Leviticus 11

1 What beasts may;

4 and what may not be eaten.

9 What fishes.

13 What fowls.

29 The creeping things which are unclean.


De 14:3-8; Eze 4:14; Da 1:8; Mt 15:11; Mr 7:15-19; Ac 10:12,14

Ro 14:2,3,14,15; 1Ti 4:4-6; Heb 9:10; 13:9Of the laws relative to clean and unclean beasts, which are recorded in this chapter and Deut. ch. 14 the following may be found a useful abstract. 1. In regard to quadrupeds, all beasts that have their feet completely cloven, above as well as below, and at the same time chew the cud, are clean. Those which have neither, or indeed want one of these distinguishing marks, are unclean. This is a systematic division of quadrupeds so excellent, as never yet, after all the improvements in natural history, to have become obsolete, but, on the contrary, to be still considered as useful by the greatest masters of the science. 2. With regard to fishes, Moses has in like manner, made a very simple systematic distinction. All that have scales and fins are clean; all others unclean. 3. Of birds, he merely specifies certain sorts as forbidden, thereby permitting all others to be eaten. 4. Insects, serpents, worms, etc., are prohibited; but with regard, however to those winged insects, which besides four walking legs, also have two longer springing legs, (Pedes saltatorii,) Moses makes an exception, and under the denomination of locusts, declares them clean in all four stages of their existence. In Palestine, Arabia, and the adjoining countries, locusts are one of the most common articles of food, and people would be very ill of if they durst not eat them: For, when a swarm of them desolates the fields, they prove in some measure themselves an antidote to the famine which they occasion. They are not only eaten fresh, immediately on their appearance, but the people collect them, and know a method of preserving them for a long time for food, after they have dried them in an oven. --Niebuhr's Description of Arabia, pp. 170-175.


Ps 1:1; Pr 9:6; 2Co 6:17


De 6:6,7; 16:3-8; Ps 1:2; Pr 2:1,2,10; Ac 17:11; 1Ti 4:15


the coney.{Shaphan,} most probably an animal resembling the rabbit, called by Dr. Shaw, {daman} (probably for {ganam}) Israel, "Israel's lamb," and by Bruce, {ashkoko,} which name he imagines is "derived from the singularity of these long herenacious hairs, which, like small thorns, grow about his back, and which an Amhara are called {ashok.}" This curious animal abounds in Judea, Palestine, Arabia, and Ethiopia; and is described as being about seventeen inches when sitting. It has no tail; and at first sight gives the idea of a rat. Its colour is grey, mixed with reddish brown; the belly white, the body covered with strong polished hairs, for the most part about two inches in length; the ears round, and not pointed; the feet round, of a soft, pulpy, tender substance; the toes projecting beyond the nails, which are rather broad than sharp; the upper jaw is longer than the other; it lives upon grain, fruit, and roots, and certainly chews the cud; and it does not burrow like the hare and rabbit, but lives in clefts of the rocks.

Ps 104:18; Pr 30:26

but divideth.

Job 36:14; Mt 7:26; Ro 2:18-24; Php 3:18,19; 2Ti 3:5; Tit 1:16

the hare.

De 14:7


De 14:8; Isa 65:4; 66:3,17; Mt 7:6; Lu 8:33; 15:15; 2Pe 2:18-22

they are unclean.

5:2; Isa 52:11; Ho 9:3; Mt 15:11,20; Mr 7:2,15,18; Ac 10:10-15

Ac 10:28; 15:29; Ro 14:14-17,21; 1Co 8:8; 2Co 6:17; Eph 5:7,11

Col 2:16,21-23; Heb 9:10

De 14:9,10; Ac 20:21; Ga 5:6; Jas 2:18; 1Jo 5:2-5

they shall be.

7:18; De 14:3; Ps 139:21,22; Pr 13:20; 29:27; Re 21:8



the eagle.In Hebrew, {nesher,} Chaldee, {neshar,} Syriac, {neshro,} and Arabic, {nishr,} the eagle, one of the largest, strongest, swiftest, fiercest, and most rapacious of the feathered race. His eye is large, dark, and piercing; his beak powerful and hooked; his legs strong and feathered; his feet yellow and armed with four very long and terrific claws; his wings very large and powerful; his body compact and robust; his bones hard; his flesh firm; his feathers coarse; his attitude fierce and erect; his motions lively; his flight extremely rapid and towering; and his cry the terror of every wing.

De 14:12-20; Job 28:7; 38:41; 39:27-30; Jer 4:13,22; 48:40; La 4:19

Ho 8:1; Hab 1:8; Mt 24:28; Ro 1:28-32; 3:13-17; Tit 3:3the ossifrage. {Peres,} from {paras} to break, probably the species of eagle anciently called {ossifraga} or bone-breaker, (from {os,} a bone, and {frango,} to break,) because it not only strips off the flesh, but breaks the bone, in order to extract the marrow. the ospray. Hebrew {ózniyah,} Arabic {azan,} and Chaldee {azyah,} (from {azaz,} to be strong,) a species of eagle, probably the black eagle, so remarkable for its strength.


Ge 8:7; 1Ki 17:4,6; Pr 30:17; Lu 12:24

De 14:15-18; Ps 102:6; Isa 13:21,22; 34:11-15; Joh 3:19-21

Eph 2:2,3; 4:18,19; 5:7-11; Php 3:18,19; 1Th 5:5-7; Re 18:2




23,27; De 14:19; 2Ki 17:28-41; Ps 17:14; Mt 6:24; Php 3:18,19

2Ti 4:10; 1Jo 2:15-17; Jude 1:10,19


Ex 10:4,5; Isa 35:3; Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6; Ro 14:1; 15:1; Heb 5:11

Heb 12:12,13


8,27,28,31,38-40; 17:15,16; Isa 22:14; 1Co 15:33; 2Co 6:17

Eph 2:1-3; 5:11; Col 2:16,17,20; Heb 9:26; 1Jo 1:7

wash his clothes, and be unclean.

28,40; 14:8; 15:5,7-11,13; 16:28; Ex 19:10,14; Nu 19:8,10,19,21,22

Nu 31:24; Ps 51:2,7; Zec 13:1; Joh 13:8; Ac 22:16; Heb 9:10; 10:22

1Pe 3:21; 1Jo 1:7; Re 7:14





shall wash.


creeping things that creep.

20,21,41,42; Ps 10:3; 17:13,14; Hag 2:6; Lu 12:15; 16:14; Joh 6:26

Joh 6:66; Eph 4:14; Php 3:19; Col 3:5; 2Ti 3:2-5; Heb 13:5



it must be put into water.

6:28; 15:12; Tit 2:14; 3:5

ye shall break it.

35; 14:45; Jer 48:38; 2Co 5:1-8; Php 3:21

Pr 15:8; 21:4,27; 28:8; Tit 1:15

they shall be.

33; 6:28; 15:12; 2Co 5:1-7

a fountain.

Zec 13:1; Joh 4:14

wherein there is plenty of water. Heb. a gathering togetherof waters.

sowing seed.

1Co 15:37; 1Pe 1:23; 1Jo 3:9; 5:18


24,28,31,40; 15:5,7; Nu 19:11,16


25; 17:15,16; 22:8; Ex 22:31; De 14:21; Isa 1:16; Eze 4:14; 36:25

Eze 44:31; Zec 13:1; 1Co 6:11; 10:21; 1Jo 1:7

shall wash.

28; 14:8,9; 15:5-10,27; 16:26,28; Nu 19:7,8,19


goeth upon the belly.

Ge 3:14,15; Isa 65:25; Mic 7:17; Mt 3:7; 23:23; Joh 8:44

2Co 11:3,13; Tit 1:12

hath more feet. Heb. doth multiply feet.

Ye shall.

41,42; 20:25

yourselves. Heb. your souls.

I am the.

Ex 20:2

ye shall.

10:3; 19:2; 20:7,26; Ex 19:6; De 14:2; 1Sa 6:20; Ps 99:5,9

Isa 6:3-5; Am 3:3; Mt 5:48; 1Th 4:7; 1Pe 1:15,16; 2:9; Re 22:11

that bringeth.

Ex 6:7; Ps 105:43-45

be holy.

44; Ex 6:7; 20:2; Ps 105:43-45; Ho 11:1; 1Th 4:7

This.The distinction of clean and unclean animals, (see note on Le 11:2) existed even before the flood, though it probably then only related to sacrifices; but at this time we find there were very particular laws enacted respecting the diet of the people, and the ceremonial uncleanness contracted by touching the carcases of unclean animals. The reasons for the enactment of these laws seem to be--1. As a test of obedience, and to teach the Israelites habits of self-denial, and the government of their appetites. 2. To keep them distinct from other nations, and consequently from their idolatrous usages, by throwing hindrances in the way of their social intercourse; for these distinctions were applicable both to persons and things. The Canaanites not only ate the animals prohibited by Moses, which we usually eat, but others also, among which dogs were one. Besides, many of those declared unclean were sacred among the heathen, and sacrificed to their gods. 3. Because those prohibited were innutritive and unwholesome; as the swine, the flesh of which being strong and difficult to digest, affords a very gross aliment, and produces, especially in hot climates, cutaneous, scrophulous, and scorbutic disorders, as the itch, leprosy, etc.

7:37; 14:54; 15:32; Eze 43:12

10:10; Eze 44:23; Mal 3:18; Ro 14:2,3,13-23
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