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Genesis Chapter 8
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The Great Flood
8:1 God gave special thought to Noah, and to all the beasts and livestock with him in the ark. God made a wind blow on the earth, and the waters began to subside.
8:2 The wellsprings of the deep and the floodgates of heaven were sealed. The downpour from the heavens thus stopped.
8:3 The waters receded from the earth. They continued to recede, and at the end of 150 days, the water had [visibly] diminished.
8:4 In the seventh month, on the 17th day of the month, the ark came to rest on the Ararat Mountains.
8:5 The waters continued to diminish [visibly] until the tenth month.In the tenth month, on the first of the month, the mountain peaks became visible.
8:6 After forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the ark.
8:7 He sent out the raven, and it departed. It went back and forth until the water had dried up from the land's surface.
8:8 He then sent out the dove to see if the water had subsided from the land's surface.
8:9 The dove could not find any place to rest its feet, and it returned to him, to the ark. There was still water over all the earth's surface. [Noah] stretched out his hand, and brought it to him in the ark.
8:10 He waited another seven days, and once again sent the dove out from the ark.
8:11 The dove returned to him toward evening, and there was a freshly-plucked olive leaf in its beak. Noah then knew that the water had subsided from the earth.
8:12 He waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove [again]. This time it did not return to him any more.
8:13 In the 601st year [of Noah's life], in the first [month], on the first of the month, the land was drained off and Noah removed the ark's hatch. He saw that the land's surface was beginning to dry.
8:14 By the second month, on the 27th day of the month, the land was completely dry.

Aftermath of the Flood
8:15 God spoke to Noah saying,
8:16 'Leave the ark - you, along with your wife, your sons, and your son's wives.
8:17 Take out with you every living creature from all flesh: birds, livestock, and all land animals that walk the earth. Let them swarm on the land. They shall breed and multiply on the earth.'
8:18 Noah left the ark along with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives.
8:19 Every beast, every land animal, and every bird - all that walk the land - left the ark by families.
8:20 Noah built an altar to God. He took a few of all the clean livestock and all the clean birds, and he sacrificed completely burned offerings on the altar.
8:21 God smelled the appeasing fragrance, and God said to Himself, 'Never again will I curse the soil because of man, for the inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth. I will never again strike down all life as I have just done.
8:22 As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night, shall never again cease [to exist].'


gave special thought to
  Literally, 'remembered.'

visibly diminished
  (Malbim). This can also be translated, 'began to evaporate.' According to Rashi, the waters stopped raging after 150 days, and then began to diminish.

17th day of the month
  According to the standard chronology, this was 17 Nissan (Targum Yonathan; Ramban). Other sources, however, maintain that this was the seventh month after the rain ended (which was Kislev), and hence, this was 17 Sivan (Seder Olam 4, Bereshith Rabbah; Rashi). This would have been May 23.

Ararat Mountains
  Ancient sources state that it is a mountain in Armenia (Targum Yonathan; Josephus, Antiquities 1:3:5). This would point to the currently known Mount Ararat in Turkey, near Russia and Iran, some 200 miles southeast of the Black Sea. Some sources render Ararat as Kardu or Kardunia (Targum Onkelos; Bereshith Rabbah), denoting the Cordyne Mountains in Kurdistan, which is the area in Turkey where Mt. Ararat stands. Josephus also writes that the Armenians called that place Apobaterion, 'the place of descent.' He notes that Berosus the Chaldean (circa. 330-250 b.c.e.) mentions that parts of this ship still exist in the Cordyne Mountains in Armenia, and that people carry off pieces for good luck (cf. Sanhedrin 76a). He also quotes Nickolas of Damascus (born 64 b.c.e.; Book 96), that it was in the land near Minyas, on a mountain known as Baris. Cf. Jeremiah 51:27. Also see 2 Kings 19:37, Jeremiah 37:38. 'Mount Ararat' consists of two mountains, Great Ararat, 16,916 feet high, and Little Ararat, 12,840 feet high. It is significant to note that Mt. Ararat is very close to the Murat River, which is one of the headwaters of the Euphrates. This may indicate that Noah had not been carried very far from where he started out.

In the tenth month...
  This is 1 Tammuz (Targum Yonathan; Ramban). According to the other opinion (see note on Genesis 8:4), this was 1 Av (July 5).

In the 601st year...
  This was 1 Tishrei, 1657 (September 2). It was Rosh HaShanah, the Hebrew New Year.

second month...
  This was 27 Marcheshvan. It occurred on October 27, exactly one solar year after the flood had begun (Rashi).

  Literally, 'be fruitful.'

clean livestock...
  See note on Genesis 7:2.

completely burned offerings
  Oloth in Hebrew, literally, offerings that ascend, since the entire offering ascends when it is burned. Usually translated as 'burnt offerings.' Others, however, interpret it as 'uplifting offerings' (Hirsch). Also see Genesis 22:2, Exodus 18:12, 24:5.

appeasing fragrance
  Nicho'ach in Hebrew, related to the name Noach (Noah). Others translate this as 'pleasant fragrance,' 'scent of satisfaction,' or 'expression of compliance' (Hirsch). It means that God was pleased with the sacrifice (Ibn Ezra). See Leviticus 1:9.

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