Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

While on Noah's Ark, did the animals remain celibate?

If the elephants, rhinos, or giraffes, for instance, did not remain celibate, I'd imagine that things could get pretty hectic and pretty crowded on the Ark very quickly. In short, it could become a real zoo.

Does the Bible tell us anything about how the animals acted on the Ark?

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mr. Bultitude, Nathaniel, curiousdannii, David Sep 1 '15 at 4:57

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Minor observation; many insects have a lifespan measured in days... – Marc Gravell Mar 7 '12 at 10:49
@Marc Gravell - That one cracked me up. That's a good point! I should take back the "anything else is pure speculation" statement because as you point out, reproduction would be necessary for those with shorter life spans. – David Mar 7 '12 at 12:30
@David or of course "miracle"; as with a lot of other features with the Ark, you need so many miracles for it to work that frankly it is just as reasonable (cough) to say "miracle for this too". Indeed, you get into a loop of problems, especially for parasites and carrion-based cycles, and those that need specific environments (foliage, plants, burrows, sand, water, etc) for reproduction. Easier just to say "miracle the lot"... there's a great youtube with similar theme, but I doubt you'd like it... but if you're brave – Marc Gravell Mar 7 '12 at 12:34
Nobody knows... we can all speculate but no one was there to see it... Perhaps you should ask Noah? he was there he would know? Okay just joking, but really nobody can really say for sure one way or another... – TheXed Feb 8 '13 at 21:43
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Ultimately, there is no need to say that the animals remained celebate.

Whether or not they did is irrelevant. If you want to posit a second miracle, go ahead. But there is nothing to support it either way. There is simply no need for such miracle.

The animals were only on the ark 190 days (40 for the flood, 150 while the waters receded). While it is true that for many smaller animals, that is within their gestational period, for many of the larger ones it is not. As such, the total biomass isn't going to be affected that much.

Additionally, while the exponential power of generations can be formidable, it takes time Take rabbits, for example. According to this article on rabbit breeding, the average rabbit has a gestational period of 28 - 31 days, and can begin to reproduce at 6 months. That means even if a rabbit got pregnant on the first night in the ark, her first litter would only be able to reproduce in the last week before getting off. According to the same source, if a rabbit produces 20 offspring in a year, that's a good ratio. (And, good eating, but I digress).

Admittedly, fruit flies reproduce in days, but they also die in a week, and even a whole lot of flies isn't a lot of biomass. Even one litter of elephants, by contrast, would have been quite a deal- but they take 22 months to gestate, and thus would have been off the ark by time they were ready to give birth.

All this is to make one simple point, due to the amount of time on the ark, things may not have been great, but it wouldn't have been a total zoo. (Rim shot)

share|improve this answer
As another note: many animals are less likely to breed if they are not in conditions which support children well. Rabbits, for one, will reabsorb their litters if the environment goes sour. – cwallenpoole Mar 7 '12 at 16:29
they were on there fore a year - look at how long it was before Noah sent out the raven and dove – warren Feb 8 '13 at 17:34

Does the Bible tell us anything about how the animals acted on the Ark?

No, it doesn't. Any other answer here would be purely speculation.

share|improve this answer
You know, on the one hand, this answer REALLY isn't good enough to deserve so many up-votes. There's nothing to it, it took no research, and there are a lot of better answers on other questions that didn't get voted up nearly as much. On the other hand, it would be really cool to get a reversal badge. ;-) Or is everyone voting this up because I finally kept it short and you're trying to reward the behavior? Am I being trained? – David Mar 8 '12 at 4:14
It's certainly the best answer the question deserves. – DJClayworth Mar 8 '12 at 8:37
Then God said to Noah, “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh—birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth—that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.

(Genesis 8:15-19 ESV)

We discussed the question in our study group... did the animals reproduce or not? I believe every little detail in the Bible is there for a reason. Think of this sentence: "and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” I feel the fact that God instructed them at that point in time to be fruitful and multiply indicates that during the stay on the Ark they did not reproduce. God kept them in a 'super natural' state. It is not PROOF but I believe we need to pray for the Spirit to reveal to us, but it does make sense toe me.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.