Noah was a righteous man in the Tenth Generation from Adam. During his period the whole inhabitents of the earth were wicked and every immagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, which made it repended the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And God decided to destroy the world by flood. (Gen. 6: 5-7)
But God decided to preserve the seed of the creation, and He said to Noah to prepare an Ark of a great size to accommodate all seeds and their food for a long period. God advised Noah to prepare the Ark with a special wood of gopher tree. It must be a special tree having low density and high boyancy. God asked Noah to make three stories in the Ark, may be for the animals in the the lower tier, for the birds in the upper tier and for the food may be in the middle tier, with necessary compartments for their segregation. Noah and his family might be living in the middle tier so that it would be very convenient for them to supply food to animals and birds. Also they would not be a thert to the animals and birds , especially for the wild animals and birds, and also they can be free of bad odour caused by the animals and birds. The size was 300 x 50 x 30 cubits, or 450 x 75 x 45 feet. (15,18,750 cubic foot by volume) It had only one window in the upper tier, and a cubit below the top or roof of the Ark. Sizes of window and door were not mentioned though God might had given to Noah.(Gen. 6: 16) Window was planned for good ventilation. And also it was for the birds to enter the Ark, when the window is opened. It is assumed that the window might be having a net to cover it so that the light and air could enter and the birds will not escape out. There might be sufficient openning in the top and the middle tier for the light and air to enter the middle and the lower tier. About the door many got confused. Most of them believed to be in the upper tier and by the side of the window. Is it correct to keep the door in the upper tier and by the side of the window?
A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side there of; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. (Gen. 6: 16)
By careful reading we can understand that the door was set in the side of the ark and not in the side of the window! Also on setting the door in the side, God asked Noah to make the lower, the second and the third stories. If it is correct to make the door in the side of the window in the third tier, God would have asked Noah to make the upper, the middle and the lower stories in sequence! But the sequence is on the other way, the lower, the middle and the upper, shows that the door was in the side of the ark at the lower storie, and not of the side of the window, which is very convenient for all animals including elephants and reinocers to enter as well as to exit to and fro of the Ark.
Regarding food, what all Noah might had stored? Noah was not knowing the duration of his stay in the Ark, but God knew it. It was a continuous rain for forty days and nights and as the fountains of the great deep were broken up, the earth could not suck the water but flooding started and the level of water went up till all mountains of the world were immersed and water level went up to fifteen cubits above the highest peak. (Gen. 7: 20) So it took one year and ten days for the waters to dry up. Some may wonder, One Year and Ten Days! Yes please refer (Gen. 7: 11, & 8: 14) and it is calculated as one year and ten days. Noah gathered food for more than his period of stay because after coming out of the Ark, he has to cultivate the land to get food for them. So we assume that he stored food for them all for a period of more than 1 ½ years! It is interesting to know what all he could have stored for food? He received a commandment from God to store food for them all. Also he had to accommodate one pair of unclean animals, birds and creeping things and seven pairs of clean animals and birds. Here we assume that God alone segregated the pairs as Noah did not have any guideline for distinction, which is clean and which is unclean, as Moses had. Some Christians assume that Noah stored flesh for carnival animals and birds. But how? He did not have any deep freezers with him. But it is certain that Noah stored only vegetarian food for them all! One may ask how? If we refer (Gen. 1: 29,30, & 9: 3,4) we find that before the flood all human beings and animals and birds were only vegetarians, and after the flood only God gave commandments regarding non vegetarian food but abstain from eating blood which is the life of the living beings. So Noah stored seeds, fruits and herbs as food for them all.
Why God wanted one pair of unclean creatures and seven pairs of clean creatures? Because God knew that He was going to give them permission to eat non vegetarian food, and also sacrifice of clean animals and birds would continue. So the wisdom of the great God estimated seven pairs of clean creatures that even today with such explosion of population, they did not go to extinction! All glory to His Name.
Regarding the shape of the Ark, many are confused! They have a picture of a big boat or a ship in their mind! Why? God did not ask Noah to make a voyage. But He asked Noah to preserve the seed from the flood only.That means the Ark must go above the flood water during the flood and rest on the earth after the flood, so that the inhabitants will be safe during the flood and come out of the Ark after the flood and multiply and fill the earth. So Noah made an Ark in the shape of a rectangular prism. (We read about one more Ark in the Bible in ( Exo. 25: 10-16) which is of a rectangular box of size 2.5 x1.5 x1.5 cubits to accommodate the table of stones of ten commandments. So it is assumed that Noah’s Ark was also in rectangular box shape like a barge to float , and not like a boat or a ship, which is designed to have a shape of a fish suitable for a voyage and a major portion will sink in water due to it’s shape.) Also the Ark must follow the principle of a Barge, a floating device in the shallow water which will not immerse in water but will float on top of the water, and will go upward in the flood and come downward in receiding of the flood, and rest on the earth with out tilting left or right. For the purpose of barge arrangement Noah might had used gopher tree trunks or heavy section of the tree to a length of fifty cubits which is the width of the Ark, so as the floor of the Ark might be above the water level.
God asked Noah to paint the Ark with in and with out with pitch.(Gen. 6: 14) One may wonder why with in also. It will not reflect any light and it would be dark inside even in day time! The out side of the Ark is exposed to rain and also flood water and moisture through out. To preserve the wood the pitching is essential. But with in also it needs to be pitched, because of the urinals and dungs of the animals and the area need to be cleanned regularly by Noah’s children to avoid suffocation and cleanliness, together with feeding them every day with the food stored for them. So for more than one year the floor needed to be cleanned, washed and broommed and the coating of the pitch should not be removed off. Our God is all wise and all glory and honour be to his name. One may wonder where from they would have drawn the water? , because the window is about thirty cubits high! It was not possible or practicable to fetch water through the window but certainly from another source.
(It might be possible to make two arrangements one on the left end and the other on the right end of the Ark in the form of two wells having the side portion of the wells must be of sufficient height, so that the water levels in those wells remains equal to the out side water, but will not flood inside the Ark as the Ark is a floating device and will not sink easily. The distance between the wells would be about 400 feet. Through this arrangement they can fetch good water from one well and dispose the dirty water through the other well, which will not mix up easily due to the distance. Here we should not forget about the wastage of the eight people also need to be disposed off every day.) The base area is 300×10=3000sq.cubits. It can be achieved by other measurements like 200×15 or 150×20 or 100×30 cubits and in such cases the distance between the wells would be less and mixing of both waters would be easy, and the only wise God planned it to be the longest distance! Also to make the barge float arrangement Noah needed tree trunks of 10 cubits long, which were placed below the main ark.
Another point to understand is that there was no reproduction inside the Ark, as the animals and birds were in many rooms and God too did not desire their reproduction with in the Ark. (Gen. 6: 14)
How Noah and his family could have spent their time in the Ark? First of all they might have thanked God for protecting their lives when the whole mankind and all animals and birds and creeping things who had breath in their noses were destroyed in the flood. Every day morning they might have thanked God for His goodness. They might be preparig their food on one side and the others might be carrying out cleanning work, and providing food and water for all creatures. They could have washed their clothes and bathe regularly. They could have given bath to at least certain animals like buffalos, hippootamus etc. and birds like ducks and water attached birds which can not survive with out batheing in water. After their lunch they might have rested a while and in evening they might been cleanning and providing food and water. After dinner they might be thanking God for His mercy towards them during the day, and slept.
On the roof of the Ark, there was a covered openning (Lid) through which the rain water will not enter, but it was used only at the end of one year and ten days that Noah openned the lid to look around that there was no water and the earth was dry.
Spiritually St. Peter compares the Ark to water baptism which saves us by the resurrection of Jesus, from the corruption or spiritual death caused by the chasing satan and sin, as the Ark saved mainly the eight people from death caused by the flood, which is also compared with the possible death and slavery mighty be caused by chasing Paroah (Devil) and slavery in Egypt ( I petr 3: 20, 21) The meaning of crossing the Red Sea is Water Baptism which is not a ritual but answer to the good conscience and which saves us from the devil following us who escape from his lordship and heading towards heaven or heavenly Canaan, and slavery life in Egypt or the slavery of sin, sickness, curse and the world under the rule of satan.
Let us try to understand in an illustrative way:
Ark has 3 stories, 1 door at lower storie, 1 window in upper storie, I lid above roof.
The size of the Ark is 300x 50x 30 cubits or 450x 75x 45 feet, as shown below.