Genesis 303
Lesson Eleven

The Ark


Gen 6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 
Gen 6:15 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. 
Gen 6:16 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. 
Gen 6:17 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. 
Gen 6:18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. 
Gen 6:19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. 
Gen 6:20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. 
Gen 6:21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. 
Gen 6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

 

Now we arrive at the point God gives Noah instructions on building the Ark. This is the method on how God is going to save Noah and his family. There is a very important lesson to learn from this section of Scripture. One may think that small details does not matter, but they do. God tells Noah the exact size to build the ark, how many levels to build it, where to put the door and the window, and even what material to use in making it. And, then in verse 22 we read, "thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he." Here we learn that Noah did exactly what God told him to do. And, as we know, Noah and his family, and all that were on the ark, survived the massive flood. Many experiments have been conducted to see if this size and shape of boat would have survived the flood. What they found out was that this size and shape of ark was the perfect size to survive a flood. In fact, when they changed the size and shape, it became much less stable. God knew exactly what He was doing, and His salvation for Noah and his family was sure.

 

The lesson we can learn from this is pretty clear. God has also told us that there is another judgment coming. This time He will destroy the world with fire. He has told us exactly what to do to be saved. He told us to Repent, and believe in His salvation through Jesus Christ. Our works will not do. Our Righteousness is not good enough, and once again, only God's way of salvation will work. We should, as Noah did, do all that God has commanded.

 

Then in verse 19-21 we learn God's plan of saving the animal kingdom. Noah was to bring two of every living creature on the ark, And he was also to bring enough food for him and his family and for the animals. Now in Chapter 7 and verse 2 we learn another factor regarding the animals. Noah was to bring SEVEN of each of the clean animals. Clean animals were animals that God said the Israelites could eat. Leviticus 11 provides an extensive list of these. Read this chapter. You will be ask later to list some of the clean animals and some of the unclean animals.

 

What was the reason for the additional clean animals? Well, the answer is two fold. Noah, his wife, three sons, and their wives would need something to eat while on the ark, and afterwards, once they got off the ark, until other food could be established. If they only had two, a male and female, as required for the unclean animals, if they ate one, the species would become extinct. They needed more, so once the judgement was over, they would have clean animals left to repopulate the earth. Secondly, they needed clean animals for a sacrifice.

 

Gen 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

 

In this verse, recorded right after they got off the Ark, we see that some of these clean animals were offered as a sacrifice to the Lord. So, if seven pair of clean animals were brought upon the ark, and one of each clean animal was sacrificed, and a male and female was turned loose to repopulate the earth, that left them eleven of each of the clean animals for food. This would have been sufficient for them given the fact that they would have also had fish to eat as well.

 

Another issue that arises when discussing the Ark, and all the animals is that of "space". How could they possibly get all those animals plus food on one boat? It would have been impossible.

 

Skeptics often toss this challenge out, thinking there is no answer, but there is, and a simple one at that.
There are two parts to the question—the number of animals, and the size of the Ark.


Every species of living creature did not need to go on board. Only the animals that were air breathing (‘all flesh in which there is the breath of life’ (Genesis 7:15)) and land dwelling (‘all flesh died that moved on the earth’ (Genesis 7:21)). 
So fish did not go on; they are not air-breathing. Whales and dolphins did not go on either. Although they breathe air, they are not land-dwelling. Fish and whales survive under water, although some die during floods when sediment and other debris contaminate the water. We find many marine fossils that were buried during the Flood.

 

Insects were probably not collected and housed on the Ark. They do not have nostrils (Genesis 7:22) to breathe air, and can survive floods on floating debris such as vegetation mats. No doubt many insects hopped on board anyway. 
So, that reduces the number of species. But how many animals?

 

Take dogs, for example—would Noah have taken two Alsatians, two cocker spaniels, two collies, two red setters, etc.? No, he would have needed just one pair of dogs, like the wolf kind, with much genetic variation, somewhat like mongrels today. We know that the different breeds of dogs have been produced from a wolf-like dog, and this only took a few thousand years. That is not evolution; that’s just variation within the original created kind.

 

So we have many more different kinds of animals today than Noah took on the Ark. They have diversified in the 4,500 years since the Flood. The actual number of animals Noah put on board depends on what a biblical ‘kind’ is.

 

Christian Scientist have calculated that the number of animals would have been less than 16,000, assuming that a biblical kind is roughly equivalent to the group of animals we call a genus today. However, if the biblical kind is equivalent to the ‘family’ grouping, then there would have only been 2,000 animals. Probably it was somewhere in between.

 

The animals would have been easily housed in small enclosures because most animals are small, on average the size of a rabbit. Even large animals, such as the biggest dinosaurs, began their lives small. In selecting creatures to repopulate the earth, it would make more sense to choose those that were young and healthy, probably babies, rather than the older, mature ones.

 

And the size of the Ark? It was huge. It had a capacity of over 500 railroad stock cars, enough to carry more than 120,000 sheep. So there was plenty of room on the Ark for the animals, for their food and water, and for Noah and his family.
 

Answer the questions below.  If you miss a question, go back and study that portion of the class and then retake the test.  Once you have received a 100% you may proceed to the next class.  You DO NOT have to submit this test for grading.  Only the final test will be submitted.