Let’s compare Genesis 6:19-20 and Genesis 7:2-3. In Genesis 6:19-20 we read, “And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive” (NKJV).   Genesis 7:2-3 says, “You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth” (NKJV).

Do you notice the differences in these two passages? In the first passage Noah was to take a male and a female of every kind of bird, animal and creeping thing TO KEEP THEM ALIVE. In other words, the main purpose was for the reproduction of each species. But in Genesis 7:2-3 God added that there should be SEVEN PAIRS OF EVERY CLEAN ANIMAL AND EVERY CLEAN BIRD. So, not only was it God’s intention to “preserve both clean and unclean animals,” but the number of clean animals and birds was to be SEVEN TIMES GREATER. I believe the reason for this is simple; Noah would need more clean animals and birds in order TO SACRIFICE THEM TO GOD. Genesis 8:20 supports this view, “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”

We may very well ask, “Why does God require sacrifices for sin?”  As soon as sin broke out in the Garden of Eden, God did an amazing thing for Adam and Eve, as we see in Genesis 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Because of sin Adam and Eve knew they were naked and in order to clothe them with “coats of skin” he had to SACRIFICE ANIMALS. And thus began the SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM that is seen throughout the Old Testament. Every animal that was sacrificed to God foreshadowed the sacrifice that the Lord Jesus Christ would make on the cross of Calvary so that our guilt and shame could be covered. And God made it clear that the animals that were sacrificed had to be “without blemish.” For example, in Exodus 12 we have the story of the Passover where Israel was commanded to sacrifice a lamb to God and in verse 5 God said, “Your lamb shall be WITHOUT BLEMISH.” Again, this lamb was a picture of Christ, Who is indeed perfect in every way. The apostle Peter was inspired to write of the perfection of Christ in 1st Peter 1:19 where he states that believers have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of A LAMB WITHOUT BLEMISH AND WITHOUT SPOT.” In our lesson today the CLEAN ANIMALS AND CLEAN BIRDS speak of this same blessed truth, for they clearly speak of the purity and absolute perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  (200.9)  (DO)