|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:12-21 God told Noah his purpose to destroy the wicked world by water. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, Ps 25:14. It is with all believers, enabling them to understand and apply the declarations and warnings of the written word. God chose to do it by a flood of waters, which should drown the world. As he chooses the rod with which he corrects his children, so he chooses the sword with which he cuts off his enemies. God established his covenant with Noah. This is the first place in the Bible where the word 'covenant' is found; it seems to mean, 1. The covenant of providence; that the course of nature shall be continued to the end of time. 2. The covenant of grace; that God would be a God to Noah, and that out of his seed God would take to himself a people. God directed Noah to make an ark. This ark was like the hulk of a ship, fitted to float upon the waters. It was very large, half the size of St. Paul's cathedral, and would hold more than eighteen of the largest ships now used. God could have secured Noah without putting him to any care, or pains, or trouble; but employed him in making that which was to be the means to preserve him, for the trial of his faith and obedience. Both the providence of God, and the grace of God, own and crown the obedient and diligent. God gave Noah particular orders how to make the ark, which could not therefore but be well fitted for the purpose. God promised Noah that he and his family should be kept alive in the ark. What we do in obedience to God, we and our families are likely to have the benefit of. The piety of parents gets their children good in this life, and furthers them in the way to eternal life, if they improve it.
Verses 19-21. - And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort (literally, by twos, i.e. in pairs) shalt thou bring into - or cause to enter, i.e. receive them when they come (ver. 20) - the ark, to keep them alive - literally, to cause to live; ἴνα τρέφης (LXX.); in order to preserve alive (sc. the animals) - with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind (literally, of the fowl after its kind), and of cattle after their kind (literally, of the cattle after its kind), of every creeping thing of the earth after its bind, two of every sort shall come unto thee. "Non hominis actu, sed Dei nutu" (Augustine). Perhaps through an instinctive presentment of the impending calamity (Lange, 'Speaker's Commentary'). And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee (collecting sufficient for a twelvemonth's sustenance); and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark,.... That is, of fowls, cattle, and creeping things, as after explained; and two of each sort at least were to be brought, as Jarchi observes, and not fewer; though of the clean sort there were to be more, even seven, as after directed; and these were to be brought, that they might preserve their species, as it follows:
to keep them alive with thee; to be fed and nourished by him in the ark, while others perished by the flood, that so they might propagate their own species, and be continued, for which reason it is further ordered:
they shall be male and female; not any two, but one male and one female, for the end before mentioned.
Genesis 6:19 Parallel Commentaries
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