Can't God Make Up His Mind?
many of each kind of animal was Noah commanded to take on the ark?
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,
Genesis 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.
is so simple that I'd be embarrassed bringing it up as a contradiction. One thing
to keep in mind. The people who post these things are not interested in truth.
One common tactic is to post so much that nobody will actually read it... but
instead people look at the huge posting and assume that since so much is here,
there must be truth. The truth is... these are blind people leading blind people.
let's start by seeing what these two sets of verses say:
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
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
six clearly says to bring two of every kind of animal and bird.
seven suppliments that by adding six additional pairs, if the animal is in the
cartegory of being a "clean" animal, and to also do this for birds.
example, if my wife is asking me to pick up some groceries on the way home from
work, and she says, "Please pick up one gallon of each type of milk... and
please get three gallons of 2% milk." Is there any problem with that? Is
there any contradiction in what she said? No. what she wants is as clear as a
bell and easily understandable. Effective communication has been accomplished.
that's one simple way to determine if there is a contradiction. Contradictions
result in confusion and unclear communication. If you can read something, and
easily understand what the author was trying to communicate, there is no contradiction.
Although it is not needed here, in some cases
it is helpful to know the historical setting and culture in which the statement
is being made. For example, for the Hewbrews, 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 aspect. We saw that in an earlier question
in which Genesis one provides the overview and Genesis two focues on the details
of the creation of humanity.
In the example we are looking at here, the
broad view is that of two animals of every kind. The detailed view focuses on
those animals used for sacrifice and food... the clean animals and birds. An additional
six pairs are needed because some will be sacrificed and some will be eaten.
is no contradiction here.
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.
is so simple, can you see it? Click here for