Leviticus Essay

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Leviticus 11 is dealing with the subject of cleanness and uncleanness, specifically, with the subject of clean and unclean foods. The word "clean"has a lot of different meanings today depending upon the context in which it is used. For one thing, the expression clean and its counterpoint unclean is one of the prominent themes of Leviticus. Unclean and its cognates occurs 132 times in the Old Testament; over half of these are in Leviticus. So the sense of uncleanness is a predominate theme, and the word clean, along with its related terms, occurs 74 times in Leviticus, which is over one-third of the uses found in the Old Testament.
      When we come to chapter 11, it is stated that cleanness and
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It must be split-hoofed, and it must be a cud-chewer. It cannot be just one of those; it must be both of those. So a non-cud chewing split-hoofer isn't good enough. It has to be both, and the text makes it very clear. A rabbit, for example, is called a cud-chewer (I think you and I understand that rabbits do not chew their cud like a cow does). But if we watched a rabbit eat, we would observe that as the rabbit ate his food, he chewed it up very carefully. We have two dogs and they are not cud-chewers. We throw a piece of food on the floor, and they don't chew AT ALL! One animal is so fearful that the other animal is going to get it that they just inhale the food. They don't chew their cud. But when we look at a rabbit, we see that a rabbit sort of works on that food, and works on it, just like mothers tell their children they ought to chew up their meat and other things. So a cud-chewer does not technically have to be cow-like in having multiple stomachs, but one that chews its food well. I think we could say it is that which chews its non-meat food well. So cud-chewers are vegetarians. It is to be split-hoofed and cud-chewing if it is clean, and therefore the Israelites may partake of it.
      Second, the sea creatures. When we come to the creatures that dwell in the sea, they must meet two qualifications as well—they must have fins and scales. Now that is certainly the norm. Those of us who are fishermen and hope to catch something when

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