on Genesis 8 :1
And God made a wind to pass over the earth - Such a wind as produced a strong and sudden evaporation. The effects of these winds, which are frequent in the east, are truly astonishing. A friend of mine, who had been bathing in the Tigris, not far from the ancient city of Ctesiphon, and within five days' journey of Bagdad, having on a pair of Turkish drawers, one of these hot winds, called by the natives samiel, passing rapidly across the river just as he had got out of the water, so effectually dried him in a moment, that not one particle of moisture was left either on his body or in his bathing dress! With such an electrified wind as this, how soon could God dry the whole of the earth's surface! An operation something similar to the conversion of water into its two constituent airs, oxygen and hydrogen, by means of the galvanic fluid, as these airs themselves may be reconverted into water by means of the electric spark. See the note Genesis 7:11. And probably this was the agent that restored to the atmosphere the quantity of water which it had contributed to this vast inundation. The other portion of waters, which had proceeded from the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep, would of course subside more slowly, as openings were made for them to run off from the higher lands, and form seas. By the first cause, the hot wind, the waters were assuaged, and the atmosphere having its due proportion of vapours restored, the quantity below must be greatly lessened. By the second, the earth was gradually dried, the waters, as they found passage, lessening by degrees till the seas and gulfs were formed, and the earth completely drained. This appears to be what is intended in the third and fifth verses by the waters decreasing continually, or, according to the margin, they were in going and decreasing, Genesis 8:5.
on Genesis 8 :1
- The Land Was Dried
1. שׁכך shākak "stoop, assuage."
3. חסר chāsar "want, fail, be abated."
4. אררט 'ărārāṭ, "Ararat," a land forming part of Armenia. It is mentioned in 2 Kings 19:37, and Isaiah 37:38, as the retreat of Adrammelek and Sharezer after the murder of their father; and in Jeremiah 51:27 as a kingdom.
8. קלל qālal, "be light, lightened, lightly esteemed, swift."
10. חוּל chûl, "twist, turn, dance, writhe, tremble, be strong, wait." יהל yāchal "remain, wait, hope."
13. חרב chāreb, "be drained, desolated, amazed."
The waters commence their retreat. "And God remembered Noah." He is said to remember him when he takes any step to deliver him from the waters. The several steps to this end are enumerated.
A wind. - This would promote evaporation, and otherwise aid the retreat of the waters. "The fountains of the deep and the windows of the skies were shut." The incessant and violent showers had continued for six weeks. It is probable the weather remained turbid and moist for some time longer. In the sixth month, however, the rain probably ceased altogether. Some time before this, the depressing of the ground had reached its lowest point, and the upheaving had set in. This is the main cause of the reflux of the waters. All this is described, as we perceive, according to appearance. It is probable that the former configuration of the surface was not exactly restored. At all events it is not necessary, as the ark may have drifted a considerable space in a hundred and fifty days. Some of the old ground on which primeval man had trodden may have become a permanent water bed, and a like amount of new land may have risen to the light in another place. Hence, it is vain to seek for a spot retaining the precise conditions of the primitive Eden. The Euphrates and Tigris may substantially remain, but the Pishon and Gihon may have considerably changed. The Black Sea, the Caspian, the lakes Van and Urumiah may cover portions of the Adamic land. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the prevalence of the waters begins to turn into a positive retreat.
on Genesis 8 :1