What does Genesis 7:23 mean?
ESV: He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.
NIV: Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
NASB: So He wiped out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from mankind to animals, to crawling things, and the birds of the sky, and they were wiped out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.
CSB: He wiped out every living thing that was on the face of the earth, from mankind to livestock, to creatures that crawl, to the birds of the sky, and they were wiped off the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark.
NLT: God wiped out every living thing on the earth — people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. All were destroyed. The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat.
KJV: And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
Verse Commentary:
These last few verses of chapter 7 seem repetitive, and they are. This is a very deliberate technique, used often in ancient literature. Stating certain facts over and over was a way of emphasizing their truth and importance. In this case, Genesis is making it clear that no human or animal life survived the flood, other than those aboard the ark.

This verse also uses repetition to remind us that this wasn't "just" a natural catastrophe. God blotted out (or wiped out) all the human and animal life. He caused the flood. As Creator and Judge and God, He acted out of His authority to execute justice. In a sense, God is un-making some of what He has made, by taking dry land back beneath the water (Genesis 1:9–10). God would not allow the violence of mankind to go on as it had. He ended it.

From this distance, and from a merely human perspective, this scale of death is inconceivable to most of us. It is uncomfortable. It challenges our very idea of who our God is. It is essential that we understand both His righteousness and His mercy. God has not changed in His nature. He will not abide sin, and He will in mercy save some from destruction.

The rest of the Bible is the story of how sinful, mortal man could ever possibly be at peace and even loved by such a righteous, powerful, just, and holy God.
Verse Context:
Genesis 7:11–24 describes the greatest disaster in world history: the flood. For forty days and nights, rain falls from above, and underground water rushes from below. As a result, floodwaters fully cover the surface of the land for another 110 days. The ark, built as God has instructed Noah, is able to float and survive the deluge. Every land-dwelling, air-breathing human and creature dies, except for those aboard the ark.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 7 tells the story of the actual flood itself. God again commends Noah for his righteousness. The animals of every kind come to the ark. God shuts Noah and his family and the animals in, and it begins to rain. Water pours from above and bursts forth from below with incredible intensity. This outpouring of water lasts for 40 days, and covers the surface of the earth for another 110 days. The ark floats, rises, moves across the surface of the water. Outside of it, every land-dwelling, air-breathing thing dies. God wipes it all out, including every human being other than Noah and his family.
Chapter Context:
In chapter 6, God saw the wickedness and violence of humanity and resolved to wipe it all out. He revealed that plan to Noah, and He commanded Noah to build the ark. In chapter 7, the ark is finished, the animals arrive, the door is shut, and the rain begins on a specific date in the history of the world. All life aboard the ark is saved; all land-dwelling, air-breathing life outside of it is ended. The waters burst from below the earth and pour from above with great intensity for 40 days and then covered the earth for another 110. In the following chapter, the ark will come to rest, and the remade earth will begin to dry out.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 4/17/2024 10:19:51 PM
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