Leviticus 11:10
And 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:
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(10) Of all that move in the waters.—That is, apart from the fishes exhibiting the above-named signs, all other inhabitants of the water are forbidden. Hence all shell-fish, whether molluscs or crustaceans, and cetaceous animals, are unclean.

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.
]Any fish, either from salt water or fresh, might be eaten if it had both scales and fins. but no other creature that lives in the waters. Shellfish of all kinds, whether mollusks or crustaceans, and cetaceous animals, were therefore prohibited, as well as fish which appear to have no scales, like the eel; probably because they were considered unwholesome, and (under certain circumstances) found to be so. 9. These shall ye eat … whatsoever hath fins and scales—"The fins and scales are the means by which the excrescences of fish are carried off, the same as in animals by perspiration. I have never known an instance of disease produced by eating such fish; but those that have no fins and scales cause, in hot climates, the most malignant disorders when eaten; in many cases they prove a mortal poison" [Whitlaw]. i.e. Either of the smaller sort of fishes, or of the greater, which are called here living creatures or beasts, as some of them are called the beasts of the sea by other authors.

And all that have not fins nor scales in the seas, and in the rivers,.... Such as eels, lampreys, &c.

of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters; the former of these are interpreted by Aben Ezra and Ben Gersom of little fishes that have but a small body, and such as are created out of the waters; and the latter, of such as are produced of a male and female; or, as Maimonides (r) explains it, the one signifies the lesser creatures, such as worms and horse leeches; the other greater ones, sea beasts, as sea dogs, &c.

they shall be an abomination to you; not only unclean, and so unfit to eat, but to be had in abhorrence and detestation, as being exceeding disagreeable and unwholesome; and, as a learned man observes (s), to these prohibited in general belong all those animals in lakes, rivers, or seas, which are of a slow motion, and which, because of the slow motion of their bodies, do not so well digest their food; and for that may be compared with four footed beasts that have but one belly, and so unwholesome as they.

(r) Hilchot Maacolot Asuret, l. 1. c. 2. sect. 12. (s) Scheuchzer. ut supra, (Physic. Sacr. vol. 2.) p. 287.

And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that {d} move in the waters, and of any {e} living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

(d) As little fish begotten in the slime.

(e) As they which come of generation.

Leviticus 11:10(cf. Deuteronomy 14:9 and Deuteronomy 14:10). Of water animals, everything in the water, in seas and brooks, that had fins and scales was edible. Everything else that swarmed in the water was to be an abomination, its flesh was not to be eaten, and its carrion was to be avoided with abhorrence. Consequently, not only were all water animals other than fishes, such as crabs, salamanders, etc., forbidden as unclean; but also fishes without scales, such as eels for example. Numa laid down this law for the Romans: ut pisces qui sqamosi non essent ni pollicerent (sacrificed): Plin. h. n. 32, c. 2, s. 10. In Egypt fishes without scales are still regarded as unwholesome (Lane, Manners and Customs).
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