The prophet Noah’s heart ached as he walked home. Jehovah had told Noah to warn everyone. Unless they repented, every living thing on the earth would be destroyed in a great flood. The people Noah tried to teach were wicked and violent, and they ignored his warning. Now a flood would be coming soon.
Jehovah told Noah how to build an ark. In that huge boat the animals and Noah’s family could be safe from the flood.
The ark was long, wide, and three stories tall. It had a door on the side and many different rooms for the animals. Noah’s family put lots of food inside the ark for the animals to eat.
Noah and his family gathered pairs of each kind of animal and led them into the ark. Two by two the animals marched—camels, cows, lions, lambs, pigs, and porcupines. Squawking birds flew overhead, and squeaking mice scurried across the floor.
Dark clouds filled the sky. Raindrops pounded the ground. Noah, his wife, their sons, and their sons’ wives hurried safely inside before the door to the ark slammed shut. Thunder boomed and lightning lit the sky.
For 40 days and 40 nights, the rain fell. The water got deeper and deeper until it covered the tops of the tallest mountains. The only people and animals that survived were those inside the ark.
At last the rain stopped, but deep water still covered the earth. For many months the ark floated as the water slowly went down. Finally the great ark rested on a tall mountain in Ararat. For 40 more days everyone in the ark waited for the rest of the flood waters to go away.
Finally Noah saw sunlight. But was the earth ready for people and animals yet? Three times Noah let a dove fly free. The first time the dove came back quickly. There was no dry place for it to land. The second time the dove came back with an olive leaf. Plants were growing! The third time the dove didn’t return. Now Noah knew that the dove had made a new home. The earth was dry again.
The animals left the ark. Noah and his family made homes and had children.
Jehovah promised Noah that He would never again flood the whole earth. He would set a rainbow in the sky to remind all creatures of His promise. Joyfully, Noah looked to the sky and saw a bright arch of colors in the clouds. He knew Jehovah’s promises were sure.