Noah's Ark

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Image of the Ark in the Sistine Chapel, Rome: painting by Michelangelo.
Athanasius Kircher, Building Noah's Ark
Noah's Ark, Edward Hicks (1780-1849)

Noah's Ark (from Latinarca "box"; Hebrewתֵבָה Tēvāh "box, shrine, coffin,"[1] but also "palace") was, according to the Genesis account, a buoyant box with an attached roof built by Noah that was 300 cubits[2] (just under 140 m) long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. The 6:1 aspect ratio of length to width is still used in shipbuilding today. Moses was also abandoned in a Tēvāh, a "rush box," after his birth.

„12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh,[3] for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.[4] Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits,[5] its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof[6] for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.“

According to Rudolf Steiner, the form of the physical body of the human being of the fifth main age (that is the post-Atlantean time in which we currently live) is expressed in the aspect ratios of Noah's Ark:

„"When the Atlantean time passed into the post-Atlantean time, first the soul of man was reshaped and then his body was remodeled. We want to delve further into this. Let us imagine a quite old Atlantian; he still had clairvoyant consciousness, and this was connected with the environment in which he lived, with the fog-filled atmosphere. Because of this, things did not present themselves to him in firmly delineated boundaries. They were more color images that appeared before him, floods of colors that surged through each other and that indicated to him the states of people's souls. Instead of the object that approached him, the Atlantean man perceived a light form, a blue one for love, a red one for passion, anger, and so on. Around him spread the soul forces of all people. If this state had continued, man could never have attained his present body. When the air became free from water and the objects became clearer and clearer and got their present limitations, the time had come when the soul of man had to receive new impressions. And according to these impressions it formed its body. Because according to what you think and feel, you form your body. Now what did the soul of man have to experience when it rescued itself from the Atlantic water landscape into the new air landscape, so that the body could form its present form? The human soul had to be surrounded by such a form, which had a certain length, a certain width and a certain depth, so that the body formed itself accordingly. This form was actually given to him by what the Bible calls Noah's Ark. As the mood of mysticism was formed from the form of the Gothic cathedrals and the clairvoyant could prove which faces were formed after it, so the bodies of the people of the ancient Atlantis were gradually formed because actually the people lived in vehicles which they had built under the influence of great initiates according to the dimensions as the Bible describes Noah's Ark. Life in the time of ancient Atlantis was a kind of water or sea life, where people lived for the most part on vehicles on the water and only gradually got used to life on land. For the ancient Atlantis was not only surrounded by a water fog, a large part of Atlantis was covered by the sea. Man lived in these vehicles so that his body could be built as it is today. This is the deep mystery of Noah's Ark. If one understands to read out of the Bible again the depth of its secret-scientific meaning, then a splendor of wisdom and infinite sublimity spreads over this document. Man lived on vehicles because he had to become the impression of seclusion in his skin. In this way, through the millennia, the initiates affected the education of man. What you encounter in the religious documents is just deeply taken out of the occult reality.“ (Lit.:GA 101, p. 161f)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: URL:
Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.