Genesis 8


12. he . . . sent forth the dove: which returned not . . . any more--In these results, we perceive a wisdom and prudence far superior to the inspiration of instinct--we discern the agency of God guiding all the movements of this bird for the instruction of Noah, and reviving the hopes of his household.
other seven days--a strong presumptive proof that Noah observed the Sabbath during his residence in the ark.

13, 14. Noah removed the covering of the ark--probably only as much of it as would afford him a prospect of the earth around. Yet for about two months he never stirred from his appointed abode till he had received the express permission of God. We should watch the leading of Providence to direct us in every step of the journey of life.

Genesis 8:15-22 . DEPARTURE FROM THE ARK.

15, 16. And God spoke . . . Go forth--They went forth in the most orderly manner--the human occupants first, then each species "after their kinds" [ Genesis 8:19 ], literally, "according to their families," implying that there had been an increase in the ark.

20. Noah builded an altar--literally, "a high place"--probably a mound of earth, on which a sacrifice was offered. There is something exceedingly beautiful and interesting to know that the first care of this devout patriarch was to return thanks for the signal instance of mercy and goodness which he and his family had experienced.
took of every clean beast . . . fowl--For so unparalleled a deliverance, a special acknowledgment was due.

21. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour--The sacrifice offered by a righteous man like Noah in faith was acceptable as the most fragrant incense.
Lord said in his heart--same as "I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth" ( Isaiah 54:9 ).
for--that is, "though the imagination is evil"; instead of inflicting another destructive flood, I shall spare them--to enjoy the blessings of grace, through a Saviour.

22. While the earth remaineth--The consummation, as intimated in 2 Peter 3:7 , does not frustrate a promise which held good only during the continuance of that system. There will be no flood between this and that day, when the earth therein shall be burnt up [CHALMERS].

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