What Did Noah Look Like? [Genesis Explained]


Noah is a prominent figure in the book of Genesis. The first book of the Bible devotes more space to his narrative because of the flood story than it does to Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, and other important characters. Noah is known for his righteousness (Gen. 6:9) and his faith in God (Heb. 11:7). One question Bible readers ask about Noah is his appearance.

The Bible doesn’t say what Noah looked like. His appearance isn’t critical to the meaning of the flood story, so Genesis doesn’t describe it. What’s most important is Noah’s righteousness in a world of wickedness, and the graciousness of God that saves him, his family, and the animals from judgment.

What did Noah’s ark look like? What does the Bible say about Noah, including his father, wife, sons, and daughters-in-law? How old was Noah when he died? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Noah's ark
How big was Noah’s ark? See below

What did Noah’s ark look like?

After God declared his intention to destroy the world, he commanded Noah to build an ark made of gopher wood, divide the inside of it, and pitch it inside and out (Gen. 6:14).

Most popular English translations describe the ark’s measurements in cubits to precisely render the Hebrew term. However, the NLT converts cubits into feet for its readers.

TranslationGenesis 6:15
ESVThis is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits.
KJVAnd this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
NASBThis is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.
NIVThis is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.
NLTMake the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.

What is a cubit? The measurement that the Hebrews used to describe the size of the ark is a cubit. A cubit is a measurement derived from the length of the elbow to the tip of the finger. Some scholars use 50 centimeters as an equivalent to one cubit, yet the Bible doesn’t confirm this assumption. [1] Instead, 18 inches (45.72 centimeters) is a general guideline from which people can make conversions. [2]

How do cubits translate to feet? As stated above, most people use 18 inches as the length of a cubit. One way to simplify the conversion is to divide the cubits in half and then multiply that number three times. For example, ten cubits divided in half is 5, and multiplied by three is 15. So ten cubits equal 15 feet (4.57 meters).

The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) also converts cubits for its readers: “This is how you are to make it: The ark will be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.”

The Amplified Version (AV) adds feet at the end of the verse: “This is the way you are to make it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits (450’ x 75’ x 45’).”

The Contemporary English Version (CEV) converts cubits into meters: “Make it 133 meters long, 22 meters wide, and 13 meters high.”

Genesis flood
What does the Bible say about Noah’s family? See below

What was the length of the ark? God said the ark would be 300 cubits long. 300 divided in half is 150 and multiplied three times is 450. So the ark was 300 cubits or 450 feet long (137.6 meters).

What was the width of the ark? God said the ark would be 50 cubits wide. 50 divided in half is 25 and multiplied three times is 75. So 50 cubits equal 75 feet (22.86 meters).

What was the height of the ark? God said the ark would be 30 cubits high. 30 divided in half is 15 and multiplied three times is 45. So 30 cubits equal 45 feet (13.71 meters).

What does the Bible say about Noah?

Noah is the main character of Genesis, chapters six through nine, though the book first mentions him at the end of the genealogy in chapter five.

What does “Noah” mean?“Noah” is related to the Hebrew word for “rest” or “comfort”
Who was Noah’s father?Lamech (Gen. 5:28-30)
Who was Noah’s grandfather?Methuselah (Gen. 5:25-27)
Who was Noah’s great grandfather?Enoch (Gen. 5:21-23)
What line did Noah come from?The line of Adam via Seth (Gen. 5:3-8)
What kind of character did Noah have?He was righteous, blameless, and walked with God (Gen. 6:9)
What Noah sinless?No, Noah was a sinner (e.g. Gen. 9:21; cf. Rom. 3:23)
ark animals
How old was Noah when he died? See below
How old was Noah when he became a father?500 years old (Gen. 5:32)
Was Noah married?Yes, but his wife is unnamed (Gen. 6:18)
Did Noah have children?Yes, three sons; Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 6:10)
Who did Noah take on the ark?His wife, their three sons, and their wives (Gen. 6:18; cf. 1 Pet. 3:20)
Did Noah have grandchildren?Yes, his sons and their wives had children after the flood, like Canaan (Gen. 9:18)
What was Noah’s job before the flood?It’s unclear, though Peter calls him a preacher (2 Pet. 2:5)
How old was Noah when the flood began?600 years old (Gen. 7:6, 11)
How old was Noah when the flood ended?601 years old (Gen. 8:13)
What did God promise Noah?God made a covenant with him not to destroy the world again with a flood (Gen. 9:9-17).
What was Noah’s job after the flood?He farmed a vineyard (Gen. 9:20)
How many years did Noah live after the flood?350 years (Gen. 9:28)
How old was Noah when he died?950 years old (Gen. 9:29); only Jared (962) and Methuselah (969) lived longer
How many New Testament verses mention Noah?8 (see below)
What is Noah’s legacy?He was a man of great faith (Heb. 11:7)

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see the About page for details.

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