And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was on the earth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Noah was six hundred years old.—It follows that Shem was about one hundred years of age (comp. Genesis 5:32), and his two brothers younger; but all were married, though apparently without children. (Comp. Genesis 11:10.)2349
No text from Poole on this verse. Genesis 8:13 his eldest son was now an hundred years old, since when Noah was five hundred years old he begat children, Genesis 5:32. And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6–9. A description of the entrance into the ark, with evident editorial adaptations to harmonize Genesis 6:19 and Genesis 7:2; Genesis 7:15.
6 (P). six hundred years old] P gives Noah’s age at the time of the Flood. In Genesis 7:22 he was said to be 500 years old before “he begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth”: see also Genesis 7:11.
7 (partly J). Noah went in] This account, which anticipates Genesis 7:13 (P), is probably from J, with editorial adaptations to avoid clashing with P.Verse 6. - And Noah was six hundred years old. Literally, a som of six hundred years, i.e. in his 600th year (cf. ver. 11). The number six "is generally a Scriptural symbol of suffering. Christ suffered on the sixth day. In the Apocalypse the sixth seal, the sixth trumpet, the sixth vial introduce critical periods of affliction" (Wordsworth). When the flood of waters was upon the earth. Genesis 7:1-12
When the ark was built, and the period of grace (Genesis 6:3) had passed, Noah received instructions from Jehovah to enter the ark with his family, and with the animals, viz., seven of every kind of clean animals, and two of the unclean; and was informed that within seven days God would cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights. The date of the flood is then given (Genesis 7:6): "Noah was six hundred years old, and the flood was (namely) water upon the earth;" and the execution of the divine command is recorded in Genesis 7:7-9. There follows next the account of the bursting forth of the flood, the date being given with still greater minuteness; and the entrance of the men and animals into the ark is again described as being fully accomplished (Genesis 7:10-16). - The fact that in the command to enter the ark a distinction is now made between clean and unclean animals, seven of the former being ordered to be taken, - i.e., three pair and a single one, probably a male for sacrifice-is no more a proof of different authorship, or of the fusion of two accounts, than the interchange of the names Jehovah and Elohim. For the distinction between clean and unclean animals did not originate with Moses, but was confirmed by him as a long established custom, in harmony with the law. It reached back to the very earliest times, and arose from a certain innate feeling of the human mind, when undisturbed by unnatural and ungodly influences, which detects types of sin and corruption in many animals, and instinctively recoils from them (see my biblische Archeologie ii. p. 20). That the variations in the names of God furnish no criterion by which to detect different documents, is evident enough from the fact, that in Genesis 7:1 it is Jehovah who commands Noah to enter the ark, and in Genesis 7:4 Noah does as Elohim had commanded, whilst in Genesis 7:16, in two successive clauses, Elohim alternates with Jehovah-the animals entering the ark at the command of Elohim, and Jehovah shutting Noah in. With regard to the entrance of the animals into the ark, it is worthy of notice, that in Genesis 7:9 and Genesis 7:15 it is stated that "they came two and two," and in Genesis 7:16 that "the coming ones came male and female of all flesh." In this expression "they came" it is clearly intimated, that the animals collected about Noah and were taken into the ark, without his having to exert himself to collect them, and that they did so in consequence of an instinct produced by God, like that which frequently leads animals to scent and try to flee from dangers, of which man has no presentiment. The time when the flood commenced is said to have been the 600th year of Noah's life, on the 17th day of the second month (Genesis 7:11). The months must be reckoned, not according to the Mosaic ecclesiastical year, which commenced in the spring, but according to the natural of civil year, which commenced in the autumn at the beginning of sowing time, or the autumnal equinox; so that the flood would be pouring upon the earth in October and November. "The same day were all the fountains of the great deep (תּהום the unfathomable ocean) broken up, and the sluices (windows, lattices) of heaven opened, and there was (happened, came) pouring rain (גּשׁם in distinction from טטר) upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights." Thus the flood was produced by the bursting forth of fountains hidden within the earth, which drove seas and rivers above their banks, and by rain which continued incessantly for 40 days and 40 nights.
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