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The Ark Of Noah
“Then God said to Noah, ‘I am going to destroy all the peoples, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I will surely destroy them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood. y chambers and pitch it inside and out. Here is how you should build it: The ark should be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. a roof and finish the arch within 18” of the top. Put a door in the side of the arch and make lower, middle, and upper decks.
In Genesis chapters 6-9, we read about the worldwide flood and the ark that Noah was commissioned to build by God in order to save his family (he, his wife, his three sons and their wives) and the pairs of all kinds of animals.
Many Christians have been despised because they believe the ark story. How gullible must one be to believe that pairs of animals just “showed up” to walk on the ark? Can you really believe that a pair of polar bears walked from the North Pole to somewhere in the Middle East to board an ark? And the penguins? Or kangaroos?
The Bible does not explain to us how this was accomplished, but if we believe in a God who created our world, it is not too difficult to believe that this same God could also cause the embarkation of the ark to happen.
The stunning proof of Noah’s story, however, is the ark itself. What did it look like? Genesis records specific dimensions as well as detailed instructions on how the ark should be constructed. It’s not just a small boat. It also didn’t look like the ships of the time. You don’t need to be an expert in “Bronze Age boat building” to realize that naval vessels at that time were probably quite small, unable to carry large loads or many passengers. They were probably not seaworthy enough to cross large bodies of water. In the New Testament, people had to deal with the same nautical problems that they encountered in the days of Noah. We read about the challenges they faced daily while fishing on the Lake of Galilee, and how Paul was shipwrecked in a great storm.
In 1992, archaeologists in Dover, England unearthed the remains of a large wooden boat believed to be 3,550 years old (thus dating it to the time of Moses). This boat is called the Dover boat. Its size is estimated at 15–18 meters (50–60 ft) long (only about half to two-thirds of the boat was salvaged) and 2.4 meters (8 ft) wide. It could have crossed the channel, carrying food, livestock and passengers, probably propelled by at least 18 paddlers.
It would have been a fairly large boat for the Bronze Age. Compare that to the ark. The ark was 450 feet long (up to nine times the length of the Dover Boat) and 75 feet wide (again, over nine times as wide). This makes the area of the arch approximately 85 times larger! Also, the Dover boat is just an open rowing boat. The Ark, on the other hand, is 45 feet (3 decks) high – a real monster compared to the Dover ship!
The dimensions of the ark make it look like a modern container ship.
Shaped like a rectangular box with an aspect ratio of 6 to 1 (450 feet to 75 feet), the ark would have had excellent stability. The normal length to width ratio of ancient ships was 10 to 1. However, Noah used the same proportions that we now use in modern shipbuilding. An interesting parallel with the size of the Ark can be seen in the famous Titanic. the Titanic was 823 feet long by 98 feet wide (a ratio of 9 to 1) with a cargo capacity of 45,000 tons. Its total capacity was quite similar to Noah’s Ark, although Titanic was a bit longer and wider.
By taking the dimensions of the ark and using “a sheep” as the average animal, Dr. John Whitcomb and Dr. Henry Morris calculated that the ark could have held up to 130,500 animals. They estimate the total number at around 17,600 (3,500 mammals, 8,600 birds, 5,500 reptiles and amphibians). They conclude that the ark would only be filled to perhaps 27% of its available space.
Obviously, many disagree with their calculations, but it is indisputable that the ark was large, especially for its time, and its dimensions and ratios are remarkably consistent with modern shipbuilding. He certainly demonstrated a technical expertise unknown in the days of Noah or Moses.
Moses lived most of his life in the desert. The only ships he had seen were probably the small boats that sailed the Nile. How did he know these dimensions? How could a sand man design a container ship? And how could he know the preferred ratio between length, width and height of such a ship?
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