently waited until the entire supply of water above the atmosphere had been depleted, which required one hundred and fifty days of torrential rainfall. Then He closed both the floodgates of heaven and the sources of the subterranean waters.
Restoration Following the Flood
On the one hundred fiftieth day of the Flood, when God stepped in and put a stop to matters (cf. 7:11; 8:1-4), Scripture locates the ark in relation to a place on the land beneath the water by stating:
Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. (Genesis 8:4).
Or, is the preceding really what Scripture states?
This is the way that all of the widely-used English translations read, which have seemingly followed one another in the translation of this verse. But how could this be correct if the water level continued to rise for a total of one hundred and fifty days in the manner previously seen, which, from a Scriptural standpoint, is really the only possible way to view the matter?
This fact should have caught the attention of at least some of the translators, for the Hebrew word translated “upon” (al) in this verse can also be understood and translated as “over” or “above.” For example, it is translated “over” in the opening verse of this same chapter (“pass over the earth”), or it is translated “above” back in chapter one (“fly above the earth” [v. 20]).
This Hebrew word has to be understood contextually. And in Genesis 8:4, as is evident from the context introducing this verse (and even more evident from the verses following), the translation should be “above” or “over,” not “upon” or “on.” That is, at the end of one hundred and fifty days, when the supply of water above the atmosphere had evidently been depleted and God stepped in and closed both the floodgates of heaven and the sources of the subterranean waters, Genesis 8:4 locates the ark in relation to a point on the earth beneath the waters, below the ark. This verse locates the ark in relation to the Ararat mountain range (a range that stretches from modern-day Turkey eastward into Armenia).
And that this is the correct way to view Genesis 8:4 is a simple matter to illustrate, not only from Scripture preceding the verse (as has already been shown) but from Scripture following the verse as well.
Genesis 8:1, 3, 5 clearly reveals that God not only closed the floodgates of heaven and the sources of the subterranean waters at the end of one hundred and fifty days but that He also began a restorative work at this same time. Immediately following the Flood waters reaching their highest level on the one hundred and fiftieth day, these waters began to recede. And it took about five and one-half months for the level to drop completely, though almost two more months were required after that for the face of the earth to become dry (cf. 8:1-4, 13, 14).
If the ark came to rest on a mountain peak in the Ararat range on the day that God closed both sources of the Flood waters and began His restorative work, resulting in the waters continually receding, it could not have been too many days before dry land appeared around the ark.
But this didn’t happen. It wasn’t until almost two and one-half months had passed that the tops of the mountains began to appear above the waters (8:5). Then, after another forty days had elapsed, Noah sent forth a dove, which found “no resting place for the sole of her foot” (8:6-9).
That is to say, almost four months after the waters began to recede, there was no dry land around the ark, though seven days later, when Noah sent the dove forth again, the dove did find dry land within flying distance of the ark (8:10, 11).
Where did the ark finally come to rest following the Flood? We’re not told. From the way that the text reads though — Noah having to wait for about two months after the waters had completely subsided for the face of the earth to become dry — the ark apparently came to rest in an unrevealed place in the lowlands.
Also, it could possibly be stated that the ark’s resting place would be somewhere west of where the city of Babylon was built two generations following the end of the Flood, for, to arrive at this location, those who built Babylon migrated eastward to a plain in the land of Shinar (Genesis 10:5-10; 11:1ff). This would only be a possibility though, for there could have been a migration of people to locations away from the vicinity of where the ark came to rest during time covering two generations (note that the direction of migration in Genesis 11:2 should be translated “eastward” rather than “from the east,” as in the KJV [ref. NASB, NIV]).
What difference though does all of this make, and why spend this time showing an incorrect translation and understanding of Genesis 8:4? Actually, it makes a lot of difference, for if an individual follows the incorrect translation and understanding of Genesis 8:4, the door is closed to tremendous biblical truths that can be seen in verses one through four only by viewing verse four correctly.
1) Paralleling Two New Beginnings
As previously seen, Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 8:1 have to do with introductory information concerning new beginnings following two different Floods, one pre-Adamic, and the other post-Adamic. This parallel though is usually missed by following the English translation of Genesis 8:1 and not understanding that the latter must follow that previously established in the former.
The Hebrew word Ruach appears in both verses. In Genesis 1:2, this word is translated “Spirit”; but in Genesis 8:1, this word has been translated “wind” and separated from the same parallel thought seen in how God begins His restorative work in this respect, as established back in Genesis 1:2.
(“Wind” or “breath” can be correct translations of Ruach, if the context permits [as “wind” or “breath” can also be seen at times as correct translations of Pneuma, the corresponding word in the Greek New Testament, usually translated “Spirit”]. But there is nothing in the context of Genesis 8:1 that would suggest understanding Ruach as “wind.”
The word Ruach is only used five times between Genesis 1:2 and 8:1 [3:8; 6:3, 17; 7:15, 22]. The last three usages have been translated and should be understood as “breath.” And the other two should probably be understood and translated in a similar manner as well [note, the numerous times Ruach is translated and understood as “breath” in Ezekiel 37:5-10].)
The movement of God’s Ruach over the face of the waters in both Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 8:1 must be understood the same way in both instances, for the pattern concerning how God begins His restorative work involving a ruined creation was revealed and set in an unchangeable manner in Genesis 1:2.
Thus, the beginning of God’s subsequent restorative work in Genesis 8:1 MUST be viewed exactly the same way. The Spirit of God or the Breath of God (which produces life [cf. Genesis 2:7]) MUST be seen moving upon or across the face of the waters in both instances.
(In relation to God’s breath providing life, as introduced in Genesis 2:7 [establishing a First-Mention Principle, which can never change], note ruined man today — another ruined creation, ruined following the restoration of the ruined material creation in Genesis 1:2ff. How does God go about restoring ruined man, who is “dead in trespasses and sins” [Ephesians 2:1]? The answer is seen in these two passages in Genesis [1:2; 8:1]; and the means that God uses to restore ruined man, as seen in these two passages of Scripture, can never change.
The Spirit of God moves upon the ruined creation. The Spirit breathes life into the one having no life, and man passes “from death into life” [John 5:24]. Everything is accomplished entirely through divine intervention. Ruined man today is just as powerless to bring himself out of his ruined state as was the ruined material creation in both Genesis chapters one and eight.
Had God not acted in Genesis chapters one and eight, the earth would still be covered by water today and would forever remain covered by water, apart from divine intervention at some future time.
Had God not acted at Calvary, in the person of His Son, ruined man would forever be left in his present condition — “dead in trespasses and sins.”
And should the Spirit of God not act today, on the basis of Christ’s finished work at Calvary — breathing life into the one who has no life — man could never pass “from death into life.” Man could never move out of his ruined state simply because there is only one revealed way that God restores a ruined creation, and it is either accomplished through God’s revealed way or there is no restoration [Acts 4:12].)
Scripture must be understood and interpreted in the light of Scripture. And, understanding Genesis 8:1 in the light of and in the same respect as previously seen in Genesis 1:2 becomes vitally necessary to properly understand that which is in view in verse four, where another corrected translation is necessary.
2) Over the Mountains of Ararat
At the end of the Flood, after the utter destruction that had affected “all in whose nostrils was the breath of life,” save those on the ark, Noah and his family found themselves at a location above “the mountains of Ararat.”
Then, on this same day, the Spirit of God set about to effect restoration, exactly as previously seen in Genesis chapter one. And also, exactly as previously seen in chapter one, this restoration was for purposes surrounding regality.
Regality in Genesis chapter one is shown by a direct statement regarding the reason for man’s creation: “…let them have dominion [or, ‘…let them rule’]” (vv. 26, 28). The Hebrew word translated “dominion” in these two verses is radah, the same word translated “rule” in Psalm 110:2, where Christ will rule as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek during the coming day of His power (v. 4; cf. Genesis 14:18ff; Hebrews 5-7).
Regality in Genesis chapter eight though is shown in and through a different fashion than in chapter one.
“A mountain” in Scripture signifies a kingdom. And at the end of the Flood (foreshadowing the end of the coming Tribulation), those in the ark (foreshadowing the nation of Israel in that day) found themselves resting in a place of safety above the mountains of Ararat (foreshadowing the nation of Israel in that coming day, resting in a place of safety above all the kingdoms of the world, no longer the tail, but elevated to the head).
The name “Ararat” itself, a transliterated Hebrew word, comes from a root word that means holy ground. And this is exactly where Israel will find herself once the nation has been restored to the land in that coming day.
(The word “holy” is used numerous times throughout Scripture in relation to God. And the same word is used numerous times as well in relation to different things as they pertain to the Jewish people — the people themselves, Jerusalem, the Temple, and the land as a whole [cf. Exodus 19:6; Deuteronomy 7:6; Psalm 2:6; 11:4; 65:4; 78:41; Zephaniah 2:12; 3:11].
The word “holy” carries the thought of set apart [to the Lord]. This is the only way in which the word can be used relative to inanimate objects; and this same meaning would still apply when used relative to the people of Israel, though it could extend beyond this into the thought of purity [which is actually an extension of the thought of being set apart].)
The entire earth is referred to in Scripture as “the holy mountain of God [i.e., ‘the set apart kingdom of God’]” (Ezekiel 28:14). However, Satan, the ruler over this kingdom, because of his aspirations to extend his rule beyond that which God had appointed him to occupy, introduced corruption, resulting in his kingdom being reduced to a ruined state.
Later, after the kingdom had been restored and man had been created to rule the kingdom in the stead of Satan, man’s fall resulted in the same thing. Corruption was reintroduced into the kingdom, and this corruption affected both man and the material creation.
Then, later yet, the nation of Israel was brought into existence and called forth, as a “set apart” people, to rule in a “set apart” land, within a theocracy. But the Lord’s name, the people, the Temple, and the land were all later polluted, defiled, profaned through a continued disobedience of God’s people (cf. Numbers 35:33, 34; Psalm 79:1; Ezekiel 14:11; 20:43; 23:38; 36:20; Hosea 5:3; 6:10).
And Israel, the wife of Jehovah, climaxed the nation’s disobedience by taking up unholy alliances with the surrounding Gentile nations — something that God had forbidden in no uncertain terms (cf. Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 7:1-6). And these alliances were viewed in Scripture as harlotry on Israel’s part (cf. Jeremiah 3:1-4; Ezekiel 16:2, 28, 29).
The day came when Israel’s cup of iniquity became full (cf. Genesis 15:16), and God drove His adulterous wife out among her Gentile lovers to effect repentance by and through persecution at the hands of her lovers, which is exactly where Israel is seen in the world today. Israel today is seen as “the great whore,” residing among her Gentile lovers. And because of this, Israel is presently seen associated with both Babylon and Jerusalem, but only with Jerusalem in the respect that Jerusalem, during this time, is seen associated with Sodom and Egypt (Revelation 11:8; 17:1-7, 18).
(For a discussion of Revelation chapters eleven, seventeen, and eighteen in the preceding respect, refer to the author’s book, Mystery of the Woman, or to Chapters 27 and 28 in the author’s book, The Time of the End.)
The day is coming though when all of this will change. Israel, through the judgments of the Tribulation, will be brought to the place of repentance. This will be followed by the harlot being cleansed and restored to her rightful place in a cleansed land, within a theocracy.
Then, that which is foreshadowed by Genesis 8:4 — Noah and his family resting above the mountains of Ararat — will be realized. Gentile world power will have been destroyed (typified by the destruction occurring during the Flood). And Israel, in that coming day, will find herself at rest, placed above all the kingdoms of the world, in a holy place (cf. Zechariah 14:9, 20, 21).
This is exactly what is also seen in Revelation 12:1b and Revelation 17:18b. A woman is seen in chapter twelve as the one possessing “a crown of twelve stars,” with the number “twelve” signifying governmental perfection. Then, allowing Scripture to continue interpreting itself, a harlot is seen in chapter seventeen as “the one having kingly authority over the kings of the earth” (literal translation from the Greek text in v. 18b).
That which is seen in both Revelation 12:1b and 17:18b points to that which awaits Israel following her cleansing (Revelation 17:16, 17; 19:3). That is to say, Israel, also seen as God’s firstborn son (Exodus 4:22, 23), holds this regal position today but cannot exercise this position until after the nation has been cleansed. And the fact that Israel will one day be cleansed and ultimately exercise this position was all foretold back in Genesis 8:4.
(Genesis 8:4 anticipates that which is seen in chapters nine through the first part of chapter eleven, preceding the calling of Abraham.
That which is seen in chapter nine foreshadows Israel’s new beginning once Messiah has returned, a nation has been born in a day, and the Jewish people surviving the Tribulation have been regathered back to the land.
Events in chapters ten and eleven then foreshadow the destruction of Gentile world power, allowing Israel to realize the nation’s position at this time, previously seen in Genesis 8:4.
Then the account of Abraham from the latter part of chapter eleven through chapter nineteen provides commentary, beginning with Israel’s removal from the nations following the Tribulation.
For details pertaining to the preceding, refer to the author’s book, By Faith.)