What does Genesis 7:15 mean?
ESV: They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.
NIV: Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.
NASB: So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.
CSB: Two of every creature that has the breath of life in it came to Noah and entered the ark.
NLT: Two by two they came into the boat, representing every living thing that breathes.
KJV: And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.
Verse Commentary:
Animals, birds, and creeping things of every kind were saved from the flood by entering into the ark with Noah. They arrived as pairs, male and female, entering the ark together. Noah was not an animal whisperer. Prior verses indicated that God would send the animals to Noah, rather than Noah being expected to capture them (Genesis 6:20). This chapter describes nothing less than a supernatural work of God, carefully and powerfully orchestrated, to save every kind of air-breathing life on the planet from the judgment of God's wrath.

Most of this information is not new, but the Bible often repeats details in order to make a point. God's will, and His knowledge, are specific. When He says something will occur, it occurs exactly as He predicted. Here, rather than simply noting that animals went onto the ark, Genesis re-describes the same basic instructions God gave earlier. The purpose is to emphasize God's omniscience and omnipotence, and the truth of His words.
Verse Context:
Genesis 7:11–24 describes the greatest disaster in world history: the flood. For forty days and nights, rain falls from above, and underground water rushes from below. As a result, floodwaters fully cover the surface of the land for another 110 days. The ark, built as God has instructed Noah, is able to float and survive the deluge. Every land-dwelling, air-breathing human and creature dies, except for those aboard the ark.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 7 tells the story of the actual flood itself. God again commends Noah for his righteousness. The animals of every kind come to the ark. God shuts Noah and his family and the animals in, and it begins to rain. Water pours from above and bursts forth from below with incredible intensity. This outpouring of water lasts for 40 days, and covers the surface of the earth for another 110 days. The ark floats, rises, moves across the surface of the water. Outside of it, every land-dwelling, air-breathing thing dies. God wipes it all out, including every human being other than Noah and his family.
Chapter Context:
In chapter 6, God saw the wickedness and violence of humanity and resolved to wipe it all out. He revealed that plan to Noah, and He commanded Noah to build the ark. In chapter 7, the ark is finished, the animals arrive, the door is shut, and the rain begins on a specific date in the history of the world. All life aboard the ark is saved; all land-dwelling, air-breathing life outside of it is ended. The waters burst from below the earth and pour from above with great intensity for 40 days and then covered the earth for another 110. In the following chapter, the ark will come to rest, and the remade earth will begin to dry out.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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