Genesis 8:5
And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
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(5) Seen.—See Note on Genesis 8:4.

8:4-12 The ark rested upon a mountain, whither it was directed by the wise and gracious providence of God, that might rest the sooner. God has times and places of rest for his people after their tossing; and many times he provides for their seasonable and comfortable settlement, without their own contrivance, and quite beyond their own foresight. God had told Noah when the flood would come, yet he did not give him an account by revelation, at what times and by what steps it should go away. The knowledge of the former was necessary to his preparing the ark; but the knowledge of the latter would serve only to gratify curiosity; and concealing it from him would exercise his faith and patience. Noah sent forth a raven from the ark, which went flying about, and feeding on the carcasses that floated. Noah then sent forth a dove, which returned the first time without good news; but the second time, she brought an olive leaf in her bill, plucked off, plainly showing that trees, fruit trees, began to appear above water. Noah sent forth the dove the second time, seven days after the first, and the third time was after seven days also; probably on the sabbath day. Having kept the sabbath with his little church, he expected especial blessings from Heaven, and inquired concerning them. The dove is an emblem of a gracious soul, that, finding no solid peace of satisfaction in this deluged, defiling world, returns to Christ as to its ark, as to its Noah, its rest. The defiling world, returns to Christ as to its ark, as to its Noah, its rest. The carnal heart, like the raven, takes up with the world, and feeds on the carrion it finds there; but return thou to my rest, O my soul; to thy Noah, so the word is, Ps 116:7. And as Noah put forth his hand, and took the dove, and pulled her to him, into the ark, so Christ will save, and help, and welcome those that flee to him for rest.The ark rested. - It is stranded on some hill in Ararat. This country forms part of Armenia. As the drying wind most probably came from the east or north, it is likely that the ark was drifted toward Asia Minor, and caught land on some hill in the reaches of the Euphrates. It cannot be supposed that it rested on either of the peaks now called Ararat, as Ararat was a country, not a mountain, and these peaks do not seem suitable for the purpose. The seventh month began usually with the new moon nearest the vernal equinox, or the 21st of March. "The tenth month." The waters ceased to prevail on the first of the ninth month. The ark, though grounded six weeks before, was still deep in the waters. The tops of the hills began to appear a month after. The subsiding of the waters seems to have been very slow.5. And the waters decreased continually—The decrease of the waters was for wise reasons exceedingly slow and gradual—the period of their return being nearly twice as long as that of their rise. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month,.... That is, from the seventeenth of the seventh month, to the first of the tenth month, a space of two months and thirteen days, and being summer time, through the heat of the sun, they decreased apace:

in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen; not the tenth month of the flood, but of the year; the month Tammuz, as the Targum of Jonathan, and answers to part of June, and part of July; and the first day of this month, according to Bishop Usher (h), was Sunday the nineteenth of July: but according to Jarchi, whom Dr. Lightfoot (i) follows, this was the month Ab, which answers to July and August, the tenth from Marchesvan, when the rain began.

(h) Ut supra. (Annales Vet. Test. p. 4.) (i) Ut supra. (Works, vol 1. p. 6.)

And the waters decreased continually until the {d} tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.

(d) Which was the month of December.

5 (P). the tenth month] Another date is here given. The tops of other mountains were visible on the 1st day of the 10th month. Reckoning 30 days for a month, we thus have an interval of 73 days between the grounding of the ark upon the mountains of Ararat and the visibility of the other mountains.

tops of the mountains] This detail in the narrative suggests that Ararat was thought to be a lonely peak towering above all the neighbouring mountains.

Verse 5. - And the waters decreased continually - literally, were going and decreasing - until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, - chodesh, a lunar month, beginning at the new moon, from chadash, to be new; νεομηνία, LXX. (cf. Exodus 13:5). Chodesh yamim, the period of a month (cf. Genesis 29:14; Numbers 11:20, 21) - were the tops of the mountains seen. "Became distinctly visible" (Tayler Lewis, who thinks they may have previously projected above the waters). Apparuerunt cacumina montium (Vulgate). The waters had now been subsiding ten weeks, and as the height of the water above the highest hills was probably determined by the draught of the ark, we may naturally reason that the subsidence which had taken place since the seventeenth day of the seventh month was not less than three hundred and fifteen inches, at twenty-one inches to the cubit, or about four and one-third inches a day. Genesis 8:5With 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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