On July 5, 2016, the board of directors for Answers in Genesis and the Ark Encounter laid 12 stones at the base of our life-size Noah’s Ark. These stones signify that it was built to remind future generations and the whole world of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word.
This monument has become a popular stop for guests visiting the Ark Encounter. Learn the story behind the 12 stones memorial, and find out how you can capture a reminder of your experience for years to come.
After wandering the desert for 40 years, Joshua led the people of Israel into the Promised Land. When the Ark of the Covenant entered the Jordan River, the waters were cut off and the chosen people of God walked through on dry land.
When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” (Joshua 4:1–3).
God explained that these 12 stones (one for each of the tribes of Israel) were to be a memorial declaring the mighty works of God, for their children and for their children’s children, “that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever” (Joshua 4:6–7).
The next time you visit the Ark Encounter, don’t let your family or group miss this important memorial, which is located near the Ark entrance. Take a picture with the 12 stones as a way to remember why we built the Ark Encounter.
When your children ask about its meaning, tell them about God’s faithfulness and how the Ark Encounter will stand for generations as a reminder of God’s mighty work and power.