Today we begin Genesis Chapter 7.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James version, click here
“Of every clean animal you are to take seven couples, and of the animals that are not clean, one couple.”
Notice that even at this early stage in the Scriptures way before the existence of the people of Israel and way before God ever gave the Torah to Moses, a distinction is being made between clean and unclean animals.
In Hebrew, clean is “TABOR” and unclean is “TAMEI“.
I can tell you quite honestly from my experience that most Christians do NOT have a proper understanding of the difference between “clean” and “unclean” animals.
However, there seems to be no end to the interesting (and frankly quite entertaining) theories that Gentile scholars will come up with.
For example, one Christian scholar has said that “clean animals” are those animals suitable for domestication and fellowship with man.
What is ironic about this situation is that any Jewish child (assuming he or she had undergone a proper Jewish education) right off the bat would be able to point out the difference between “clean” and “unclean”.
The difference is as follows:
“Clean animals” are those that are ritually pure…
“unclean animals” are NOT ritually pure.
And that’s it.
In simple terms, only clean animals can be used in the sacrifices to God and ONLY clean food can be eaten.
However, at this stage in human history, God had not yet permitted man to eat meat. Per God’s command, food at this stage was only green plants.
Notice also that only the unclean animals are to be brought in single pairs.
However, 7 pairs of the clean animals are to be brought in (14 animals for each one of the clean species).
Why were 7 pairs of the clean animals needed?
Well, think about it.
Clean animals are needed for the sacrificial offerings.
So if you only have one pair of a certain clean species and sacrifice one of the animals from that pair, that would be the extinction of that particular species.
God would never have been able to establish His sacrificial system if that happened.