Many skeptics, today, assert that the Bible must be wrong. That the story of Noah, The Ark, and The Flood could not have happened. Especially, many critics of the Biblical account have claimed that the Ark could not hold all the This has even persuaded some christians to deny the Genesis flood.
In fact, a recent poll found that only 60 per cent of Americans believe in the story of Noah’s Ark and a global flood. Only 73 per cent among Protestants believed in Noah and the Ark, and 29 per cent among those who had no religion at all. “Blessed are those who have not seen but believe anyway”.
I think right here, we should consider what Jesus Christ Himself told Nicodemus in “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”
In we see “Then the Lord saw wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”.
God entrusted the task of building the Ark to Noah and gives him the necessary information to complete the task—size, layout, and appropriate building materials Based on this information, it is evident that the Ark resembled a modern-day cargo ship. In fact, the proportions of the Ark, 6:1, (six times longer than wide) were still being used in shipbuilding into the 1900s. And this ratio is still used today.
The Ark had a ratio (length x width x height) of 30x5x3. According to shipbuilders, this ratio represents an advanced knowledge of ship building since it is the optimum design for stability in rough seas. The Ark was designed by God and was virtually impossible to capsize! It would have been tilted over 90 degrees to capsize.
In it says the Ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. A cubit was equal to 15 to 22 inches. So, this would make the Ark to measure 300x50x30 cubits, which is 459x75x45 feet. So its volume was 43,500m(3) (cubic meters) or 1.54 million cubic feet. To put this in perspective, this is the equivalent volume of 522 standard railroad cars each of which can hold 240 sheep.
To put into perspective to you, sports fans, the Ark was larger than a football field, and larger than 21 standard college basketball courts. If stood on its end, it would be as high as the Great Pyramids of Egypt.
Its deck area was equivalent to about 36 lawn tennis courts. There was no ship in the history of the world that was bigger than the Ark. 500 cubits is almost as long as an air carrier (not a supercarrier), and can fit on board up to a thousand men, plus fuel, equipment, jets, weapons, and missiles, entertainment sections, etc.
The Ark was not designed to be steered or sailed, but only to float. It drifted wherever God willed.
Now, the big question! How many animals did Noah need to take on the Ark?
Here we see that Noah brought two of every “kind”. And in God instructs Noah to take seven pairs of every “kind” of clean animals.
The key to understanding how many animals are involved is the word (The Hebrew word “Min”). The Bible does not say God brought every individual or every “species” to Noah. Only certain groups went on the Ark.
Noah did not need to take sea creatures, because they would not be threatened with extinction. He did not need to take plants, as they could have survived as seed.
What is a
God created a number of different types of animals, with much capacity for variation within limits. The descendants of each of these different kinds, apart from humans, would be represented by a larger group called “species”. In most cases those species descended from a particular original “kind” called a “Genus” For example, horses, zebras, and donkeys are probably descended from one “kind”.
Dogs, wolves, coyotes, and jackals are probably from the canine (dog like) “kind”.
All different types of domestic cattle (which are clean animals) are descended from (large extinct long-horned bison, wild ox). So there were probably at most seven (or 14) domestic cattle aboard. Tigers and lions descended from the same original “kind”.
Since there are actually very few “clean” land animals listed in Leviticus II and Deuteronomy most of the animals taken aboard were “unclean” or only two of each kind.
Most of the animals were small; the medium animal on the Ark was about the size of a rat. Only 15% of the animals were sheep-size or larger. The Ark could hold over 125,000 sheep. It was the large animals which accounted for most of the food intake and production of excreta.
Authorities have said they estimate that there are less than 18,000 species living in the world today. We might double this to allow for extent species. This would give us 36,000 species times 2 or 72,000 animals.
Adding for clean animals, we might say there were as many as 75.000 animals.
Most creationists believe there may have been far fewer animals if Noah only took on board pairs of “kinds” as the word is used in Genesis.
God created these “kinds” with potential for rich genetic diversity.
For instance, at the time of Christ, there existed only two types of dogs; all the diversity we see in modern breeds of dogs came from these two.
What it boils down to, is that there was plenty of room on the Ark for everyone; Noah’s family, the animals, and food, and water, etc. The animals only took up about 30% of capacity and food, 15%, and water 9.4%.
Another question. How were the animals gathered? God said the animals “will come to you to be kept alive”, (Genesis 6:20), implying that the migration was directed by God. God cared for the gathering of the animals onto the Ark and the peaceful co-existence in a supernatural way.
Putting everything in its proper context, the example of Noah’s Ark doesn’t violate any logic and I don’t find anything unbelievable about it. And, I suggest that this story is an insufficient reason to disbelieve the Bible.
I’ve tried to show that the scriptural teaching of the global flood and the Ark are completely reasonable. The believer can hold full confidence in the integrity of the word of God.
God sent another Ark—His only Son—to pay the penalty for sin is, to die a perfect sacrifice covering the sins of all who believe. What God said in His word, the Bible, about Noah and the Ark is true. And we can see evidence of this in the geologic records of a worldwide watery catastrophe, and what He says about our need for His Gift of Salvation is true as well.
When we repent of our sins and trust in the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, on our behalf, we will be saved from the destruction to come.
It is interesting that the Bible tells us there was only one door to the Ark Similarly, there is only one way to enter a relationship with God. Jesus said, in “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.