The message of the chapter is given in verse 1: “But God remembered Noah
The Lord wants us to know what happened and how it happened, step by step. Here’s a brief summary of those details:
· Noah entered the ark when he was 600 years, 2 months, and 10 days old.
· Seven days later the rain began to fall.
· The rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights.
· The “fountains of the great deep” (evidently subterranean caverns) also burst forth with water.
· The floodwaters spread across the entire earth, covering the mountains to a depth of 20 feet.
· All living creatures on dry land were wiped out.
· The flood covered the earth for 150 days.
· As the floodwaters receded, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, evidently the region of far eastern Turkey, near the border with Russia.
· Seventy-four days later the tops of the mountains became visible.
· Forty days later Noah sent out a raven.
· Noah then sent out a dove on three occasions. The third time it did not return.
· Two weeks later he saw dry land.
· Noah stayed in the ark another 57 days until the Lord told him to leave.
· Noah was 601 years, 2 months, and 27 days old when he left the ark.
If you add it all up, Noah spent one year and 17 days in the ark. That’s a long time in a cramped space with lots and lots of animals. This was no luxury cruise. The ark was not equipped with a swimming pool. There were no movies, no entertainers, and no fancy dinners. There was nothing to do but stay in the boat while it floated aimlessly on the surface of the ocean. It was no picnic being on the ark.
The Bible does not tell us anything about Noah’s personal emotions during the long time he spent in the ark. We know that he was a man of faith who took God at his Word (Hebrews 11:7).
That’s why he built the ark in the first place. But he was human, too. The sea is a lonely place. It would not have been easy to be shut up inside the ark with his family and all those animals.