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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Many of Each Animal Entered the Ark?

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Don Stewart
There are two passages that speak of how many of each animal entered Noah's ark.

And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female (Genesis 6:19).

You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two of each animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of the earth (Genesis 7:2,3).

Is this a contradiction? Was there two of each animal or seven of each animal that were to be brought to the ark?

Clean And Unclean

This often-brought up question has a simple explanation. The seven of each animal were clean animals-to be used for sacrifice as well as for food. The remainder of the animals that went to the ark included a male and a female. This is explained in Genesis 7.

Of clean beasts, of beasts that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God has commanded Noah (Genesis 7:9,10).


Two of each animal entered the ark along with seven of each clean animal. The clean animals entered for purpose of sacrifice and for food for Noah and his family.

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