Genesis 7:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 7:16, NIV: "The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in."

Genesis 7:16, ESV: "And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the LORD shut him in."

Genesis 7:16, KJV: "And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in."

Genesis 7:16, NASB: "Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed the door behind him."

Genesis 7:16, NLT: "A male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD closed the door behind them."

Genesis 7:16, CSB: "Those that entered, male and female of every creature, entered just as God had commanded him. Then the LORD shut him in."

What does Genesis 7:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Under normal circumstances, there is simply no way for a man to capture, alive, representative samples of all animal life. This would have been especially difficult if that same man was also tasked with building an enormous ark to house those animals. According to the Bible, God never commanded Noah to track down these animals. Instead, God sent them to Noah (Genesis 6:20). This was God's power executing God's plan.

Still, Noah is commended for saying "yes" to all God commanded (Genesis 6:22, Genesis 7:5). He did what God said, when God said, and how God said. God still executes His plans through obedient servants without expecting them to have the power in themselves to do the impossible.

This verse also makes a very specific, very important point about how the ark was sealed in preparation for the flood. The closing of the ark is specifically credited to God Himself. This symbolism will become crucial in our understanding of God and salvation. This is important for two reasons.

First, this act emphasizes that it is God who is saving life from judgment. And, it serves as a reminder of God's promise to preserve those He has saved. Both to Noah, and to us, this is a symbol of God's ability to keep those He has saved.

Second, and of critical importance, is the fact that the door was not shut by Noah. When every life meant to be saved had boarded the ark, God shut Noah and all who were with him inside. Their security wasn't earned by something Noah had done. Noah was not the one who decided when the door would be shut, or when the opportunity for salvation would be lost to those outside. All of these are exclusively God's prerogative.