Leviticus 11:25
And whoever bears ought of the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) And whosoever beareth.—But he who removed the carcase out of the camp or city, or from one place to another, not only contracted defilement for the rest of the day, but had to wash the clothes which he had on, since the pollution by carrying is greater than that by touching. During the time of the second Temple, the administrators of the law declared that wherever the Law enjoins that a man should “wash his clothes” because of the legal defilement which he contracted, it included the command of bathing the body, and that it was only omitted here and in Leviticus 11:28; Leviticus 11:40 for the sake of brevity. The Samaritan text and some Hebrew manuscripts have actually the whole phrase “and wash his clothes and bathe himself in water,” as in Leviticus 17:15 and Numbers 19:19. In allusion to this we are told that those who contracted pollution, and have come out of the great tribulation, “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).

Ought of the carcase.—The uncleanness was contracted by not only carrying away the whole carcase, but by removing any portion of it. (See Leviticus 11:32.) The expression ought is represented in the original, and is rightly printed in the ordinary type of the text in the Authorised Version of 1611. The printing it in italics is an unauthorised innovation, though it is followed in the Speaker’s Commentary, which professes to give the text of 1611.

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.
]Unclean - If the due purification was omitted at the time, through negligence or forgetfulness, a sin-offering was required. See Leviticus 5:2. 21, 22. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet—Nothing short of a scientific description could convey more accurately the nature "of the locust after its kind." They were allowed as lawful food to the Israelites, and they are eaten by the Arabs, who fry them in olive oil. When sprinkled with salt, dried, smoked, and fried, they are said to taste not unlike red herrings. Whosoever beareth, or, taketh away, out of the place where haply it may lie, by which others may be either offended or polluted. And whosoever beareth ought of the carcass of them,.... That carries them from one place to another, out of the camp, city, village, or house or field where they may lie; and though this is done with a good design, as being offensive or infectious, yet such an one

shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even; from whence both Jarchi and Aben Ezra infer, that the pollution by hearing or carrying is greater than that by touching; since such a man, so defiled, was obliged to wash his clothes as well as his body; so saints, that have contracted pollution by any manner of sin, are to wash their garments and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, Revelation 7:14.

And whosoever {g} beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.

(g) Out of the camp.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
היּענה בּת, i.e., either daughter of screaming (Bochart), or daughter of greediness (Gesenius, etc.), is used according to all the ancient versions for the ostrich, which is more frequently described as the dweller in the desert (Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:13, etc.), or as the mournful screamer (Micah 1:8; Job 30:29), and is to be understood, not as denoting the female ostrich only, but as a noun of common gender denoting the ostrich generally. It does not devour carrion indeed, but it eats vegetable matter of the most various kinds, and swallows greedily stones, metals, and even glass. It is found in Arabia, and sometimes in Hauran and Belka (Seetzen and Burckhardt), and has been used as food not only by the Struthiophagi of Ethiopia (Diod. Sic. 3, 27; Strabo, xvi. 772) and Numidia (Leo Afric. p. 766), but by some of the Arabs also (Seetzen, iii. p. 20; Burckhardt, p. 178), whilst others only eat the eggs, and make use of the fat in the preparation of food. תּחמס, according to Bochart, Gesenius, and others, is the male ostrich; but this is very improbable. According to the lxx, Vulg., and others, it is the owl (Oedmann, iii. pp. 45ff.); but this is mentioned later under another name. According to Saad. Ar. Erp. it is the swallow; but this is called סיס in Jeremiah 8:7. Knobel supposes it to be the cuckoo, which is met with in Palestine (Seetzen, 1, p. 78), and derives the name from חמס, violenter egit, supposing it to be so called from the violence with which it is said to turn out or devour the eggs and young of other birds, for the purpose of laying its own eggs in the nest (Aristot. hist. an. 6, 7; 9, 29; Ael. nat. an. 6, 7). שׁחף is the λάρος, or slender gull, according to the lxx and Vulg. Knobel follows the Arabic, however, and supposes it to be a species of hawk, which is trained in Syria for hunting gazelles, hares, etc.; but this is certainly included in the genus נץ. נץ, from נצץ to fly, is the hawk, which soars very high, and spreads its wings towards the south (Job 39:26). It stands in fact, as למינהוּ shows, for the hawk-tribe generally, probably the ἱέραξ, accipiter, of which the ancients enumerate many different species. כּוס, which is mentioned in Psalm 102:7 as dwelling in ruins, is an owl according to the ancient versions, although they differ as to the kind. In Knobel's opinion it is either the screech-owl, which inhabits ruined buildings, walls, and clefts in the rock, and the flesh of which is said to be very agreeable, or the little screech-owl, which also lives in old buildings and walls, and raises a mournful cry at night, and the flesh of which is said to be savoury. שׁלך, according to the ancient versions an aquatic bird, and therefore more in place by the side of the heron, where it stands in Deuteronomy, is called by the lxx καταῤῥάκτης; in the Targ. and Syr. נוּנא שׁלי, extrahens pisces. It is not the gull, however (larus catarractes), which plunges with violence, for according to Oken this is only seen in the northern seas, but a species of pelican, to be found on the banks of the Nile and in the islands of the Red Sea, which swims well, and also dives, frequently dropping perpendicularly upon fishes in the water. The flesh has an oily taste, but it is eaten for all that.

ינשׁוּף: from נשׁף to snort, according to Isaiah 34:11, dwelling in ruins, no doubt a species of owl; according to the Chaldee and Syriac, the uhu, which dwells in old ruined towers and castles upon the mountains, and cries uhupuhu. תּנשׁמת, which occurs again in Leviticus 11:30 among the names of the lizards, is, according to Damiri, a bird resembling the uhu, but smaller. Jonathan calls it uthya equals ὠτός, a night-owl. The primary meaning of the word נשׁם is essentially the same as that of נשׁף, to breathe or blow, so called because many of the owls have a mournful cry, and blow and snort in addition; though it cannot be decided whether the strix otus is intended, a bird by no means rare in Egypt, which utters a whistling blast, and rolls itself into a ball and then spreads itself out again, or the strix flammea, a native of Syria, which sometimes utters a mournful cry, and at other times snores like a sleeping man, and the flesh of which is said to be by no means unpleasant, or the hissing owl (strix stridula), which inhabits the ruins in Egypt and Syria, and is sometimes called massusu, at other times bane, a very voracious bird, which is said to fly in at open windows in the evening and kill children that are left unguarded, and which is very much dreaded in consequence. קאת, which also lived in desolate places (Isaiah 34:11; Zephaniah 2:14), or in the desert itself (Psalm 102:7), was not the kat, a species of partridge or heath-cock, which is found in Syria (Robinson, ii. p. 620), as this bird always flies in large flocks, and this is not in harmony with Isaiah 34:11 and Zephaniah 2:14, but the pelican (πελεκάν, lxx), as all the ancient versions render it, which Ephraem (on Numbers 14:17) describes as a marsh-bird, very fond of its young, inhabiting desolate places, and uttering an incessant cry. It is the true pelican of the ancients (pelecanus graculus), the Hebrew name of which seems to have been derived from קוא to spit, from its habit of spitting out the fishes it has caught, and which is found in Palestine and the reedy marshes of Egypt (Robinson, Palestine). רחם, in Deut. רחמה, is κυκνός, the swan, according to the Septuagint; porphyrio, the fish-heron, according to the Vulgate; a marsh-bird therefore, possibly vultur percnopterus (Saad. Ar. Erp.), which is very common in Arabia, Palestine, and Syria, and was classed by the ancients among the different species of eagles (Plin. h. n. 10, 3), but which is said to resemble the vulture, and was also called ὀρειπέλαργος, the mountain-stork (Arist. h. an. 9, 32). It is a stinking and disgusting bird, of the raven kind, with black pinions; but with this exception it is quite white. It is also bald-headed, and feeds on carrion and filth. But it is eaten notwithstanding by many of the Arabs (Burckhardt, Syr. p. 1046). It received its name of "tenderly loving" from the tenderness with which it watches over its young (Bochart, iii. pp. 56, 57). In this respect it resembles the stork, חסידה, avis pia, a bird of passage according to Jeremiah 8:7, which builds its nest upon the cypresses (Psalm 104:17, cf. Bochart, iii. pp. 85ff.). In the East the stork builds its nest not only upon high towers and the roofs of houses, but according to Kazwini and others mentioned by Bochart (iii. p. 60), upon lofty trees as well.

(Note: Oedmann (v. 58ff.), Knobel, and others follow the Greek translation of Leviticus and the Psalms, and the Vulgate rendering of Leviticus, the Psalms, and Job, and suppose the reference to be to the ἐρωδιός, herodius, the heron: but the name chasidah points decidedly to the stork, which was generally regarded by the ancients as pietatis cultrix (Petron. 55, 6), whereas, with the exception of the somewhat indefinite passage in Aelian (Nat. an. 3, 23), καὶ τοὺς ἐρωδιοὺς ἀκούω ποιεῖν ταὐτόν (i.e., feed their young by spitting out their food) καὶ τοὺς πελεκᾶνας μέντοι, nothing is said about the parental affection of the heron. And the testimony of Bellonius, "Ciconiae quae aetate in Europa sunt, magna hyemis parte ut in Aegypto sic etiam circa Antiochiam et juxta Amanum montem degunt," is a sufficient answer to Knobel's assertion, that according to Seetzen there are not storks in Mount Lebanon.)

אנפה, according to the lxx and Vulgate χαραδριός, a marsh-bird of the snipe kind, of which there are several species in Egypt (Hasselquist, p. 308). This is quite in accordance with the expression "after her kind," which points to a numerous genus. The omission of ואת before האנפה, whereas it is found before the name of every other animal, is very striking; but as the name is preceded by the copulative vav in Deuteronomy, and stands for a particular bird, it may be accounted for either from a want of precision on the part of the author, or from an error of the copyist like the omission of the ו before את in Leviticus 11:15.

(Note: On account of the omission of ואת Knobel would connect האנפה as an adjective with החסידה, and explain אנף as derived from ענף frons, ענף frondens, and signifying bushy. The herons were called "the bushy chasidah," he supposes, because they have a tuft of feathers at the back of their head, or long feathers hanging down from their neck, which are wanting in the other marsh-birds, such as the flamingo, crane, and ibis. But there is this important objection to the explanation, that the change of א for ע in such a word as ענף frons, which occurs as early as Leviticus 23:40, and has retained its ע even in the Aramaean dialects, is destitute of all probability. In addition to this, there is the improbability of the chasidah being restricted by anaphah to the different species of heron, with three of which the ancients were acquainted (Aristot. h. an. 9, 2; Plin. h. n. 10, 60). If chasidah denoted the heron generally, or the white heron, the epithet anaphah would be superfluous. It would be necessary to assume, therefore, that chasidah denotes the whole tribe of marsh-birds, and that Moses simply intended to prohibit the heron or bushy marsh-bird. But either of these is very improbable: the former, because in every other passage of the Old Testament chasidah stands for one particular kind of bird; the latter, because Moses could hardly have excluded storks, ibises, and other marsh-birds that live on worms, from his prohibition. All that remains, therefore, is to separate ha-anaphah from the preceding word, as in Deuteronomy, and to understand it as denoting the plover (?) or heron, as there were several species of both. Which is intended, it is impossible to decide, as there is nothing certain to be gathered from either the ancient versions or the etymology. Bochart's reference of the word to a fierce bird, viz., a species of eagle, which the Arabs call Tammaj, is not raised into a probability by a comparison with the similarly sounding ἀνοπαῖα of Od. 1, 320, by which Aristarchus understands a kind of eagle.)

דּוּכיפת: according to the lxx, Vulg., and others, the lapwing, which is found in Syria, Arabia, and still more commonly in Egypt (Forsk, Russel, Sonnini), and is eaten in some places, as its flesh is said to be fat and savoury in autumn (Sonn. 1, 204). But it has a disagreeable smell, as it frequents marshy districts seeking worms and insects for food, and according to a common belief among the ancients, builds its nest of human dung. Lastly, העטלּף is the bat (Isaiah 2:20), which the Arabs also classified among the birds.

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