Genesis 6:19-20, Two of Every Kind

You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.

//Many people recognize that there are two creation stories in the Bible. Chapter 1, plus three verses of chapter 2, is written by a different author than the story which begins in verse 2:4. The first story, which details the seven days of creation, was penned by an author Bible scholars call the “Priestly source.” The second story, which emphasizes the Garden of Eden, was penned by the “Yahwist.” The writing styles are different, the words used for God used are different. (Yes, the Yahwist is most easily identified by his use of God’s holy name: YHWH).

But did you know there are also two versions of the flood story? This is more difficult to determine, because the two stories are masterfully spliced together. But, once separated, it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

Two of every species went into the ark? Yeah, the above verse is the Priestly source’s version. He clearly says two of every kind of bird, but the Yahwist, who needs spare animals for Noah to sacrifice, says that there will be seven of each type of bird. In the Priestly source, Noah sends out a raven. For the Yahwist, it’s a dove. The flood lasts a year for the Priestly source. Only 40 days for the Yahwist.

Fascinating stuff! We’ll talk more about Noah in a later post.

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