Noach's boat is called a teva, which as far as I know means "box". (The same word is used in later Hebrew for coffins and closets (as in "hayored lifne hateva").)

It's described, at least according to Rashi's understanding, as having three stories and a roof that was sloped to come to a cubit-wide (seemingly flat) roof at the top.

I have no reason to think the top story of the boat was any narrower than the second (which would form a deck), although presumably eight people (who lived in the top story) wouldn't need the whole area. Arguing against a deck is that Rashi's reason for not having a flat roof (that water not pool) would apply equally to a flat deck.

Yet depictions of the boat typically show it with a deck. Is there any basis for saying it had one? Is there any explicit source to say it did not have one?

  • 3
    How accurate are typical depictions? Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 16:22
  • 1
    Is this finally big enough to use architecture-design?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 16:26
  • If I remember, the Me'am Loez on Noach addressed the dimensions of the teivah. However, I don't have access to either a Hebrew or English one, so I'm not sure.
    – b a
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 18:07
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    See passuk 6:16 to make a tzohar,from here it seems that they did not have a deck because they did not leave the ark.
    – sam
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 16:55
  • @sam, maybe. But maybe the tzohar was for when it was raining (so they couldn't leave), and they left after it stopped raining.
    – msh210
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


It doesn't seem like the Teva had a Deck according to some of the story's details.

According to Midrash, Og was hanging onto the outside of the Teva, in the water, and the Re'emim were tied to the sides (with their faces in a hole on the side of the Teva to breathe). If there was a deck, Og and the Re'emim could have just stood on it.

If Noach could go onto the deck after it stopped raining, then he probably would have released the raven and the dove from there instead of the window.

There was only one door on the side of the boat, which was sealed by Hashem until after the flood waters receded.

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