With the Flood, order reverts to chaos and creation is undone. Outside the Ark beneath the silent primordial ocean, the earth again is formless and empty of breathing life. Soon will come a new creation–as was the first, wakened by breath or wind of God. Like the first creation, it emerges step-by-orderly-step out of the primordial Deep, following the general pattern of the Six Days of Genesis 1:3-31, to become the home of a new creation and a rescued humankind.
Just as the spirit (or Spirit) of God originally hovered over the chaotic and oceanic Deep (Gen. 1:2), now a “wind” from God passes over the flooded earth (8:1). “Wind,” “breath” and “spirit” translate the same word in the Hebrew language and also in the Greek. Day Two had brought the expanse or firmament which separated waters above and below the sky. Similarly, the Creator now closes the fountains of the Deep and shuts the floodgates of the sky (8:2-3).
On Day Three, God had separated dry land from seas. As the waters evaporate from the earth, now also dry land appears (8:5). On Day Four, the Creator had ordained cycles of days and seasons. So after the Flood he re-establishes summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, day and night. God blesses birds and animals and orders them to multiply. He reminds the human family that they are made in his image, and he assigns them a place of dominion in the food chain (8:17–9:7). All this is reminiscent of his activities on Days Five and Six.
Again God has replaced chaos with cosmos, order in place of disorder, and creation is restored. The Creator promises never again to destroy the earth by water, and, to remind himself of his promise, he places a rainbow in the sky (9:8-17). The Hebrew word for rainbow can also mean a war bow, leading some scholars to suggest another interpretation of the story: the Creator has hung up his war bow, signaling that he is now at peace with all that he has made on the earth. In closing, a final note as Point #3 of Memo to Self: When the Flood has undone creation, God brings about a new creation, following the pattern of the first.