Fellow Christians: Question regarding the ‘animals’ taken into the Ark by Noah: Genesis: 6: 19-22.?

Fellow Christians: Question regarding the ‘animals’ taken into the Ark by Noah: Genesis: 6: 19-22. In short, these verses see God instructing Noah to bring into the Ark; ‘two of every living thing, (animals) male and female, birds of the air and creepy things of the ground.’ Then in chapter seven, verses one too three, Noah is again instructed to go into the Ark and take ‘seven pairs of all clean animals, male and female, and likewise seven pairs of unclean animals, male and female, along with seven pairs of birds of the air.’

First, this appears to say the same thing twice, both in chapter six and seven, surely God’s instructions were clear enough in chapter six when first given, no?

But then, in chapter eight, verses twenty, too twenty-two, Noah builds an ‘altar’ to the Lord and takes of ‘every clean animal’ and of ‘every clean bird’ and offered burnt offerings on the altar, so as to please God.

Question: why does God repeat these simple instructions, and how could these animals ‘reproduce’ if ‘every clean animal’ was taken for a burnt offering? And if one is not too take those words ‘every clean animal/bird’ in the literal sense, thus assuming only a ‘pair’ of animals and a ‘pair’ of birds were taken for the burnt offering, this still leaves us with two pairs of creatures missing, eg the pair of animals and the pair of birds. How would you respond to this, help me to understand, it confuses me somewhat.

5 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's no longer confusing once you realize that the story of Noah's ark, as we have it in our Bibles, is a actually a conflation of more than one telling of the tale, which has been edited together to provide the text we have today. The earliest text seems to have the animals assembled "two by two". A later text, most likely produced by the later priestly editors who were much concerned with the holiness/ profanity (aka "clean/ unclean") issue, "corrected" the text to provide sufficient "clean" animals for ritual sacrifice. This "correction" was made despite the fact that ritual sacrifice in accordance with Mosaic law and practice, was ostensibly unknown in the time of of Noah, and would not have come into practice and significance until after the giving of the Law. Scholars recognize the presence of several hands in the writing/ telling of the Noah story, with a number of differences (the number of animals required, the number of days which the rains/ flood lasted -- 40 days or months, etc.). The priestly editors show themselves thematically to have been highly focused on numbers (preferably BIG numbers) and aspects of ritual worship, as well as their focus on enhancing the status of the priesthood itself. Their redactions are often quite easy to spot, occurring throughout the texts of the Torah. Most scholars date the priestly redactions to the 6th century (or slightly later) BCE. Moses, and therefore the Mosaic law, is usually dated around the 11th century BCE.

    Source(s): I am a Bible-believing Christian.
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  • 10 years ago

    You won't be confused if you forget what you learned at church and Sunday School and read the Bible. So many "Bible stories" we learned as children disagree with the Bible.


    How many wise men came to worship Jesus the night He was born at the stable along with the shepherds?

    As taught in Sunday School: 3

    Correct answer from the Bible: none

    The Bible tells us that the wise man arrived at the house where Mary and Joseph lived and it never tells us how many wise men there were. The Bible does say they brought 3 gifts.

    What day of the week was it when Jesus was crucified?

    As taught in Sunday School and most churches? Good Friday

    As taught be carefully reading the Bible: Good Wednesday


    Now let's read Genesis chapter six:

    19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them."

    Genesis 7

    1 The LORD then said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven [a] of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."

    Chapter and verse division are a man made invention which came about in about the 13th century, very handy so we can look up passages and both of us be on the same page, but not handy when we thing there was a division of thought between them.

    Noah was told take 2 of every animal and bird, a male and female and take food.

    Well some of the food was grain, some were 7 clean animals of every type.

    Clean animals were the kinds of animals it was safe for people to eat.

    If you ignore the chapter division, it will be more clear.

    God said take 2 of all the animals and birds and 7 of the clean animals and birds, the kinds you can eat. I'm sure in the year everyone was on the ark, there were several generations of chickens and at least one of sheep born or hatched on the arc.

    It would not have violated God's command if Noah took more than 7 of some animals aboard for food.

    For example, 100 chickens would have laid a lot of eggs.

    The numbers listed are the minimums God wanted on the ark.

    Source(s): 44+ years following a Jewish Carpenter & studying His Book! I am the real Pastor Art, not the obnoxious clone.
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  • 10 years ago

    it is a review of what happened

    newspapers do the same thing today

    they have a headline

    and then repeat the same information

    This story would have been like a newspaper headline back in the day

    Chapter 8 was after the flood

    and it was every type of clean animal, hence there were seven of the clean, meaning that a pair could be used for sacrifice

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  • 10 years ago

    Nice try. There is no answer. So, burnt offerings aside, he's supposed to have repopulated the earth with a total of 42 animals? And now, a few thousand years later there are a couple of million named species (possibly ten times that unnamed)? You realize that is impossible, right?

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    He sacrificed the dodo birds and the unicorns.

    Damn him. I want a unicorn.

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