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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Leviticus 11

 

 

Introduction

PART THIRD THE LAWS OF PURITY

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Leviticus 11-15

The Preliminary Conditions of Sacrifice: the Typical Cleanness and Purifying”—Lange.

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PRELIMINARY NOTE ON CLEAN AND UNCLEAN ANIMALS—AND ON DEFILEMENT BY CONTACT

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There has been no little debate as to the origin and ground of the distinction between clean and unclean animals. Such a question can only be settled historically. In Genesis 7:2 Noah is directed to take into the ark “of every clean beast by sevens, the male and his female,” while “of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.” There was then already a recognized distinction, and this distinction had nothing to do with the use of animal food, since this had not yet been allowed to man. After the flood, when animal food was given to man ( Genesis 9:3), it was given without limitation. “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” It may therefore be confidently affirmed that this distinction did not have its origin and ground in the suitableness or unsuitableness of different kinds of animal food, as has been contended by many. Neither could it possibly have been founded in any considerations peculiar to the chosen people, since it is here found existing so many ages before the call of Abraham. Immediately after the flood, however, we have a practical application of the distinction which seems to mark its object with sufficient plainness: “Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar” ( Genesis 8:20). The original distinction must therefore be held to have been between animals fit and unfit for sacrifice (comp. Calvin in Leviticus 11:1). On what ground the selection was originally made for sacrifice is wholly unknown; but it is altogether probable that the same kind of animals which were “clean” in the time of Noah were included in the list of the clean under the Levitical law. Many of the latter, however, were not allowable for sacrifice under the same law, nor is it likely that, they ever were; on the other hand, all were admissible for food in Noah’s time, while under the Levitical law many are forbidden. While, therefore, the original distinction must be sought in sacrificial use, it is plain that the details of this distinction are largely modified under the Levitical law prescribing the animals that may be allowed for food.

When inquiry is now made as to the grounds of this modification, the only reason given in the law itself is comprehensive ( Leviticus 11:43-47; Leviticus 20:24-26; Deuteronomy 14:21): “For I am the Lord your God; ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy.” “I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.” This points plainly to the separation of the Israelites by their prescribed laws of food from other nations; and it is indisputable that the effect of these laws was to place almost insurmountable impediments in the way of familiar social intercourse between the Israelites and the surrounding heathen. When this separation was to be broken down in the Christian Church, an intimation to that effect could not be more effectively conveyed than by the vision of St. Peter of a sheet let down “wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air,” with the command, “Rise, Peter, kill and eat” ( Acts 10:13). The effectiveness of the separation, however, is to be sought in the details, not in the general character of the distinction, as it is now well known that the ordinary diet of the Egyptians and other nations of antiquity was substantially the same with that of the Israelites. Various reasons given by the fathers and others, with replies showing their fallacy, may be found in Spencer, de leg. Hebr. I. c. vii, § 1, what he considers the true reasons (seven in number) being given in the following section. Comp. also Calvin in Leviticus 11:1.

It is to be observed that the distinction of clean and unclean animals has place only at their death. All living animals were alike clean, and the Hebrew had no scruple in handling the living ass or even the dog. The lion and the eagle, too, as has been well observed by Clark, were used in the most exalted symbolism of prophetic imagery. But as soon as the animals were dead, a question as to their cleanness arose; this depended on two points: a) the manner of the animal’s death; and b) the nature of the animal itself. All animals whatever which died of themselves were unclean to the Israelites, although they might be given or sold to “strangers” ( Deuteronomy 14:21), and the touch of their carcasses communicated defilement ( Leviticus 11:39-40). This then was one broad distinction of the law, and was evidently based upon the fact that from such animals the blood had not been withdrawn.

But a difference is further made between animals, even when properly slaughtered. In a very general way, the animals allowed are such as have been generally recognized among all nations and in all ages as most suitably forming the staple of animal food; yet the law cannot be considered as founded upon hygienic or any other principles of universal application, since no such distinction was recognized, in the grant to Noah. Moreover, the obligation of its observance was expressly declared to have been abrogated by the council at Jerusalem, Acts 15. The distinction was therefore temporary, and peculiar to the chosen people. Its main object, as already shown, was to keep them a separate people, and it is invested with the solemnity of a religious observance. In providing regulations for this purpose, other objects were doubtless incidentally regarded, such as laws of health, etc., some of which are apparent upon the surface, while others lie hidden in our ignorance of local customs and circumstances.

Before closing this note it is worthy of remark that the dualistic notions which formed the basis of the distinction between clean and unclean animals among the Persians were absolutely contradicted by the theology of the Israelites. Those animals were clean among the Parsees which were believed to have been created by Ormuzd, while those which proceeded from the evil principle, Ahriman, were unclean. The Hebrews, on the contrary, were most emphatically taught to refer the origin of all things to Jehovah, and however absolute might be the distinction among animals, it was yet a distinction between the various works of the one Creator.

The general principles of determination of clean animals were the same among the Israelites as among other ancient nations; in quadrupeds, the formation of the foot and the method of mastication and digestion; among birds, the rejection as unclean of birds of prey; and among fish, the obvious possession of fins and scales. All these marks of distinction in the Levitical law are wisely and even necessarily made on the basis of popular observation and belief, not on that of anatomical exactness. Otherwise the people would have been continually liable to error. Scientifically, the camel would be said to divide the hoof, and the hare does not chew the cud. But laws for popular use must necessarily employ terms as they are popularly understood. These matters are often referred to as scientific errors; whereas they were simply descriptions, necessarily popular, for the understanding and enforcement of the law.

Defilement by contact comes forward very prominently in this chapter, as it is also frequently mentioned elsewhere. It is not strange that in a law whose educational purpose is everywhere so plain, this most effective symbolism should hold a place, and the contaminating effect of converse with evil be thus impressed upon this people in their spiritual infancy. It thus has its part with all other precepts of ceremonial cleanness in working out the great spiritual purposes of the law. But beyond this, there is here involved the great truth, but imperfectly revealed under the old dispensation, that the body, as well as the soul, has its part in the relations between God and man. The body, as well as the soul, was a sufferer by the primeval sentence upon sin, and the body, as well as the soul, has part in the redemption of Christ, and awaits the resurrection of the just. The ascetic notions of the mediæval ages regarded the body as evil in a sense entirely incompatible with the representations of Scripture. For not merely is the body the handmaid of the soul, and the necessary instrument of the soul’s action, but the service of the body as well as the soul is recognized in the New Testament (e.g., Romans 12:1) as a Christian duty. On its negative side, at least, this truth was taught under the old dispensation by the many laws of bodily purity, the series of which begins in this chapter. The laws of impurity from physical contact stand as an appendix to the laws of food and as an introduction to the other laws of purity, and form the connecting link between them.


Verses 1-47

FIRST SECTION

Laws of Clean and Unclean Food

The Cleanness of the Sacrifice—or the Contrast of the Clean and Unclean Animals.”—Lange

Leviticus 11:1-47

1And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts [animals[FN1]] which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth 3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven footed [and completely separates the hoof[FN2]], 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,[FN3] 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 cloven footed [and completely separates the hoof[FN4]], 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.

[FN5]9These 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: 11they shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. [FN6]12Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you 13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle,[FN7] and the ossifrage,[FN8] and the 14 ospray,8 and the vulture, [FN9] and the kite[FN10] after his kind; [FN11] 15every raven after his kind; 16and the owl [ostrich[FN12]], and the night hawk [owl[FN13]], and the cuckow [gull[FN14]], and the hawk after his kind, 17and the little owl,[FN15] and the cormorant, and the great 18 owl,[FN16] and the swan,[FN17] and the pelican, and the gier eagle [vulture[FN18]], 19and the stork,[FN19] the[FN20] heron[FN21] after her kind, and the lapwing [hoopoe[FN22]], and the bat.

20All 11 fowls that creep [all winged creeping things[FN23]], going upon all four, shall bean abomination unto you 21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have[FN24] legs above their feet, to leap withal[FN25] upon 22 the earth; even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust[FN26] after his kind, and the beetle26 after his kind, and the grasshopper after his 23 kind. But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you 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.

26 The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not cloven footed, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them[FN27] shall be unclean 27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts[FN28] that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even 28 And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you.

29These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel,[FN29] and the mouse, and the tortoise [the great lizard[FN30]] after his kind, 30and the ferret [gecko[FN31]], and the chameleon [strong lizard[FN32]], and the lizard [climbing lizard[FN33]], and the snail [lizard[FN34]], and the mole [chameleon[FN35]]. 31These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even 32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel [thing[FN36]] of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel [thing35] it be, wherein [wherewith35] any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed 33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it 34 Of all meat [food[FN37]] which may be eaten, that on which such [om. such[FN38]] water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be 35 unclean. And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges[FN39] for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you 36 Nevertheless a fountain[FN40] or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which[FN41] toucheth their 37 carcase shall be unclean. And if any part of their carcase fall upon any[FN42] sowing 38 seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you.

39And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcase thereof[FN43] shall be unclean until the even 40 And he that eateth of the carcase of it 42 shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it 42 shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.

41And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten 42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly,[FN44] and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them 43 ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall 44 ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. 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 45 thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the Lord[FN45] that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

46This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: 47to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast[FN46] that may be eaten and the beast45 that may not be eaten.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

Leviticus 11:2. הַחַיָּה is a different word from בְּהֵמָה in the following clause, and the difference should be recognized in the translation, as it is in the Semitic versions. The former is the more general term, the latter (comp. Genesis 1:24) refers to the quadrupeds included in this section ( Leviticus 11:1-8) in contradistinction from birds and reptiles.

Leviticus 11:3. וְשֹׁסַעַת שֶׁסַע פְּרָסֹת. The idea is that of not merely partially (like the camel), but completely dividing the hoof. The Sam, LXX, Syr. and nine MSS. make this still more indefinite by inserting שְׁתִּי=two before the last word.

Leviticus 11:5. הַשָּׁפן. The animal is indicated here as one that chews the cud (or appears to do so), in Psalm 104:18; Proverbs 30:26, as living in the rocks, and in the latter as being very weak. It occurs elsewhere only in the parallel place, Deuteronomy 14:7. Here the LXX. renders it δασύπους, Aq. λαγωός; in Deuteronomy 14:7, the LXX. has χοιρογρύλλιος=bristly animal, which is adopted by the Vulg. in both places. The Sam. translates it Vabr, the Hyrax Syriacus, which is said to be still called tsofun in Southern Arabia. First says: “The Targ. points to the same animal when it translates טַפְסָא,טַוְזָא,טַפְזָא (leaper) since the Vabr goes by leaps.” The Duke of Argyle (Reign of Law, p264) speaks of a specimen of it in the Zoological Gardens, and states that in the structure of the teeth and the foot it is assimilated to the rhinoceros. Cuvier classed it with the pachyderms. The Rabbins understood it to be a rabbit, and were followed by Luther and the A. V. in the old word Coney. Bochart (Hieroz. Lib. III, c33) understands it of the Jerboa or bear-mouse, and so Gesenius, Geddes and others. Although the word in the A. V. is certainly wrong, yet as it is obsolete, it seems unnecessary to make a change which could only be either to the Heb. word, or to the scientific name.

Leviticus 11:7. The construction is the same as in Leviticus 11:3. See note2.

Leviticus 11:9. The Sam, one MS, the LXX. and Syr. prefix the conjunction וְ.

Leviticus 11:12. The same, with fourteen MSS, here prefix the conjunction.

Leviticus 11:13. נֶשֶׁר is uniformly translated eagle in the A. V, ἀετός in the LXX, and aquila in the Vulg. Kalisch says this “is beyond a doubt.” The same meaning is given by Fürst and Gesenius, although both would include also the sense of vulture. Clark's proposed emendation, the great vulture, seems therefore unnecessary.

Leviticus 11:13. עָזְנִיָה פֶּרֶם. Both, by preponderance of authority, species of eagles, and the former sufficiently well described by ossifrage; the latter species is not certainly identified, the word occurring only here and in the parallel, Deuteronomy 14:12. The LXX. renders ἁλιαίετος=sea eagle, Fürst prefers Valeria, the black eagle. Kalisch prefers the sense vulture. Gesen. (Thesaur.), black eagle.

Leviticus 11:14. דָּאָה, a word, ἁπ. λεγ. In the parallel passage, Deuteronomy 14:13, it is רָאָה. Its etymology indicates a ravenous bird of swift flight. LXX. γύψ=vulture, Vulg. milvus=kite. Bochart considers it a species of hawk or falcon. So Kalisch. In Deuteronomy 14:13 there is mentioned also דִּיָה, making twenty-one varieties of birds; but that word in Deut. is omitted by the Sam. and four MSS.

Leviticus 11:14. אַיָּה is only to be identified by the fact that it here stands for the name of a class—after his Kind, and that in Job 28:7 it is spoken of for its great keenness of sight. The LXX. renders here kite, in Deut. and Job vulture. Clark makes it milvus regalis.

Leviticus 11:15 and Leviticus 11:20. The Sam, many MSS. and versions prefix the conjunction.

Leviticus 11:16. בַּת הַיַּעֲנָה. LXX. στρουθός. The word is uniformly rendered owl in the text of the A. V.; but in the marg. of Job 30:29; Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:13; Isaiah 43:20, it is rendered ostrich in accordance with the Targ, LXX, Vulg. and Syr, and there can be no doubt that this is the true sense. The fem. stands for the bird collectively, of both sexes. Rosen.: “Vox, בַּת, apposita est ex more quodam Orientalium, qui nomina pater, mater, fuius, filia, animalium quoruneam nominibns præfigrere solent sine respectu ætatis et sexus.” Bochart, however, thinks it means distinctively the female.

Leviticus 11:16. תַּחְמָם (from חָמַם, to do violence), interpreted by Bochar, and others on his authority, of the male ostrich; but this is now generally rejected. The Targ. Onk. has צִיצָא, and Targ. Jerus. חַטְפִיתָא swallow. Others (Knobel) consider it the cuckoo; but the rendering of the LXX. and Vulg, owl, is now adopted more generally than any other.

Leviticus 11:16. שַׁחַף occurs only here and in Deuteronomy 14:15. Knobel understands it of a species of hawk trained in Syria for hunting gazelles, etc.; but most other interpreters understand it of a sea bird, whether the stormy petrel (Bochart) or more generally the sea gull alter the Vulg. and LXX. λάρος.

Leviticus 11:17. כּוֹם. There seems no sufficient reason to question the accuracy of the A. V, which is substantially that of the ancient versions. Tristram identities it with the Athene meridionalis common in Syria. Bochart, however, would render Pelican, and Riggs Night-hawk.

Leviticus 11:17. The A. V. is probably right. The LXX, Vulg. and Targ. Onk. have Ibis. which seems to have arisen from a misplacement of the words of the text, rather than from a different translation of יַנְשׁוּף. They are followed by Riggs and others.

Leviticus 11:18. תִּנְשֶׁמֶת. The same word is used, Leviticus 11:30, for mole (probably chameleon): here it refers to a bird, and it is likely that this is the word for which Ibis stands in the LXX. and Vulg. But it is not probable that the Israelites would have come much in contact with the Ibis. The preponderance of authority (see Fürst) is for some variety of owl, according to the Chald, Syr. and Sam.; but there does not appear to be sufficient certainty to warrant a change in the text of the A. V.

Leviticus 11:18. רָחָם LXX. rendering doubtful. The best authorities agree that some species of vulture is meant. Gesenius (thesaur.) would make it a very small species, of the size of a crow. Others consider it most probably the large Egyptian vulture, Neophron percnopterus. Perhaps something of this kind was meant by gier eagie. Kalisch, governed only by the order of the birds, would translate pelican.

Leviticus 11:19. חֲסִידָה, LXX, Aq, Symm, Theod, heron, but LXX. in Job 39:13 stork. Either bird answers well enough to the etymology and to the passages when it occurs, and stork is as likely to be right as heron.

Leviticus 11:19. The Sam. and sixteen MSS. prefix the conjunction which is found in the parallel place in Deut. For the want of it Knobel would connect the word with the preceding as an adjective; but it seems better to consider it as an accidental omission.

Leviticus 11:19. אֲנָפָה. The meaning of the rendering in Targ. Onk. is unknown, Syr. retains the Heb. word, LXX. χαραδριός, a bird chiefly remarkable for its greediness. The Heb. etymology is uncertain. Clark identifies it with the great plover (Charadrius œdicnemus). Fürst defines it Parrot, and so Gesen. Bochart, following the etymology of the Rabbits, defines it the angry bird, and considers it some species of eagle. It seems probable that the A. V. is wrong, but difficult to determine upon a substitute.

Leviticus 11:19. דּוּכִיפַת. The bird intended has not been certainly identified; but the authority of the LXX, ἔποπα, and Vulg, upupa, is here followed. The Arab. adopts it, and it is followed by Riggs. Bochart would render mountain cock alter the Chald.

Leviticus 11:20. כֹּל שֶׁרֶץ הָעוֹף. The idea of fowls that creep is not less strange and grotesque in Heb. than in English. The word שֶׁרֶץ by its etymology means those creatures that multiply abundantly, swarm, whence it came to be applied to very much the same creatures as we mean by vermin. It can hardly be better expressed than by creeping things. Going upon all four does not necessarily mean having just lour feet, but going with the body in a horizontal position.

Leviticus 11:21. For the לֹא of the text the k’ri has לוֹ, and so the Sam. and many MSS. So it must necessarily be understood, as it is in the versions.

Leviticus 11:21. For בָּהֵן the Sam. and thirty-seven MSS. have בָּהֵם.

Leviticus 11:22. Beetle is certainly wrong; for this, like the rest, must have been one of the leaping insects. There are no means of identifying these four varieties. Each of them stands for a class “after his kind.” Two of them, the סָלְעָם and the חַרְֹגּל, do not occur elsewhere. The others are of frequent occurrence, and are uniformly translated in the A. V. the first, locust, the last grasshopper. It would probably be better in the other cases to follow the example of the older English and most modern versions in giving simply the Hebrew names without attempting translation.

Leviticus 11:26. Six MSS. and the LXX. specify, what is sufficiently plain, their carcases.

Lev 11:27. See note 1 on Lev 11:2.

Leviticus 11:29. חֹלֶד occurs nowhere else. The A. V. seems justified in following the LXX. and Targ, although Bochart would render mole, which is still called Chuld by the Arabs.

Leviticus 11:29. צָב, a word in this sense, ἁπ. λέγ. There seems no doubt that this and all the names following in Leviticus 11:30 indicate various species of lizard. So Riggs. This particular one is called by the LXX. κροκόδυλος χερσαῖος=land crocodile, and so St. Jerome. Bochart considers it a kind of large lizard abounding in Syria, often two feet long. Tristam identifies it with the uromastix spinipes. The translation proposed by Clark, the great lizard, is probably as good as can be had.

Leviticus 11:30. אֲנָקָה in this sense only here. LXX. μυγάλη=shrew mouse; Onk. יָלֵי=hedge hog; the other oriental versions by various names of lizard. Almost all the authorities concur in making it some variety of lizard. Knobel is certainly wrong in identifying it with the Lacerta Nilotica, an animal four feet long. Fürst only so far defines it as “a reptile with a long narrow neck.” The translation of Rosenmüller, lacerta gecko, seems as probable as any.

Leviticus 11:30. כֹּחַ, a word of frequent occurrence for strength, power, but as a name of an animal occurring only here. The etymology seems to indicate a characteristic of strength (although Furst makes it the slimy), and the connection, same variety of lizard. The translation chameleon is derived from the LXX, and is probably wrong. Keil shows that Knobel (followed by Clark) is in error in translating by frog. The uncertainty is too great to substitute another word for that of the A. V, which yet must be changed, because the last name belongs to the chameleon. The etymology simply is therefore indicated.

Leviticus 11:30. לְטָאָה, another word, ἁπ. λέγ. LXX. καλαβώτης, Vulg. stellio. Knobel makes it a crawling, and Fuerst a climbing lizard. The latter is adopted as a probable sense in order to avoid confusion in the text.

Leviticus 11:30. חמֶֹט, also ἁπ. λέγ. LXX. σαῦρα, Vulg. lacerta, and so also the Syr. The A. V. comes from the Targ. Jesus, and Rabbinical authorities. Otherwise there is a general agreement with Bochart that it should be rendered lizard.

Leviticus 11:30. תִּנְשָׁמֶת, has already occurred, Leviticus 11:18, as the name of a bird. Here it is some variety of lizard, and from its etymology—נָשַׁם, to breathe, to draw in air—there is a good degree of unanimity in understanding it of the chameleon, either as inflating itself, or as popularly supposed to live on air.

Leviticus 11:32. כְּלִי is evidently here used, as in Exodus 22:6 (7), in its most comprehensive sense. It is only limited by the clause wherewith any work is done. This change of course makes it necessary to translate בָּהֶם, wherewith, instead of wherein.

Leviticus 11:34. אֹכֶל means any kind of food, especially cereal. The English meat is now so altered in sense that it is better to change it.

Leviticus 11:34. The word such is unfortunately inserted in the A. V. The idea is (comp. Leviticus 11:38) that all meat prepared with water should be rendered unclean by the falling of any of these animals upon it.

Leviticus 11:35. כִּירַיִם occurs only here, and there is much question as to its meaning. According to Keil it “can only signify, when used in the dual, a vessel consisting of two parts, i.e. a pan or pot with a lid.” So Knobel and the Targums; others a support for the pot like a pair of bricks, LXX. χυρτόπους; others, as Fürst, “a cooking furnace, probably consisting of two ranges of stones which met together in a sharp angle.”

Leviticus 11:36. The Sam. and LXX. add of waters.

Leviticus 11:36. Rosenmüller, Keil, and others understand this in the masculine, he who, viz. in removing the carcase. The meaning, however, seems to be more general: the person or the thing touching the carcase, in removing it or otherwise.

Leviticus 11:37. The Sam, two MSS, and Vulg. omit any; but two MSS. and the LXX. insert it before seed in the following verse.

Leviticus 11:39-40. Several MSS. and the LXX. have the plural in these places.

Leviticus 11:42. The letter ו in גִּחוֹן=belly is printed in larger type in the Heb. Bibles to indicate that it is the middle letter of the Pentateuch.

Leviticus 11:45. The Sam, two MSS. and the Syr. add, as in Leviticus 11:44, your God.

Lev 11:47. See note on Lev 11:2.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

The whole of Lange’s “Exegetical” is here given in full, the remarks of the translator being added in square brackets.

“Cleanness as a condition of the sacrifices—the cleanness of the sacrificial animals, and the cleanness to be regained through the purification of men and of human conditions. Leviticus 11-15. ‘These are regarded in the law as defiling: the use of certain animals, and the touching a carcase ( Leviticus 11); the confinement of a woman ( Leviticus 12); the leprosy ( Leviticus 13:14); the issue of seed of a man ( Leviticus 15:1-15); the involuntary emission of semen (ib. Leviticus 15:15-16); the carnal conjunction of the sexes (ib. Leviticus 15:18); the menses of a woman (ib. Leviticus 15:19-24); and the lasting issue of blood of the same (ib. Leviticus 15:25-30); to which Numbers 19:11-22 adds the touching the dead; but the things mentioned do not all give the same uncleanness,’ etc. Knobel, p432. The priests were to administer the laws of cleanness and of purification, so to speak, as the religious district physicians of the theocracy. On the laws of the Gentiles about cleanness, see Knobel, pp436–40; on the animals, pp 443 ss. (the detailed presentation).”

“Chap11. The cleanness of the sacrifice, or the contrast of the clean and unclean animals. The clean sacrificial animal is marked out from the four-footed beasts by two characteristics: cleaving the hoof and chewing the cud. The cloven hoof distinguishes the slow-moving, tame animal, naturally adapted to domestication, from the single-hoofed animal, naturally wild, although sometimes capable of being tamed. The rumination characterizes quiet, dispassionate, graminivorous animals, as opposed to the carnivorous beasts of prey, and the unclean omnivorous beasts.”

“Thus especially are the one-hoofed excluded, although they chew the cud; the camel, and (as stated) the rock badger, the hare. And so with those that cleave the hoof and do not chew the cud—the swine. And, of course, the four-footed creatures which lack both characteristics.”

“In regard to all unclean animals, the use of their meat and the touching of their carcase is forbidden. That they certainly might not be offered in sacrifice is therewith presupposed. Leviticus 11:1-8.”

[From this general view of the chapter, and from several of the particulars, a dissent must be expressed. Although, as has been shown in the preliminary note, the original distinction between clean and unclean animals was in regard to their fitness or unfitness for sacrifice; yet here there is no immediate reference to sacrifice at all, and the animals are classified solely in relation to their being allowed or forbidden for food. Again, in the detail, while among the animals reared by man it may be true that “the cloven hoof distinguishes the slow-moving tame animal;” yet this certainly could not apply to the gazelle and other kinds of deer, which are equally included among the clean animals. Probably Lange’s remark was made because his mind was already fixed upon the classification of animals for sacrifice, although even then it would but imperfectly apply to the goat. Also, on the other side, “the single-hoofed animal, naturally wild, but sometimes capable of being tamed,” is quite insufficient in its description, for the single-hoofed horse is quite as much a domestic animal as the bull or the goat, and it fails altogether to include the many-toed domestic cat and dog, which were eminently unclean.

[The first and larger half of this book is concerned with the means of approach to God. First of all came the laws of sacrifice, chaps1–7.; then followed the consecration of the priests by whom the sacrifices were to be offered, with an account of their entrance upon their office, and the connected events, chaps8–10; now follow the laws of purity, chaps11–15, and of these first, the laws of clean and unclean food, contained in the present chapter. In this connection also the uncleanness produced by contact with the dead bodies of animals unclean for food is emphatically set forth, and thus this chapter is intimately connected with the laws of purification in the following chapters. “In all the nations and all the religions of antiquity we find the contrast between clean and unclean, which was developed in a dualistic form, it is true, in many of the religious systems, but had its primary root in the corruption that had entered the world through sin. This contrast was limited in the Mosaic law to the animal food of the Israelites, to contact with dead animals and human corpses, and to certain bodily conditions and diseases that are associated with decomposition.” Keil.

[ Leviticus 11:1-8 are concerned with the larger quadrupeds. The distinction is so made among these that the Israelites might be in no mistake about them. To an anatomist it might have been enough to say either parteth the hoof, or cheweth the cud; but since several animals apparently had one of these characteristics without the other, or were popularly supposed to have them, for the sake of clearness both are given, and also some animals are excluded, as the camel, which apparently lacked one of them, although anatomically it might be considered as possessing both.

[ Leviticus 11:1. Both Moses, as the lawgiver, and Aaron, as the now fully consecrated high-priest, to whom would especially pertain the enforcement of the laws of purity, are now addressed together.

[ Leviticus 11:3. No enumeration is here made of the animals possessing these qualifications; but there is such an enumeration in the parallel passage, Deuteronomy 14:4-5.

[ Leviticus 11:4. The camel has a ball behind the cleft of the foot on which it treads. It comes, therefore, under the class of those with hoofs not completely cloven. So also the swine in Leviticus 11:7 is spoken of as dividing the hoof, because he does so in all common acceptation, and is so spoken of at this day, although anatomically he has four toes. Correspondingly in Leviticus 11:5-6 animals are spoken of which appear to the eye to chew the cud, although they do not really; because otherwise the people, guided by the appearance, would be led into transgression. All these animals, it is needless to say, were eaten among surrounding people, some by one nation, some by another.—F. G.]

Leviticus 11:9-12. “The clean aquatic animals are distinguished likewise by two characteristics—they must have fins and scales. All aquatic animals, on the other hand, which have not these characteristics, should be not only unclean to them, but an abomination. The fish nature must thus appear distinctly marked. Of fitness for sacrifice, nevertheless, nothing is said here” [obviously because fish were not included among sacrificial animals at all]; “as food for fast days, fish could not possibly have been used by the Jews.” [In this, as in the preceding law, the marks of distinction are to be understood of obvious ones: fins and scales that were apparent to the eye. As the law covers all that are in the waters, the crustacea, lobsters, crabs, etc., and the mollusks, oysters, etc., are wholly forbidden.—F. G.]

Leviticus 11:13-19. “With reference to birds, the unclean varieties are named at length: eagles, hawks, fish-hawks, vultures, kites, and every thing of that kind, all kinds of ravens, the ostrich, the night-owl, the cuckoo, the kinds of sparrow-hawk, the eared owl, the swan, the horned owl, the bat, the bittern, stork, heron, jay, hoopoe, swallow. The clean kinds are not named; they are limited to a few examples. Pigeons and turtle-doves, however, were more especially made use of for sacrifice.” [“Pigeons and turtle-doves” were the only birds used for sacrifice, but they are not mentioned here, because this chapter is not concerned with sacrifice. For the birds intended by this list of twenty Hebrew names, see the Textual notes. All the birds mentioned, so far as they can be identified, feed more or less exclusively upon animal food; but no general characteristic is given. The list is probably only meant to include those prohibited birds with which the Israelites were likely to come in contact. All not included in it, however, would have been lawful under a strict construction of the law. The bat is included in the prohibited list on the general principle of this whole nomenclature; it was popularly regarded as a bird.—F. G.]

Leviticus 11:20-25. “A remarkable exception is made by the varieties of locusts appended to the birds (locusts, crickets, grasshoppers, green grasshoppers). It is as if these animals were to be an important object of game for the theocracy.” [It is evident that they did, as in the case of John the Baptist, become an important item of food for the poorer classes, and as they are still in the desert regions adjoining Palestine.—F. G.] “But besides these, all winged (four-footed) insects are described as things to be avoided (not abominable).” [This is a general prohibition of all small flying creatures, having more than two feet. Creeping things in the original means also “things that swarm” or multiply in great numbers. Going upon all four seems intended, in contrast to birds which have only two feet, to include all that have more than two feet, and consequently creep in a horizontal position. It is so understood by Jewish writers. From this general prohibition the saltatoria are excepted, which are still, as they have always been, used as an article of food by the poorer classes in the East. These have, like the common grasshopper, very long hind legs for leaping. With this exception, this whole class of creatures is described in Leviticus 11:23-25 as abominable. Yet the living animal communicated no uncleanness by contact—only its dead body. This is a declaration immediately afterwards ( Leviticus 11:27-28) extended also to the bodies of unclean quadrupeds, and also ( Leviticus 11:39-40) to the bodies of even clean animals that have died of themselves. Washing of the clothes ( Leviticus 11:25; Leviticus 11:28) required of those who bore their carcases was evidently because contact with the clothes could hardly be avoided in doing this.—F. G.]

Leviticus 11:26-28. “Once more the characteristics are enjoined—to which, however, the definition is added that also all beasts which go on paws (the stealthy-going beasts of prey) are to be considered unclean.”

Leviticus 11:29-38. “Moreover there is still a crowd of little animals named in which there is no attempt at a natural history classification, as a resemblance has already appeared in the four-footed flying creatures. Mammalia: mole and mouse; amphibia: the lizard, the Egyptian lizard, the frog, the tortoise, the snail, the chameleon. This division of various animals is more especially prominent because the individuals that compose it could easily make clean objects unclean. First, the dead body of all these creatures Isaiah, and makes, unclean; secondly, the water with which one has purified either himself or any object from them; thirdly, utensils, meats and drinks which these creatures” [i.e., their dead bodies] “have touched, Leviticus 11:29-35. On the other hand, these animals cannot defile the spring, the cistern, or the seeds intended for sowing. The case is different with seed intended for food when wet with water, Leviticus 11:36-38.” [The names of these creatures have already been treated in the Textual notes. It appears that, except the first mentioned weasel (or mole) and the mouse, they are all of the lizard family. But in Leviticus 11:32-38 the uncleanness produced by contact with their dead bodies is carried much further than in regard to the animals previously named, doubtless for the reason suggested by Lange that there was more likelihood of contact from them. Any thing of which use was made in doing work ( Leviticus 11:32) must be soaked in water. Skin included in the list refers to the skins used for churning, for holding wine and other liquids, and for a variety of purposes. The earthen vessel ( Leviticus 11:33) into which any of their bodies fell must be broken on the same principle, but with an opposite application, as in Leviticus 6:28. The ground in both cases is the absorbent character of unglazed earthenware; there it must be broken lest what it had absorbed of the “most holy offering” should be defiled; here lest the defilement it had itself absorbed should be communicated. In Leviticus 11:34; Leviticus 11:38 it is provided that if their carcase fell upon any food or seed in a dry state, it should not communicate defilement; but if these were wet, they should be defiled. The reason of the distinction is evident—the moisture would act as a conveyor of the defilement. In Leviticus 11:35 the strong contamination of these dead bodies is still further expressed; but in Leviticus 11:36 an exception is made in favor of any large collection of water in fountains or cisterns, on the general principle that God “will have mercy rather than sacrifice.”—F. G.]

Leviticus 11:39-40. “Finally comes into consideration the carcase of the clean animal that has died a natural death. This also makes unclean (a) by contact, (b) by unconscious using thereof, (c) through carrying and throwing it away. The one defiled must wash his clothes and hold himself unclean until evening.” [Yet from Leviticus 7:24 it is evident that this precept applied to the dead body as a whole, not to the fat, or probably to the skin, when it had been separated. The reason for the uncleanness of the carcase was evidently that its blood had not been poured out, but was still in the veins and arteries, and spread about in the flesh. This would not apply to the separate fat, nor to the skin, when properly cleaned. The provision for purification of one who had eaten of the flesh may apply not only to unconscious eating (Lange), but also to eating in cases of necessity. It did not constitute a sin, but only a ceremonial defilement, for which purification was provided.—F. G.]

Leviticus 11:41-42. “At last the true vermin are spoken of. Every thing that crawls, that goes on the belly (in addition to the division already given), four-footed vermin, and those having more than four feet (beetles).” [It was a curious conceit, adopted from Münster by some of the older writers, that flies and worms living upon fruit and vegetables are not here prohibited because they do not “creep upon the earth.” The text evidently intends to forbid all creeping things, and is especially comprehensive in Leviticus 11:43. The Talmudists also exclude from the operation of the law all the minute creatures supposed by them to be spontaneously generated in vegetables, fruits, cheese, etc., and all the minute parasitic animals. It is plain enough, however, that the law, making its distinctions by obvious and popularly recognized marks, does not enter at all into minutiæ of this sort.]

[Ye shall not make yourselves abominable.—Lit.] “Ye shall not make your souls an abomination—a strong expression, but the key to this legislation. From the educational standpoint of the law for this morally infant people, purification must be made from all beastly conditions by a strong exclusion of all the lower animal forms, and the people thus be elevated to a consciousness of personal dignity. Therefore it is also further said that this is in conformity with the character of Jehovah your God. Ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holyi.e., become sanctified personalities; for I am holyi.e., the absolute sanctified Personality. They could thus, by the defilement of their body, defile also their souls. This also is made prominent: that Jehovah bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, the country defiled by animal worship.”

Leviticus 11:46-47. “This is the law.—Although it is not specifically extended over the whole animal kingdom, it is still a general regulating principle according to which the distinctions are to be made. In principle, with this, the distinction is also introduced in regard to the vegetable kingdom, the contrast of edible and inedible plants. Yet the application of this to the manner of living, to the usages, is left untold.”

“In regard to the law of clean animals, we have to distinguish different classes: the specifically clean, or cleanest animals, are those used in sacrifice—old and young cattle, sheep and goats, turtle-doves, and (young) pigeons. These animals form the common food of Jehovah and His people; the symbolical food of Jehovah, and the actual food of the Israelites—a mark of the divine dignity of Prayer of Manasseh, and of his designation as the image of God. Of the vegetables: with this animal centre correspond the cereals, especially barley and wheat, incense, wine, and oil; of the mineral kingdom, salt. The second class is made up of the clean animals which men were allowed to eat, but which were not fitted for sacrifice. The third class is made up of the unclean animals, the touch of which,—so long as they are living.—does not make men unclean, but of which they are not allowed to eat, and whose carcase defiles them, (not the fat of the slain animals). In the fourth class, finally, are the repulsive animals, which even while living are repulsive at least to men, the creeping and crawling animals. That this classification was to be symbolic of spiritual conditions is shown to us very clearly in the vision of Peter in Acts 10; but that the ordinary symbolism is limited by extraordinary symbolical requirements is shown to us by the appearance of the eagle in the forms of the Cherubim. With the New Testament this symbolism generally has reached its end, that Isaiah, face to face with Christian knowledge. But yet. conditionally, it remains in the New Testament era proportionately through the Christian national customs, as this can be deduced from the prohibition of the eating of blood, and of things strangled ( Acts 15). The condition of natural abhorrence towards all repulsive objects certainly remains more or less ineradicable, although even in this respect, necessity can break iron.”

“We should distinguish here most carefully between the theocratic teleological rules, which have a divine and ideal force, and their exemplification, which belongs to the Jewish sensus communis, and its product, popular usage; as is shown here, particularly by the example of the unruminating animals, the badger and hare (which seemed to the people to ruminate to some extent). Obstinacy in valuing the literal inspiration would certainly make here an irreconcilable conflict between theology, or even nominal belief, and natural science, and the hare would become the favorite wild game of negation as Balaam’s ass is its favorite charger.”

“In regard to the animals mentioned here, we must refer to the detailed treatment of Knobel and Keil, the quoted literature of the latter, and the natural history of Calwer and others.”

[It is to be observed that there is no defilement whatever produced by the contact with any living animal. The distinction between animals which are attractive and those which are repulsive to man is not at all recognized; nor indeed, judging from the habits of different nations, would it be easy to draw any line of distinction on this ground. The law simply prescribes what animals shall be, and what shall not be used for foodbetween the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten, Leviticus 11:47. The distinction is nevertheless symbolical, as the line of separation is plainly so taken as to exclude from the list of the clean all carnivora, except in the case of fish whose habits are to a great extent hidden under the waves from common observation. But while no living animal defiled, the bodies of all dead animals, not properly slaughtered, did defile. The peculiar care with which defilement is guarded against in the case of the carcasses of certain of the smaller animals ( Leviticus 11:29-38), seems to be due to the greater liability to contact with them. The degree of uncleanness occasioned by contact with the dead body of any animal which died of itself, was the same in all cases, Leviticus 11:25; Leviticus 11:28; Leviticus 11:31; Leviticus 11:40, even in that of animals otherwise fit for food. The only exception is in case of sacrificial or food animals when properly slaughtered, an exception obviously necessary unless sacrifices and animal food were to be prohibited. The Apostle has expressly taught “that there is nothing unclean of itself” ( Romans 14:14); and we must look therefore for the ground of the distinctions made in this chapter, not directly to anything in the nature of the various animals themselves, but to the educational object of the law. That educational object, however, was of course best sub-served by having regard to such characteristics of the animals as should make the lessons to be taught most impressive and most easily apprehended.—F. G.].

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

I. The doctrinal significance of the distinction between animals clean and unclean for food, must be considered in view of two facts: first, that as far as food is concerned, this is distinctly a part of that law which was “added because of transgressions.” It limited an earlier freedom, and it passed away when the law was superseded by a higher revelation. Secondly, that for the time while the law was in force—the whole period of Israel’s national existence—these precepts were elevated into distinctly religious duties, resting upon the holiness which should characterize the people of a holy God ( Leviticus 11:44-45). These two facts can only be brought into harmony in view of the educational purpose of the law. The people, in their spiritual infancy, could only be taught purity by sensible symbols, and among these there was nothing which entered more thoroughly into all the arrangements of daily life than the selection of food. By this, therefore, they were taught to keep themselves pure from all defilement which God had forbidden.

II. The evil consequences attending a neglect of the precepts in this chapter are represented in a twofold aspect: First, there was sin in disobedience to these as to any other divine commands, and this is described as making yourselves abominable, ( Leviticus 11:43). This phrase precisely is applied only to the eating of creeping things, but is implied in regard to the others ( Leviticus 11:11; Leviticus 11:13; Leviticus 11:23). It carries with it the idea that he who offended in these matters put himself in that relation towards God in which these things intended to stand towards man:—he had sinned by transgression, and thus made himself an abomination. The other aspect is that of the violation of the theocratic order, and here the penalty is very light. The kind of un cleanness contracted in any of these instances found a sufficient purification in any case by the washing of the clothes and remaining unclean until the evening. In cases of a secondary defilement of other things, they also must be similarly purified, or be destroyed. Even the eating of a clean animal which had died a natural death required no deeper purification. Here, then, the line is very distinctly drawn between ceremonial defilement and moral sin, even when both were incurred by the same act.

III. All commands to holiness, whether expressed by symbolical Acts, or to be wrought out in the efforts of the spirit, rest upon the same ground, For I am the Lord your God, …. I am holy.—This is the teaching alike of the Old and the New Testaments, and again brings out in a striking way the impossibility of any true communion between God and man except on the basis of man’s restoration to holiness. This teaching has been already seen to be the object of the Levitical law in regard to sacrifices, and it is here none the less so when the law enters into the details of man’s daily life.

IV. While the uncleannesses here enumerated were purged simply and speedily if attended to at once, if neglected, they required (v2) the more serious expiation of the sin offering. Such is the nature of sin; like leaven, it is ever prone to spread and intensify its effects.

V. “The cleanness of the animals for sacrifice and the purification of the sacrificer. Chaps11–16.”

“Through sacrifice Israel is made holy, i.e., they become in the fellowship of a personal God, a people of personal dignity belonging to God. The preliminary condition of sanctification by fire is the purification especially produced by water and blood. Only clean, or rather, purified men can serve as sacrificers in the presentation of clean animals.”

“Clean men must be circumcised, sanctified by the symbol of circumcision to the new birth under the power of Jehovah, and thus especially taken out from the confusion of the unclean world; and Song of Solomon, too, the clean animals, as animals of civilization, form a contrast to the unclean creation, as the elite of domestic animals, some of which are too human, too sympathetic (horse, ass, and dog), while swine are too brutally unclean to become domestic animals for the Israelites.”

“Cleanness is the negative side of holiness, and so purification is the negative side of sanctification.” Lange, Dogmatik zum Lev.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

The homiletical teaching of this chapter may be briefly summed up in the weighty words of the Apostolic proverb ( 1 Corinthians 15:33) “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” It is easy to deceive ourselves here. It is easy to work out plausible reasons why particular divine commands may not be founded in the nature of things, and hence may not be of binding force upon us. But all God’s commands are binding, and he who chooses to violate them, however unimportant they may seem to him to be, incurs the risk of making himself an abomination.

Sins in matters of little importance, intrinsically and inadvertently committed, may, through the means which God has provided, be readily put away on repentance, and a true seeking of restored communion; but if neglected, or passed over because they seem of little moment, they lead to a heavier guiltiness.

The defiling effect of personal contact with that which is unclean is set forth in this chapter. Origen, in treating of it, calls attention to the corresponding effect of contact with that which is holy as illustrated by the restoration to life of the body of the man which touched the bones of Elisha ( 2 Kings 13:21), and of the woman whose issue of blood was staunched when she had touched the hem of the Saviour’s garment ( Matthew 9:20). Both serve to show the influence exerted upon us by our associations; the spirit as surely as the body is defiled by contact with the unclean, and elevated by association with the pure.

Certain moral qualities of men are commonly described by reference to the animal creation. As this is frequently done in the New Testament ( Matthew 7:15; Matthew 10:16; Matthew 23:33; Luke 13:32; Philippians 3:2; 2 Peter 2:22, etc.), so it appears always to have been common among mankind. Therefore, in the classification as clean, of those animals associated with excellent qualities, and as unclean of those associated with evil qualities, a praise of virtue and a condemnation of evil was introduced into the domestic associations of the daily life. The necessity of such teaching has passed away with the coming of the clearer light of the Gospel.

Parting the hoof and chewing the cud are two marks of the clean animal which go together, and must both be found; though one may be apparently possessed, yet if the other is wanting, the animal is unclean. This Origen applies to one who meditates upon and understands the Scriptures, but does not order his life in accordance with their teaching. So it may be applied to faith and works; neither can truly exist without the other, and the semblance of either alone is unavailing.

Positive Divine laws, simply as laws, and even without regard to their immediate object, have a high moral value from their educationary power. From the garden of Eden down, man has been always subjected to such laws. As disobedience to them has resulted in harm, and placed the transgressor in an attitude of opposition to God; so has the faithful effort to obey them resulted in blessing, and brought those who have undertaken it into nearer relations to God. Whether the ground of the command could be understood, or whether the act enjoined or forbidden might seem to man morally colorless, yet the simple habit of obedience has always had a most salutary effect. “A law, the fitness and utility of which we cannot discover by our natural reason, is more a test of the spirit of obedience than a moral requirement that commends itself to our judgment as good and proper; because our compliance with the latter may be but a compliment to our own intelligence, and not at all an act of deference to the divine authority.” Hallam. The multitude of daily demands made upon the obedience of the Israelites offered to them a great opportunity of blessing, and is repeatedly declared to have been a test whether they had a heart to do God’s will or no. Under the higher dispensation of the Gospel we are allowed to see more clearly the grounds of the Divine commands; nevertheless, the opportunities of rendering obedience, simply as obedience, without seeing the grounds upon which the command rests, is by no means entirely withdrawn from the Christian. Such opportunities improved are means of blessing, and become to us one of the many ways in which we “walk by faith and not by sight.”

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Leviticus 11:2. הַחַיָּה is a different word from בְּהֵמָה in the following clause, and the difference should be recognized in the translation, as it is in the Semitic versions. The former is the more general term, the latter (comp. Genesis 1:24) refers to the quadrupeds included in this section ( Leviticus 11:1-8) in contradistinction from birds and reptiles.

FN#2 - Leviticus 11:3. וְשֹׁסַעַת שֶׁסַע פְּרָסֹת. The idea is that of not merely partially (like the camel), but completely dividing the hoof. The Sam, LXX, Syr. and nine MSS. make this still more indefinite by inserting שְׁתִּי=two before the last word.

FN#3 - Leviticus 11:5. הַשָּׁפן. The animal is indicated here as one that chews the cud (or appears to do so), in Psalm 104:18; Proverbs 30:26, as living in the rocks, and in the latter as being very weak. It occurs elsewhere only in the parallel place, Deuteronomy 14:7. Here the LXX. renders it δασύπους, Aq. λαγωός; in Deuteronomy 14:7, the LXX. has χοιρογρύλλιος=bristly animal, which is adopted by the Vulg. in both places. The Sam. translates it Vabr, the Hyrax Syriacus, which is said to be still called tsofun in Southern Arabia. First says: “The Targ. points to the same animal when it translates טַפְסָא,טַוְזָא,טַפְזָא (leaper) since the Vabr goes by leaps.” The Duke of Argyle (Reign of Law, p264) speaks of a specimen of it in the Zoological Gardens, and states that in the structure of the teeth and the foot it is assimilated to the rhinoceros. Cuvier classed it with the pachyderms. The Rabbins understood it to be a rabbit, and were followed by Luther and the A. V. in the old word Coney. Bochart (Hieroz. Lib. III, c33) understands it of the Jerboa or bear-mouse, and so Gesenius, Geddes and others. Although the word in the A. V. is certainly wrong, yet as it is obsolete, it seems unnecessary to make a change which could only be either to the Heb. word, or to the scientific name.

FN#4 - Leviticus 11:7. The construction is the same as in Leviticus 11:3. See note2.

FN#5 - Leviticus 11:9. The Sam, one MS, the LXX. and Syr. prefix the conjunction וְ.

FN#6 - Leviticus 11:12. The same, with fourteen MSS, here prefix the conjunction.

FN#7 - Leviticus 11:13. נֶשֶׁר is uniformly translated eagle in the A. V, ἀετός in the LXX, and aquila in the Vulg. Kalisch says this “is beyond a doubt.” The same meaning is given by Fürst and Gesenius, although both would include also the sense of vulture. Clark's proposed emendation, the great vulture, seems therefore unnecessary.

FN#8 - Leviticus 11:13. עָזְנִיָה פֶּרֶם. Both, by preponderance of authority, species of eagles, and the former sufficiently well described by ossifrage; the latter species is not certainly identified, the word occurring only here and in the parallel, Deuteronomy 14:12. The LXX. renders ἁλιαίετος=sea eagle, Fürst prefers Valeria, the black eagle. Kalisch prefers the sense vulture. Gesen. (Thesaur.), black eagle.

FN#9 - Leviticus 11:14. דָּאָה, a word, ἁπ. λεγ. In the parallel passage, Deuteronomy 14:13, it is רָאָה. Its etymology indicates a ravenous bird of swift flight. LXX. γύψ=vulture, Vulg. milvus=kite. Bochart considers it a species of hawk or falcon. So Kalisch. In Deuteronomy 14:13 there is mentioned also דִּיָה, making twenty-one varieties of birds; but that word in Deut. is omitted by the Sam. and four MSS.

FN#10 - Leviticus 11:14. אַיָּה is only to be identified by the fact that it here stands for the name of a class—after his Kind, and that in Job 28:7 it is spoken of for its great keenness of sight. The LXX. renders here kite, in Deut. and Job vulture. Clark makes it milvus regalis.

FN#11 - Leviticus 11:15 and Leviticus 11:20. The Sam, many MSS. and versions prefix the conjunction.

FN#12 - Leviticus 11:16. בַּת הַיַּעֲנָה. LXX. στρουθός. The word is uniformly rendered owl in the text of the A. V.; but in the marg. of Job 30:29; Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:13; Isaiah 43:20, it is rendered ostrich in accordance with the Targ, LXX, Vulg. and Syr, and there can be no doubt that this is the true sense. The fem. stands for the bird collectively, of both sexes. Rosen.: “Vox, בַּת, apposita est ex more quodam Orientalium, qui nomina pater, mater, fuius, filia, animalium quoruneam nominibns præfigrere solent sine respectu ætatis et sexus.” Bochart, however, thinks it means distinctively the female.

FN#13 - Leviticus 11:16. תַּחְמָם (from חָמַם, to do violence), interpreted by Bochar, and others on his authority, of the male ostrich; but this is now generally rejected. The Targ. Onk. has צִיצָא, and Targ. Jerus. חַטְפִיתָא swallow. Others (Knobel) consider it the cuckoo; but the rendering of the LXX. and Vulg, owl, is now adopted more generally than any other.

FN#14 - Leviticus 11:16. שַׁחַף occurs only here and in Deuteronomy 14:15. Knobel understands it of a species of hawk trained in Syria for hunting gazelles, etc.; but most other interpreters understand it of a sea bird, whether the stormy petrel (Bochart) or more generally the sea gull alter the Vulg. and LXX. λάρος.

FN#15 - Leviticus 11:17. כּוֹם. There seems no sufficient reason to question the accuracy of the A. V, which is substantially that of the ancient versions. Tristram identities it with the Athene meridionalis common in Syria. Bochart, however, would render Pelican, and Riggs Night-hawk.

FN#16 - Leviticus 11:17. The A. V. is probably right. The LXX, Vulg. and Targ. Onk. have Ibis. which seems to have arisen from a misplacement of the words of the text, rather than from a different translation of יַנְשׁוּף. They are followed by Riggs and others.

FN#17 - Leviticus 11:18. תִּנְשֶׁמֶת. The same word is used, Leviticus 11:30, for mole (probably chameleon): here it refers to a bird, and it is likely that this is the word for which Ibis stands in the LXX. and Vulg. But it is not probable that the Israelites would have come much in contact with the Ibis. The preponderance of authority (see Fürst) is for some variety of owl, according to the Chald, Syr. and Sam.; but there does not appear to be sufficient certainty to warrant a change in the text of the A. V.

FN#18 - Leviticus 11:18. רָחָם LXX. rendering doubtful. The best authorities agree that some species of vulture is meant. Gesenius (thesaur.) would make it a very small species, of the size of a crow. Others consider it most probably the large Egyptian vulture, Neophron percnopterus. Perhaps something of this kind was meant by gier eagie. Kalisch, governed only by the order of the birds, would translate pelican.

FN#19 - Leviticus 11:19. חֲסִידָה, LXX, Aq, Symm, Theod, heron, but LXX. in Job 39:13 stork. Either bird answers well enough to the etymology and to the passages when it occurs, and stork is as likely to be right as heron.

FN#20 - Leviticus 11:19. The Sam. and sixteen MSS. prefix the conjunction which is found in the parallel place in Deut. For the want of it Knobel would connect the word with the preceding as an adjective; but it seems better to consider it as an accidental omission.

FN#21 - Leviticus 11:19. אֲנָפָה. The meaning of the rendering in Targ. Onk. is unknown, Syr. retains the Heb. word, LXX. χαραδριός, a bird chiefly remarkable for its greediness. The Heb. etymology is uncertain. Clark identifies it with the great plover (Charadrius œdicnemus). Fürst defines it Parrot, and so Gesen. Bochart, following the etymology of the Rabbits, defines it the angry bird, and considers it some species of eagle. It seems probable that the A. V. is wrong, but difficult to determine upon a substitute.

FN#22 - Leviticus 11:19. דּוּכִיפַת. The bird intended has not been certainly identified; but the authority of the LXX, ἔποπα, and Vulg, upupa, is here followed. The Arab. adopts it, and it is followed by Riggs. Bochart would render mountain cock alter the Chald.

FN#23 - Leviticus 11:20. כֹּל שֶׁרֶץ הָעוֹף. The idea of fowls that creep is not less strange and grotesque in Heb. than in English. The word שֶׁרֶץ by its etymology means those creatures that multiply abundantly, swarm, whence it came to be applied to very much the same creatures as we mean by vermin. It can hardly be better expressed than by creeping things. Going upon all four does not necessarily mean having just lour feet, but going with the body in a horizontal position.

FN#24 - Leviticus 11:21. For the לֹא of the text the k’ri has לוֹ, and so the Sam. and many MSS. So it must necessarily be understood, as it is in the versions.

FN#25 - Leviticus 11:21. For בָּהֵן the Sam. and thirty-seven MSS. have בָּהֵם.

FN#26 - Leviticus 11:22. Beetle is certainly wrong; for this, like the rest, must have been one of the leaping insects. There are no means of identifying these four varieties. Each of them stands for a class “after his kind.” Two of them, the סָלְעָם and the חַרְֹגּל, do not occur elsewhere. The others are of frequent occurrence, and are uniformly translated in the A. V. the first, locust, the last grasshopper. It would probably be better in the other cases to follow the example of the older English and most modern versions in giving simply the Hebrew names without attempting translation.

FN#27 - Leviticus 11:26. Six MSS. and the LXX. specify, what is sufficiently plain, their carcases.

FN#28 - Leviticus 11:27. See note 1 on Leviticus 11:2.

FN#29 - Leviticus 11:29. חֹלֶד occurs nowhere else. The A. V. seems justified in following the LXX. and Targ, although Bochart would render mole, which is still called Chuld by the Arabs.

FN#30 - Leviticus 11:29. צָב, a word in this sense, ἁπ. λέγ. There seems no doubt that this and all the names following in Leviticus 11:30 indicate various species of lizard. So Riggs. This particular one is called by the LXX. κροκόδυλος χερσαῖος=land crocodile, and so St. Jerome. Bochart considers it a kind of large lizard abounding in Syria, often two feet long. Tristam identifies it with the uromastix spinipes. The translation proposed by Clark, the great lizard, is probably as good as can be had.

FN#31 - Leviticus 11:30. אֲנָקָה in this sense only here. LXX. μυγάλη=shrew mouse; Onk. יָלֵי=hedge hog; the other oriental versions by various names of lizard. Almost all the authorities concur in making it some variety of lizard. Knobel is certainly wrong in identifying it with the Lacerta Nilotica, an animal four feet long. Fürst only so far defines it as “a reptile with a long narrow neck.” The translation of Rosenmüller, lacerta gecko, seems as probable as any.

FN#32 - Leviticus 11:30. כֹּחַ, a word of frequent occurrence for strength, power, but as a name of an animal occurring only here. The etymology seems to indicate a characteristic of strength (although Furst makes it the slimy), and the connection, same variety of lizard. The translation chameleon is derived from the LXX, and is probably wrong. Keil shows that Knobel (followed by Clark) is in error in translating by frog. The uncertainty is too great to substitute another word for that of the A. V, which yet must be changed, because the last name belongs to the chameleon. The etymology simply is therefore indicated.

FN#33 - Leviticus 11:30. לְטָאָה, another word, ἁπ. λέγ. LXX. καλαβώτης, Vulg. stellio. Knobel makes it a crawling, and Fuerst a climbing lizard. The latter is adopted as a probable sense in order to avoid confusion in the text.

FN#34 - Leviticus 11:30. חמֶֹט, also ἁπ. λέγ. LXX. σαῦρα, Vulg. lacerta, and so also the Syr. The A. V. comes from the Targ. Jesus, and Rabbinical authorities. Otherwise there is a general agreement with Bochart that it should be rendered lizard.

FN#35 - Leviticus 11:30. תִּנְשָׁמֶת, has already occurred, Leviticus 11:18, as the name of a bird. Here it is some variety of lizard, and from its etymology—נָשַׁם, to breathe, to draw in air—there is a good degree of unanimity in understanding it of the chameleon, either as inflating itself, or as popularly supposed to live on air.

FN#36 - Leviticus 11:32. כְּלִי is evidently here used, as in Exodus 22:6 (7), in its most comprehensive sense. It is only limited by the clause wherewith any work is done. This change of course makes it necessary to translate בָּהֶם, wherewith, instead of wherein.

FN#37 - Leviticus 11:34. אֹכֶל means any kind of food, especially cereal. The English meat is now so altered in sense that it is better to change it.

FN#38 - Leviticus 11:34. The word such is unfortunately inserted in the A. V. The idea is (comp. Leviticus 11:38) that all meat prepared with water should be rendered unclean by the falling of any of these animals upon it.

FN#39 - Leviticus 11:35. כִּירַיִם occurs only here, and there is much question as to its meaning. According to Keil it “can only signify, when used in the dual, a vessel consisting of two parts, i.e. a pan or pot with a lid.” So Knobel and the Targums; others a support for the pot like a pair of bricks, LXX. χυρτόπους; others, as Fürst, “a cooking furnace, probably consisting of two ranges of stones which met together in a sharp angle.”

FN#40 - Leviticus 11:36. The Sam. and LXX. add of waters.

FN#41 - Leviticus 11:36. Rosenmüller, Keil, and others understand this in the masculine, he who, viz. in removing the carcase. The meaning, however, seems to be more general: the person or the thing touching the carcase, in removing it or otherwise.

FN#42 - Leviticus 11:37. The Sam, two MSS, and Vulg. omit any; but two MSS. and the LXX. insert it before seed in the following verse.

FN#43 - Leviticus 11:39-40. Several MSS. and the LXX. have the plural in these places.

FN#44 - Leviticus 11:42. The letter ו in גִּחוֹן=belly is printed in larger type in the Heb. Bibles to indicate that it is the middle letter of the Pentateuch.

FN#45 - Leviticus 11:45. The Sam, two MSS. and the Syr. add, as in Leviticus 11:44, your God.

FN#46 - Leviticus 11:47. See note on Leviticus 11:2.

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Leviticus 11:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/leviticus-11.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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