We have all been taught that Noah took Animals of each kind into the Ark, two by two. Most people teach this to their children. Teachers teach it at Sunday Schools. We see pictures of it in story books and have watched it in cartoon form. We even sing songs to that extent in our gatherings. But what is the truth? and does it matter to us today?
I would have read this story in the Old Testament many times, and for many years believed myself that “2 of each” was correct . But what does the Bible really say?
Most of us, like myself read Gen 6:19-22 and made the assumption that God told Noah to take “2 of each” of all animals into the Ark.
Gen 6:19-22 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
But God spoke to Noah again, and described what he wants done more thoroughly right after these words
Gen 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
Wait a minute. Why did God say 2 at first and then say “sevens” and “two”
What God meant by 2 of every sort was that Noah had to take the Male and Female of each animal. Then He went onto describe the numbers of Animals he wanted saved.
Clean Animals = Seven Pairs of each kind (Seven Males & Seven Females)
Unclean Animals = Two Pairs of each kind (Two Males & Two Females)
“Clean” and “Unclean” animals before “Moses and the Food Laws”?
The interesting fact is that God’s classification of “Clean” and “Unclean” animals, written down in Leviticus 11 & Deuteronomy 14 through Moses, had been there even at Noah’s time. Noah knew which animals were “Clean” and which were “Unclean”.
So what’s the BIG DEAL?
One of the reasons this is important is, that we are giving a wrong picture to people when we say “2 of each”. It simply is not the truth. Another reason this should interest some, would be because saying “2 of each” hides the fact that the Food/Dietary Law division which was written down by Moses, was actually in effect even in Noah’s time.
God’s Commandments & Instructions are valid for us today, in the same way they were valid in Moses’ time and even before. As we see by this simple study, the division of “Clean” and “Unclean” animals has been there even in Noah’s time. It is a pity that 2000 years after the Messiah, that we have the notion that these dietary laws have been done away with, when in fact it was even in effect before Moses. And as far as I understand, the scriptures say that God’s Word does not change – they are forever (Matthew 5:18, 24:35, Isaiah 40:8, Psalm 119:160). Then how can these instruction given direct by God Almighty, change?
Links of interest
- Did Christ declare all foods clean? Misunderstandings regarding Mark 7:19
- Did God tell Peter that he is free to eat unclean animals which He had banned before? Acts 10:1 – 11:18
- Defining the terms “Sin”, “Law” & “Grace”
- Is Love, all that matters? – Was the Ten old Commandments overuled by Two new Commandments?