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Doane April Hanne F.

Hermeneutics Midterm Exam Paper
1 October 2019

SELECTED NARRATIVE: Genesis 7:11-24 “The Flood”

Translations used:
King James Version, New International Version, New Living Translation

Working Title/s: The Flooding of the Earth/ Preserving Noah During the Flood

Exegetical Idea: (Provided as OIA draft Appendix)

Purpose: To reiterate the offer of salvation and preservation found in God’s hands

Subject: The preservation/salvation of Noah during the Great Flood (Genesis 7:11-24)

Complement: How did the Lord preserve Noah and his family? Why were Noah and his
family the only ones saved?
Answer: The Lord preserved Noah and his family by having them
enter the ark and shutting them in, keeping them safe from
the Great Flood.
They were the only ones whom the Lord saved because
Noah was a righteous man and he walked with the Lord
(Genesis 6:8-9, NIV & NLT).

Main Idea: God preserves Noah and his family through the ark because of Noah’s
righteousness and fellowship with Him.

History: (Excerpt from ​Bible History: Old TEstament by Alfred Edersheim​)

The remarks of a recent writer on this subject are every way so

appropriate that we here reproduce them: “The narrative is vivid and forcible,
though entirely wanting in that sort of description which in a modern historian or
poet would have occupied the largest space. We see nothing of the death-struggle;
we hear not the cry of despair; we are not called upon to witness the frantic agony
of husband and wife, and parent and child, as they fled in terror before the rising
waters. Nor is a word said of the sadness of the one righteous man who, safe
himself, looked upon the destruction which he could not avert. But an impression
is left upon the mind with peculiar vividness from the very simplicity of the
narrative, and it is that of utter desolation. This is heightened by the repetition and
contrast of two ideas. On the one hand, we are reminded no less than six times in
the narrative (Genesis 6,7,8) who the tenants of the ark were, the favored and
rescued few; and, on the other hand, the total and absolute blotting out of
everything else is not less emphatically dwelt upon (Genesis 6:13, 17; 7:4,
21-23)​...​Only the impression is left on our minds that the words “Jehovah shut
him in,” may be intended to show that Noah, even if he would, could not have
given help to his perishing contemporaries.


There is, without a doubt, a certainty of our Lord’s loving-kindness, His mercy, and His
grace, which He exercises upon us as His children. Our Father’s love rebukes our sins,
encompasses them, and forgives us, all which is exemplified in His sacrifice of His Son, Jesus
Christ, our Lord and Saviour. The beauty of that truth is that we are saved and secured a place in
heaven where we are to be with our Heavenly Father forever as long as we accept His salvation.
Many, however, tend to forget the destiny that lies behind the opposite of the love that our God
bestows upon us. Destruction is, in a sense, the totality of God’s pure wrath, when we forget that
our God is also just and will, in His power and might, bring judgment upon us because of our
wickedness and our disregard for His righteousness. This is then the set-up of the passage of
Genesis chapters six and seven, the latter of which will be our focus.
Our first question would be: Why did God allow the earth to be flooded? As a slight
overview for Genesis chapter six, verse five tells of how God observed the overflow of the
wickedness of man. Verses eleven through twelve continues to describe the earth as being
“corrupt” and “filled with violence” (KJV, NLT, NIV).
The word “corruption” in its archaic description from the Oxford and Merriam-Webster
Dictionary, means the “decay” or “putrefaction” of something; “an agency or influence that
corrupts”. In the Interlinear Bible, the Hebrew word ​shaw-khath’ not only translates “to decay”,
but also “to destroy”. A comparison shall be made to how it is used in chapter seven later on.
God flooded the earth because of the wickedness of man. Chapter six verse five reads,
“...every inclination of the thoughts of his [man’s] heart was only evil all the time” (NIV). That
begs the question: How evil must one be in order to invoke the wrath of the all-powerful God?
To have thought of wicked things all the time...what if that were applied today?
Historically, the ark would have been the first largest floating vessel of which, according
to Bible History online, had room for an estimated number of “7000 species of animals”
(​biblehistory.com)​ . That being said, if more people of the earth during that time were as
righteous as Noah, it would have been possible to carry more human passengers on board.
However, wickedness dwelt in every human being during that time except for Noah. With
technology today, I daresay even the wicked would have gotten on board ships and or any
floating vessel if the Great Flood happened more recently.
Our two main points, then, centralize on the questions of why Noah and his family were
the only ones saved and how God preserved them during the flood.
Why ​was​ Noah and his family the only humans allowed in the ark?
Genesis chapter six verses eight to nine states that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the
Lord…,” that he “was a just man and perfect in his generations,” and that he “walked with God”
(KJV). The NIV translates it as Noah being “a righteous man, blameless among the people of his
time, and he walked with God” (v.9).
The statement flows into the next chapter where the Lord tells him, “...for thee have I
seen righteous before me in this generation” (Genesis 7:1, KJV).
Hebrews chapter eleven verse seven talks about the faith of Noah in which he and his
household are saved because of it. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as
yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the
world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7, KJV).
Noah had found favor in the eyes of the Lord. He was righteous--surely did not follow
the path of worldliness and destruction his peers of that day paved. He was the only one who
“walked with God” and did not have to pave his own way. For that, the Lord was merciful and
gracious towards him and his family, allowing only them [as humans] to board the ark. Although
Noah is the only one mentioned as being righteous, this did not mean that his wife and sons were
wicked. There is no mention of Noah’s sons’ wickedness during this time. We can then infer that
Noah, being the head of his family and being a righteous man, influenced his family in a way
that even God’s favor was upon them. God’s intention was truly to spare them of the destruction
and to preserve them for the generations to come.
Even in the modern day and age, the character of the head of the family holds a great
influence on the state of its members. When we resemble the righteousness of our God, it creates
an impact on those living around us. As Christians, we are called to live righteous and holy lives.
Holding the knowledge and practice that we do not live as the world lives--in sin and
wickedness--, we must, as Noah did, set ourselves apart from the wickedness around us by
walking with our Lord day and night; obeying His commands as Noah did; and living a life of
faith that aims at being told in the end “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23,
Our second point focuses on the flood itself, its symbolism, and how God preserves those
upon whom His favor rests. Genesis chapter seven details the account of how the earth flooded,
how long the flood lasted and how Noah and his family were preserved during the flood. How
then was Noah and his family saved?
Genesis chapter seven verse eleven states that not only were the “floodgates of heaven
opened”, but that even “all the springs of the deep burst forth” (KJV). The possibility of the earth
being quickly flooded not only relied on water and precipitation from the sky, but also from a
geological point of destruction that allowed waters from the deep to create havoc on dry land.
God’s wrath sent a destruction that encompassed the whole earth. The “destruction” in
this chapter (specifically found in verse 23 as the word “destroy”) differs from the kind of
“destruction” in chapter six. To remember, the destruction in chapter six refers to corruption.
Chapter seven, however, translates to Hebrew as ​maw-khaw’,​ meaning “to smooth (as if with
oil)” or to abolish, blot out, or wipe out” (Strong’s Concordance). Here then lies the cleansing of
the wickedness that is on the earth.
Because of the wickedness of man, God decides in chapter six verse seven to “wipe from
the face of the earth” everything he created. How wicked man must have begun to have our Lord
regret his own creation.
Just as chapter six verse seven, the ​maw-khaw’ in chapter seven verse 23 refer to the
cleansing of the earth from the wickedness that existed. The representation here then reflects the
main story of the Bible, that is the drama of redemption, where Jesus Christ sheds His blood for
us on the cross to wipe out every sin. It also takes us to his second coming where all the
wickedness in the world will be destroyed and nothing will be left.
At the end of verse sixteen, the Lord shuts in Noah and his family and all the creatures
with them. This shows that, although Noah was capable of doing that himself, it was not his job
per se. God “closed the door behind them” (NLT) because it was in His power to do so in order
to preserve those on board and not allow any other to enter.
In its symbolism, the act of God shutting the door shows that man cannot save or
preserve himself by his own doing. His soul can only truly be saved and preserved by the
salvation given by the hands of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, alone.
The shutting in of them who are righteous also means the shutting out of those who are
wicked. This can also be found in the representation of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew
chapter 25 verses 1 to 13, wherein the door was shut to the virgins who did not have oil in their
We cannot save ourselves. As true Christians, we know that full well. Many, however,
who do not delight in God’s salvation, refuse to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the only One
who can save and can preserve our souls for the good life with Him in Heaven. That then results
in their destruction, God causing them to be ​maw-khaw’​ by eternal damnation.
In the end of verses seventeen and eighteen, the writer states that the ark is then lifted up
“high above the earth” (NIV, NLT) where it “floated safely on the surface” (v.18, NLT). Our
“safety” in this state, relies on God our Father. The symbolism of being lifted up also shows a
separation between those who are wicked and are condemned to destruction from God’s wrath,
and those who are righteous in God’s eyes, faithful and obedient to Him, are kept safe in His
loving grace.
Noah and his family are preserved and kept safe by the grace of the Lord. He shuts them
inside his grace and mercy and keeps them safe and away from His wrath upon everything that is
Just like Noah and other faithful characters in the Bible, we know of God’s promise that
He will keep us safe and secure and preserve us once we decide to walk with Him and relinquish
the world. However, when we decide to follow the world and turn our faces from living
righteous lives and turn our faces from God, there will come a time when all will be too late and
all we will receive in the end will not be salvation, but the wrath of God.
The apparent destruction of every other being not on the ark is detailed in verses 21 to 24.
This reflects a time when, in the future, the Lord shall wreak havoc on the earth and cleanse it,
where every wicked thing will be destroyed and will not be remembered (Isaiah 65:17).
The Lord and his judgement can--and will--strike fear in the hearts of those who listen.
Those, however, who choose not to listen and pave a way for themselves, away from the Lord,
will find it too late to board the ark that is our Lord Jesus Christ.
Noah and the Great Flood shows how God, even in all His wrath for everything that is
wicked in His eyes, allows His grace and love for all that is righteous, to be saved, preserved,
and flourish. We now know that salvation, as given by our Lord Jesus Christ, leads to safety and
preservation. We also know that the rejection of that salvation, which our Lord Jesus Christ still
offers all of us even today, leads only to the path of destruction in which all we will know is
God’s wrath if we do not come to terms with that offer of salvation. If we want to be preserved,
let us get right with God.