011-ARCA DE NOEThe construction of the Ark was ordered to Noah by God.1 The story of its construction has specific details, clear and defined, as well as the Flood, which was worldwide, not local as it is believed. If it was a local event, what is the point of building such a big boat? Using the 120 years2 of time available would have been enough for the construction, to take the animals to a safe place. The story is presented in a chronological way, in a real period of time, with particular data about dimensions and materials used to build a boat3, a boat capable of remain standing in such a magnitude catastrophe. The Ark was made of ‘gopher’ wood, an unknown kind of wood or tree, although most experts agree on a resinous kind of tree, as cypress, perfect to be used as a boat and high capacity of buoyancy. In ancient times, this was an extremely valuable wood to build boats. Used by Phoenician and Alexander the Great, is a resistant wood against water and putrefaction. God also did command Noah to re-cover the Ark with tar.

The design and dimensions of the Ark are very particular; the Bible says he should build compartments or “nests”. The dimensions of the Ark are about 135 metres long, 22’5 metres wide and 13’5 metres high (450 feet long, 75 feet wide, 45 feet high), with three storeys high and only one window and door. According to this information, we have a volume of 41,000 cubic metres to be home to the animals. This area is equivalent to 520 modern train cars. By its dimensions, we deduce it was prepared not to capsize; it was designed to float but no to sail. The proportion of length and width was 6 to 1, which nowadays is often used in ships’ construction. This is the best proportion to reach the best stability in tempestuous times. It is the proportion used by Noah. Even so, certainly God protected the Ark with his power. Some experts estimate there were between 16,000 and 35,000 animals in the Ark, gathering the animal diversity. Despite the large amount of food they had stored4, we know many animals sleep, hibernate or enter in inactive condition for long periods of time, and this situation naturally would help not to make excessive supplies. God’s words about the animals, mean “shall come to the Ark” and “shall come to you”5, so according to the text, Noah had no need to leave and collect animals, God brought them. God also did a faith and protection pact with Noah and eight people did enter into the Ark.6


Biblical References:

  1. Genesis 6: 14 until  9: 18
  2. Genesis 6: 3
  3. Genesis 6: 15, 16
  4. Genesis 6: 21
  5. Genesis 6: 19, 20
  6. Genesis 6: 18; Matthew 24: 38, 39; Hebrews 11: 7; 1 Peter 3: 20