Chazal tell us that Noah worked hard to keep all of the animals in the ark well fed. Most (or at least many) animals are carnivores or insectivores. Does that mean Noah in fact brought in animals to breed for food in addition to the pairs?

  • Interesting, as the Medrash Raba says he catered for each animal, but doesn't mention carnivores: רַבִּי אַבָּא בַּר כַּהֲנָא אָמַר הִכְנִיס עִמּוֹ זְמוֹרוֹת לְפִילִים, חֲצוּבוֹת לִצְבָאִים, זְכוּכִית לְנַעֲמִיּוֹת. (toratemetfreeware.com/online/…) Nov 16, 2015 at 15:17
  • 1
    Chazal tell us that Noah worked hard to keep all of the animals in the ark well fed Where do Hazal state this?
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 27, 2016 at 17:50
  • @mevaqesh Stated in BT (San. 108b)
    – Oliver
    Oct 27, 2017 at 4:21
  • @Oliver consider editing it into the question.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 27, 2017 at 4:39
  • @mevaqesh not familiar with the rules on editing an answer not your own. Once made the mistake and didn't go over well. Rather leave it to OP's discretion.
    – Oliver
    Oct 30, 2017 at 1:17

4 Answers 4


Ibn Ezra to Bereishis 6:20 says that if someone would suggest that some animals needed to be fed with meat in the teiva this would be dismissed as a valid question because even one who cannot find meat would eat grass and fruits when it is starving or hungry.


The animals before and after the flood were also all vegetarian. They only started to eat meat after the flood. Also, since the food supply in the ark was miraculous, Noach probably had a miraculous type of food (like the mannah in the dessert) that suited each animal as it needed. As we see in Bereishis 1:30

ל וּלְכָל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וּלְכָל עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל | רוֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה אֶת כָּל יֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב לְ אָכְלָה וַיְהִי כֵן

30 And to all the beasts of the earth and to all the fowl of the heavens, and to everything that moves upon the earth, in which there is a living spirit, every green herb to eat," and it was so.


לכם יהיה לאכלה. ולכל חית הארץ: השוה להם הכתוב בהמות וחיות למאכל, ולא הרשה לאדם ולאשתו להמית בריה ולאכול בשר, אך כל ירק עשב יאכלו יחד כלם, וכשבאו בני נח התיר להם בשר, שנאמר (להלן ט ג) כל רמש אשר הוא חי וגו' כירק עשב שהתרתי לאדם הראשון, נתתי לכם את כל:

it will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth: He equated cattle and the beasts to them [to man] regarding the food [that they were permitted to eat]. He did not permit Adam and his wife to kill a creature and to eat its flesh; only every green herb they were all permitted to eat equally. When the sons of Noah came, He permitted them to eat flesh, as it is said (below 9:3): “Every creeping thing that is alive, etc.” Like the green herbs, which I permitted to the first man, I have given you everything. — [from Sanh. 59b]

  • I don't think that the Mizrahi understood Rashi as claiming that animals weren't permitted to eat other animals. He seems to explain that animals were forbidden from killing people; not other animals. Furthermore, even Man was likely only forbidden from killing an animal to eat it, but could eat an already dead animal. Similarly, animals should have been able to eat other already dead animals.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 27, 2016 at 17:48

Radak (Genesis 6:21) is of the opinion that originally carnivorous animals were not carnivorous. Accordingly, there was no need to breed animals to feed other animals:

כיון שיבאו אליך להחיותם צריך שתזמן מכל מאכל לצרכך ולצרכם, והמאכל הוא הפירות והזרעים והעשבים, וגם החיות הטורפות יאכלו גם כן כמו האחרים, ולא אכלו בשר כמו שלא אכלו בתחלת הבריאה, כמו שכתבנו בפסוק ויעש אלהים את חית הארץ למינה

He states this in his commentary to Isaiah (11:6) as well.


Ralbag addresses this in his commentary:

וראוי שתדע שהב"ח שימצא מזונם לפי הנהוג מה שלא יאות שינתן להם בתיבה כמו העשב והתבן והבשר נתן להם מהמזונות הנאותים להם מהזרעים כמו מיני התבואה והקטנית ושאר הזרעים והפירות אשר יתכן בהם שיהיו מזונות לב"ח ההם

And it is proper that you should know that the living creatures whose natural sustenance was something not amenable to being given to them in the ark – such as grass, straw, or meat – he gave them sustenance that was good for them from seeds, such as types of grain and legumes and other seeds, and fruits that could serve as sustenance for those living creatures.

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