Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
An ark was a box-like container. In older English versions of the Bible, the word is used of Noah’s floating animal-house ( Genesis 7:8-9), of the floating basket made for the baby Moses by his parents ( Exodus 2:3-5), and of the sacred box in the inner shrine of Israel’s tabernacle ( Exodus 26:33).
God’s purpose in commanding Noah to build an ark was to provide a way of preserving people and animals through the judgment of the great flood ( Genesis 6:5-13; see Flood ). The ark was not designed to sail the seas like a huge boat, but to float on the floodwaters like a huge box. It was about 133 metres long, 22 metres wide and 13 metres high, with a door in the side and a 44 centimetre light and ventilation opening running around the top of the wall, just below the roof overhang. It was divided horizontally into three decks, and vertically into a number of rooms. This helped to separate the animals and to brace the whole structure ( Genesis 6:14-20).
More important than the preservation of the animals was the preservation of the family of Noah. Noah’s building of the ark demonstrated his faith and made possible the survival of a nucleus of believers through whom God could build a new people ( Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20; see Noah ).
Ark of the covenant
The gold covered wooden box known as the ark of the covenant, or covenant box, was Israel’s most sacred religious article. It was approximately 110 centimetres long, 66 centimetres wide and 66 centimetres deep. Its ornamented lid, over which were mounted two golden cherubim, was the symbolic throne of God known as the mercy seat ( Exodus 25:10-22; see Cherubim ). (For fuller details of the ark and for its significance in the tabernacle rituals see Tabernacle .)
When the Israelites moved from one camp to another, the ark was first covered with cloth, then carried by the Levites on shoulder poles. The ark usually went in front of the main procession ( Numbers 4:5-6; Numbers 10:33). When the people crossed the Jordan River to enter Canaan, the Levitical priests carrying the ark again led the way. They stood in the middle of the dry river bed till all the people had crossed over ( Joshua 3:11-17). For the first battle in Canaan, God directed the priests to take the ark from the tabernacle and carry it around the city that had to be conquered ( Joshua 6:1-5).
Several generations later, Israelites again took the ark from the tabernacle and carried it into battle, this time against the Philistines. But they had not done so by God’s directions, and the Philistines captured the ark ( 1 Samuel 4:3-4; 1 Samuel 4:11).
After suffering terrible plagues during the time the ark was with them, the Philistines sent it back to Israel (1 Samuel 5; 1 Samuel 6:1-16). By striking dead some Israelites who looked into the ark, God impressed upon his people that the ark was sacred. They were not to treat it as an object of curiosity or superstition ( 1 Samuel 6:19-20).
For the next twenty years the ark remained in a country house in Kiriath-jearim ( 1 Samuel 6:21; 1 Samuel 7:1-2). When David conquered Jerusalem, he decided to take the ark there as part of his plan to make Jerusalem the religious centre of the nation. In putting the ark on a cart instead of using Levites to carry it, he was following the Philistines’ practice instead of God’s directions. The attempted move ended in tragedy ( 2 Samuel 6:2-10). Three months later, after he had realized his mistake, David again tried to transport the ark, this time doing things properly ( 2 Samuel 6:12-13; 1 Chronicles 15:13-15). With much rejoicing he brought the ark to Jerusalem and placed it in a tent specially prepared for it ( 2 Samuel 6:14-19; 1 Chronicles 15:23-29).
When Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, he placed the ark in the Most Holy Place ( 1 Kings 8:6-11). Apparently it was removed during the reign of the wicked Manasseh, but Josiah restored it to its rightful place ( 2 Chronicles 35:1-3). The Babylonians probably took the ark with them to Babylon after their destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC ( 2 Kings 24:13). There is no record of what happened to it after that.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
arca, denotes a kind of floating vessel built by Noah, for the preservation of himself and family, with several species of animals during the deluge. The Hebrew word by which the ark is expressed, is תבת or תיבת , the constructive form of תבה , which is evidently the Greek θιβη ; and so the LXX render the word in Exodus 2:3 , where only it again occurs. They also render it κιβωτον ; Josephus, λαρνακα ; and the Vulgate arcam; signifying an ark, coffer, or chest. Although the ark of Noah answered, in some respects, the purpose of a ship, it is not so certain that it was of the same form and shape. It has been inconclusively argued by Michaelis and some others, that if its form had not been like that of a ship, it could not have resisted the force of the waves; because it was not intended to be conducted, like a ship, from one place to another, but merely "to float on the surface of the waters," Genesis 7:17 . It appears to have had neither helm, nor mast, nor oars; but was merely a bulky capacious vessel, light enough to be raised aloft with all its contents, by the gradual rise of the deluge. Its shape, therefore, was of little importance; more especially as it seems to have been the purpose of Providence, in this whole transaction, to signify to those who were saved, as well as to their latest posterity, that their preservation was not in any degree effected by human contrivance. The ark in which Moses was exposed bears the same name; and some have thought that both were of the same materials. With respect to the etymology of the Hebrew word, the most rational seems to be that of Clodius, who derives it from the Arabic word תאב , "he collected," from which is formed תבה , or תיבה , denoting a place in which things are collected. Foster deduces it from two Egyptian words, thoi, "a ship," and bai, "a palm tree branch;" and such ships are still to be seen not only in Egypt, but in India and other countries; particularly in some isles of the Pacific Ocean.
To the insufficiency of the ark to contain all the creatures said to have been brought into it, objections have, at different times, been made. Bishop Wilkins and others have learnedly discussed this subject, and afforded the most satisfactory answers. Dr. Hales proves the ark to have been of the burden of forty-two thousand four hundred and thirteen tons; and asks, "Can we doubt of its being sufficient to contain eight persons, and about two hundred or two hundred and fifty pair of four-footed animals, (a number to which, according to M. Buffon, all the various distinct species may be reduced,) together with all the subsistence necessary for a twelvemonth, with the fowls of the air, and such reptiles and insects as cannot live under water?" All these various animals were controlled by the power of God, whose special agency is supposed in the whole transaction, and "the lion was made to lie down with the kid."
Whether Noah was commanded to bring with him, into the ark, a pair of all living creatures, zoologically and numerically considered, has been doubted. During the long period between the creation and the flood, animals must have spread themselves over a great part of the antediluvian earth, and certain animals would, as now, probably become indigenous to certain climates. The pairs saved must therefore, if all the kinds were included, have travelled from immense distances. But of such marches no intimation is given in the history; and this seems to render it probable that the animals which Noah was "to bring with him" into the ark, were the animals clean and unclean of the country in which he dwelt, and which, from the capacity of the ark, must have been in great variety and number. The terms used, it is true, are universal; and it is satisfactory to know, that if taken in the largest sense there was ample accommodation in the ark. Nevertheless, universal terms in Scripture are not always to be taken mathematically, and in the vision of Peter, the phrase παντα τα τετραποδα της γης ,— all the four-footed beasts of the earth, must be understood of varii generis quadrupedes, as Schleusner paraphrases it. Thus we may easily account for the exuviae of animals, whose species no longer exist, which have been discovered in various places. The number of such extinct species probably has been greatly overrated by Cuvier; but of the fact, to a considerable extent, there can be no doubt. It is also to be observed that the presumptive evidence of the truth of the fact of the preparation of such a vessel, and of the supernatural circumstances which attended it, is exceedingly strong. It is, in truth, the only solution of a difficulty which has no other explanation; for as a universal deluge is confirmed by the general history of the world, and by a variety of existing facts and monuments, such a structure as the ark, for the preservation and sustenance of various animals, seems to have been absolutely necessary; for as we can trace up the first imperfect rudiments of the art of ship building among the Greeks, there could be no ships before the flood; and, consequently, no animals could have been saved. Nay, it is highly improbable that even men and domestic annuals could be saved, not to mention wild beasts, serpents, &c, though we should admit that the antediluvians had shipping, unless we should suppose, also, that they had a divine intimation respecting the flood, such as Moses relates; but this would be to give up the cause of infidelity. Mr. Bryant has collected a variety of ancient historical relations, which show that some records concerning the ark had been preserved among most nations of the world, and in the general system of Gentile mythology. Abydenus, with whom all the eastern writers concur, informs us that the place of descent from the ark was Armenia; and that its remains had been preserved for a long time. Plutarch mentions the Noachic dove, and its being sent out of the ark. Lucian speaks of Deucalion's going forth from the ark, and raising an altar to God. The priests of Ammonia had a custom, at particular seasons, of carrying in procession a boat, in which was an oracular shrine, held in great veneration: and this custom of carrying the deity in an ark or boat was in use also among the Egyptians. Bishop Pococke has preserved three specimens of ancient sculpture, in which this ceremony is displayed. They were very ancient, and found by him in Upper Egypt. The ship of Isis referred to the ark, and its name, "Baris," was that of the mountain corresponding to Ararat in Armenia. Bryant finds reference to the ark in the temples of the serpent worship, called Dracontia; and also in that of Sesostris, fashioned after the model of the ark, in commemoration of which it was built, and consecrated to Osiris at Theba; and he conjectures that the city, said to be one of the most ancient in Egypt, as well as the province, was denominated from it, Theba being the appellation of the ark. In other countries, as well as in Egypt, an ark, or ship, was introduced in their mysteries, and often carried about in the seasons of their festivals. He finds, also, in the story of the Argonauts several particulars, that are thought to refer to the ark of Noah. As many cities, not in Egypt only and Boeotia, but in Cilicia, Ionia, Attica, Phthiotis, Cataonia, Syria, and Italy, were called Theba; so likewise the city Apamea was denominated Cibotus, from κιβωτος , in memory of the ark, and of the history connected with it. The ark, according to the traditions of the Gentile world, was prophetic; and was regarded as a kind of temple or residence of the deity. It comprehended all mankind, within the circle of eight persons, who were thought to be so highly favoured of Heaven that they at last were reputed to be deities. Hence in the ancient mythology of Egypt, there were precisely eight gods; and the ark was esteemed an emblem of the system of the heavens. The principal terms by which the ancients distinguished the ark were Theba, Baris, Arguz, Aren, Arene, Arni, Laris, Boutas, Boeotus, and Cibotus; and out of these they formed different personages. See Deluge .
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
The Septuagintand the NT use κιβωτός = a wooden chest or box, as a terminus technicus both for Noah’s ark (חֵּבָה), and for the ark (אֲרוֹן) of the covenant.
1. An interesting account of the successive phases of modern opinion regarding the former ark will be found in Encyclopaedia Britannica 11 ( s.v. ). The writer of Hebrews ( Hebrews 11:7), taking the story as he finds it, refers to Noah’s forethought as a supreme instance of that faith which is the conviction of things not seen-a faith by which he not only virtually condemned the world, bringing its careless infidelity into strong relief, but became heir of that righteousness which is faith’s crown and reward (τῆς κατὰ πίστιν δικαιοσύνης). St. Peter ( 1 Peter 3:18 ff.), supplementing a tradition which is found in the Book of Enoch (6-16; cf. Jubilees , 5), imagines Christ, as a bodiless spirit, preaching, in the days between His Passion and His Resurrection, to the spirits in prison. These are the disobedient and, to St. Peter (himself like a spirit in prison during those three days), unhappy children of the unlawful union between angels and the daughters of men, condemned rebels who in vain sought the intervention of Enoch on their behalf in that time of Divine long-suffering when Noah was preparing the ark in which he saved himself and his family (see R. H. Charles, Bk . of Jub. , Lond. 1902, p. 43ff.).
2. The writer of Hebrews mentions the ark of the covenant (τὴν κιβωτὸν τῆς διαθήκης) as the innermost and most sacred piece of furniture contained in the Tabernacle. His description of it as ‘completely overlaid with gold’ (περικεκαλυμμένην πάντοθεν χρυσίῳ) corresponds with the directions given in Exodus 25:11 (ἔσωθεν καὶ ἔξωθεν χρυσώσεις αὐτήν). The designation ‘the ark of the covenant,’ which was probably coined by the writer of Deut., was historic ally later than ‘the ark of Jahweh,’ and ‘the ark of God’ (Jewish Encyclopedia), and earlier than ‘the ark of the testimony’ (P). It was a contraction for ‘the ark containing the tables of the covenant,’ the Decalogue being a summary of the terms which Israel accepted on entering into covenant with God. In Kautzsch’s Heilige Schrift it is rendered die Lade mit dem Gesetz , ‘the ark with the law.’ When the Decalogue came to be known as ‘the testimony,’ the new name ἡ κιβωτὸς τοῦ μαρτυρίου was introduced, but it did not displace the older phrases. The golden pot of manna (the adj. is an embellishment upon Exodus 16:33) and Aaron’s rod that budded, which in the original narratives were laid up before the Lord (ἐναντίον τοῦ θεοῦ, Exodus 16:33; ἐνώπιον τῶν μαρτυρίων, Numbers 17:10) are supposed by the writer of Hebrews to have been within the ark.
The ultimate fate of the κιβωτός is involved in obscurity. The popular imagination could not entertain the idea that the inviolable ark was irrecoverably lost, and there arose a tradition that before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 b.c., the Tabernacle with all its sacred furniture was hidden by Jeremiah (or, according to the Talmud, by Josiah) in a cava of Mt. Nebo ( 2 Esdras 10:22; 2 Maccabees 2:5), whence it was to be miraculously restored to its place at the coming of the Messiah. In the second and third Temple the Holy of Holies contained no ark. ‘In this was nothing at all,’ is Josephus’ emphatic testimony ( Bellum Judaicum (Josephus) v. 5). Pompey, on entering, found ‘vacuam sedem et inania arcana’ (Tac. Hist . v. 9). The thought of that emptiness oppressed the minds both of devout Jews and of Jewish Christians, and in Revelation 11:19, when the seventh angel has sounded, and the temple of God in heaven is opened, the ark of the covenant is there. ‘All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of good shall exist; not the semblance but itself.’
Literature.-Besides the articles in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) (J. Macpherson and A. R. S. Kennedy), Hastings’ Single-vol. Dictionary of the Bible (A. R. S. Kennedy), and especially Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (R. H. Kennett), see R. Kraetzschmar, Die Bundesvorstellung , Marburg, 1896; H. Couard, ‘Die religiöse nationale Bedeutung der Lade,’ in ZATW [Note: ATW Zeitschrift für die alttest. Wissen schaft.]xii. ; Volck, article‘Bundeslade,’ in Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche 3.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
ARK . This word, from Lat. arca , ‘a chest,’ is the rendering of two Hebrew words, of which one ( tÃ§bhÃ¢h , probably a loan-word) is applied both to the basket of bulrushes in which the infant Moses was exposed, and to the ark built by Noah (see Deluge). The other ( ’ÇŽrÃ´n , the native word for box or chest, 2 Kings 12:10 f.), is used for a mummy-case or coffin ( Genesis 50:26 ), and in particular for the sacred ark of the Hebrews.
1 . Names of the ark . Apart from the simple designation ‘the ark’ found in all periods of Heb. literature, the names of the ark, more than twenty in number, fall into three groups, which are characteristic ( a ) of the oldest literary sources, viz. Samuel and the prophetical narratives of the Hexateuch; ( b ) of Deuteronomy and the writers influenced by Dt.; and ( c ) of the Priests’ Code and subsequent writings. In ( a ) we find chiefly ‘the ark of Jâ€³ [Note: Jahweh.] ,’ doubtless the oldest name of all, and ‘the ark of God’; in ( b ) the characteristic title is ‘the ark of the covenant’ alone or with the additions ‘of Jâ€³ [Note: Jahweh.] ,’ ‘of God,’ etc. a contraction for ‘the ark or chest containing the tables of the covenant’ ( Deuteronomy 9:9 ff.), and therefore practically ‘the ark of the Decalogue’; in ( c ) the same conception of the ark prevails (see below), but as the Decalogue is by P [Note: Priestly Narrative.] termed ‘the testimony,’ the ark becomes ‘the ark of the testimony.’ All other designations are expansions of one or other of the above.
2 . History of the ark . The oldest Pentateuch sources (J [Note: Jahwist.] , E [Note: Elohist.] ) are now silent as to the origin of the ark, but since the author of Deuteronomy 10:1-6 had one or both of these before him, it may be assumed that its construction was there also assigned to Moses in obedience to a Divine command. It certainly played an important part in the wanderings ( Numbers 10:33 ff; Numbers 14:44 ), and in the conquest of Canaan ( Joshua 3:3 ff; Joshua 6:6 f.), and finally found a resting-place in the temple of Shiloh under the care of a priestly family claiming descent from Moses ( 1 Samuel 3:3 ). After its capture by the Philistines and subsequent restoration, it remained at Kiriathjearim ( 1 Samuel 4:1 to 1 Samuel 7:1 ), until removed by David, first to the house of Obed-edom, and thereafter to a specially erected tent in his new capital ( 2 Samuel 6:10 ff.). Its final home was the inner sanctuary of the Temple of Solomon ( 1 Kings 8:1 ff.). Strangely enough, there is no further mention of the ark in the historical books. Whether it was among ‘the treasures of the house of the Lord’ carried off by Shishak ( c [Note: circa, about.] . b.c. 930), or whether it was still in its place in the days of Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 3:16 f.) and was ultimately destroyed by the soldiers of Nebuchadrezzar (587 b.c.), it is impossible to say. There was no ark in the Temples of Zerubbabel and Herod.
3 . The significance of the ark . In attempting a solution of this difficult problem, we must, as in the foregoing section, leave out of account the late theoretical conception of the ark to be found in the Priests’ Code (see Tabernacle), and confine our attention to the oldest sources. In these the ark a simple chest of acacia wood, according to Deuteronomy 10:3 is associated chiefly with the operations of war, in which it is the representative of Jâ€³ [Note: Jahweh.] , the God of the armies of Israel. Its presence on the field of battle is the warrant of victory ( 1 Samuel 4:3 ff., cf. 2 Samuel 11:11 ), as its absence is the explanation of defeat ( Numbers 14:44 ). Its issue to and return from battle are those of Jâ€³ [Note: Jahweh.] Himself ( Numbers 10:35 f.). So closely, indeed, is the ark identified with the personal presence of Jâ€³ [Note: Jahweh.] in the oldest narratives (see, besides the above, 1Sa 6:20 , 2 Samuel 6:7 f., 2 Samuel 6:14 ), that one is tempted to identify it with that mysterious ‘presence’ of Jâ€³ [Note: Jahweh.] which, as a fuller manifestation of the Deity than even the ‘angel of Jâ€³ [Note: Jahweh.] ,’ was Israel’s supreme guide in the wilderness wanderings ( Exodus 32:34; Exodus 33:2 compared with Exodus 33:14 f., Deuteronomy 4:37 , and Isaiah 63:9 , where read ‘neither a messenger nor an angel, but his presence delivered them’). The ark was thus a substitute for that still more complete Presence (EV [Note: English Version.] ‘face’) which no man can see and live.
Under the prophetic teaching Israel gradually outgrew this naive and primitive, not to say fetish-like, conception, and in the 7th cent. we first find the ark spoken of as the receptacle for the tables of the Decalogue ( Deuteronomy 10:2 ff.). Apart from other difficulties attending this tradition, it is quite inadequate to explain the extreme reverence and, to us, superstitious dread with which the ark is regarded in the narratives of Samuel. Hence many modern scholars are of opinion that the stone tables of the Deuteronomic tradition have taken the place of actual fetish stones, a view which it is impossible to reconcile with the lofty teaching of the founder of Israel’s religion.
A. R. S. Kennedy.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Genesis 6:14-16 Genesis 5:32 7:6 Genesis 7:13 2 Peter 2:5 Genesis 7:2,3
The ark of bulrushes in which the infant Moses was laid ( Exodus 2:3 ) is called in the Hebrew Teebah , A word derived from the Egyptian Teb , meaning "a chest." It was daubed with slime and with pitch. The bulrushes of which it was made were the papyrus reed.
The sacred ark is designated by a different Hebrew word, 'Aron' , Which is the common name for a chest or coffer used for any purpose ( Genesis 50:26; 2 Kings 12:9,10 ). It is distinguished from all others by such titles as the "ark of God" ( 1 Samuel 3:3 ), "ark of the covenant" ( Joshua 3:6; Hebrews 9:4 ), "ark of the testimony" ( Exodus 25:22 ). It was made of acacia or shittim wood, a cubit and a half broad and high and two cubits long, and covered all over with the purest gold. Its upper surface or lid, the mercy-seat, was surrounded with a rim of gold; and on each of the two sides were two gold rings, in which were placed two gold-covered poles by which the ark could be carried ( Numbers 7:9; 10:21; 4:5,19,20; 1 Kings 8:3,6 ). Over the ark, at the two extremities, were two cherubim, with their faces turned toward each other ( Leviticus 16:2; Numbers 7:89 ). Their outspread wings over the top of the ark formed the throne of God, while the ark itself was his footstool ( Exodus 25:10-22; 37:1-9 ). The ark was deposited in the "holy of holies," and was so placed that one end of the poles by which it was carried touched the veil which separated the two apartments of the tabernacle ( 1 Kings 8:8 ). The two tables of stone which constituted the "testimony" or evidence of God's covenant with the people ( Deuteronomy 31:26 ), the "pot of manna" ( Exodus 16:33 ), and "Aaron's rod that budded" ( Numbers 17:10 ), were laid up in the ark ( Hebrews 9:4 ). (See TABERNACLE) The ark and the sanctuary were "the beauty of Israel" ( Lamentations 2:1 ). During the journeys of the Israelites the ark was carried by the priests in advance of the host ( Numbers 4:5,6; 10:33-36; Psalm 68:1; 132:8 ). It was borne by the priests into the bed of the Jordan, which separated, opening a pathway for the whole of the host to pass over ( Joshua 3:15,16; 4:7,10,11,17,18 ). It was borne in the procession round Jericho ( Joshua 6:4,6,8,11,12 ). When carried it was always wrapped in the veil, the badgers' skins, and blue cloth, and carefully concealed even from the eyes of the Levites who carried it. After the settlement of Israel in Palestine the ark remained in the tabernacle at Gilgal for a season, and was then removed to Shiloh till the time of Eli, between 300,400 years ( Jeremiah 7:12 ), when it was carried into the field of battle so as to secure, as they supposed, victory to the Hebrews, and was taken by the Philistines ( 1 Samuel 4:3-11 ), who sent it back after retaining it seven months ( 1 Samuel 5:7,8 ). It remained then at Kirjath-jearim (7:1,2) till the time of David (twenty years), who wished to remove it to Jerusalem; but the proper mode of removing it having been neglected, Uzzah was smitten with death for putting "forth his hand to the ark of God," and in consequence of this it was left in the house of Obed-edom in Gath-rimmon for three months ( 2 Samuel 6:1-11 ), at the end of which time David removed it in a grand procession to Jerusalem, where it was kept till a place was prepared for it (12-19). It was afterwards deposited by Solomon in the temple ( 1 Kings 8:6-9 ). When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and plundered the temple, the ark was probably taken away by Nebuchadnezzar and destroyed, as no trace of it is afterwards to be found. The absence of the ark from the second temple was one of the points in which it was inferior to the first temple.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Ark. The vessel constructed by Noah at God's command, for the preservation of himself and family, and a stock of the various animals, when the waters of the flood overflowed the inhabited earth. If the cubit be reckoned at 21 inches, the dimensions of the ark were 525 feet in length, 87 feet 6 inches in breadth, 52 feet 6 Inches in height. The proportions are those of the human body; and they are admirably adapted for a vessel required, like the ark, to float steadily with abundant stowage. This is proved by modern experiments. The ark was made of "gopher-wood," probably cypress; and it was to be divided into "rooms" or "nests," that is, furnished with a vast number of separate compartments, placed one above another in three tiers. Light was to be admitted by a window, not improbably a sky-light, a cubit broad, extending the whole length of the ark. If so, however, there must have been some protection from the rain. A "covering" is spoken of. Genesis 8:13; but several writers have believed that some transparent or translucent substance was employed, excluding the weather and admitting the light. It is observable that the "window" which Noah is said to have opened, Genesis 8:6, is not in the original the same word with that occurring in 6:16. Perhaps one or more divisions of the long sky-light were made to open. There was a door also, through which the persons and the animals would enter and pass out. Many questions have been raised, and discussed at great length by skeptics and others, respecting the form and dimensions of the ark; the number of animals saved in it—whether including all species then existing in the world, except such as live in water or lie dormant, or only the species living in the parts of the world then peopled by man; and as to the possibility of their being all lodged in the ark, and their food during the year. Some of these questions the Bible clearly settles. Others it is vain to discuss, since we have no means of deciding them. It was by miracle that he was forewarned and directed to prepare for the flood; and the same miraculous power accomplished all that Noah was unable to do in designing, building, and filling the ark, and preserving and guiding it through the deluge. 2. Moses'S Ark was made of the bulrush or papyrus, which grows in marshy places in Egypt. It was daubed with slime, which was probably the mud of which their bricks were made, and with pitch or bitumen. Exodus 2:3. 3. Ark Of The Covenant. The most important piece of the tabernacle's furniture. It appears to have been an oblong chest of shittim (acacia) wood, two and a half cubits long, by one and a half broad and deep. Within and without gold was overlaid on the wood; and on the upper side or lid, which was edged round about with gold, the mercy seat was placed. The ark was fitted with rings, one at each of the four corners, and through these were passed staves of the same wood similarly overlaid, by which it was carried by the Kohathites. Numbers 7:9; Numbers 10:21. The ends of the staves were visible without the veil in the holy place of the temple of Solomon. 1 Kings 8:8. The ark, when transported, was covered with the "veil" of the dismantled tabernacle, in the curtain of badgers' skins, and in a blue cloth over all, and was therefore not seen. Numbers 4:5; Numbers 4:20. The chief facts in the earlier history of the ark, see Joshua 3:1-17; Joshua 6:1-27, need not be recited. Before David's time its abode was frequently changed. It sojourned among several, probably Levitical, famines, 1 Samuel 7:1; 2 Samuel 6:3; 2 Samuel 6:11; 1 Chronicles 13:13; 1 Chronicles 15:24-25, in the border villages of eastern Judah, and did not take its place in the tabernacle, but dwelt in curtains, I.E., in a separate tent pitched for it in Jerusalem by David. When idolatry became more shameless in the kingdom of Judah, Manasseh placed a "carved image" in the "house of God," and probably removed the ark to make way for it. This may account for the subsequent statement that it was reinstated by Josiah. 2 Chronicles 33:7; 2 Chronicles 35:3. It was probably taken captive or destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Genesis 6:14-9:18 Exodus 2:3-5 Matthew 24:38 Luke 17:27 Hebrews 11:7 1 Peter 3:20
Old Testament God warned Noah of His intentions to destroy the earth because of the wickedness of humanity. Noah was commanded to build an ark to God's specifications to save his family and representatives of all animals from the flood ( Genesis 6:18-19 ). As such, the ark became both a symbol of a faith on the part of Noah and a symbol of grace on the part of God ( Genesis 6:8 ,Genesis 6:8, 6:22 ).
The shape of the ark was unusual. Although the Bible does not give enough detail to enable a full model to be made, the ark was apparently not shaped like a boat, either ancient or modern. The shape more closely approximates a giant block. The length was 300 cubits (about 450 feet), the width was 50 cubits (about 75 feet), and the height was 30 cubits (about 45 feet), overall dimensions that resemble the dimensions of a giant house ( Genesis 6:15 ). The ark had three floors filled with rooms ( Genesis 6:14 ,Genesis 6:14, 6:16 ) and one window and one door ( Genesis 6:16 ).
The ark was built of gopher wood ( Genesis 6:14 ) which may have been a variety of cypress. It has also been suggested that gopher wood referred to a particular shape or type of plank or beam, rather than a type of wood. Our limited knowledge makes it impossible to make a final conclusion.
The ark was a testimony of Noah's faith because no large body of water stood nearby on which Noah could have floated such a large boat. Hence people could see no obvious or visible need for such a vessel. To have built such a vessel at that place and at that time was clearly an act of tremendous faith in the message of God that the vessel would be needed ( Genesis 6:17-19 ). Noah dared to believe that he had properly understood God and that God could be depended upon ( Genesis 6:22 ).
The ark was also a symbol of God's grace. Obviously, the ark was intended by God as an instrument of deliverance to preserve both human and animal life upon the earth ( Genesis 6:17-18 ). As such, it came to be understood as a symbol of His grace and mercy ( Hebrews 11:7 ). The ark showed that God still cared for the people whom He had created in spite of their stubborn sinful rebellion. The ark as symbol of both faith and grace teaches the importance of obedience. God offered the ark to save Noah. Noah's obedience allowed him to experience that grace.
New Testament The gospel references to the ark are in connection with Jesus' teachings regarding the second coming. The expectancy of some at the second coming is likened to those who were destroyed by the flood. In the Book of Hebrews, the preacher lists Noah as a man of faith who prepared an ark even though the danger was at that point unseen. The last New Testament reference to the ark points to the evil of humanity and God's patient salvation ( 1 Peter 3:20 ).
Extra-biblical Sources The Babylonian flood story, called the Gilgamesh epic, also tells of a large boat by which its hero survived the flood. There, however, the ark was not a symbol of the grace of the gods but of their folly and faulty planning. In the Sumerian and Babylonian traditions, we are given more details concerning the size and shape of the ark. These details may be of interest, but are of far less significance than the message of the biblical ark itself as testimony to God's unmerited grace.
Searches for the ark have proven fruitless. Numerous newspaper articles and paperback books record attempts to discover the ruins of Noah's ark. While the ark has not yet been recovered, the discovery of such remains are unnecessary to demonstrate the authenticity of the story. Faith which requires proof is not faith at all. See Flood; Noah .
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology 
Gold-covered acacia wood box measuring 2.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 cubits that for the Israelite people symbolized the presence of God. It is first mentioned in Exodus 25:10-22 among the furnishings of the tabernacle. The ark's top cover supported two winged creatures called cherubim. They faced each other across the top of the ark and their outstretched wings touched at the tips. The mobility of the ark was insured by two permanently attached carrying poles, reflecting the fact that the people of Israel and their God had no fixed dwellingplace. Even when the ark was permanently located in the Holy of Holies, the poles remained ( 1 Kings 8 ), a visible reminder that God was "tenting" among his people, but that his presence could be withdrawn.
The practical function of the ark was to protect and preserve various sacred objects. In the early accounts of the ark only the Mount Sinai covenant tablets are so protected, giving rise to the common epithet, the "ark of the covenant" ( Exodus 25:16; 1 Kings 8:9 ), or a variant, "ark of the Lord's covenant" ( Numbers 14:44 ). Later traditions also mentioned a portion of preserved manna and Aaron's rod as being in the ark ( Hebrews 9:4 ). The ark also had a military role, leading the march of the people of Israel in the wilderness ( Numbers 10:33 ), circling the walls of Jericho ( Joshua 4:6 ), and going forth to battle against the Philistines ( 1 Samuel 4:5 ).
Scripture associates God's physical presence with the ark. Moses addressed the ark as "the Lord" in the wilderness ( Numbers 10:35 ). The ark was sacred, indeed, dangerous to friends and foes alike. The Philistines recognized its holiness, and to neutralize its power they placed it in the temple of Dagon, to Dagon's distress ( 1 Samuel 5:8 ). The awesome holiness of the ark was demonstrated when Uzzah was killed for touching the ark when he tried to prevent it from falling ( 1 Chronicles 13:10 ).
In the temple, the ark occupied the Holy of Holies. With a permanent location, the theological understanding of the ark changed. The cover of the ark was seen as the throne of God with the cherubim supporting him and setting aside the space between their wings as his seat. Interestingly, Solomon placed huge cherubim to flank the ark in the temple, thus setting apart the entire ark and its surrounding space as God's seat. Solomon aimed to make a place where God could "dwell forever" ( 1 Kings 8:13 ). Hezekiah, seeking divine aid against the Assyrians, called on the "God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim" ( 2 Kings 19:15 ).
The ark disappears from post-Solomonic biblical history except for a passing reference in 2 Chronicles 35:3 , where the Levites are charged by Josiah no longer to carry the ark about. This may be as much a reflection of a postexilic understanding of Josiah (the new David who would correct the behavior of the Levites) as that of the actual ark itself.
In the return, according to the prophet Jeremiah, the ark would not be remembered or replaced, because Jerusalem would be "The Throne of the Lord" (3:16; the only prophetic mention of the ark). In the new temple envisioned by Ezekiel, no ark is mentioned. There will be no ark because in the new kingdom God will no longer be just a God of Israel, dwelling in a limited space, but will reveal himself as the God of all nations ruling with a new covenant. In Revelation 11:19 (the only New Testament mention) the ark has returned to the direct care of God, sacred, but no longer functional. In the New Testament, Christ himself is the bearer of the new covenant and the focus of God's presence.
Thomas W. Davis
Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words 
'Ârôn (אָרֹן, Strong'S #727), "ark; coffin; chest; box." This word has cognates in Phoenician, Aramaic, Akkadian, and Arabic. It appears about203times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods.In—Genesis 50:26, this word represents a coffin or sarcophagus (as the same word does in Phoenician): "So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt." This coffin was probably quite elaborate and similar to those found in ancient Egyptian tombs.
During the reign of Joash (or Jehoash), when the temple was repaired, money for the work was deposited in a "chest" with a hole in its lid. The high priest Jehoida prepared this chest and put it at the threshold to the temple (2 Kings 12:9).
In most occurrences, 'ârôn— refers to the "ark of the covenant." This piece of furniture functioned primarily as a container. As such the word is often modified by divine names or attributes. The divine name first modifies 'ârôn— in1Sam—3:3: "And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep.…" 'Ârôn is first modified by God's covenant name, Yahweh, —(in—Joshua 4:5.—Judges 20:27—is the first appearance of the "ark" as the ark of the covenant of Elohim . First Samuel—5:11—uses the phrase "the ark of the God [ ‘elohim ] of Israel," and 1Chron—15:12—employs "the ark of the Lord [ Yahweh ] God [ 'elohim ] of Israel."
Sometimes divine attributes replace the divine name: "Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength" (Psalm 132:8). Another group of modifiers focuses on divine redemption (cf.—Hebrews 8:5). Thus 'ârôn— is often described as the "ark of the covenant" (Joshua 3:6) or "the ark of the covenant of the Lord" (Numbers 10:33). As such, the ark contained the memorials of God's great redemptive acts—the tablets upon which were inscribed the Ten Commandments, an omer or two quarts of manna, and Aaron's rod. By Solomon's day, only the stone tablets remained in the ark (1 Kings 8:9). This chest was also called "the ark of the testimony" (Exodus 25:22), which indicates that the two tablets were evidence of divine redemption.—
Exodus 25:10-22 tells us that this ark was made of acacia wood and measured 3 ¾ feet by2 ¼ feet by 2 ¼ feet. It was gold-plated inside and outside, with a molding of gold. Each of its four feet had a golden ring at its top, through which passed unremovable golden carrying poles. The golden cover or mercy seat (place of propitiatory atonement) had the same dimensions as the top of the ark. Two golden cherubim sat on this cover facing each other, representing the heavenly majesty (Ezekiel 1:10) that surrounds the living God.
In addition to containing memorials of divine redemption, the ark represented the presence of God. To be before it was to be in God's presence (Numbers 10:35), although His presence was not limited to the ark (cf. 1 Sam. 4:3-11; 7:2,6). The ark ceased to have this sacramental function when Israel began to regard it as a magical box with sacred power (a palladium ).
God promised to meet Moses at the ark (Exodus 25:22). Thus, the ark functioned as a place where divine revelation was received (Leviticus 1:1;—16:2;—Numbers 7:89). The ark served as an instrument through which God guided and defended Israel during the wilderness wandering (Numbers 10:11). Finally, it was upon this ark that the highest of Israel's sacraments, the blood of atonement, was presented and received (Leviticus 16:2—ff.).
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
We read in Scripture of the ark which the Lord directed Noah to make. ( Genesis 6:14) And Moses in the wilderness was commanded to make an ark. ( Exodus 25:10) And we read of an ark seen by John in the temple in heaven; but then, this latter was visional. For the same apostle elsewhere saith, that he "saw no temple in heaven? ( Revelation 11:19 with Revelation 21:22) The ark of Noah, as well as that of Moses, were types of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, Noah it is said by the Holy Ghost,"by ( Hebrews 11:7) faith being warned of God, "prepared an ark for the saving of his house." Faith in what? Surely, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And the ark in the wilderness is called the ark of the covenant, intimating Christ given of Jehovah to the people. (See Numbers 10:33; Joshua 3:11; Jos 7:6 with Isaiah 42:6; 2 Chronicles 8:11) We no where read of arks. Never is it said in the word of God of more than one ark; no more than one Lord Jesus Christ. They who talk of arks, like them who talk of archangels, do err, "not knowing the Scriptures, neither the power of God." And it were to be wished, that such men would call to mind the Lord's jealousy in the case of the men of Bethshemesh, ( 1 Samuel 6:19) and also the circumstance of Uzzah, ( 1 Chronicles 13:10) What was the sin of all those but overlooking Christ? And wherein do those differ, who talk of arks instead of one ark, and that expressly, and on no other account valuable, than as it represented the Lord Jesus? ( 1 Samuel 4:3; 2 Samuel 15:24)
Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types 
Genesis 6:14-18 (c) This boat may be taken as a type of the Lord Jesus in His Calvary experience. As the ark was under the deluge of the downpouring rain, so the Lord JESUS suffered under the rolling billows of GOD's terrible wrath. This experience of Christ He calls a baptism in Luke 12:50. As those who were in the ark were saved from drowning, so those who are in Christ Jesus are saved from the wrath of GOD. It is the baptism of the Lord JESUS under GOD's anger and wrath, as described in1Pe 3:20-21, by which we are saved. We are saved by baptism, but it is JESUS' baptism, and not ours.
Exodus 25:10 (c) This ark is a type of the Lord JESUS as GOD's perfect Son (represented by the gold), and yet a perfect man (represented by the acacia wood). The wood represented the humanity of CHRIST, and the golden covering both inside and outside the ark represented the deity of CHRIST. His perfect Godhead, and His perfect manhood are shown by the fact that the gold covered both the inside and the outside, and revealed also the purity of HIS outward actions and His innermost thoughts. In Him there dwelt the law of GOD perfectly, the priesthood of GOD fully, and the bread of GOD abundantly. He is GOD's mercy seat; GOD meets the sinner in CHRIST.
Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words 
"a wooden box, a chest," is used of (a) Noah's vessel, Matthew 24:38; Luke 17:27; Hebrews 11:7; 1 pet. 3:20; (b) the "ark" of the Covenant in the Tabernacle, Hebrews 9:4; (c) the "ark" seen in vision in the Heavenly Temple, Revelation 11:19 .
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary 
Or Noah'S Ark a floating vessel built by Noah for the preservation of his family, and the several species of animals, during the deluge. The form of the Ark was an oblong, with a flat bottom, and a sloped roof, raised to a cubit in the middle; it had neither sails nor rudder; nor was it sharp at the ends for cutting the water. This form was admirably calculated to make it lie steady on the water, without rolling, which might have endangered the lives of the animals within. The length of this ark was 300 cubits, which according to Dr. Arbuthnot's calculation, amount to a little more than 547 feet; its breadth, 50 cubits, or 54-72 feet; and its solid contents 2, 730-782 solid feet, sufficient for a carriage for 81, 062 ton. It consisted of three stories, each of which, abating the thickness of the floors, might be about 18 feet high, and no doubt was partitioned into a great many rooms or apartments. This vessel was doubtless so contrived, as to admit the air and the light on all, though the particular construction of the windows be not mentioned.
King James Dictionary 
'ARK, n. L. arca.
1. A small close vessel, chest or coffer, such as that which was the repository of the tables of the covenant among the Jews. This was about three feet nine inches in length. The lid was the propitiatory, or mercy seat, over which were the cherubs. The vessel in which Moses was set afloat upon the Nile was an ark of bulrushes. 2. The large floating vessel, in which Noah and his family were preserved, during the deluge. 3. A depository.
Arise, O Lord, into thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength. Psalms 132 .
4. A large boat used on American rivers, to transport produce to market.
Webster's Dictionary 
(1): (n.) The oblong chest of acacia wood, overlaid with gold, which supported the mercy seat with its golden cherubs, and occupied the most sacred place in the sanctuary. In it Moses placed the two tables of stone containing the ten commandments. Called also the Ark of the Covenant.
(2): (n.) The large, chestlike vessel in which Noah and his family were preserved during the Deluge. Gen. vi. Hence: Any place of refuge.
(3): (n.) A large flatboat used on Western American rivers to transport produce to market.
(4): (n.) A chest, or coffer.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
(See Noah .) The term ( Teebah ) is applied to the infant Moses' ark. (See Bulrush .) Teebah is evidently the Egyptian Teb , "a chest," Hebraised. It has no Semitic equivalent. It is a type of the manger which disclosed to the shepherds Messiah, who, beginning with the manger, at last ascended to His Father's throne; also of the paper ark to which God has committed His revelation.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
is used in the Bible to designate three vessels of special importance.
1. Noah'S Ark ( תֵּבָה , Tebah'; Sept. Κιβωτός , a chest; Josephus Λάρναξ , A Coffer; Vulg. Area, Genesis 6:14), different from the term אָרוֹן , Aron', applied to the "ark" of the covenant, and other receptacles which we know to have been chests or coffers, but the same that is applied to the "ark" in which Moses was hid ( Exodus 2:3), the only other part of Scripture in which it occurs. In the latter passage the Septuagint renders it Θίβη , a Ship; but the truth seems to be that Aron denotes any kind of chest or coffer, while the exclusive application of Tebah to the vessels of Noah and of Moses would suggest the probability that it was restricted to such chests or arks as were intended to float upon the water, of whatever description. The identity of the name with that of the wicker basket in which Moses was exposed on the Nile has led some to suppose that the ark of Noah was also of wicker-work, or rather was wattled and smeared over with bitumen (Auth. Vers. "pitch," Genesis 6:14). This is not impossible, seeing that vessels of considerable burden are thus constructed at the present day; but there is no sufficient authority for carrying the analogy to this extent.
The boat-like form of the ark, which repeated pictorial representations have rendered familiar, is fitted for progression and for cutting the waves; whereas the ark of Noah was really destined to float idly upon the waters, without any other motion than that which it received from them. If we examine the passage in Genesis 6:14-16, we can only draw from it the conclusion that the ark was not a boat or ship; but, as Dr. Robinson (in Calmet's Diet. s.v.) describes it, "a building in the form of a parallelogram, 300 cubits long, 50 cubits broad, and 30 cubits high. The length of the cubit, in the great variety of measures that bore this name, it is impossible to ascertain and useless to conjecture. So far as the name affords any evidence, it also goes to show that the ark of Noah was not a regularly-built vessel, but merely intended to float at large upon the waters. We may, therefore, probably with justice, regard it as a large oblong, floating house, with a roof either flat or only slightly inclined. It was constructed with three stories, and had a door in the side. There is no mention of windows in the side, but above, i.e. probably in the flat roof, where Noah was commanded to make them of a cubit in size ( Genesis 6:16). That this is the meaning of the passage seems apparent from Genesis 8:13, where Noah removes the covering of the ark in order to ascertain whether the ground was dry-a labor unnecessary, surely, had there been windows in the sides of the ark." The purpose of this ark was to preserve certain persons and animals from the deluge with which God intended to overwhelm the land, in punishment for man's iniquities.
The persons were eight-Noah and his wife, with his three sons and their wives ( Genesis 7:7; 2 Peter 2:5). The animals were, one pair of every " unclean" animal, and seven pairs of all that were "clean." By "clean" we understand fit, and by "unclean" unfit, for food or sacrifice. Of birds there were seven pairs ( Genesis 7:2-3). Those who have written professedly and largely on the subject have been at great pains to provide for all the existing species of animals in the ark of Noah, showing how they might be distributed, fed, and otherwise provided for. But they are very far from having cleared the matter of all its difficulties, which are much greater than they, in their general ignorance of natural history, were aware of. These difficulties, however, chiefly arise from the assumption that the species of all the earth were collected in the ark. The number of such species has been vastly underrated by these writers, partly from ignorance, and partly from the desire to limit the number for which they imagined they were required to provide. They have usually satisfied themselves with a provision for three or four hundred species at most. "But of the existing mammalia considerably more than one thousand species are known; of birds, fully five thousand; of reptiles, very few kinds of which can live in water, two thousand; and the researches of travellers and naturalists are making frequent and most interesting additions to the number of these and all other classes. Of insects (using the word in the popular sense) the number of species is immense; to say one hundred thousand would be moderate: each has its appropriate habitation and food, and these are necessary to its life; and the larger number could not live in water. Also the innumerable millions upon millions of animalcules must be provided for, for they have all their appropriate and diversified places and circumstances of existence" (Dr. J. Pye Smith, 0n the Relation between the Holy Scriptures and some Parts of Geological Science, p. 135). Nor do these numbers form the only difficulty; for, as the same writer observes: "All land animals have their geographical regions, to which their constitutional natures are congenial, and many could not live in any other situation. We cannot represent to ourselves the idea of their being brought into one small spot, from the polar regions, the torrid zone, and all the other climates of Asia, Africa, Europe, America, Australia, and the thousands of islands, their preservation and provision, and the final disposal of them, without bringing up the idea of miracles more stupendous than any which are recorded in Scripture." These are some of the difficulties which arise on the supposition that all the species of animals existing in the world were assembled together and contained in the ark..
And if the object, as usually assumed, was to preserve the species of creatures which the Deluge would otherwise have destroyed, the provision for beasts and birds only must have been altogether inadequate. What, then, would have become of the countless reptiles, insects, and animalcules to which we have already referred ? and it is not clear that some provision must not also have been necessary for fishes and shell-animals, many of which cannot live in fresh water, while others cannot live in salt. The difficulty of assembling in one spot, and of providing for in the ark, the various mammalia and birds alone, even without including the otherwise essential provision for reptiles, insects, and fishes, is quite sufficient to suggest some error in the current belief. We are to consider the different kinds of accommodation and food which would be required for animals of such different habits and climates, and the necessary provision for cleansing the stables or dens. And if so much ingenuity has been required in devising arrangements for the comparatively small number of species which the writers on the ark have been willing to admit into it, what provision can be made for the immensely larger number which, under the supposed conditions, would really have required its shelter ? There seems to be no way of meeting these difficulties but by adopting the suggestion of Bishop Stillingfleet, approved by Matthew Poole, Dr. J. Pye Smith, Le Clerc, Rosenmuller, and others, namely, that, as the object of the Deluge was to sweep man from the earth, it did not extend beyond that region of the earth which man then inhabited, and that only the animals of that region were preserved in the ark. (See Deluge).
Bishop Stillingfleet, who wrote in plain soberness long before geology was known as a science, and when, therefore, those discoveries were altogether unthought of, by which, in our day, such warm controversies have been excited, expresses his belief that the Flood was universal as to mankind, and that all men, except those preserved in the ark, were destroyed; but he sees no evidence from Scripture that the whole earth was then inhabited; he does not think that it can ever be proved to have been so; and he asks what reason there can be to extend the Flood beyond the occasion of it. He grants that, as far as the Flood extended, all the animals were destroyed; "but," he adds, " I see no reason to extend the destruction of these beyond the compass of the earth which men then inhabited; the punishment of the beasts was occasioned by, and could not but be concomitant with, the destruction of mankind. But (the occasion of the Deluge being the sin of man, who was punished in the beasts that were destroyed for his sake, as well as in himself) where the occasion was not, as where there were animals and no men, there seems no necessity for extending the Flood thither" (Origines Sacrce, bk. iii, ch. iv). The bishop farther argues that the reason for preserving living creatures in the ark was that there might be a stock of the tame and domesticated animals that should be immediately " serviceable for man after the Flood; which was certainly the main thing looked at in the preservation of them in the ark, that men might have all of them ready for use after the Flood; which could not have been had not the several kinds been preserved in the ark, although we suppose them not destroyed in all parts of the world."
As Noah was the progenitor of all the nations of the earth, and as the ark was the second cradle of the human race, we might expect to find in all nations traditions and reports more or less distinct respecting him, the ark in which he was saved, and the Deluge in general. Accordingly, no nation is known in which such. traditions have not been found. They have been very industriously brought together by Banier, Bryant, Faber, and other mythologists. (See Ararat); (See Noah). And as it appears that an ark- that is, a boat or chest-was carried about with great ceremony in most of the ancient mysteries, and occupied an eminent station in the holy places, it has with much reason been concluded that this was originally intended to represent the ark of Noah, which eventually came to be regarded with superstitious reverence. On this point the historical and mythological testimonies are very clear and conclusive. The tradition of a deluge, by which the race of man was swept from the face of the earth. has been traced among the Chaldseans, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Goths, Druids, Chinese, Hindoos, Burmese, Mexicans, Peruvians, Brazilians, Nicaraguans, the inhabitants of Western Caledonia, and the islanders of the Pacific; and among most of them also the belief has prevailed that certain individuals were preserved in an ark, ship, boat, or raft, to replenish the desolated earth with inhabitants. Nor are these traditions uncorroborated by coins and monuments of stone. Of the latter there are the sculptures of Egypt and of India; and it is fancied that those of the monuments called Druidical which bear the name of kistvaens, and in which the stones are disposed in the form of a chest or house, were intended as memorials of the ark. The curious subject of Arkite worship is especially illustrated by the two famous medals of Apamea. There were six cities of this name, of which the most celebrated was that of Syria; next to it in importance was the one in Phrygia, called also Κιβωτός , Kibotos, which, as we have seen, means an ark or hollow vessel. The medals in question belong, the one to the elder Philip, and the other to Pertinax. In the former it is extremely interesting to observe that on the front of the ark is the name of Noah, Νωε , in Greek characters. In both we perceive the ark floating on the water, containing the patriarch and his wife, the dove on wing, the olive-branch, and the raven perched on the ark. These medals also represent Noah and his wife on terrafirma, in the attitude of rendering thanks for their safety. The genuineness of these medals has been established beyond all question by the researches of Bryant and the critical inspection of Abbe Barthelemy. There is another medal, struck in honor of the Emperor Hadrian, which bears the inscription Απαμεων Κιβωτος Μαρσσια , "the ark and the Marsyas of the Apameans." (See Apamea). The coincidences which these medals offer are at least exceedingly curious; and they are scarcely less illustrative of the prevailing belief to which we are referring, if, as some suppose, the figures represented are those of Deucalion and Pyrrha (Meisner, De arca Noachi, Witt. 1622). (See Flood).
- Ark from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Ark from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Ark from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Ark from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Ark from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Ark from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Ark from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Ark from Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
- Ark from Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words
- Ark from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Ark from Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types
- Ark from Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words
- Ark from Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
- Ark from King James Dictionary
- Ark from Webster's Dictionary
- Ark from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Ark from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature