Upon reading Genesis I of course ‘stumbled’ upon the book of Noah. For the umpteenth time of reading it I had this question in mind:
How long did it actually take for Noah to build the ark?
It took me a while, and technically I don’t have an answer, but a rough estimate.
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life on the seventeenth day of the second month, on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights – Genesis 7:12-12 (NIV)
So Noah was 600 years old when the flood came.
But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you – Genesis 6:18 (NIV)
So we know that Noah was given the order to build an ark after his 3 sons all had wives.
After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth – Genesis 5:32 (NIV)
This shows that he was older than 500 when he gave birth to his 3 sons, so the earliest he gave birth to his oldest son he was 500 or some years older, but not younger.
This is the account of Shem’s family line. Two years after the flood,when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad – Genesis 11:10
So if we can find out how old Noah was we can see when Shem was born in Noah’s timeline.
By the first day of the first month of Noah’s sixth hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry – Genesis 8:13-14 (NIV)
Meaning that Shem was born when Noah was about 501 years.
I didn’t seem to find the age of when Ham was born but it can be noted he was the youngest: Genesis 9:24
So if all three sons of Noah had wives by the time he received the word to build the ark they would have been between 20 and 40. Making Noah about anything from 520 to 540. I would say between 530 and 540 though.
So to answer the question, it took Noah about 60-70 years to build the ark. A lot of other questions arise such as: Why on earth did Noah live 500 years and then only have kids? But that’s another story and I will probably lose track of what I actually want to say.
The actual flooded lasted 40 days and 40 nights. They also then waited over 100 days for the water to subside and dry out before they could step out onto the mountain of Ararat, where the ark would have it’s first and final destination; but the real test was those 40 days and 40 nights.
So in the timeline it took 60-70 years to build the ark but only 40 days for the test.
The preparation for the test was 200 times longer. God needed a strong foundation from Noah, for his family and for the ark.
I’m sure he was challenged during the process by people bad mouthing him and the sheer task of building an enormous ship. But during that time God was preparing him for what was to come. God was guiding Noah as to what to do and knowing that the ultimate test was about to come.
Do you feel that you are being tested for your ultimate task or are you in the preparation phase of the mammoth obstacle that is to come?
I guess it’s hard to say because we don’t know what the future holds. But the next obstacle does not need to be too daunting for you have been prepared. What I do know is that we are all stuck in this situation regarding the virus and the lock-down. But only stuck in the physical. It is a perfect time to find yourself, to reset, refresh, rejuvenate. There are many cons to this whole situation but you are not alone. You are never alone, you can find your strength from within for He lies there. Forever and always. His faithfulness is your shield of rampart. Use this time wisely. If you ever wished the world could slow down or stand still just so you can do what you have been meaning to do then now is that time. If you can’t do it now then you don’t lack time but rather discipline.