How many of each land animal kind did Noah actually bring onto the ark? Two? Seven of some? Seven pairs of some? What about the birds? Why are we even asking these questions?
God gave specific instructions for how many of each of the clean animal kinds and bird kinds were to board the ark.
Well, when it comes to answering the question of “How many animals were on the ark?” it’s not just two of a kind. For a start, it was only the land-dwelling, air-breathing animal kinds. God gave specific instructions for how many of each of the clean animal kinds and bird kinds were to board the ark. But exactly how many of the clean animals and birds were sent to the ark? Here’s the relevant biblical text:
Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. (Genesis 7:2–3)
While the ESV says “seven pairs,” some other translations word it differently—such as the NKJV, which says, “You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal.” So is it seven pairs or seven each? Well, our Ark Encounter and Creation Museum content manager, Dr. Tim Chaffey, recently explained how we answer this question at the Ark Encounter in a short video for our Ark Encounter YouTube channel. I thought you would enjoy this informative video (or check out this article for a more detailed response).
And if you want to learn more about how many animals were on the ark, enjoy this video that also features Dr. Tim Chaffey:
Be sure to subscribe to the Ark’s YouTube channel so you don’t miss a video, and plan your visit to the full-size Noah’s Ark at the Ark Encounter to see the Ark and its three decks of phenomenal exhibits for yourself. Visit ArkEncounter.com.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.