How Old Was Noah When He Built the Ark?

At the end of Genesis 5, we see that Noah is 500 years old. He had three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Later in Genesis 6, we have reasons as to why Noah was commissioned to build the ark. Scripture shows that the sons of God saw the daughters of men were fair. In verse three, we see the age span of man is shortened to 120 years. Although some say this happened after the Flood. Some scholars also say this is a countdown to the Flood. The Lord said that His Spirit would not always strive with man. Understand Noah was 950 years old when he died. So, he was around 600 when God told him to build the ark. His sons were grown, married, and able to assist him.

If you go to Genesis 5 and read, you will see that man’s lifespan was a lot longer. Adam was 930 years old when he died. His son Seth was 912 years old when he died. Yes, Adam did have other children after Cain and Able. In verse 24, we see that Enoch was 365 years old when God took him. He and Elijah were the only ones in Scripture who did not die. Both were just taken up by God because the Lord was pleased with them.

While Enoch was being taken up to heaven, during the time of Noah, there were giants on the earth in the days of Noah. I have seen different interpretations as to what sons of God meant. My KJV Study Bible gives a couple of varied reasons. Some theologians believe the sons of God were descendants of Cain and Seth (The KJV Study Bible, Barbour Publishing, 2011). Many others assume they were the offspring of fallen angels that were having children with human women. This did not please God. Their offspring were giants. Because of this and humanity’s increasing sin, God announced that He was wiping people off the face of the earth. God said that every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually. I know that there were priests and prophets around at the time, but people were just doing what they wanted to do. Sin abounded.

At this time, wickedness in the earth was rampant and God repented that He made man. Genesis 6:8 said that “Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord.” He was a just man, and he walked with God. God spared Noah and his family via the ark.

How Old Was Noah When He Died?

Noah was 950 years old when he died. He lived about 350 years after God told him to build the ark. God told Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13) He gave Noah specific instructions on what to make the ark out of. The ark was made out of gopher wood and pitch. There were also rooms or nests in the ark. Verses 15 and 16 of chapter six gives us details of how big it was.

Just to give you an idea of how big the ark was. God told Noah that the length of the ark would be 300 cubits. I googled cubits and found out that a cubit is 17 to 20 inches. The breadth of the ark was 50 cubits, and the height was 30 cubits. So, the ark was 500 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. There are people who have actually researched this so you can go there for more details. And, of course, you can find a live model next to the Creation Museum in Williamstown, Kentucky.

Why Did People Live So Long before the Flood in the Bible?

God’s plan was for man to live forever I do believe. We will live forever somewhere when we die. How old was Noah when he died? Noah was 950 years old. That type of longevity did not occur after the flood. God made that announcement in Genesis 6. Since sin entered the earth, that caused us to have a shortened life span I believe. Psalms 90:10 says, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; And if by reason of strength they be fourscore years.” We know that a score is 20 years. Of course, many of us know of people who have lived to be 100 or in their 90. God can extend grace wherever He wants to and when He wants to. But whether literal or metaphorical, lifespans shortened significantly after the time of the Flood.

We also know that in certain countries some people live longer because of their lifestyle. A lot of them are vegetarians. Many do not eat red meat. A lot of older people are active even after retirement. I would admonish people to stay active as long as possible. I realize that people get tired of an 8 to 5 job and want to relax. Ask God to give you something easier to do. Volunteer a few times a week to stay active. Mentor other Christians. Try to be purposeful in all that you do.

3 Important Life Lessons from Noah

Noah was obedient. Noah did all that God commanded him to do (Genesis 6:22). He was not trying to bargain with God to spare man. Noah, no doubt, knew what was going on in the earth. There were giants in those days. The Bible says that it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart (Genesis 6:6). After Noah finished the ark, God told him that he and his wife, his sons, and their wives would go with him on the ark.

He also told Noah to take two of every living animal into the ark, male and female. Again, Genesis 7:5 declares that Noah did that all the Lord commanded him. By the time the floodwaters came, Noah was 600 years old (Genesis 7:6). Noah did not try and sneak a few cousins in or townspeople. He took those who the Lord commanded him to take. When God gives you specific instructions of this magnitude and gravity, you just have to do what He says.

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. It pays to live holy. We will never understand what we have been spared from just because we choose to believe in God and because we choose to live a life pleasing to Him. Non-believers can read the Bible to find the evidence that Jesus existed. You have apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and pastors who are declaring the Gospel. Non-believers can search the web and visit Jerusalem to find evidence of a risen Savior. Christians should be witnesses to non-believers. Do not spend time trying to convert those who are already Christians. They know about Jesus. I think many people spend time trying to recruit people to various churches. We need to spend time witnessing to the lost.

There is a blessing at the end of obedience. After the Flood, Noah built an altar to the Lord and made sacrifices unto the Lord (Genesis 8:20). God was pleased. “God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). God did promise not to destroy the earth by flood anymore. That is why we see rainbows in the air (Genesis 9:14). After the Flood, Noah lived 350 years. How old was Noah when he died? He was 950 years old when he died. And he lived a full life of obedience to the Lord.

Photo Credit: © iStock/Getty Images Plus/Javier_Art_Photography

Dr. Sandra SmithDr. Sandra Hamer Smith is a Christian and wife to Sylvester Smith. She has one stepson, Greg. Smith lives and resides in Memphis, Tennessee. The University of Memphis alumnae has been in education for about 20 years after receiving the call to teach. Dr. Smith primarily teaches language arts. Prior to education, she worked in local and national television news for 13 years including positions as an overnight news anchor, reporter, and assignments editor at two local network affiliate stations. Smith was also a freelance correspondent for BET news. Dr. Smith has freelanced for the Tri-State Defender newspaper and Contempora magazine.  She is the author of the self-published novel GLORY…THE HAIR.  Smith is also a playwright and poet. The Tennessee native is a member of Temple of Deliverance COGIC, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, Omicron Delta Kappa, The Golden Key International Honour Society, and Kappa Delta Pi.