NOW you know why I said this was the Leviticus graveyard! I love the Bible but that was not interesting at all (if it was to you, I am not sure we can be friends!). Just in case this is the only time you will commit to reading this book, let’s attempt to chew on it. Ha! Get it?
Leviticus divides the animal world into three kinds: unclean animals that cannot be eaten; clean animals that can be eaten; clean animals that can be eaten and also serve as animals for sacrifices.
I have researched commentaries and I have found various reasons:
- The reason the Israelites were to regard some animals as unclean, was that the pagans used them in their worship and associated them with their gods.
- Some scholars hold the view that the unclean animals were unfit to eat because they carried diseases or were unhealthful.
- There is a symbolic view. This view sees the behavior and habits of the clean animals as illustrating how the Israelites were to behave. The unclean animals represented sinful people.
One article I read stated:
“Although God did not reveal the specific reasons some animals may be eaten and others must be avoided, we can make generalized conclusions based on the animals included in the two categories. In listing the animals that should not be eaten, God forbids the consumption of scavengers and carrion eaters, which devour other animals for their food.
Animals such as pigs, bears, vultures and raptors can eat (and thrive) on decaying flesh. Predatory animals such as wolves, lions, leopards and cheetahs most often prey on the weakest (and at times the diseased) in animal herds.
When it comes to sea creatures, bottom dwellers such as lobsters and crabs scavenge for dead animals on the sea floor. Shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels similarly consume decaying organic matter that sinks to the sea floor, including sewage.
A common denominator of many of the animals God designates as unclean is that they routinely eat flesh that would sicken or kill human beings. When we eat such animals we partake of a food chain that includes things harmful to people.”
Because God is holy, He required that His people make distinctions that separated them from unclean things. This would account for the laws that required separation—morally, ethically, and even symbolically—from anything associated with pagan life and worship.
So what about today?? The NT teaches that the OT food laws are no longer binding on the Christian. (Acts 11, but you need Acts 10 to get the full picture)
Childbirth: So let’s clarify: there is moral uncleanness and ritual uncleanness. Childbirth obviously falls into the second. Childbirth was not fully understood, but there were so many “theories” that went with woman’s ability to make a child. Even though it was regarded as a miracle from God, the blood after childbirth was “magical” in pagan rituals (I can see this as an episode in Game of Thrones!), but also, to the Israelites blood was symbolic of death and a menstrual cycle is no different. There is also an aspect of hygiene for the woman as well as the camp.
Just when you thought the reading was tough we move to 59 verses regarding skin diseases! If God dedicated 59 verses to it, it must be important. Wait……nooooooo…….I peeked at tomorrow’s read. Oh my stars. We will tackle skin tomorrow. Just get through this! Because we are about to turn a corner into the “Standard” for Living a Holy Life and you are going to hang on every word and I am going to try to filter my humor the best I can. 😂
This blog was dedicated to my loving husband. Lev 13:40-
“A man who has lost his hair and is bald is clean. If he has lost his hair from the front of his scalp and has a bald forehead, he is clean”