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1001 noahsark warrencoetzer
Added on 03rd September 2020

Religious story from The Old Testament

Animals Environment and nature

Noah's faith is rewarded when God instructs him to build an ark.


Soon after the world’s creation, all humans are living wicked and evil lives, so God decides to wipe them out in a flood and start afresh. The only man who still follows God is Noah, so God instructs him to build an ark which will protect his family and two of every kind of animal. The animals come in two by two and the waters start to rise…

Why we chose it

One of the most widely known Old Testament stories with messages of faith, having the courage of your own convictions and care for the world around. It has inspired many writers, film makers and musicians.

Where it came from

The story of Noah and his ark is traditionally attributed to Moses. It is collected in Genesis, the first book of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible).

The book of Genesis tells the story of the creation of the world and follows the family of the first humans, Adam and Eve. This may have started as oral stories passed down in families and there are debates over how the story we have today was written. Regardless, Jews and Christians believe the Bible is ‘scripture’, a story that is not like other fairy-tales but something revealed and inspired by God, giving it special importance.

Where it went next

This story is important for Jews and Christians as it shows God’s promise to never abandon his creation and save humans. For Christians, it becomes a symbol for baptism (1 Peter 3:20-21).

It has also been represented in secular films. For example, Evan Almighty (2007) re-imagines Noah’s Ark happening today where the flood is caused by human damage to the environment.

Associated stories

In Genesis the story of Noah’s family continues, leading to Abraham who receives a ‘covenant’ promise like Noah. In Ancient Near East cultures there are several similar flood stories such as the Babylonian tale, the Epic of Gilgamesh, where Utnapishtim builds an ark to survive a world-wide flood. Noah’s Ark is also important for Muslims. The Qur’an includes some different details, such as the story of Noah’s fourth son who did not follow God and drowned in the flood.

The story has inspired storytellers and artists.

Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo, a cantata by Joseph Horovitz and Michael Flanders received the Ivor Novello Award for the best British work for children in 1976.

Geraldine MacCaughrean’s novel Not the End of the World, which tells the story of the flood from the point of view of the women, won the 2004 Whitbread (now Costa) Children’s Book Award.

Added on 03rd September 2020

Religious story from The Old Testament

Animals Environment and nature