They and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort.
This verse tells us the three major classifications of animal life that were taken on the ark. During the 18th century, Carolus Linnaeus and others developed taxonomies for classifying biological organisms. The three general classes of animals that were to be taken on the ark were:
- Mammalia (“every beast”).
- Reptilia (“every creeping thing”).
- Aves (“every bird”).
Every kind within the above three classes was taken on the ark. For instance, under Mammalia would have been mammals such as cows, horses and dogs. Under Reptilia would have been lizards, tortoises and snakes. Under Aves would have been birds such as doves, eagles and ostriches.
It is possible that other classes of animals were taken. What about amphibians, which spend part of their lives in water and part of their lives on land? What about insects? The bottom line is that any kind of creature that couldn’t survive for over a year without dry land was preserved on the ark.
To learn more about the book of Genesis, read our article introducing Genesis.
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “The Flood.”