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How Long Is a Cubit?

The Bible tells us the length of Noah’s Ark was 300 cubits, its width 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits.

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What is a Cubit

What Is a Cubit?

A cubit is an ancient measurement of length based on the distance from the elbow to the tip of the longest finger.

Cubit to Inches

The actual length of a cubit varied between different ancient groups of people. Here are some samples from Egypt, Babylon, and ancient Israel:

Cubit to Inches

Noah’s Cubit

Though the original cubit length is uncertain, it was most likely one of the long cubits (about 19.8–20.6 in). If so, the Ark was actually bigger than the size described in most books today, which frequently use the short cubit.

How Big Was Noah's Ark?
How Tall Was Noah?

How Tall Was Noah?

If the 20.4 inch cubit accurately represented Noah's cubit, then Noah would have been approximately 6'3" tall.

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Cubit Measurement in Ancient Construction

Cubit Measurement
in Ancient Construction

In large-scale construction projects, ancient civilizations typically used the long cubit (about 19.8–20.6 in [52 cm]).

Cubits in the Bible

Cubits in the Bible

The Hebrews used at least two different cubits. Solomon’s temple was built according to cubits of “the former measure” (2 Chronicles 3:3), that is, the long cubit. The fact that this was the “former measure” indicates that a different measurement was standard at the time.

Ark Encounter’s Cubit

Ark Encounter’s Cubit

Here at Ark Encounter, we’ve chosen to use the Nippur Cubit. At 20.4 inches, this makes the Ark about 510 feet long and over 50 feet tall.

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Explore more about Noah’s Ark at Answers in Genesis