Q & A// On Animals & the Ark

Q: How many animals were on the ark and how did Noah get all those animals on board?

One of the puzzling questions when we think about Noah and this huge boat, called the ark, is how did he get all those animals on board? To think about how many animals must’ve been on the ship and caring for them all is overwhelming, much less thinking about how to get them on the boat.

We often wonder how many animal species were on the ark. The truth is the Bible doesn’t really tell us but says there were to be two of every kind, male and female, of the unclean land animals that have the breath of life in them (excluding fish, sea creatures, and insects), and seven pairs of the clean animals (Genesis 6:19-7:3). Notice the Bible says ‘kind’ and not ‘species’, so I take that to mean there was probably one type of dog, one type of cat, one type of rabbit, etcetera… The Ark Encounter museum in Kentucky estimates that at most there were approximately 7,000 animals on board.

Now that is still a lot of animals and one of the questions we have is “How did Noah get all of those animals on the ark?” Sometimes I imagine Noah riding a zebra with a lasso, trying to wrangle up all these animals and get them into their cages. The Bible tells us something different. In Genesis 7:9, 15 we are told that the animals “came to Noah and entered the ark.” So, the Creator leads the creatures to come aboard for their preservation and they obey His command. God always provides everything needed to accomplish His plan. God was going to preserve both human and animal life, and in doing so ordained everything necessary for the preservation of both. How thankful we are for a God who provides everything needed for our preservation and salvation!

For His glory and your joy,

Pastor Charlie