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ARK (Heb. tēvâh, a chest or a vessel to float; in the Bible the Hebrew word always has the second meaning). It is used of the vessel that God directed Noah to build (Gen.6.14-Gen.6.16). God told Noah what to bring into it (Gen.6.18-Gen.6.21), and Noah obeyed (Gen.6.22-Gen.7.10). The ark floated during the Flood (Gen.7.11-Gen.8.3), then came to rest “on the mountains of Ararat” (Gen.8.4). After Noah abandoned the ark (Gen.8.18-Gen.8.19), what happened to it is unknown, despite many traditions and expeditions. We do not even know on which peak of the mountains in the land of Ararat the ark grounded.

The ark of Noah is referred to in Matt.24.38 and Luke.17.27 in a warning of coming judgment; in Heb.11.7 its copnstruction is an example of faith; and in 1Pet.3.20 “the days of Noah while the ark was being built” are held up as an example of the long-suffering of God, followed by disaster for the disobedient and salvation for the few who entered the ark. The same Hebrew word is used of the basket of bulrushes in which Moses was cast out to float on the Nile (Exod.2.2-Exod.2.5).


Egyptian Architecture 54; S. Giedion, The Beginnings of Architecture (1964), 515.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Referred to repeatedly in Eze 40:16 ff, but translation is an error for "porch" or "portico." the Revised Version (British and American) gives in marg, "or, colonnade. The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain." The principle of arch construction was known to the Jews and examples of early Jewish rude arches have been found in Palestine. An arched form need not necessarily be constructed with radiating joints; it can be corbelled as at Mycenae (Treasury of Atreus). This type of construction has been found also in Palestine.


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