How Many Animals on the Ark

Genesis 7:2 - Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
Genesis 6:19 - And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

Help me to understand the seven pair to the always mentioned single pair. Male & female?


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Certain creatures are considered "clean" animals. Specifically, animals that chew their cud and have split hooves or feet are clean animals, among other criteria.

Thus, Noah was commanded to take seven pairs of clean animals onto the ark, logically because they would be the prey once they landed and predatory behavior began among animals. Every other animal, the ones considered unclean, would only be taken on the ark in a single matched pair.

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