How long did Noah take to build the Ark mentioned in the Bible? And why do we care? The Bible doesn’t say exactly how long, and not much is known about the ship-building process when Noah was alive—especially a ship commissioned by God. Some believe it took just 40 days for Noah to build it, some say 120 days, and others believe he had as many as 300 years.

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In this post, we’ll see what Scripture itself and Bible commentators say about how long Noah spent building the Ark, what else he did to protect the environment years before the flood came, and what lessons we can learn from this story with regard to our relationship today with the earth.


How many years did Noah take to build the Ark?

The Ark that Noah built is the first ship mentioned in the Bible. There are many interpretations of how long he worked on constructing it. Genesis chapter 6 verse 6 states: “Noah was six hundred years old when the Flood came, waters upon the earth.” So we see that the ages of people then was more than in our times, and that Noah was already quite old when the flood came. Noahdied 350years after the flood, at the ageof950

Jewish tradition says that a hundred and twenty years before the Flood, Noah specially planted the trees from which he would take the wood for the Ark—no old-growth logging here! Aware of the massive resources that his project would demand, Noah actively worked to be as self-sustaining as possible. The Bible mentions 120 years in the Noah story, in Genesis chapter 6 verse 3: The Lord said, “My spirit shall not strive with man forever, since he too is flesh, yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

Sefer Hayashar (written as early as the 9th century), states that it took just five years for Noah to build the ark.

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According to a 9th Jewish commentary from Italy, God used a “finger” in providing instructions for Noah to build the ark (Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer23). This source states that it took 52 years for Noah to build the ark, with Divine guidance.


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