And Noah built an altar to the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
I. THERE IS AN EVIDENT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SACRIFICE OF NOAH AND THOSE OF CAIN AND ABEL. Here, under God's guidance, the mound of turf gives place to the altar which is built. An idea is discovered in the dignity of the inferior creatures; the worthiest are selected for an oblation to God; the fire which consumes, the flame which ascends, are used to express the intention of him who presents the victim.
II. WE MUST FEEL THAT THERE WAS AN INWARD PROGRESS IN THE HEART OF MAN corresponding to this progress in his method of uttering his submission and his aspirations. Noah must have felt that he was representing all human beings; that he was not speaking what was in himself so much as offering the homage of the restored universe.
III. THE FOUNDATION OF SACRIFICE IS LAID IN THE FIXED WILL OF GOD; in His fixed purpose to assert righteousness; in the wisdom which adapts its means to the condition of the creature for whose sake they are used. The sacrifice assumes eternal right to be in the Ruler of the universe, all the caprice to have come from man, from his struggle to be an independent being, from his habit of distrust. When trust is restored by the discovery that God means all for his good, then he brings the sacrifice as a token of his surrender.
(F. D. Maurice, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.