Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #20 of Genesis, chapter 8 and we are going to read Genesis 8:12-14:
And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more. 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 in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
I will stop reading there. In our last study we were looking at verse 12 and we saw that the word “stayed” was the word “hoped.” He sent forth the dove and this is the fifth time the word for “dove” is used in this chapter, pointing to the atonement. He sent forth the dove, “which returned not again unto him any more.”
The first time he sent forth the dove, we understood that the dove was looking for a place to rest the sole of her foot, but she found none. That language of “sole of the foot” relates to treading upon the Promised Land, which points to the new heaven and new earth and this is what God is also looking toward and where He will rest the soles of His feet. Of course, the dove is a picture of the Holy Spirit, who is Eternal God, who is looking for that eternal dwelling place with His people.
Now Noah has sent forth the dove the third time, pointing to the purpose of God. The prior two times, she returned to the ark but this time she “returned not again unto him any more.” No longer would the dove come back to the ark. We wonder about that. What is the spiritual significance of this? Historically, we understand that the dove found dry land and established a new life for herself in the new world that was taking shape after the flood. The dove finding a place to rest the sole of her foot is a picture of the Holy Spirit or God Himself finding that Promised Land, the place where He will remain forever and ever with His people. We saw that in the language of Ezekiel 43, verse 7 and of Revelation 22 that God would dwell with His people.
So the Holy Spirit goes forth first to pave the way and to guide the people of God into the new heaven and new earth. Then 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…
This is the year in the Biblical calendar of history that we have been following since the point of the flood. We know that the Biblical calendar locks in the year of the flood as 4990BC in Noah’s 600th year, so now we are in the next year, the 601st year of Noah.
This is the Old Testament method of counting. Our current calendar is tied to the (supposed) birth of Christ and we count “down” on the Old Testament side, so 4990BC minus 1 year would be 4989BC and it would countdown to the year “zero.” So this is the year 4989BC and it is also 121 years from the point that God had said that man’s days would be 120 years and that timeline went until the flood and now it is the 121st year. I am only mentioning this because the number “121” breaks down to “11 x 11” and the number “11” is the number that identifies with the coming of Christ to demonstrate His atonement and, therefore, it is a number that relates to the atonement. And this is “11 x 11,” so there is strong emphasis on Christ’s atoning work. It is not surprising because Christ’s atoning work is being fulfilled in all whom He has saved by atoning for their sins. These people were “in Christ” at the foundation of the world experiencing that atonement and now in the Day of Judgment they are going through a demonstration of that atonement. Atonement is the Law’s demand for payment of sin, so the entire period of Judgment Day can be viewed as a “day of atonement” in that sense and it is (in the process of) completing. Therefore, in the 121st year (11 x 11) the atonement comes into view. God also tells us the date, as it says in 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 months in view in the flood account were 30-day months, so the first day of the first month of the 601st year would be 294 days from the start date of 2/17, “the seventeenth day of the second month,” when the flood began and the rain started to fall. The number “294” breaks down to “2 x 3 x 7 x 7,” and they are all significant numbers. The number “2” points to the caretakers of the Word of God; the number “3” points to God’s purpose; and the number “7” points to His salvation plan reaching perfection or completion and that number “7” is doubled, just as the number “11” was doubled.
There is also another timeline here. Remember that there were the 150 days (5 months) in which God said the waters prevailed and that was focused on the destruction of mankind and all creatures with the breath of life. From that that 150-day mark until the first day of the first month of Noah’s 601st year are 144 days. The overall total was 294 days, which is the 150 days plus 144 days and that number “144” breaks down to “12 x 12.” The number “12” represents fullness and it is a number we see repeatedly in Revelation, chapter 21 where God goes into detail about the “new Jerusalem,” the body of believers, and the new heaven and new earth. It is a number that identifies with the fullness of God’s promises and the fullness of His salvation for His people.
So this day mentioned in Genesis 8, verse 13 is quite a day, considering the numbers the Lord is using. It is the 121st year (11 x 11) and it is 144 days (12 x 12) from the end of the 150 days and the overall days of 294 days when broken down has the number “7 x 7” within it, so we see a doubling of the numbers (even though it is multiplication) because numbers are repeated. Each one of these numbers has great importance in God’s overall salvation program.
Again, 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…
The “waters” were what brought the wrath of God and they typified the anger of God against unsaved mankind that had transgressed His Law. Now it says, “the waters were dried up.” This word “dried” is Strong’s #2717 and in the last part of this verse it says, “behold, the face of the ground was dry,” and this word “dry” is also Strong’s #2717. However, in verse 14 where it says, “And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried,” the word “dried” is a different Hebrew word, Strong’s #3001. But both words are being used in a similar way, although I think Strong’s #3001 in verse 14 is indicating the ultimate in “dryness,” but we also get this same idea from Strong’s #2717. This word is found in Psalm 106:19:
He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.
It is used in regard to the crossing of the Red Sea when the Lord parted the waters and the Israelites when through the sea as on dry ground. The word “dried ground” used in Exodus is another Hebrew word, Strong’s #3004 and it is related to Strong’s #3001. In Psalm 106:19 the Lord is using this same word, so maybe the other word does not mean that it is even more dry, but certainly this word is being used in a similar way.
The same word is found in Isaiah 51:10:
Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
This also alludes to the crossing of the Red Sea when the Israelites went over on dry ground.
As far as the spiritual meaning, let us look at Strong’s #3001 since we are discussing that particular word. It says in Joshua 2:10:
For we have heard how JEHOVAH dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites…
Again, this is in reference to the Red sea.
Then it says in Joshua 4:23:
For JEHOVAH your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as JEHOVAH your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:
Likewise, the crossing of Jordan was on dry ground as the waters stood up and the Israelites went over, so it is a very similar picture of entering into the kingdom of God, the Promised Land or the new earth, spiritually.
Let us look at one more place in Revelation. This is a Greek word but it is important because it shows us that at the time of the end God is relating those historical accounts of crossing the Red Sea on dry land and crossing over Jordan on dry ground to a spiritual picture of the end of time in which we are presently living. Revelation 16 is a chapter that speaks of the seven last plagues in the Day of Judgment and it says in Revelation 16:12:
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
This is very much related to what we read in Isaiah 51 which spoke of the depths of the sea being dried up as a way for the ransomed to pass over. The “kings of the east” and the “ransomed” are one and the same, spiritually. They are God’s elect people.
It is a similar picture to what we find in Isaiah 11:12:
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
The “outcasts of Israel” are also the elect. Then it says in Isaiah 11:15-16:
And JEHOVAH shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
This remnant of the people is also God’s elect. We are a remnant of the whole: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Again, and again, the picture the Bible paints is of crossing over a sea on dry ground because the water of the flood, the water of the Red Sea, the water of Jordan, the Egyptian Sea and the water of Babylon have to do primarily with the wrath of God. When the wrath of God is completed and all the “waters” go away there is a path that God’s people tread in order to cross over from this world to the next or from the cursed creation to the blessed creation or from temporal life to eternal life. This is the way God has outlined for His people in order for them to gain entry into His eternal new heaven and new earth, so it has to do with the judgment “drying up” or being completed.
In addition, when we read of the water of Babylon being dried up, that fits in with the idea of the evangelization of the Gospel message as it went forth to save sinners being dried up. That is also part of this “pathway” that God has prepared for the kings of the east, His people. We are currently making our way through a prolonged period of judgment. We are going day by day. It is as though we are taking a step every day. We are stepping on “dry ground” in the sense that the Gospel waters are dried up as far as salvation, but it is not completed in regard to the judgment. There is a need to wait and to hope for this “dryness” to complete and for God to complete His judgment program and then we will be brought all the way through.
Let us go back, again, to Genesis 8:13:
… 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.
At this point Noah removed the covering of the ark. The word “removed” means to “take aside.” Up until now we were not even aware the ark had a covering. When God was giving Noah the instructions for building the ark, the Lord mentioned rooms and pitching the ark within and without and the dimensions of the ark and the window, the door and the first, second and third stories. There was no mention of a covering. This is the first time we read of the covering that was part of the ark, so we wonder why God is telling us that Noah removed the covering of the ark. What does that mean? We can understand that there must have been some type of “covering” and it would have been very needful because it was going to experience a torrential downpour of rain. If you have ever been caught in a cloudburst where great amounts of water come down all at once, that might give you a starting point to understand how much rain was falling continuously for forty days and forty nights. If there were no covering on the ark, the vessel would have taken on a lot of water and it would not have been able to make it through the forty days and forty nights of rain. The covering protected it from the rain and the covering stayed on the ark for 294 days up until this point. Now it is coming off.
We can get some idea of what the covering was made of, even though we are not told in this verse. This Hebrew word the Lord used in verse 13 is Strong’s #4372 and it is a word that is found about 14 times in the Old Testament. It is used once here and it is used 13 other times in association with the tabernacle in the wilderness. That was the tabernacle the Lord instructed Moses to build and we can read about it in the Book of Exodus. There are several verses and we will not have time to look at them all in this study, but let us go to Exodus 26:13:
And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it. And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins.
The covering of this tabernacle was the skin of animals. Then it says in Exodus 36:19:
And he made a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers' skins above that.
It is the only material that I could find that describes the covering. They were animal skins. It is just like when we looked at the word “pitch” and we saw that the word “pitch” was the word “atonement.” Spiritually, we realize that all the people and the clean animals in the ark represented the elect. So the protection for all within was the “pitch.” It protected the people from the waters. The atonement protects the people of God from the judgment of the “waters,” the Word of God.
Now we see an additional spiritual picture of the covering over the ark and we see that the word “covering” is used in association with animal skins and we suspect that is what Noah may have used. He would have sewn a great deal of animal skins together and stretched them out over the ark and it would have protected all the occupants from the downpour of waters falling from heaven. Of course, the animal skins could only be obtained after killing the animals and that points to the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is similar to the idea where God clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins to represent the covering for sin, so the covering of the ark would be a similar picture.