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Leviticus 11:1-8

Context
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.

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.



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