Jesse Tree – Day 4: Noah

And it’s time for another Jesse Tree devotional! This time, it’s going to be Noah’s story — which is one of the most popular Old Testament stories out there. In fact, it’s one of the first biblical stories that are introduced to children, partly because it makes such a great toy. Matching animals… a giant boat. It’s practically designed for a toy!

Our Noah’s Ark toy! Since it’s basically a requirement that every family with small children must have a toy of this type.

So, there are many people who have a child-like understanding of the story of Noah since they played with the toys. And so, the story of Noah’s Ark is kind of a cute story to many people who have left the faith.

Of course, if you stop to think about it — I mean, really stop to think about it — it is actually quite a morbid story. And the artwork definitely gets morbid. So, a huge warning to you before you start reading this story:

It’s not just cute animals marching into the Ark.

In fact, it gets pretty dark at parts.

And so, here is the ornament:

A pretty rainbow, made by yours truly! Crochet pattern is here, just in case you would like to make it yourself.

A rainbow, depicting the God’s promise to never destroy the entire world again!

Now, let’s read the scripture behind this symbol..

Noah

NABRE

Genesis 6

5 When the LORD saw how great the wickedness of human beings was on earth, and how every desire that their heart conceived was always nothing but evil, 6the LORD regretted making human beings on the earth, and his heart was grieved.7So the LORD said: I will wipe out from the earth the human beings I have created, and not only the human beings, but also the animals and the crawling things and the birds of the air, for I regret that I made them.

The Great Flood, by Adam Elsheimer, c. 1599-1600. Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany.
The Great Flood, by Adam Elsheimer, c. 1599-1600. Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany.

NABRE

Genesis 6

8But Noah found favor with the LORD.

Noah’s Ark, by Roelant Savery, c. 1628, National Museum in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
Noah’s Ark, by Roelant Savery, c. 1628, National Museum in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.

NABRE

Genesis 6

13God said to Noah: I see that the end of all mortals has come, for the earth is full of lawlessness because of them. So I am going to destroy them with the earth.14Make yourself an ark of gopherwood, equip the ark with various compartments, and cover it inside and out with pitch.

Construction of Noah’s Ark, by Jan Luyken, c. 1688-90. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Construction of Noah’s Ark, by Jan Luyken, c. 1688-90. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

NABRE

Genesis 6

15This is how you shall build it: the length of the ark will be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16Make an opening for daylight and finish the ark a cubit above it. Put the ark’s entrance on its side; you will make it with bottom, second and third decks.

Construction of Noah’s Ark, by Nicolas Bertin, c.1685. Private collection.
Construction of Noah’s Ark, by Nicolas Bertin, c. 1685. Private collection.

NABRE

Genesis 6

17I, on my part, am about to bring the flood waters on the earth, to destroy all creatures under the sky in which there is the breath of life; everything on earth shall perish. 18I will establish my covenant with you. You shall go into the ark, you and your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19Of all living creatures you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, one male and one female, to keep them alive along with you. 20Of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal, and of every kind of thing that crawls on the ground, two of each will come to you, that you may keep them alive. 21Moreover, you are to provide yourself with all the food that is to be eaten, and store it away, that it may serve as provisions for you and for them. 22Noah complied; he did just as God had commanded him.

The Entry of the Ark, by Jan Bruegel the Elder, c. 1613. J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles, California, United States.
The Entry of the Ark, by Jan Bruegel the Elder, c. 1613. J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles, California, United States.

NABRE

Genesis 7

5Noah complied, just as the LORD had commanded.6Noah was six hundred years old when the flood came upon the earth.

Noah: The Eve of the Deluge, by John Linnell, c. 19th century. Cleveland Art Museum, Cleveland, Ohio, United States.
Noah: The Eve of the Deluge, by John Linnell, c. 19th century. Cleveland Art Museum, Cleveland, Ohio, United States.

NABRE

Genesis 7

7Together with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, Noah went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. 8Of the clean animals and the unclean, of the birds, and of everything that crawls on the ground, 9two by two, male and female came to Noah into the ark, just as God had commanded him.

The Animals Entering Noah’s Ark, by Jacopo Bassano, c. 1570s. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.
The Animals Entering Noah’s Ark, by Jacopo Bassano, c. 1570s. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

NABRE

Genesis 7

10When the seven days were over, the waters of the flood came upon the earth.11In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month: on that dayAll the fountains of the great abyss burst forth,and the floodgates of the sky were opened.12For forty days and forty nights heavy rain poured down on the earth.13On the very same day, Noah and his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of Noah’s sons had entered the ark, 14together with every kind of wild animal, every kind of tame animal, every kind of crawling thing that crawls on the earth, and every kind of bird. 15Pairs of all creatures in which there was the breath of life came to Noah into the ark.

Noah’s Ark, by Edward Hicks, c. 1846. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
Noah’s Ark, by Edward Hicks, c. 1846. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

NABRE

Genesis 7

16Those that entered were male and female; of all creatures they came, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.17The flood continued upon the earth for forty days. As the waters increased, they lifted the ark, so that it rose above the earth. 18The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth, but the ark floated on the surface of the waters. 19Higher and higher on the earth the waters swelled, until all the highest mountains under the heavens were submerged.

The Deluge, by John Martin, c. 1834. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven Connecticut, United States.
The Deluge, by John Martin, c. 1834. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven Connecticut, United States.

NABRE

Genesis 7

20The waters swelled fifteen cubits higher than the submerged mountains. 21All creatures that moved on earth perished: birds, tame animals, wild animals, and all that teemed on the earth, as well as all humankind. 22Everything on dry land with the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23The LORD wiped out every being on earth: human beings and animals, the crawling things and the birds of the air; all were wiped out from the earth. Only Noah and those with him in the ark were left.

The Deluge, by Francis Danby, c. 1840. Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom.
The Deluge, by Francis Danby, c. 1840. Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom.

NABRE

Genesis 7

24And when the waters had swelled on the earth for one hundred and fifty days,

Noah’s Ark Afloat, by Juan Gerson, c. 1562. Temple of the Franciscan Ex-Convent of La Asunción de Nuestra Señora, Tecamachalco, Puebla, Mexico.
Noah’s Ark Afloat, by Juan Gerson, c. 1562. Temple of the Franciscan Ex-Convent of La Asunción de Nuestra Señora, Tecamachalco, Puebla, Mexico.

NABRE

Genesis 8

1God remembered Noah and all the animals, wild and tame, that were with him in the ark. So God made a wind sweep over the earth, and the waters began to subside. 2The fountains of the abyss and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the downpour from the sky was held back. 3Gradually the waters receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred and fifty days, the waters had so diminished 4that, in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5The waters continued to diminish until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains appeared.

The Subsiding of the Waters of the Deluge, by Thomas Cole, c. 1829. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., United States.
The Subsiding of the Waters of the Deluge, by Thomas Cole, c. 1829. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., United States.

NABRE

Genesis 8

6At the end of forty days Noah opened the hatch of the ark that he had made, 7 and he released a raven. It flew back and forth until the waters dried off from the earth. 8Then he released a dove, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth. 9But the dove could find no place to perch, and it returned to him in the ark, for there was water over all the earth. Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark.

The Dove Returns to Noah, by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum, New York, New York, United States.
The Dove Returns to Noah, by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum, New York, New York, United States.

NABRE

Genesis 8

10He waited yet seven days more and again released the dove from the ark. 11In the evening the dove came back to him, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! So Noah knew that the waters had diminished on the earth.

The Sacred Dove: An Allegory of the Flood, by Pieter Casteels III, c. 1721. Private collection.
The Sacred Dove: An Allegory of the Flood, by Pieter Casteels III, c. 1721. Private collection.

NABRE

Genesis 8

12He waited yet another seven days and then released the dove; but this time it did not come back.13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water began to dry up on the earth. Noah then removed the covering of the ark and saw that the surface of the ground had dried. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.15Then God said to Noah: 16Go out of the ark, together with your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives. 17Bring out with you every living thing that is with you—all creatures, be they birds or animals or crawling things that crawl on the earth—and let them abound on the earth, and be fertile and multiply on it.

Noah’s Ark on the Mount Arabat, by Simon de Myle, c. 1570. Private collection.
Noah’s Ark on the Mount Arabat, by Simon de Myle, c. 1570. Private collection.

NABRE

Genesis 8

18So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives; 19and all the animals, all the birds, and all the crawling creatures that crawl on the earth went out of the ark by families.20Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and choosing from every clean animal and every clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21When the LORD smelled the sweet odor, the LORD said to himself: Never again will I curse the ground because of human beings, since the desires of the human heart are evil from youth; nor will I ever again strike down every living being, as I have done.

Thanksgiving After Leaving the Ark, by Domenico Morelli, c. 1901. Private collection.
Thanksgiving After Leaving the Ark, by Domenico Morelli, c. 1901. Private collection.

Okay, okay! I admit it… I might have gone a little overboard in illustrating this particular scripture. Anyway, come back for tomorrow, in which I promise you a shorter reading. 🙂

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of three, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer

Leave a Reply