Make thee an ark - tebath , a word which is used only to express this vessel, and that in which Moses was preserved, Exodus 2:3, Exodus 2:5. It signifies no more than our word vessel in its common acceptation - a hollow place capable of containing persons, goods, etc., without any particular reference to shape or form.
Gopher wood - Some think the cedar is meant; others, the cypress. Bochart renders this probable, 1. From the appellation, supposing the Greek word , cypress, was formed from the Hebrew , gopher ; for take away the termination , and then gopher and will have a near resemblance. 2. Because the cypress is not liable to rot, nor to be injured by worms. 3. The cypress was anciently used for ship-building. 4. This wood abounded in Assyria, where it is probable Noah built the ark. After all, the word is of doubtful signification, and occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures. The Septuagint render the place, , "of square timber;" and the Vulgate, de lignis laevigatis , "of planed timber;" so it is evident that these translators knew not what kind of wood was intended by the original. The Syriac and Arabic trifle with the passage, rendering it wicker work, as if the ark had been a great basket! Both the Targums render it cedar; and the Persian, pine or fir.
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