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Leviticus 11

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Clean and Unclean Land Creatures

11:1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 11:2 “Tell the Israelites: ‘This is the kind of creature you may eat from among all the animals 1  that are on the land. 11:3 You may eat any among the animals that has a divided hoof (the hooves are completely split in two 2 ) and that also chews the cud. 3  11:4 However, you must not eat these 4  from among those that chew the cud and have divided hooves: The camel is unclean to you 5  because it chews the cud 6  even though its hoof is not divided. 7  11:5 The rock badger 8  is unclean to you because it chews the cud even though its hoof is not divided. 11:6 The hare is unclean to you because it chews the cud even though its hoof is not divided. 11:7 The pig is unclean to you because its hoof is divided (the hoof is completely split in two 9 ), even though it does not chew the cud. 10  11:8 You must not eat from their meat and you must not touch their carcasses; 11  they are unclean to you.

Clean and Unclean Water Creatures

11:9 “‘These you can eat from all creatures that are in the water: Any creatures in the water that have both fins and scales, 12  whether in the seas or in the streams, 13  you may eat. 11:10 But any creatures that do not have both fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the streams, from all the swarming things of the water and from all the living creatures that are in the water, are detestable to you. 11:11 Since they are detestable to you, you must not eat their meat and their carcass you must detest. 11:12 Any creature in the water that does not have both fins and scales is detestable to you.

Clean and Unclean Birds

11:13 “‘These you are to detest from among the birds – they must not be eaten, because they are detestable: 14  the griffon vulture, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, 11:14 the kite, the buzzard of any kind, 15  11:15 every kind of crow, 16  11:16 the eagle owl, 17  the short-eared owl, the long-eared owl, the hawk of any kind, 11:17 the little owl, the cormorant, the screech owl, 11:18 the white owl, the scops owl, the osprey, 11:19 the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.

Clean and Unclean Insects

11:20 “‘Every winged swarming thing that walks on all fours 18  is detestable to you. 11:21 However, this you may eat from all the winged swarming things that walk on all fours, which have jointed legs 19  to hop with on the land. 11:22 These you may eat from them: 20  the locust of any kind, the bald locust of any kind, the cricket of any kind, the grasshopper of any kind. 11:23 But any other winged swarming thing that has four legs is detestable to you.

Carcass Uncleanness

11:24 “‘By these 21  you defile yourselves; anyone who touches their carcass will be unclean until the evening, 11:25 and anyone who carries their carcass must wash his clothes and will be unclean until the evening.

Inedible Land Quadrupeds

11:26 “‘All 22  animals that divide the hoof but it is not completely split in two 23  and do not chew the cud 24  are unclean to you; anyone who touches them becomes unclean. 25  11:27 All that walk on their paws among all the creatures that walk on all fours 26  are unclean to you. Anyone who touches their carcass will be unclean until the evening, 11:28 and the one who carries their carcass must wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean to you.

Creatures that Swarm on the Land

11:29 “‘Now this is what is unclean to you among the swarming things that swarm on the land: 27  the rat, the mouse, the large lizard of any kind, 11:30 the Mediterranean gecko, the spotted lizard, the wall gecko, the skink, and the chameleon. 11:31 These are the ones that are unclean to you among all the swarming things. Anyone who touches them when they die will be unclean until evening. 11:32 Also, anything they fall on 28  when they die will become unclean – any wood vessel or garment or article of leather or sackcloth. Any such vessel with which work is done must be immersed in water 29  and will be unclean until the evening. Then it will become clean. 11:33 As for any clay vessel they fall into, 30  everything in it 31  will become unclean and you must break it. 11:34 Any food that may be eaten which becomes soaked with water 32  will become unclean. Anything drinkable 33  in any such vessel will become unclean. 34  11:35 Anything their carcass may fall on will become unclean. An oven or small stove must be smashed to pieces; they are unclean, and they will stay unclean 35  to you. 11:36 However, a spring or a cistern which collects water 36  will be clean, but one who touches their carcass will be unclean. 11:37 Now, if such a carcass falls on any sowing seed which is to be sown, 37  it is clean, 11:38 but if water is put on the seed and such a carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.

Edible Land Quadrupeds

11:39 “‘Now if an animal 38  that you may eat dies, 39  whoever touches its carcass will be unclean until the evening. 11:40 One who eats from its carcass must wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening, and whoever carries its carcass must wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. 11:41 Every swarming thing that swarms on the land is detestable; it must not be eaten. 11:42 You must not eat anything that crawls 40  on its belly or anything that walks on all fours or on any number of legs 41  of all the swarming things that swarm on the land, because they are detestable. 11:43 Do not make yourselves detestable by any of the swarming things. 42  You must not defile yourselves by them and become unclean by them, 11:44 for I am the Lord your God and you are to sanctify yourselves and be holy because I am holy. You must not defile yourselves by any of the swarming things that creep on the ground, 11:45 for I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, 43  and you are to be holy because I am holy. 11:46 This is the law 44  of the land animals, the birds, all the living creatures that move in the water, and all the creatures 45  that swarm on the land, 11:47 to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between the living creatures that may be eaten and the living creatures that must not be eaten.’”

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1 tn Heb “the animal,” but as a collective plural, and so throughout this chapter.

2 tn Heb “every divider of hoof and cleaver of the cleft of hooves”; KJV, ASV “parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted.”

3 tn Heb “bringer up of the cud” (a few of the ancient versions include the conjunction “and,” but it does not appear in the MT). The following verses make it clear that both dividing the hoof and chewing the cud were required; one of these conditions would not be enough to make the animal suitable for eating without the other.

4 tn Heb “this,” but as a collective plural (see the following context).

5 sn Regarding “clean” versus “unclean,” see the note on Lev 10:10.

6 tn Heb “because a chewer of the cud it is” (see also vv. 5 and 6).

7 tn Heb “and hoof there is not dividing” (see also vv. 5 and 6).

8 sn A small animal generally understood to be Hyrax syriacus; KJV, ASV, NIV “coney”; NKJV “rock hyrax.”

9 tn See the note on Lev 11:3.

10 tn The meaning and basic rendering of this clause is quite certain, but the verb for “chewing” the cud here is not the same as the preceding verses, where the expression is “to bring up the cud” (see the note on v. 3 above). It appears to be a cognate verb for the noun “cud” (גֵּרָה, gerah) and could mean either “to drag up” (i.e., from the Hebrew Qal of גָרָר [garar] meaning “to drag,” referring to the dragging the cud up and down between the stomach and mouth of the ruminant animal; so J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:647, 653) or “to chew” (i.e., from the Hebrew Niphal [or Qal B] of גָרָר used in a reciprocal sense; so J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 149, and compare BDB 176 s.v. גָרַר, “to chew,” with HALOT 204 s.v. גרר qal.B, “to ruminate”).

11 sn The regulations against touching the carcasses of dead unclean animals (contrast the restriction against eating their flesh) is treated in more detail in Lev 11:24-28 (cf. also vv. 29-40). For the time being, this chapter continues to develop the issue of what can and cannot be eaten.

12 tn Heb “all which have fin and scale” (see also vv. 10 and 12).

13 tn Heb “in the water, in the seas and in the streams” (see also vv. 10 and 12).

14 tn For zoological remarks on the following list of birds see J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:662-64; and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 159-60.

15 tn Heb “and the buzzard to its kind” (see also vv. 16 and 19 for the same expression “of any kind”).

16 tn Heb “every crow to its kind.” Many English versions (e.g., KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) render this as “raven.”

17 tn Literally, “the daughter of the wasteland.” Various proposals for the species of bird referred to here include “owl” (KJV), “horned owl” (NIV, NCV), and “ostrich” (ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT).

18 tn Heb “the one walking on four” (cf. vv. 21-23 and 27-28).

19 tn Heb “which to it are lower legs from above to its feet” (reading the Qere “to it” rather than the Kethib “not”).

20 tn For entomological remarks on the following list of insects see J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:665-66; and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 160-61.

21 tn Heb “and to these.”

22 tn Heb “to all” (cf. the note on v. 24). This and the following verses develop more fully the categories of uncleanness set forth in principle in vv. 24-25.

23 tn Heb “divides hoof and cleft it does not cleave”; KJV “divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted”; NLT “divided but unsplit hooves.”

24 tn See the note on Lev 11:3.

25 sn Compare the regulations in Lev 11:2-8.

26 tn Heb “the one walking on four.” Compare Lev 11:20-23.

27 tn For zoological analyses of the list of creatures in vv. 29-30, see J. Milgrom, Leviticus (AB), 1:671-72; and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 161-62.

28 tn Heb “And all which it shall fall on it from them.”

29 tn Heb “in water it shall be brought.”

30 tn Heb “And any earthenware vessel which shall fall from them into its midst.”

31 tn Heb “all which is in its midst.”

32 tn Heb “which water comes on it.”

33 tn Heb “any drink which may be drunk”; NASB “any liquid which may be drunk”; NLT “any beverage that is in such an unclean container.”

34 tn This half of the verse assumes that the unclean carcass has fallen into the food or drink (cf. v. 33 and also vv. 35-38).

35 tn Heb “be unclean.”

36 tn Heb “a spring and a cistern collection of water”; NAB, NIV “for collecting water.”

37 tn Heb “And if there falls from their carcass on any seed of sowing which shall be sown.”

38 tn This word for “animal” refers to land animal quadrupeds, not just any beast that dwells on the land (cf. 11:2).

39 tn Heb “which is food for you” or “which is for you to eat.”

40 tn Heb “goes” (KJV, ASV “goeth”); NIV “moves about”; NLT “slither along.” The same Hebrew term is translated “walks” in the following clause.

41 tn Heb “until all multiplying of legs.”

42 tn Heb “by any of the swarming things that swarm.”

43 tn Heb “to be to you for a God.”

44 sn The Hebrew term translated “law” (תוֹרָה, torah) introduces here a summary or colophon for all of Lev 11. Similar summaries are found in Lev 7:37-38; 13:59; 14:54-57; and 15:32-33.

45 tn Heb “for all the creatures.”



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