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Leviticus 11:2-23

Context
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.

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.



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