The Flood Recedes
8 God remembered Noah, as well as all the wildlife and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. God caused a wind[a] to pass over the earth, and the water began to subside. 2 The sources of the watery depths and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky stopped. 3 The water steadily receded from the earth, and by the end of 150 days the water had decreased significantly. 4 The ark came to rest in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat.5 The water continued to recede until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were visible. 6 After forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made, 7 and he sent out a raven. It went back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove to see whether the water on the earth’s surface had gone down, 9 but the dove found no resting place for its foot. It returned to him in the ark because water covered the surface of the whole earth. He reached out and brought it into the ark to himself. 10 So Noah waited seven more days and sent out the dove from the ark again. 11 When the dove came to him at evening, there was a plucked olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the water on the earth’s surface had gone down. 12 After he had waited another seven days, he sent out the dove, but it did not return to him again. 13 In the six hundred and first year,[b] in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water that had covered the earth was dried up. Then Noah removed the ark’s cover and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth was dry.
The Lord’s Promise
15 Then God spoke to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you, your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out all the living creatures[c] that are with you—birds, livestock, those that crawl on the earth—and they will spread over the earth and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah, along with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, came out. 19 All the animals, all the creatures that crawl, and all the flying creatures—everything that moves on the earth—came out of the ark by their families.20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord. He took some of every kind of clean animal and every kind of clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, he said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of human beings, even though the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth onward. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done.22 As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, and day and night
will not cease.”
God’s Covenant with Noah
9 God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 The fear and terror of you will be in every living creature on the earth, every bird of the sky, every creature that crawls on the ground, and all the fish of the sea. They are placed under your authority.[d] 3 Every creature that lives and moves will be food for you; as I gave the green plants, I have given you everything. 4 However, you must not eat meat with its lifeblood in it. 5 And I will require a penalty for your lifeblood;[e] I will require it from any animal and from any human; if someone murders a fellow human, I will require that person’s life.[f]6 Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans his blood will be shed,
for God made humans in his image.7 But you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out over the earth and multiply on it.”8 Then God said to Noah and his sons with him, 9 “Understand that I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you—birds, livestock, and all wildlife of the earth that are with you—all the animals of the earth that came out of the ark. 11 I establish my covenant with you that never again will every creature be wiped out by floodwaters; there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all future generations: 13 I have placed my bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all the living creatures:[g] water will never again become a flood to destroy every creature. 16 The bow will be in the clouds, and I will look at it and remember the permanent covenant between God and all the living creatures[h] on earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and every creature on earth.”
Prophecies about Noah’s Family
18 Noah’s sons who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were Noah’s sons, and from them the whole earth was populated.20 Noah, as a man of the soil, began by planting[i] a vineyard. 21 He drank some of the wine, became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a cloak and placed it over both their shoulders, and walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father naked.24 When Noah awoke from his drinking and learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said:Canaan is cursed.
He will be the lowest of slaves to his brothers.26 He also said:Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem;
Let Canaan be[j] Shem’s slave.
27 Let God extend Japheth;[k]
let Japheth dwell in the tents of Shem;
let Canaan be Shem’s slave.28 Now Noah lived 350 years after the flood. 29 So Noah’s life lasted 950 years; then he died.
The Table of Nations
10 These are the family records of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. They also had sons after the flood.2 Japheth’s sons: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 Gomer’s sons: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 And Javan’s sons: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.[l] 5 From these descendants, the peoples of the coasts and islands spread out into their lands according to their clans in their nations, each with its own language.6 Ham’s sons: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 7 Cush’s sons: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. And Raamah’s sons: Sheba and Dedan.8 Cush fathered Nimrod, who began to be powerful in the land. 9 He was a powerful hunter in the sight of the Lord. That is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a powerful hunter in the sight of the Lord.” 10 His kingdom started with Babylon, Erech,[m] Accad,[n] and Calneh,[o] in the land of Shinar.[p] 11 From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, 12 and Resen, between Nineveh and the great city Calah.13 Mizraim[q] fathered the people of Lud, Anam, Lehab, Naphtuh, 14 Pathrus, Casluh (the Philistines came from them), and Caphtor.15 Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, 16 as well as the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the Canaanite clans scattered. 19 The Canaanite border went from Sidon going toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and going toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim as far as Lasha.20 These are Ham’s sons by their clans, according to their languages, in their lands and their nations.21 And Shem, Japheth’s older brother, also had sons. Shem was the father of all the sons of Eber. 22 Shem’s sons were Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram.23 Aram’s sons: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.24 Arpachshad fathered[r] Shelah, and Shelah fathered Eber. 25 Eber had two sons. One was named Peleg,[s] for during his days the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan. 26 And Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were Joktan’s sons. 30 Their settlements extended from Mesha to Sephar, the eastern hill country.31 These are Shem’s sons by their clans, according to their languages, in their lands and their nations.32 These are the clans of Noah’s sons, according to their family records, in their nations. The nations on earth spread out from these after the flood.
The Tower of Babylon
11 The whole earth had the same language and vocabulary.[t] 2 As people[u] migrated from the east,[v] they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let us make oven-fired bricks.” (They used brick for stone and asphalt for mortar.) 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered throughout the earth.”5 Then the Lord came down to look over the city and the tower that the humans[w] were building. 6 The Lord said, “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let’s go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 Therefore it is called Babylon,[x][y] for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth.
From Shem to Abram
10 These are the family records of Shem. Shem lived 100 years and fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood. 11 After he fathered Arpachshad, Shem lived 500 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 12 Arpachshad lived 35 years[z] and fathered Shelah. 13 After he fathered Shelah, Arpachshad lived 403 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 14 Shelah lived 30 years and fathered Eber. 15 After he fathered Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 16 Eber lived 34 years and fathered Peleg. 17 After he fathered Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 18 Peleg lived 30 years and fathered Reu. 19 After he fathered Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 20 Reu lived 32 years and fathered Serug. 21 After he fathered Serug, Reu lived 207 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 22 Serug lived 30 years and fathered Nahor. 23 After he fathered Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 24 Nahor lived 29 years and fathered Terah. 25 After he fathered Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 26 Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.27 These are the family records of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran, and Haran fathered Lot. 28 Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans, during his father Terah’s lifetime. 29 Abram and Nahor took wives: Abram’s wife was named Sarai, and Nahor’s wife was named Milcah. She was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 Sarai was unable to conceive; she did not have a child.31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 Terah lived 205 years and died in Haran.
We find an amazing verse in Genesis 8:21: “21 When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, he said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of human beings, even though the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth onward. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done.” Don’t think for a second God doesn’t love when humans worship and praise Him. God was pleased when he smelled the offering Noah brought to him.
Then, just a few verses later we see God making a covenant with Noah and putting a rainbow in the sky that would serve as a reminder of how good God is to people. God makes a promise to each and every one of us when he made the promise to Noah. He showed all of us that day that His love would be the character trait he most wanted us to know about Him.
Genesis 11 starts with a story of humans once again straying away from reliance on God and toward reliance on themselves. This will be a continuing theme we will see throughout the story of the Bible and into the 21st century.