Noah and the Ark: More Questions than Answers

Today’s Reading: Genesis 5-8

As I read through the Bible this year, I am really asking the Holy Spirit to show me how it bears witness to Jesus. Not just individual verses, certain key passages, but the whole, the entirety of the Bible. How do all the parts fit together to bear witness to Jesus.

Today’s reading was dominated by Noah and the ark. There are lots of very specific details in the story. I’ve learned that when I come across that many specific details in the Bible that God is communicating something very important about Jesus. But, the Holy Spirit has yet to show me what all these details mean. I’m left with more questions than answers.

This morning I will note some things that I see dimly and some things I need more light and more truth about so I can come to a greater understanding of Jesus.

  • God gives Noah very specific instructions regarding the construction of the ark and what to put in it (there seem to be six or seven instructions). After God gives the instructions, Genesis 6:22 says, “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” This makes me think of God’s statements that it was good at the close of the days of creation in Genesis 1. It also makes me think of the repeated statements that Moses did exactly what God commanded in building the tabernacle. This tells me that the ark was a very significant building/construction, but exactly what is this “building”?
  • Gopher wood, rooms in the ark, covered inside and outside with pitch. What do these symbolize?
  • The ark was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. The tabernacle was 50 cubits wide, but it was only 100 cubits long. I can’t find a height for the tabernacle. According to 1 Kings 6, the house that Solomon built for the Lord was 30 cubits high, but the other dimensions don’t match. Perhaps they do if we include the courts and other parts of the temple. What is the significance of these dimensions?
  • The ark had a door in its side. This was the only entry/exit to the ark. There was only one entrance into the tabernacle, which was on the east side. From Adam’s side God made his wife Eve. From the side of Jesus that was pierced flowed blood and water. From this came the church, the bride of Jesus. Noah and his family exited this door after the flood.
  • Genesis 7 and 8 have very specific dates for the flood. It started on the 17th day of the second month. This was the day Noah and his family entered the ark. It rained 40 days and 40 nights. The flood continued 40 days. The waters prevailed for 150 days (five months). The ark came to rest on the 17th day of the seventh month. That was 150 days (five months) after the flood started. The waters continued to abate until the 10th month. The tops of the mountains were seen on the first day of the 10th month. One after the flood began, on the 27th day of the second month, the earth had dried out. How do all of these days fit into the Jewish calendar? Are these dates tied to the seven feasts that took place each year? Are these dates tied to events in the life of Jesus? Are these dates affected by the change in the start of the year under Moses when the exodus from Egypt and Passover marked the new beginning of the year?

I am confident there is a reason all of this detail is in the Bible. Paul says these events are for our learning. And, he writes that all scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit for our teaching, training, and correcting.

Therefore, Holy Spirit help me to understand this in the language of Son.

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