Make you an ark of gopher wood; rooms shall you make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch.
Jump to: Barnes • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • JFB • KD • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Parker • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • TTB • WES • TSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Make thee an ark.—Têbâh, a word so archaic that scholars neither know its derivation, nor even to what language it belongs. It is certain, however, that it was an oblong box, not capable of sailing, but intended merely to float. In the Chaldean account of the deluge, the language everywhere is that of a maritime people: the history in Genesis is as plainly the work of a people living inland.
Of gopher wood.—Heb., trees (or beams) of gopher This is also a word which occurs nowhere else, but means the cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), a tall, upright evergreen tree, of great durability, and anciently much valued for shipbuilding.
Rooms.—Literally, nests, small cells or cabins, arranged in three tiers, so that the interlacing of the timbers might aid in holding the whole structure together.
Pitch.—That is, natural bitumen. The ark therefore must have been built in some country where this natural product is easily obtainable, as in Assyria.Genesis 8:13. If, however, it was in the sides of the ark, the cubit was merely its height. It was then finished with a strong railing, which went round the whole ark, and over which the covering, above mentioned, hung down on every side. The door was in the side, and the stories were three. In each were of course many "nests" or chambers, for animals and stores. It may be curious to a mechanical mind to frame the details of this structure from the general hints here given; but it could not serve any practical end. Only the animals necessary to man, or unusual to the region covered by the deluge, required to be included in the ark. It seems likely that wild animals in general were not included. It is obvious, therefore, that we cannot calculate the number of animals preserved in the ark, or compare the space they would require with its recorded dimensions. We may rest assured that there was accommodation for all that needed to be there.
gopher wood—probably cypress, remarkable for its durability and abounding on the Armenian mountains.
rooms—cabins or small cells.
pitch it within and without—mineral pitch, asphalt, naphtha, or some bituminous substance, which, when smeared over and become hardened, would make it perfectly watertight.An ark; a little ship made in the form of an ark or chest, but probably sloping at the bottom for the convenience of navigation, as it was for another reason sloping at the top.
Gopher wood: this word is but once used in Scripture, and therefore it is diversely rendered by the learned; by some pine, by many cedar, but by others cypress, a tree very proper and usual for ships, and of a firm and durable substance, and much abounding in those parts; all which appears from ancient authors.
With pitch; or rather, with some kind of bitumen, of the same nature and use with pitch, to cement the parts of the ark together, and to preserve it from the injuries of the sun, and water, and worms; but more odoriferous, to correct the unpleasant scent of some of the creatures. 1 Peter 3:20 but though it would require not a few years to build such a vessel, and prepare everything necessary for the use of it, yet one would think it should not take so many years as the least account gives unto it: it may be observed, the order is, "make thou", or "for thyself" (n); for thy use and benefit, for the saving of thyself and family, as well as for the preservation of the several creatures which were for the service of him and his posterity:
rooms shalt thou make in the ark; or "nests" (o); little apartments, and many of them for the several creatures, and for their provisions, as well as for Noah and his family. The Targum of Jonathan gives us the number of them, paraphrasing the words thus,"one hundred and fifty cells shalt thou make for the ark on the left hand, and ten apartments in the middle to put food in, and five cabins on the right, and five on the left:"
and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch; it was pitched without to keep out the waters, and that they might more easily slide off, and to preserve the ark from being eat with worms, or hurt with the wind and sun; and it was pitched within, to take off the ill smell that might arise from the several creatures, as well as for the better security of the ark. Some take it to be bitumen, a sort of clay or slime like pitch, such as was used at the building of Babel, and of the walls of Babylon. De Dieu conjectures it was that kind of bitumen which the Arabs calls Kaphura, which agrees in sound with the word here used; but why not the pitch of the pine tree, or the rosin of the cypress tree, and especially the latter, if the ark was made of the wood of it (p)?
(c) De Dea Syria. (d) Miscellan. Sacr. l. 4. c. 5. (e) Phaleg. l. 1. c. 4. Colossians 22, 23. (f) Vid. Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 1. p. 35. (g) Geograph, l. 16. p. 510. (h) Ut supra. (Phaleg. l. 1. c. 4. Colossians 22, 23.) (i) Ib. p. 508. (k) Pirke Eliezer, c. 23. (l) Elmacinus, p. 11. apud Hottinger, Smegma, l. 1. c. 8. p. 249. (m) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 1, 2.((n) "tibi", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (o) "nidos", Pagninus, Montanus. (p) Vid. Scheuchzer. p. 35.Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. an ark] The word here used, têbâh, is only found in this passage and in Exodus 2:3-5. It is of foreign origin; according to some, an Egyptian word; according to others, derived from the Assyrian. LXX κιβωτός, Lat. arca, which our translators adopted and transliterated. The “ark” of the Covenant (e.g. Exodus 25:10) is another Heb. word, ’arôn, but unfortunately rendered also by LXX κιβωτός, Lat. arca.
gopher wood] A word only used here. “Gopher” is said to be a resinous coniferous tree, possibly the “cypress” (cuparissus), to which word it may be akin.
The versions, not realizing that it was a botanical description, made wild guesses at the meaning. Thus LXX ἐκ ξύλων τετραγώνων = “of squared beams”: so, Vet. Lat. ligna quadrata, Vulg. ligna laevigata.
rooms] The meaning is obvious. The interior of the ark was to consist of cabins, or cubicles. The sentence would be rendered literally, “nests shalt thou make the ark.” Vulg. mansiunculas.
pitch] Heb. kopher, a word only found here in the Bible, and its resemblance in pronunciation to “gopher” (see above), is, to say the least, strange. The Assyrian word for bitumen is kupru, and that word is used in the Babylonian account, in which the hero of the Flood is made to say, “Six sars of bitumen (kupru) I spread over it for caulking.” The word suggests (1) that there is some connexion of the Hebrew story with the Babylonian version, (2) that the region was the Euphrates Valley in which bitumen was freely obtainable. The word in Exodus 2:3 is not kopher, but khêmar, which is also found in Genesis 11:3; Genesis 14:10.Verse 14. - Make thee an ark. תֵּבַת, constr. of תֵּבָה, etymology unknown (Gesenius); of Shemitic origin, from תָּבָה, to be hollow (Furst); of Egyptian derivation, a boat being called tept (Keil, Kalisch, Knobel); from the Sanskrit pota, a pot or boat (Bohlen); "a peculiar archaic term for a very unusual thing, like מַבּוּל, the term for the Flood itself" (T. Lewis); translated κιβωτός θίβη (LXX.), area (Vulgate), λάρναξ (Nicolas Damaseenus), πλοῖον (Berosus); not a ship in the ordinary acceptation of the word, but a box or chest (cf. Exodus 2:3) capable of floating on the waters. "Similar vessels, generally, however, drawn by horses or men, were and are still used in some parts of Europe and Asia" (Kalisch). Of gopher wood. Literally, woods of gopher (גֹפֶר: ἅπαξ λεγ.., the root of which, like כפר, seams to signify to cover (Kalisch); ligna bituminata (Vulgate); pitch trees, resinous trees, such as are used in ship-building (Gesenius); most likely cypress, κυπάρισσος (Bochart, Celsius, Keil), which was used "in some parts of Asia exclusively as the material for ships, in Athens for coffins, and in Egypt for mummy cases" (Kaliseh). "It is said too that the gates of St. Peter's Church at Rome (made of this wood), which lasted from the time of Constantine to that of Eugene IV., 1. a 1100 years, had in that period suffered no decay" (Bush). Rooms - kinnim, nests, applied metaphorically to the chambers of the ark - shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. וְכָפַרְתָּ בַּכֹּפֶר: literally, shalt cover it with a covering. The substance to be employed was probably bitumen or asphalt (ἄσφαλτος, LXX.; bitumen, Vulgate). The root (cf. English, cover) signifies also to pardon sin, i.e. to cover them from God's sight (Psalm 65:3; Psalm 78:38; 2 Chronicles 30:18), and to make expiation for sin, i.e. to obtain covering for them (Genesis 32:20; Daniel 9:24); whence gopher is used for a ransom (Exodus 21:30; Exodus 30:12), and cap-poreth, the covering of the ark (Exodus 25:17), for the mercy-seat (ἱλαστήριον, LXX.; propitiatorium, Vulgate). Exodus 2:3, Exodus 2:5, where it is applied to the ark in which Moses was placed, is probably an Egyptian word: the lxx render it κίβωτος here, and θίβη in Exodus; the Vulgate arca, from which our word ark is derived. Gopher-wood (ligna bituminata; Jerome) is most likely cypress. The ἁπ. λεγ. gopher is related to כּפר, resin, and κυπάρισσος; it is no proof to the contrary that in later Hebrew the cypress is called berosh, for gopher belongs to the pre-Hebraic times. The ark was to be made cells, i.e., divided into cells, קנּים (lit., nests, niduli, mansiunculae), and pitched (כּפר denom. from כּפר) within and without with copher, or asphalte (lxx ἄσφαλτος, Vulg. bitumen). On the supposition, which is a very probable one, that the ark was built in the form not of a ship, but of a chest, with flat bottom, like a floating house, as it was not meant for sailing, but merely to float upon the water, the dimensions, 300 cubits long, 50 broad, and 30 high, give a superficial area of 15,000 square cubits, and a cubic measurement of 450,000 cubits, probably to the ordinary standard, "after the elbow of a man" (Deuteronomy 3:11), i.e., measured from the elbow to the end of the middle finger.
LinksGenesis 6:14 Interlinear
Genesis 6:14 Parallel Texts
Genesis 6:14 NIV
Genesis 6:14 NLT
Genesis 6:14 ESV
Genesis 6:14 NASB
Genesis 6:14 KJV
Genesis 6:14 Bible Apps
Genesis 6:14 Parallel
Genesis 6:14 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 6:14 Chinese Bible
Genesis 6:14 French Bible
Genesis 6:14 German Bible