King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Genesis 8

God remembers Noah, and dries up the waters. (1-3) The ark rests on Ararat, Noah sends forth a raven and a dove. (4-12) Noah being commanded, goes out of the ark. (13-19) Noah offers sacrifice, God promises to curse the earth no more. (20-22)

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God remembers Noah, and dries up the waters

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;

2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;

3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.

The ark rests on Ararat, Noah sends forth a raven and a dove

4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.

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.

6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:

7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

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.

10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;

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.

12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.

Noah being commanded, goes out of the ark

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.

14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,

16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

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.

18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:

19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.

Noah offers sacrifice, God promises to curse the earth no more

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.

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.

22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Remembered; not as if God had ever forgotten Noe, but he now shews his remembrance of him by the effects. M. — A wind, literally a spirit, which S. Amb. and Theodoret understood of the Holy Ghost, that, as he moved over the waters at first, (C. 1. 2.) to give them fecundity, and to exercise his power in establishing order, so he may shew the same care and providence for this new world, emerging, like the former, from the waters. H. — Most interpreters, however, understand this of a violent wind, (Prov. xxv. 23. Ex. xiv. 21.) a strong blast, such as was sent to divide the Red sea. M.

Ver. 3. And the waters returned, &c. S. Jerom on this passage remarks, “that all waters and torrents repair to the womb of the abyss, through the hidden veins of the earth,” and by the abyss understands the sea: according to that of Ecclesiastes, 1. 7, all the rivers run into the sea. But as the sea itself, on this occasion, exceeded its limits, (otherwise its waters would not have been higher than the land) the sense perhaps confined to this, that the waters by degrees were diminished; as we may say of the inundations of land, that the waters are gone off, not by the regular course of ditches, but from the effects of the sun and winds which dry them up. E.

Ver. 4. And the ark rested on the mountains of Armenia. The Hebrew word is Ararat, which also occurs in the 37th chap. of Isaias, and the 51st of Jeremias; for in these places our interpreter retained the Hebrew word, but in the 4th book of Kings, xix. 37, where the same history is related, it is translated by the land of the Armenians. E. — Seventh month, of the year, not of the deluge, as appears from ver. 13, &c. M. — Seven and twentieth. So also the Sept., but the Heb. &c. have the 17th. It is not easy to decide which is right. On the seventeenth the waters only began to decrease, and some hence argue for the Vulgate, as they say it is not probable the ark would stop that very day. C. — This, however, might be the only mean by which Noe could discern that the waters were abating. H. — The ark being about fourteen cubits sunk in the water, might soon touch the summit of the highest mountains, such as M. Taurus, of which the Ararat, here mentioned in the Hebrew, a mountain of Armenia, forms a part, according to S. Jerom. The Armenians still boast that they have the remains of the ark. Berosus, the Pagan historian, says bitumen was taken from it as a preservative. Jos. Ant. 1. 3. Eus. præp. ix. 4. The Chaldee has Cordu for Ararat, whence some have supposed, that the ark rested on the Cordyean or Gordiean mountains. The Armenians call the mountain near Erivan, Mesesonsar, or the mountain of the ark. C.

Ver. 7. Did not return. The negotiation Not, is not to be found in any Hebrew copy now extant; though it is still retained by the Septuagint, and several Latin manuscripts, according to the testimony of Liranus. If we add here, therefore, to the Hebrew text, we must translate it with S. Jerom, thus; It went forth, going and returning, (Egredicbatur exiens et revertens,) sometimes repairing to the mountains, where it found carcasses to feed on, and at other times returning not unto the ark, but to rest upon the top of it. E. Ch. — Or receded farther from it; as the Hebrew may be explained, agreeably to the Vulgate, Sept. Syr. &c. which admit the negation. C. — Till, as long as the waters covered the earth, not that it returned to the ark afterwards. M.

Ver. 9. Whole earth, excepting the mountains; so that the dove presently returned. H.

Ver. 11. Green leaves. The olive tree preserves its verdure and grows even at the bottom of the Red sea, and other seas in the East. Plin. xii. 25. — Many other trees and seeds will live for a long time under the waters. C. — This tender branch of the olive seems to agree better with the spring than autumn; whence Tirin infers, that the deluge began and ended in spring.

Ver. 13. Year of Noe’s age, who, we may suppose, was born on the first day of the year. So that his 601st year corresponds with the 1657th of the world, B.C. 2343, on which day the deluge ended. Still Noe waited for God’s order to leave the ark till the 27th of the ensuing month, when the earth was more perfectly dried. H. — Covering. Some think that the window was at the top, like a sky-light. C.

Ver. 17. Increase. Heb. “let them increase.” This is spoken of the brute creation, the blessing is given to men. C. ix. — Neither Noe’s family, nor any of the animals, had any young in the ark. C.

Ver. 20. Holocausts, or whole burnt offerings. In which the whole victim was consumed by fire upon God’s altar, and no part was reserved for the use of priest or people. Ch. — This is the first time we read of an altar, though Abel had surely made use of one. M. — Noe delays not to shew his gratitude to God. S. Amb. W.

Ver. 21. Smelled, &c. A figurative expression, denoting that God was pleased with the sacrifices which his servant offered, (Ch.) and in this sense it is expressed in the Chaldee, “God received his offering gratefully.” God requires sacrifices of us, to testify his dominion, and not for any advantage he derives from them; but rather to bless us, if we perform our duty with fervour. — For the sake of, or on account of men’s sins. They are so prone to evil, that, if I were to punish them as often as they deserve, new deluges might be sent every day. I take pity on their weakness. I will punish the most criminal, but not as I have done, by cursing the earth. These words of God, are by some addressed to Noe, by others to God the Son. Heb. “he said to his heart;” Onkelos, “he said in his word;” Sept. “he said with reflection.” C. — Noe was beloved by God, and therefore may be called his heart. To speak to the heart, often means to comfort. H.

Ver. 22. Seed-time, according to the Targum of Jonathan, is the equinox of September; harvest, that of March; winter and summer denote the solstice of December and of June. But the Hebrews probably divided the year into summer and winter; or perhaps they might also admit the season of spring, with the Egyptians and the ancient Greeks, who represented the seasons by the three hours, daughters of Jupiter. C.