Art and the Bible Study 2: Noah's Ark

Genesis 6          
9 Here is the story of Noah. Noah was a godly man. He was without blame among the people of his time. He walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons. Their names were Shem, Ham and Japheth. 11 The earth was very sinful in God's eyes. It was full of mean and harmful acts. 12 God saw how sinful the earth had become. All of the people on earth were leading very sinful lives. 13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people. They have filled the earth with their harmful acts. You can be sure that I am going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 "So make yourself an ark out of cypress wood...17 "I am going to bring a flood on the earth. It will destroy all life under the sky. It will destroy every living creature that breathes. Everything on earth will die. 18 "But I will make my covenant with you. You will enter the ark. Your sons and your wife and your sons' wives will enter it with you. 19 "Bring two of every living thing into the ark. Bring male and female of them into it. They will be kept alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird will come to you. Two of every kind of animal will come to you. And two of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you. All of them will be kept alive with you.

Genesis 7         
4 (God said) “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth. It will rain for 40 days and 40 nights. I will destroy from the face of the earth every living thing I have made."   5 Noah did everything the Lord commanded him to do...12 Rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights...15 Pairs of all living creatures that breathe came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing. Everything happened exactly as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in...18 The waters rose higher and higher on the earth. And the ark floated on the water...21 Every living thing that moved on the earth died. The birds, the livestock and the wild animals died. All of the creatures that fill the earth also died. And so did every human being...24 The waters flooded the earth for 150 days.

Genesis 8          
1 But God showed concern for Noah. He also showed concern for all of the wild animals and livestock that were with Noah in the ark.  So God sent a wind over the earth. And the waters began to go down...10 Then he (Noah) sent the dove out from the ark again. 11 In the evening the dove returned to him. There in its beak was a freshly picked olive leaf! So Noah knew that the water on the earth had gone down. 12 He waited seven more days. Then he sent the dove out again. But that time it didn't return to him...13 The water had dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering from the ark. He saw that the surface of the ground was dry...18 So Noah came out of the ark. His sons and his wife and his sons' wives were with him. 19 All of the animals came out of the ark...20 Then Noah built an altar to honor the Lord.

Genesis 9          
8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons who were with him. He said, 9 "I am now making my covenant with you and with all of your children who will be born after you. 10 I am making it also with every living thing that was with you in the ark. I am making my covenant with the birds, the livestock and all of the wild with all of the creatures that came out of the ark with you. I am making it with every living thing on earth. 11 "Here is my covenant that I am making with you. The waters of a flood will never destroy all life again. A flood will never destroy the earth again." 12 God continued, "My covenant is between me and you and every living thing with you. It is a covenant for all time to come. "Here is the sign of the covenant I am making. 13 I have put my rainbow in the clouds. It will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Sometimes when I bring clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in them. 15 Then I will remember my covenant between me and you and every kind of living thing.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible,
Copyright © 1996, 1998 Biblica. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of Biblica.


circa 1846
Artist: Edward Hicks
Location: Philadelphia Museum of Art


circa 1829 
Artist: Thomas Cole
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum

  1. Look at these two pictures carefully. What kind of emotions do each of the pictures elicit in you?
  1. In the 1st picture, “Noah’s Ark” (before the flood), what things do you see that show
  • Peace and harmony?
  • Obedience and order?
  • Fear or chaos?
  1. In the 2nd picture, “The Subsiding Waters of the Deluge” (after the flood), what do you see that shows
  • Destruction?
  • Hope?
  • Renewal or cleansing?
  1. Read the story of Noah. What was the problem in the world at the beginning of the story?
  1. Why was God angry with people?
  1. What do you think people were doing that was so sinful? 
  1. In the story, how does God show that he has high standards for people?
  1. How does God show mercy in the story?
  1. If you were painting this story, what would you add to either of these paintings?
  1. In the end, God says, when he sees the rainbow, it will remind him of his covenant (promise) with people. 
  1. What could this rainbow remind people about God?


Scriptures Referenced

Genesis 6:9-20
Genesis 7:4-24
Genesis 8:1-20
Genesis 9:8-15