Genesis 7 Notes

Genesis 7

v. 2: I guess Noah took more clean animals (seven pairs) than unclean because they would be used as sacrifices.

v. 22: The phrase “breath of life” is used interchangeably to refer to two things.  On the literal level, it can refer to the physical breath of those creatures who breathe air, thus excluding the fish.  On a metaphorical level, however, it can refer to the spirit which animates all animals, including fish.  The phrase is used here in the former sense.  Nevertheless, I have no doubt that animals have spirits just as we do,[2] and I believe that fish should be considered animals according to Biblical principles of taxonomy.[3] Thus,

All animals have spirits.

Fish are animals.

Therefore, fish have spirits (i.e., the breath of life in the latter, metaphorical sense).

[1] There are certain allegorical elements in the story even if it is entirety historical.  For instance, I believe God intended Noah’s survival of the flood to symbolize a rebirth from the waters of death.

[2] See notes on 2:7.

[3] See notes on 1:20.


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