Standing Before God

Genesis 6:14

14 Make for yourself an ark[1]of gopher[2] wood.  You’re to make rooms[3] (in) the ark and cover it over[4] from (inside the) house and from outside[5] (with) pitch[6].


So, Noah was standing in front of God, and God said he was going to destroy the earth and everything on it.  The next thing that God brought from His mouth was a command: “Build an ark for yourself!”

I love the various points of view over the years in relation to this topic… e.g. Noah’s retort, “What’s an ark?”  … not that it’s in the Bible, but Noah had never seen rain, and it’s highly unlikely that there was anything invented that looked like a boat, let alone something the size of an ocean liner and large enough to house all that would be revealed.

This leads to the in depth look at the passage.  The word for ark is used twice, once as the ark that Noah built and also for the basket that floated the baby Moses down the Nile.  Therefore, there’s some discussion about what an ark might be.  it’s thought the word may have been imported from another Semitic language and relate to a chest or even a coffin.  Then there’s the material it was made out of… timber, wood or trees is a common word, but the phrase is “wood of gopher”, and NOONE has a clue what a gopher tree or gopher wood might really be… so this ark was to be made of gopher trees/wood… whatever that is… covered with pitch inside and out.

What do I take away?  God loved Noah enough to save him, but Noah had to trust God enough to save himself.  Without obedience, Noah, too, would have perished.


Father, please help me to know You better and to trust You more.  Please guide every step every day… and please change me, conforming me to Your image.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

[1] תַבַה – tebah – Strongs 8392 – (n . f) – “ark/basket/chest/coffinvessel that floats, as in craft that Noah made and the basket that Moses was placed in in the Nile

[2] גֹפֵר – gopher – Strongs 1613 – (n . m) – “gopher, a type of tree, the wod that the ark Noah built was made from/exact meaning unknown, but other translations use cypress/pitch-pine/resinous wood”

[3] קֵן – qen – Strongs 7064 – (n . m) – “nest/room/cells (like nests in Noah’s ark)/stalls/nestlings/a bed or receptacle made by a bird to hold eggs and the bird’s young/a room or cell in a boart. E.g. Noah’s ark”

[4] כָּפַר – kaphar – Strongs 3722 – (v) – “make atonement/make amends/appease/soothe/expiate/cover over/pacify/make propitiation/atone/atonement/pardon/forgive/be annulled/make amends/pardon/forgive/forgave/coat/cover/tar over”

[5] חוּץ – chuwts/chuts – Strongs 2351 – (n . m) –  “outside/streets/street/outer/fields/abroad/outside place/public place/countryside/outward/the outside/exterior/large/open/outdoors/outside to the outer/outward”

[6] כֹּפֶר – kopher – Strongs 3724 – (n . m) – “ransom/village/unwalled village/ashphalt/pitch (ie tar to seal wood)/henna plant/name of a plant (henna?)/camphire/henna blossom/price of a life/ransom payment/bribe/bribes”