And this [is the fashion] which thou shall make it of,
&c.] The form and size of it, its length, breadth, and height, as follows:
the length of the ark [shall be] three hundred cubits, the breadth
of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits;
which some interpret of geometrical cubits, each of which contained six ordinary cubits; others of sacred cubits, which were larger by an hand's breadth than the common cubit; but the general opinion of learned men now is, that they were common cubits of eighteen inches long; and by the geometrical calculations made by them it is found, that the ark of such dimensions was abundantly sufficient to contain Noah, and his family, and the various creatures, and all necessary provisions for them F17. But if the Jewish and Egyptian cubit, the cubit of the Scriptures, as Dr. Cumberland F18 has shown it to be, consisted of twenty one inches and upwards, the ark according to them must be very near twice as great, and so more convenient for all the ends to which it was designed; for, as he observes, the cube of such a cubit is very near double to the cube of eighteen inches, and therefore so must the capacity be.
(Noah's Ark was the largest sea-going vessel ever built, until, the late nineteenth century when giant metal ships were first constructed. The Ark was approximately 450 feet by seventy five feet; but as late as 1858
``the largest vessel of her type in the world was the P&O liner, "Himalaya", 240 feet by thirty five feet...''In that year, Isambard K. Brunel produced the "Great Eastern", 692 feet by 83 feet by 30 feet of approximately 19000 tons ... five times the tonnage of any ship then afloat. So vast was Brunel's leap that even forty years later in an age of fierce competition the largest liners being built were still smaller than the "Great Eastern" ... F19. Editor.)
F17 Vid. Buteonem de Area Noe, Hostum in fabricam Areae Noc, & Poli Synopsin. Scheuchzer, ut supra, (Physic. Sacr. vol. 1.) pp. 37, 38.
F18 Of Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 2. p. 56, 57.
F19 The World that Perished, John C. Witcomb, published by Baker Book House, 1988, p. 22.