Would You Rather: 377 Days in the Ark or 430 Days on Your Side

Noah spent 377 days on the ark. Ezekiel spent 430 days on his side. Which would you rather do?
Would you rather is a fun game to play, particularly when getting to know someone. A person is asked to choose betwen two things of equal desiring—making it hard to decide and opening dialouge as to why the person chooses the option they choose. Recently I stumbled accross several versions of "Would You Rather?: Bible Edition" and found the questions quite intriguing. I've decided to answer one every Sabbath. Let me know your answer to today's "Would You Rather?" in the comment section.

Would you rather be couped in the ark for 377 days with the animals or lay on your side for 430 days?

Answer: Be couped in the ark for 377 days


Noah & the Ark

If you follow the timeline outlined in Genesis 7-8, you can calculate the number of days Noah was on the ark. The flood began on the seventeenth day of the second month when Noah was 600 years old. However, Noah entered the ark seven days before it started to flood. So the beginning of his tenure in the flood was on the tenth day of the second month. Later we see that it is on the twenty-seventh day of the second month the next year that the Earth is dry and Noah is able to exit the earth. From the tenth of the second month to the tenth of the second month the next year is exactly one year (365 days by our calendar, but 360 days by the Israelite's lunar calendar). We can then add the time from the tenth day of the second month to the twenty-seventh day (17 days) to get a total of 377 days by the Israelite calendar. This is the duration of time that Noah remained inside the ark taking care of the animals.[1]

Ezekiel on His Side

In Ezekiel 4, God tells the prophet Ezekiel to take on the sins of Israel by lying on his side. First he was to lie on his left side for 390 days, representing the North Kingdom. Then, he was to lie on his right side for 40 days representing Judah. This adds to 430 days total that Ezekiel was meant to lay on his side.[2]


This would you rather was pretty easy for me to deicde, but there are pros and cons of each once you stop to think about it.

I love animals, and beccause God didn't put fear of man into animals until after the flood, I'm convinced Noah could communicate with the animals he saved. Thus, for me the idea of being with these animals for a little over a year is kind of exciting. As a farm girl, I have experience with taking care of animals and its a very peaceful life—I imagine this is very close to God's original plan for man in the garden. We also know that Noah wasn't alone on this journey, he had his wife, his three sons, and his three daughters-in-law.
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:13 KJV
The down side of choosing this option is that you also would see the death and destruction of the flood. I imagine people rushed toward the ship when they realized Noah had been right all along. Noah and his family probably lost friends during the construction phase of the ark, but there were probably people they tried to save up until the last moment. If you think about it from a spiritual aspect, we all have friends or family that don't believe. They love us and we love them, despite our differences of belief. If the Lord came back right now, those people would be lost. In Noah's time they probably didn't have this phrase but "survivor's guilt" may have been a major factor in his post-flood life (it also explains why he got drunk).

The upside of Ezekiel's situation is that there wasn't much work involved—the laziness in me appreciates that. However, that's really the only benefit I can see...
Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. Ezekiel 4:4 KJV
It's selfish, but I wouldn't want to take upon myself "the inquity of the house of Israel." It would be quite boring and tedious to lie on one side for such a duration. Also, there is no mention of a partner, so it's likely Ezekiel did this completely alone, almsot like an exile. During this time, God gave him specific requirements about what and how much he could eat. Nothing about this experience sounds plesant.

Of course it's the sacrifices like these that are the most important. Given the choice, many of us would not have suffered for mankind the way Christ did either. It takes a deeper level of compasion and love to take on the burdens of even one other person and sacrifice your own freedom. Just last night I was discussing "over-population" and the fact that there are people starving. Someone said we don't have enough resources to feed everyone, but the truth is, those of us in wealthy countries are hoarding food. Dirty Money on Netflix has an episode about the avocado business. These avocadoes are coming from places where the population is poor and in one place, the avocado trees are given priority when it comes to water. So, in order for all many of the people who promote vegan and healthy lifestyles to consume the number of avocadoes they consume, those people have to suffer. It is difficult for us to willingly restrict ourselves to a more bland but accessible diet. In this way, I admire Ezekiel because he did something I'm not ready to do yet: sacrifice himself for the good of the people.

Which would you rather do?

References and Footnotes

  1. Genesis 7-8
  2. Ezekiel 4
  3. I found many versions of "Whould You Rather?: Scripture Edition"; this question was found in a version made by Megan Briggs of Church Leaders

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