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1657 AM [Chart]
2567 BC [Chart]
Genesis 6 - 8
The biblical narrative states that God sent the Flood to the earth to destroy it's human inhabitants because of the wickedness of the people of earth.
"The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them." But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord." (Genesis 6:5-8)
So God instructed Noah to build an ark. The dimensions were to be 300 cubits long (450 feet / 140 metres) by 50 cubits wide (75 feet / 23 metres) by 30 cubits high (45 feet / 13.5 metres). The ark was to contain a selection of all land and air animals.
According to the biblical narrative, the rain continued for 40 days and the sea level rose to cover every mountain. After the rain stopped, the sea level remained steady for another 110 days (150 days in all since the rain started). Then the waters began to recede. After a while, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
The people and animals remained inside ark. About 3 months later, the tops of other mountains became visible. Noah first sent out a raven, then a dove to see if they would find anything. On the dove's second flight, it brought back an olive leaf. Soon afterwards, Noah removed some panelling from the roof of the ark so that he could see out towards the ground, and he saw that it was dry.
About 2 months later, God told Noah and his family to come out of the ark. About 7 months had passed from when the ark came to rest on the mountain to when the people and animals finally came out. Obviously it would take some time for the waters to recede and the vegetation to regrow to the point where it could begin to support human and animal life.
After Noah and his family had come out from the ark, Noah built an altar to God, and "sacrificed burnt offerings on it". These offerings were selected from amongst the "clean" animals and birds. (see Genesis 8:20)
God then spoke to Noah and his family. He gave them instructions on what they could eat, and how they were to prepare meat. He warned against murder. He then established a covenant with Noah and his descendants when he said:
"I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth. ... This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." (Genesis 9:11-13)