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Genesis 7:1-5

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 7:1
  • Genesis 7:2
  • Genesis 7:3
  • Genesis 7:4
  • Genesis 7:5

Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.

In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).

After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.


In Genesis chapter seven the flood comes. Noah’s family and all the animals on the ark were saved. It rained for forty days. The flood waters lasted more than a year covering the whole earth. This terrible judgment wiped out all living creatures (including humans) everywhere on the earth. The basic theme of Genesis 7 is that God is both just and gracious and keeps His promises. The ark reveals both the judgment and grace of God.


God tells Noah to enter the ark. Further instructions are to take a male and female of every unclean creature and seven pairs of every clean creature into the ark. The flood would begin in seven days and last forty days destroying every living thing on the earth. Noah obeyed God.

 

Now God commands Noah to enter the ark. Noah has been faithful to build the ark, now it is time to enter. God repeats that Noah will be saved because Noah alone had been seen to be righteous before God’s eyes in this time.  Noah was righteous and therefore God could trust him when He commanded the ark be built. Noah was blameless in God’s sight, but all his household was saved from the flood as well. Noah’s being right with God blessed his whole family. But it also blessed the animal kingdom. God used Noah’s obedience to keep offspring of all breathing animals alive on the face of all the earth.

 

There were eight people on the ark, four men, and four women (Noah and his wife, their three sons and the son’s wives). Noah obeyed God in faith and God counted it as righteousness. The book of Hebrews says, “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7).

 

Noah was told to take in the ark seven pairs of each of the clean animals and two pairs of the unclean animals, both a male and female. This is the first instance of the use of “clean” to describe animals. Centuries later, the Bible describes clean animals. In the Law to Israel, clean animals were allowed to be eaten. However, God did not give humans permission to eat animals until Genesis 9:3, and in that command He does not make a distinction between clean and unclean. We are not told that God explained the difference between clean and unclean to Noah, but since Noah immediately sacrificed of the clean animals after the ark landed, it seems clear this was knowledge he had.

 

God warned Noah that in seven more days it would rain on the earth forty days and forty nights. God makes it clear the intended impact of this deluge, saying “I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.” Once again, Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him.

 

The animals were saved to maintain life, and to repopulate the earth. In verse 4, the phrase “every living thing” means all that existed on the earth. The flood wiped out or erased all that existed. Noah did all that God had commanded is a clear emphasis, repeating what was just recently stated in Genesis 6:22, which also says Noah did all God commanded him.

Biblical Text

1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time. 2 “You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; 3 also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4 “For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.” 5 Noah did according to all that the Lord had commanded him.

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