|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:1-47 What 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.
Verses 24-28. - These verses contain an expansion of the warning contained in verse 8, to the effect that the touch of the dead bodies of the forbidden animals was defiling, as well as the consumption of their flesh. A further mark of an unclean animal is added in verse 27. Whatsoever goeth upon his paws; that is, whatever has not hoofs, but goes stealthily, like beasts of prey of the eat kind. It includes also dogs.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And for these ye shalt be unclean,.... That is, for eating them; or should they eat them they would be unclean:
whosoever toucheth the carcass of them shall be unclean until the even; not only he was unclean that ate them, but he that even touched their dead bodies was reckoned unclean; might not go into the tabernacle, nor have conversation with men, nor eat of the holy things, which were forbid men in any uncleanness; and though there is no mention of his washing himself, it may be understood, this being a short or concise way of speaking, as Aben Ezra observes; who adds, that it was necessary that he should wash himself in water; which was typical of washing and cleansing by the grace and blood of Christ, without which a man cannot be cleansed from the least sin, and pollution by it; and may signify that during the legal dispensation there was no proper cleansing from sin, until the evening of the world, when Christ came and shed his blood for the cleansing of it.
Leviticus 11:24 Parallel Commentaries
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