Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark with your whole family. I know that you are a godly man among the people of today. Take seven pairs of every kind of ‘clean’ animal with you. Take a male and a female of each kind. Take one pair of every kind of animal that is not ‘clean.’ Take a male and a female of each kind. Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird. Take a male and a female of each kind. Then every kind will be kept alive. They can spread out again over the whole earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth. It will rain for 40 days and 40 nights. I will destroy from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”
Noah did everything the Lord commanded him to do.
Noah was 600 years old when the flood came on the earth. He and his sons entered the ark. His wife and his sons’ wives went with them. They entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Male and female pairs of “clean” animals and pairs of animals that were not “clean” came to Noah. So did male and female pairs of birds and of all the creatures that move along the ground. All of them came to Noah and entered the ark. Everything happened just as God had commanded Noah. After seven days the flood came on the earth.
Noah was 600 years old. It was the 17th day of the second month of the year. On that day all of the springs at the bottom of the oceans burst open. God opened the windows of the sky. Rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights.
On that same day Noah entered the ark together with his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth. Noah’s wife and the wives of his three sons also entered it. They had every kind of wild animal with them. They had every kind of livestock, creature that moves along the ground, and bird that flies. Pairs of all living creatures that breathe came to Noah and entered the ark. The animals going in were male and female of every living thing. Everything happened just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.
For 40 days the flood kept coming on the earth. As the waters rose higher, they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose higher and higher on the earth. And the ark floated on the water. The waters rose on the earth until all the high mountains under the entire sky were covered. The waters continued to rise until they covered the mountains by more than 20 feet. Every living thing that moved on land died. The birds, the livestock and the wild animals died. All of the creatures that fill the earth also died. And so did every human being. Every breathing thing on dry land died. Every living thing on earth was wiped out. People and animals were destroyed. The creatures that move along the ground and the birds in the sky were wiped out. Everything on earth was destroyed. Only Noah and those with him in the ark were left.
The waters flooded the earth for 150 days.
But God showed concern for Noah. He also showed concern for all the wild animals and livestock that were with Noah in the ark. So God sent a wind to sweep over the earth. And the waters began to go down. The springs at the bottom of the oceans had been closed. The windows of the sky had also been closed. And the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water on the earth continued to go down. At the end of the 150 days the water had gone down. On the 17th day of the seventh month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to go down until the tenth month. On the first day of that month, the tops of the mountains could be seen.
After 40 days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark. He sent out a raven. It kept flying back and forth until the water on the earth had dried up. Then Noah sent out a dove. He wanted to see if the water on the surface of the ground had gone down. But the dove couldn’t find any place to rest. Water still covered the whole surface of the earth. So the dove returned to Noah in the ark. Noah reached out his hand and took the dove in. He brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days. Then he sent out the dove again from the ark. In the evening the dove returned to him. There in its beak was a freshly picked olive leaf! So Noah knew that the water on the earth had gone down. He waited seven more days. Then he sent out the dove again. But this time it didn’t return to him.
It was the first day of the first month of Noah’s 601st year. The water on the earth had dried up. Then Noah removed the covering from the ark. He saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the 27th day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark. Bring your wife and your sons and their wives with you. Bring out every kind of living thing that is with you. Bring the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground. Then they can multiply on the earth. They can have little ones and the number of them can increase.”
So Noah came out of the ark. His sons and his wife and his sons’ wives were with him. All the animals came out of the ark. The creatures that move along the ground also came out. So did all the birds. Everything that moves on land came out of the ark, one kind after another.
Then Noah built an altar to honor the Lord. He took some of the “clean” animals and birds. He sacrificed them on the altar as burnt offerings. The smell of the offerings pleased the Lord. He said to himself, “I will never put a curse on the ground again because of human beings. I will not do it even though their hearts are always directed toward evil. Their thoughts are evil from the time they are young. I will never destroy all living things again, as I have just done.
“As long as the earth lasts,
there will always be a time to plant
and a time to gather the crops.
As long as the earth lasts,
there will always be cold and heat.
There will always be summer and winter,
day and night.”
God Makes a Covenant With Noah
Then God blessed Noah and his sons. He said to them, “Have children so that there are many of you. Fill the earth. All the land animals will be afraid of you. All the birds in the sky will be afraid of you. Every creature that moves along the ground will be afraid of you. So will every fish in the seas. Every living thing is put under your control. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. I have already given you the green plants for food. Now I am giving you everything.
“But you must not eat meat that still has blood in it. I will certainly hold someone accountable if you are murdered. I will even hold animals accountable if they kill you. I will also hold anyone accountable who murders another person.
“Anyone who murders a human being
will be killed by a human being.
That is because I have made human beings
so that they are like me.
“Have children so that there will be many of you. Multiply and become many on the earth.”
Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons who were with him. He said, “I am now making my covenant with you and with all your children who will be born after you. I am making it also with every living creature that was with you in the ark. I am making my covenant with the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals. I am making it with all the creatures that came out of the ark with you. In fact, I am making it with every living thing on earth. Here is my covenant I am making with you. The waters of a flood will never again destroy all life. A flood will never again destroy the earth.”
God continued, “My covenant is between me and you and every living creature with you. It is a covenant for all time to come. Here is the sign of the covenant I am making. I have put my rainbow in the clouds. It will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Sometimes when I bring clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in them. Then I will remember my covenant between me and you and every kind of living creature. The waters will never again become a flood to destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it. I will remember that my covenant will last forever. It is a covenant between me and every kind of living creature on earth.”
So God said to Noah, “The rainbow is the sign of my covenant. I have made my covenant between me and all life on earth.”