I have been puzzled by the necessity of the animals Noah loaded on the ark.
Throughout history, widespread destruction has been repaired by nature and the loss of animal has been restored without an ark.
In addition, there are predators and there are prey. It would have require a miracle of sorts to trapped a male and female of each species, confine them to the ark, and provide them with sustenance, that didn’t consist of the smaller animals aboard, over the period of confinement.
The thought occurred to me that the animals brought onboard the ark might have been various classes of humans devoid of understanding of God’s purposes and categorized as animals. It would have been far easier to have had people living in the ark than animals.
One of the reasons I have considered the above alternative is the fact that a significant number of people would be needed to re-establish a minimal civilization after the flood waters had subsided leaving extensive devastation and destruction.
Taken literally, the account of Noah’s Ark produces a familiar picture: animals of all kinds obediently marching two by two up a ramp into the ark; an image which belies their true natures. But God invites us to reason and in this case it does not seem reasonable that all would refer to each and every creature on earth. (Other difficulties aside, the dimensions of the ark simply wouldn’t have been big enough for this task.)
However, there is much evidence to suggest the flood was not universal. Hence, the necessity for preserving literally “all” species, that their survival may be ensured, is eliminated. And yes, through the natural processes set in motion by God, the devastated area would recover.
So, if Noah didn’t take every animal into the ark, what did he take and how did he choose? It does not, I believe, oppose reason to picture Noah taking his domestic animals—those which he was using and which he would need to support himself and his family. Along a similar line of reasoning, upon leaving Egypt the Israelites were instructed to take with them their livestock.
We find it unlikely that the “animals” may have referred to “humans devoid of understanding.” God has always been very selective of the persons He used. He never accepted every kind, never those who didn’t seek to understand his purpose. He was always looking for the select, the very best and highest quality who were willing to answer His call. The Bible evidences that God provides deliverance and salvation to the “upright,” “faithful,” and the “pure.” Any of these would be far above the level of an animal existence.
Concerning re-population—just as natural processes would see the recovery of the area, so natural processes would take care of repopulating a civilization. Although we might think God would need a larger resource of humans than were reported to be on the ark, in order to people the area in a reasonable amount of time, we must remember that God is not short of time or resources; nor is He obliged to work according to our way of thinking.
More important than all this is the lesson provided for us. God will not preserve everyone. Throughout history he has preserved only those whom He can use in His eternal purpose and He will continue to do so. When the Lord “roars out of Zion” (Joel 3:16) and His judgments descend upon earth, there will be deliverance for his people—and no others.