The descendants of Adam and Eve had become evil and wicked, and God was sorry
He had ever created mankind. He decided the only thing to do was destroy them all
and start over! But there was one man, Noah, who was obedient to God and found God's
God told Noah to bring a pair of every
living animal into the ark to keep them alive during the flood.
Noah Builds an Ark
God told Noah to build a big boat, called an ark, and He told Noah exactly
how to do it. The ark was to be 450 ft. (137 m) long, 75 ft. (23 m) wide and 45
ft. (14 m) high. It was to have three decks, be divided into rooms and have a door
in the side.
Noah was to find one male and one female of every kind of animal
and bird and take them into the ark. He also had to take food for all those animals.
It took Noah 120 years to build the ark and find all the animals to put in it, but
Noah obeyed God and did just as he was told.
The Great Flood
Noah was 600 years old by the time everything was ready. God told Noah to go into
the ark with his wife, his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives.
Then it started to rain. It rained without stop for forty days and nights! The water
got so deep that even the mountains were covered. Every living creature on earth
died in the flood. But the ark floated on top of the flood waters and the people
and animals in the ark were safe.
Eventually, the water started to go down again, and the ark came to rest in the
mountains of Ararat. After being on the ark about 11 months, Noah sent out a dove
to see if it would find land, but it found no place to rest and returned to the
ark. Seven days later, Noah sent the dove out again. This time it flew back carrying
an olive leaf, and Noah knew it had found land. After a full year on the ark, God
said to Noah,
Noah knew the dove had found dry land
when it returned to him carrying an olive branch.
Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 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. (NIV, Genesis 8:16-17)
God Makes a Promise to Noah
After leaving the ark, Noah built an altar and worshipped God. God was pleased with
Noah, and He promised never again to destroy the earth with a flood. Then God placed
a rainbow in the sky as a sign of that promise. The descendants of Noah and his
sons filled the whole earth with people again.
Except for Noah and his family, all the people of the world were going about their
evil and wicked ways. The earth was filled with violence. Mankind had lost sight
of God and the way He wanted them to live together in harmony. God rewarded Noah
for his righteousness, but He decided there was no choice but to destroy the wicked
people of the earth.
Similarly, those of us who love God and obey His commandments
will be rewarded with eternal life, but God will not let that life be corrupted
by evil people. Those people who have shown themselves to be evil will be destroyed
in hell (Matthew 5:22, 5:29-30).
Jesus said His second coming will be very similar to the Great Flood. Referring
to himself as "Son of Man," as he often did, Jesus said,
When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was
in Noah's day. In those days before the Flood, the people were enjoying banquets
and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People
didn't realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them
all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. Two men will
be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women
will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. So be
prepared, because you don't know what day your Lord is coming. (NLT,
Did the Great Flood Really Happen, or Is it Just a Story with a Lesson?
There are many ancient stories of a flood that are remarkably similar to the story
of Noah and the ark as told in Genesis. The names and places are different, but
the story is similar. There are different opinions, but many people believe all
these stories are based on some event that actually did happen sometime in the distant
What Became of Noah's Ark?
The mountains of Ararat, where the ark came to a rest, are in the region of eastern
Turkey, southern Armenia and western Iran. At 16,946 feet, Mt. Ararat, in eastern
Turkey, is the tallest of these. Some people think Noah's ark landed there. A number
of explorers have gone up this huge mountain looking for remains of the ark, but
they have not found anything definite.
Why Is Everything in the Bible Story of
Noah Repeated Twice?
Bible scholars believe the book of Genesis was made up of several different ancient
versions of its stories. The two main versions are called the "Priestly"
and "Yahwist" accounts. These two versions can be easily spotted in the
original Hebrew language because of the different names used for God and the different styles
of writing. (The differences are lost when the story is translated into English.)
The two sources are obvious in the story of Noah, where they are woven together
and almost every detail is told twice. Sometimes there are differences between the
two accounts as in Genesis 6:19 and Genesis 7:2.