In my study titled "beasts of the field, birds of the air, call no man unclean whom God has called clean", I demonstrated with a half dozen or so bible passages how these terms are used to depict people specifically people out of Covenant with God or unclean.
I would also suggest, in the search to familiarize yourself with the ancient Hebraic mindset, reading the book of Enoch. Specifically "The Animal Apocalypse" in 1 Enoch 83-90
While I do not consider this outer biblical text to be inspired per se, I do believe it can help us understand better. It is after all an ancient Jewish writing.
The Animal Apocalypse is one of the dream visions of Enoch, in which Enoch sees the entire history played out before him from Adam and Eve to the final messiah. However, the author of the Animal Apocalypse chose to depict all the humans as animals. It is vivid and wild....pun intended. But it serves to show how the Hebraic mind worked and just how much they incorporated animals and beasts into their culture and writings.
Let's look at this passage from the beginning of the Noah account in Genesis 7. God said...
"Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female" Genesis 7:2
Sounds pretty straight forward right? Well, if you read my other study mentioned in the first paragraph of this study, you will see that the word "Beast" is used over and over to depict people. Animals are used to depict people.
Think about the 4 Kingdom of Gentiles in Daniel. They were each depicted as "beasts".
But the words I want to look at from Genesis 7:2 are "MALE & FEMALE".
The Hebrew words used are:
Male - "iysh" H376
This word is ONLY used in the bible as: MAN, HUSBAND, HUMAN BEING, SERVANT, MANKIND, GREAT MAN, PERSON
It is NEVER used for animals.
In the KJV this word is used 1002 times to mean "man", 210 times to mean "men" and 69 times to mean "husband".
Now the word for female there is "ishshah" H802
This word is most of the time used the same way as : WOMAN, OPPOSITE OF MAN, WIFE, FEMALE.
Now I will say there are a few times where this word is used to depict female animals BUT the majority usage is PEOPLE in scripture. Couple that with the fact that "iysh" is ONLY EVER USED FOR MEN, OR HUMAN MAN, and we have a strong case here that the "male and female" mentioned in Genesis 7:2 is actually people rather than animals.
Imagine how much the story changes if Noah was actually bringing on board people of foreign ethnicity and different classes of people rather than literally every single animal every created. That would help answer a lot of questions indeed.
Plus, the image of a penguin, and a polar bear walking all the way from Antartica through the deserts of Israel onto the ark never did sit very well with me.
In verse 3 we see why these "males and females" were kept alive...
"to keep SEED alive upon the face of all the earth (land)."
Seed there is H2233 "zera"
It's main usages are : OFFSPRING, DESCENDANTS, CHILDREN
Does God ever refer to animals having babies as "SEED?"
Or does He CONSTANTLY refer to HUMANS having babies and descendants as "SEED"?
The fact that we see this word "seed" used all over the bible to speak of human offspring, adds to the case that we very well could be looking at Noah rounding up people for the ark. Of course animals most likely were included as other words used in the account seem to indicate so.
But in my opinion, there were more than just 8 humans on the ark according to the gathering of "iysh" and "ishshah".
Thanks a lot for reading. If you've enjoyed the study please give it a like and feel free to share it as you please. God Bless.