This chapter is about clean and unclean animals to eat and to touch. Since God forbid the Israelites to eat some foods yet permitted them to eat others we assume it was because some of them contained health risks. God is concerned about every aspect of our lives, including our diet. These were not just a lot of restrictions set forth for no reason. God was looking out for the well being of His people. If God is concerned with what we eat and our health, shouldn't we be concerned as much about ourselves?
Leviticus 11:1 "And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. 4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you."
God cares about our everyday life and eating is something we do every day. There seems to be an emphasis here placed on dividing the hoof and chewing the cud. All the animals viewed as clean by God were vegetarian in nature. Some believe that they were deemed clean because they were domesticated and overseen by man, not out in the wild, therefore they were not as apt to be infected by such pests as fleas, ticks and other parasites. Also, what they fed on was cleaner than those animals living in the wild.
Leviticus 11:9 "These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you."
Crawling creatures in the water were
forbidden. Only those with both fins and scales could be eaten. We do
not know why many of these food divisions were made. Only God knows, but
He had His reasons. God doesn't do anything for no reason.
24 "And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. 25 And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even."
God is not only concerned about what goes inside our bodies but also what comes into contact with the outside of our bodies. The Israelites were instructed not to even touch a dead carcass. We can be contaminated by external things such as what we read or what we look at as well as alcohol and drugs. Even the dishes in the kitchen were unclean if a rodent died and lay against them. This once again proves that God cares about the smallest details of our lives, even the dishes we eat from! All food, even that growing outdoors, was to be kept clean.
41 "And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. 44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy."
The creeping things represented the fall of man when the serpent was cursed and made to travel on its belly. God is holy and we are to model ourselves after Him and keep ourselves from all sin. Holiness in little things is essential in all we do, see, eat and touch.
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