“Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in. For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.”
Genesis 7:15-20 Meaning
Genesis 7:15-20 tells the story of Noah and the flood, specifically focusing on the moment when Noah and his family entered the ark, along with all the animals that God had instructed him to bring. These verses describe how the floodwaters rose and covered the earth, drowning all living creatures that were not inside the ark. The significance of this passage is to illustrate God’s judgment on sin and the obedience and faithfulness of Noah.
Explanation and Commentary on Genesis 7:15-20
In these verses, we witness the fulfillment of God’s warning to Noah about the impending flood. Noah and his family, along with pairs of every kind of animal, entered the ark just as God had commanded.
This section vividly portrays the meticulousness with which Noah followed God’s instructions and the magnitude of the catastrophic event that ensued.
As we delve into these verses, it’s crucial to recognize the significance of the obedience displayed by Noah and his household. Noah’s commitment to following God’s word stands as a testament to faith and trust in the divine plan, despite the enormity and seemingly unconventional nature of the task assigned to him.
The specificity of the account in detailing the animals boarding the ark in pairs according to their kinds underscores the divine orchestration of this preservation. This parallels God’s original command to Noah in Genesis 6:19-20, where Noah was instructed to bring two of every kind of living creature, male and female, into the ark to ensure their survival.
The sheer scale of the flood, described as covering even the highest mountains under the heavens by a depth of more than twenty feet, emphasizes the all-encompassing nature of God’s judgment upon the earth. This flood was not merely a regional event but a global catastrophe that purified the earth of its corruption and wickedness (Genesis 6:5-7).
This narrative isn’t just a recounting of a historical event; it also holds a broader significance in biblical theology. The flood serves as a prototype of divine judgment, pointing to future judgments and the ultimate redemption through Christ. Jesus himself referenced Noah and the flood, drawing parallels to his second coming, warning of the necessity for readiness and faithfulness (Matthew 24:37-39).
Additionally, the ark symbolizes salvation through faith. Just as Noah and his family found safety within the ark from the floodwaters, believers find salvation in Christ from the judgment of sin (1 Peter 3:18-22). The ark is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, who provides refuge and deliverance for those who trust in him.
Context of Genesis 7:15-20
These verses are part of the larger narrative of Noah and the flood found in Genesis 6-9. God, seeing the wickedness of humanity on earth, decided to bring judgment in the form of a flood. However, Noah found favor in God’s sight and was chosen to be saved along with his family and a remnant of every kind of animal.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Genesis 7:15-20
Noah and his family entered the ark: Noah’s obedience is highlighted here. He followed God’s instructions precisely, ensuring his family’s safety and the preservation of the animals.
The LORD shut him in: This emphasizes God’s hand in the entire process. It was not just Noah’s efforts, but God’s providence that secured their protection.
The floodwaters rose and covered the earth: The magnitude of the flood is portrayed here, with the waters completely submerging the earth, eliminating all life outside the ark.
Every living thing on the face of the earth perished: This emphasizes the severity of God’s judgment. He spared no one but those who found refuge in the ark.
Bible Study on Genesis 7:15-20
Genesis 7:15-20 teach us several important lessons. First, it remind us of the consequences of sin. The flood was God’s judgment on the wickedness of humanity. It serves as a sobering reminder that sin has serious repercussions and ultimately leads to destruction.
Secondly, these verses highlight the importance of obedience. Noah’s obedience to God’s instructions saved him and his family. It is a testament to the faithfulness and trustworthiness of God’s promises. When we obey God’s commands, we position ourselves to receive His protection and favor.
Furthermore, these verses underscore the significance of God’s timing. Noah and his family had to wait for years before the flood arrived. They endured mockery and ridicule from others who did not believe God’s warning. But when the time came, God fulfilled His word. This teaches us the importance of patience and trust in the unfolding of God’s plans for our lives.
Lastly, these verses remind us of God’s sovereignty. He alone holds the power to bring judgment and salvation. Just as He shut Noah and his family inside the ark, He is the one who protects and preserves His people. We can take comfort in knowing that God is in control, even in the midst of chaos and destruction.
Also Read: Genesis 6:9-13 Meaning and Commentary
Biblical Translations of Genesis 7:15-20
Genesis 7:15-20 King James Version (KJV)
“And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.”
Genesis 7:15-20 English Standard Version (ESV)
“They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in. The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.”
Genesis 7:15-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
“Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, came to Noah to be kept alive. Male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord closed the door behind them. For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth. As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface. Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks.”
Genesis 7:15-20 The Message (MSG)
“Pairs of every animal and all the birds—everything that moves and breathes—went into the ship with Noah. They entered, male and female of every creature, just as God had commanded Noah. Then God shut the door behind him. The flood continued forty days and the waters rose and lifted the ship high over the Earth. The waters kept rising, the flood deepened on the Earth, the ship floated on the surface. The flood got worse until all the highest mountains were covered—the high-water mark reached twenty feet above the crest of the mountains.”
Genesis 7:15-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
“So they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in. Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.”
Genesis 7:15-20 Amplified Bible (AMP)
“And they [entered the ark] went into the ark with Noah, two by two of all living beings in which there was the breath and spirit of life. Those which entered, male and female of all flesh (creatures), entered as God had commanded Noah; and the Lord closed the door behind him. The flood [the great flood of forty days and nights] was on the earth for forty days, and the waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it floated [high] above the land. The waters became mighty and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the waters. The waters prevailed so greatly and were so mighty and overwhelming on the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.”
These verses from Genesis serve as a powerful reminder of God’s judgment and the importance of obedience and faithfulness. They remind us that the consequences of sin are real, but God’s promises and protection are equally real.
Just as He saved Noah and his family from the flood, He offers salvation to each one of us through His Son, Jesus Christ. May we heed God’s warnings, obey His commands, and find refuge in Him, knowing that He alone can save us from the destructive forces of sin.