Deuteronomy 14:9
These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
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(9-10) See Leviticus 11:9-12.

14:1-21 Moses tells the people of Israel how God had given them three distinguishing privileges, which were their honour, and figures of those spiritual blessings in heavenly things, with which God has in Christ blessed us. Here is election; The Lord hath chosen thee. He did not choose them because they were by their own acts a peculiar people to him above other nations, but he chose them that they might be so by his grace; and thus were believers chosen, Eph 1:4. Here is adoption; Ye are the children of the Lord your God; not because God needed children, but because they were orphans, and needed a father. Every spiritual Israelite is indeed a child of God, a partaker of his nature and favour. Here is sanctification; Thou art a holy people. God's people are required to be holy, and if they are holy, they are indebted to the grace God which makes them so. Those whom God chooses to be his children, he will form to be a holy people, and zealous of good works. They must be careful to avoid every thing which might disgrace their profession, in the sight of those who watch for their halting. Our heavenly Father forbids nothing but for our welfare. Do thyself no harm; do not ruin thy health, thy reputation, thy domestic comforts, thy peace of mind. Especially do not murder thy soul. Do not be the vile slave of thy appetites and passions. Do not render all around thee miserable, and thyself wretched; but aim at that which is most excellent and useful. The laws which regarded many sorts of flesh as unclean, were to keep them from mingling with their idolatrous neighbours. It is plain in the gospel, that these laws are now done away. But let us ask our own hearts, Are we of the children of the Lord our God? Are we separate from the ungodly world, in being set apart to God's glory, the purchase of Christ's blood? Are we subjects of the work of the Holy Ghost? Lord, teach us from these precepts how pure and holy all thy people ought to live!The "pygarg" is a species of gazelle, and the "wild ox" and "chamois" are swift types of antelope.5. The hart—(see on [131]De 12:15).

fallow deer—The Hebrew word (Jachmur) so rendered, does not represent the fallow deer, which is unknown in Western Asia, but an antelope (Oryx leucoryx), called by the Arabs, jazmar. It is of a white color, black at the extremities, and a bright red on the thighs. It was used at Solomon's table.

wild goat—The word akko is different from that commonly used for a wild goat (1Sa 24:2; Ps 104:18; Pr 5:19), and it is supposed to be a goat-deer, having the body of a stag, but the head, horns, and beard of a goat. An animal of this sort is found in the East, and called Lerwee [Shaw, Travels].

pygarg—a species of antelope (Oryx addax) with white buttocks, wreathed horns two feet in length, and standing about three feet seven inches high at the shoulders. It is common in the tracks which the Israelites had frequented [Shaw].

wild ox—supposed to be the Nubian Oryx, which differs from the Oryx leucoryx (formerly mentioned) by its black color; and it is, moreover, of larger stature and more slender frame, with longer and more curved horns. It is called Bekkar-El-Wash by the Arabs.

chamois—rendered by the Septuagint Cameleopard; but, by others who rightly judge it must have been an animal more familiar to the Hebrews, it is thought to be the Kebsch (Ovis tragelaphus), rather larger than a common sheep, covered not with wool, but with reddish hair—a Syrian sheep-goat.

No text from Poole on this verse.

These ye shall eat of, all that are in the waters,.... The fishes there, even such as have fins and scales, but they that have not were not to be eaten: See Gill on Leviticus 11:9, Leviticus 11:10, Leviticus 11:11, Leviticus 11:12. These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
9, 10. On clean and unclean Fishes; Leviticus 11:9-12 substantially the same but more elaborate. On the numerous fishes of Palestine see Tristram, 162 ff. No species are here enumerated, nor in the rest of the O.T.; but, chiefly under foreign influence, specific names appear in the Talmud and Mishna. On their use as food see Kennedy in E.B. and the present writer’s Jerusalem, i. 317 f. The rule given here, that only those with fins (points) or scales are clean practically rules out eels1[133], lampreys and others, with of course all shellfish, some of which are wholesome fare. In inquiring for a reason for their exclusion, their likeness in shape to serpents must be kept in view; on the sacredness of fish (including eels) to certain Semitic deities see W. R. Smith, Rel. Sem. 157 ff. In Arabia the practice varies. Fish are eaten in Madaba and Kerak and on the coasts of the peninsula; but inland Arabs though eating lizards and locusts appear to abhor fish: ‘the most have never seen them and do not desire them’ (Musil, Ethn. Ber. 21). The true Bedawee despises the fish-eater (Georg Jacob, op. cit. 25). Cp. Baldensperger, PEFQ, 1905, 119.

[133] Eels have indeed numerous small scales.

Deuteronomy 14:9With reference to food, the Israelites were to eat nothing whatever that was abominable. In explanation of this prohibition, the laws of Leviticus 11 relating to clean and unclean animals are repeated in all essential points in vv. 4-20 (for the exposition, see at Leviticus 11); also in Deuteronomy 14:21 the prohibition against eating any animal that had fallen down dead (as in Exodus 32:30 and Leviticus 17:15), and against boiling a kid in its mother's milk (as in Exodus 23:19).
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