Noah’s Ark appears in the Bible, (Genesis chapters 6-9) and the Qur’an. Noah was a patriarch with three sons, Shem, Ham and Japeth. When he was 600 years old, God informed him that he was going to send a great flood to cleanse the Earth of man’s wickedness. Noah was instructed to build a great boat, board it with his family and two of every animal under the sun, and they alone would be saved from the Flood.
The waters covered the mountains and the Ark came to rest on the top of Mount Ararat. After ten months, Noah sent out a raven and a dove to see if the waters had receded – the dove returned with an olive branch, indicating the lowering water levels. Once the Earth was dry, God told Noah to leave the Ark, whereupon he made a sacrifice for their safe deliverance, and God made a covenant with Noah, that he and his sons might eat animals but only those which had been drained of their sacred blood. A rainbow formed in the sky to seal the pact and Noah and his family, along with the animals, repopulated the Earth. The patriarch died at the great age of 950.
Noah's Ark is one of the most well-known Old Testament stories. Studied for centuries by scholars who look for both literal and figurative meanings, the story has also been re-written, filmed and painted in many variations. From time to time, claims surface that remnants of the Ark have been found in Turkey near Mount Ararat. Children’s toys of Noah’s Ark are very popular – the large sailing vessel and the pairs of animals have been played with by children throughout the ages.