Genesis 8: Noah’s Deliverance

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

All verses used are from biblestudytools.com (NIV) Genesis 8

Noah’s Deliverance

1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
I am certainly not trying to put words in the mouth of the Bible, but I am wondering what this verse is alluding to. It’s not like God can forget Noah and his companions, right? At least in my upbringing, I was taught that God knows what is going on AT ALL TIMES, so it’s impossible for Him to “forget” anyone. Was this verse just a way to humanize God so that people can relate and understand some of His mysterious, but sovereign decisions? I truly don’t know.
2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.
3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down,
When I was younger, I always assumed that after the infamous 40 days, that everything was hunky dory right after that. It didn’t even cross my mind that it would take time for the water to recede. I just thought, in my childish naivete, that after 40 days, the water would automatically have dissipated, and everyone could go on with their lives. To be honest, I didn’t even think otherwise until much later on in my adulthood. So to see it really spelled out for me and giving me a better outlook as to how long the process really took, was sort of shocking, to say the least. It makes me wonder what else we take for granted when it comes to information and basic knowledge.
4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
You know, when I initially started this chapter, I thought I wouldn’t find much to comment on. But surprisingly, while doing some research on these specific places and time frame, actually found too much information that I couldn’t possibly cover all on this one post.
When looking up the mountains of Ararat, it took me to various sources of fascinating history:

– from the alleged eye-witness accounts of Noah’s Ark as early as the 1800’s (possibly even earlier), and then throughout the decades by various different adventurers – one including Vladimir Roskovitsky.
And if one digs deep enough, may find a connection between the “perfect timing” of Vladimir’s discovery, and the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917; which just so happened to cause the loss of the evidence of this historic find. (Hm… what does that remind me of? Oh yeah! The purported discovery of King Gilgamesh’s tomb in Baghdad, and then right after that, the US invasion of Iraq! Which also, in a strange turn of events, also just happened to lose evidence to these findings. Coincidence? Or completely planned?)

– to a hoax that CBS ran (not surprising), featuring a man named George Jammal who alleged to having witnessed the ark. It turned out that CBS was being duped by Mr. Jammal, even when he referred to some lovely names, such as: Mr. Asholian, Vladimir Sobitchsky, and Allis Buls Hitian.

– to the interesting references to Gilgamesh (which I ironically covered not too long ago in this post) and Ishtar (whom I also referenced due to the insane amount of symbolism that can be seen throughout the entertainment industry.) I am not making these connections on purpose. They are just “coincidentally” being mentioned when researching these seemingly different topics.
5 The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
6 After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark
7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.
8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.
9 But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark.
I want to make a mention that in some other versions of the Bible, the verses are rather specific in stating that the dove is female; describing the dove as “she”/”her”. Yet in this version, it does not mention the bird’s gender at all. This is very strange to me. It is almost as if this version (and others like it) made a deliberate decision to exclude the gender of the bird, for some reason.

Is the gender of the bird relevant? Important? To be honest, even if it wasn’t, if it is not an accurate translation of the original Bible, no matter the relevance, then it is still highly suspect and makes one wonder what else this translation has changed from the original version. I say “original” version because even though I don’t read Hebrew, Aramaic, etc. and can’t possibly know what the true original texts say, I am basing this information off of the Wycliffe Version which was allegedly written in the late 1300’s. If this is one of the earliest texts we have to go by, then their version states that the dove is female. Along with several other versions after that. The NIV, as well as a handful of others, seem to specifically omit this detail. It seems very bizarre that they would make a conscious effort to do so.

On the other hand, if there were no precise origins for the use of describing the bird as a female, and the translators do so out of their understanding or opinion, then I can understand why they would not want to specify. But it is just another reason that it is hard to take everything the Bible states as accurate, since there are too many different versions/translations/alterations. (It is also interesting to note that the Wycliffe version states that it was a crow, and not a raven, that Noah initially sent out to find land. If that has any significance on the matter.)
10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.
11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.
There are interesting debates as to whether plants could live through a flood of such magnitude, as many speculate that all plant life would drown/die off due to being overwhelmed by the deluge for so long; but scientifically speaking, plants/grass/seeds, etc. can indeed survive even after a considerable amount of undesirable conditions. (How Did Plants Survive and Disperse after the Flood?)
12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
13 By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry.
14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
15 Then God said to Noah,
16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.
17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”
18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.
19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

God’s Covenant with Creation

20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.
I mentioned it a little bit about this in the previous chapter with Cain and Abel, and I don’t want to insinuate that I know anything about how the world works, but I do question the… ritualistic aspect of building altars and sacrificing things for God. I am just confused and curious as to why this would be a practice. And to think it allegedly started with Cain and Abel offering their crops/flock. Why did they do this? Did God ask them to? There are some Christian apologetics who claim that yes, sacrifices were needed to appease God and show their faith to Him and/or to wipe away sin. Some even say there are biblical references that it needs to be a “blood sacrifice”, which then obviously wouldn’t include crops like Cain tried to offer. Of course, that is if we’re taking the scripts to be literal. And this is what I have a problem with.
Again, I can’t pretend to think that I know better about how “life” and this world works, but speaking as a person who believes in spirituality and the goodness of one’s heart, the act of sacrificing anything “for the higher good” is lost on me.

21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
And that brings me to this verse. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love animals and am trying to transition to vegetarian-ism, although I haven’t fully reached that destination quite yet, so I must admit that I love the smell of a good barbecue as much as the next person. But again, the mystery of a burnt offering that is pleasing to the Lord escapes me. So unless I am just not understanding how a universal creator could be tempted by the smell of delicious meats and (basically?) requires blood sacrifices in order to wipe sin away, perhaps I am just misconstruing the deeper, philosophical meaning, or – there is something not quite accurate with this interpretation.

Then, to make matters even more confusing, since there is no real proof of who wrote Genesis to begin with, we have to ask ourselves, how did the author know what the Lord said “in his heart”? Did God reveal this to the author? If the author was Moses, like some biblical scholars believe, then perhaps Moses himself received visions of this very revelation and was led to write it down for prosperity sakes and at the command of God for our enlightenment. Of course it’s said that the Bible is the Word of God in and of itself, so perhaps this makes sense. But obviously I am not sure on this matter, and will have to do more extensive research on this to even get close to understanding this subject. Especially since there is no concrete evidence either way.

One more note, God admits that “every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood“. According to these Bible verses. But yet, He still found some worthy of being saved. Now, again, the knowledge of who is written in the Book of Life (who will be saved) is already known to Him. He already knows who has a good heart (even though we’re all born with evil inclinations, supposedly) and who will remain steadfast and have faith. So we have to address the whole act of unleashing the flood upon the world, save but a few, knowing that in the end, those very same few will give rise to the current situations we have today, and eventually who leads us to the apocalypse in Revelation.

God sees all, so it seems as if predestination vs. free will is still a highly debated topic and possibly won’t end until the whole world does. And if Noah and his extended family ended up completely innocent of this, then we have to come to terms that not everyone died during the flood. Plus when you take into account that the previous chapter about Nephilims stated that they lived before, and after, the flood, it makes one wonder how they survived or came back into being. – And I can go on and on with “human heart is evil” verse, but I will just end this topic here before I get too long-winded.
22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Like I said above, I could go on and on about the human heart and our inclinations, but that might have to be on a separate post. I was also really intrigued by the historical connections to King Gilgamesh and Ishtar, as well as the strange coincidences that as soon as the alleged Ark was found (along with the other ancient discoveries), there were invasions to these countries that just so happened to eradicate any evidence of it. Very strange, indeed…

 

Again, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

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Earnest Examination

Genesis 8: Noah’s Deliverance - Earnest Examination
Genesis 7: The Flood Begins - Earnest Examination
Genesis 6: Wickedness in the World - Earnest Examination
Genesis 5: From Adam to Noah - Earnest Examination
Genesis 4: Cain and Abel - Earnest Examination
Genesis 3: The Fall Genesis 3: The Fall - Earnest Examination
Genesis 2 Genesis 2: Adam and Eve - Earnest Examination
Genesis 1: The Beginning - Earnest Examination

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