Genesis 7
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1  Then Hashem said to Noach, “Go into the ark, with all your household, for you alone have I found righteous before Me in this generation.

א  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה לְנֹחַ בֹּא־אַתָּה וְכָל־בֵּיתְךָ אֶל־הַתֵּבָה כִּי־אֹתְךָ רָאִיתִי צַדִּיק לְפָנַי בַּדּוֹר הַזֶּה׃

2  Of every clean animal you shall take seven pairs, males and their mates, and of every animal that is not clean, two, a male and its mate;

ב  מִכֹּל הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהוֹרָה תִּקַּח־לְךָ שִׁבְעָה שִׁבְעָה אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּמִן־הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא טְהֹרָה הִוא שְׁנַיִם אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ׃

3  of the birds of the sky also, seven pairs, male and female, to keep seed alive upon all the earth.

ג  גַּם מֵעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם שִׁבְעָה שִׁבְעָה זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה לְחַיּוֹת זֶרַע עַל־פְּנֵי כָל־הָאָרֶץ׃

4  For in seven days’ time I will make it rain upon the earth, forty days and forty nights, and I will blot out from the earth all existence that I created.”

ד  כִּי לְיָמִים עוֹד שִׁבְעָה אָנֹכִי מַמְטִיר עַל־הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לָיְלָה וּמָחִיתִי אֶת־כָּל־הַיְקוּם אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה׃

5  And Noach did just as Hashem commanded him.

ה  וַיַּעַשׂ נֹחַ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּהוּ יְהֹוָה׃

6  Noach was six hundred years old when the Flood came, waters upon the earth.

ו  וְנֹחַ בֶּן־שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וְהַמַּבּוּל הָיָה מַיִם עַל־הָאָרֶץ׃

7  Noach, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the Flood.

ז  וַיָּבֹא נֹחַ וּבָנָיו וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּנְשֵׁי־בָנָיו אִתּוֹ אֶל־הַתֵּבָה מִפְּנֵי מֵי הַמַּבּוּל׃

8  Of the clean animals, of the animals that are not clean, of the birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground,

ח  מִן־הַבְּהֵמָה הַטְּהוֹרָה וּמִן־הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנָּה טְהֹרָה וּמִן־הָעוֹף וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־רֹמֵשׂ עַל־הָאֲדָמָה׃

9  two of each, male and female, came to Noach into the ark, as Hashem had commanded Noach.

ט  שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם בָּאוּ אֶל־נֹחַ אֶל־הַתֵּבָה זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־נֹחַ׃

10  And on the seventh day the waters of the Flood came upon the earth.

י  וַיְהִי לְשִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים וּמֵי הַמַּבּוּל הָיוּ עַל־הָאָרֶץ׃

11  In the six hundredth year of Noach‘s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day All the fountains of the great deep burst apart, And the floodgates of the sky broke open.

יא  בִּשְׁנַת שֵׁשׁ־מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה לְחַיֵּי־נֹחַ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּשִׁבְעָה־עָשָׂר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה נִבְקְעוּ כָּל־מַעְיְנֹת תְּהוֹם רַבָּה וַאֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמַיִם נִפְתָּחוּ׃

12  The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.)

יב  וַיְהִי הַגֶּשֶׁם עַל־הָאָרֶץ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְאַרְבָּעִים לָיְלָה׃

13  That same day Noach and Noach‘s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, went into the ark, with Noach‘s wife and the three wives of his sons

יג  בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בָּא נֹחַ וְשֵׁם־וְחָם וָיֶפֶת בְּנֵי־נֹחַ וְאֵשֶׁת נֹחַ וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת נְשֵׁי־בָנָיו אִתָּם אֶל־הַתֵּבָה׃

14  they and all beasts of every kind, all cattle of every kind, all creatures of every kind that creep on the earth, and all birds of every kind, every bird, every winged thing.

יד  הֵמָּה וְכָל־הַחַיָּה לְמִינָהּ וְכָל־הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ וְכָל־הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל־הָאָרֶץ לְמִינֵהוּ וְכָל־הָעוֹף לְמִינֵהוּ כֹּל צִפּוֹר כָּל־כָּנָף׃

15  They came to Noach into the ark, two each of all flesh in which there was breath of life.

טו  וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־נֹחַ אֶל־הַתֵּבָה שְׁנַיִם שְׁנַיִם מִכָּל־הַבָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ רוּחַ חַיִּים׃

16  Thus they that entered comprised male and female of all flesh, as Hashem had commanded him. And Hashem shut him in.

טז  וְהַבָּאִים זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה מִכָּל־בָּשָׂר בָּאוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֹתוֹ אֱלֹהִים וַיִּסְגֹּר יְהֹוָה בַּעֲדוֹ׃

17  The Flood continued forty days on the earth, and the waters increased and raised the ark so that it rose above the earth.

יז  וַיְהִי הַמַּבּוּל אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם עַל־הָאָרֶץ וַיִּרְבּוּ הַמַּיִם וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת־הַתֵּבָה וַתָּרָם מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ׃

18  The waters swelled and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark drifted upon the waters.

יח  וַיִּגְבְּרוּ הַמַּיִם וַיִּרְבּוּ מְאֹד עַל־הָאָרֶץ וַתֵּלֶךְ הַתֵּבָה עַל־פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם׃

19  When the waters had swelled much more upon the earth, all the highest mountains everywhere under the sky were covered.

v’-ha-MA-yim ga-v’-RU m’-OD m’-OD al ha-A-retz vai-khu-SU kol he-ha-REEM ha-g’-vo-HEEM a-sher TA-khat kol ha-sha-MA-yim

יט  וְהַמַּיִם גָּבְרוּ מְאֹד מְאֹד עַל־הָאָרֶץ וַיְכֻסּוּ כָּל־הֶהָרִים הַגְּבֹהִים אֲשֶׁר־תַּחַת כָּל־הַשָּׁמָיִם׃

 7:19 All the highest mountains

This verse seems to contradict the assertion that Eretz Yisrael was not affected by the flood. The Ramban, a leading scholar in medieval Spain, solves this contradiction by stating that rain did not fall over the Land of Israel, but nevertheless, as there was no barrier surrounding the land, the flood waters entered the land from the surrounding lands. Even though the land was flooded, the powerful rain did not fall directly on Eretz Yisrael. As a result, the trees were not affected and at the conclusion of the flood, the dove was able to find an olive leaf in bloom. The image of a dove grasping an olive branch has become a symbol of peace. This icon, which emerged at the re-initiation of the world, when God’s anger was quenched and Noach was commanded to continue mankind anew, emerged from the Land of Israel, the land of peace.


20  Fifteen amot higher did the waters swell, as the mountains were covered.

כ  חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה אַמָּה מִלְמַעְלָה גָּבְרוּ הַמָּיִם וַיְכֻסּוּ הֶהָרִים׃

21  And all flesh that stirred on earth perished—birds, cattle, beasts, and all the things that swarmed upon the earth, and all mankind.

כא  וַיִּגְוַע כָּל־בָּשָׂר הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל־הָאָרֶץ בָּעוֹף וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבַחַיָּה וּבְכָל־הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ עַל־הָאָרֶץ וְכֹל הָאָדָם׃

22  All in whose nostrils was the merest breath of life, all that was on dry land, died.

כב  כֹּל אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁמַת־רוּחַ חַיִּים בְּאַפָּיו מִכֹּל אֲשֶׁר בֶּחָרָבָה מֵתוּ׃

23  All existence on earth was blotted out—man, cattle, creeping things, and birds of the sky; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noach was left, and those with him in the ark.

כג  וַיִּמַח אֶת־כָּל־הַיְקוּם אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה מֵאָדָם עַד־בְּהֵמָה עַד־רֶמֶשׂ וְעַד־עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וַיִּמָּחוּ מִן־הָאָרֶץ וַיִשָּׁאֶר אַךְ־נֹחַ וַאֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ בַּתֵּבָה׃

24  And when the waters had swelled on the earth one hundred and fifty days,

כד  וַיִּגְבְּרוּ הַמַּיִם עַל־הָאָרֶץ חֲמִשִּׁים וּמְאַת יוֹם׃

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  • When people read the Tanakh as a history book, they miss the point that the whole Tanakh is a spiritual book. I am myself very interested in history and I quote a chief Rabbi in England. He said that evolution tells us how, and the Tanakh tells us why. Spirituality as even found in the Zohar is to understood spiritually.

    Israel Bible, here's a novel idea: Instead of following the Jewish tradition of publishing a Bible, that promotes the ramblings of sages, how about promoting the plain understanding of the TANAKH – This would provide YOU with a credibility (and resulting positive sales) that none of the other Bible publishers have yet attained.

  • Let's look at this from a different angle. Let's take something we know beyond any shadow of doubt. After the waters abate and Noah starts to repopulate the earth, it is said Elohim put a rainbow in the sky. It was His covenant given to Noah to never again destroy the earth with water. It is my contention the rainbow was always there.
    It is well known that a rainbow is only seen as the sun shines through water crystals in the air, causing a multi-colored arch in the sky. Gen. 1: 7 speaks of "waters below the firmament" and "waters above the firmament". There can be no other explanation than to deduce a thick, water laden mist covering the whole earth. There really didn't need to be rain. For, the mist would not only cool and water the vegetation, but would block out the harmful rays from the sun. Hence, exaggerated longevity of age for men before Noah.
    What actually happened was this earth encircling mist turned into torrential rain, flooding the WHOLE earth, including the Land. This idea puts Scripture according to Moshe, science, and common sense together. If it were like the sages say, then their premise would have been explained just like Moshe described the unnatural and nature defying Red Sea event.

  • Verse 19 doesn't "seem" to contradict. It most certainly DOES contradict, and totally refutes the concept put forth by the sages in this matter. It is only pure conjecture to assume the Land wasn't affected, or that it didn't rain upon the land. Again, I must adamantly stand by what Moshe said.

    • Absolutely correct!
      I gave mainstream Judaism, the flick, a while ago.
      The Oral law (Talmud, Kabbalah, etc), is absolute sage nonsense.
      I now practice the faith of a Karaite Jew – Just TANAKH, no Oral Law nonsense.

  • Daystar is right – the words of the Torah may, of course, be open to interpretation but the idea that Israel was not subject to the flood is fanciful to say the least. The words of the Bible are quite clear – of the original inhabitants of the earth (not the sea) only Noah and those in the ark escaped with their lives. The dove plucked a leaf after the waters had started to recede. Verse 21 is very clear – the Hebrew is very straightforward. Everything that moved on the earth died וַיִּגְוַע
    כָּל־בָּשָׂר הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל־הָאָרֶץ – including everything in Israel. No exceptions.

    That you very much for this wonderful site by the way. Your daily emails really motivate me to read the original text.

  • I am sorry but I still do not see anywhere a mention of the land of Israel except in some fanciful allusions of the sages. I do not believe we ever see the word Israel till about the 32nd chapter. However, when He called to Abram, He directed him to the “Promised” land of Canaan which we now know as Israel.
    I find there are a lot of suppositions when it comes to the Rabbis and sages. Give me facts, not just maybes.

  • As I commented on Genesis 5, that the Land of Israel was affected at all by the Flood indicates that there is a relationship of sanctifying identity between the Land of Israel and the whole earth, which brings a promise of the hope of the ultimate cleansing of sin for the whole world. This is because the Land of Israel will ultimately not tolerate the presence of sin within it. Here in Genesis 7:19, and in the rabbinic commentary brought to us in the text above, we see other allusions concerning this that help us to understand it better. It was from the waters that rose up from the surrounding nations and lands that the Land of Israel was covered, even to the level of the high mountains. But it was not from the waters that poured down in judgment from the heavens. As a result, we see two things. We see that even the heights of Zion are identified with the whole earth in judgment in a way that extends the promise of the redemption of Zion to the whole earth. And we see that the olive branch of G-d’s mercy and grace can be associated with the promise of blessing of the vicarious suffering for the whole earth that can be found in the Land of Israel. Perspective on Rashi’s commentary on Isaiah 53 might be gained in relation to this.

    • [Correction] As I commented on Genesis 6

Genesis 7

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