Noah's Ark and the Flood - Bible Story
The story of Noah's Ark is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. It is found in the book of Genesis and tells the story of how God instructed Noah to build an ark and save two of each animal from the great flood. The ark would act as a refuge for the animals and Noah and his family, while God cleansed the earth. After forty days, the water began to recede and the ark came to a stop on the mountains of Ararat. Noah released a dove, which returned with an olive leaf signifying that the waters had decreased. Noah and his family then left the ark, taking the animals with them, and God put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of his promise to never again send a flood to destroy the earth. The story of Noah's Ark is an essential reminder of God's faithfulness and mercy, and it continues to be a source of hope and comfort for people around the world.
The Bible Story of Noah's Ark
The Bible story of Noah's ark is filled with faith, perseverance, and promise. Noah was a man who found great favor in God's eyes. The entire population of mankind had become evil and wicked and God decided to bring a flood to the earth to destroy everyone but Noah and his family. God told Noah to prepare an ark big enough to hold one male and one female from every kind of animal and creature. This is why many pictures depicting Noah's ark show animals coming two by two.
When it started raining, Noah brought his wife and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives onto the ark. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. After coming to rest on a mountain, Noah sent out a dove to find dry land but it returned. Seven days later, he sent out another dove and it returned with an olive leaf, signaling that it was safe to go onto land.
God promised never to destroy the earth with a flood again and placed a rainbow in the sky as a sign of his promise. Read Matthew Henry's commentary of Genesis in the text below:
Noah is Instructed to Build an Ark: Genesis 6
Noah is warned of the flood and given directions for building the ark Verses 12-21 ~ God told Noah his purpose to destroy the wicked world by water. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, Ps. 25:14. It is with all believers, enabling them to understand and apply the declarations and warnings of the written word. God chose to do it by a flood of waters, which should drown the world. As he chooses the rod with which he corrects his children, so he chooses the sword with which he cuts off his enemies. God established his covenant with Noah. This is the first place in the Bible where the word 'covenant' is found; it seems to mean, 1. The covenant of providence that the course of nature shall be continued to the end of time. 2. The covenant of grace; that God would be a God to Noah, and that out of his seed God would take to himself a people. God directed Noah to make an ark. This ark was like the hulk of a ship fitted to float upon the waters. It was very large, half the size of St. Paul's cathedral, and would hold more than eighteen of the largest ships now used. God could have secured Noah without putting him to any care, or pains, or trouble; but employed him in making that which was to be the means to preserve him, for the trial of his faith and obedience. Both the providence of God and the grace of God, own and crown the obedient and diligent. God gave Noah particular orders on how to make the ark, which could not, therefore but be well fitted for the purpose. God promised Noah that he and his family should be kept alive in the ark. What we do in obedience to God, we and our families are likely to have the benefit of. The piety of parents inspires their children to do good in this life and furthers them in the way to eternal life if they improve it.
Noah's Faith and Obedience Verse 22 ~ Noah's faith triumphed over all corrupt reasonings. To rear so large a building, such a one as he never saw, and to provide food for the living creatures, would require from him a great deal of care, and labor, and expense. His neighbors would laugh at him. But all such objections, Noah, by faith, got over; his obedience was ready and resolute. Having begun to build, he did not leave off till he had finished: so did he, and so must we do. He feared the deluge, and therefore prepared the ark. And in the warning given to Noah, there is a more solemn warning given to us, to flee from the wrath to come, which will sweep the world of unbelievers into the pit of destruction. Christ, the true Noah, which same shall comfort us, hath by his sufferings already prepared the ark, and kindly invites us by faith to enter in. While the day of his patience continues, let us hear and obey his voice.
Noah's Ark and the Flood: Genesis 7
Noah, and his family and the living creatures, enter the ark, and the flood begins. (1-12) Noah shut in the ark. (13-16) The increase of the flood for forty days. (17-20) All flesh is destroyed by the flood. (21-24)
Noah's Family and the Creatures Enter the Ark Verses 1-12
The call to Noah is very kind, like that of a tender father to his children to come in-doors when he sees night or a storm coming. Noah did not go into the ark till God bade him, though he knew it was to be his place of refuge. It is very comfortable to see God going before us in every step we take. Noah had taken many pains to build the ark, and now he was himself kept alive in it. What we do in obedience to the command of God, and in faith, we ourselves shall certainly have the comfort of, first or last. This call to Noah reminds us of the call the gospel gives to poor sinners. Christ is an ark, in whom alone we can be safe when death and judgment approach. The word says, "Come;" ministers say, "Come;" the Spirit says, "Come, come into the Ark." Noah was accounted righteous, not for his own righteousness, but as an heir of the righteousness which is by faith, (Hebrews 11:7). He believed the revelation of a savior and sought and expected salvation through Him alone. Thus was he justified by faith, and received that Spirit whose fruit is in all goodness; but if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. After the hundred and twenty years, God granted seven days' longer space for repentance. But these seven days were trifled away, like all the rest. It shall be but seven days. They had only one week more, one sabbath more to improve and to consider the things that belonged to their peace. But it is common for those who have been careless of their souls during the years of their health, when they have looked upon death at a distance, to be as careless during the days, the few days of their sickness, when they see death approaching; their hearts being hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. As Noah prepared the ark by faith in the warning given that the flood would come, so he went into it, by faith in this warning that it would come quickly. And on the day Noah was securely fixed in the ark, the fountains of the great deep were broken up. The earth had within it those waters, which, at God's command, sprang up and flooded it; and thus our bodies have in themselves those humors, which, when God pleases, become the seeds and springs of mortal diseases. The windows of heaven were opened, and the waters which were above the firmament, that is, in the air, were poured out upon the earth. The rain comes down in drops; but such rains fell then, as were never known before or since. It rained without stop or abatement, forty days and forty nights, upon the whole earth at once. As there was a peculiar exercise of the almighty power of God in causing the flood, it is vain and presumptuous to attempt explaining the method of it, by human wisdom.
The Creatures of Noah's Ark Verses 13-16
The ravenous creatures were made mild and manageable; yet, when this occasion was over, they were of the same kind as before; for the ark did not alter their natures. Hypocrites in the church, who outwardly conform to the laws of that ark, are yet unchanged; and it will appear, one time or other, what kind they are after. God continued his care of Noah. God shut the door, to secure him and keep him safe in the ark; also to keep all others forever out. In what manner this was done, God has not been pleased to make known. There is much of our gospel duty and privilege to be seen in Noah's safety in the ark. The (1 Peter. 3:20 1 Peter. 3:21) Observe then, it is our great duty, in obedience to the gospel call, by a lively faith in Christ, to come into that way of salvation which God has provided for poor sinners. Those that come into the ark, should bring as many as they can with them, by good instructions, by persuasions, and by good examples. There is room enough in Christ for all comers. God put Adam into paradise but did not shut him in, so he threw himself out; but when God put Noah into the ark, and so when he brings a soul to Christ, the salvation is sure: it is not in our own keeping but in the Mediator's hand. But the door of mercy will shortly be shut against those that now make light of it. Knock now, and it shall be opened, (Luke 13:25).
The Flood Verses 17-20
The flood was increasing for forty days. The waters rose so high, that the tops of the highest mountains were overflowed more than twenty feet. There is no place on earth so high as to set men out of the reach of God's judgments. God's hand will find out all his enemies, (Psalms 21:8). When the flood thus increased, Noah's ark was lifted up, and the waters which broke down everything else bore up the ark. That which to unbelievers betokens death unto death, to the faithful betokens life unto life.
The Aftermath of the Flood Verses 21-24
All the men, women, and children, that were in the world, except those in the ark, died. We may easily imagine what terror seized them. Our Saviour tells us, that till the very day that the flood came, they were eating and drinking, Lu. 17:26, Lu. 17:27; they were deaf and blind to all Divine warnings. In this posture, death surprised them. They were convinced of their folly when it was too late. We may suppose they tried all ways and means possible to save themselves, but all in vain. And those that are not found in Christ, the Ark, are certainly undone, undone forever. Let us pause, and consider this tremendous judgment! Who can stand before the Lord when he is angry? The sin of sinners will be their ruin, first or last, if not repented of. The righteous God knows how to bring ruin upon (2 Peter. 2:5) day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men! Happy they who are part of Christ's family, and safe with him as such; they may look forward without dismay, and rejoice that they shall triumph when fire shall burn up the earth, and all that therein is. We are apt to suppose some favorable distinctions in our own case or character; but if we neglect, refuse, or abuse the salvation of Christ, we shall, notwithstanding such fancied advantages, be destroyed in the common ruin of an unbelieving world.
You can read more in-depth Bible verses from the Scripture below and use the articles and videos to understand the meaning behind this teachable event in the Bible.