Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 9, 2022

How Long Did It Take Noah to Build the Ark?

(3 Minute Read. 9Feb2022)

Are you a Bible detective? How sharp are you at catching clues in the Biblical record?

The Genesis history of the worldwide Flood does not explicitly state how long it took Noah to build the life-saving Ark. But Genesis does include clues that help identify a time span for the construction.

God announced that in 120 years He would blot out man from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens due mankind’s extreme wickedness.
(Genesis 6:3-7)

Twenty years later when Noah was 500, his oldest son Japheth was born. Noah had Shem two years later at age 502 because Shem begat Arpachshad when he was 100 two years after the Flood. A few years later Noah begat Ham, his youngest son. The Flood occurred when Noah was 600. (Genesis 5:32; 10:21; 11:10; 9:22-24; 7:6)

Right after God gave Noah construction specs for the Ark, God told Noah that he and his wife and his three sons and their wives (Genesis 6:13–18) would board the Ark together. This is a key clue because it means that Noah’s three sons were grown and married before Noah started building the Ark.

Noah was 500 when Japheth was born and 502 when Shem was born. Estimating Ham’s birth in two more years would make Noah 504. Estimating all three sons were married by the time Ham (the youngest) was 20 puts Noah at least at age 524 when God gave him the Ark specs.

This means Noah had a period of about 75 years to build and load the Ark since he was 600 when the Flood came. However, it could be a bit less or slightly more depending on the ages that Noah’s sons married.

The following imaginative story is a humorous explanation for possible delays in the construction of Noah’s Ark that led to needing 75 years to build the Ark:

Near the time for the Flood with fierce storm clouds covering the earth and the oceans raging, the Lord saw Noah sitting downcast in his yard with no Ark yet built. “Noah,” He called “Where is the Ark?”
“Lord, please forgive me,” cried Noah. “I did my best, but there were big problems.
First, I had to get a construction permit, and Your plans did not meet the building codes. I had to hire an engineering firm to redraw the plans.
Then I got into a fight over whether the Ark needed a sprinkler system and approved flotation devices.
Then, my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.
Then, I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the spotted owl. I finally convinced the Forest Service that I really needed the wood to build a ship to save the owls. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service wouldn’t let me catch any owls, so, no owls on the Ark.
The carpenters formed a union and went on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or hammer.
When I started rounding up animals, an animal rights group sued me. They objected to me taking aboard only two of each kind, a male and a female.
Then the Environmental Protection Board notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on Your proposed flood. They didn’t take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the actions of the Creator of the Universe.
Then, the Board of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed new flood plain. I sent them a globe.
Right now, I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Non-discrimination Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking atheists aboard.
The Tax Commission has seized my assets, claiming that I’m building the Ark in preparation to flee the country and not pay taxes. I just got a notice from the state that I owe them some kind of user tax and failed to register the Ark as a recreational water craft.
And finally, the Freedom From Religion group got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark. They say that since God is flooding the earth, it’s a religious event and therefore unconstitutional.
I need another five or six years to finish the Ark. Can you wait a bit on the Flood?”

Even though the Bible does not say exactly how long it took Noah to build the Ark, it is certain that he did build it. Next week in Could Noah Build the Ark in 75 Years? I will explain why 75 years was plenty of time for Noah to build the Ark.

Questions to Ponder

1. What is God asking of you that seems too big or too difficult or too time-consuming? Will you take one step forward today to obey the Great Creator?
2. What question about Noah perplexes you the most?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

This is the third in a series of articles on Noah. This Noah Series will suggest answers to many of the questions believers and skeptics have about Noah, Noah’s Ark, and Noah’s Flood.
Read the prequels:
1. Think You Know Noah?
2. Did Jesus Think Noah Was Real?

Read the sequel:
4. Could Noah Build the Ark in 75 Years?

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday February 9, 2022 A.D.

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. 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. 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.
(Genesis 6:13-17)

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  1. Thank you. I love your work.


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