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7:1 Noah’s upright life (tzaddiq as in 6:9) is not sinless perfection but a different quality of relationship to God from his neighbors. In the case of Job being tzaddiq resulted in care for the poor, widows and orphans, the needy, and strangers (Job 29:12-17).
7:2-5 Previously Noah had been told to be ready to bring a pair of each of the animals of the area (both domestic and wild), and birds (such as ravens and doves, 8:6-8) into the ship (6:19-20). Perhaps these were stabled in the ark well ahead of the event. Seven days before the flood was expected he was told to take in seven pairs of the clean animals and birds which were suited for his family to eat during the five months period of the flood. This may be the origin of the kosher laws of Leviticus 11:3-7.
7:6 Noah’s three sons were born in the previous century (5:32), and presumably his sons helped him collect the wood and build the huge ship. Noah was 600 years old when the flood came. From this we calculated (5:21, 27) that, as his prophetic name indicated, Methuselah (Hebrew mathushelakh meaning "his death shall send") died the very year of the flood. This fact is given to us without comment.
7:8-10 As we suggested in the previous chapter (6:19) a pair of each kind of clean (fit for eating) and unclean domestic animals (such as donkeys) and birds of that area were taken into the ark seven days before the deluge occured. Here "everything that creeps on the ground" should read "animals that walk on all fours." But Noah and his family did not go on board till the rain began falling (7:13).
GENESIS 7:11-24 (The Deluge)
7:11-13 It seems that Noah recorded the exact date of the beginning of the flood when his family went on board the ship that he and his sons had built. At the same time as the heavy rains began to fall, water gushed out from the depths of the earth. If our guess is right about the river Pishon (2:11), it flowed into lake Van which emptied into an underground river. Torrential rain on the surrounding mountains could have caused this underground reservoir to reverse its course and fill the valley above. Our purpose is not to prove that this was the case. All we have tried to show is that what is recorded here is a historical possibility based on original records. It is wise to take it seriously and picture at least one way the flood could have occured in this area.
Noah’s family included his three sons and their wives. They did not have children till after the flood (10:1), and all three family genealogies were carefully recorded (10:2-31).
7:14-16 The account of the pairs of animals is repeated to show that Noah did exactly what he had been told to prepare well in advance of the arrival of the flood (6:18-20). These verses read as if Noah was carefully checking on board the ship that he had done what was required. They do not read like the invention of some scribe with another agenda hundreds of years after the event.
7:17-20 If a mountain at the western end of the valley toppled in to block the flow of water, we can imagine the flood level would rise very rapidly (as happens frequently in severe floods recorded in our day). The ark would soon be lifted up above the surrounding hills. Noah noted carefully the forty days when the rain kept falling. He even seems to have taken soundings to see how deep the water was. He also recorded how 110 days later he felt the ship settle on one of the surrounding mountains. As we will see (8:3-4), Mount Ararat is usually assumed to be the resting place of the ark because it is the highest mountain (16804 feet, 5122 meters) in north east Turkey. But the whole range of mountains to the north of the district of Eden was called "the mountains of Ararat" (8:3-4). So rather than Mount Ararat itself, one of the lower mountains above the Eden valley seems more likely to have been the resting place.
7:21-24 We have given reasons for rejecting the theory of a universal flood (6:7, 11-12). In the model we are using it was only the plain (eden) surrounding the original garden that was flooded for 150 days. As a result all the other inhabitants, cattle, animals that walked on all fours (not creeping things) and birds in that valley were destroyed. There is no evidence that the animals included the lions, giraffes, and elephants of Africa.
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