Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Ge 7:1-24. Entrance into the Ark.
1. And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark—The ark was finished; and Noah now, in the spirit of implicit faith, which had influenced his whole conduct, waited for directions from God.
Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
2, 3. Of every clean beast … fowls—Pairs of every species of animals, except the tenants of the deep, were to be taken for the preservation of their respective kinds. This was the general rule of admission, only with regard to those animals which are styled "clean," three pairs were to be taken, whether of beasts or birds; and the reason was that their rapid multiplication was a matter of the highest importance, when the earth should be renovated, for their utility either as articles of food or as employed in the service of man. But what was the use of the seventh? It was manifestly reserved for sacrifice; and so that both during Noah's residence in the ark, and after his return to dry land, provision was made for celebrating the rites of worship according to the religion of fallen man. He did not, like many, leave religion behind. He provided for it during his protracted voyage.
Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
4. For yet seven days—A week for a world to repent! What a solemn pause! Did they laugh and ridicule his folly still? He whose eyes saw and whose heart felt the full amount of human iniquity and perverseness has told us of their reckless disregard (Lu 17:27).
And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
9. There went in two and two—Doubtless they were led by a divine impulse. The number would not be so large as at first sight one is apt to imagine. It has been calculated that there are not more than three hundred distinct species of beasts and birds, the immense varieties in regard to form, size, and color being traceable to the influence of climate and other circumstances.
And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;
They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.
And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
16. and the Lord shut him in—literally, "covered him round about." The "shutting him in" intimated that Noah had become the special object of divine care and protection, and that to those without the season of grace was over (Mt 25:10).
And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth.
17. the waters increased, and bare up the ark—It seems to have been raised so gradually as to be scarcely perceptible to its occupants.
And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.
And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
20. Fifteen cubits upward … and the mountains were covered—twenty-two and a half feet above the summits of the highest hills. The language is not consistent with the theory of a partial deluge.
And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
21. all flesh died … fowl … cattle, and … creeping thing—It has been a uniform principle in the divine procedure, when judgments were abroad on the earth, to include every thing connected with the sinful objects of His wrath (Ge 19:25; Ex 9:6). Besides, now that the human race was reduced to one single family, it was necessary that the beasts should be proportionally diminished, otherwise by their numbers they would have acquired the ascendancy and overmastered the few that were to repeople the world. Thus goodness was mingled with severity; the Lord exercises judgment in wisdom and in wrath remembers mercy.
All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
24. an hundred and fifty days—a period of five months. Though long before that every living creature must have been drowned, such a lengthened continuance of the flood was designed to manifest God's stern displeasure at sin and sinners. Think of Noah during such a crisis. We learn (Eze 14:14) that he was a man who lived and breathed habitually in an atmosphere of devotion; and having in the exercise of this high-toned faith made God his refuge, he did not fear "though the waters roared and were troubled; though the mountains shook with the swelling thereof" [Ps 46:3].