Genesis 7:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 7:17, NIV: "For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth."

Genesis 7:17, ESV: "The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth."

Genesis 7:17, KJV: "And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth."

Genesis 7:17, NASB: "Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth."

Genesis 7:17, NLT: "For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth."

Genesis 7:17, CSB: "The flood continued for forty days on the earth; the water increased and lifted up the ark so that it rose above the earth."

What does Genesis 7:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verse, God shut Noah and his family and the animals into the ark. Then the torrential rains began. Verse 11 described it as the windows of heaven being opened. Just as God said (Genesis 7:4), that intense downpour lasted for 40 days on the earth. The floodwaters increased, and the huge ark floated, rising high above its initial resting place on the earth. Noah had followed God's instructions well; the great craft proved to be seaworthy.

As with other verses in this chapter, Genesis uses the term 'erets for "earth," rather than other terms such as tebel. The Hebrew word 'erets is often used in a regional or symbolic sense, while tebel is a specific reference to the entire planet. This is part of the ongoing debate over whether or not the flood is a planetary event, or something confined to the regions populated by men. In any case, the waters accomplish their intended task: wiping out sinful mankind, and sparing only Noah and his family.