Noach was told to take a pair (male & female) of all non-clean animals, and 7 pairs of clean animals into the ark. However, Breishit 6:21 says:

And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them

Considering that many animals are carnivores, does that mean that Noach took extra animals as food for the other animals? If so, should we assume that all that food was eaten or was there a possible food shortage or leftover live animals? Was Noach an expert in animal food consumption, assuming that each animal ate the same quantity (for that animal), daily?


1 Answer 1


As pointed out by many meforshim, the food in the teivah was provided miraculously. Rabbi Sorotzkin in Oznayim Latorah 6:21 (answer 3) says

It is known that the Ark's provisions were insufficient to sustain its passengers for even a week, and only Hashem's blessing caused the food to last the entire year of the flood.

Similarly, he says that after they left the ark, the food was still provided miraculously until the animals (and the plants that Noach re-established) had proliferated sufficiently to allow a balanced ecology.

Note that before the flood, the animals also are described as "eating vegetation". Only after the full expansion of the survivors from the ark did the carnivores begin eating their "natural" food. Otherwise, the herbivores would have become extinct the first day and the rest of the animals would have starved to death.

See also Proliferation of species after the flood

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