Laws about Animals for Food

11 The Lord spoke again to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘(A)These are the creatures which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. Nevertheless, (B)you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud, or among those which divide the hoof: the camel, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you. Likewise, the [a]shaphan, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; the [b]rabbit also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; and the pig, for though it divides the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud, it is unclean to you. You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

(C)These you may eat, whatever is in the water: all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. 10 (D)But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you, 11 and they shall be [c]abhorrent to you; you may not eat of their flesh, and their carcasses you shall detest. 12 Whatever in the water does not have fins and scales is [d]abhorrent to you.

Avoid the Unclean

13 ‘These, moreover, (E)you shall detest among the birds; they are [e]abhorrent, not to be eaten: the [f]eagle and the vulture and the [g]buzzard, 14 and the kite and the falcon in its kind, 15 every raven in its kind, 16 and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind, 17 and the little owl and the cormorant and the [h]great owl, 18 and the white owl and the [i]pelican and the carrion vulture, 19 and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat.

20 ‘All the [j]winged insects that walk on all fours are detestable to you. 21 Yet these you may eat among all the [k]winged insects which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth. 22 These of them you may eat: the locust in its kinds, and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds. 23 But all other [l]winged insects which are four-footed are detestable to you.

24 ‘By these, moreover, you will be made unclean: whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening, 25 and (F)whoever picks up any of their carcasses shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. 26 Concerning all the animals which divide the hoof but do not make a split hoof, or which do not chew cud, they are unclean to you: whoever touches them becomes unclean. 27 Also whatever walks on its paws, among all the creatures that walk on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcasses becomes unclean until evening, 28 and the one who picks up their carcasses shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening; they are unclean to you.

29 ‘Now these are to you the unclean among the swarming things which swarm on the earth: the mole, and the mouse, and the [m]great lizard in its kinds, 30 and the gecko, and the [n]crocodile, and the lizard, and the [o]sand reptile, and the chameleon. 31 These are to you the unclean among all the swarming things; whoever touches them when they are dead becomes unclean until evening. 32 Also anything on which one of them may fall when they are dead becomes unclean, including any wooden article, or clothing, or a skin, or a sack—any article [p]of which use is made—(G)it shall be put in the water and be unclean until evening, then it becomes clean. 33 As for any (H)earthenware vessel into which one of them may fall, whatever is in it becomes unclean and you shall break [q]the vessel. 34 Any of the [r]food which may be eaten, on which water comes, shall become unclean, and any [s]liquid which may be drunk in every vessel shall become unclean. 35 Everything, moreover, on which part of their carcass may fall becomes unclean; an oven or a [t]stove shall be smashed; they are unclean and shall continue as unclean to you. 36 Nevertheless a spring or a cistern [u]collecting water shall be clean, though the one who touches their carcass shall be unclean. 37 If a part of their carcass falls on any seed for sowing which is to be sown, it is clean. 38 Though if water is put on the seed and a part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.

39 ‘Also if one of the animals dies which you have for food, the one who touches its carcass becomes unclean until evening. 40 (I)He too, who eats some of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening, and the one who picks up its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.

41 (J)Now every swarming thing that swarms on the earth is detestable, not to be eaten. 42 Whatever crawls on its belly, and whatever walks on all fours, whatever has many feet, in respect to every swarming thing that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them, for they are detestable. 43 (K)Do not render [v]yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm; and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean. 44 For (L)I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and (M)be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. 45 (N)For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus (O)you shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

46 This is the law regarding the animal and the bird, and every living thing that moves in the waters and everything that swarms on the earth, 47 (P)to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the edible creature and the creature which is not to be eaten.

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 11:5 A small, shy, furry animal (Hyrax syriacus) found in the peninsula of the Sinai, northern Israel, and the region round the Dead Sea; KJV coney, orig NASB rock badger
  2. Leviticus 11:6 Or hare
  3. Leviticus 11:11 Lit detestable things
  4. Leviticus 11:12 Lit detestable things
  5. Leviticus 11:13 Lit a detestable thing
  6. Leviticus 11:13 Or vulture
  7. Leviticus 11:13 Or black vulture
  8. Leviticus 11:17 Specifically, great horned owl
  9. Leviticus 11:18 Or owl or jackdaw
  10. Leviticus 11:20 Lit swarming things with wings
  11. Leviticus 11:21 V 20, note 1
  12. Leviticus 11:23 V 20, note 1
  13. Leviticus 11:29 Or thorn-tailed lizard
  14. Leviticus 11:30 Or lizard
  15. Leviticus 11:30 Species as yet undefined
  16. Leviticus 11:32 Lit with which work is done
  17. Leviticus 11:33 Lit it
  18. Leviticus 11:34 I.e. if touched by a carcass; cf vv 29-32
  19. Leviticus 11:34 I.e. if touched by a carcass; cf vv 29-32
  20. Leviticus 11:35 Lit hearth for supporting (two) pots
  21. Leviticus 11:36 Lit of a gathering of
  22. Leviticus 11:43 Lit your souls

Clean and Unclean Food(A)

11 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat:(B) You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.

“‘There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them.(C) The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you. The hyrax, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. And the pig,(D) though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.(E)

“‘Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. 10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean.(F) 11 And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean.(G) 12 Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.(H)

13 “‘These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle,[a] the vulture, the black vulture, 14 the red kite, any kind(I) of black kite, 15 any kind of raven,(J) 16 the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18 the white owl,(K) the desert owl, the osprey, 19 the stork,(L) any kind(M) of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.(N)

20 “‘All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you.(O) 21 There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. 22 Of these you may eat any kind of locust,(P) katydid, cricket or grasshopper. 23 But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.

24 “‘You will make yourselves unclean by these;(Q) whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.(R) 25 Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash their clothes,(S) and they will be unclean till evening.(T)

26 “‘Every animal that does not have a divided hoof or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches the carcass of any of them will be unclean. 27 Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. 28 Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.(U) These animals are unclean for you.

29 “‘Of the animals that move along the ground, these are unclean for you:(V) the weasel, the rat,(W) any kind of great lizard, 30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon. 31 Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening. 32 When one of them dies and falls on something, that article, whatever its use, will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth.(X) Put it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean. 33 If one of them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean, and you must break the pot.(Y) 34 Any food you are allowed to eat that has come into contact with water from any such pot is unclean, and any liquid that is drunk from such a pot is unclean. 35 Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or cooking pot must be broken up. They are unclean, and you are to regard them as unclean. 36 A spring, however, or a cistern for collecting water remains clean, but anyone who touches one of these carcasses is unclean. 37 If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted, they remain clean. 38 But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.

39 “‘If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies,(Z) anyone who touches its carcass(AA) will be unclean till evening. 40 Anyone who eats some of its carcass(AB) must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.(AC) Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.

41 “‘Every creature that moves along the ground is to be regarded as unclean; it is not to be eaten. 42 You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean. 43 Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures.(AD) Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them. 44 I am the Lord your God;(AE) consecrate yourselves(AF) and be holy,(AG) because I am holy.(AH) Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground.(AI) 45 I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt(AJ) to be your God;(AK) therefore be holy, because I am holy.(AL)

46 “‘These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the ground. 47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.(AM)’”

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 11:13 The precise identification of some of the birds, insects and animals in this chapter is uncertain.

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