What does Genesis 8:17 mean?
ESV: Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
NIV: Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you--the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground--so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.'
NASB: Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every crawling thing that crawls on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.'
CSB: Bring out all the living creatures that are with you--birds, livestock, those that crawl on the earth--and they will spread over the earth and be fruitful and multiply on the earth."
NLT: Release all the animals — the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground — so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.'
KJV: Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
NKJV: Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
Verse Commentary:
God's command from the prior verse was not merely for Noah and his family to make a temporary excursion. The specific reference to all the human beings on board highlights the fact that all of them are to leave the vessel. Here, God continues His command to Noah to empty the ark. Once again, God is clear: Every single living thing needs to leave the ark, head out into the world remade by the flood, and begin to "swarm" and reproduce. The ark has served its purpose, and the living things God has saved through it now need to fulfill theirs. At this moment in history, the main task of humanity and animals and insects is the same: Multiply, expand, begin the process of filling the earth up again.
Verse Context:
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.
Chapter Summary:
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.
Chapter Context:
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).
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.
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