Q&A

Did It Take Noah 120 Years To build The Ark?

Q. In Gen chapter 6 it appears that before God commissioned Noah to construct an ark he had three sons.  However, in Gen 11 it is stated that two years after the flood subsided, Shem was then only 100 years old. That being the case, how can so many preachers state that Noah took 120 years to build the ark? It seems to me that this 120 years claim is based on verse 3 of chapter six. Please give your mind on this matter.

A. You’re correct. The Bible doesn’t say it took Noah 120 years to build the Ark. What it says is that God was offended by mankind’s behavior and determined that He would wipe everyone off the face of the Earth in 120 years (Genesis 6:3-7). Sometime later He made a covenant with Noah to save him, his sons, and their wives along with male and female representatives from each specie of animal (Genesis 6:9-22).  We don’t know how long it took Noah and his sons to build the ark, but we do know that all three sons were alive and already had wives when construction was started and that Shem was 98 years old when the flood occurred (Genesis 11:10).  Therefore, those who preach that it took Noah 120 years to build the ark have misinterpreted Genesis 6:3.

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