Noah and the Flood

This blog is part of “The Story,” a redemptive meta-narrative from world history.

Noah and the Flood


When the people multiplied on the earth, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.

God saw that the wickedness of man was great, and that every intention of his heart was only evil all the time. So the Lord regretted making humanity to the point of emotional grief. So he said, “I will destroy every creature from the face of the earth–people, animals, and birds.”

Noah-and-the-FloodBut Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation, and he walked with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. So God told Noah about his plan to destroy every living thing–people, animals, and birds. But, he said, I will make a covenant with you. Bring your wife, your sons, and your sons wives, along with two of every animal and bird. Put them in an ark that they might continue to live with you. Then, God told him exactly how to make the ark: With Cypress wood, 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall, and with a lower, middle, and upper deck. Noah did all the the Lord commanded him.

Then, God said, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have see that you are righteous before me in this generation” (Genesis 7:1). So seven days later, God sent rain for 40 days and 40 nights. Noah had just turned 600 years old. His whole family got in the ark, and God shut them in it. The rain water rose from the earth so that it covered the tallest mountain by 20 feet. Everything and everyone left behind died–people, animals, and birds. And the flood waters remained for 150 days.

On the seventh month on the seventeenth day, the ark came to rest on top of the mountains of Ararat. The waters abated for another two and a half months. They waited until 40 days after that and sent out a raven. It flew around and didn’t do much. Then, Noah sent out a dove, which came right back. He waited seven days and sent out the dove a second time. This time it brought back a freshly plucked olive leaf. After seven more days, they sent out the dove, but it didn’t come back.

When Noah was 601 on the first day of the first month of that year, the earth was dry. Then, after two months, God told Noah and his family to get out of the boat. When they got out, Noah built an altar and offered a sacrifice to the Lord of every living thing on the ark. The aroma was pleasing to the Lord, who said to himself, I will never wipe out the people with a flood.

God commanded Noah and his sons, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Also, “Just like I gave you the plants to eat, now you can eat animals.” Then, God made a covenant with Noah to never to wipe out every living thing on the earth. He said, “I will put a rainbow in the sky and every time I see it, I will remember my covenant to you.” Then, Noah lived for 350 years after the flood. His sons–Shem, Ham, and Japheth–settled down and filled the earth.

Image credit: Aaron Coury // Aaron Coury Photography