Great flood from the Biblical story depicted in
Genesis, Chapters 6 - 9
Photo: Brian Nelson's Bible Audio Visual Reference Directory
The Bible states that God judged the Earth with a great Flood such that 'all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man. Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.'
The story of Noah's Ark, according to chapters 6 to 9 in the Book of Genesis, begins with God observing man's evil behaviour and deciding to flood the earth and destroy all life. However, God found one good man, Noah, "a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time", and decided that he would carry forth the lineage of man. God told Noah to make an ark, and to bring with him his wife, and his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives. Additionally, he was to bring pairs of all living creatures, male and female, and in order to provide sustenance, he was told to bring and store food.
When Noah completed the Ark, he and his family and the animals entered, and "the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, and the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights." The flood covered even the highest mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet, and all creatures on Earth died; only Noah and those with him on the Ark were left alive.
Finally, after about 220 days, the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, and the waters receded for another forty days until the mountaintops emerged. Then Noah sent out a raven which "went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth". Next, Noah sent a dove out, but it returned having found nowhere to land. After a further seven days, Noah again sent out the dove, and it returned with an olive leaf in its beak, and he knew that the waters had subsided. Noah waited seven days more and sent out the dove once more, and this time it did not return. Then he and his family and all the animals left the Ark, and Noah made a sacrifice to God, and God resolved that he would never again curse the Earth because of man, and never again would He destroy all life on it in this manner.
In order to remember this promise, God put a rainbow in the clouds, saying, "Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
Sources: Answers in Genesis, Answers in Creation