Bible Stories 2
The Biblical Account of Noah and the Ark.
God provided another kid to Adam and Eve after their child, Abel, had been murdered and their other son, Cain, had moved away to a different location. This infant was given the name Seth by Adam and Eve; they also had several sons and daughters since Adam and Eve lived for a very long time. But in the end, as God had said, they met their end because they had eaten the fruit from the tree that God had specifically ordered that they not consume.
At the time when Adam passed away, there were already a large number of people living on the planet. This was because the children of Adam and Eve had many more children, and as those children grew up, they also had children of their own, and so on. Tents served as homes for these families, which consisted of men, women, and children. They traveled about with their animals, which included sheep and cattle, in search of pasture wherever they could find it. The adults would sit around the campfires in the evenings while the younger kids played around the tent doors and sang songs together. The older kids would also tell the younger kids stories. And after some time had passed, the country where Adam’s sons had made their homes started to become populated with more and more people.
It is unfortunate to report that over the course of time, a bigger percentage of these people became wicked, while a decreasing number of them matured into morally upstanding men and women. Because all of the people lived in close proximity to one another and very few of them traveled to other regions, it came to pass that even the offspring of decent men and women learned to be immoral, just like the people around them, and they stopped doing what was right and good.
And when God looked down on the world that he had created, he saw how wicked the men in it had become, and that every thought and every deed of man were continuously evil, and there was no good in anything that they did.
But even if the vast majority of people in the world were really evil, there were still some honest people around, even though they were quite rare. Enoch, one of the people who lived during that era, was considered to be the best of all the men that were alive. He was not the son of Cain, but rather another Enoch, who came from the lineage of Seth, the son of Adam, who was born after Abel’s death. During the time that Enoch was surrounded by others who were doing wickedness, this man always practiced what was right. He strolled beside God, and God accompanied and conversed with him throughout those walks. And thus it came to pass that when Enoch had reached his final days and was tired of life, God lifted him up from the earth and into heaven. He did not perish in the manner in which all humans have done ever since Adam disobeyed God, but rather “he was not, because God took him.” This indicates that Enoch was lifted from the earth to heaven before he passed away.
The individuals who lived during the time of Enoch did not all work as shepherds. Some of them had mastered the art of creating crude tools, such as bows and arrows, axes, and ploughs. And after a considerable amount of time had passed, they melted iron and began producing implements, such as knives, swords, and plates, to use in their houses. They were engaged in sowing grain in the fields and gathering the harvest; in addition, they planted vines and fruit trees. However, God observed the world below him and declared:
according to the Bible”I will take away all men from the earth that I have made; because the men of the world are evil, and do evil continually.”
But even in the midst of those terrible circumstances, God recognized one righteous man. This man’s name was Noah. Noah attempted to live a life that would please God in every way. In the same way that Enoch walked and talked with God, Noah walked and talked with God. Shem, Ham, and Japheth were Noah’s three sons.
God stated to Noah, “It is now time for all of the men and women living on earth to be destroyed, and the process has begun.” “Because they are all evil, it is necessary that each of them perish. ” “But you and your family will be spared since you are the only one making an effort to behave morally.”
Then God revealed to Noah the means by which he might safeguard his life as well as the lives of his sons. It was to be as large as the largest ships that are constructed in our time; it was to be very long, very wide, and very deep; it was to have a roof over it; and it was to be made to look like a long, wide house with three stories; however, it was to be constructed in such a way that it could float on the water. The term “ark” was used to refer to ships like this one. God told Noah to build this ark and prepare it ahead of time for the time when he would need it.
“Because,” God said to Noah, “I am going to bring a big flood of water on the earth to cover all of the land and to drown all of the people who live on the planet.” And because the animals on the earth will perish alongside the people, you will need to build the ark with sufficient space to accommodate a pair of each species of animal as well as several pairs of some animals that are essential to the survival of humans, such as sheep, goats, and oxen. This will ensure that there are animals and people to coexist on the earth once the flood has subsided. “And you must bring food inside the ark for yourself, your family, and all the animals that are traveling with you; there should be enough food to endure for a whole year as the flood continues to sweep over the earth for such a long time.”
And Noah obeyed what God commanded him to do, even though it must have been quite funny to everyone else in the area for him to construct this enormous ark in a place where there was no water for it to sail on. And it was a long time because this ship was so big that Noah and his sons were working on building the ark, which God had told them to build, while the wicked people around them wondered and no doubt laughed at Noah for building a great ship where there was no sea.
At last, the construction of the ark was done, and it stood on the ground like a great house. The light may enter via a door on one side of the structure, as well as a window in the roof. Then God spoke to Noah, saying,
“It is time for you and your wife, together with your three sons and their spouses, to board the ark, for the floods will soon submerge the land. “And take with you animals of every sort, as well as birds and creatures that crawl; seven pairs of those that will be required by mankind, and one pair of all the others, so that a healthy population of animals of every type may be maintained on the land.”
Consequently, Noah, his wife, and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, together with their respective spouses, boarded the ark. And God brought all of the animals, birds, and crawling creatures of all sorts to the entrance of the ark, and they entered the ark. And Noah and his sons arranged them in their proper positions, and they brought in enough food to sustain everyone within for a significant amount of time. And at that point, the door of the ark was sealed, preventing any more humans or animals from entering the vessel.
Within a short period of time, it started to rain heavily, something that had never happened before. It seemed as if the skies had opened up their shutters and were preparing to deluge the world with massive floods. As the creeks and rivers filled up and continued to rise, the ark started to float on top of the water as it traveled downstream. The people fled their homes and made their way to higher mountains, but the hills were quickly submerged, and many who had taken refuge there perished in the flood.
Some people had climbed to the summits of higher mountains, but the water continued to rise higher and higher until it covered even the mountains, and all of the people, as bad as they had been, were drowned in the enormous sea that now rolled over the whole world where man had lived. And all of the animals, including the domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep, and oxen, were drowned; in addition, all of the wild creatures, such as lions and tigers, along with the rest of the animals, were also drowned. Even the birds were unable to escape the devastation of the storm because their nests, which were built in the branches of the trees, were destroyed and there was nowhere for them to go. The rain did not stop falling for a total of forty days and nights, during which time there was no sign of life anywhere outside of the ark.
After forty days, it ceased to rain, but the water continued on the ground for more than six months, and the ark, together with all of its contents, floated over the vast sea that had covered the world. Then God sent a breeze to blow over the seas, which dried them up; thus, the amount of water gradually decreased as time went on. First the hills rose above the waters, then the mountains arose, and ultimately the ark ran aground on a peak that is now known as Mount Ararat.
However, the entrance was locked, and the only window was high up on the roof, so Noah had no way of knowing what had happened on the surface of the earth. However, he had the impression that the ark was no longer moving, and he was sure that the level of the water must have decreased. Therefore, after a period of waiting, Noah opened a window and let a bird known as a raven free outside the ark. Now, the raven has powerful wings, and this particular raven flew around and around until the waters subsided, at which point it was able to locate a spot to rest but did not return to the ark.
After waiting for it for a time, Noah decided to send out a dove to see if it could find a spot to rest. However, the dove was unable to locate a place to land, so it returned back to the ark, where Noah re-admitted it. After that, Noah waited an additional week, and then he released the dove once again. And as darkness approached, the dove made its way back to the ark, which served as its home, carrying in its beak a new olive leaf that it had just plucked from one of the trees in the garden.
Therefore, Noah was certain that the level of the water had decreased enough to permit the regrowth of the trees. He waited another week, and then he released the dove once again; however, this time the dove took flight, and it was never seen again. Noah, was now aware that the land was drying up once again. So Noah removed a portion of the ceiling, stepped outside, and saw that there was now dry ground all around the ark and that the floods no longer covered the whole earth.
After spending a little over a year inside the ark, Noah was relieved to finally be able to view the green countryside and the trees outside again. And the Lord spoke to Noah, saying:
“Come out of the ark with your wife and your sons and their wives, and all the living creatures that are with you in the ark.”
Therefore, Noah pushed open the entrance of the ark, and he and his family stepped outside, where they regained their footing on the earth once again. And all of the animals, birds, and creepy creatures that had been within the ark emerged as well, and they immediately got to work repopulating the world.
As soon as Noah emerged from the ark, the first thing he did was offer prayers of gratitude to God for sparing the lives of all of his offspring while the rest of the people on earth were wiped off. He constructed an altar and placed a sacrifice there for the Lord. He then offered himself and his family to God and made a vow to carry out his will.
And God was delighted with the sacrifice that Noah made, and God said these words:
“No matter how evil people may be, I will never again cause the destruction of the earth because of them.” From this point on, there will never again be a flood that covers the whole planet; yet, the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter will remain unchanged. “I give the earth to you, and you are to reign over the land and everything that lives on it that has a pulse and breathes air.”
Then, God caused a rainbow to appear in the sky, and he spoke to Noah and his sons, telling them that whenever they or the people who came after them saw the rainbow, they should remember that God had placed it in the sky and over the clouds as a sign of his promise, that he would always remember the earth, and the people who lived on it, and that he would never again send a flood to wipe man from the face of the earth.
Therefore, whenever we get a glimpse of the majestic rainbow, we should keep in mind that it is a symbol of God’s promise to the people of the globe.