Q. The children in my Sunday School class (grade 3 and 4) asked a few interesting questions during our lessons on Noah’s ark. Is there something you can suggest:
1. Did fish go into the Noah’s ark?
2. How did Noah know what is clean and what is unclean animals?
3. What did lions eat in Noah’s ark? Did they eat meat then?
4. What language did they speak at that time?
5. If all people came from Shem, Ham and Japheth, how did we change skin color?
A. These are interesting questions indeed, typically asked by children:
1. Did fish go into the Ark?
• Gen 6:7 The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”
• Gen 6:20 Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.
• Gen 7:14 they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds.
• Gen 7:21 All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;
• Gen 7:23 Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.
My answer is “NO”. God told Noah He will blot out man, animals, beasts (wild), cattle (tame), creeping or swarming things (reptiles and insects), and birds, and asked him to bring two of every kind into the ark to preserve them. Fish was not mentioned as they can survive the Flood.
2. How did Noah know what’s clean versus unclean?
• Gen 7:2 You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female;
• Gen 7:8-9 Of clean animals and animals that are not clean and birds and everything that creeps on the ground, there went into the ark to Noah by twos, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.
The rules distinguishing between clean from unclean animals, aquatic life, birds, insects were not given until later in Leviticus 11. So how did Noah know? I believe a clue can be found in:
• Gen 4:4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering;
Cain and Abel offered sacrifice way before Moses, so we can infer that God must have told man what animals and birds were clean and suitable for sacrifice.
3. Did lions eat meat in the Ark?
• Gen 1:30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
• Gen 6:20-21 Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.”
• Gen 9:3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.
No, they did not. Man and lions and all other carnivores ate green plant for food when they were first created. Noah was told to take some of all food which is edible i.e. green plants into the Ark for food for himself and for them i.e. animals and birds. The restriction to a vegetarian diet for man was lifted only after the Flood. Presumably that applied to carnivores at the same time.
(To be continued)