A couple of years ago, I mentioned that we went to see Noah's Ark. This one really isn't Noah's because he's not here and he didn't build it. But according to the dimensions listed in the Bible, this structure is a life-sized model. Is it the exact same shape? We don't know because no one alive has seen the original ark. Many people doubt whether the flood was worldwide, but their doubt does not disprove what the Bible says.
At the turnoff from I-75 onto State Road 36 in Williamstown, Ky., go east for about a mile, and the ark is behind several small hills. When it first comes into view, it doesn't look so large, but there is still another mile to go. When the shuttlebus drops us off, the ark looks large, but not huge. But we're still an eighth of a mile away.
As we walk up to it, the enormity of the structure is striking!
How big is this boat? Genesis chapter 6 gives the dimensions in cubits: 300 long, 50 wide and 30 high. The length of the cubit has varied with time and people, and historically has been between 18-22 inches. The builders of this model used a nominal 20-inch cubit.
The ark in Williamstown is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high. The internal volume is equivalent to the volume of 570 modern railway boxcars.
For size comparisons, a football field is 360 feet long from the back of one end zone to the back of the other, so both the original ark and the model in Williamstown are too long to fit inside the football stadium. The size of the ark is truly impressive!
Can this boat in Kentucky float? No. It wasn't built to float, but to illustrate what Noah, his boys and probably many hired hands built. I believe it took Noah and company about 100 years to build the original because of what God told Noah in Genesis 6:3. "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh [meaning, evil]; his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." I believe those words informed Noah that the flood would take place 120 years after that discussion.
Prior to entering the ark, we watched a video of the construction of the ark. It was quite a feat and was done without any government financial assistance. That means, no tax money was involved.
I wish I could show you some of the 545 photos Carol and I took. The builders of this model indicated how the thousands of animals might have been housed or caged. Noah might not have had full-grown elephants, hippos, giraffes, etc., but perhaps young ones. However, it was God who brought the animals to the ark, not Noah, so the age and size of the critters didn't matter. God somehow tamed all the animals that He brought to the ark, and, as you might guess, the heavier animals were on the bottom of the three decks.
It's also amazing how food might have been stored for a year for all the animals and for up to two years for the eight human passengers. With our current understanding of how much animals and people eat, and of how many kinds of animals there probably were back then, it's easy to figure how much food would have been required. And there was plenty of extra room.
Animal excrement removal must have been a chore!
I enjoyed the way they imagined living quarters for the four families, and the names they supplied for the four wives were relevant to the times. Much geologic, socialvand cultural history is shown by several videos, and by many charts and graphs throughout the ark. Cultural history prior to the world-wide flood, therefore, the reason for the world-wide judgment, was highlighted.
In planning for this ark, the people did their research and identified many animals that have become extinct in the past 4,500 years, many of which would have been on the ark. That enhances the educational aspect of the visit to the ark. In fact, we saw four public school buses bringing students to the ark for an educational field trip.
If you ever have an opportunity to go east, go to Williamstown, Kentucky, and visit the ark. It's only 40 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio.
It rained while we were there, but we were safe in the ark.
-- S. Eugene Linzey is an author, mentor, and speaker. Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his web site at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.