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Old Testament - Lesson 6

“Noah…Prepared an Ark to the Saving of His House.”
Taught by Jeff Stone February 7, 2010
Noah's ArkIntroduction:

It’s probably safe to assume that most of us know the basic story of Noah’s ark and the flood. So the information on this page will probably overlook some of the more general parts of the story and deal with some of the details that people may not know. The scriptures covered in this lesson are:
Moses 8:19–30
Genesis 6
Genesis 7
Genesis 8
Genesis 9
Genesis 11:1–9

It’s important to keep in mind that, as latter-day saints, we have received modern day revelation to help clarify parts of The Holy Bible that were lost in translation and lost due to “wicked men.” If you have a copy of the LDS edition of The King James Version of the Bible, you will have the following sections in the following order:

  1. Old Testament
  2. New Testament
  3. Topical Guide
  4. Bible Dictionary
  5. Joseph Smith Translation
  6. Gazetteer
  7. Bible Maps

Additional resources are available to us with internet access. On the Church Website (, there is a whole section called Study Helps which has all of the sections that are found in The Bible plus more.

Dimensions of The Ark:
According to Genesis 6:15 the ark was 300 Cubits long, 30 Cubits high, and 50 Cubits wide. According to the Bible Dictionary, a cubit is about 18 inches. If you do the math, you end up with a ship that is 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.

To put this size into perspective, an NFL football field is 360 feet long (if you include the two 30-foot end zones), and 160 wide. In other words, there was room in the ark to hold an entire NFL-regulation football field with room to spare. THAT’S HUGE!

Historical Setting:
Recall that Moses (who was born in about 1570 B.C.) is the person who recorded the account of the flood and the lineage of Noah in the book of Genesis. As we discussed in Lesson 4, the plan of salvation is supported by three major events, “The Creation”, “The Fall”, and “The Atonement.” At this point in history, two of the three major events have already occurred. The third (Atonement), is still about 2200 years after the flood.

From Adam To Noah:

Noah's LineageSome Details
Noah's LineageNot a lot of detail is given about most of Adam's lineage that lead to Noah; however, here are a few facts that we know:

  • Seth was sort of a "replacement" for Abel (Moses 6:2)

  • Seth also looked exactly like his father Adam (D&C 107:43)

  • Most of them were very active missionaries (Moses 6:23)

  • Enoch and his people lived in a state of ZION.

    • They lived the law of consecration

    • The City of Enoch was translated

    • He saw a vision of the flood

    • Asked that Earth never be flooded again (Moses 7:50-51)

    • Promised that Noah would be of his seed (Moses 7:52)

  • Methuselah was the oldest person in recorded history (Moses 8:7)

    • He was left behind when Enoch was translated

    • Being left behind allowed Enoch's seed to continue on

  • Lamech was, of course Noah's father

  • Both Lamech and Methuselah died before the flood

  • Noah was 600 years old when he was commanded to build the ark

The Great Flood:
The ark contained only 8 people (Noah, his wife, His three sons and their wives), and the animals. Were ALL of the animals taken in pairs? Actually, no, they were not. Some were, and some were not. In Genesis 7: 2–3 we see that the clean animals and the fowls were taken by sevens, and the unclean animals were taken by twos. For more information about what is a “clean” animal and what is not, we can read Leviticus 11: 1–31. The account of the flood “time line” can be found in Genesis 8: 1–14. In this account, we learn the following:

  • It rained for 40 days and forty nights (Genesis 7:12)
  • The waters prevailed for 150 days (Genesis 8:3)
  • Another 75 days went buy before the mountain tops could be seen (Genesis 8:5)
  • 40 more days and a dove was sent out returning with nothing (Genesis 8:6–8)
  • 7 more days another dove was sent returning with an olive leaf (Genesis 8:11)
  • 7 more days another dove was sent, and it never returned (Genesis 8:12)
  • 57 more days passed and the earth was dried and they left the ark (Genesis 8:13–14)
  • They were in the ark for about 376 days (just over a year)

Post Flood:
It’s important to note that immediately after they exited the ark, they built an altar and offered sacrifice and burnt offerings to The Lord. (Genesis 8:20) Their first order of business was gratitude. There’s a lot we can learn from that example. The flood ended around 2300 B.C., and there were only 8 survivors as mentioned earlier. Within 100 years the people began to prosper, and the world’s population had greatly increased. One question that often comes up is “how did the seed of Cain survive the flood?” The answer is found in the descendants of Ham. His wife, Egyptus ws a descendant of Cain. Below is a list of which of Noah’s children settled which areas of the world. This is taken from Cleon Skousen’s book The First 2000 years – Note that the edition I’m using was printed in 1973, so some of the names for the modern day areas may be different now:

What Happened To Noah's Sons After The Flood?
Japheth's Descendants Settled:

  • Galatia (Asia Minor)

  • Macedonia

  • Armenia

  • Gaul (France)

  • Spain

  • Greece

  • Italy

  • Central Europe

  • Southern Asia

  • Media

  • Persia

Ham's Descendants Settled:

  • Egypt

  • Canaan (Palestine)

  • Continental Africa

  • India

  • Australia

  • Assyria (North Mesopotamia)

Shem's Descendants Settled:

  • Chaldea

  • Syria

  • Part of Armenia

  • Salem (Jerusalem)

  • Damascus

  • Eastern Mesopotamia

Tower of Babel:
In Genesis 11, we learn the story of the story of The Tower of Babel. One of the powerful men of the time who was involved in this idea of building the tower was Nimrod, who the grandson of Ham. Ham begat Cush, and Cush begat Nimrod (Genesis 10:8–9). The attitude of the people at the time is what caused them to have their language confounded. The were seeking to make a name for themselves (Genesis 11:4). It appears that they weren’t even that interested in reaching God for the sake of reaching him, but rather for the sake of being able to show the world that they could do it.

During this period, of course, Jared and his family are living in the area, and they plead with The Lord to not confound their language and to send them somewhere where they can be safe and prosper and worship God without persecution. We know, via The Book of Mormon that these, The Jaredites, were commanded to make barges that eventually carried them to The Americas in around 2200 B.C. which was about 1600 years before Lehi’s family left Jerusalem. We can read this account in the Book of Ether (Ether 1, Ether 2 and Ether 3)

Principles of The Gospel:
In this short few pages, we see the coming of two gospel dispensations, the dispensation of Adam, and the dispensation of Noah. We also see the dispensation of the Jaredites, but we’ll leave that for the Book of Mormon discussions. Let’s look at a few scriptures that show different dispensations and the gospel being preached:

  • Commandment given to Adam in his dispensation: Moses 6:32
  • Noah preaching the gospel in his dispensation: Moses 8:23–24
  • Peter preaching the gospel in his time: Acts 2:38
  • Joseph Smith testifying of the gospel in, this, the dispensation of the fullness of times: Articles of Faith 4

You’ll notice that in each of the above four scriptures, in each dispensation, the gospel is the same:

  • Faith in The Lord Jesus Christ
  • Repentence
  • Baptism
  • Receive the Gift of The Holy Ghost

When researching this topic, I did a search on of the phrase “repent and be baptized.” The search returned 61 scriptures where that phrase (or a variation of it) was found. What does all this mean? It simply reinforces the principle that The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

What Do We Do?
So you have faith; you’ve repented; you’ve been baptized, and you’ve received the Gift of The Holy Ghost. Is that it? Are we now done with this mortal probation? Have we achieved eternal salvation? Of course not. We must keep the commands AND endure to the end (D&C 14:7). Part of enduring is the test of this life and how we respond to it, and how we treat others; it’s about serving our fellow man, patience, obedience, and spreading the gospel.