Leviticus 11 - Be Ye Holy
1And 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; 22Even 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. 26The 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.
Today's Scripture Meaning
That animals were clean and unclean. - These laws seem to have been intended, 1. As a test of the people's obedience, as Adam was forbidden to eat of the tree of knowledge; and to teach them self-denial, and the government of their appetites. 2. To keep the Israelites distinct from other nations. Many also of these forbidden animals were objects of superstition and idolatry to the heathen. 3. The people were taught to make distinctions between the holy and unholy in their companions and intimate connexions. 4. The law forbad, not only the eating of the unclean beasts, but the touching of them. Those who would be kept from any sin, must be careful to avoid all temptations to it, or coming near it. The exceptions are very minute, and all were designed to call forth constant care and exactness in their obedience; and to teach us to obey. Whilst we enjoy our Christian liberty, and are free from such burdensome observances, we must be careful not to abuse our liberty. For the Lord hath redeemed and called his people, that they may be holy, even as he is holy. We must come out, and be separate from the world; we must leave the company of the ungodly, and all needless connexions with those who are dead in sin; we must be zealous of good works devoted followers of God, and companions of his people.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Leviticus with Chapter 11 and in today's text we see a continued look as God reveals His character to us through this handbook to the Priest. We see that Jesus is our ultimate High Priest and the definition of sin and sacrifice as it relates to atonement and forgiveness of sin. Today God classifies clean and unclean meats and what catches my eye is verse 44-45 when God says - be ye Holy for I am Holy. In making application we are to make decisions according to scripture as God is instructing us on what is right or Godly, and what is wrong or sinful. In our text today the clean things are for us to eat as they are health and disease free while the unclean things are unhealthy and carry disease. God wants you to know what is good for you so that you will experience His best in life. How about you? Do you make decisions according to scripture, following the example of Christ? Let us learn from today's text and make decisions according to the holy or clean things for these things are good for us and ultimately the best for us and our lives.
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.