Two or Seven Pairs

Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning how many of each kind of animal Noah brought into the ark. Was it two or seven pairs of every kind of animal? The argument is that Genesis 6:19-20 says that Noah brought two of each kind of animal, whereas Genesis 7:2-3 says that Noah brought seven pairs of each kind of animal. However, there are reasonable explanations that reconcile this alleged contradiction in the Bible.

Scriptures – Did Noah Bring Two or Seven Pairs of Every Kind of Animal?

Genesis 6:19-20 – Two of Each Kind

19 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. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, ”’two of every sort”’ shall come in to you to keep them alive.

Genesis 6:19-20

Genesis 7:2-3 – Seven of Each Kind

2 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, 3 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

The Answer – Did Noah Bring Two or Seven Pairs of Every Kind of Animal?

The Purpose of Two Was Preservation. Two Does Not Exclude Seven

The purpose of Noah bringing two of every kind of animal onto the ark was so the animals could reproduce and survive. So, when God tells Noah to bring seven pairs of some animals onto the ark, the implication is that the intent was for Noah to bring ”’at least two”’ of every kind of animal onto the ark.

Thus, there is no contradiction between Genesis 6:19-20 and Genesis 7:2-3.

Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties

There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.

More Answers to “Contradictions” in the Bible

To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.

These books are also excellent resources:


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