How many of each land animal kind did Noah actually bring onto the ark? Two? Seven of some? Seven pairs of some? What about the birds? Why are we even asking these questions?
When it comes to answering the question, “How many animals were on the ark?” it’s not just two of every kind—only the land-dwelling, air-breathing animal kinds needed to go on the ark.
Dr. Tim Chaffey, content manager for the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, explains how many animals were on the ark in this video:
God also gave specific instructions for how many of each of the clean animal kinds and bird kinds were to board the ark. But exactly how many of the clean animals and birds were sent to the ark? Here’s the relevant biblical text:
“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, 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).
While the ESV says “seven pairs,” some other translations word it differently—such as the NKJV, which says, “You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal.”
So is it seven pairs or seven each? Watch the short video below by Dr. Chaffey (and check out this article for a more detailed response).