Genesis 6:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 6:19, NIV: "You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you."

Genesis 6:19, ESV: "And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female."

Genesis 6:19, KJV: "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."

Genesis 6:19, NASB: "And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female."

Genesis 6:19, NLT: "Bring a pair of every kind of animal--a male and a female--into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood."

Genesis 6:19, CSB: "You are also to bring into the ark two of all the living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you."

What does Genesis 6:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God has revealed to Noah that He will wipe out all land-dwelling life on earth with a great flood. The reason for this is the pervasive wickedness of mankind (Genesis 6:5; Genesis 6:11–12). He has given Noah instructions about building an ark, a huge structure meant to float while carrying men and animals. Most importantly, God told Noah that he and his family would be saved from the flood by entering the ark. In doing so, God says he will make a covenant with Noah. This implies the most serious, solemn kind of promise.

Here, God gives Noah a truly remarkable command: Bring a pair of each kind of animal with you in the ark. For those in the modern era, particularly those in the west, we may be so familiar with the story that the enormity of this command doesn't affect us. And yet, it must have sounded daunting to Noah. Not only is he being tasked with building an enormous box, but he has to put an enormous number of animals into it! Fortunately, God will later suggest that the animals will come on their own (Genesis 6:20).

As we will see in the next verse, though, God's command was motivated by God's desire to preserve the good creation that He had made for future generations. This, again, shows God's plan to preserve humanity. Rather than simply obliterate life, and the human race, God graciously provides to help heal from this catastrophe.

This command is universal: Noah will bring two of every kind. Just a few verses from now, God will provide more specific instructions regarding "clean" animals, which will require seven pairs each (Genesis 7:2).