Leviticus 11:41
And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(41) And every creeping thing.—Besides the eight reptiles which defile by touching their carcase, and which are enumerated in Leviticus 11:29-30, all other creeping things upon the earth, with the exception of those specified in Leviticus 11:21-22, are to be treated as an abomination, and must not be eaten, though their carcases do not defile by coming in contact with them. From the fact that the creeping things here proscribed are expressly described as “creeping upon the earth,” the administrators of the law during the second Temple concluded that the small worms which do not creep upon the earth do not come within the operation of this prohibition. Hence worms bred in vegetables, fruit, and certain kinds of food are permitted. Thus the worms in figs, dates, and berries, the mites in peas, beans, and lentils, the maggots in cheese, the insects found in the flesh and under the skin of fishes, are not proscribed, and only when they quit the object wherein they have been generated, and creep about upon the ground, are they forbidden. Hence the Chaldee Version of Jonathan renders the passage “and every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you” (Deuteronomy 14:19) by “and all bees and wasps, and all worms of vegetables and of pulse which leave the objects of food and fly like birds, are unclean unto you.”

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.
]See Leviticus 2:4. The word rendered "ranges for pots" has been conjectured to mean either an excavated fireplace, fitted to receive a pair of ovens, or a support like a pair of andirons. 31-35. whosoever doth touch them, when … dead, shall be unclean until the even—These regulations must have often caused annoyance by suddenly requiring the exclusion of people from society, as well as the ordinances of religion. Nevertheless they were extremely useful and salutary, especially as enforcing attention to cleanliness. This is a matter of essential importance in the East, where venomous reptiles often creep into houses and are found lurking in boxes, vessels, or holes in the wall; and the carcass of one of them, or a dead mouse, mole, lizard, or other unclean animal, might be inadvertently touched by the hand, or fall on clothes, skin bottles, or any article of common domestic use. By connecting, therefore, the touch of such creatures with ceremonial defilement, which required immediately to be removed, an effectual means was taken to prevent the bad effects of venom and all unclean or noxious matter. Except those before expressly excepted above Leviticus 11:21,22

And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,.... Nothing is called a creeping thing, as Jarchi says, but what is low, has short feet, and is not seen unless it creeps and moves: and "every creeping thing" comprehends, as Aben Ezra and Ben Gersom observe, the eight creeping things before mentioned, Leviticus 11:29 and mention is made of them here, that they might not be eaten, which is not expressed before; and being described as creeping things "on the earth", is, according to Jarchi, an exception of worms in pease, beans, and lentiles; and, as others observe, in figs and dates, and other fruit; for they do not creep upon the earth, but are within the food; but if they go out into the air, and creep, they are forbidden. And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.
41. creeping thing that creepeth] swarming thing that swarmeth, and so in Leviticus 11:42-44 except the last part of Leviticus 11:44 ‘that moveth (creepeth A.V.) upon the earth.’

43–45 may be an excerpt from H (see Introd. p. xix, The Law of Purification). In fact, Horst and Kuenen (and Dillm. partially) would include in H a large part of this ch.

41–44. This would come appropriately as a conclusion to the rules about eating, after Leviticus 11:23. Cp. Ezekiel 8:10 f.

Verses 41-43. - The last class is that of vermin, which constitute a part of the un-winged creeping class already spoken of (verses 29, 30). Whatsoever goeth upon the belly indicates snakes, worms, maggots: whatsoever goeth upon all four, things that grovel, as moles, rats, hedgehogs; whatsoever hath more feet, or doth multiply feet, centipedes, caterpillars, spiders. Leviticus 11:41Lastly, contact with edible animals, if they had not been slaughtered, but had died a natural death, and had become carrion in consequence, is also said to defile (cf. Leviticus 11:39, Leviticus 11:40 with Leviticus 11:24-28). This was the case, too, with the eating of the swarming land animals, whether they went upon the belly,

(Note: The large ו in גּחון (Leviticus 11:42) shows that this vav is the middle letter of the Pentateuch.)

as snakes and worms, or upon four feet, as rats, mice, weasels, etc., or upon many feet, like the insects (Leviticus 11:41-43). Lastly (Leviticus 11:44, Leviticus 11:45), the whole law is enforced by an appeal to the calling of the Israelites, as a holy nation, to be holy as Jehovah their God, who had brought them out of Egypt to be a God to them, was holy (Exodus 6:7; Exodus 29:45-46).

Leviticus 11:41 Interlinear
Leviticus 11:41 Parallel Texts

Leviticus 11:41 NIV
Leviticus 11:41 NLT
Leviticus 11:41 ESV
Leviticus 11:41 NASB
Leviticus 11:41 KJV

Leviticus 11:41 Bible Apps
Leviticus 11:41 Parallel
Leviticus 11:41 Biblia Paralela
Leviticus 11:41 Chinese Bible
Leviticus 11:41 French Bible
Leviticus 11:41 German Bible

Bible Hub

Leviticus 11:40
Top of Page
Top of Page