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19 Every living creature, every creeping thing, every bird, and everything that moves on the earth went out of the ark in their groups.

20 Noah built an altar to the Lord. He then took some of every kind of clean animal and clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.[a] 21 And the Lord smelled the soothing aroma[b] and said[c] to himself,[d] “I will never again curse[e] the ground because of humankind, even though[f] the inclination of their minds[g] is evil from childhood on.[h] I will never again destroy everything that lives, as I have just done.

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  1. Genesis 8:20 sn Offered burnt offerings on the altar. F. D. Maurice includes a chapter on the sacrifice of Noah in The Doctrine of Sacrifice. The whole burnt offering, according to Leviticus 1, represented the worshiper’s complete surrender and dedication to the Lord. After the flood Noah could see that God was not only a God of wrath, but a God of redemption and restoration. The one who escaped the catastrophe could best express his gratitude and submission through sacrificial worship, acknowledging God as the sovereign of the universe.
  2. Genesis 8:21 tn The Lord “smelled” (וַיָּרַח, vayyarakh) a “soothing smell” (רֵיחַ הַנִּיחֹחַ, reakh hannikhoakh). The object forms a cognate accusative with the verb. The language is anthropomorphic. The offering had a sweet aroma that pleased or soothed. The expression in Lev 1 signifies that God accepts the offering with pleasure, and in accepting the offering he accepts the worshiper.
  3. Genesis 8:21 tn Heb “and the Lord said.”
  4. Genesis 8:21 tn Heb “in his heart.”
  5. Genesis 8:21 tn Here the Hebrew word translated “curse” is קָלָל (qalal), used in the Piel verbal stem.
  6. Genesis 8:21 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) can be used in a concessive sense (see BDB 473 s.v. כִּי), which makes good sense in this context. Its normal causal sense (“for”) does not fit the context here very well.
  7. Genesis 8:21 tn Heb “the inclination of the heart of humankind.”
  8. Genesis 8:21 tn Heb “from his youth.”

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