Leviticus Chapter 11
And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.I hope your appetite is not with you because this is the chapter we learn of the diet Jesus requires. It is the separation of clean animals we have permission to consume and the unclean we are not to eat. For the land-base animals, they have to have parted hoofs and be cloven-footed as well as chew the cud; these we can eat. They need all three requirements for it to be consumed.
Now if it is like the swine (our good ole friend porky) that does have a parted hoof and is also cloven-footed, but does no chew the cud, we shall not eat it. It should not be consumed. It is because it is unclean to us and we will see why this is so significant even in our modern day of “cleaning” animals for consumption. Their dead flesh, we are not even supposed to touch, yet alone eat. There are reasons for this.
9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
For the animals that are in the waters, these are the ones we can eat. They must have fins and scales. Some modern day translations like to say fins or scales. Be careful with this. If they do not have fins and scales they should not be eaten, because they are an abomination to us. This is repeated from verses ten through twelve that sea animals without fins AND scales are an abomination to us. An example of sea animals without fins and scales is the catfish, the shrimp, the rich man’s lobster, squid, and shark. They are an abomination for us to consume.
For the animals that can fly or are of the bird family (called a fowl in the scriptures) there is more room to get around the dietary law with these if you desired to. The reason I say this is because the LORD gave general features with the land base animals and the sea based beast. With the fowls, they were named and no given feature was given. There is more leeway for you if you are confused if such a bird is clean or unclean if it is not listed within verses thirteen and twenty-four.
As you read those verses (13-24) you will notice these are large birds like vultures, eagles, and hawks. They also included what I call “weirdo” birds like the owl and the lapwing and bat. Also birds from “Sesame Street” (Big Birds) are mostly on the list for us not to consume. In verses twenty we do get some distinctions based on features such as all birds that creep on all fours are an abomination.
There is a distinction between birds that creep on all fours and bugs the fly that also creep on all fours (when you read verses 20-21 so you are not confused). Certain bugs are okay to eat. I remember watching one of those wildlife shows by the English wildlife guy, and he was eating all kinds of bugs for their protein value. Certain bugs are okay to eat, for instance, if you enjoy a chocolate covered grasshopper, bon appetite!
23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even.
If you eat anything unclean in ignorance you have sinned and need to be forgiven and avoid doing so in the future. If you touch an unclean beast you are unclean until the evening (and that is if you have washed yourself from head to toe). You must wash your cloths also and you’ll be unclean until the evening.
The God of Israel includes a few more animals that are also unclean to us such as the weasel, mouse, turtle, and lizard. I never knew catching a dead mouse in my house growing up made me unclean. If you have a mousetrap that finally caught that mouse in your house, if you have to touch it to dispose of it, you are unclean until the evening.
45 For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:
47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
The LORD is telling us that we should not make ourselves abominable by eating anything unclean or touching the carcass of any unclean beast or creeping thing. We need to sanctify (set apart) ourselves and be holy because our God is Holy. God is relaying this to the children of Israel because it is He that brought them out of the land of Egypt just like it is He that brings us out of the land of sin and corruption.
We are commanded to be holy because our God is Holy. This chapter ends telling us this is the law of the beasts and fowl and every living creature that moves on the earth and in the waters. God has made a difference between the clean and unclean and between the animals that can be eaten and the ones that should not be eaten.
It is for our own good to keep these for our physical health and for our spiritual health also. Later on we’ll learn some of the penalties for disregarding these commands from the God of Israel. Thank you for studying today with us, God bless you and we’ll see you next time in Jesus name.