The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.
Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate,
and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.
Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."
And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.
Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.
And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood.
Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground,
male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah.
And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month--on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.
And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.
They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings.
Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.
The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth.
The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.
They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.
The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet.
Every living thing that moved on the earth perished--birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.
Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.
Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.
The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down,
and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark
and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.
Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.
But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark.
He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.
When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf ! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.
He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
By the first day of the first month of Noah's six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry.
By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
Then God said to Noah,
"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."
So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives.
All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds--everything that moves on the earth--came out of the ark, one kind after another.
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.
The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."
(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ?
He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.
Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
and do not give the devil a foothold.
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.