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11. Clean and Unclean Food

And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 3Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. 4Nevertheless 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. 5And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 6And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 7And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

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. 10And 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. 12Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

13And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 14And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; 15Every raven after his kind; 16And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 17And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, 18And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, 19And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 20All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. 21Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. 23But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. 24And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. 25And 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 clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean. 27And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even. 28And 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, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, 30And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. 31These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even. 32And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed. 33And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it. 34Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. 35And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you. 36Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean. 37And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. 38But 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 shall be unclean until the even. 40And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it 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. 42Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. 43Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. 44For 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. 45For 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. 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 that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof. Whilst I fear that but little confidence can be placed in the allegories, in which many have taken delight; so I do not find any fault with, nor even refuse that which has been handed down from the ancients, 3939     Fr. “les Docteurs anciens.” “Ungulam dividunt, qui secundum duo testamenta firmo se gradu innocentiae et justiciae statuunt. Judaei ruminant verba legis: sed ungulam non findunt, quia duo testamenta non recipiunt; nec in Patrem et Filium credunt: fidei gressum dividunt: heretici ungulam findunt, in Patrem et Filium credentes; seal doctrinam veritatis non ruminant.” — Glossa ordinaria, in loco viz., that by the cleaving of the hoof is signified prudence in distinguishing the mysteries of Scripture, and by the chewing of the cud serious meditation on its heavenly doctrines; although I cannot approve of the subtlety 4040     “Toutefois ils gastent tout a la fin par une subtilite frivole, etc;” nevertheless they spoil all by a frivolous subtlety. — Fr. which they add, viz., that those “rightly divide the word” who have known how to elicit mystical senses from its letter; because hence it has come to pass that they have allowed themselves in all sorts of imaginations. I therefore embrace the more simple notion, that they who only have a taste for the carnal sense, do not divide the hoof; for, as Paul says, only “he that is spiritual discerneth all things.” (1 Corinthians 2:15, margin.) The chewing of the cud ought to follow, duly to prepare and digest the spiritual food; for many gulp down Scripture without profit, because they neither sincerely desire to profit by it, nor seek to refresh their souls by it, as their nourishment; but satisfied with the empty delights of knowledge, make no efforts to conform their life to it. In the first clause, then, brutal stupidity is condemned; in the other, the ambition and levity of curious men. 4141     Addition in Fr. “qui ne prenent nulle refection de la doctrine de salut:” who receive no refreshment from the doctrine of salvation. God, indeed, set before Peter, in the vision, unclean animals as images and figures of the Gentiles, (Acts 10:12;) and therefore it is lawful, by probable analogy, to transfer to men what is said about the animals. But why God should have appointed the cloven hoof and rumination as signs, is no more clear to me than why He should have forbidden their eating swine’s flesh; unless, perchance, because the solid hoof is a sign of wildness; whilst the animals which do not ruminate feed for the most part on filth and excrement. We know that on this point there was much contention immediately after the promulgation of the Gospel, because some of the Jews, in their excessive devotion to the Law, and considering that the distinction of meats was not to be reckoned among the, ceremonial enactments, desired that the new Church should be bound by the same trammels as had been imposed upon the ancient people. At length, by the decree of the Apostles, permission was given to the Gentiles to eat all kinds of meat, except only blood and things strangled, and that only for a time, for the sake of avoiding offense, since the Jews would not otherwise have been propitiated. Now, after what God Himself had ordained respecting the distinction of meats had been abrogated, it was an act of diabolical audacity to oblige men’s consciences by human laws, and to prevent them from enjoying the liberty obtained by Christ.

Another question remains, how God should pronounce anything which He has created to be unclean; for, if an animal be rejected on account of its uncleanness, part of the reproach redounds to the Author Himself. Besides, this rejection seems also to be opposed to the first declaration of God, when, considering all things which He had made, He acknowledged them to be “very good.” The solution is, that no animal was ever unclean in itself; but that this merely refers to its use. Thus in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil there was naturally neither fault nor harm, so that it should infect man by its pollution, yet he contracted death from it on account of God’s prohibition. Wherefore, also, in this passage, God does not condemn His work in the animals, but, as to their being eaten, He would have them accounted unclean, that the people may abominate that which is forbidden them. In a word, it is only transgression which defiles: for the animals have never changed their nature; but it was in God’s power to determine what He would have to be lawful or unlawful. Thus another objection is removed. Christ declares that

"not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man ”
(Matthew 10:11.)

If any one should thence infer that harmless animals are improperly condemned, we must reply that they are not accounted unclean in themselves, but that the prohibition had a different object. For that doctrine was always true, that

"the kingdom of God is not meat and drink,”
(Romans 14:17;)

but, when God forbade the Israelites to eat this or that kind of food, they were admonished by this ceremonial precept how abominable is the inward corruption of the heart. But by such elementary teaching they were prepared and led onwards to spiritual doctrine, that they might know that nothing defiles a man except what comes out of his mouth. Now-a-days the condition of believers is different. for liberty is obtained for them, since Christ, having abrogated the Law, has nailed

"the handwriting of ordinances to his cross.”
(Colossians 2:14.)


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