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23 And every living substance upon the earth an hundred and was destroyed which was upon fifty days. the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, CHAPTER VIII. and the fowl of the heaven ; and AND God remembered Noah; they were destroyed from the and every living thing, and all earth ; and · Noah only remained the cattle that was with him in alive, and they that were with the ark: band God made a wind him in the ark.
to pass over the earth, and the 24 w And the waters prevailed waters assuaged ;
u 2 Pet. 2. 5. & 3. 6. Wch. 8. 3. & ch. 8. 4. compared with ver. 11. of this chap.
a ch. 19. 29. Ex. 2. 24. 14. 21.
1 Sam. 1. 19. b Ex.
animal found in the plain when the soul, in the midst of all the inundaflood began would soon be merged in tions of evil.' Bp. Hall. water several feet deep, independent of 24. The waters prevailed upon the the overwhelming torrents dashing up-earth an hundred and fifty days. That on his head. And were he to attempt is, five months, before they began to advancing up the rising grounds, a cat- abate. This might seem to us unnearact or sheet of water, would be gush- cessary, seeing every living creature ing all the way in his face, besides inn- would be drowned within the first six pending water from the 'flood-gates' of weeks; but it would serve to exercise heaven momentarily rushing over him. the faith and patience of Noah, and to He would almost instantly become a impress his posterity with the greatness prey to the resistless element. 'In vain of the divine displeasure against man's is salvation hoped for from the hills.' sin. As the land of Israel was to have Jer. 3. 23.
its Sabbath during the captivity ; so 23. Every living substance. Heb. now the whole earth, for a time, shals opo yekum, as above, v. 4, rendered be relieved of its load, and fully purifiel, by the Gr. rav avaornua every thing that as it were, from its uncleanness.
-I Was destroyed. Rather according to the Heb. 'he, or it (the
CHAPTER VIII. flood) destroyed (wiped out) every liv- 1. God remembered Noah. That is, ing thing. The verb is active and not put forth a token of his remembrance ; passive, though no nominative is ex- acted as a person does who would manpressed. This has to be supplied by ifest remembrance towards one who the reader from the tenor of the narra- was ready to deem himself forgotten. tive. "How securely doth Noah ride The phrase is figurative; for, strictly out this uproar of heaven, earth, and speaking, God cannot be supposed ever waters ! He hears the pouring down to have forgotten Noah from the moof rain above his head; the shrieking ment of his entering the ark. But the of men, and the roaring and bellowing import here is not that of a constant of beasts on both sides of him; the ra- mindfulness. God remembered Noah by ging and threats of the waves under making a wind to pass over the earth, him; and the miserable shifts of the to assuage the waters of the deluge. unbelievers; and, in the meantime, sits Comp. Gen. 30. 22.- Made a wind quietly in his dry cabin, neither feeling to pass over the earth, and the waters nor fearing evil. How happy a thing is assuaged. Heb. 7504 settled down, faith! What a quiet safety, what a sunk, were depresserl, i. e. began to subheavenly peace, doth it work in the side : the original being spoken Jer. 5.
2 - The fountains also of the and after the end of the hundred deep, and the windows of heaven and fifty days the waters were were stopped, and the rain from abated. heaven was restrained ;
4 And the ark rested in the 3 And the waters returned seventh month, on the sevenfrom off the earth coutioually: tecuth day of the month, upon
the mountains of Ararai.
och. 7. 11. dJob 38. 37,
e ch. 7. 24.
26, of the stooping posture of a bird- ly dangerous; but as the ark gently catcher in laying or watching his settled upon its resting-place, it is evisnares. It is elsewhere applied to the dent that the waters were calm. In a subsiding of anger, Est. 21, and of stormy sea it would have foundered murmurings, Num. 17. 5. The usual and not rested ; at least without a mireffect of wind upon a body of water is acle. As Noah seems to have had no to agitate and work it to a tempest ; in agency in steering the ark, it was this case the effect was directly the re- doubtless conducted hither by the speverse; but for w at reason is not cial providence of God, who watches wholly obvious. The blowing of a equally over the floatings and the wanstrong wind from the north, would nat- derings of his church.- - Upon the urally clear away the clouds from the mountains of Ararat. Heb. 1777 39 atmosphere, and thus enable the sun 1994 al harê Ararat, literally renderto act upon the watery mass which ed in our version. The opinion is very would cause a rapid evaporation ; but general among commentators that this by comparing this with what is said expression, though of a plural form, Ex. 14. 21, of the agency of the east points at one well known mountain of wind in drying up the Red Sea, it would the same name situated in the modern seem that the wind acted also mechan-Armenia. The Heb. og 8 Ararat oC ically in propelling the waters off from the surface of the habitable regions 19. 37. Is 37. 38. Jer. 51. 27, in the
curs but in three other places, 2 Kings which they had submerged and driving last of which it is rendered as here by them to their appropriate reservoirs. Ararat, and in the other two by ArmeYet it is obvious that the ark must nia. This mountain, which consists of have been so situated as to be exempt two separate peaks of unequal elevafrom this action of the aerial element.
tion, is situated in a vast plain twelve 3. The waters returned—continual-leagues east from Erivan, and rises to ly. Heb. 2701 77377 going or walk- an height of upwards of 15,000 above ing and returning'; a Heb. idiom for the ocean. It is called by the Eastern expressing the gradual and yet con- people by the various names of Masis, stant progress of any thing. See note Ardag or Agridagh, i. e. the fingeron Gen. 3. 8. -1 Were abated; i. e. mountain, from its standing alone went on abating. The true force of the and rising like a finger held up, Kuhi original term is to become scant.
Nuach, or mountains of Noah, and 4. The arkrested in the seventh month. Meresoussar, or the stopping of the ark
. That is, of the year, not of the flood. In like manner the name of the neighThe flood had now continued precisely bouring city of Nak-schivan is said to five months, or 150 days. For a ship be composed of two words Nak, ship in the sea to have struck upon a rock and Schidan, stopped or settled ; all indior upon land, would have been extreme- I cating a prevalent tradition that this was
no other than the real resting-place of the mists of the horizon; when an inexark after the flood. Of a place so memor-pressible impulse, immediately carrying able it will be proper to give a somewhat my eye upwards again, refixed my more detailed account, notwithstanding gaze on the awful glare of Ararat; and the reasons which we shall shortly of this bewildered sensibility of sight befer for entertaining very strong doubts ing answered by a similar feeling in the whether this were in fact the true local- mind, for some moments I was lost in ity to which the inspired narrative a strange suspension of the powers of points. Mr. Morier describes Ararat thought.' Of the two separate peaks, as being most beautiful in shape, and called Little and Great Ararat, which most awful in height; and Sir Robert are separated by a chasm about sevKer Porter has furnished the following en miles in width, Sir Robert thus graphic picture of this stupendous work speaks ;— These inaccessible summits of nature :-'As the vale opened be- have never been trodden by the foot of neath us, in our descent, my whole at- man, since the days of Noah, if even tention became absorbed in the view then, for my idea is that the ark rested before me. A vast plain peopled with in the space between these heads, and countless villages; the towers and not on the top of either. Various atspires of the churches of Eitch-mia- tempts have been made in different ages adzen arising from amidst them; the lo ascend these tremendous mountain glittering waters of the Araxes flowing pyramids, but in vain; their form, through the fresh green of the vale; snows, and glaciers are insurmountaand the subordinate range of moun ble obstacles, the distance being so tains skirting the base of the awful great from the commencement of the monument of the antediluvial world, it icy regions to the highest points, cold seemed to stand a stupendous link'in alone would be the destruction of any the history of man, uniting the two person who should have the hardihood races of men before and after the flood. to persevere. On viewing mount AraBut it was not until we had arrived rat from the northern side of the plain, upon the flat plain that I beheld Araral its two heads are separated by a wide in all its amplitude of grandeur. From cleft, or rather glen, in the body of the the spot on which I stood, it appeared mountain. The rocky side of the as if the hugest mountains of the greater head runs almost perpendicu. world had been piled upon each other, larly down to the north-east, while the to form this one sublime immensity of lesser head rises from the sloping botearth, and rock, and snow. The icy tom of the cleft, in a perfectly conical peaks of its double heads rose majesti- shape. Both heads are covered with cally into the clear and cloudless heav- snow. The form of the greater is simens; the sun blazed bright upon them, ilar to the less, only broader and roundand the reflection sent forth a dazzling er at the top, and shows to the northradiance equal to other suns. This west a broken and abrupt front, openpoint of the view united the utmost ing about half way down into a stupengrandeur of plain and height, but the dous chasm, deep, rocky, and peculiarfeelings I experienced while looking on ly black. At that part of the moun. the mountain are hardly to be descri- tain, the hollow of the chasm receives hed. My eye, not able to rest for any an interruption from the projection of length of time on the blinding glory of the minor mountains which start from its summits, wandered down the ap- the side of Ararat, like branches from parently interminable sides, till I could the roots of a tree, and run along in no longer trace their vast lines in the undulating progression, till lost in the
distant vapours of the plain.' The Rev. ists to the present day on the summit E. Smith, American Missionary to Pal of the mountain, and that, in order to estine, as will be seen from the follow- preserve it, no person is permitted to ing extract, coincides with the popular approach it. This tradition, founded belief on this subject. 'And certainly upon some monkish legend, has receiv not among the mountains of Ararat ored the sanction of the church, and beof Armenia generally, nor those of any come in effect an article of faith which part of the world where I have been, an Armenian would scarcely renounce have I ever seen one whose majesty even if he were placed in his own prop could plead half so powerfully its er person on the very top of the mounclaims to the honour of having once i tain.-But to the opinion that the Agbeen the stepping stone between the ridagh was the resting-place of the ark old world and the new. I gave myself there are very strong objections both up to the feeling, that on its summil philological and physical; for (1.) The were once congregated all the inhabit- words of the text, "upon the mountains ants of the earth, and that, while in the of Ararat,' are not, in their obvious valley of the Araxes, I was paying a sense, applicable to a single isolated visit to the second cradle of the human eminence, like that so denominated. It race. Nor can I allow my opinion to may indeed be contended that the doube at all shaken by the Chaldee para- ble peak of Agridagh makes the words phrasts, the Syrian translators and pertinent, and that the ark, as Sir R. commentators, and the traditions of K. Porter thinks, may have rested in the whole family of Syrian churches, the valley between the two peaks, and which translate the passage in question thus, as it were, on the two mountains; mountains of the Kurds.' Robinson's but to this it may be replied, that since Calmet, art. Ararat. At the time when we are told v. 5, that it was not until Sir Robert Porter published his travels, the tenth month, in the first day of and indeed till very recently, the sum- the month, after the waters had deInit of this lofty mountain was consid- creased continually, that the top of the ered absolutely inaccessible. Several mountains were seen, it is not possible attempts had at different times been that the ark should have rested in the made to reach its top, but few persons valley between the two peaks, and far ever succeeded in getting beyond the below their tops, more than two months limit of perpetual snow. The French previously to that period, on the seventraveller Tournefoot, in the year 1700, teenth day of the seventh month, v. 4. persevered long in the face of many The only fair way of understanding the difficulties, but was foiled in the end. words 'upon the mountains of Ararat, Nearly thirty years since the Pacha of is in their plain grammatical sense as Bayazeed undertook the ascent, but meaning a mountainous district within with no better success. The honour a country or province called Ararat, was reserved to Dr. Parrot, a German just as we construe the expressions, traveller, who in 1829 was the first to the mountains of Israel,' 'the mountread this towering eminence. For a tains of Samaria,' 'the mountains of detailed and interesting account of his Abarim,' &c. i. e. the mountainous ascent see my 'Illustrations of the districts of those countries. ComparScriptures,' p. 14. The fact of such an ed with general scriptural usage, the ascent is however still doubted by the phrase, 'mountains of Ararat,' as Armenians, but their incredulity is bas- popularly understood, is as great a vioed upon their superstition. They are lation of correct language as it would firmly persuaded that Noah's ark ex-l be to say in English, 'mountains of
5 And the waters decreased | day of the month, were the tops continually, until the tenth month: of the mountains seen. in the tenth month, on the first
Alps-of Appenines-of Andes-of Al. would have done it?-On the whole, leganies,' &c. But the phraseology therefore, we cannot but be conscious 'mountains of Switzerland-of Spain that the opinion or tradition which as-of South America, &c. every one signs the particular mountain in quesrecognises as perfectly proper. (2.) tion as the locality designed by the From the account given by all travel sacred writer, is liable to very serious ers of this double-peaked mountain in objections. In fact, we deem it ex. Armenia, it is in our view clear that tremely problematical whether Moses without a positive miracle a large por- had the least intention of pointing out 'tion of the inmates of the ark could the particular lodgement of the ark, never have descended from the highest after the waters began to abate. If we of the two summits, and the highest it mistake not his object was simply to must have been, if either, for the rea- say in general terms, that this took sons just stated drawn from a compar- place in some part of the mountain ison of the two texts, ch. 8. 4 and 5. range which distinguishes the country If to ascend the mountain now is an of Ararat; and that this was either in achievement all but actually transcend- or very near to the modern Armenia ing human power, and never known to there is good reason to believe. It is have been accomplished but in a single easy to imagine, however, that the trainstance, how can it be believed that dition of the country became attached camels, horses, elephants, oxen, and to this mountain, in preference to the other quadrupeds should have been true locality, on account of its conspicable to make their way down the steep uous situation and remarkable appeardeclivities of a precipitous pile of rocks ance.
As to the actual spot, the prob.. thousands of feet in height? True, in- ability is, that although some of the deed, omnipotence could have effected ancient versions seem to point to the it, and so too it could have saved Noah Gordiæan mountains, or some part of and his family and the animals with the chain of Mount Taurus, as the genout an ark by hemming them all in on uine locality, yet that it can only be dry land by a wall of waters, like that approximately determined by ascertainwhich stood upon the bed of the Red ing, as nearly as possible, the situation sea when the Israelites were crossing; best suited to accomplish the ends but'as God did not see fit to have reo which infinite wisdom had in view in course to miracles in the first instance, reference to the future peopling of the We see not why he should in the sec-earth, in the selection of the spot for ond. We know of no reason for re- the resting of the ark. As it is quite sorting to the hypothesis of a miracle, impossible to lay down in a map any when such an alternative is not neces- point which can be claimed as the true sary; and necessary it certainly is not one, the only means of investigation in the present case, as the Most High, which can be pursued will be to whose counsels guided the motions of consider the characters required to the ark, could easily have selected such be possessed by such a spot, and a spot for its resting as would have af- as this will come in more appropriately forded a safe and convenient descent to in connection with the journeyings of the plain below. And if he could have the Noachidæ from the east to the done this, shall we not suppose that he l plains of Shinar, ch. 11. 1, 2, the reader