How long did it take Noah to build the ark?
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Question: How long did it take Noah to build the ark? How old was Noah when he built it and when the flood occurred?
Answer: Before we tackle how long it took Noah to construct the ark we should cover a little background information about this fascinating man and the incredible feat he accomplished. Noah was born in 2928 B.C. and was 480 years old when God asked him to make an ark to save all the animals and his immediately family. God was bringing a great flood because humans had set their hearts to do evil all of the time (Genesis 6). God gave man one hundred twenty years more to live when he commanded Noah about the ark.
In 2328 B.C., the year of the flood, Noah was six hundred years old (Genesis 9:29). He was a man of faith (Hebrews 11:5-7) who walked with God (meaning he obeyed Him and His commandments - see Genesis 6:9 and 1John 2:3-6, 5:2-3). It was because he feared the Lord that God chose him to construct a ship to save the animals from extinction.
The ark not only was it the biggest ship built up to that time, it would be the largest sailing vessel man would construct until around the 1800's A.D.! Although there is some disagreement as to the length of a Biblical cubit, we will use the very conservative length of 18 inches (45.7 centimeters). This would make it 450 feet (137.2 meters) long, 75 feet (22.9 meters) wide and 45 feet (13.7 meters) high - and still larger if we were to use a 19 1/2 inch cubit (the average of what many scholars say was the length). It displaced (at a draught of 15 cubits) more than 22,000 tons of water.
God told Noah to make a ship that would have over 101,000 square feet (9,383 square meters) of floor space. This is more space than 21 college basketball courts! Because it was built on the 1:6 ratio (50 cubits: 300 cubits) modern naval architecture reveals is the most stable for ocean going vessels, it would be almost impossible to turn the ship over!
Many people wonder if what Noah built was big enough to hold all the animals. The fact is, when we consider only air breathing, land dwelling animals would have to be placed on it (Genesis 7:22), it had more than enough space to do its job. Many who have written on the ark of Noah have different estimates on how many animals that it would have to carry. A conservative number of at least 40,000 animals could have fit in the ark.