Genesis Chapter 8
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Go to Bible: Genesis 8
“remembered.” The word “remember” is used in the Semitic language in both a straightforward and idiomatic sense. For example, one place where “remember” is used in a straightforward sense in the Bible is when Pharaoh’s cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. “Remember” is also used to mean “to keep in mind” (Ps. 103:14).
The word “remember” is also used in the Semitic languages, and thus in the Bible, in an idiomatic way. This is sometimes referred to by scholars as the “pregnant sense” of the word because it means more than “remember,” it means to act upon one’s previous knowledge. While the idiomatic sense of “remember” usually occurs in a positive sense, i.e., “to act favorably on one’s behalf” (Gen. 8:1; 1 Sam. 1:11), it can also refer to “remember and then act against the person,” (1 Sam. 15:2; 3 John 1:10 (“call attention to”); Rev. 18:5). The idiomatic sense of “remember” is part of the idiom of the Semitic languages, and is used by both God (Gen. 30:22; Exod. 2:24; Judg. 16:28; 1 Sam. 1:11) and people (Gen. 40:14; Deut. 16:12; Judg. 8:34). “Remembered” is used in its idiomatic way many times in the Bible; just a few examples are: Genesis 19:29; 30:22; Judges 8:34; 16:28; 1 Samuel 1:11, 19; Nehemiah 6:14; 13:31; Psalm 106:4; and Hosea 8:13.
The idiomatic use of “remember” also occurs in the New Testament. For example, the malefactor on the cross asked Jesus to “remember” him, which meant pay favorable attention to him (Luke 23:42; but they would have been speaking Hebrew or Aramaic. But see Gal. 2:10; Col. 4:18; Heb. 13:3).
[Many other words are used in an idiomatic or “pregnant sense,” including, “know,” “foreknow,” “look,” “watch,” etc. For more on these idiomatic uses, see commentary on Luke 23:42.](top)
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“in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month.” This is the same day of the year that Jesus rose from the dead! The day that humanity was safe because Noah’s ark touched down safely on the land was the same day that Jesus rose from the dead and human life was safe and assured that there would be a resurrection to everlasting life.
It is difficult to see the parallel between Noah’s ark and Jesus for two major reasons: God changed the order of the months in the Hebrew calendar at the time of Moses, and orthodox Christianity teaches that Jesus died on Friday and got up Sunday morning, which makes seeing the parallel between Noah and Jesus impossible. We will look at both of these reasons.
At the time of Noah, the first month of the year was Tishri, and the seventh month of the year was Abib, also called Nisan. But at the time of Moses, God changed the calendar and made Abib the first month (Exod. 12:1-2), which made Tishri the seventh month. So at the time of Noah, the ark touched down on land in the seventh month, which was Abib at that time, and thus was the same month that Jesus died.
Furthermore, Genesis 8:4 tells us that Noah’s ark touched down on land on the seventeenth day of the seventh month. We know from the Law of Moses that the Passover lamb was killed on the fourteenth of Nisan (Exod. 12:3-6; Lev. 23:4-5). Also, Jesus taught that just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, he would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40). The orthodox church has fudged the counting of the three days and nights and asserts that Jesus was buried on Friday at sunset and raised from the dead before sunrise on Sunday morning, and yet orthodoxy teaches that that short time period is three days and three nights. But Friday at sunset to before sunrise Sunday morning is simply not three days and three nights. Furthermore, if Friday was the day Jesus died and was buried and was the fourteenth of Nisan, then Sunday would be the sixteenth of Nisan, whereas Noah’s ark landed on the seventeenth of Nisan, and thus there would not be any parallel between Jesus’ resurrection and Noah’s ark.
When we study the Bible carefully, we see that Jesus was crucified on the morning of the fourteenth of Nisan and died at 3 p.m. later that day, the same time as the priests were slaughtering the Passover lamb in the Temple. Then Jesus was put “in the heart of the earth,” that is, in the tomb, close to sunset. The year Jesus died, the fourteenth of Nisan 14 was a Wednesday, and from Wednesday, Nisan 14 in the evening to the evening on Thursday, Nisan 15 was one day and one night in the heart of the earth. Then to Friday, Nisan 16 at evening was two days and two nights, and to Saturday, Nisan 17 at evening was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, and it was Saturday evening when Jesus got up from the dead. Thus Jesus got up from the dead on the seventeenth of Nisan, the same day of the year that Noah’s ark landed.
In the Bible, going under water was sometimes symbolic of being dead, which is why in baptism a person goes under water and thus symbolically dies, and then comes up out of the water, symbolically being raised from the dead into new life. That symbolism is certainly part of the Noah’s ark record. The flood put humankind in danger of everlasting death—if every person on earth died then no Savior would ever be born and so everyone would die and be dead forever. Furthermore, even while the ark was floating around in the water there was still a danger of it sinking and the eight people on board—everyone left on earth—dying. But when the ark touched down on the seventeenth of Abib humankind was safe—well, at least for the moment. But the Savior still needed to come and complete his work and fully conquer death in order for humankind to be truly safe from everlasting death. And Jesus’ conquest of death occurred on the evening of the seventeenth of Abib, when our Savior, Jesus Christ, rose from the dead and made everlasting life a true reality. When Jesus rose from the dead, it was obvious that humankind was truly safe.
Another parallel between Noah’s ark and Jesus Christ is that after the ark landed on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, Noah had to stay on the ark until the twenty-seventh day of the second month of the following year, a period of seven months and ten days, while he waited for the earth to dry up and be fit for human life. In a similar situation, like Noah waited on the ark, humankind is now waiting on earth with all its corruption and unrighteousness, waiting for Christ to return and set up his godly kingdom on earth, and at that time the earth will be truly fit for wonderful human life.
So the Noah’s ark record and the record of Jesus’ burial and resurrection have a wonderful parallel. The day that Noah’s ark touched down on the earth was the seventeenth of Abib, and the day Jesus rose from the dead was the seventeenth of Abib, and once again we can see the magnificent hand of God at work planning for the complete redemption of mankind and weaving the story of Jesus Christ through the Old Testament records.
[To see a much more complete explanation of the three days and nights between Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the fourteenth of Abib being on a Wednesday, see commentary on Matthew 12:40. For more on the chronology of the last week of Jesus’ life beginning with his arrest, see commentary on John 18:13, “first.” For more on Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus burying Jesus, see commentary on John 19:40. For more on Christ’s wonderful future kingdom on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth.”](top)
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“the imagination of people’s hearts is evil from their youth.” The Devil promotes the lie that in our fallen world people are basically good, but God says just the opposite, that people are basically evil. Experience should teach us this. Children need to be taught not to be selfish but to be polite. Adults have to constantly work at being godly but don’t have to put any effort into being angry or selfish. The Devil promotes the lie that people are basically good because it downplays the need for rules, regulations and laws that keep society godly and safe. Jesus will have laws and rules when he rules the earth. In fact, that Jesus will rule the future earth with a rod of iron is a well-established prophecy (Ps. 2:9; Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15). If Jesus will need to have godly laws in his future kingdom on earth, then surely we need them now in our fallen world.
[For more on humans being basically evil, see commentary on Zeph. 3:1. For more on Jesus ruling over the earth in the future, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth.”](top)
‘'seedtime and harvest.” “Seedtime” in the Middle East was largely in the fall, when the “former rains” began to fall and soften the soil for planting. “Harvest” started in the spring (usually April) and lasted through most of the summer, with different crops ripening at differnt times, the grains first, then the vegetables and grapes, then the fruits last.(top)