Q. I was reading a response to a question another reader had submitted. It was talking about Noah’s time. I got to thinking-if the law wasn’t given to Moses until 1000+ years later, how did Noah understand the concept of clean and unclean? I cant find any scripture that refers to it, so I was wondering how Noah knew.
A. This is a thinking person’s question. The only way is if Noah had been instructed in the Levitical system before the flood. If he was, that means that the sacrificial system was in place from the beginning, and only formalized at Mt. Sinai. There are other signs that this was in fact the case.
When Adam and Eve clothed themselves in leaves, they were in effect covering themselves by the works of their hands. In removing these garments and replacing them with animal skins, God showed them that it was by the shedding of innocent blood that they would be “covered” before Him.
When Cain brought an offering of vegetables it was refused. Abel’s sacrifice of the first born of his flock was accepted. God said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” (Gen. 4:6-7)
How could Cain know to do what is right unless he’d been taught? These two events give us clues that the sacrificial system was in effect from the beginning. Ever since the first sin, the model of the Messiah, whose innocent life would be sacrificed to cover us before God, had been taught to mankind.