Noah and the Ark – the Great Flood story, scientific evidence, and implications for mankind (Genesis 6:1 – 9:17)
Several generations after Adam and Eve, God was saddened by the great evil he saw on Earth. His mercy came to an end – the people of Earth had to be held accountable their sinful actions. God planned to destroy all of his creations and rebuild the Earth from the family of Noah. Noah was a descendant of Seth (Adam and Eve’s third son) and was a good man who followed God.
God told Noah that he was going to destroy Man because they were evil and violent. He told Noah he was going to flood the Earth with water and that every living thing that breathed was going to die. He instructed Noah to build a large boat, an “ark” that was longer than a football field, 75 feet wide, and 4 ½ stories high. He told Noah to put a door on the side and to build the boat with lower, middle, and upper decks.
Noah was to take his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives onto the boat. They were to bring pairs of animals with them, to help repopulate the Earth after the flood waters dried out.
Noah did as God told him and for 120 years, Noah worked to build the ark.
As God said, it began to rain and water began bursting from the ground. This continued for 40 days and 40 nights. Before the rain began, Noah took his family and all of the animals he had collected onto the ark. God closed the door for them. The flood waters rose and the ark began floating on the water.
The flood waters rose so high that even the mountains were covered with water.
After the rain stopped, Noah released a bird from the window of the ark. The bird returned to the ark after being unable to find dry land. Noah sent the bird again and again it returned to ark. After several days passed, Noah released the bird once more and this time the bird did not return. Noah knew that the Earth had begun drying out.
After one year, the water had dried from around the ark and God told Noah to come out of the ark and to bring the animals with him. Noah made offerings to God in thanks.
God told Noah,
“Never again will I curse the Earth because of man, even if man is evil. Never again will I destroy all living creatures.”
God created a sign of his agreement – the rainbow. God said that whenever it rains and a rainbow appears in the clouds, he would remember the agreement he made with Noah.
What the story means to us today
God was disappointed with his creation (Man) and chose to destroy it and start again. The story of Noah’s Ark is a story of judgment and salvation. God judged mankind and provided us the means to start again with a clean slate. Noah’s ark was the salvation for his generation whereas Jesus is the salvation for modern day man.
This story proves that our universe is a moral one and that God cares greatly about right and wrong. When we do wrong things, God is disappointed.
Additional thoughts and considerations
Sons of God and the Nephilim
The story of Noah’s Ark begins with an odd twist and one that biblical scholars still debate the meaning of. The first version mentions “Sons of God” and “daughters of men”. Most scholars agree that “daughters of men” refer either to the daughters of Cain’s family or just the women of the era in general, but who the “sons of God” is referring to is hotly debated.
One belief is that “sons of God” refers to Angels or possibly fallen angels (demons) who inhabited the bodies of normal men. This belief suggests that these fallen angels cohabited with the women and produced a race of giants, called Nephilim. This is discredited by some because Nephilim are mentioned in the Bible after the flood too which would seem to indicate that they somehow survived the flood. Regardless, the translation of “sons of God” seems to refer to some sort of heavenly being.
Others believe that the “sons of God” refer to the sons from the godly line of Seth while the “daughters of men” refer to the sinful daughters from the line of Cain. They surmise that these two family lines would have likely been forbidden to intermarry and that the ambiguous phrases are simply meant to describe the human race in general.
Did the punishment fit the crime?
The punishment may seem harsh to some. Man has the ability to choose between right and wrong and God expects us to do the right thing. The flood shows the extent to which God will go to bring peace and calm back to the Earth.
The timeline – Noah’s time in the ark
How long was Noah in the ark? 377 days total or 1 year and 17 days. Noah waited in the ark for 7 days. The water flooded the Earth for 150 days. The water receded for 150 days. And the Earth dried completely in 70 days.
The science behind the story
Where did all the water come from?
A critical observation can be gleaned from the phrase “all the springs of the great deep burst forth”. Scientists believe this could have been caused by the shifting of the Earth’s crust underneath the ocean, a shift that caused the ocean floors to rise and push all the water in the oceans up onto the surface of the land. We know that the surface of the Earth was quite different thousands of years ago and is constantly undergoing changes in shape and formation. Around the time of the flood, some mountains may have not yet been formed while others existed that are no longer there. This tectonic shift could have caused mountains to become malformed and the Earth to flatten. Scientists calculate that the volume of the world’s oceans and lakes is large enough that if the planet were flat, water could cover the surface of the Earth with a depth of two miles.
In addition, a major tectonic shift could have caused water from underground reservoirs to push up through the surface of the Earth. Scientists estimate that if all the water in underwater reservoirs were brought to the surface of the Earth, it would cover the entire planet to a depth of 100 feet. Movement of the tectonic plates underlying the ancient continents pushed the tip of South America away from Antarctica, linking what is today the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. That movement would have extended the length of mid-ocean ridges, which consists of subsea mountain ranges where new magma rich in oxygen floods onto the ocean floor, releasing nutrients and causing the sea level to rise enough to cover all the lands on Earth. Interestingly, the tectonic shift theory also proposes that a world deprived of oxygen would have suddenly become an incubator for new life, setting the stage for an explosion of life following the flood.
Rain figured into the cumulative flood levels too although the majority of floodwater probably did not come from rain as there is not enough water vapor in the air to cover large mountains. Still, some scientists believe that pre-flood Earth could have had a different atmospheric composition though, a global blanket that could have contained more dense water vapor. Some believe this atmospheric quality is hinted at in the creation story.
If the source of the flood waters was due to major tectonic shifts, it is likely that volcanoes were erupting too which would have released lava and produced what is known as juvenile water. Juvenile water occurs in volcanoes and is in effect, the creation of new water. It is the result of hydrogen and oxygen atoms bonding together as a result of the dynamics of the eruption.
Other sources of water could have included comets, ice bodies in space, or even tides caused by planets or other large body object passing very close to the Earth (scientist estimate that a large body passing close to the Earth could raise tides as much as 3,000 feet). And of course there are other methods God could have used to flood the earth that we have yet to consider or even comprehend.
Are there other stories about the flood or deluge?
The exact date of the flood is not known but some biblical scholars believe that the flood probably took place around 1600-2400 BC with around 1600 years occurring between the creation and the flood. Various cultures throughout the world have traditions of a worldwide flood occurring in ancient times. The most detailed accounts come from the area near Mt. Ararat region, the place where the ark came to rest. Other versions exist in India, Tahiti, Hawaii, China, Japan, Siberia, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Hopi Indians, Incas, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, South Africa, Greece, Ireland, Finland, and many more. All of these societies have tales that tell of a flood that covered the Earth and destroyed virtually all life on Earth.
Is there any physical evidence of a worldwide flood?
Physical evidence that a worldwide flood occurred is considerable. Fossil evidence indicating a catastrophic flood has been found on mountains throughout the world, including Mt. Ararat. Some scientists offer the redwood tree as evidence of a Earth shattering flood pointing out that no redwood tree has ever been found to die of old age. The oldest redwoods in existence can be traced back to around 3,500 years ago – around the time of the biblical flood.
In the years 1928 and 1929 important discoveries were made on archaeological sites in Iraq that indicate a historical event occurred which deposited thick layers of mud across the region. At Ur, an excavation beneath the Royal Cemetery disclosed more than 10 feet of empty mud, below which earlier settlement material came to light. A similar discovery was made at the site of Kish in southern Iraq.
Whether or not fossil deposits and geological layers point to a planet-wide flood or a series of isolated local flood events is still debated by scientists.
Where did all the different races come from?
Races differ only slightly in genetic makeup. For instance, the difference in Caucasian eyes and Asian eyes is due to a slightly different fat content in the area around the eye, a genetic trait that is passed from Asian to Asian. Some scientists theorize that not enough time has passed for all races to develop such different traits. Biblical scholars concur but point out the distinct possibility that Noah’s family was “racially mixed”, at least at the genetic level.
Biblical scholars note that through the confusion of tongues of Babel, the population of the Earth was scattered and subsequent environmental factors began to impact the traits of each race. For instance, people located near the equator began developing darker skin while people located near the poles developed higher fat contents. They also note that the human race has three distinct types of races, Caucasoid (Europeans), Mongoloid (Asian), and Negroid (African). It may be no coincidence that Noah had three sons at the time of the flood, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Have people looked for the ark?
Many people have attempted to locate the ark, even though where it exists or even if it could still exist today is questionable. The Bible says the ark came to rest on the “mountains of Ararat” which may indicate a range of mountains rather than a single mountain. That’s about the only clue we have for its location.
Mt. Ararat is located in eastern Turkey. Scientists and other explorers have attempted to search for the ark in and near Mr. Ararat but political resistance and the hostile environment have made searches difficult. Natives of the area refuse to climb above 13,000 feet claiming that evil spirits guard the ark. Area guides are nearly impossible to obtain.
There have been reported sightings of the ark. Most reports describe the ark as being located in a very remote area of Mt. Ararat, in a very rugged section of the mountain overlooking a massive canyon (one Mt. Ararat canyon, the Ahora Gorge, is twice as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon in the United States). It is 17,000 feet high with the top 4,000 feet covered with an ice cap that is 800 feet deep in some places. The area the sightings refer to is basically unreachable by humans and the reports were typically made at times when the permafrost was thawed (the site lies below the frost line and hence, is frozen all year long).
Finding wood of any kind on Mt. Ararat is unusual as the mountain is almost completely devoid of trees. Nobody is sure what the “gopher wood” referred to in the Bible really is. Some believe it is cypress, pine, or some other similar tree. Still, ancient wood scraps have been found on the mountain with no explanation as to how they got there.
Mt. Ararat is also a very volatile mountain, an extinct volcano, and was probably being formed during the time of the flood. It is possible that the ark, if it still exists in one piece, is covered by thousands of feet of volcanic debris.
Has anyone else ever tried to build an ark?
Dutch carpenter Johan Huibers spent three years and $1.6 million building a modern-day replica of the Biblical ark. In fact, he built two of them! You can read about Johan Huibers’ endeavor to build Noah’s ark here.
The end of long lives – God limits the lifespan of man
As God was pondering the wickedness of the human race, he said (Genesis 6:3),
“I’m not going to breathe life into men and women endlessly. Eventually they’re going to die; from now on they can expect a life span of 120 years.”
From this point on, we see that the extended lives of humans came to an end and humans lived to be an age similar to modern-day man.
We age because the cells in our body’s die. Our hair grays because the pigment cells in hair follicles gradually die. The death of muscle fiber results in a loss of strength and our brains gradually shrink with age. Scientists believe that our pre-programmed DNA dictate our age – at the cellular level, we are “programmed” for obsolescence. It is possible that God purposely reduced Man’s lifespan by reprogramming his DNA and/or cellular structure.
Here is how one scientist explained the shortening of Telomeres, which may trigger the aging process.
“Cells have genetic materials packaged in the form of chromosomes (made of DNA, RNA, and proteins), which carry our genes. As we grow or repair body tissues, our cells divide to make new daughter cells. Therefore, chromosomes divide as well (or replicate) when new cells are made. As chromosomes replicate, their ends (called telomeres) start to shorten. Telomeres protect chromosomes from losing genetic material. When telomeres reach a certain length, cells stop dividing and enter a stage of senescence (in other words, cellular aging).”
People born with longer telomeres tend to live longer lives. Given our current scientific understanding, God could have shortened the telomeres of humankind to reduce their lifespan.
When men began to increase in number on the Earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
4 The Nephilim were on the Earth in those days — and also afterward — when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
5 The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the Earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the Earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the Earth — men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air — for I am grieved that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
9 This is the account of Noah.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Now the Earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the Earth had become, for all the people on Earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the Earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the Earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the Earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on Earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark — you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the Earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the Earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the Earth every living creature I have made.”
5 And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the Earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, 9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the Earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month — on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the Earth forty days and forty nights.
13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.
For forty days the flood kept coming on the Earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the Earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the Earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the Earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. 21 Every living thing that moved on the Earth perished — birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the Earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the Earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the Earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
24 The waters flooded the Earth for a hundred and fifty days.
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the Earth, and the waters receded. 2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3 The water receded steadily from the Earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, 4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
6 After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the Earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the Earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the Earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the Earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the Earth was completely dry.
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you — the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground — so they can multiply on the Earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it.”
18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds — everything that moves on the Earth — came out of the ark, one kind after another.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
22 “As long as the Earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the Earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the Earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.
7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the Earth and increase upon it.”
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you — the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you — every living creature on Earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the Earth.”
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the Earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the Earth.”
1–2 When the human race began to increase, with more and more daughters being born, the sons of God noticed that the daughters of men were beautiful. They looked them over and picked out wives for themselves.
3 Then GOD said, “I’m not going to breathe life into men and women endlessly. Eventually they’re going to die; from now on they can expect a life span of 120 years.”
4 This was back in the days (and also later) when there were giants in the land. The giants came from the union of the sons of God and the daughters of men. These were the mighty men of ancient lore, the famous ones.
5–7 GOD saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night. GOD was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart. GOD said, “I’ll get rid of my ruined creation, make a clean sweep: people, animals, snakes and bugs, birds—the works. I’m sorry I made them.”
8 But Noah was different. GOD liked what he saw in Noah.
9–10 This is the story of Noah: Noah was a good man, a man of integrity in his community. Noah walked with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11–12 As far as God was concerned, the Earth had become a sewer; there was violence everywhere. God took one look and saw how bad it was, everyone corrupt and corrupting—life itself corrupt to the core.
13 God said to Noah, “It’s all over. It’s the end of the human race. The violence is everywhere; I’m making a clean sweep.
14–16 “Build yourself a ship from teakwood. Make rooms in it. Coat it with pitch inside and out. Make it 450 feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high. Build a roof for it and put in a window eighteen inches from the top; put in a door on the side of the ship; and make three decks, lower, middle, and upper.
17 “I’m going to bring a flood on the Earth that will destroy everything alive under Heaven. Total destruction.
18–21 “But I’m going to establish a covenant with you: You’ll board the ship, and your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives will come on board with you. You are also to take two of each living creature, a male and a female, on board the ship, to preserve their lives with you: two of every species of bird, mammal, and reptile—two of everything so as to preserve their lives along with yours. Also get all the food you’ll need and store it up for you and them.”
22 Noah did everything God commanded him to do.
1 Next GOD said to Noah, “Now board the ship, you and all your family—out of everyone in this generation, you’re the righteous one.
2–4 “Take on board with you seven pairs of every clean animal, a male and a female; one pair of every unclean animal, a male and a female; and seven pairs of every kind of bird, a male and a female, to insure their survival on Earth. In just seven days I will dump rain on Earth for forty days and forty nights. I’ll make a clean sweep of everything that I’ve made.”
5 Noah did everything GOD commanded him.
6–10 Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters covered the Earth. Noah and his wife and sons and their wives boarded the ship to escape the flood. Clean and unclean animals, birds, and all the crawling creatures came in pairs to Noah and to the ship, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah. In seven days the floodwaters came.
11–12 It was the six-hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month that it happened: all the underground springs erupted and all the windows of Heaven were thrown open. Rain poured for forty days and forty nights.
13–16 That’s the day Noah and his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, accompanied by his wife and his sons’ wives, boarded the ship. And with them every kind of wild and domestic animal, right down to all the kinds of creatures that crawl and all kinds of birds and anything that flies. They came to Noah and to the ship in pairs—everything and anything that had the breath of life in it, male and female of every creature came just as God had commanded Noah. Then GOD shut the door behind him.
17–23 The flood continued forty days and the waters rose and lifted the ship high over the Earth. The waters kept rising, the flood deepened on the Earth, the ship floated on the surface. The flood got worse until all the highest mountains were covered—the high-water mark reached twenty feet above the crest of the mountains. Everything died. Anything that moved—dead. Birds, farm animals, wild animals, the entire teeming exuberance of life—dead. And all people—dead. Every living, breathing creature that lived on dry land died; he wiped out the whole works—people and animals, crawling creatures and flying birds, every last one of them, gone. Only Noah and his company on the ship lived.
24 The floodwaters took over for 150 days.
1–3 Then God turned his attention to Noah and all the wild animals and farm animals with him on the ship. God caused the wind to blow and the floodwaters began to go down. The underground springs were shut off, the windows of Heaven closed and the rain quit. Inch by inch the water lowered. After 150 days the worst was over.
4–6 On the seventeenth day of the seventh month, the ship landed on the Ararat mountain range. The water kept going down until the tenth month. On the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains came into view. After forty days Noah opened the window that he had built into the ship.
7–9 He sent out a raven; it flew back and forth waiting for the floodwaters to dry up. Then he sent a dove to check on the flood conditions, but it couldn’t even find a place to perch—water still covered the Earth. Noah reached out and caught it, brought it back into the ship.
10–11 He waited seven more days and sent out the dove again. It came back in the evening with a freshly picked olive leaf in its beak. Noah knew that the flood was about finished.
12 He waited another seven days and sent the dove out a third time. This time it didn’t come back.
13–14 In the six-hundred-first year of Noah’s life, on the first day of the first month, the flood had dried up. Noah opened the hatch of the ship and saw dry ground. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the Earth was completely dry.
15–17 God spoke to Noah: “Leave the ship, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives. And take all the animals with you, the whole menagerie of birds and mammals and crawling creatures, all that brimming prodigality of life, so they can reproduce and flourish on the Earth.”
18–19 Noah disembarked with his sons and wife and his sons’ wives. Then all the animals, crawling creatures, birds—every creature on the face of the Earth—left the ship family by family.
20–21 Noah built an altar to GOD. He selected clean animals and birds from every species and offered them as burnt offerings on the altar. GOD smelled the sweet fragrance and thought to himself, “I’ll never again curse the ground because of people. I know they have this bent toward evil from an early age, but I’ll never again kill off everything living as I’ve just done.
22 For as long as Earth lasts,
planting and harvest, cold and heat,
Summer and winter, day and night
will never stop.”
1–4 God blessed Noah and his sons: He said, “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill the Earth! Every living creature—birds, animals, fish—will fall under your spell and be afraid of you. You’re responsible for them. All living creatures are yours for food; just as I gave you the plants, now I give you everything else. Except for meat with its Life-blood still in it—don’t eat that.
5 “But your own Life-blood I will avenge; I will avenge it against both animals and other humans.
6–7 Whoever sheds human blood, by humans let his blood be shed, Because God made humans in his image reflecting God’s very nature. You’re here to bear fruit, reproduce, lavish life on the Earth, live bountifully!”
8–11 THEN GOD SPOKE TO NOAH AND HIS SONS: “I’M SETTING UP MY COVENANT WITH YOU INCLUDING YOUR CHILDREN WHO WILL COME AFTER YOU, ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ALIVE AROUND YOU—BIRDS, FARM ANIMALS, WILD ANIMALS—THAT CAME OUT OF THE SHIP WITH YOU. I’M SETTING UP MY COVENANT WITH YOU THAT NEVER AGAIN WILL EVERYTHING LIVING BE DESTROYED BY FLOODWATERS; NO, NEVER AGAIN WILL A FLOOD DESTROY THE EARTH.”
12–16 GOD CONTINUED, “THIS IS THE SIGN OF THE COVENANT I AM MAKING BETWEEN ME AND YOU AND EVERYTHING LIVING AROUND YOU AND EVERYONE LIVING AFTER YOU. I’M PUTTING MY RAINBOW IN THE CLOUDS, A SIGN OF THE COVENANT BETWEEN ME AND THE EARTH. FROM NOW ON, WHEN I FORM A CLOUD OVER THE EARTH AND THE RAINBOW APPEARS IN THE CLOUD, I’LL REMEMBER MY COVENANT BETWEEN ME AND YOU AND EVERYTHING LIVING, THAT NEVER AGAIN WILL FLOODWATERS DESTROY ALL LIFE. WHEN THE RAINBOW APPEARS IN THE CLOUD, I’LL SEE IT AND REMEMBER THE ETERNAL COVENANT BETWEEN GOD AND EVERYTHING LIVING, EVERY LAST LIVING CREATURE ON EARTH.”
17 AND GOD SAID, “THIS IS THE SIGN OF THE COVENANT THAT I’VE SET UP BETWEEN ME AND EVERYTHING LIVING ON THE EARTH.”
The NET Bible
6:1 When humankind began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humankind were beautiful. Thus they took wives for themselves from any they chose. 6:3 So the LORD said, “My spirit will not remain in humankind indefinitely, since they are mortal. They will remain for 120 more years.”
6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days (and also after this) when the sons of God were having sexual relations with the daughters of humankind, who gave birth to their children. They were the mighty heroes of old, the famous men.
6:5 But the LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind had become great on the earth. Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time. 6:6 The LORD regretted that he had made humankind on the earth, and he was highly offended. 6:7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe humankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—everything from humankind to animals, including creatures that move on the ground and birds of the air, for I regret that I have made them.”
6:8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the LORD.
6:9 This is the account of Noah.
Noah was a godly man; he was blameless among his contemporaries. He walked with God. 6:10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
6:11 The earth was ruined in the sight of God; the earth was filled with violence. 6:12 God saw the earth, and indeed it was ruined, for all living creatures on the earth were sinful. 6:13 So God said to Noah, “I have decided that all living creatures must die, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. Now I am about to destroy them and the earth. 6:14 Make for yourself an ark of cypress wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it with pitch inside and out. 6:15 This is how you should make it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 6:16 Make a roof for the ark and finish it, leaving 18 inches from the top. Put a door in the side of the ark, and make lower, middle, and upper decks. 6:17 I am about to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy from under the sky all the living creatures that have the breath of life in them. Everything that is on the earth will die,
6:18 but I will confirm my covenant with you. You will enter the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
6:19 You must bring into the ark two of every kind of living creature from all flesh, male and female, to keep them alive with you.
6:20 Of the birds after their kinds, and of the cattle after their kinds, and of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you so you can keep them alive. 6:21 And you must take for yourself every kind of food that is eaten, and gather it together. It will be food for you and for them.
6:22 And Noah did all that God commanded him—he did indeed.
7:1 The LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, for I consider you godly among this generation.
7:2 You must take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, the male and its mate, two of every kind of unclean animal, the male and its mate, 7:3 and also seven of every kind of bird in the sky, male and female, to preserve their offspring on the face of the earth. 7:4 For in seven days I will cause it to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the ground every living thing that I have made.”
7:5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.
7:6 Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters engulfed the earth. 7:7 Noah entered the ark along with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives because of the floodwaters. 7:8 Pairs of clean animals, of unclean animals, of birds, and of everything that creeps along the ground, 7:9 male and female, came into the ark to Noah, just as God had commanded him. 7:10 And after seven days the floodwaters engulfed the earth.
7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month—on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst open and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 7:12 And the rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
7:13 On that very day Noah entered the ark, accompanied by his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, along with his wife and his sons’ three wives. 7:14 They entered, along with every living creature after its kind, every animal after its kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, everything with wings. 7:15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life came into the ark to Noah. 7:16 Those that entered were male and female, just as God commanded him. Then the LORD shut him in.
7:17 The flood engulfed the earth for forty days. As the waters increased, they lifted the ark and raised it above the earth. 7:18 The waters completely overwhelmed the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the waters. 7:19 The waters completely inundated the earth so that even all the high mountains under the entire sky were covered. 7:20 The waters rose more than twenty feet above the mountains. 7:21 And all living things that moved on the earth died, including the birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all humankind. 7:22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 7:23 So the LORD destroyed every living thing that was on the surface of the ground, including people, animals, creatures that creep along the ground, and birds of the sky. They were wiped off the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark survived. 7:24 The waters prevailed over the earth for 150 days.
8:1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and domestic animals that were with him in the ark. God caused a wind to blow over the earth and the waters receded. 8:2 The fountains of the deep and the floodgates of heaven were closed, and the rain stopped falling from the sky. 8:3 The waters kept receding steadily from the earth, so that they had gone down by the end of the 150 days. 8:4 On the seventeenth day of the seventh month, the ark came to rest on one of the mountains of Ararat. 8:5 The waters kept on receding until the tenth month. On the first day of the tenth month, the tops of the mountains became visible.
8:6 At the end of forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 8:7 and sent out a raven; it kept flying back and forth until the waters had dried up on the earth.
8:8 Then Noah sent out a dove to see if the waters had receded from the surface of the ground. 8:9 The dove could not find a resting place for its feet because water still covered the surface of the entire earth, and so it returned to Noah in the ark. He stretched out his hand, took the dove, and brought it back into the ark. 8:10 He waited seven more days and then sent out the dove again from the ark. 8:11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there was a freshly plucked olive leaf in its beak! Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. 8:12 He waited another seven days and sent the dove out again, but it did not return to him this time.
8:13 In Noah’s six hundred and first year, in the first day of the first month, the waters had dried up from the earth, and Noah removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 8:14 And by the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was dry.
8:15 Then God spoke to Noah and said, 8:16 “Come out of the ark, you, your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you.
8:17 Bring out with you all the living creatures that are with you. Bring out every living thing, including the birds, animals, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Let them increase and be fruitful and multiply on the earth!”
8:18 Noah went out along with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives. 8:19 Every living creature, every creeping thing, every bird, and everything that moves on the earth went out of the ark in their groups.
8:20 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. 8:21 And the LORD smelled the soothing aroma and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, even though the inclination of their minds is evil from childhood on. I will never again destroy everything that lives, as I have just done.
8:22 “While the earth continues to exist,
planting time and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
and day and night will not cease.”
9:1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 9:2 Every living creature of the earth and every bird of the sky will be terrified of you. Everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea are under your authority. 9:3 You may eat any moving thing that lives. As I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
9:4 But you must not eat meat with its life (that is, its blood) in it. 9:5 For your lifeblood I will surely exact punishment, from every living creature I will exact punishment. From each person I will exact punishment for the life of the individual since the man was his relative.
9:6 “Whoever sheds human blood,
by other humans
must his blood be shed;
for in God’s image
God has made humankind.”
9:7 But as for you, be fruitful and multiply; increase abundantly on the earth and multiply on it.”
9:8 God said to Noah and his sons, 9:9 “Look! I now confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you 9:10 and with every living creature that is with you, including the birds, the domestic animals, and every living creature of the earth with you, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature of the earth. 9:11 I confirm my covenant with you: Never again will all living things be wiped out by the waters of a flood; never again will a flood destroy the earth.”
9:12 And God said, “This is the guarantee of the covenant I am making with you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all subsequent generations: 9:13 I will place my rainbow in the clouds, and it will become a guarantee of the covenant between me and the earth. 9:14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 9:15 then I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures of all kinds. Never again will the waters become a flood and destroy all living things. 9:16 When the rainbow is in the clouds, I will notice it and remember the perpetual covenant between God and all living creatures of all kinds that are on the earth.”
9:17 So God said to Noah, “This is the guarantee of the covenant that I am confirming between me and all living things that are on the earth.”
King James Version
6 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. 17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. 18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. 21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. 22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. 2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. 4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. 5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. 7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, 9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the fwindows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; 14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. 16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. 17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. 18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. 21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. 23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
8 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; 2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; 3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. 4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. 6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. 10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. 12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. 15 And God spake unto Noah, saying, 16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. 17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. 18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled †a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 †While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. 7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
8 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, 9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; 10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. 11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. 12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. 17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.