The suggestion that Noah had to trap, or catch, all the different kinds of animals is put to rest with Genesis 6:20. It says. “Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come into you to keep them alive.” The last part of the verse explains that “they will come to you.” You are just expected to receive them into the ark where they will be kept alive. But the biggest question associated with this verse is the phrase “according to their kinds.” In the earlier creation account in Genesis chapter 1, we see that this is the way God made it. It has always been that way, and it will always be that way. I like how my late friend Norm Geisler says, “Life is basically the same from generation to generation, each reproducing its own: fish producing fish, birds hatching birds, cows calving calves, and humans giving birth to humans. This has been the pattern from the very beginning and continues to the present. Life in all of its many kinds is continuous and stable.”[1]

The phrase appears nine times in the creation account, and it refers to all kinds of plants, all kinds of birds, all kinds of wild and domestic animals, and all kinds of creepy crawling things. Baker rightly points out that creationists “…will be quick to let us know that if the animals were created ‘according to their kinds,’ then they were not evolved from other animals, and this is quite correct. If a dog was created ‘according to its kind,’ then it was not created as an amoeba which evolved.”[2] In Genesis 6:20, the phrase “after it’s time” is repeated three times and reminds me of the nine times it was repeated in the earlier creation account. Yet, there is an awkward absence of the “according to their kinds” in the creation account. The absence is seen in the creation of man, male and female, “in the image of God.” I almost want to say, “after God’s kind.” God created all the plants and animals after their own kind, but he made man in his “kind.” God blessed the creation of plants, animals, and man with the same blessing to be “fruitful and multiply.” But man had the added responsibility of “caring for” the rest of creation. Just as God cared for His creation, so too is man to care for that creation.

God’s instructions to Noah were how Noah was to “care for” the animals. He was to keep them alive to preserve their species upon the face of the earth. Obviously, Noah was an environmentalist. He was charged with caring for God’s creation. God brought the animals to Noah. He was charged with keeping them alive for future generations. It seems that is still God’s intended charge to man in every generation.

[1] Geisler, Norman L. 2003. Systematic Theology, Volume Two: God, Creation. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers.

[2] Baker, Douglas P. 2003. “The Image of God: According to Their Kinds.” Reformation and Revival 12, no. 2: 96.