What was the covering?

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Gen 8:13 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.

 
  
  


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Gen 8:13 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.
Gen 8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
Gen 8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
Gen 8:16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.
Gen 8:17 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.


Gen 8:13 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.
The six hundred and first year referred to here is the six hundred and first year in the life of Noah. The month and day specified is of the calendar year. The purpose of using Noah's age is to show that a full year had passed since the beginning of the flood. This is a year according to the Hebrew calendar. The Hebrew year could have as few as 354 days in it. That is the figure that I based my calculations on when determining the dates for the Flood Timeline. We know that the flood did not occur in the year 601 after creation because several of the patriarchs before the flood lived to an age of over 900 years and everyone was killed during the flood except those people on the ark. Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives were the only people on the ark. That was the long answer to how we know the year is based on Noah's age. The short answer is that the timing of the beginning of the flood was given as corresponding to the age of Noah. Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. Notice that the wording of the verse indicates that the year is Noah's age, but the month and day are not. The verse goes on to say that Noah removed the covering of the ark. What do you think the covering was? We are not told. Some people say that this was a type of tarp made of animal skins and by removing it, Noah released all the flying birds on the ark. We will look at this idea again later, on this page. This verse tells us that the water was dried up and then later tells us that the ground was dry.
Gen 8:14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
This verse gives us another date and reiterates that the earth was dry. What is interesting is that this verse pinpoints a day that is 56 days after the date in the previous verse. Is the Bible really telling us that the earth is dry and 56 days past and it is still dry? I don't think so. In verse 8:13 the word that is translated as "were dried up" is the same word that is translated to mean "was dry" at the end of the verse. That word is "chareb" and can mean dry. Dry is not the primary meaning of the word though. Here is the definition according to Strong's dictionary: A primitive root; to parch (through drought), that is, (by analogy) to desolate, destroy, kill: - decay, (be) desolate, destroy (-er), (be) dry (up), slay, X surely, (lay, lie, make) waste. Let's continue looking at the wording of 8:13. It states that the "waters were dried up from off the earth". The words "from off" were translated from the word "min" which means: For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses: - above, after, among, at, because of, by (reason of), from (among), in, X neither, X nor, (out) of, over, since, X then, through, X whether, with. and the word "al" which means: Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications: - above, according to (-ly), after, (as) against, among, and, X as, at, because of, beside (the rest of), between, beyond the time, X both and, by (reason of), X had the charge of, concerning for, in (that), (forth, out) of, (from) (off), (up-) on, over, than, through (-out), to, touching, X with. Based on those definitions do you think this verse was correctly translated? I don't. I think a more accurate wording would have been " 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 partially dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was desolate. Obviously one can examine the Bible in this manner and make it say something that contradicts the true intent of the writer. We must not be hasty in the suggestion of such examinations. We must ensure that a closer look is indeed warranted. I believe it is warranted in this case because the two verses are clearly meant to portray two different messages at two different times. How can I be sure? The word that was used in the writing of 8:14 that was translated as "dried" is a different word than was used in 8:13. The word used in 8:14 is "yabesh" and means: A primitive root; to be ashamed, confused or disappointed; also (as failing) to dry up (as water) or wither (as herbage): - be ashamed, clean, be confounded, (make) dry (up), (do) shame (-fully), X utterly, wither (away). I believe this verse was correctly translated and has a sort of double meaning. The earth was dry and the earth was clean. Clean in the sense that evil and corruption had been removed.
Gen 8:15 And God spake unto Noah, saying,
This is the moment that Noah had been waiting for. It was at the command of God that Noah entered the ark. Noah knew it would be at the command of God that he leave the ark.
Gen 8:16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.
Finally after 364 days on the ark, Noah is given permission to disembark.
Gen 8:17 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.
Here Noah is told to unload all of the animals from the ark. What is interesting is that fowl are mentioned. What about that theory that by removing the "covering", Noah was allowing the birds to go free? It is possible that there would be non flying birds left on the ark, but a closer look at the word "mikseh" from which "covering" was translated shows us that it means: From H3680; a covering, that is, weather boarding: - covering. Based on that definition, it is doubtful that the covering was a tarp made of skins. It was probably boards over openings in the lower levels that would allow more light, and fresh air to enter the ark. The last part of this verse is a blessing from God for the animals, that they may breed and multiply to great numbers.

See also: Genesis 7:7 - 7:16





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