“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..”
According to the Bible, Noah’s Ark was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. It was built of a type of wood called “gopher wood.” This may have been laminated wood, but it was wood. However, skeptics claim that even today wooden boats cannot be made that large simply because wood is not strong enough to endure the huge stresses generated by such a large structure; they say only iron can endure these stresses.
That is, of course, not true. Ancient writers tell us of a sea battle in 280 B.C. in which the Leontifera participated. They describe the Leontifera in some detail. They tell us that she carried 1,600 rowers and 1,200 additional fighting men. From these and other details, the Leontifera has been estimated to have been between 400 and 500 feet long. Plutarch tells us of another ship built around 294 B.C. that had twice as many banks of oars as the Leontifera. In the late third century B.C., Ptolemy Philopator built a ship that took 400 sailors to run, in addition to 4,000 rowers. With additional soldiers on board, the ship carried 7,250 men. This battleship was 420 feet long, wider than Noah’s Ark and about the same height.
The Bible is trustworthy in all that it teaches, even when it talks about historical fact or the natural world that science studies.
Prayer: Lord, help me never to doubt the accuracy of anything in Your Word. Amen.
Ref: Creation, 6‑8/00, pp. 46‑48, “The Large Ships of Antiquity.” Photo: Gold octadrachm issued by Ptolemy IV Philopator, British Museum. (PD)