Following God’s command, Noah stocks the Ark with provisions. He populates it with a variety of animals, leading to it males and females–“two by two”–of the various species, so that these may subsequently repopulate the earth.
“Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female,” says God to his prophet: “and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.” The mosaic illustrations of San Marco present these differences, dedicating a few scenes that show Noah populating his ark with the prescribed numbers of clean and unclean animals.
What is worth preserving from each age? What are the worthy contents to be deposited in an Ark that would withstand the floods of Time? The question is more easily answered on the scale of one’s own world: if one’s house caught on fire, what would one grab hold of as one ran out to safety? Clearly, most of one’s personal possessions are replaceable and far from worthy risking one’s life to preserve. Likewise, only few of mankind’s accomplishments are worthwhile safekeeping for the benefit of later generations.
Read on: The Flood