A Floating City
Throughout history legends regarding the great Flood have abounded and have survived in all regions of this world.
The Mesopotamian region: The Flood (1655-1656 From Creation), in the midst of the third millennium BC, was documented in the Gilgamesh Epic whose writings (in Akkadian, Sumerian, et. others) are attributed to the beginning of the second millennium BC (i.e. about 500 years after The Flood). Copies of portions of this epic have been recovered from excavations in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, etc. indicating a broad ancient interest in The Flood.
Chinese tradition refers to Noah as Fah-he. Note the letter F is from the letter V is from the letter W. Thus, wahhe (wahhabi in Arabic) refers to the religious leader's descendant, a descendant of Noah.
Egyptian traditions documented c. 250 BC by Manetho refers to Noah as Toth. Toth in Old English refers to "the other" (tother, toth), tote or ote which mean of or relating to, kinship, hierarchy, etc. A tote bag refers to the items belonging to the carrier; whereas, totem poles originated as a depiction of one's ancestors. Egyptian legend honors the dead and the resurrection of Osiris: The Flood deaths and the survivors.
Ancient Greek mythology refers to Prometheus who stole fire from Olympus. It was Prometheus' son Deucalion (Noah) who with Pyrrha (Deucalion's wife) that survived the great Flood with family members and others in a great covered chest (Noah's Ark). Zeus, of course, refers to GOD who brought on The Flood and protected the survivors. Even Plato (Aristocles) (427?-347 BC) speaks of The Flood in "Critias."
Babylon: The Greek Priest who became known as a Babylonian historian, Berossus the Chaldean, wrote c. 280 BC; but, Berossus' actual writings have been lost. However, Berossus' account of The Flood, quoted in part by Josephus (c. 37-100 AD), was also abridged by the Greco-Roman Scholar Cornelius Alexander Polyhistor (1st century AD) whose work was then rewritten by Abydenus (2nd century AD). In turn, Abydenus' work was rewritten by Eusebius of Caesaria (4th century AD) whose work was also lost except for portions preserved by the Byzantines. Also, Eusebius' work was also translated with errors by the Armenians.
The Romans: Publius Ovidius Naso 43 BC-17? AD further romanticized The Flood.
In The Americas: The Alaskan Kolush Indian (Natives) legends relate to flood traditions as do the Aztecs of central and southern Mexico (Toltecs), and the Quechuan (or Inca) people of South America. Therein, in these legends, Noah dwelt or sailed off into the East.
In Persian traditions: Noah's ark is called Varuna's House of Clay. The term Vara means house of clay which refers to a buried Noah's ark that has wide avenues inside much like the Levitical City about the Temple. And like the Temple it's called an underground fortress or tomb.
One can go on and on with various sources which vary considerably. But if one tells a brief story to one student in a classroom and they in turn tell it to another, etc. until the story arrives at the last student ... the beginning and end stories have little true resemblance. This game also shows that certain people will freely adlib whenever they miss a statement, point, or number while others will not. So, after 500, a thousand, and on for nearly five thousand years each of the many sources relate some truths, a lot of adlibbing, and some very tall stories.
Therefore, let's begin with: what does Noah's ark look like? Yes, knowing what it should look like sure helps to avoid decoys and the like identified by blatant falsehoods that abound.
It was 377 days from when Noah was shut in the ark (Genesis 7:16) until Noah and the other survivors again stood on dry ground (Genesis 8:15-22).
Noah's ark was 120 years in building (Genesis 6:3) and artisans, craftsmen, farmers, etc. from each of the four river regions (and their families) came to help.
Remember, beginning with Adam and Cain there were two lineages: Adam's lineage (the seed of man) and Lucifer's lineage via Cain (the seed of beasts). Thus, when the traditions of the North American Kolushes, the native Indians of Alaska, spoke of beasts that could talk and beasts that complained against Noah: it was these beasts (Cain's lineage) who did so. They, of course, became the Sabeans who upon landing segregated themselves and returned to their respective homelands to start over.
The term Sabean apparently derives from Sabis to become the Latin Sabaeus referring to Noah as the sabbath keeper, sabbatarian, or society (socius) of sabbath keepers. Those who remained with Noah after The Flood, of course, went to Kiryat Arba (the Hebron area).
O.K., Noah had to have food and other grains on the great ark to last up to two years or longer and for planting. Thus, ample dry storage facilities were a necessity. Now add fresh water cisterns and you're just getting started to plan the ark.
Next, have you ever been at sea in the midst of a howling hurricane? Before modern storm tracking and weather forecasting, violent seas were a mariner's worst nightmare. Now ships can outrun storms or avoid them. But, in Noah's day much of that journey around the world encountered roiling seas and violent tempests. Thus, the ark is described as a great closed chest by the Toltec legends and in the Greek myths regarding Deucalion's survival. Yes, Noah's ark had to be very, very strong to withstand the tremendous forces involved.
Next, when Noah's ark was built in the midst of the Edenic Valley it was built quite near the 20° North parallel in a rather warm mostly tropical climate and landed (the place of descent) while still South of the 30° North parallel. Thus, these people did not need cold weather gear and most certainly would have died had they landed atop a normally snow capped mountain. Therefore, Noah and his followers needed fuel and related facilities only for cooking.
Don't forget, Noah and his flocks also needed cows, oxen, horses, carts, tools for farming, etc.
How many people (including beasts) were on board? Noah and his three sons, of course, represented each of the four river regions. Genesis speaks of the beasts being brought on board by sevens and by twos (male and female) (Genesis 7:1-9). What about the sons of men, Adam's lineage? Many of Adam's lineage were already living with Noah. And, if both of these lineages began to help build Noah's ark and if it was 120 years in building, there would certainly have been both young and old on board as the workers, their wives, and children grew older and would have multiplied. Scripture speaks of people as cattle and Genesis 8:1 says that all the cattle that were with Noah in the ark survived. And the Koran says, Houd and those who shared his faith were delivered (Sura 11:58).
Nice numbers are easy to create so let's look at the size of Noah's ark and readers can do their own guessing as to how many were on board. Again, the "raven" and "doves" initially populated the Americas and each of the four river regions were repopulated from Noah's ark.
Remember, the Persian traditions called Noah's ark "Varuna" meaning house of clay or perhaps buried in or on clay or earth. It also spoke of wide avenues between the housing units and called the ark a buried fortress or tomb. Yes, the Persian descriptions likened Noah's ark to the Levitical City about the Temple within a great amphitheatre centered therein. So, let's examine some measures.
Scripture gives us partial measures for Noah's ark as being 300 by 50 cubits by 30 cubits high (Genesis 6:15). O.K., the 300 by 50 fit nicely as measures of the Temple Amphitheatre that facilitated seating for the flock, restaurants (cooking facilities in the corners), and even a Temple in one quadrant with its Holy of Holies and Throne Room therein.
Remember, this was the city of Noah that was 120 years in building and celebrated the presence of the original Holy Ark and The Glory Of GOD both before and during The Flood (Habakkuk 3:3).
Hecataeus the Abderite writing (about 307 BC) shortly after the death of Alexander the Great, as quoted by Josephus (Cont. Ap. 1:22), said that:
"... in Jerusalem, towards the middle of the city, is a stone-walled enclosure about 500 feet (cubits) in length and 100 cubits in width, with double gates" in which he describes the Temple as being situated.
Therein, Hecataeus actually describes the exterior measure of the amphitheatre enclosure about the Temple measuring 500 cubits four-square and the interior measure of the court of the Altar which measures 100 cubits four-square.
The double gates describe the exterior gates of the amphitheatre leading to/from the City and the interior gates within the amphitheatre opening onto the court of the Altar.
The Temple, of course, occupies one quadrant within the great amphitheatre, the "stone-walled enclosure."
Note: In these latter days, the LORD'S Day wherein we now dwell, John was told not to be concerned about the amphitheatre measures, i.e. measuring "the court without the Temple," as the End Times amphitheatre will be much larger and of modern design and materials (Revelation 11:1-2).
The Gilgamesh Epic reveals that Noah's ark is four-square exactly like the Levitical City with the great amphitheatre centered therein.
(Note: The Temple Scroll cites 1600 cubits for City; i.e. four 400 cubit housing areas; but, excludes end walls and gates.)
h. = 400 cubit housing areas: II Kings 14:13; 5Q15 (Qumran).
4 X h. = 1600 cubits: (Temple Scroll: col. 40:8).
Each of the gates in the City Wall were triple gates. And three triple gates per side equaled twelve triple gates for all four sides which times three equaled 36 gates total in the City Wall.
The purpose of the triple gates facilitated RIGHT HAND TRAFFIC for vehicles, horses, carts, etc.: Ezekiel 46:9 (East then West side); Middoth 2:2 (West side); 4:2 (East side). The center of the triple gates facilitated pedestrian traffic. Thus, there were broad avenues from each gate around the City and to the Temple Amphitheatre centered therein.
This is just like the Persian legend called "Varuna," the house of clay, with its wide avenues now called a buried fortress and tomb.
Since Noah's ark appears to have been a complete city and Noah obviously was GOD'S chosen righteous Shepherd, it becomes quite obvious that Noah's ark conformed with basic patterns subsequently found in both the Tent Of The Tabernacle and in the Temples.
The requirement for strength and size are also obvious. Therefore, the great walls (bulwarks against the sea) were strengthened by chambers along the walls which in turn were strengthened by the housing units. Just closing and sealing up the city gates took seven days (Genesis 7:7,10,16). All, of course, protected the core area containing what in the Levitical City was a great amphitheatre with the Temple therein.
The preBabylonian Levitical City measures 2000 cubits on a side. Therefore, if an 18 inch cubit were applied, the size of Noah's ark would be 3000 feet on a side. The foundation measures also apply with the city being built on one tier, the inner amphitheatre on two tiers, and the inner court on three tiers. Each tier being six cubits deep (perhaps 9 feet) would facilitate extensive storage. The amphitheatre, excluding the Temple area, may have been converted as a silo for dry storage. Perhaps the name of the Temple tower of Siloam derives from this early application. The great brass dome covering the amphitheatre area would go a long way toward protecting dry storage thereunder.
Even as an enormous raft perhaps 3,000 feet on a side, as a vessel upon turbulent waters there was still a need to keep weight low. And, since this great raft-like city was built using oil soaked timbers, the superstructure had many years to dry in the hot sun.
Nevertheless, speculation is speculation. The true design criteria, size, and other details will have to wait until Noah's ark is uncovered. Until then, perhaps the landing site might be investigated further. After all, until people recognize the landing site one cannot see the actual remains of Noah's historic ark ... the ship whereon our ancestors survived.
Father - Son Team
George & Dana Brown
P.O. Box 320932
Cocoa Beach, Florida