Genesis 6:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 6:16, NIV: "Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks."

Genesis 6:16, ESV: "Make a roof 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."

Genesis 6:16, KJV: "A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it."

Genesis 6:16, NASB: "You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and put the door of the ark on the side; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks."

Genesis 6:16, NLT: "Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat--lower, middle, and upper."

Genesis 6:16, CSB: "You are to make a roof, finishing the sides of the ark to within eighteen inches of the roof. You are to put a door in the side of the ark. Make it with lower, middle, and upper decks."

What does Genesis 6:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Here, God concludes His very general instructions to Noah about how to build the ark. In the previous verses, Noah was instructed to make the ark about 450 feet (137 meters) long, 75 feet (23 meters) wide, and 45 feet (14 meters) high. This is based on the traditional length of a cubit, as the distance from the top of the finger to the elbow: approximately 18 inches (46 centimeters). For materials, Noah is told to use "gopher wood," which is an unknown material. Some scholars think this was either cedar or cypress.

Now God tells Noah to construct a roof with an opening of about 1 cubit all the way around the top. In addition, the ark would have three decks and a single door on one side of it. This door would presumably need to be large enough to accommodate the entrance and exit of all the animals who would be making the voyage with Noah and his family. Once again, the details given here are not meant to tell us, the reader, how to construct our own ark. Rather, they are general summaries of the specific instructions given by God to Noah.