Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Remembered; not as if God had ever forgotten Noe, but he now shews his remembrance of him
by the effects. (Menochius) --- A wind, literally a spirit, which St. Ambrose and Theodoret understood of the
Holy Ghost, that as he moved over the waters at first, (Chap. i. 2.) to give them fecundity, and to exercise his power in
establishing order, so he may shew the same care and providence for this new world, emerging, like the former, from the waters.
(Haydock) --- Most interpreters, however, understand this of a violent wind; (Proverbs xxv. 23; Exodus xiv. 21.) a strong
blast, such as was sent to divide the Red sea. (Menochius)
Ver. 3. And the waters returned, &c. St. Jerome on this passage remarks, "that all waters and
torrents repair to the womb of the abyss, through the hidden veins of the earth," and by the abyss understands the sea: according
to that of Ecclesiastes i. 7, all the rivers run into the sea. But as the sea itself, on this occasion, exceeded its
limits, (otherwise its waters would not have been higher than the land) the sense perhaps confined to this, that the waters
by degrees were diminished; as we may say of the inundations of land, that the waters are gone off, not by the regular course
of ditches, but from the effects of the sun and winds which dry them up. (Estius)
Ver. 4. And the ark rested on the mountains of Armenia. The Hebrew word is Ararat, which
also occurs in the 37th chap. of Isaias, and the 51st of Jeremias; for in these places our interpreter retained the Hebrew
word, but in the 4th book of Kings, xix. 37, where the same history is related, it is translated by the land of the Armenians.
(Estius) --- Seventh month, of the year, not of the deluge, as appears from ver. 13, &c. (Menochius). --- Seven
and twentieth. So also the Septuagint, but the Hebrew, &c. have the 17th. It is not easy to decide which is right.
On the seventeenth the waters only began to decrease, and some hence argue for the Vulgate, as they say it is not probable
the ark would stop that very day. (Calmet) --- This, however, might be the only mean by which Noe could discern that the waters
were abating. (Haydock) --- The ark being about fourteen cubits sunk in the water, might soon touch the summit of the highest
mountains, such as Mount Taurus, of which the Ararat, here mentioned in the Hebrew, a mountain of Armenia, forms
a part, according to St. Jerome. The Armenians still boast that they have the remains of the ark. Berosus, the Pagan historian,
says bitumen was taken from it as a preservative. (Josephus, Antiquities i. 3; Eusebius, pręp. ix. 4.) The Chaldee has Cordu
for Ararat, whence some have supposed, that the ark rested on the Cordyean or Gordiean mountains. The Armenians call the mountain
near Erivan, Mesesonsar, or the mountain of the ark. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Did not return. The negotiation Not, is not to be found in any Hebrew copy now extant;
though it is still retained by the Septuagint, and several Latin manuscripts, according to the testimony of Liranus. If we
adhere, therefore, to the Hebrew text, we must translate it with St. Jerome, thus; It went forth, going and returning,
(Egredicbatur exiens et revertens) sometimes repairing to the mountains, where it found carcasses to feed on, and at
other times returning not unto the ark, but to rest upon the top of it. (Estius) (Challoner) --- Or receded
farther from it; as the Hebrew may be explained, agreeably to the Vulgate, Septuagint, Syriac, &c. which admit the negation.
(Calmet) --- Till, as long as the waters covered the earth, not that it returned to the ark afterwards. (Menochius)
Ver. 9. Whole earth, excepting the mountains; so that the dove presently returned. (Haydock)
Ver. 11. Green leaves. The olive tree preserves its verdure and grows even at the bottom of the
Red sea, and other seas in the East. (Pliny, Natural History xii. 25.) --- Many other trees and seeds will live for a long
time under the waters. (Calmet) --- This tender branch of the olive seems to agree better with the spring than autumn; whence
Tirinus infers, that the deluge began and ended in spring.
Ver. 13. Year of Noe's age, who, we may suppose, was born on the first day of the year. So that
his 601st year corresponds with the 1657th of the world, B.C. 2343, on which day the deluge ended. Still Noe waited for God's
order to leave the ark till the 27th of the ensuing month, when the earth was more perfectly dried. (Haydock) --- Covering.
Some think that the window was at the top, like a sky-light. (Calmet)
Ver. 17. Increase. Hebrew, "let them increase." This is spoken of the brute creation, the blessing
is given to men. (Chap. ix.) --- Neither Noe's family, nor any of the animals, had any young in the ark. (Calmet)
Ver. 20. Holocausts, or whole burnt offerings. In which the whole victim was consumed by fire upon
God's altar, and no part was reserved for the use of priest or people. (Challoner) --- This is the first time we read of an
altar, though Abel had surely made use of one. (Menochius) --- Noe delays not to shew his gratitude to God, St. Ambrose. (Worthington)
Ver. 21. Smelled, &c. A figurative expression, denoting that God was pleased with the sacrifices
which his servant offered, (Challoner) and in this sense it is expressed in the Chaldee, "God received his offering gratefully."
God requires sacrifices of us, to testify his dominion, and not for any advantage he derives from them; but rather to bless
us, if we perform our duty with fervour. --- For the sake of, or on account of men's sins. They are so prone to evil,
that, if I were to punish them as often as they deserve, new deluges might be sent every day. I take pity on their weakness.
I will punish the most criminal, but not as I have done, by cursing the earth. These words of God, are by some addressed to
Noe, by others to God the Son. Hebrew, "he said to his heart;" Onkelos, "he said in his word;" Septuagint, "he said with reflection."
(Calmet) --- Noe was beloved by God, and therefore may be called his heart. To speak to the heart, often means to comfort.
Ver. 22. Seed-time, according to the Targum of Jonathan, is the equinox of September; harvest,
that of March; winter and summer denote the solstice of December and of June. But the Hebrews probably divided the year into
summer and winter; or perhaps they might also admit the season of spring, with the Egyptians and the ancient Greeks, who represented
the seasons by the three hours, daughters of Jupiter. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The deluge ceaseth. Noe goeth out of the ark, and offereth
a sacrifice. God's covenant to him.
1 And God remembered Noe, and all the living creatures, and all the cattle
which were with him in the ark, and brought a wind upon the earth, and the waters were abated:
2 The fountains also of the deep, and the flood-gates of heaven, were
shut up, and the rain from heaven was restrained.
3 And the waters returned from off the earth going and coming: and they
began to be abated after a hundred and fifty days.
4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, the seven and twentieth day
of the month, upon the mountains of Armenia.
5 And the waters were going and decreasing until the tenth month: for
in the tenth month, the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.
6 And after that forty days were passed, Noe opening the window of the
ark, which he had made, sent forth a raven:
7 Which went forth and did not return, till the waters were dried up
upon the earth.
8 He sent forth also a dove after him, to see if the waters had now ceased
upon the face of the earth.
9 But she not finding where her foot might rest, returned to him into
the ark: for the waters were upon the whole earth: and he put forth his hand, and caught her, and brought her into the ark.
10 And having waited yet seven other days, he again sent forth the dove
out of the ark.
11 And she came to him in the evening carrying a bough of an olive tree,
with green leaves, in her mouth. Noe therefore understood that the waters were ceased upon the earth.
12 And he stayed yet other seven days: and he sent forth the dove, which
returned not any more unto him.
13 Therefore in the six hundredth and first year, the first month, the
first day of the month, the waters were lessened upon the earth, and Noe opening the covering of the ark, looked, and saw
that the face of the earth was dried.
14 In the second month, the seven and twentieth day of the month, the
earth was dried.
15 And God spoke to Noe, saying:
16 Go out of the ark, thou and thy wife, thy sons and the wives of thy
sons with thee.
17 All livings things that are with thee of all flesh, as well in fowls
as in beasts, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, bring out with thee, and go ye upon the earth: *increase
and multiply upon it.
18 So Noe went out, he and his sons: his wife, and the wives of his sons
19 And all living things, and cattle, and creeping things that creep
upon the earth, according to their kinds went out of the ark.
20 And Noe built an altar unto the Lord: and taking of all cattle and
fowls that were clean, offered holocausts upon the altar.
21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour, and said: I will no more curse
the earth for the sake of man: *for the imagination and thought of man's heart are prone to evil from his youth: therefore
I will no more destroy every living soul as I have done.
22 All the days of the earth, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer
and winter, night and day, shall not cease.
17: Genesis i. 28. and ix. 1.
21: Genesis vi. 5.; Matthew xv. 19.