How many giraffes were on the ark?

Basically, some hold that the giraffe is kosher, so there should be 14 (or 7, depending on the explanation of the verses) giraffes.

On the other hand, most of the "7/14 animals" seem to say that the extra animals were for korbanot (see here: How many Kosher animals were in Noach's Ark?). I don't think a giraffe is kosher for a korban (but no source), so maybe only 2?

I'm interested if anyone knows any sources for this.

  • 2
    Most Kosher animals are not used in sacrifices. Only 6 are, in fact (cows, rams, sheep, goats, doves, pigeons). – Double AA Oct 16 '15 at 19:30
  • It has been suggested that the animal with a single horn on its forehead that Adam harishon brought as a sacrifice was in fact a giraffe. – user6591 Oct 20 '15 at 8:03
  • @user6591 (Karban is described in AZ 8a.) The passuk (Tehillim 69:32) explicitly describes it as a bull. What you’re thinking of is an opinion (Slifkin stands out in my mind as a proponent of this opinion) that the Tachash mentioned in several places is a giraffe. Take a look at a picture of giraffes again - they have two horns, if you can even call them horns. – DonielF Oct 17 '17 at 20:40
  • @DonielF No. I'm referring to Sichas Chulin and the fact that it has two horns does not negate the fact that it has a single bony protrusion over it's forehead. – user6591 Oct 17 '17 at 20:42
  • @user6591 Would you mind providing a link or source? – DonielF Oct 17 '17 at 20:43

Rav Hirsch says that the tahor animals were to be those that are fit for Jews to eat. Thus we can say that the order applied to what we would consider "kosher" and giraffes would be included. While Rav Hirsch also says that the "seven" means seven pairs, I have seen a reference that it was seven animals to mean 3 pairs and the seventh animal was the one used for a korbon. However, I do not recall where I saw that comment.

Accordingly the same animals as, later on, were allowed by the Torah to be used for food for Jews were those that were chosen as the most suitable for offerings, and the same motive would seem to apply to both.

Update my grandson (first grade) was taught about the seventh animal being the korbon. Ohr Sameach Parsha Questions used the "tahor" answer to explain why we say that

  1. What indication do we have that Noach was familiar with the Torah?

7:2 - Hashem told him to take into the ark seven of each kosher-type animal, and two of each non-kosher type. "Kosher" and "non-kosher" are Torah concepts.


The Malbim says that in the original command, Hashem told Noach to take two of each species of animal. In the later command, where 7 is first mentioned, he referred to the animals that Noach and his family personally owned. They were only allowed to keep 2 of each non-kosher animal and 7 of each kosher animal.

While some people do own giraffes, it's reasonable to assume that Noach, like most of us, probably didn't. In that case, according to the Malbim, he would only have brought 2.

This also justifies all the Noah's Ark pictures with only 2 giraffes. They used to irritate me until I saw this Malbim.

  • The Malbim isn't necessarily the most reliable of sources. Do you know where he got that idea from? – user613 Sep 20 '18 at 23:10
  • It fits nicely in the pshat of the pesukim. – Heshy Sep 20 '18 at 23:15
  • Not really. The torah says במִכֹּ֣ל | הַבְּהֵמָ֣ה הַטְּהוֹרָ֗ה תִּקַּח־לְךָ֛ שִׁבְעָ֥ה שִׁבְעָ֖ה אִ֣ישׁ וְאִשְׁתּ֑וֹ וּמִן־הַבְּהֵמָ֡ה אֲ֠שֶׁ֠ר לֹ֣א טְהֹרָ֥ה הִ֛וא שְׁנַ֖יִם אִ֥ישׁ וְאִשְׁתּֽוֹ: why would we apply a different standard to the kosher animals than the non-kosher ones? Based on what you're saying, מכל changes meaning – user613 Sep 20 '18 at 23:30
  • @user613 have you seen the Malbim inside? This pshat does fit into the simple meaning of the pesukim. – Heshy Nov 1 '18 at 14:29

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