Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Clean and Unclean

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Clean and Unclean. A distinction, most probably with reference to sacrifice, was made between clean and unclean animals before the flood. Genesis 7:2; Genesis 7:8; Genesis 8:20. Under the Mosaic law the distinction was extended to food. Thus in Leviticus 11:1-47 and Deuteronomy 14:1-29 there are lists of animals, birds, and fishes, which the Hebrews might and might not eat. The regulations thus made were doubtless promotive of health. But, besides, they, as well as the purifications prescribed for uncleanness in men, Leviticus 11:15; Numbers 19:1-22, had a symbolical meaning, which is illustrated in Hebrews 9:9-14 Eating with Gentiles was regarded as a greater offence against the traditional law than being in company with them, and was one of the charges against our Lord. Matthew 9:10-11; Matthew 11:19; Luke 5:30. This view of the law was distinctly annulled by the vision to Peter, before he preached to Cornelius. Acts 10:9-16.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Clean and Unclean'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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