Two by Two into the Ark: Genesis 6

How did Noah put all the animals into the ark if there were so many? Biblical proof.

Our presuppositions (starting points) for reading the early stories of Genesis predetermine our ending points. If we read it with “science” as a starting place, we will end up in a place that was unknown to the first hearers. We must remember that the story of the flood was told for a purpose to its first hearers. That purpose was not to teach some biological fact to those around the campfires at Mt. Sinai. The intent of Moses was to help his listeners to understand God’s purposes for them in light of how God had dealt with those who had come before.

The stress of the text is not on how many animals there were, but the fact that God wanted to keep them alive along with Noah and his family for repopulating the earth after the flood. The word “kind,” like its occurrence in Genesis 1, cannot be defined with zoological precision. It is enough to say that the “kinds” are related to three major groups: land animals, birds, and crawlers. Water creatures did not have a need for safety. Once on board, all of the earth’s future hope would be huddled under a single roof.

Allow me to offer a short word about proof. God did not give scripture to us for the purpose of proof. The need for proof is a purely Western need. Rather, the stories in Scripture are given to help us see how our forefathers and their God interacted with each other. They help us understand how to be the people of God in our own century for the sake of the world.

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