It came to pass
that, when men multiplied and spread over the earth, God looked at
them and found that there was much wickedness among them. He was
sorry He had created Man and decided to destroy him - not only
man, but all living things, beasts, creeping things, and the fowls
of the air.
But there was one
man named Noah, a descend-
ant of Seth, whom
God found good. Noah was a just man and led a good life. One day
God said to him, "I will bring a flood of waters to destroy
all living things upon the earth, for it is filled with
wickedness. Build an ark of gopher wood, three stories high.
Divide it into rooms; put a window in the top and a door in the
side. Cover it well with pitch to keep out the water.
into the ark and take with you your wife, your sons, Shem, Ham,
and Japheth, and their wives. Take a pair of every sort of living
animal into the ark to keep them alive with you, and also enough
food for you and for them."
Noah did as God
told him, and then the rain began. For forty days and forty nights
it fell, until all the mountains were covered and every living
thing had been destroyed. Only Noah, and all those that were with
him in the ark, remained alive.
For one hundred
and fifty days the waters covered the earth. Then God made a wind
pass over the earth, and the waters began to recede. On the
seventeenth day of the seventh month, the ark came to rest on Mt.
Noah let loose a
raven, which flew about and did not return, and also a dove, which
could find no place to rest and so came back. Noah waited seven
more days and again let the dove fly out. That evening the bird
returned with an olive leaf in her mouth, so Noah knew that the
waters were drying and that the trees were growing again.
In another month,
they went out from the ark, for the land was dry at last. They
were joyful and offered praise and thanksgiving to God. The
animals set out for the forests and plans, and Noah and his sons
went forth to build new homes.
God blessed Noah
and his sons and made them a promise: that while the earth
remained, there should be seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, and day and night. And He set a rainbow to be
in the clouds when it rained, to remind Noah and his descendants
that the waters should never again become a flood to destroy the