Leviticus 11:8
Of their flesh shall you not eat, and their carcass shall you not touch; they are unclean to you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Of their flesh ye shall not eat.—During the second Temple the prohibition was defined to extend to the smallest quantity. If any one ate a piece of flesh less even than the size of an olive he was chastised with stripes.

And their carcase shall ye not touch.—As contact with a human dead body, which was regarded as the most defiling of all, was only forbidden to the priests (see Leviticus 21:1-3), hence the prohibition here addressed to the whole nation was interpreted during the second Temple to apply simply to the occasions when the Israelites came to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage festivals. Contact with a carcase of an unclean animal on these visits precluded the worshipper from entering the sanctuary, from touching sacred things, and from partaking of the sacrificial meats.

Leviticus 11:8. Ye shall not touch — Not in order to eating. But the fat and skins of some of the forbidden creatures were useful, and might be used by them.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.
]He divide the hoof ... - It is cloven-footed and completely, etc. See Leviticus 11:3 note. Of all the quadrupeds of which the Law forbids the flesh to be eaten, the pig seems to have been regarded as the most unclean. Compare the marginal references. Several other nations have agreed with the Hebrews in this respect: the reason being that its flesh is unwholesome, especially in warm climates. 7. the swine—It is a filthy, foul-feeding animal, and it lacks one of the natural provisions for purifying the system, "it cheweth not the cud"; in hot climates indulgence in swine's flesh is particularly liable to produce leprosy, scurvy, and various cutaneous eruptions. It was therefore strictly avoided by the Israelites. Its prohibition was further necessary to prevent their adopting many of the grossest idolatries practised by neighboring nations. Ye shall not touch, to wit, in order to eating, as may be gathered by comparing this with Genesis 3:3 Colossians 2:21. For since the fat and the skins of some of the forbidden creatures were useful for medicinal and other good uses, and were used by good men; see Matthew 3:4; it is not probable that God would have them cast away. Thus God forbad the making of images, Exo 20, not absolutely and universally, but in order to the worshipping of them, as Christian interpreters agree. Or, they were here forbidden to touch them, to wit, unnecessarily; and if he that touched them for some necessary use were polluted by it, it was but a slight and transient pollution, ending at evening, as appears from Leviticus 11:24,25, &c. Of their flesh shall ye not eat,.... Meaning, not of swine only, but of the camel, coney, and hare:

and their carcass shall ye not touch; which must not be understood of touching them in any sense; for then it would have been unlawful for a Jew to have rode upon a camel, or to take out and make use of hog's lard in medicine; but of touching them in order to kill them, and prepare them for food, and eat them; and indeed all unnecessary touching of them is forbidden, lest it should bring them to the eating of them; though perhaps it may chiefly respect the touching of them dead:

they are unclean to you: one and all of them; for as this was said of each of them in particular, so now of all of them together; and which holds good of all wild creatures not named, to whom the description above belongs, and which used to be eaten by other nations; some of which were called Pamphagi, from eating all sorts, and others Agriophagi, from eating wild creatures, as lions, panthers, elephants (l), &c.

(l) Plin. l. 6. c. 30. Solinus, c. 43.

Of their {c} flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

(c) God would that by this for a time they should be discerned as his people from the Gentiles.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. their carcases ye shall not touch] The word carcase is the same as that translated ‘that which dieth of itself’ (Leviticus 17:15; Deuteronomy 14:21). Here and in Deuteronomy 14:8 contact with the dead bodies of these unclean animals is prohibited.Verse 8. - Of their carcass shall ye not touch. This prohibition is founded upon the same feeling of disgust as the prohibition of eating their flesh. Whatever is foal must be avoided. (cf. Deuteronomy 14:4-8). Of the larger quadrupeds, which are divided in Genesis 1:24-25 into beasts of the earth (living wild) and tame cattle, only the cattle (behemah) are mentioned here, as denoting the larger land animals, some of which were reared by man as domesticated animals, and others used as food. Of these the Israelites might eat "whatsoever parteth the hoof and is cloven-footed, and cheweth the cud among the cattle." פּרסת שׁסע שׁסעת, literally "tearing (having) a rent in the hoofs," according to Deuteronomy 14:5 into "two claws," i.e., with a hoof completely severed in two. גּרה, rumination, μηρυκισμός (lxx), from גּרר (cf. יגּר Leviticus 11:7), to draw (Habakkuk 1:15), to draw to and fro; hence to bring up the food again, to ruminate. גּרה מעלת is connected with the preceding words with vav cop. to indicate the close connection of the two regulations, viz., that there was to be the perfectly cloven foot as well as the rumination (cf. Leviticus 11:4.). These marks are combined in the oxen, sheep, and goats, and also in the stag and gazelle. The latter are expressly mentioned in Deuteronomy 14:4-5, where - in addition to the common stag (איּל) and gazelle (צבי, δορκάς, lxx), or dorcas-antelope, which is most frequently met with in Palestine, Syria, and Arabia, of the size of a roebuck, with a reddish brown back and white body, horns sixteen inches long, and fine dark eyes, and the flesh of which, according to Avicenna, is the best of all the wild game-the following five are also selected, viz.: (1) יחמוּר, not βούβαλος, the buffalo (lxx, and Luther), but Damhirsch, a stag which is still much more common in Asia than in Europe and Palestine (see v. Schubert, R. iii. p. 118); (2) אקּו, probably, according to the Chaldee, Syriac, etc., the capricorn (Steinbock), which is very common in Palestine, not τραγέλαφος (lxx, Vulg.), the buck-stag (Bockhirsch), an animal lately discovered in Nubia (cf. Leyrer in Herzog's Cycl. vi. p. 143); (3) דּישׁן, according to the lxx and Vulg. πύραργος, a kind of antelope resembling the stag, which is met with in Africa (Herod. 4, 192), - according to the Chaldee and Syriac, the buffalo-antelope, - according to the Samar. and Arabic, the mountain-stag; (4) תּאו, according to the Chaldee the wild ox, which is also met with in Egypt and Arabia, probably the oryx (lxx, Vulg.), a species of antelope as large as a stag; and (5) זמר, according to the lxx and most of the ancient versions, the giraffe, but this is only found in the deserts of Africa, and would hardly be met with even in Egypt-it is more probably capreae sylvestris species, according to the Chaldee.
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