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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 13–16
Verses 13–16

Here is repeated what was related before of Noah’s entrance into the ark, with his family and creatures that were marked for preservation. Now,

I. It is thus repeated for the honour of Noah, whose faith and obedience herein shone so brightly, by which he obtained a good report, and who herein appeared so great a favourite of Heaven and so great a blessing to this earth.

II. Notice is here taken of the beasts going in each after his kind, according to the phrase used in the history of the creation (Gen. 1:21-25), to intimate that just as many kinds as were created at first were saved now, and no more; and that this preservation was as a new creation: a life remarkably protected is, as it were, a new life.

III. Though all enmities and hostilities between the creatures ceased for the present, and ravenous creatures were not only so mild and manageable as that the wolf and the lamb lay down together, but so strangely altered as that the lion did eat straw like an ox (Isa. 11:6, 7), yet, when this occasion was over, the restraint was taken off, and they were still of the same kind as ever; for the ark did not alter their constitution. Hypocrites in the church, that externally conform to the laws of that ark, may yet be unchanged, and then it will appear, one time or other, what kind they are after.

IV. It is added (and the circumstance deserves our notice), The Lord shut him in, Gen. 7:16. As Noah continued his obedience to God, so God continued his care of Noah: and here it appeared to be a very distinguishing care; for the shutting of this door set up a partition wall between him and all the world besides. God shut the door, 1. To secure him, and keep him safe in the ark. The door must be shut very close, lest the waters should break in and sink the ark, and very fast, lest any without should break it down. Thus God made up Noah, as he makes up his jewels, Mal. 3:17. 2. To exclude all others, and keep them for ever out. Hitherto the door of the ark stood open, and if any, even during the last seven days, had repented and believed, for aught I know they might have been welcomed into the ark; but now the door was shut, and they were cut off from all hopes of admittance: for God shutteth, and none can open.

V. There is much of our gospel duty and privilege to be seen in Noah’s preservation in the ark. The apostle makes it a type of our baptism, that is, our Christianity, 1 Pet. 3:20, 21. Observe then, 1. It is our great duty, in obedience to the gospel call, by a lively faith in Christ, to come into that way of salvation which God has provided for poor sinners. When Noah came into the ark, he quitted his own house and lands; so must we quit our own righteousness and our worldly possessions, whenever they come into competition with Christ. Noah must, for a while, submit to the confinements and inconveniences of the ark, in order to his preservation for a new world; so those that come into Christ to be saved by him must deny themselves, both in sufferings and services. 2. Those that come into the ark themselves should bring as many as they can in with them, by good instructions, by persuasions, and by a good example. What knowest thou, O man, but thou mayest thus save thy wife (1 Cor. 7:16), as Noah did his? There is room enough in Christ for all comers. 3. Those that by faith come into Christ, the ark, shall by the power of God be shut in, and kept as in a strong-hold by the power of God, 1 Pet. 1:5. God put Adam into paradise, but he did not shut him in, and so he threw himself out; but when he put Noah into the ark he shut him in, and so when he brings a soul to Christ he ensures its salvation: it is not in our own keeping, but in the Mediator’s hand. 4. The door of mercy will shortly be shut against those that now make light of it. Now, knock and it shall be opened; but the time will come when it shall not, Luke 13:25.