What does Genesis 8:4 mean?
ESV: and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
NIV: and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
NASB: Then in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.
CSB: The ark came to rest in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.
NLT: exactly five months from the time the flood began, the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
KJV: And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
Verse Commentary:
Once again, Genesis gives us a specific date in the history of the world upon which a major event occurred. The first one was given in Genesis 7:11 on the day the rains came. That was in the 600th year of Noah's life on the seventeenth day of the second month. Now the ark comes to rest on the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month. That makes five Old Testament months, or 150 days.

Why does this matter? The writer means to show us that the flood was a genuine historical event marked by actual dates on the calendar. The writer of this passage does not intend this event to be seen as a myth, a spiritual metaphor, or a parable. The intent is to present actual, physical history. These dates also would become a way of measuring time after the flood in the era following Noah's life.

In addition, the writer means for us to see that the ark of Noah came to rest in a real geographical place in the world: the mountains of a region called Ararat. Genesis's first readers probably new that area as being north of Assyria, later known as Armenia. This is likely the same region we know as being in eastern Turkey, southern Russia, and northwestern Iran.

Though many have speculated and even searched for the ark, the text does not give a specific location for its resting place. There is no reason to think it would have survived until now. Any wood on board would have been extremely valuable for building and for fuel, and unlikely to survive several thousand years.
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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