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After Noah and his family had completed all of the preparations and loading of animals that The Lord had commanded them to do, The Flood began upon the earth.
"Then The Lord said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive upon the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground."
The waters of the flood were not rain alone i.e. "on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth and the windows of the heavens were opened" (see Fountains; also Evidence of The Flood), but righteous Noah and his family were saved by the ark (later, another well-known person of Bible History was also saved by an ark; see Moses' Ark).
"And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
Did the flood cover the entire earth? Or just the Middle East? The Scriptures seem to describe an earth-wide deluge, however even if it were not, all of humanity would have been destroyed because mankind did not yet inhabit the entire earth. That did not happen until later, after the flood, when "The Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth" (Genesis 11:8 RSV).
Genesis Chapter 8
After the flood had made the earth clean in God's sight again (see also Old Testament Baptisms), the waters began to recede. Note again how the "fountains of the deep" were involved along with the rain - the surface of the earth drained, not merely evaporated.
"But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided; the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters had abated; and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat." (Genesis 8:1-4 RSV)
Noah then made a sacrifice to The Lord.
"Then Noah built an altar to The Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when The Lord smelled the pleasing odor, The Lord said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." (Genesis 20-22 RSV)
Genesis Chapter 9
The new world after the flood also marked a change in diet for humans. Humans, and animals, began as vegetarians (i.e. "I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food" Genesis 1:29-30 RSV), but humans became meat eaters of clean animals (see Clean and Unclean) after the flood.
"Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." (Genesis 9:3 RSV)
The Lord then also made a covenant that He would never again destroy life on earth with the waters of a flood.
"And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh." (Genesis 9:12-15 RSV)
So, from the ark's landing point on the mountains of Ararat, humanity began anew. Like some others before him, Noah lived out his life to a very old age (see Ancient Longevity).
"After the flood Noah lived three hundred and fifty years. All the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died." (Genesis 9:28-29 RSV)