Can't God Make Up His Mind?
How many of each kind of animal was Noah commanded to take on the ark?
HUMANIST QUESTION: According to Genesis 6:19-22, God ordered Noah to bring of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort . . . into the ark. Nevertheless,esis 7:2-3 relates that the Lord ordered Noah to take into the ark the clean beasts and the birds by sevens, and only the unclean beasts by twos.
This is so simple that I would be embarrassed to bring it up as a contradiction. All we need to do is look at everything the referenced verses say. I cannot help but think the humanist author is coming up with whatever he can simply to pack the web page with accusa-tions (elephant tossing). However, the truth is I think he is sincere... and these are blind people trying to lead blind people./p>
…they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit. - Genesis 6:19-22
You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. - Jesus speaking in Matthew 15:14
Let's start by seeing what the verses the Humanists reference are saying. Here they are:
And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds
after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them. Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. - Genesis 6:19-22
You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. - Genesis 7:2-3
Genesis chapter six clearly says to bring two of every kind of animal and bird. Chapter seven supplements that by adding six addi-tional pairs, if the animal is in the category of being a "clean" animal to be used as a sacrifice.
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean an-imal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the al-tar. - Genesis 8:20
Notice that Genesis 6 does not say to take ONLY two of every kind. If it did, there would result in a contradiction.
Chapter seven says, "of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth.” If Noah had taken just one pair of each kind of bird, and he used a bird as a sacrifice. What would have happened? It would be the end of that kind of bird. No reproduction. Taking seven pairs was important.
Here’s an example from everyday life that may help: If my wife calls and asks me to pick up some groceries on the way home from work by saying: "Please pick up one gallon of each type of milk... and please get three gallons of 2% milk." Is there any problem with that? I will bring home one gallon each of skim, 1%, whole milk and chocolate milk, and three gallons of 2% milk. What she wants is easily understandable.
Some Historical Background
Although not needed here, in some cases it is helpful to know about the historical setting and culture. For example, as is true in many cultures, a common approach to explaining something was to provide a broad description first, and followed by a more detailed one that focused on the most important aspects of what was being said. We saw that in an earlier question in which Genesis one pro-vides the overview and Genesis two focuses on the details of day six.
The broad view (Genesis 6) is that of two animals of every kind. The detailed view (Genesis 7) focuses on those animals (a smaller group) used for sacrifice where more are needed for repro-duction... the clean animals and birds.
Genesis 8:4 reports that, as the waters of the flood receded, Noahs ark rested on the mountains of Ararat in the seventh month. The very next verse, however, says the mountaintops could not be seen until the tenth month.
The answer is so simple, can you see it? Click here for the answer.