My Favorite Image of Noah’s Ark


In our research we study a lot of Biblical images for their woodworking content – thank the someone that Jesus was a carpenter.

My favorite Biblical image is one that Jeff Burks sneaked into a working folder of images from the Middle Ages. When I saw it I almost sprayed a beverage out my nose.

I have no idea where this image came from, but it amuses me to no end. The saws. The hammer. The brace. All about 2,000 years BCE. I somehow lost this image and wanted to make sure it never went missing again.

— Christopher Schwarz

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26 Responses to My Favorite Image of Noah’s Ark

  1. I might be the only person who thinks this is interesting, but mediaeval Biblical illustrations of things like war and craft are useful in showing what articles were in common use when the illustrations were made (rather than accurately showing what would have been used when the stories were supposed to have happened). Modern Biblical illustrations generally try to be somewhat more historically accurate. And then there’s this one.

  2. That image is fairly emblematic of popular “biblical” study in ways I wish it wasn’t. People have a way of reading their own ideas back into history and shaping it in the image of their limited experience.

    Off my soapbox, it’s a good reminder that we should look to history with an honest eye and not through our own prejudices.

  3. Doug Norris says:

    Not to mention total lack of racking force resistance in how that hull is being put together. Good thing the story itself is pure legend – that boat won’t float.

    • misterlinn says:

      Interesting. You say that as if you’ve got proof. By the way, in the Bible, the ark is described in detail as a large box, not a boat. So nothing about this picture is accurate.

  4. The first biblical craftsman other than the creator of Adam, or the earth, was Bezalel who was given detailed instructions for making the Ark of the Covenant now honored in Israel at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design who now create as we are all commanded to do.
    Richard O. Byrne

  5. So put very simple… The Ark wasn’t done until 1984 at the earliest, according to the integral steel handled claw hammer? *hope a good and thorough giggle is allowed – if not, I’m in big trouble!*

  6. bearkatwood says:

    Noah needs his Home Depot apron on.

  7. nealm44 says:

    The young lady in the midrift blouse and white tennis shoes is also fun.

  8. colsdave says:

    It’s a shame the secret is lost of the benchtop that self-heals after you saw it and the board on top of it in two.

  9. occasionalww says:

    I’m impressed that Noah was able to get a scaled drawing on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. The Egyptians wouldn’t invent papyrus for another 1000 years or so.

  10. Rachael Boyd says:

    this only needs one word………Giggle

  11. Tom Spittler says:

    It is wonderful to know that one of Noah’s sons had an Estwing hammer.

  12. polliwogge says:

    Noah wasn’t a boat builder or naval architect!

    While there are a lot of anachronisms shown in the tools, the tennis shoes, etc., they are at least reasonable representations of what they purport to show. The boat construction, however, is not even close. Not only will it not float, as said by another poster, in my view it won’t even be completed.

    There are no frames to fasten planking to. Those near 90 degree bends in the bow(?) of the vessel are likely to spring their fastenings at any moment, And from the (limited) view of the interior, there is no evidence of any backing blocks for all those butt joints. There’s no shear clamp to fasten frames to, just a discontinuous, butt jointed (non-structural) cap rail.

    At least Noah didn’t have to move the boat to the water for it’s launching. He just waited until the water rose to him and floated his boat. But trust me, it didn’t get built like this!

    Fair winds and following seas, folks,

  13. Please, please everybody – this view is historically accurate! What is depicted is the ark as found on a mountain side in eastern Turkey near Van. It’s been big news in the Istanbul papers.Those men are cutting timber to be drilled and sold as cribbage boards while the young girls are Turkish lasses waiting for the men to finish up and dine with them on Salisbury steak in a newly erected timber framed restaurant made from salvaged boards called Ships Ka Bash. There will be a line. Bezalel is the head waiter.

  14. Alex Botkin says:

    Um the ladder is not OSHA approved.

  15. avhb says:

    Apologies, but I feel compelled to comment in astonishment on something you mentioned in the last post. Nothing to do with table saws; rather– side hobby? restoring Karmann Ghias? My Gawd. Not content with building, writing, researching and publishing at a pace and level as though there are (at least) four of you, you also do a little light automotive restoration to fill the otherwise empty hours after Sunday lunchtime? Wow… certainly puts one’s own “accomplishments” into perspective…

  16. yrmh1 says:

    This must be the work that inspired the movie:

  17. Fantastic image. I want a print hanging in my shop.

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