Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #2 of Genesis, chapter 8 and we are looking at the first three verses. It says in Genesis 8:1-3:
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
I will stop reading there. In our last study we saw that God “remembered” Noah and every living thing and all the cattle with him in the ark. That goes along with the statement made in Genesis 7:23: “and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” Noah is the key figure because he represents Christ, so God continually emphasizes that He remembered Noah. We do not read that God remembered Ham, Shem or Japheth, but He remembered Noah because Noah is the type and figure of the Lord Jesus and all that are with Him are the elect.
It goes on to say in Genesis 8:1:
… and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;
We have similar events or circumstances in regard to the flood as with the Red Sea. For instance, in the case of the flood we have those that were delivered and they went through the water. In the case of the Red Sea, God opened up the sea and He did that using the wind that went all night and caused the waters to stand up on either side so the Israelites went across on dry land. Then the Egyptians pursued the Israelites by way of the Red Sea and God collapsed the waters upon the Egyptians and Pharaoh and his army were drowned in the Red Sea, just as all the people and animals outside the ark were drowned in the flood. We have these similarities and now we read: “and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;”
So, let us look at Exodus 14 and the dividing of the Red Sea. It says in Exodus 14:21-30:
And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and JEHOVAH caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch JEHOVAH looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for JEHOVAH fighteth for them against the Egyptians. And JEHOVAH said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and JEHOVAH overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus JEHOVAH saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
Again, we see many similarities with the flood, but it is different because Noah was commissioned by God to build the ark, so the way the people were delivered from the flood was to be inside the ark, but the waters represent the wrath of God and the waters drowned the Egyptians and the waters drowned all the people outside the ark in Noah’s day. God’s people remained untouched by the waters. They walked on dry land through the Red Sea and they went through the enormous deluge of the flood inside the ark, protected from all the waters. The waters could not come against them to destroy them because they had the ark to protect them and deliver them.
Now God is indicated that after the 150 days (or five months) the waters ceased. We read in Genesis 8:2-3:
The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
After five months, or 150 days, was the beginning of the process of the earth becoming dry and once the earth is dry all on board can come out of the ark and enter into the dry land. In this case, it would be as though they have gone through the final judgment of God and they come into the new earth – it is a dry earth or a dry land. It is really a picture of a new heaven and new earth. It is as though God has recreated it. So the assuaging of the waters from this point and forward leads to the complete drying up of all the water.
It is very important that we see that the picture God is establishing is that they cannot come out of the ark if the land was even a little bit wet or muddy. Remember the Lord stressed that when the Israelites went through the Red Sea they walked on dry land. That was a tremendous miracle. How can you part the waters of a sea and expect that the ground would be dry? God dried it up because the wrath of God is pictured by the water, so the water or wrath of God cannot touch the people of God in even the slightest degree because all of their sin were paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ. If there were even a drop of water that pictured the wrath of God, it would have been as though there was some wrath being poured out on those that had all their sins paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ, so God very carefully orchestrates the Israelites going over the sea bed on dry ground and the people on the ark coming out on dry land. You might wonder and I have wondered, “Why wait so long?” For the people and the animals inside the ark, they must have gotten very impatient being cooped up for a year inside that vessel. It says in Genesis 8:13:
And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
And, yet, they did not come out of the ark at that time. On the first day of the first month of the 601st year of Noah, they did not come out. Why not? Yes, the ground was dry in that you could not see the flood waters. When there is a bad flood, you can even have houses and cars covered. After a while the water goes down and it is at the level of the car tires and then it goes down to the level of the sewers, but there is still water. You could say when there were just a few puddles, “Well, the flood is dried up.” But from God’s perspective, the flood waters had to be completely dry. When Noah looked out at this time there may have been puddles here and there and while the earth was (mostly) dry, they could have come out of the ark, but it says in Genesis 8:14:
And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
So this would have been one month and over three weeks after the initial declaration that the earth was dry. They had to wait until it was completely dry and then they could come out. So in Genesis 8, verse 1 it says that after 150 days, “God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged.” The word “asswaged” is Strong’s #7918 and it is only used five times in the Old Testament. It is used once in Jeremiah in the context of setting a snare, where it is the word “setteth” that is used in association with a snare or a trap. It is used another time in Numbers 17:5:
And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.
Our word is translated here as “to cease.” In our verse, it says the waters “asswaged,” so they ceased. We have confirmation. The rain stopped and the waters from beneath ceased to rise after the five months or 150 days.
This same Hebrew word is found two times in the Book of Esther. One time it is found in Esther 2:1:
After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
The word “appeased” is the same Hebrew word translated as “asswaged” or “ceased.” When the wrath of king Ahasuerus was “appeased,” he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what was decreed against her. Then they sought for a new queen and that is where Esther was discovered and goes on to be the new queen, but the wrath of the king against Vashti was that she could come no more before him; she was shut up and she lost her role as the queen. King Ahasuerus is a figure of God in this historical account and Vashti is a figure of national Israel and Esther is a figure of the true believers, the elect individuals that “marry” God. God divorced national Israel and, for all intents and purposes, that is what Ahasuerus did with Vashti when he sent her from him and shut her up. It identifies with God’s wrath on Israel when He divorced national Israel and the veil of the temple was rent in twain. The wrath of King Ahasuerus was appeased after he poured out his wrath and did these things to Vashti. Then there was no more wrath toward her and there was appeasement, which ties in with our word “ceased.” God’s wrath has limits and then it ceases or is appeased.
The last place this word is found is also in Esther. It says in Esther 7:10:
So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.
Again, this is pointing to wrath that is accomplished or a judgment that is carried out and executed. Once it is finished, it can be said, “Then was the king’s wrath pacified.” When we went through the Book of Esther a few years ago, the interesting thing about Haman was that he was hanged on “the seventeenth day of the second month.” That is what all the evidence points to and that was the day the flood began. It was also the equivalent day to May 21, 2011 when God brought the final judgment. Haman is a figure or type of Satan and God did judge Satan on May 21, 2011, which had the underlying Hebrew calendar date of “the seventeenth day of the second month.”
So we see that God pours out His wrath and once the wrath of God has been measured into the cup of wrath, then the King’s wrath is pacified or satisfied. This really makes us wonder because in our verse in Genesis 8, verse 1 God made a wind to pass over the earth and the waters, which represent the Word of God that is bringing the judgment, were “pacified.” Once the wind passed over the earth, the waters were “appeased.” Historically, it is very correct because after five months the waters were 15 cubits above the highest mountain. Were there any creatures alive on the earth anywhere in the world at that time? The answer is, “No.” Even the fowl of the air or the highest flying eagle that could land on the top of mountains had nowhere they could land because the waters were 15 cubits above the highest mountain. The waters took some time to rise above the highest peak in the world and there may have been some birds gathered there, but the waters kept rising above that peak. But after several hours or a day at the most, they would have tired and fallen into the water and died.
People, too, would have gone for higher ground throughout the rising of the waters. If they lived near a high mountain, they could have gone up into a mountain. There is evidence that indicates this. I think it was in Indonesia they found the remains of a few people on a very high mountain that indicated they drowned in a flood. That is not surprising. People would have tried to preserve their lives and some would have climbed a mountain, trying to stay above the water and, yet, the water kept rising. Finally, they would have nowhere to go. If you are on the top of the highest mountain and the water keeps rising, you have no options. There was no ship and no safe haven. Maybe they could swim a little while, but finally they would have tired and drowned. So by the end of the 150 days when the waters reached the highest point, the waters accomplished their purpose to destroy everything with the breath of life in all the earth. Everything was dead – every animal, every fowl and creeping thing and every man outside the ark. All were dead, so the wrath of God was accomplished and it could be said that the waters were “appeased” or “pacified.” They had done the work God sent them forth to do in destroying every living substance from off the face of the earth. It was a complete judgment at that point.
It really makes us wonder: If the judgment on all the wicked people of the world of that day was accomplished so that God’s wrath was appeased at the end of the 150 days, why does it go on for seven more months? It says in Genesis 8:4:
And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
This was the five-month or 150-day mark. That was the point when the waters were pacified and, yet, it goes on. We will read more about it, Lord willing, as we continue to study about the tenth month and the twelfth month and into the 601st year of Noah into the second month. It was toward the end of the second month of Noah’s 601st year before they finally came out of the ark. What is the point? What is the significance? Here, we find that after 150 days everyone that God wanted to punish and destroy were dead, but the flood account does not end at that point. It goes on for seven long months. It lasts longer after this point than it did up until this point – seven months is greater than five months. Why? What is the reason? Yes, we know about the drying of the earth and the historical working out of that, but what is the spiritual reason for continuing the flood event for seven months when everyone to be punished and destroyed had already been punished and destroyed?
The answer has to be that it was for the sake of those that were in the ark. God continued to leave Noah and the other seven souls and all the animals in the ark for seven more months in order to work out His purpose for those people and animals within the ark. I do not know if I am expressing this right, but God had a plan and a purpose not only to punish and destroy the wicked but it seems God’s program is geared more toward those inside the ark than it is to those that were outside the ark. We can see how this relates in some ways to the spiritual judgment that God brought to pass on May 21, 2011, the seventeenth day of the second month in the Hebrew calendar exactly 7,000 years after the flood. God shut the door to heaven and, for all intents and purposes, He killed all the people of the earth with that judgment and, yet, we continue on. We are in a prolonged process of judgment. Why? God has punished the wicked and ended His salvation program and the wicked are “as good as dead” because they cannot live without salvation and, yet, time continues. We can only think that time continues for the purpose or benefit of God’s elect that are “in Christ” in the safety of salvation.