Still Waters: The Ark

Gen 6:14-17 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

The method of Divine judgment was revealed to Noah; “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh....” To escape this “flood of waters,” Noah was instructed to build an ark, or a boat. The dimensions of this boat were given. It was to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. The ark was to have one window in the top and one door on the side. It was to be constructed of gopher wood, which was most likely of the cypress variety. There were to be three stories in the ark, and it was to be built with rooms. The ark was to be covered with “pitch,” which was “mineral pitch or asphalt... Asphalt is an opaque, inflammable substance which bubbles up from subterranean fountains in a liquid state, and hardens by exposure to air, but readily melts under the influence of heat.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary) It was used as a cement and as for coating of the outside of vessels. The asphalt covering of the cypress built ark would provide a watertight seal, thus making it impervious to the “flood of waters” that were to be sent upon the earth, adding to its buoyancy. The ark would have had the capacity to haul up to the equivalent of 450 semi-trailers. According to nautical engineers, the ark was near the maximum size known for wooden vessels. Honest science concludes that the ark would have been capable of hauling the animals spoken of in Scripture while remaining afloat during the great deluge. Of course, Bible believers do not require the affirmation of science to bolster their faith in God’s Word, but it certainly encourages them when science verifies what they already know to be trustworthy and truthful.

Pastor Steve Smith