Leviticus 11:46
This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth:
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(46) This is the law of the beasts.—This is a recapitulation of the different classes of animals proscribed in the dietary laws. It will, however, be seen that in this summary they are not enumerated in the same order in which they are discussed in the chapter before us. In the dietary law the order of the four classes is as follows :—(1) the land animals, (2) the water animals, (3) the birds of the air, and (4) the swarming animals; whilst the order of the summary is:—(1) the land animals, (2) the birds of the air, (3) the water animals, and (4) the swarming animals. Exactly the same is the case in the summary of the sacrificial law. (See Leviticus 7:37-38.)

Leviticus 11:46. This is the law of the beasts, &c.–It was to them a statute as long as that dispensation lasted, but under the gospel we find it expressly repealed, by a voice from heaven to Peter, (Acts 10:15,) as it had before been virtually set aside by the death of Christ, with other ordinances that perished in the using, Touch not, taste not, handle not, (Colossians 2:21-22,) and now we are sure that meat commends us not to God, (1 Corinthians 8:8,) and that nothing is unclean of itself, Romans 14:14. Nor doth that defile a man which goes into his mouth, but that which comes out from the heart, Matthew 15:11. Let us therefore, 1st, Give thanks to God that we are not under this yoke, but that to us every creature of God is allowed as good, and nothing to be refused. 2d, Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and take heed of those doctrines which command to abstain from meats, and so would revive Moses again, 1 Timothy 4:3; 1 Timothy 4:3 d, Be strictly and conscientiously temperate in the use of the good creatures God has allowed us. If God’s law has given us liberty, let us lay restraints upon ourselves, and never feed ourselves without fear, lest our table be a snare. Set a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite, and be not desirous of dainties or varieties, Proverbs 23:2-3. Nature is content with a little, grace with less, but lust with nothing.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.
]These verses set forth the spiritual ground on which the distinction between clean and unclean is based. Compare the marginal references and Leviticus 10:10; Leviticus 20:25-26; 1 Peter 1:15-16.

The basis of the obligation to maintain the distinction was the call of the Hebrews to be the special people of Yahweh. It was to he something in their daily life to remind them of the covenant which distinguished them from the nations of the world. By Jesus Christ it was revealed Matthew 15:11 to the elect people that they were no longer to he tied by the letter of the Law in regard to their food, but were to be left to the exercise of a regenerated judgment. They were to learn that the kingdom of God is not eating, or abstaining from, meats and drinks; but righteousness, and truth, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17. Compare Acts 10:15; 1 Timothy 4:4).

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. No text from Poole on this verse. This is the law of the beasts,.... Clean and unclean, what were to be eaten, and what not,

and of the fowl; Leviticus 11:2 the unclean ones, which are particularly mentioned that they might be avoided, all others excepting them being allowed:, Leviticus 11:13.

and of every living creature that moveth in the waters; all sorts of fish in the sea, rivers, ponds, and pools, such as have fins and scales, these were to be eaten, but, if they had neither, were forbidden:, Leviticus 11:9.

and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth; eight of which are mentioned particularly, which, when dead, defiled by touching; and all others are forbidden to be eaten, Leviticus 11:29 together with such creeping things that fly, excepting those that had legs above their feet to leap with, Leviticus 11:20. This is a recapitulation of the several laws respecting them, though not in the exact order in which they are delivered in this chapter.

This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:
46. creepeth] swarmeth.

46, 47. Summary. It refers only to the rules about eating, and so makes no reference to Leviticus 11:24-30. See App. I (c).Lastly, 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).

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