What does Genesis 8:15 mean?
ESV: Then God said to Noah,
NIV: Then God said to Noah,
NASB: Then God spoke to Noah, saying,
CSB: Then God spoke to Noah,
NLT: Then God said to Noah,
KJV: And God spake unto Noah, saying,
The previous two verses showed a gap of nearly two months between when Noah saw that the earth was dry and this day. The fact that Noah waited for God's direct instruction before leaving the ark is no coincidence. Earlier, Scripture indicated that Noah was faithful and obedient to God (Genesis 6:8, 22; 7:5). Noah's survival to this point required him to trust God's commands in building the ark. Before taking the last living members of the human race out into a radically-changed world, Noah will remain patient and allow God to control his timing.
Rather than rushing out at the first sign of muddy earth, Noah waits for God to give the word that they could leave the ark. This is that moment.
Genesis 8:1–19 describes the process of God drying out the earth following the flood. Noah and his family and the animals wait for the waters to recede. Noah uses birds as a test to see if any land is nearby. When the time is finally right, a full year after they entered, God commands Noah, his family, and all the animals to leave the ark. Their mission from God is to swarm over the earth, multiply, and begin again.
Even as all other life was being destroyed, God didn't forget Noah and the animals. He stops the deluge of water flowing from above and below and causes a great wind to blow to begin drying out the earth. The ark comes to rest on the mountains of Ararat. There, its occupants wait for the flood waters to go down. After a full year aboard, Noah and his family and the animals finally disembark. Noah builds an altar in worship to God and offers animal sacrifices. God commits to never curse the earth as He had through the flood, and to never again strike down all life on earth.
Genesis 6 and 7 explain the events leading up to the flood, and the actual catastrophe itself. After the devastation and destruction are over, God begins to dry out the earth in Genesis 8. The waters recede, Noah and the animals finally leave after a year aboard, and Noah offers animal sacrifices in worship to God. God commits to never again strike down all life on earth at once. As long as the earth remains, living things will enjoy the cycles of day, night, and seasons. The following chapters describe the re-population of earth by mankind, leading up to another instance of God's intervention, at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11).
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 12/6/2023 11:15:57 PM
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