Why did the Ark require pitch?

Question
Why did the Ark require pitch?
Answer

Genesis 6:14 Make yourself an ark [tebah] of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch [kopher].

Exodus 2:3 When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket [tebah] made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch [kopher]. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank.

There were two Arks (Gen 6:14; Exod 2:3) that were covered with "pitch" in the Bible: (1) Noah's Ark and (2) Moses' basket (Ark). The Ark was a refuge (Psa 46:1; 91:2), a home (Psa 90:1), a temple (Exod 25:8; 2 Chron. 3), and a conveyance (John 14:1-6). Its a place of God's planning, providence, provision, protection, promise, presence, power, peace, and praise.

"Pitch" (Hebrew, kopher) was a waterproof type glue substance. Its covering assisted protecting the particular occupants of both Arks by keeping the judgment waters outside.

It is interesting that the same word for "pitch" is also translated as "atonement" (Lev 17:11). The blood of Christ seals the believer from the flood of God's eternal judgment. Eternal atonement is provided by the blood of Jesus (Rom 3:25; cf. 1 Cor 6:20; 2 Cor 5:18-19; 1 Tim 2:5-6; cf. Heb 9:5; 1 John 2:2; 4:10), which covers the believer's sin (1 Pet 4:8). This also assists us in understanding these words of Christ a little more clearly: "For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man" (Matt 24:37). Only those that know (not just "know of") Christ will be saved in the last day.

Related Topics:

The Ark and the Temple?
Noah, Baptism, and Hell - 1 Peter 3:18-22

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).