Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | January 10, 2011

3. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – How Big?

Main portion of the Ark Encounter theme park

Answers in Genesis, an apologetics and worldview ministry specializing in the authority of the Bible and in Genesis-related issues, plans to construct a full-size all-wood replica of Noah’s Ark to proclaim to the world that God’s Word is true. It will be the main feature of the Ark Encounter theme park.

The ark will be the largest all-wood structure in America with 3 floors and live and animatronic animal exhibits. Currently the largest wooden building in America is in Shipshewana, IN. The Amish builders of that structure will be involved in “raising” the Ark.

It’s one of the largest “green” projects in the country, using the latest environmentally-friendly technologies. This includes geothermal heating, rainwater capture, active and passive solar heating, and specialized window glazing – all designed to minimize energy use.

How big will the Ark be? It will be the same size as Noah’s Ark: 50 cubits wide, 30 cubits high, 300 cubits long with 3 levels.

Cubit, from the Latin for elbow, is used in the Bible when the Hebrew for elbow refers to measurements. A cubit is the distance from a man’s elbow to finger tips. But how long is that?

Archaeological excavations have uncovered several cubits in Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt. The short or common cubit used commercially was 17.6 inches. The long or royal cubit used for construction was 20.6”. Moreover, antediluvian men were likely larger than men today. The Ark project is going to use the long cubit to rebuild the Ark, believing that it will more accurately reflect the actual size of the Ark. This means the Ark will be about 86’ wide, 52’ high, 515’ long.

Comparison of ship sizes

The Ark was one of the largest all-wood ships ever built. Could Noah have really built such an enormous ship? How could Noah’s family of 8 have lived on the ark for a year and cared for all the animals?

The Ark project will visually answer such questions. Known nautical engineering practices, materials, and methods of Noah’s time will be used in construction to demonstrate feasibility. Live large animals like giraffes and elephants and full-size animatronic dinosaurs will demonstrate the ease with which Noah’s Ark would have accommodated all the animals.

The Ark Encounter theme park is a huge project with thousands of people involved and a budget of $150 million. The ark alone is expected to cost $25 million. Groundbreaking is scheduled for June 2011 with completion expected in Spring 2014.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequels in this series of posts on Rebuilding Noah’s Ark:
1. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Intro
2. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Kentucky Governor
– with YouTube videos

Read the sequel:
4. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Ark Encounter video

See these articles and posts for more information on Noah’s Ark and the Flood:
Noah’s Flood—Key to the Past
Noah’s Flood—A Global Event
Noah’s Ark Replicas
Noah’s Ark Found?
Noah’s Ark Model in Holland with pictures
Noah’s Ark
Noah’s Ark Found? with YouTube video and pictures

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Monday January 10, 2011 A.D.

Read my January 2011 Bible-Science column
Adam’s Mythical Diary 3.

Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. “And this is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. “You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. “And behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark– you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. “Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive. “And as for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” (Genesis 6:11-21)


  1. Was it not true that there were 7 of the clean and two of the unclean. That would be alot more animals then everyone said there was. I have always seen paintings and drawings of the animails going into the Ark two by two. So would all the paintings be wrong?
    Genesis 7 (King James Version)

    Genesis 7
    1And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

    2Of 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.

    3Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.


    • Yes, Noah took more than just one pair of each kind of clean animal. It’s not clear from the text whether he took 7 of each clean kind or 7 pairs of each clean kind.

      The purpose for taking 7 or 7 pairs was probably to provide food after disembarking and to provide animals for sin sacrifices, while still leaving some to reproduce.

      This would have increased the total number of animals, but by less than you might think. There were far more unclean kinds than clean.

      The paintings are not “wrong” when you remember a painting cannot tell the whole story. The text emphasizes the animals being paired, a male and his female, and this is what paintings show. A pair of sheep (clean) going into the ark does not preclude more sheep pairs boarding later.

      One thing that is wrong about most of the “cutesy” ark pictures is that they usually show the animals overflowing and spilling out of the ark. Estimates and calculations show that all the animals could have been housed in no more than 1/3 of the space in the ark. Remember, Noah only needed to take representative kinds, not all species.


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