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Noah's Ark

Updated on October 23, 2016
Children enjoy the story of Noah and all the animals.
Children enjoy the story of Noah and all the animals. | Source

The Story of Noah and His Ark

In the days of Noah, men had become completely wicked. The Bible says “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9b KJV) Noah must have had a hard time following God with all of the evil around him, but instead of feeling sorry for himself, he continued to walk with him. Walking with God is more than just following him. It means that Noah had a relationship with God. Noah depended upon him for his every need, obeyed him, worshiped him as his creator and spent time with Him every day.

God warned Noah that “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.God then gave instructions to Noah about how he was to build the ark. The ark was so large, that it is hard for us to imagine something of this size. It must have taken Noah a long time to build the ark and gather so many animals. He also had to gather food to feed all of these creatures. Noah had to be a man of great faith and patience to complete this task.

He could have gotten angry at all the taunting he received and said I'm not going to do this anymore. I'm just giving up, but no, his faith in God got him through the job. I'm sure he turned to God many times in prayer asking for help.

Some Interesting Facts About the Ark

1. The ark is estimated to have been 1 ½ football fields long and about 1/6 that wide. A boat of this size would have to have weighed about 14,000 tons.

2. Modern estimates are that it would have the capacity to carry as much as 522 railroad cars.

3. The ark was as high as a 4 story building. Each story was divided into individual rooms for the people and animals.

4. The ark was built out of gopher wood. Gopher wood is now believed to be cypress or cedar wood.

5. Pitch was used to seal the ark.

6. The ark was to have a door and windows.

After God told Noah how to build the ark, he then told him, “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.” (Genesis 6:18 KJV)

God then tells Noah who is to inhabit the ark.

This Is Who God Told Noah to Include in the Ark

1. There were 2 of each animal, a male and a female of each. It is estimated that there are 17,600 species of animals today, making 45,000 animals likely.

2. The animals that were used for offerings included 7 of each.

3. He was to include 7 of each fowl of the air.

4. The ark had to have enough food for each of these animals.

5. 8 people would inhabit the ark, Noah, his wife, and his 3 sons and their wives. Noah’s sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Food was to be stored up for the people also.

Noah's Ark is a popular subject for painters. This painting of Noah's Ark is by American folk artist Edward Hicks.
Noah's Ark is a popular subject for painters. This painting of Noah's Ark is by American folk artist Edward Hicks. | Source

Even though the Bible doesn’t say so, I’m sure everyone was questioning Noah about his ark and thought he was crazy. Noah told them what would happen, but no one would listen. Obviously no one believed what God told Noah, because no one else was included when Noah and his family entered the ark. It had to take Noah many days to build the ark and many more days to collect all of the animals and food. Noah stayed strong in his faith, even when no one else did.

Genesis 6:22 says: "Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded him, so did he."

Chapter 7 of Genesis tells us “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for only thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” God also told Noah that in 7 days he would cause it to rain for forty days and forty nights. Now remember, Noah had to take all of the animals into the ark. That is probably why God told him 7 days ahead of time.

On the 7th day that Noah entered the ark, the rain began. I wonder if the people started to worry then if Noah was right about God destroying the earth. If they did, it was too late.

40 Days and 40 Nights of Rain
40 Days and 40 Nights of Rain | Source

Where Did the Water Come From?

Where did all this water come from? The Bible says it rained 40 days and 40 nights. In Genesis 1:7 it says “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.” It is believed that this meant that there was a body of vapor above the earth making a canopy that made the earth much like a greenhouse. Not only could this account for the waters of the flood, but possibly why people before that time were able to live so many years. Subterranean waters also added to the water.

The Bible says the water stayed on the earth for 150 days. Everything on the entire earth that had the breath of life died. God then made great winds so that the water would dry up. The ark then rested on Mount Ararat. On the tenth month the tops of the mountains could be seen.

We know the story about how Noah sent out a raven and a dove and then the dove returned because it couldn't find a place to rest. The next time he sent out the dove, it returned with an olive branch. The last dove didn't return and Noah then it was soon time to leave the ark.

God promised Noah he would never destroy the earth again with a flood.

Questions to Ask Yourself

If God saved only certain people from a flood today, do you think you would be included?

See results

Do you walk with God or just try to follow his commands?

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Could you handle the entire world mocking you because you were following God?

See results

Do you have the patience of Noah to complete such an enormous task?

See results


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    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      irenemaria, Thanks for your comments.

    • irenemaria profile image


      7 years ago from Sweden

      (Matthew 24:38, 39) . . .For as they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; 39 and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away. . .

      This shows that they knew because Noah had told them why he was building the Ark!

      (2 Peter 2:5) . . .he did not hold back from punishing an ancient world, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people. . .

      PREACHER it says. Noah did warn them.

    • Freeway Flyer profile image

      Paul Swendson 

      7 years ago


      Yes, I believe that it is supposed to be a story that teaches certain lessons, and that Noah is supposed to be a role model. Many Christians would agree, and like me, do not believe that it literally happened. It defies common sense on multiple levels, and in my view, there is nothing virtuous about tossing out one's common sense. Here are some more thoughts:

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      ThePastor, Thanks for your comments. I hadn't thought about how old the animals would have been. Taking the young ones makes sense. Thanks also for your thoughts on grace.

    • ThePastor profile image


      7 years ago from California

      The study of Noah's ark is very intriguing. One area that is a common misrepresentation of the ark is that there were two of each animal. Actuall (Gen 7:2) we are told, "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female." So there were actually more animals then what many think.

      Another interesting item that people struggle with is "how did the lions not eat the zebras" type of question. The Bible doesn't tell us, but if you were going to repopulate the animal kingdom with a handful of animals would you take old or young animals? More then likely the animals that were brought in were younger (meaning smaller) then full grown animals. No proof, but it would make sense.

      Another study I like about the Ark is that this story contains the first usage of "grace" in it. Genesis 6:8 - Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

      Many define grace as unmerited favor, which is how the Amplified Bible translates it. But within this grace that Noah found there was a plan (how to build the ark) and an empowerment (ability to build the ark) and salvation (deliverance from destruction).

      Compare that to the Apostle Paul who said that, "I am what I am by the grace of God" and we find that grace is far more then what most define or understand.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      April, I agree. That would be hard.

      Lew, I've questioned that too, but many scientist think that at one time all of the land was connected. So, who knows?

    • LewSethics profile image


      7 years ago

      If Noah were to collect samples of ALL the animals in the world, then he would have to go to the Americas, and Africa, and Australia, and Asia, and all those huge Islands like Greenland and Madagascar, and the Philipines etc.

      Old Testament Biblical stories are about people living in a small area of the mideast. To them it was the 'whole world'.

    • April Reynolds profile image

      April Reynolds 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      I think the hardest part would be having to stay on the boat so long after the rain stopped. With nothing to see but water receding I would go crazy!

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      b.Malin, I agree with you. I go crazy in the winter here in Michigan, so I can't even imagine it.

      I read elsewhere that it would have taken them most of their time just feeding that many animals and cleaning up after them. Think of that job! Ick!

      Thanks for commenting.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      7 years ago from USA

      Freeway Flyer, Even you personally don't believe the story of Noah, he offers a good example of faith, obedience, sticking to the job when no one else believes, and real patience.

      God is a loving God, but he hates sin. Thanks for commenting even though you disagree.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Can you imagine actually living with all those Animals and People for that length of time and not wanting to kill one another! Or at best go Crazy. Very Interesting Hub Barbara.

    • Freeway Flyer profile image

      Paul Swendson 

      7 years ago

      I'm not sure what aspect of the Noah's Ark story is the most ridiculous. Is it that people actually take the notion seriously that all of the species on the planet earth were crammed into a big boat, or is it that the God of the Bible was violent enough to destroy every living thing: man, woman, child, baby, and animal. The fact that this is seen as anything more than a mythological story designed to teach certain lessons is evidence that the human race has the capacity to believe anything.


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