Gen. 8:1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;
Gen. 8:2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;
Gen. 8:3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.
Gen. 8:4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
Remembered = kept in mind
Morris states that this is “a Hebraism for ‘began to act on their behalf.’”
God sent a wind to help the waters evaporate; the fountains of the deep were stopped; the rain was held back. It took 150 days (5 months) for the water to go down enough for the ark to touch ground on the mountains of Ararat (Armenia—Turkey and Iran).
Adrian Rogers noted that the 7th month on the 17th day = 3 days after Passover or Resurrection Day. (I just wanted to make note that as I type this note on 11/15/05, Adrian Rogers died today at the age of 74.)
Gen. 8:5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
It took another 2-1/2 months for the water to recede to the point that the tops of other mountains were visible.
Again, God is so specific in references to time throughout these first few chapters (regarding creation, again with the genealogy, and now in detailing the events of the flood). He is being consistent and specific in all instances. Why would one think otherwise?
Gen. 8:6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
Gen. 8:7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
Gen. 8:8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
Gen. 8:9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
Gen. 8:10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;
Gen. 8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
Gen. 8:12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
Noah waited at least another 54 days before he knew that the water was gone.
Gen. 8:13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
Gen. 8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
From verse 7:11 to here has been over a year. Again, God is being very specific with the passage of time.
Gen. 8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
Gen. 8:16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
Gen. 8:17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
Mankind now has a fresh start, albeit in a world impacted by sin and still possessing a sin nature. God’s command: “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Gen. 8:18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:
Gen. 8:19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
Gen. 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Noah’s first act when he leaves the ark is to offer a sacrifice to God of every clean beast and fowl. (Remember, the clean beasts had been taken into the ark by sevens.) I can’t imagine what it must have been like to step out of the ark into a world so changed and with no other human beings or living creatures around other than what you brought with you. The thankfulness and feeling of responsibility must have been tremendous. The most effective way for Noah to express his feelings was to sacrifice to the Lord.
Gen. 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Gen. 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
The smell of Noah’s sacrifice was sweet to the Lord. God is so pleased that He says “in his heart” (He is sharing with us His private thoughts at the time.):
He makes this commitment even though He knows that “every inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”
“While the earth remaineth” – This implies that there will be a time when the earth in its current condition is no more. (It doesn’t preclude a new earth.)
Listening to Jon Courson one day, he noted how God used the same reasoning for bringing the flood as He did in promising never again to “curse the ground.” (cf 6:5 & 8:21) The sweet smell of Noah’s sacrifice made the difference. It pointed toward the precious sacrifice of His Son Jesus to redeem His special creation.