go'-fer wood (`atse ghopher): The wood from which Noah's ark was made (Ge 6:14). Gopher is a word unknown elsewhere in Hebrew or allied languages. Lagarde considered that it was connected with gophrith, meaning "brimstone," or "pitch," while others connect it with kopher, also meaning "pitch"; hence, along both lines, we reach the probability of some resinous wood, and pine, cedar, and cypress have all had their supporters. A more probable explanation is that which connects gopher with the modern Arabic kufa, a name given to the boats made of interwoven willow branches and palm leaves with a coating of bitumen outside, used today on the rivers and canals of Mesopotamia. In the Gilgames story of the flood it is specially mentioned that Noah daubed his ark both inside and out with a kind of bitumen.
See DELUGE OF NOAH.
E. W. G. Masterman