Why Was There a Difference Between Clean, and Unclean Animals Loaded on Noah's Ark?

From Issue: Discovery 6/1/2002

Dear Jim,

The simple fact is, God never told us why He made a difference between “clean” and “unclean” animals when Noah loaded the ark. One reason may be because people in the Old Testament were commanded to offer the best of their clean animals as sacrifices to God. Perhaps by making certain animals “clean” and others “unclean,” and then requiring that only the clean animals could be used as sacrifices, God was able to teach people that He always deserved their very best. When one of King David’s men offered him an ox free of charge to use as a sacrifice to God, the king said: ”Nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). David knew that God deserved better. Although we cannot be certain,itseemsthatGodfirstbeganmaking a difference between “clean” and “unclean” animals so that people would know that He wanted their best.

Whatever reasons God had for telling Noah to take two of every unclean animal and seven of every clean animal on the ark, we can know they were good reasons. Abraham said in Genesis 18:25 that God, as “Judge of all the Earth,” always does “that which is right.” How very true! Isn’t it nice to serve a God Who has our best interests at heart-even if we don’t always understand why He does some of the things He does?


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