Genesis 7: 2-10 2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal (a male and a female of each) and one pair of every kind of unclean animal (a male and a female). 3 Also, take seven pairs of every kind of bird (a male and a female of each) to preserve animal life all over the earth after the flood. 4 In seven days I will send rain to the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. I will wipe off the face of the earth every living creature that I have made.”
5 So Noah did everything that the LORD commanded him. 6 Noah was 600 years old when the flood came to the earth. 7 Noah, his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives went into the ship to escape the floodwaters. 8 Clean and unclean animals, birds, and creatures that crawl on the ground 9 came to Noah to go into the ship in pairs (a male and female of each) as God had commanded Noah. 10 Seven days later the flood came on the earth.
Didn’t it say in chapter 6 that God was going to limit the years people lived to 120? Maybe I missed something or Noah is just extra special, because he got on the ark at 600. Verse 7 says they went in to escape the floodwaters…the ones they knew were coming. I can just hear them saying, “Holy crap!! He was right!! Shit!! Run!!!!”
The real reason I find this passage pertinent and/or interesting is that verse 8 says that both clean and unclean animals came to Noah to get on the ark. First of all it’s interesting that God wants to save both clean and unclean animals. It just goes to show that nothing is really “unclean.” All of creation is good. We’ll get to Leviticus soon enough for that though. The other thing is that this is before they were given the dietary laws. How does Noah know what animals are clean and unclean? (Hint: Noah didn’t write it. Whoever did obviously came way later after they had those dietary laws. That means it probably wasn’t Moses either.) I don’t want to blow anyone’s head so I won’t go into detail on the theories about who wrote what and how you can tell in the Old Testament. It can get complicated quick.
Every culture separates things into clean and unclean. We’ll look at that more when we get to the dietary laws. Let’s just say that the reason we don’t eat dogs and horses in the US of A is more about culture than divine commandments.