How long is a cubit?
A cubit is one of the oldest known measurements of
It was a variable measure, being roughly the
length of a man's arm from elbow to fingertip. A generally accepted
cubit is about 18 inches, or 45 centimetres.
A Royal cubit of Egypt was a little
longer, at 20.6 inches (52.3 centimetres). Other cubit lengths
(measured by palms of a man's hand) were around 24 inches (60 cm)
and 27 inches (67.5 cm).
Using the 18 inch (45 cm) cubit, light travel time
t in a vacuum from t = x/c: 1.5 nanoseconds.
Mount Ararat (approx. 5137 metres or 16,854 feet)
is around 11,236 cubits high.
Mount Everest (approx. 8840 metres or 29,000 feet)
is around 19,335 cubits high.
The distance from Los Angeles to New York (3962
kilometres or 2462 miles) is 8,664,894 cubits.
The giant Goliath was 6 cubits and a span, which
is around 9 feet 9 inches or 297.2 centimetres.
The length to which some evolutionists go to try
to convince people that something that is pointless backs their
theory is unable to be measured.
How big was Noah's Ark?
Quick-read this article:
What were the dimensions of Noah's Ark? The Ark was taller than a 3-story building and had a deck area
the size of 36 lawn tennis courts. Its length was 300 cubits (450
feet, or 135 meters); its width was 50 cubits (75 feet, or 22.5
meters); it had three stories and its height was 30 cubits (45
feet, or 13.5 meters).
Noah's Ark was huge! If you wrongly imagine the
Ark looked like some of those little cartoon boats in children's
story books, with a couple of elephants' trunks and giraffes' necks
sticking out the top, think again.
Genesis 6:15 in the Bible tells us the Ark's dimensions were at
least 135 meters long (300 cubits), 22.5 meters wide (50 cubits),
and 13.5 meters high (30 cubits). That's 450 feet long, 75 feet
wide, and 45 feet high! It could have been larger, because several
larger-sized cubits were used. But the 45-centimeter (18-inch)
cubit is long enough to show the enormous size of the Ark.
(A cubit was the length of a man's arm from fingertips to
Higher than a 3-story building!
Noah's Ark was three stories high (Genesis 6:16). Its total deck
area was equivalent to the area of about 20 standard college
basketball courts or 36 lawn tennis courts. The world had to wait
until AD 1884 before the Ark's size was exceeded,
when the Italian liner Eturia was built.
The rectangular dimensions of the Ark show an advanced design in
ship-building. Its length of six times its width and 10 times its
height would have made it amazingly stable on the ocean. Remember
it was made more for floating than sailing, because it wasn't
headed anywhere. The Ark was made to withstand a turbulent ocean
voyage, not to be at a certain place at a certain time.
Recent thought on the Ark's design is that it could have had a
slightly tapered top at the front and back, instead of being
squared off. But the famous rock formation near Mount
Ararat with pointed ends, which some think is Noah's Ark, is
Interestingly, British civil and mechanical engineer Isambard
Kingdom Brunel built a steamship (the Great Britain) in
1843 that had almost the same proportions as the Ark, although it
was smaller. This was regarded as a remarkable feat of Victorian
and maritime engineering. The Great Britain was the first
large vessel to be propelled by a screw propeller.
Babylonian Ark fails test
The ancient Babylonians had a flood story too, and it may have
been a corrupted version of the biblical account. The ark in the
Babylonian story was shaped like a cube, which would had
made it unseaworthy.
This shows the difference between truth and badly recorded
legends. The Bible's Ark was able to carry all the animals God sent to
Noah, it was wonderfully seaworthy, it landed on a mountain
that is still identifiable today, and the whole story is credible
Because of this, there are many thousands of scientists who
believe the Bible's account of the Ark and the worldwide Flood,
but none (as far as we know) who seriously defends the
Babylonian story as scientifically trustworthy.
Christian teachers and homeschoolers:
Want an interesting student activity?
If you want a classroom activity for Christian schools, you can
show your students how big Noah's Ark was by measuring it out on
your school grounds or in a large park.
First get your students to measure out a cubit, which is the
unit of length the Bible uses. Cubits were roughly the length of a
man's arm from elbow to fingertips, although the length varied from
about 45 centimeters (18 inches) to 56 centimeters (22 inches). A
45cm (18-inch) cubit will show the minimum length, although you can
use a longer one if you have room.
When you have your cubit (it can be marked on anything, but a
piece of wood or pipe cut to size would do), measure out 300 of
them to show the length of Noah's Ark. Get some students to stand
between the two points. Do the same with the width, which was 50
cubits. If you can also measure 30 cubits upwards (say on your
school's wall if it is at least four stories high, or to the top of
a tall tree), all the better.
When the students see how huge the Ark was, reinforce some of
the points given in the article above. You could also read over the
Bible account of the Flood from the book of Genesis. You could even
make a hollow cube out of cardboard or paper to represent the
Babylonian “ark”, and show how unstable it would be in
the water compared to the real Ark.
Your students may also like to make their own model ark out of
wood or cardboard using a scale model of the dimensions given in
the Bible (Genesis 6:14 onwards). The Bible model has been made and
thoroughly tested many times and has been found to be extremely
Creation Answers has information on making a scale
model of Noah's Ark.
You can even buy scaled models of Noah's Ark or kits
that allow you to make scale models of the Ark:
Noah's Ark Models sells high-quality
handcrafted scaled and non-scaled models of the Ark, like the one
above, that would make a great talking point for your school or
Creation Science Resources has a 6-foot model
you can make.
Net sells smaller models your students will enjoy making.
Builders.com has even simpler models to make.