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Genesis 6:14 Cover the Ark With Pitch

Posted by adventbiblestudy on October 27, 2012


Study methods explained. Bible stories, studies with links between Old and New Testament texts.

Learning about prophecies fulfilled shows how to understand all scripture.

At times prophecies about Jesus are difficult to find. Then one day the Spirit will point out a single word. Studying the Bible on a computer has made Bible study much easier. All you really need is a King James Version with a Concordance. Many programs include a Strong’s Concordance which allows you to quickly look up the original Hebrew or Greek word. Among other information, this will provide the definition which can help you understand the text in a new light.

Understanding any text requires one important and simple step, reading the previous texts which will reveal the context. Many people have a misconception of what context means. In simple terms, context refers to the overall lesson the chapter or story is teaching. Following is one example in which the context will reveal the meaning of one particular word which will show how this text is actually a prophecy about Jesus.

Genesis 6:14 KJV Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

Looking back at the previous texts we see God speaking directly to Moses. God told Moses the world had reached a point of wickedness He had no other choice but to destroy it. What kind of world do you think Moses lived in? What do you think went through Moses’ mind when God told him about destroying the world and all living creatures? Why do animals have to suffer because of man’s sins? God instructed Moses to build an ark. He gave Moses plans and dimensions. Do you think God gave Moses more design details than those listed in the Bible? When the ark was finished, Moses covered it with pitch, a black tar to seal the wood.

It must have been a sight to see. There in the middle of a field along side a forest where so many trees were cut down to supply the wood, stood this huge boat covered in black tar. It must have been a menacing site. The huge black figure standing out in contrast to the blue sky. This wasn’t the only black figure God used as a significant symbol in the plan of salvation. The outside covering of the Tabernacle was made up of black skins. Why did God use black to cover these two structures? He Concordance reveals some very information about the black pitch that covered the ark.

I noticed the word pitch is repeated in Genesis 6:14. Why? All I know is, when God repeats Himself, we should pay attention. So I decided to look up the word in Strong’s Concordance and guess what I found?

PITCH: H3722 ëÌôø ka^phar kaw-far’

A primitive root; to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel: – appease, make (an) atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, to pitch, purge (away), put off, (make) reconcile (-liation).

The original Hebrew word has more than one meaning. Strange as it may seem it can be translated as bitumen, or tar, as it is in the verse, or it can be translated as an atonement. In most other verses in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word ka phar is translated as an atonement. When God writes a story, He makes certain all the physical and spiritual aspects are explained. Not only was the ark waterproof, but covered with an atonement. Is this another prophecy about Jesus?

Noah was told to take his wife, sons, and their wives into the ark. He was also told to put a pair of every living creature in the ark, seven pairs of the clean animals. I wonder how Noah knew which were clean and unclean. God must have instructed them before the flood. Once the ark was loaded, the LORD closed the door behind them. (Genesis 7:16 NLTse)

What do you think it was like inside the ark? A small family gathered together among two of every animal in the world. Did they know they would be in the ark for more than a year? Did they know they would face the worst storm the world would ever see? It must have been quite the experience. The first time anyone in the world was put out to sea in a storm that lasted for nearly a year. After the rain stopped, winds covered the world to dry up a portion of water. The waves must have been enormous and the changing land masses heaved up and down in the most violent earthquakes the world will ever know. How could Noah have designed a ship to endure such forces on his first attempt? Such a task would have been impossible for any man.

What did the family feel on the inside of the ark? Tossed around month after month. Were they able to get up to feed the animals? Were they able to light a lamp or did they make the entire journey in pitch black darkness?

God used darkness to mark a number of the major events of this world. The world began in darkness. Before the rains in Noah’s day the world saw clouds blot out the sun for the first time. During the Passover in Egypt a think darkness covered the land as the angel of death visited the home of every first born that was not marked by the blood of the lamb. God covered the land in darkness as His Son died on the cross. What will the condition of the world be just before Jesus returns in all His glory?

How did it appear to the people in the world during the flood when suddenly clouds appeared from no where darkening the sky, shutting out the sun, and then the rain came. When did fear set in? At the gathering of the clouds, the first drops of rain, when the water gushed up from the earth? They were warned for year and years. The warning went on long enough to spread out over the entire world. Now the flood was apparent. Did fear increase with the height of the water? People looked on as all their possessions, everything they gathered over hundreds of years disappeared before their eyes. Soon there was nothing to do except seek higher ground in the driving rain.

The rich lived in much larger, taller homes built upon the slopping hills so everyone could admire their wealth. As the water rose the rich looked down at the people around them lost to the flood. They peered out from their lavish homes as the homes below were swallowed up. As the water rose they moved to higher levels in their homes. They looked out at all the people they used to build their wealth. Many of their prize possessions were already lost to the flood. They suffered great anguish at their losses and feared for their lives. Did they finally pray to God when they saw all was lost? Was it too late? Was salvation lost outside the ark?

It is strange. The word atone is only found once in the New Testament. When we look at the Old Testament we find many people and sacrifices atoned for Israel’s sins. Among them are the many animal sacrifices. We find an atonement is a reminder. Before the sacrifice was offered, hands were placed on top of the head of the sacrificial animal and the person offering the sacrifice would confess their sins. The New Testament uses a different term, redemption.

Luke 1:68 KJV Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

Luke 21:28 KJV And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Every atonement had one purpose. All of them were symbols pointing ahead to Jesus. They reminded every sinner a Saviour was coming. They gave the hope and promise, God had a plan. His Son Jesus was the sacrifice every atonement pointed forward to. Not one of the animal sacrifices had the ability to remove a single sin. Only the perfect sacrifice of Jesus had the power to remove all sins. Jesus paid the price to redeem His people from the powers of sin and death. To deliver them from the sins and influence of this world.

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