Don’t Miss the Boat, Go Visit the Ark Encounter! (Part 2 of 2)

Outdoor Opportunities By COL(Ret.) Grey D. Berrier II

If I say “100-yards”, what’s comes to mind? The overwhelming response is “a football field”. (Some hunters would probably think of the range where they zero their rifl es.) Now, to get some idea of how big the Ark Encounter is, think of a massive wooden vessel the length of one and a half football fields and half a football field wide. According to The Bible (Genesis 6:15), God told Noah to build the Ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. The Ark Encounter’s designers used a “royal cubit”, which is the length of an individual’s arm from the elbow to the longest fingertip, plus the width of four fingers. Peoples’ arm lengths and finger widths vary, so they settled on a “royal cubit” length of 20.4 inches, standard for the time period. Therefore, the Ark’s dimensions converted from cubits means the Ark Encounter is 510 ft. long, by 85 ft. wide, and 51 ft. tall with the bow and stern towering even higher above the top deck! Anyway, you look at it, the Ark replica built in Williamstown, KY by is an overwhelming, enormous vessel, even by today’s standards; and it’s mind-boggling that Noah built the Ark over 4,000 years B.C. Now, some folks are skeptics about the construction of the Ark, because people back then did not have the technological advances, tools, and machinery we have today. However, just like the present, there were very intelligent individuals thousands of years ago, and using the tools and technology they had at the time, they miraculously constructed the Egyptian pyramids, Mayan temples, and other marvels that archaeologists are still trying to figure out how they were built. So why couldn’t the Ark have been built? The Bible tells us that Noah was 600-years old when the Flood began and Biblical scholars estimate it took Noah and his three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japeth) from 55 to 75 years to build the Ark. It has been proposed, Noah possibly was a ship-builder by trade and therefore would have had hundreds of years of experience before God told him to build the Ark in order to survive the coming Flood. One of my favorite exhibits at both the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum was the time-lapse photography of the Ark’s construction from groundbreaking in Nov. 2014, the first timber erected in Jun. 2015, through its completion in Jul.2016. (Think about the magnitude – the project required 1,200 tractor-trailer loads of wood!) The Ark Encounter involved hundreds of contractors and donations from over 40,000 families. It is the world’s largest wooden framed structure, designed by a Mennonite architect and assembled by a team of Amish carpenters from Indiana, highly skilled craftsmen who specialize in large-scale timber frame construction. It was pointed out at the Ark Encounter that Noah and his three sons probably employed contractors and laborers back in their day to help build the Ark, who most likely ridiculed their employers for building this massive vessel when there was no apparent danger of heavy rains and flooding. Inside, the Ark Encounter is a world-class themed attraction with extensive, well-designed exhibits and thought-provoking videos. It truly is a challenge to read all the informative displays during a single visit. Built with three floors, IAW The Bible, the exhibits cover: the pre-flood world, the Ark’s construction, the Flood, the kinds of animals on board, Noah’s family’s living quarters, the post-flood world, the Ark’s role in Bible history, and why the Bible is true. The exhibits even offer details on how the Ark “rode out the storm” while all other people and animals perished; how they might have fed, watered, and cleaned the pens of all those animals; and how they collected fresh water, had a functional ventilation system, and jettisoned animal waste. It’s hard to fathom, but we’re all offspring of Noah’s three sons and the animals we love to observe outdoors today had their ancestors on the Ark. Other than the Cross, Noah’s Ark is the greatest symbol of the message of God’s salvation. I can’t encourage you enough to experience the Ark Encounter for yourself sometime soon! God Bless, Be Safe, and Great Outdoors! ©WBB 2019

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