Land words occur in Genesis 7 at a higher percentage per verse than in any other chapter in Genesis. Land words occur in several contexts in the chapter. In several instances God is promising to keep alive earth-creatures by bringing them on the ark: “to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth” (7:3); “. . . and of everything that creeps on the ground, tow and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah (7:8-9); “and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth . . . went into the ark with Noah” (7:14-15). In several other instances the emphasis is on the death of all creatures not in the ark: “and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground” (7:4); “and all flesh died that moved on the earth . . . all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth” (7:21); “everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died” (7:22); “he blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground” (7:23); “they were blotted out from the earth” (7:23). Finally, earth is repeatedly the destination of the great flood: “I will send rain on the earth” (7:4); “. . . when the flood of waters came upon the earth” (7:6); “the waters of the flood came upon the earth” (7:9); “and rain fell upon the earth” (7:12); “the flood continued forty days on the earth” (7:17); “the waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth” (7:17); “the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth . . .” (7:18); “and the waters prevailed on the earth” (7:24).
It is clear from these verses that the earth stood at the center of God’s judgment, that the earth-dwellers faced certain death unless they received rescue and life through the ark. The centrality of the earth to this judgment is made clearer by the many echoes back to Genesis 1 in these chapters. In the Flood God is reversing the creation and then recreating his earth. This shows the great extent of the judgment—sin required a recreation. It also shows the depth of sin—even a recreation and washing of the earth with water cannot rid the world of the problem of sin. Finally, it demonstrates the centrality of the earth for God’s purposes. Land plays a large role in the promises of God, and it plays a large role in the judgments of God.
A number of different land words are used in Genesis 7. אֶ֫רֶץ is the most common (14x). אֲדָמָה occurs three times. In verse 4 it is used to recall the curse of Genesis 3:17-19. In 7:23 it is used alongside אָדָם, which may be a literary association designed to highlight that man who came from the ground is returning to the ground. חָרָבָה, which means “dry land” or “dry ground” is used in 7:22 to note that all life on the dry land died in the Flood.
 In terms of straight number of occurrences, only Genesis 1, 41, 47 exceed chapter 7.
 Mathews, 1:376; Wenham, 1:182; Sailhamer, 80.
 Mathews, 1:373.
 Mathews, 1:381.