Genesis 8:3
And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
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(3) The waters returned from off the earth.—This backward motion of the waters also seems to indicate that a vast wave from the sea had swept over the land, in addition to the forty days of rain.

Were abated.—Heb., decreased. Those in the ark would notice the changing current, and would know, by their being aground, that the flood was diminishing. But it was not till the first day of the tenth month that the tops of the mountains were seen. This slow abatement of the waters and their stillness, described in Genesis 8:1, makes it probable that the ark had grounded on some land-locked spot.

Genesis 8:3-5. The waters returned from off the earth continually — Hebrews they were going and returning; a gradual departure. The heat of the sun exhaled much, and perhaps the subterraneous caverns soaked in more. And the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat — Or, Armenia, whither it was directed, not by Noah’s prudence, but the wise providence of God. The tops of the mountains were seen — Like little islands appearing above water. They felt ground above forty days before they saw it, according to Dr. Lightfoot’s computation, whence he infers, that if the waters decreased proportionably, the ark drew eleven cubits in water.

8:1-3 The whole race of mankind, except Noah and his family, were now dead, so that God's remembering Noah, was the return of his mercy to mankind, of whom he would not make a full end. The demands of Divine justice had been answered by the ruin of sinners. God sent his wind to dry the earth, and seal up his waters. The same hand that brings the desolation, must bring the deliverance; to that hand, therefore, we must ever look. When afflictions have done the work for which they are sent, whether killing work or curing work, they will be taken away. As the earth was not drowned in a day, so it was not dried in a day. God usually works deliverance for his people gradually, that the day of small things may not be despised, nor the day of great things despaired of. - The Land Was Dried

1. שׁכך shākak "stoop, assuage."

3. חסר chāsar "want, fail, be abated."

4. אררט 'ărārāṭ, "Ararat," a land forming part of Armenia. It is mentioned in 2 Kings 19:37, and Isaiah 37:38, as the retreat of Adrammelek and Sharezer after the murder of their father; and in Jeremiah 51:27 as a kingdom.

8. קלל qālal, "be light, lightened, lightly esteemed, swift."

10. חוּל chûl, "twist, turn, dance, writhe, tremble, be strong, wait." יהל yāchal "remain, wait, hope."

13. חרב chāreb, "be drained, desolated, amazed."

Genesis 8:1-3

The waters commence their retreat. "And God remembered Noah." He is said to remember him when he takes any step to deliver him from the waters. The several steps to this end are enumerated.

A wind. - This would promote evaporation, and otherwise aid the retreat of the waters. "The fountains of the deep and the windows of the skies were shut." The incessant and violent showers had continued for six weeks. It is probable the weather remained turbid and moist for some time longer. In the sixth month, however, the rain probably ceased altogether. Some time before this, the depressing of the ground had reached its lowest point, and the upheaving had set in. This is the main cause of the reflux of the waters. All this is described, as we perceive, according to appearance. It is probable that the former configuration of the surface was not exactly restored. At all events it is not necessary, as the ark may have drifted a considerable space in a hundred and fifty days. Some of the old ground on which primeval man had trodden may have become a permanent water bed, and a like amount of new land may have risen to the light in another place. Hence, it is vain to seek for a spot retaining the precise conditions of the primitive Eden. The Euphrates and Tigris may substantially remain, but the Pishon and Gihon may have considerably changed. The Black Sea, the Caspian, the lakes Van and Urumiah may cover portions of the Adamic land. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the prevalence of the waters begins to turn into a positive retreat.


Ge 8:1-14. Assuaging of the Waters.

1. And God remembered Noah—The divine purpose in this awful dispensation had been accomplished, and the world had undergone those changes necessary to fit it for becoming the residence of man under a new economy of Providence.

and every living thing … in the ark—a beautiful illustration of Mt 10:29.

and God made a wind to pass over the earth—Though the divine will could have dried up the liquid mass in an instant, the agency of a wind was employed (Ps 104:4)—probably a hot wind, which, by rapid evaporation, would again absorb one portion of the waters into the atmosphere; and by which, the other would be gradually drained off by outlets beneath.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And the waters returned from off the earth continually,.... Or "going and returning" (s); they went off from the earth, and returned to their proper places appointed for them; some were dried up by the wind, and exhaled by the sun into the air: and others returned to their channels and cavities in the earth, or soaked into it:

and after the end of the hundred and fifty days, the waters were abated; or began to abate, as Jarchi and the Vulgate Latin version; which days are to be reckoned from the beginning of the flood, including the forty days' rain; though Jarchi reckons them from the time of the ceasing of it; so that there were from the beginning of the flood one hundred and ninety days; six months, and ten days of the year of the flood now past; and in this he is followed by Dr. Lightfoot (t): but the former reckoning seems best, and agrees better with what follows.

(s) , "eundo et redeundo", Pagninus, Montanus. (t) Works, vol. 1. p. 6.

And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
Verse 3. - And the waters returned from off the earth continually. Literally, going and returning. "More and more" (Gesenius). The first verb expresses the continuance and self-increasing state of the action involved in the second; cf. Genesis 26:13; 1 Samuel 6:12; 2 Kings 2:11 (Furst). Gradually (Murphy, Ewald). The expression "denotes the turning-point after the waters had become calm" (T. Lewis). May it not be an attempt to represent the undulatory motion of the waves in an ebbing tide, in which the water seems first to advance, but only to retire with greater vehemence, reversing the movement of a flowing tide, in which it first retires and then advances - in the one case returning to go, in the other going to return? The LXX., as usual, indicates the visible effect rather than the actual phenomenon: καὶ ἐνεδίδου τὸ ὕδωρ πορεύομενον ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς. And after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. Literally, were cut off, hence diminished; imminsutae sunt (Vulgate); ἠλαττονοῦτο τὸ ὕδωρ (LXX.). The first stage was the quieting of the waters; the second was the commencement of an ebbing or backward motion; the third was a perceptible diminution of the waters. Genesis 8:3With the words, "then God remembered Noah and all the the ark," the narrative turns to the description of the gradual decrease of the water until the ground was perfectly dry. The fall of the water is described in the same pictorial style as its rapid rise. God's "remembering" was a manifestation of Himself, an effective restraint of the force of the raging element. He caused a wind to blow over the earth, so that the waters sank, and shut up the fountains of the deep, and the sluices of heaven, so that the rain from heaven was restrained. "Then the waters turned (ישׁבוּ i.e., flowed off) from the earth, flowing continuously (the inf. absol. ושׁוב הלוך expresses continuation), and decreased at the end of 150 days." The decrease first became perceptible when the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat on the 17th day of the seventh month; i.e.,, reckoning 30 days to a month, exactly 150 days after the flood commenced. From that time forth it continued without intermission, so that on the first day of the tenth month, probably 73 days after the resting of the ark, the tops of the mountains were seen, viz., the tops of the Armenian highlands, by which the ark was surrounded. Ararat was the name of a province (2 Kings 19:37), which is mentioned along with Minni (Armenia) as a kingdom in Jeremiah 51:27, probably the central province of the country of Armenia, which Moses v. Chorene calls Arairad, Araratia. The mountains of Ararat are, no doubt, the group of mountains which rise from the plain of the Araxes in two lofty peaks, the greater and lesser Ararat, the former 16,254 feet above the level of the sea, the latter about 12,000. This landing-place of the ark is extremely interesting in connection with the development of the human race as renewed after the flood. Armenia, the source of the rivers of paradise, has been called "a cool, airy, well-watered mountain-island in the midst of the old continent;" but Mount Ararat especially is situated almost in the middle, not only of the great desert route of Africa and Asia, but also of the range of inland waters from Gibraltar to the Baikal Sea-in the centre, too, of the longest line that can be drawn through the settlements of the Caucasian race and the Indo-Germanic tribes; and, as the central point of the longest land-line of the ancient world, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Behring Straits, it was the most suitable spot in the world, for the tribes and nations that sprang from the sons of Noah to descend from its heights and spread into every land (vid., K. v. Raumer, Palst. pp. 456ff.).
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