7:1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.
7:2 Take with you seven [seven pairs of clean animals; they were used for sacrifices after the flood (cf. Gen. 8:20)] of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate,
Note: Read Leviticus 11 concerning clean and unclean animals.
7:3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.
7:4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”
7:5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him [reaffirms the statement in 6:22].
Note: What do you think it cost Noah to be obedient to God? Do you think it ever costs you to be faithful to God? How?
7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.
7:7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood.
7:8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground,
7:9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah.
7:10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.
7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month–on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.
7:12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Noah faithfully called sinners to repentance throughout the hundred-plus years that he and his family spent building the ark. The Apostle Peter referred to Noah as “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5). He stood courageously for God in the midst of a corrupt society. He spoke the truth even when it was unpopular to do so.
Apparently no one took Noah or his preaching seriously and no one responded to his call to repent. When God’s patience finally ran its course, the first drops of rain fell from the sky. The rains soon became torrential and mixed with the waters that burst forth from the springs below to create an inescapable and cataclysmic flood.
The first raindrops signaled that the time of judgement had arrived. Those who thought they had sinned with impunity, who had likely ridiculed Noah, and who had spurned repeated opportunities to repent, now faced certain death. There was no escape. As God had warned, every breathing creature would be wiped out from the face of the earth. Those who thought judgment would never come were mistaken. While the wheels of God’s justice sometime seem to move slowly, when they come they do grind finely.
The rain continued for 40 days and 40 nights. As soon as the ground became completely saturated, the water had nowhere to go but up! The “waters surged” or continued to rise for “150 days” (Gen. 7:24). The waters rose so high that they even covered the highest mountains (Gen. 7:20). After the waters peaked they slowly and steadily receded for the next 150 days (see Gen. 8:3) until the ark came to rest “on the mountains of Ararat” (see Gen. 8:4) in the region that is modern-day Turkey.
7:13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.
7:14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings.
God instructed Noah and his entire family to “enter the ark” (Gen. 7:1) seven days before the start of the rains (Gen. 7:4). Noah obeyed God and entered the ark with his wife, his sons, and his son’s wives — a total of eight individuals. Although they did not know how long they would live in the ark, they trusted God. One year and ten days later God would tell Noah and his family to “come out of the ark” (Gen. 8:15) — the vessel that had saved them from the flood.
The week before the rains came, Noah and his family welcomed male and female animals of every species aboard the ark. Noah did not have to go out and gather these creatures. God brought them to the ark. Noah situated all of these animals in their respective rooms on the various decks. This must have been a monumental task in itself.
Once all were safely aboard, God Himself shut the door of the ark and by so doing also took responsibility for those who remained outside the door and would perish in the floodwaters. No one outside the ark escaped God’s judgment. His mercy was found only within the ark. As the water began to rise, the ark began to float. All the earth was flooded, as God had said, as an act of His judgment. Noah and his family, however, were rescued as an act of God’s grace.
7:15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.
7:16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
7:17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth.
7:18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.
7:19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.
7:20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.
7:21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished–birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.
7:22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.
7:23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
7:24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.