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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 7

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-24

Genesis 7:2 ; Genesis 7:8 . Clean beasts by sevens. Male and female, reserving one for sacrifice. God’s special care is over man and beast, and over the preservation of religion.

Genesis 7:11. The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up. The Lord by a cause known to himself, increased the powers of gravitation, by which the seas rushed on the land in tides which augmented till the mountains were washed, and till the latent rocks presented their shaggy and contour cliffs. By consequence every tide would leave the channels of the deep exposed on the shores from which the seas receded. And the windows, or as the LXX read, the cataracts of heaven were opened. Tides have descended with such velocity from the Norwegian mountains, that in some of the creeks no soundings can be found with a line of a thousand fathoms. Bp. Pontoppidon’ s Hist.

Genesis 7:12. Forty days. Blessed be God that they were not destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah in a moment; it leaves a probability that besides the infants, some of them might be saved. See them flying from the plains to the hills, if they had adjacent hills: see the giants and monsters of the earth, vanquished by an omnipotent arm. See the infidel age, ah! not infidel now, confounded to see Noah and his family safely afloat. Hear the children load their long-lived fathers with the bitterest reproaches for teaching them to despise religion, to indulge in crimes, and to scoff at the ark. See them ere they had half uttered their wrongs, washing away by the next rolling wave, and their souls hurrying to the prison of hell, as St. Peter affirms, to renew their alternate reproaches.


What useful instructions are here presented to the surviving world. Did Noah bring his whole family into the ark? Then let all heads of houses imitate his good example, and use their utmost endeavours to dedicate their families to God.

Was the ferocious nature of the wild beasts restrained and tamed while in the ark? Then God is able again to fulfil the prophecies of the latter-day glory; not only in subduing the nature of wicked men, but in making the lion and the lamb lie down together. We clearly perceive that the destruction of the old world was by the special hand and visitation of Almighty God. The rains which descended were quite out of the order of nature. The floods which overflowed the mountains were not held in that high station by any laws of gravity. Every circumstance in this awful deluge repels the idea of its having been occasioned by the approach of a comet. Hence we learn, that whatever ordinary judgments God may inflict upon the wicked, when the day of crisis comes, he will go out of his way to accomplish his threatenings, and to make his peculiar providence and vengeance known.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Genesis 7". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/genesis-7.html. 1835.
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