Contemporary English Version
The Water Goes Down
8 God did not forget about Noah and the animals with him in the boat. So God made a wind blow, and the water started going down. 2 God stopped up the places where the water had been gushing out from under the earth. He also closed up the sky, and the rain stopped. 3 For one hundred fifty days the water slowly went down. 4 Then on the seventeenth day of the seventh month of the year, the boat came to rest somewhere in the Ararat mountains. 5 The water kept going down, and the mountain tops could be seen on the first day of the tenth month.
6-7 Forty days later Noah opened a window to send out a raven, but it kept flying around until the water had dried up. 8 Noah wanted to find out if the water had gone down, and he sent out a dove. 9 Deep water was still everywhere, and the dove could not find a place to land. So it flew back to the boat. Noah held out his hand and helped it back in.
10 Seven days later Noah sent the dove out again. 11 It returned in the evening, holding in its beak a green leaf from an olive tree. Noah knew that the water was finally going down. 12 He waited seven more days before sending the dove out again, and this time it did not return.
13 Noah was now six hundred one years old. And by the first day of that year, almost all the water had gone away. Noah made an opening in the roof of the boat[a] and saw that the ground was getting dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth was completely dry.
15 God said to Noah, 16 “You, your wife, your sons, and your daughters-in-law may now leave the boat. 17 Let out the birds, animals, and reptiles, so they can mate and live all over the earth.” 18 After Noah and his family had gone out of the boat, 19 the living creatures left in groups of their own kind.
The Lord’s Promise for the Earth
20 Noah built an altar where he could offer sacrifices to the Lord. Then he offered on the altar one of each kind of animal and bird that could be used for a sacrifice.[b] 21 The smell of the burning offering pleased God, and he said:
Never again will I punish the earth for the sinful things its people do. All of them have evil thoughts from the time they are young, but I will never destroy everything that breathes, as I did this time.
22 As long as the earth remains,
there will be planting
cold and heat;
winter and summer,
day and night.
God’s Promise to Noah
9 God said to Noah and his sons:
I am giving you my blessing. Have a lot of children and grandchildren, so people will live everywhere on this earth. 2 All animals, birds, reptiles, and fish will be afraid of you. I have placed them under your control, 3 and I have given them to you for food. From now on, you may eat them, as well as the green plants that you have always eaten. 4 But life is in the blood, and you must not eat any meat that still has blood in it. 5-6 I created humans to be like me, and I will punish any animal or person that takes a human life. If an animal kills someone, that animal must die. And if a person takes the life of another, that person must be put to death.
7 I want you and your descendants to have many children, so people will live everywhere on earth.
8 Again, God said to Noah and his sons:
9 I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. 10 This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. 11 I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.
12-13 The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, 15 I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. 17 The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.
Noah and His Family
18 Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, came out of the boat. Ham later had a son named Canaan. 19 All people on earth are descendants of Noah’s three sons.
20 Noah farmed the land and was the first to plant a vineyard. 21 One day he got drunk and was lying naked in his tent. 22 Ham entered the tent and saw him naked, then went back outside and told his brothers. 23 Shem and Japheth put a robe over their shoulders and walked backwards into the tent. Without looking at their father, they placed it over his body.
24 When Noah woke up and learned what his youngest son had done, 25 he said,
“I now put a curse on Canaan!
He will be the lowest slave
of his brothers.
26 I ask the Lord my God
to bless Shem
and make Canaan his slave.
27 I pray that the Lord
will give Japheth
more and more[c] land
and let him take over
the territory of Shem.
May Canaan be his slave.”
28 Noah lived three hundred fifty years after the flood 29 and died at the age of nine hundred fifty.
The Descendants of Noah
10 After the flood Shem, Ham, and Japheth had many descendants.
The Descendants of Japheth
2-5 Japheth’s descendants had their own languages, tribes, and land. They were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
Gomer was the ancestor of Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
Javan was the ancestor of Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim,[d] who settled along the coast.
The Descendants of Ham
6-20 Ham’s descendants had their own languages, tribes, and land. They were Ethiopia,[e] Egypt, Put, and Canaan.
Cush[f] was the ancestor of Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca.
Raamah was the ancestor of Sheba and Dedan.
Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, a mighty warrior whose strength came from the Lord. Nimrod is the reason for the saying, “You hunt like Nimrod with the strength of the Lord!” Nimrod first ruled in Babylon, Erech, and Accad, all of[g] which were in Babylonia.[h] From there Nimrod went to Assyria and built the great city of Nineveh. He also built Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, as well as Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah.
Egypt was the ancestor of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, the ancestor of the Philistines.[i]
Canaan’s sons were Sidon and Heth. He was also the ancestor of the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.
Later the Canaanites spread from the territory of Sidon and went as far as Gaza in the direction of Gerar. They also went as far as Lasha in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim.
The Descendants of Shem
21-31 Shem’s descendants had their own languages, tribes, and land. He was the older brother of Japheth and the ancestor of the tribes of Eber.
Shem was the ancestor of Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram.
Aram was the ancestor of Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
Arpachshad was the father of Shelah and the grandfather of Eber, whose first son was named Peleg,[j] because it was during his time that tribes divided up the earth. Eber’s second son was Joktan.
Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. Their land reached from Mesha in the direction of Sephar, the hill country in the east.
32 This completes the list of Noah’s descendants. After the flood their descendants became nations and spread all over the world.
The Tower of Babel
Let’s build a city with a tower that reaches to the sky! We’ll use hard bricks and tar instead of stone and mortar. We’ll become famous, and we won’t be scattered all over the world.
5 But when the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower, 6 he said:
These people are working together because they all speak the same language. This is just the beginning. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. 7 Come on! Let’s go down and confuse them by making them speak different languages—then they won’t be able to understand each other.
8-9 So the people had to stop building the city, because the Lord confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. That’s how the city of Babel[m] got its name.
The Descendants of Shem
10-11 Two years after the flood, when Shem was one hundred, he had a son named Arpachshad. He had more children and died at the age of six hundred. This is a list of his descendants:
12 When Arpachshad was thirty-five, he had a son named Shelah. 13 Arpachshad had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-eight.
14 When Shelah was thirty, he had a son named Eber. 15 Shelah had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-three.
16 When Eber was thirty-four, he had a son named Peleg. 17 Eber had more children and died at the age of four hundred sixty-four.
18 When Peleg was thirty, he had a son named Reu. 19 Peleg had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.
20 When Reu was thirty-two he had a son named Serug. 21 Reu had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.
22 When Serug was thirty, he had a son named Nahor. 23 Serug had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty.
24 When Nahor was twenty-nine, he had a son named Terah. 25 Nahor had more children and died at the age of one hundred forty-eight.
The Descendants of Terah
26-28 After Terah was seventy years old, he had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran, who became the father of Lot. Terah’s sons were born in the city of Ur in Chaldea,[n] and Haran died there before the death of his father. The following is the story of Terah’s descendants.
29-30 Abram married Sarai, but she was not able to have any children. And Nahor married Milcah, who was the daughter of Haran and the sister of Iscah.
31 Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran,[o] they decided to settle there instead. 32 Terah lived to be two hundred five years old and died in Haran.
- 8.13 made. . . boat: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 8.20 animal. . . sacrifice: See the note at 7.2.
- 9.27 more and more: In Hebrew “Japheth” sounds like “more and more.”
- 10.2-5 Dodanim: Most Hebrew manuscripts; some Hebrew manuscripts and one ancient translation have “Rodanim.”
- 10.6-20 Ethiopia: See the note at 2.13.
- 10.6-20 Cush: See the note at 2.13.
- 10.6-20 and Accad, all of: Or “Accad, and Calneh.”
- 10.6-20 Babylonia: The Hebrew text has “Shinar,” another name for Babylonia.
- 10.6-20 Casluhim, and Caphtorim, the ancestor of the Philistines: Hebrew “Caphtorim, and Casluhim, the ancestor of the Philistines.” The Philistines were from Caphtor (see Jeremiah 47.4; Amos 9.7), better known as Crete.
- 10.21-31 Peleg: In Hebrew “Peleg” means “divided.”
- 11.2 from the east: Or “to the east.”
- 11.2 Babylonia: See the note at 10.6-20.
- 11.8,9 Babel: In Hebrew “Babel” sounds like “confused.”
- 11.26-28 Ur in Chaldea: Chaldea was a region at the head of the Persian Gulf. Ur was on the main trade routes from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean Sea.
- 11.31 Haran: About 550 miles northwest of Ur.