This chapter is about clean & unclean foods. This is pretty much dietary restrictions that Jewish people observe. It gets pretty detailed. And is pretty daunting. But I’ll do my best to break it down for you. I hope you enjoy the read.
God tells Moses to tell the Israelites, “Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you CAN eat: Any animal that has a split hoof completely divided & chews the cud. There are some that only chew the cud or only has a split hoof. But you CAN’T eat them! No camels, rock badgers, rabbits, or pork. You can’t eat their meat or touch their carcasses. They’re unclean to you.”
“Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas/streams, you CAN eat anything that has fins & scales. But anything that DOESN’T have fins & scales are a no-go.”
“These are the birds you’re NOT allowed to eat: eagles, vultures, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of ravens, the horned/little/great/white/desert/screech owl, gulls, hawks of any kind, the cormorant, the osprey, the stork, any type of heron, the hoopoe, & the bat.”
“Any flying insect that walks on all fours are a no-go. There are some winged creatures are you CAN eat: those with jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Any kind of locust, katydid, cricket, or grasshopper.” (I’m sure that the Israelites would’ve loved to have know about the locusts in Egypt. I’m sure that the Egyptians would’ve too!) But any other winged creatures that have 4 legs they had to detest.
The Israelites would make themselves unclean by ANY of these. And whoever touches the dead bodies will be considered unclean until evening. Whoever picked up one of the dead bodies HAD to wash their clothes & is STILL was unclean until evening. If an animal that they were ALLOWED to eat dies, the same rules apply. (You can also find this in Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7; & 1 Peter 1:16.)
Ok. We’re gonna get into more: “Of the animals that move on the ground, these are unclean for you (no eating, no pets, no touchy!): the weasel, rat, any kind of great lizards, gecko, monitor lizard, wall lizard, skink, & the chameleon.” The Israelites are, again, reminded not to touch their dead bodies.
The text then tells us what happens if one of these unclean critters haul up & dies, falling dead on something. If an unclean animal dies & falls on something, the item that it fell on (whatever it is, wood, cloth, hide, sackcloth, etc.) had to be put in water. It would be unclean till that evening & it would then be clean again! Any food that could be eaten but has water on it from such a pot is unclean! If it’s a clay pot, everything in the pot is unclean. The pot had to be broken. Anything that one of their dead bodies falls on becomes unclean, period! Any ovens or cooking pots had to be broken up. However, a spring or cistern for collecting water is cool. Dead bodies are ok there. But ya just can’t move it. (Because that would be touching the dead body & that’s a no-go.) If a dead body falls on any seed that were planted, the seeds (& thusly the “fruit” from the seed.) are clean & good to go. But if water had been put on the seeds & a dead body falls on it, the seeds are no good then.
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