-This section jumps back into instructions for the people after a short narrative break in chapter ten. Chapter eleven gives the children of Israel dietary restrictions for the health and holiness of their nation (Leviticus 11:45-47). From this list we can discern foods that are good for us to eat from the animal kingdom. These include the cud chewing animals that divide the hoof: cows, sheep (lamb), goats, deer, to name some. Winged animals that are not scavengers, which include chickens, pheasants, quail, turkeys, and the like. Fish with fins and scales are fine to devour, which include catfish, salmon, grouper, tilapia, sharks, as well as many others. Insects are permitted to be consumed too, as long as they have “jointed legs with which to jump on the earth (Leviticus 11:21).” Among those listed are “the locust in its kinds, the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds (Leviticus 11:22).” That’s an impressive list to choose from and should keep us satisfied.
-However, there were some foods declared unclean and outlawed from consumption. The animals that did not both divide the hoof and chew the cud were restricted. These include the camel, the shaphan (rock badger, coney), the rabbit, and the pig (swine). In the sea and rivers, crustaceans and anything else without fins or scales was outlawed. So long lobster, crawfish, and crab meat, and oysters for example. Scavenger birds and predators are negated. These involve by list: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, the falcon, the raven, the ostrich, the owl, the sea gull, the hawk, the cormorant, the pelican, the stork, the heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. Swarming things (reptiles and rodents) and insects that are winged and walk on all fours were to be detested and declared unclean. Also, whatever walks on its paws, like felines and canines, were abominable to eat for food.
-Details were given to wash away uncleanness when carcasses of these unlawful animals, and even some live ones, were touched or came in contact with various things. The point was to consecrate themselves holy before the LORD in His desires for cleanness. God makes distinction in these matters for good reason.
-*Application* Good science also supports the clean verses the unclean designations for animals that can and cannot be eaten. God knows the make-up of man and what he needs for nutrition and longevity. He is great and completely loving to give us these food laws for soundness and well-being. Applying these rules, even though they were relaxed with Christ Jesus’ greater understanding in the New Testament dispensation (Mark 7:18-19, Acts 10; 15), help us to avoid contamination and corruption in our physical bodies. Any study that you want to examine will verify that the following of these eating patterns produces the healthiest way to live. Why question God? He’s got all the answers from the get go.
Verses to Memorize: Leviticus 11:45-47