The Story of Noah's Ark

Classic among classics - The story of Noah and how he beat the worst odds in the history of planet earth. Noah won the coveted lottery ticket out of the worldwide flood with its associated challenges and lessons in shipbuilding, wanderlust navigation, shipping logistics, inter-species relations and animal husbandry.  Another inspirational story from the word of god as contained in his holy bible.


Our story begins in Genesis chapter 6…



And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,


That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.


Apparently, the women were just daughters of men lucky enough to be considered fair by the sons of god and chosen as wives.  Where the men came from or how god had sons on scene or why the sons were his and the women were daughters of mere men is a biblical mystery.  Regardless, there were several descendents from Adam and Eve and once they got over the whole marry your sister thing and it got diluted down to 3rd and 4th cousins making babies, there were a lot of them about.  Of course, the fact that people apparently lived for a long, long time back then helps too.


I realize this is out there, but maybe carbon dating is indeed of the devil and inaccurate after all, and cave men were actually the descendents of Adam and Eve.  They were just the product of several generations of inbreeding and required evolution to work us into what we are today. I’m just making an effort to accommodate theories, no, my IQ did not suddenly drop.



And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.


There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.


Ok, so these giants popped up out of the cabbage patch when Cherubim and his flaming sword were looking the other way and they were all just hanging out about the time the sons of god swooped down on the daughters of men impregnating them with mighty men – of old – renown. – what the hell does that mean?


Of course the holy text doesn’t give us any indication as to what exactly was going on that was so terribly evil in this day, but whatever it was, it was completely out of control.  Granted a few hints as to what would avoid the impending smite in future generations would have been helpful, but god might as well keep us on our toes and guessing. After all is said and done a little surprise factor with your smite always makes for more interesting destruction.  But whatever humanity of the day was up to, it was so bad that god after going to all the trouble to create everything is starting to question his own all-knowingness.



And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.


And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.


And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.


In his word according to Moses, god is making it pretty clear that he is sorry he went to all the trouble of whipping up man in the first place. But as in other cases where god is all uptight over humanities antics, is it not the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-whatever that screwed up the design phase if he doesn’t like the finished product? I guess the fact that we were made in his image creates an image problem in his pearly gated community.


I can to some perverse extent bring myself to imagine what mankind could do to piss off an already less than stable and very vengeful deity; but I REALLY struggle with understanding what the beasts, creeping things and foul in the air could possibly have done that was so terrible that they needed to be destroyed as well.  I can’t help but think that if the animals, creepy crawlies and all the birds were in on the whole conspiracy of evil, how were the fish not clued in? In fact, as we will see shortly, the fish were blessed with a serious addition to their home - for a geological nanosecond anyway.


Among all the evil, lurking about planet earth offending god by existing, there is this one guy named Noah that found grace in the eyes of the lord and he walked with god. So, Obi Wan Ke Noah is humanities only hope for survival as god explains to him that the whole world is about to be destroyed.  Bible god in his kind loving way gives Noah the job of preserving the entirety of gods creations from total extinction by building a big boat and putting 2 of every species in the boat before the rains come to drown out gods previous mistakes.



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.


Now this is no small undertaking because a boat that size is tough to build these days much less in Noah’s day – even with giants helping shag materials to the job site. And, that’s a bunch of cubits of gopher wood and pitch. I notice god didn’t tell Noah to put the gopher wood and pitch on his Heavenly Home Depot account.  We will assume Noah was a wealthy man.


According to Wikkipedia, “a Cubit = the distance between thumb and another finger to the elbow on an average person and measures about 24 digits or 6 palms or 1½ feet. This is about 45 cm or 18 inches. This so-called "natural cubit" of 1½ feet is used in the Roman system of measures and in different Greek systems.  The ark was measured as 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. Using a standard 18-inch cubit, this would make the ark about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high, dimensions not exceeded in shipbuilding until the 19th Century (cf. the Great Eastern)”.



That is a big ass boat for a family but cramped quarters for the planetary farm.  Just to put it in perspective, it is approximately 33,000 square feet per each of the three stories without accounting for the slope of the hull, so approximately 100,000 square feet of floor space for all of the animal kingdom to ride in along with Noah’s family for about a year.


With 43,560 square feet per acre, our hero’s boat has about ¾ acre per level or a total floor space of 2 ¼ acres.  Let’s say we use the largest yet very unlikely version of cubit which is the Arabic Hashimi cubit of about 650.2 mm (25.6 inches), and we have a total of 4.7 acres where Noah was told to …





… come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.


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.


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.


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.


Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.


I have to say that among my biblical heroes, Noah has to be one of my favorites.  This man single-handedly rounded up not only 2 of every what we would deem common animals, but he had the foresight to go to say the Galapagos and get tortoises and the rare sea iguana; or to central Indonesia to get a couple of Komodo Dragons.  Then he was off to the the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean where he collected a couple of dodo birds all of which were around for far more than 6000 years so obviously were alive in Noah’s time.  I mean, this guy contended with the headache of figuring out male from female among sexually amorphous species (that arent obviously male or female by their markings or otherwise) like many reptiles and so many birds.  It boggles my mind, but the holy bible is afterall the literal word of god so – wow!  Noah knew to get a couple of ocelots from south america and polar bears from the arctic all of which have been around since – well Adam named them right?


So, Noah not only builds the largest boat in human history until the 1800’s AD but he manages to get his whole family and from 2 – 14 of each species depending on whether god considered them clean or dirty animals inside it as indicated in Genesis chapter 7



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.


Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.


Fortunately for Noah the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (usually referred to as the ASPCA) had not yet been formed or he would have been in court for another year with animal abuse and hoarding charges stacked up for more cubits than his boat. Apparently, god in his omni-whateverness overlooked a minor question of mathematics and common sense when he had Noah try to get approximately 4,000 species of mammals there are on earth along with the 8,600 species of birds on 1½ acres.  We haven’t considered the thousands of reptilian species either and imagine what the ark looked like with over 900,000 insect species crawling around and getting into everything. 


Where it really gets impressive is when we realize that approximately 80% of the animal kingdom has yet to be classified (of course Adam did it but he neglected to write it down so now we have to do it all over again.)  So we don’t even know the names of most of the creatures Noah somehow crammed into those 2 – 4.7 acres of boat space but since they all still exist today, he must have done it somehow.


A five-acre zoo is unheard of. Yet, the less than appealing zoo in one of the localities I have lived in - to remain anonymous so I don’t get sued by the city of Salt Lake - is far larger than 5 acres and hosts only 250 species in a depressing caged environment that has been plagued with death and disease for years. However, Noah was able to cram 50 times as many species in under 5 acres.  Absolutely impressive.



And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.


And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.


Apparently, environmental factors were such that disease was non-existent back then because 600 years old is a ripe old age in anyone’s book. Of course running around the world herding two of every species will tend to keep you fit and take a few years to accomplish.



And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.


And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.


Now that is what I call heavenly valet service!



And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:


All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.


If Noah didn’t have one hell of a case of survivor guilt syndrome, he was not human to begin with.  He floated along in his 4.7 acre wildlife preserve with every animal on earth and his immediate family while the rest of creation was eradicated from existence via drowning. Oh the humanity!


So, god is pissed because there is too much evil and not enough fear of him on the earth and he decides to obliterate every living thing on earth except the few seed specimens Noah has collected for purposes of future propagation and re-seeding of the entire planet.  Could we have read that correctly?



And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.


And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.


Yep, that’s what it says.  So, the bible can not tell a lie or that would imply the author is lying. Well, I guess that settles that – however you choose for it to settle.


In Chapter 8, the waters begin to subside after 150 days of covering the entire earth.  Noah pops open the one window in the massive ark with a god-awful hissing sound as the pitch-bound trapped gasses of thousands of animals and a few humans release into the ether, and the first bits of fresh air enter into the ark. The stench of the ark had to be relatively innocuous compared to the stench of every body on earth rotting in the receding floodwaters and the hot sun but nonetheless, I’m sure they were glad to get a hatch open.



And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.


And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.


So, once they hit ground, the ark sits there for another 3 months waiting for the waters to go down to where they could see the tops of the mountains.


Meanwhile Noah sends a dove out on a recon mission and when it comes back breathing heavy and wet, he figures he will wait another 7 days before he tries again.  The next time, the dove comes back with an olive twig in its mouth so Noah knows the waters are dropping.



And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.


And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.


Noah had to wait another 3 months and 27 days in the ark from the time he saw the mountain tops to the time he could get out of the smelly ass zoo-boat he was condemned to navigate for over a year with every animal species on earth aboard eating him out of ark and home and shitting with reckless abandon and disregard for nautical hygiene.


Can you imagine the discussions that took place in the captains quarters at night as the smell of the animals wafted up from the lower decks permeating every aspect of life in the ark?  What do you want to bet his wife didn’t even joke about playing Tarzan in the bedroom. And let’s take it a step further, Noah survived 10 to 12 menstrual cycles cooped up in under 5 acres with every animal species on earth and his immediate family with very little ventilation and nowhere to go to get away from the reality of the genocide or totalicide they were escaping and often wishing they weren’t.  Do I even need to mention the wrath of his wife having to endure the plague of Eve as well as Noah’s divine calling as “beast master of earth” under those conditions?  Holy shit – he IS a saint! But more so yet is his WIFE who put up with his crap and doesn’t even get her name on the ark when it was christened, much less in the bible. That is just wrong.



And God spake unto Noah, saying,


Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.


Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.


So, as the all-clear is sounded, the ark is vacated of all species on mount Ararat or in the vicinity thereof.  Of course, this poses the question that many students of the bible don’t like to address and that is just how exactly did the Komodo dragon and the Galapagos tortoise and the sea iguanas get put back where they belonged?  Obviously, it happened because they are exactly where they were before this big earth rinse and I would love to understand how Noah pulled that off.  I guess “god willed it and it was” works – I guess.


The important thing is that all of animalia and humankind was re-seeded by this nautical advent of biblical proportions and everything and everyone on earth now descends from whatever was on that boat.  Talk about inbreeding!  No wonder we aren’t exactly enlightened as a species, we are recovering from 2 periods of evolution from a single branched family tree. First, we have Adam and Eve and their incestuous down line, then Noah and his unworthy to mention by name wife and progeny.  On the other hand, look how far we have come in under 6,000 years considering we started out as some back woods love stock stupid enough to talk to snakes or think they got every animal on earth on a big boat!



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.


Because killing clean animals and birds and burning their corpses on a pile of rocks is like an aphrodisiac to some gods. And this bible god in particular has a definite fetish with the concept as he illustrates by his own word as contained in his holy bible in verse 21…



And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.


Isn’t that just moving to tears?  God smelled the stench of burning animal sacrifices and the “sweet savour” prompted him to relax and decide to stop the genocide and annihilating the human race and keep it down to just nations, countries and individuals that piss him off instead of everything in one fell swoop.


And god said to Noah, “see that rainbow in the cloud over there? Well that is my sign and covenant with you that I promise, cross my heart, hope to die, so help me – me, that I won’t flood the whole earth ever again”. 


Noah and company were obviously very fertile because they repopulated the whole world from those 2-5 acres of ark.



And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.


And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.


All I can say is yeah, whatever, Hallelujah, Amen!

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Power of Fear
Abraham & Isaac
The Creation
Adam & Eve
Evolution vs. Creation
Cain & Abel
Noah's Ark
The Tower of Babel
The Story of Moses
Moses Parts The Red Sea
Sodom & Gomorra
Jonah and The Whale
Samson & Delilah
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