“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.”
The Ark was made of wood, so it had to be waterproofed. The most suitable type of waterproofing would be a hydrophobic substance, such as oil or grease. So it was coated inside and out with pitch. But what actually is pitch? In modern parlance, this refers to an oil fraction. But here some people raise a problem. If pitch is an oil fraction, then do we not assume that oil was produced during the Flood? If that is so, then it could not have been around before the Flood.
This objection actually misses the point. The Hebrew word translated as pitch in Genesis 6:14 is khafar. The only other places where the word pitch is used to describe a bituminous substance would be Exodus 2:3 and Isaiah 34:9, but in these latter two cases, a different Hebrew word (zepheth) is used. Khafar is only used to mean pitch in Genesis 6:14, but khafar appears in another 101 places in the Old Testament. In all those other places, it is translated with words such as appease, reconcile, or atonement. The word is used in the Pentateuch for the coverings of blood, which foreshadow the blood of our Savior. The altar was covered by a sin offering of blood. Noah and his family were waterproofed against the watery judgment of God, and we, who belong to Christ, are fireproofed against the judgment to come by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, which not only covers, but washes away all our sin.
Thank You, Lord, that You made a way of salvation. Just as You saved Noah by grace, so You save us by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, covering, and washing away, all of our sin. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Sarfati, J. (2015), The Genesis Account, (Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book Publishers), pp. 498-499. Image: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.