For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough


Genesis 6:14-16

The ark was to be of gopher wood (cedar, cypress or fir), and it is generally accepted as a type of Christ.  Wood, in Scripture, is used symbolically to represent man in the body.  The Ark as a type of Christ points to His humanity.  It was as man that He went to Calvary on man’s behalf and endured the flood waters of God’s judgment.  That overwhelming waters are symbolic of judgment is clear from such Scriptures as Ps 69 and 88. 

“Rooms shalt thou make.”  The word translated “rooms” is literally “nests,” and conveys the idea, not only of security, but of peace.  It is beautifully descriptive of the refuge the believer finds in Christ. 

Pitch is the translation of the Hebrew word Kaphar, literally “to cover,” and it is also translated as “atonement,” literally “covering.”  As that which shut out the judgmental waters and secured the safety of everything inside the Ark by acting as a covering, the pitch very fittingly portrays Christ’s work of making atonement, covering man’s sin with His own shed blood, thus covering or sheltering believing men from judgment. 

The pitch was applied inside as well as out, and the spiritual truth conveyed is that the pitch outside met God’s eye, while that inside met the eye of the Ark’s occupants.  Speaking as it does of the atonement made through Christ’s shed blood, it portrays the result of that work manward and Godward.  To God it testifies to the satisfaction of every claim of violated justice; to man it conveys the same assurance, and gives him peace.  

“... without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb 9:22).  Man is redeemed only, “with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Pe 1:19).  “The blood of Jesus Christ ... cleanseth us from all sin” (l John 1:7).

The Ark without pitch would have afforded no safety, nor would a Christ whose blood had not been shed.  He who will not be saved by trusting in a crucified Christ will not be saved at all.

6:16.  “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.”

There are differing opinions as to the nature of this window.  Some regard it as a one and-a-half foot space for air and light, between the sides and the roof, extending the full length of the Ark.  Others take it to be a skylight of some unknown transparent material set in the roof.  Still others take the cubit to be the height of the peak of the roof, thus giving enough pitch to run off the water. 

The uncertainty as to these details in no way obscures the spiritual truth being presented.  As it was in the Ark of the Tabernacle, where every detail spoke of Christ, so is it in this Ark.  The details speak of Him. 

Whatever its exact location may have been, the basic thought connected with a window is light.  It speaks of Him Who is Light, and Who, in becoming man, brought to men the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Cor 4:6).  The window teaches us that not only was the Ark a place of refuge for those inside it, but it was also a place of light.  This is the experience of every man who is “in Christ.”  He is eternally secure, and in addition, has spiritual light as well as life. 

In his natural state man is in darkness.  He cannot understand the Scriptures, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14).  He must therefore, walk in darkness, for only the believer can say, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps 119:105).

Contention over such details as the dimensions or exact location of the door, tends only to obscure what is important: the spiritual truth God would teach us by what details He has supplied.  The only information needed here to bring us God’s message is that there was a door, and it was in the side of the Ark. 

Not only does the Ark as a whole present Christ, but every part of it performs the same service, for this door is but the symbol of Him Who said, “I am the door...” (Jn 10:9).  Furthermore, there was only one door, which is the typical declaration of His uniqueness as the only Door by which man can enter heaven. 

Its being in the side of the Ark is also significant.  It was through that opening in its side that the occupants passed into the place of refuge and rest.  The side of Christ, the true Ark, opened by the spear of the Roman soldier, provided the blood which alone can cleanse sin and give men access to heaven.

“with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.”  Whatever other significance may attach to these three stories, in the rooms or nests of which redeemed creation found refuge, one thought presents itself: through Christ’s redemptive work, the believer enjoys the redemption of all the three parts of his being.  That redemption includes his body (the lower part); his soul (the second part); his Spirit (the third part). 

But, as made in the image of God, man is also a creature of intelligence, emotion, and will, and in these three areas also the blood of Christ has brought redemption.  Intellectually man has been restored, for “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and emotionally there has been restoration, for “We (believers) love Him because He first loved us.”  And relative to his volition or will, man has been restored, for the attitude of the obedient believer is similar to that of the Lord Himself, expressed in His prayer in Gethsemane, “Not my will, but thine be done,” and as expressed by Paul on the Damascus road, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough