The Great Flood
written by Moses* in Genesis 6:5-9:17
5 When the Lord saw how wicked everyone on earth was and how evil their thoughts were all the time, 6 he was sorry that he had ever made them and put them on the earth. He was so filled with regret 7 that he said, “I will wipe out these people I have created, and also the animals and the birds, because I am sorry that I made any of them.” 8 But the Lord was pleased with Noah.
9-10 This is the story of Noah. He had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Noah had no faults and was the only good man of his time. He lived in fellowship with God, 11 but everyone else was evil in God's sight, and violence had spread everywhere. 12 God looked at the world and saw that it was evil, for the people were all living evil lives.
13 God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all people. I will destroy them completely, because the world is full of their violent deeds. 14 Build a boat for yourself out of good timber; make rooms in it and cover it with tar inside and out. 15 Make it 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for the boat and leave a space of 18 inches between the roof and the sides. Build it with three decks and put a door in the side. 17 I am going to send a flood on the earth to destroy every living being. Everything on the earth will die, 18 but I will make a covenant with you. Go into the boat with your wife, your sons, and their wives. 19-20 Take into the boat with you a male and a female of every kind of animal and of every kind of bird, in order to keep them alive. 21 Take along all kinds of food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did everything that God commanded.
1 The Lord said to Noah, “Go into the boat with your whole family; I have found that you are the only one in all the world who does what is right. 2 Take with you seven pairs of each kind of ritually clean animal, but only one pair of each kind of unclean animal. 3 Take also seven pairs of each kind of bird. Do this so that every kind of animal and bird will be kept alive to reproduce again on the earth. 4 Seven days from now I am going to send rain that will fall for forty days and nights, in order to destroy all the living beings that I have made.” 5 And Noah did everything that the Lord commanded.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood came on the earth. 7 He and his wife, and his sons and their wives, went into the boat to escape the flood. 8 A male and a female of every kind of animal and bird, whether ritually clean or unclean, 9 went into the boat with Noah, as God had commanded. 10 Seven days later the flood came.
11 When Noah was six hundred years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month all the outlets of the vast body of water beneath the earth burst open, all the floodgates of the sky were opened, 12 and rain fell on the earth for forty days and nights. 13 On that same day Noah and his wife went into the boat with their three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives. 14 With them went every kind of animal, domestic and wild, large and small, and every kind of bird. 15 A male and a female of each kind of living being went into the boat with Noah, 16 as God had commanded. Then the Lord shut the door behind Noah.
17 The flood continued for forty days, and the water became deep enough for the boat to float. 18 The water became deeper, and the boat drifted on the surface. 19 It became so deep that it covered the highest mountains; 20 it went on rising until it was about twenty-five feet above the tops of the mountains. 21 Every living being on the earth died—every bird, every animal, and every person. 22 Everything on earth that breathed died. 23 The Lord destroyed all living beings on the earth—human beings, animals, and birds. The only ones left were Noah and those who were with him in the boat. 24 The water did not start going down for a hundred and fifty days.
The End of the Flood
1 God had not forgotten Noah and all the animals with him in the boat; he caused a wind to blow, and the water started going down. 2 The outlets of the water beneath the earth and the floodgates of the sky were closed. The rain stopped, 3 and the water gradually went down for 150 days. 4 On the seventeenth day of the seventh month the boat came to rest on a mountain in the Ararat range. 5 The water kept going down, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains appeared.
6 After forty days Noah opened a window 7 and sent out a raven. It did not come back, but kept flying around until the water was completely gone. 8 Meanwhile, Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had gone down, 9 but since the water still covered all the land, the dove did not find a place to light. It flew back to the boat, and Noah reached out and took it in. 10 He waited another seven days and sent out the dove again. 11 It returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the water had gone down. 12 Then he waited another seven days and sent out the dove once more; this time it did not come back.
13 When Noah was 601 years old, on the first day of the first month, the water was gone. Noah removed the covering of the boat, looked around, and saw that the ground was getting dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
15 God said to Noah, 16 “Go out of the boat with your wife, your sons, and their wives. 17 Take all the birds and animals out with you, so that they may reproduce and spread over all the earth.” 18 So Noah went out of the boat with his wife, his sons, and their wives. 19 All the animals and birds went out of the boat in groups of their own kind.
Noah Offers a Sacrifice
20 Noah built an altar to the Lord; he took one of each kind of ritually clean animal and bird, and burned them whole as a sacrifice on the altar. 21 The odor of the sacrifice pleased the Lord, and he said to himself, “Never again will I put the earth under a curse because of what people do; I know that from the time they are young their thoughts are evil. Never again will I destroy all living beings, as I have done this time. 22 As long as the world exists, there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest. There will always be cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
God's Covenant with Noah
1 God blessed Noah and his sons and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth. 2 All the animals, birds, and fish will live in fear of you. They are all placed under your power. 3 Now you can eat them, as well as green plants; I give them all to you for food. 4 The one thing you must not eat is meat with blood still in it; I forbid this because the life is in the blood. 5 If anyone takes human life, he will be punished. I will punish with death any animal that takes a human life. 6 Human beings were made like God, so whoever murders one of them will be killed by someone else.
7 “You must have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth.”
8 God said to Noah and his sons, 9 “I am now making my covenant with you and with your descendants, 10 and with all living beings—all birds and all animals—everything that came out of the boat with you. 11 With these words I make my covenant with you: I promise that never again will all living beings be destroyed by a flood; never again will a flood destroy the earth. 12 As a sign of this everlasting covenant which I am making with you and with all living beings, 13 I am putting my bow in the clouds. It will be the sign of my covenant with the world. 14 Whenever I cover the sky with clouds and the rainbow appears, 15 I will remember my promise to you and to all the animals that a flood will never again destroy all living beings. 16 When the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between me and all living beings on earth. 17 That is the sign of the promise which I am making to all living beings.”