Lesson 16

While the Ark was Preparing

"Then God said to Noah . . . you alone have I seen
righteous before me in this generation."
Genesis 7:1 (Lamsa Translation)

The angel-men and their human wives had children called nephilim (giants). They were much stronger than the other boys because their fathers were angels. Their minds were very clever, but they did not spend their time thinking of better ways to serve the LORD. Instead they thought of cunning schemes to enable them to rule the earth.

God watched mankind for hundreds of years, seeing them become more and more wicked and violent. Finally only eight people on earth were worth saving. All the other families had intermarried with the angelic stock which was contrary to God’s will. The father of this exceptional family was named Noah. He and his wife had three sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth—and each of the sons had a wife.

Noah was given exact instructions for building an ark (boat) which would save him and his family and some of each of the animals and birds from the coming flood. Since it had never rained upon the earth up to that time, everyone laughed and jeered to see Noah building a boat on dry land!

The earth was like a great greenhouse. Plant life grew lavishly in the warm, moist climate; there were no seasons. When the ring of water that surrounded the earth broke, the rains poured down in great torrents to become the cataclysmic flood the Bible tells us about (Genesis 2:5, 6 and 7:18).

The ark was a peculiar and enormous structure, approximately five hundred feet in length, eighty feet in width, and fifty feet in height. It was of three stories, built of gopher wood, and made watertight with pitch. A window (opening) for light and ventilation ran around the four sides just under the eaves. Noah was told how to shape the ark so the flood would not smash it.

Since the ark was not built for navigation but merely as a float, no room was taken up by steering apparatus. This would allow much more room for the animal pens and for storage of food and water.

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