How many of each animal did Noah take on the ark?

Scripture: Genesis 7:2
How many of each animal did Noah take on the ark? It talks about two categories of animals, clean and unclean. The clean animals went by sevens, and the unclean animals came in by twos.
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Caller:  My question is, how many of each kind of animal went on the Ark?

Pastor Doug:  Well it only divides the animals in two categories:  It talks about the “clean”, and then it talks about the “unclean”.  And the Bible says that the clean animals went by sevens.

Now some have wondered does that mean that it was one bull and six cows?  Was it one ram and six ewes?  Or was it seven pairs?  And there has been dispute over that but it says the clean animals went by sevens and the unclean animals went by twos.

Then it tells later in the Bible what are the distinctions between the “clean” and the “unclean” – but they knew of course back in Noah’s day what that was.

Caller:  The reason for this is because you know, when you first start Sunday school, you learn that they go on two by two…

Pastor Doug:  Two by two, yup.

Caller:  And I decided I was going to really read the Bible this time and I got up to chapter 7 verse 2 and I couldn’t believe it!  If you read verse 2 it says, ‘…of every clean animal, thou shalt take by sevens….’

Pastor Doug:  You know that’s a very common misunderstanding.  They’ve got little songs and pictures and everything and they’re all two by two.  But the Bible says that the clean animals were they not only permitted to eat them those were the animals that were to be used for sacrifice to the Lord.

You remember after the flood, Noah offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving.  If they were sacrificing animals that there were only two of, there’d be a lot of extinct species every time they’d offer a sacrifice!

Co-Host:  That’s right.  That’s right.

Pastor Doug:  So in order that they could have them for sacrifice and then later they ate them, the clean animals were taken in greater abundance.

Caller:  The reason for the question is that it showed me how you can read over something time after time and not see it.

Pastor Doug:  Yup.  That’s very true.  Sometimes the obvious truth is glaring at us and we miss it because of our preconceived ideas.

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