“And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’” Genesis 6:13.
“Make yourself an ark of gopherwood [perhaps, cypress or cedar]; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. And behold, I Myself am bringing the flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; and everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark – you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.” Genesis 6:14-20.
The cubit is a measure that extends from the tip of the middle finger back to the tip of the elbow and is generally believed to be about 18 inches. If this is the case an ark which is 300 cubits long by a width of 50 cubits and a height of 30 cubits would be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. That is one and a half football fields long, while at 75 feet wide, it is almost half the width of a football field (NFL 160 feet, sideline to sideline).
There are about ten to twelve feet per story in a building. Using the lesser number of ten feet the ark was about four and a half stories high. If you are near a small building which is four stories high (count 4 windows up); stand next to it to get an idea of the height of the ark.
Henry M. Morris gives us a slightly different cubit length of about 17.5 inches in his book, “The Beginning of the World”, published by Master Books; giving the ark a capacity of one million four hundred thousand cubic feet which is divided into three decks.
He goes on to say that this is the equivalent of 522 standard railroad livestock cars. If the average size animal was that of a sheep, 150 livestock cars would have a capacity of 36,000 animals. It is estimated that there are less than 18,000 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles today.
This would be a little under one third of the ark’s capacity. The other two thirds could be used for food, living quarters, and the approximately 1,000,000 insect species, and any animals which are now extinct, such as the dinosaur, archaeopteryx, dodo bird and the wooly mammoth.
I have read of another estimate of a cubit as being 21.888 inches, giving a length of 547 feet (and inches) long by 91 feet wide and 47 feet high.
As you study the subject you will see that most authors base the cubit on either 18 inches, or 22 inches, the difference is moot, this was a big boat, rather more like a barge since the word ark means box.
That is all that the ark was, a floating box, since its purpose was to float, nothing more.
According to Henry Morris, the dimensions were such that in wave tank model testing it was nearly impossible to capsize, the box floated smoothly on often violent waters and it would align itself to ride the waves easily.
God also instructed Noah to construct a window that was a cubit in width running all along the top edge of the ark; with the roof finished to a cubit above the window, which some say indicates a pitched roof, making perfect sense since it would be needed to keep the rain out of the window and for runoff from the roof. The window would also let in light and help keep the air fresh within the ark.
There is not much more recorded about the construction of the ark other than Noah was to make rooms (compartments, cells, or nests) and that he was to cover it with pitch inside and out to waterproof it.
The word for pitch in this passage is not the kind of pitch which you may have visualized; the pitch covering the ark was not derived from a petroleum based distillate, oil and coal are the result of rotting plant life which was trapped underground during the flood. Such a form of waterproofing was unavailable and would undoubtedly stink, making everyone sick.
The sealant referred to as pitch was a resin extracted from cypress or cedar trees, the purest of which would be amber in color. This pitch could have been painted on the surface being waterproofed, inside and outside.
This is the bare bones of the plans, there is nothing about the galley, personal living quarters, or how the food was stored.
Unless Noah was a shipwright by trade (seas existed Genesis 1:10, 21) there are a lot of things God would have had to tell him about building this huge box over a period of one hundred years.
One scoffer wondered where Noah put all of the animal feces which would have accumulated by the ton.
People like this are willfully ignorant of such things because they read the flood account like they would a children’s book, insulting God as if He were too stupid to come up with something practical.
While it is a cynical question, there is merit to it, and you should have something of an answer in case you are asked. The immediate answer is that God most likely had most or all of the animals hibernate; a state wherein all of the bodily functions almost completely shut down.
This would reduce the workload of caring for the animals to nearly nothing. It is evident by Genesis 6:21 at the end of this chapter that there were at least some of the animals to be fed.
“And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” Genesis 6:21.
It is still possible that most of the animals hibernated and then awoke some time short of the 53 weeks they were in the ark.
As for the waste removal and their own need of toilet facilities; you will notice that God told Noah to take all sorts of food, and said nothing about water. Interesting is it not, water, water, everywhere and nary a drop to drink.
Do you suppose they lowered buckets down through the 18 inch high window at the top of the ark to get their water which was most likely still fresh?
It has been suggested that the ark had something which was not mentioned in the dimensions; a moon pool.
A moon pool is something that is relatively recent in usage. It is a hole cut in the hull of a ship with walls built up around it to a height which is higher than the water level on the outside of the ship (the ships draft). The ark’s draft is estimated to be about 22.5 feet though a later estimate is 15 feet 7 inches.
This means that a moon pool would have to have walls within the ark more than 15 feet 7 inches high for safety to avoid water sloshing over the sides of the well and entering the ark. There may even have been a hatch to cover the pool during the worst of it.
With this floating well, water could be drawn out of it and refuse could be thrown into it, with the constant motion of the ark keeping the water fresh. This constant motion of the water in the well would also act as a pump to circulate the stale air to the outside, keeping the air fresh within the ark.
Some of this information came from worldwideflood.com there is a lot of interesting technical information at this site.
And of course, the scoffer’s delight, Christians are dumb enough to think that dinosaurs were on the ark.
Scientist have proven that dinosaurs all died off 75 millllion years ago after some disastrous cataclysm, probably an asteroid hit or a multitude of volcanic eruptions at one time, certainly not a worldwide flood.
What kind of an imbecile would think that you could fit an extinct 75 foot long Apatosaurus into an ark which is 45 feet high, or an 108 foot long Diplodocus, or a 112 foot long Supersaurus, or the ravenous 40 foot long Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Any fool can see that just these four dinosaurs would fill the ark and wreak havoc. I am glad we are talking about any fool because these dinosaurs did not come out of a 75 foot egg, or a 112 foot egg anymore than any of us came out of our mother’s womb 5 foot 8 inches tall, and weighing 135 pounds. I guarantee that if we did, our mother would retain a certain amount of bitterness against us.
The size of any dinosaur egg varies from expert to expert, but it is commented a couple of times that even the largest dinosaur egg is either the size of a soccer ball or a basketball; with another source stating that the largest egg is no larger than 21 inches in diameter.
Dinosaur eggs are not the size of a man as the movies often show; it is thought that the larger a dinosaur gets the larger the egg, which in turn has a thicker shell. If the shell is too thick, the baby dies because they cannot get out. As a result the best time for laying is when the animal is fairly young and smaller.
Again it is speculated that an average dinosaur remains small and sexually immature until it reaches the age of 5 to around 15 years at which time some believe dinosaurs have a growth spurt. One evolutionist oriented site stated flatly that, “All dinosaurs came from small babies.”
It seems feasible that dinosaurs averaging 4 or 5 years old entered the ark when they were about the size of a sheep, and at the end of a year in the ark, they were becoming sexually mature and ready to breed.
An alternate theory on dinosaur growth is a process going on today. Reptiles such as crocodiles grow for their entire lifetime, which explains why we have crocodiles that are up to 23 feet in length and weigh up to 2200 pounds. If this were so, it still would not alter the size of the animals entering the ark. None of these animals were meat eaters, God said so earlier in Genesis.
“Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food; and it was so.” Genesis 1:30.
This should cover many of the arguments against the universal flood of Noah’s day. But there will always be another one because most do not want to know the truth, and others have been indoctrinated not to question the pseudo-science of evolution.
Remember this though, laughter and mocking is not an argument, it is a sign of ignorance.
“Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” Genesis 6:22.
“…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.” 2 Peter 3:3-6.
Dark, Deadly, Disaster, Genesis 6:14-22 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 9-10-14, updated on 11-24-21.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.