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Genesis 8:20 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Noah builded an altar unto Jehovah, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Noah built an altar to Jehovah; and took of every clean animal, and of all clean fowl, and offered up burnt-offerings on the altar.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And Noah builded an altar to Yahweh,—and took of all the clean beasts, and of all the clean birds, and caused ascending sacrifices to go up on the altar.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Noah buildeth an altar to Jehovah, and taketh of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and causeth burnt-offerings to ascend on the altar;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And Noe built an altar unto the Lord: and taking of all cattle and fowls that were clean, offered holocausts upon the altar.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Noah builded an Altar vnto the LORD, and tooke of euery cleane beast, and of euery cleane fowle, and offred burnt offrings on the Altar.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Noah{gr.Noe} built an altar to the Lord, and took of all clean beasts, and of all clean birds, and offered a whole burnt-offering upon the altar.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Noach builded an altar unto Yahweh; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And N נֹחַ 5146
{5146} Prime
נֹחַ
Noach
{no'-akh}
The same as H5118; rest; Noach, the patriarch of the flood.
builded 1129
{1129} Prime
בָּנָה
banah
{baw-naw'}
A primitive root; to build (literally and figuratively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
an altar 4196
{4196} Prime
מִזְבֵּחַ
mizbeach
{miz-bay'-akh}
From H2076; an altar.
unto Yhw יָהוֶה; 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
and took 3947
{3947} Prime
לָקַח
laqach
{law-kakh'}
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
of every x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
clean 2889
{2889} Prime
טָהוֹר
tahowr
{taw-hore'}
From H2891; pure (in a physical, chemical, ceremonial or moral sense).
beast, 929
{0929} Prime
בְּהֵמָה
b@hemah
{be-hay-maw'}
From an unused root (probably meaning to be mute); properly a dumb beast; especially any large quadruped or animal (often collectively).
and of every x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
clean 2889
{2889} Prime
טָהוֹר
tahowr
{taw-hore'}
From H2891; pure (in a physical, chemical, ceremonial or moral sense).
fowl, 5775
{5775} Prime
עוֹף
`owph
{ofe}
From H5774; a bird (as covered with feathers, or rather as covering with wings), often collective.
and offered 5927
{5927} Prime
עָלָה
`alah
{aw-law'}
A primitive root; to ascend, intransitively (be high) or active (mount); used in a great variety of senses, primary and secondary, literally and figuratively.
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
burnt offerings 5930
{5930} Prime
עֹלָה
`olah
{o-law'}
Feminine active participle of H5927; a step or (collectively stairs, as ascending); usually a holocaust (as going up in smoke).
on the altar. 4196
{4196} Prime
מִזְבֵּחַ
mizbeach
{miz-bay'-akh}
From H2076; an altar.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 8:20

_ _ Noah builded an altar — literally, “a high place” — probably a mound of earth, on which a sacrifice was offered. There is something exceedingly beautiful and interesting to know that the first care of this devout patriarch was to return thanks for the signal instance of mercy and goodness which he and his family had experienced.

_ _ took of every clean beast ... fowl — For so unparalleled a deliverance, a special acknowledgment was due.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 8:20-22

_ _ Here is, I. Noah's thankful acknowledgment of God's favour to him, in completing the mercy of his deliverance, Genesis 8:20. 1. He built an altar. Hitherto he had done nothing without particular instructions and commands from God. He had a particular call into the ark, and another out of it; but, altars and sacrifices being already of divine institution for religious worship, he did not stay for a particular command thus to express his thankfulness. Those that have received mercy from God should be forward in returning thanks, and do it not of constraint, but willingly. God is pleased with free-will offerings, and praises that wait for him. Noah was now turned out into a cold and desolate world, where, one would have thought, his first care would have been to build a house for himself; but, behold, he begins with an altar for God: God, that is the first, must be first served; and he begins well that begins with God. 2. He offered a sacrifice upon his altar, of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl — one, the odd seventh that we read of, Genesis 7:2, Genesis 7:3. Here observe, (1.) He offered only those that were clean; for it is not enough that we sacrifice, but we must sacrifice that which God appoints, according to the law of sacrifice, and not a corrupt thing. (2.) Though his stock of cattle was so small, and that rescued from ruin at so great an expense of care and pains, yet he did not grudge to give God his dues out of it. He might have said, “Have I but seven sheep to begin the world with, and must one of these seven be killed and burnt for sacrifice? Were it not better to defer it till we have greater plenty?” No, to prove the sincerity of his love and gratitude, he cheerfully gives the seventh to his God, as an acknowledgment that all was his, and owing to him. Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; and we must never think that wasted with which God is honoured. (3.) See here the antiquity of religion: the first thing we find done in the new world was an act of worship, Jeremiah 6:16. We are now to express our thankfulness, not by burnt-offerings, but by the sacrifices of praise and the sacrifices of righteousness, by pious devotions and a pious conversation.

_ _ II. God's gracious acceptance of Noah's thankfulness. It was a settled rule in the patriarchal age: If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? Noah was so. For,

_ _ 1. God was well pleased with the performance, Genesis 8:21. He smelt a sweet savour, or, as it is in the Hebrew, a savour of rest, from it. As, when he had made the world at first on the seventh day, he rested and was refreshed, so, now that he had new-made it, in the sacrifice of the seventh he rested. He was well pleased with Noah's pious zeal, and these hopeful beginnings of the new world, as men are with fragrant and agreeable smells; though his offering was small it was according to his ability, and God accepted it. Having caused his anger to rest upon the world of sinners, he here caused his love to rest upon this little remnant of believers.

_ _ 2. Hereupon, he took up a resolution never to drown the world again. Herein he had an eye, not so much to Noah's sacrifice as to Christ's sacrifice of himself, which was typified and represented by it, and which was indeed an offering of a sweet-smelling savour, Ephesians 5:2. Good security is here given, and that which may be relied upon,

_ _ (1.) That this judgment should never be repeated. Noah might think, “To what purpose should the world be repaired, when, in all probability, for the wickedness of it, it will quickly be in like manner ruined again?” “No,” says God, “it never shall.” It was said (Genesis 6:6), It repented the Lord that he had made man; now here he speaks as if it repented him that he had destroyed man: neither means a change of his mind, but both a change of his way. It repented him concerning his servants, Deuteronomy 32:36. Two ways this resolve is expressed: — [1.] I will not again curse the ground, Heb. I will not add to curse the ground any more. God had cursed the ground upon the first entrance of sin (Genesis 3:17), when he drowned it he added to that curse; but now he determines not to add to it any more. [2.] Neither will I again smite any more every living thing; that is, it was determined that whatever ruin God might bring upon particular persons, or families, or countries, he would never again destroy the whole world till the day shall come when time shall be no more. But the reason of this resolve is very surprising, for it seems the same in effect with the reason given for the destruction of the world: Because the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth, Genesis 6:5. But there is this difference — there it is said, The imagination of man's heart is evil continually, that is, “his actual transgressions continually cry against him;” here it is said, It is evil from his youth or childhood. It is bred in the bone; he brought it into the world with him; he was shapen and conceived in it. Now, one would think it should follow, “Therefore that guilty race shall be wholly extinguished, and I will make a full end.” No, “Therefore I will no more take this severe method; for,” First, “He is rather to be pitied, for it is all the effect of sin dwelling in him; and it is but what might be expected from such a degenerate race: he is called a transgressor from the womb, and therefore it is not strange that he deals so very treacherously,” Isaiah 48:8. Thus God remembers that he is flesh, corrupt and sinful, Psalms 78:39. Secondly, “He will be utterly ruined; for, if he be dealt with according to his deserts, one flood must succeed another till all be destroyed.” See here, 1. That outward judgments, though they may terrify and restrain men, yet cannot of themselves sanctify and renew them; the grace of God must work with those judgments. Man's nature was as sinful after the deluge as it had been before. 2. That God's goodness takes occasion from man's sinfulness to magnify itself the more; his reasons of mercy are all drawn from himself, not from any thing in us.

_ _ (2.) That the course of nature should never be discontinued (Genesis 8:22): “While the earth remaineth, and man upon it, there shall be summer and winter (not all winter as had been this last year), day and night,” not all night, as probably it was while the rain was descending. Here, [1.] It is plainly intimated that this earth is not to remain always; it, and all the works in it, must shortly be burnt up; and we look for new heavens and a new earth, when all these things must be dissolved. But, [2.] As long as it does remain God's providence will carefully preserve the regular succession of times and seasons, and cause each to know its place. To this we owe it that the world stands, and the wheel of nature keeps it track. See here how changeable the times are and yet how unchangeable. First, The course of nature always changing. As it is with the times, so it is with the events of time, they are subject to vicissitudes — day and night, summer and winter, counterchanged. In heaven and hell it is not so, but on earth God hath set the one over against the other. Secondly, Yet never changed. It is constant in this inconstancy. These seasons have never ceased, nor shall cease, while the sun continued such a steady measurer of time and the moon such a faithful witness in heaven. This is God's covenant of the day and of the night, the stability of which is mentioned for the confirming of our faith in the covenant of grace, which is no less inviolable, Jeremiah 33:20, Jeremiah 33:21. We see God's promises to the creatures made good, and thence may infer that his promises to all believers shall be so.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 8:20

And Noah builded an altar — Hitherto he had done nothing without particular instructions and commands from God but altars and sacrifices being already of Divine institution, he did not stay for a particular command thus to express his thankfulness. And he offered on the altar, of every clean beast and of every clean fowl — One, the odd seventh that we read of, Genesis 7:2-3.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 8:20

And Noah (i) builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

(i) For sacrifices which were as an exercise of their faith, by which they used to give thanks to God for his benefits.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
builded:

Genesis 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Genesis 12:7-8 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. ... And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, [having] Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
Genesis 13:4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
Genesis 22:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
Genesis 26:25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.
Genesis 33:20 And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.
Genesis 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
Genesis 35:7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.
Exodus 20:24-25 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. ... And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
Exodus 24:4-8 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. ... And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled [it] on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
Hebrews 13:15-16 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name. ... But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

clean beast:

Genesis 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that [are] not clean by two, the male and his female.
Leviticus 11:1-47 And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, ... To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

burnt:

Leviticus 1:1-17 And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, ... And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, [but] shall not divide [it] asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that [is] upon the fire: it [is] a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
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Gn 4:4; 7:2; 12:7; 13:4; 22:9; 26:25; 33:20; 35:1, 7. Ex 20:24; 24:4. Lv 1:1; 11:1. Ro 12:1. He 13:10, 15. 1P 2:5, 9.

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