*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Genesis 8:13-17 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 8:13
  • Genesis 8:14
  • Genesis 8:15
  • Genesis 8:16
  • Genesis 8:17

The flood waters had completely dried up. But Noah waited until God said to leave the ark before they left. God commanded them to be fruitful and multiply on the earth.

Noah went into the ark seven days before it began to rain (Genesis 7:4,10). It rained forty days and nights (Genesis 7:12). The flood waters prevailed for 150 days (Genesis 7:24; 8:3). In Chapter 8:15-16, God says they can come out of the ark. Genesis 7:11 tells us that on the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open. Now, in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month of Noah’s life, the earth was dry. Noah and his family spent over one year on the ark. Note the precision in dates. It seems clear that one of the messages is that this is not a parable, but an actual historical account.

Observe that even after the earth was dry, Noah waited almost two more months for the command of God before exiting the ark. We are not told why. It could be in part that God is waiting for the ground to dry sufficiently that the creatures on the ark don’t get stuck in the mud. God commands that all the occupants of the ark now depart. Noah, his family, and the animals were to multiply, be fruitful, and increase on the earth (Genesis 1:22). They were to repopulate the world. The command to be fruitful and multiply on the earth was a command to get back to the work that was established “in the beginning.” They had entered the ark and successfully rode out the storm of God’s judgment. They were delivered intact by the mercy of God.

Biblical Text

13 Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. 14 In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry. 15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 “Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”

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