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Leviticus 11-13

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Leviticus Chapter 11

Humans began as vegetarians ("And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food," Genesis 1:29 RSV) but also became meat eaters after the flood ("Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything," Genesis 9:3 RSV). Everything clean could be used as food (see the Fact Finder question below).

A Healthy Diet Examples of unclean (for food) birds and animals:

"Nevertheless among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel [see Camels], because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger [see Conies], because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you [see also Abomination of Desolation - Where?]. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you." (Leviticus 11:4-8 RSV)

"And these you shall have in abomination among the birds, they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle [see Eagles], the vulture, the osprey, the kite, the falcon according to its kind, every raven according to its kind, the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk according to its kind, the owl, the cormorant, the ibis, the water hen, the pelican, the carrion vulture, The Stork, the heron according to its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat." (Leviticus 11:13-19 RSV)

"And these are unclean to you among the swarming things that swarm upon the earth: the weasel, the mouse, the great lizard according to its kind, the gecko, the land crocodile [see also Dragons], the lizard, the sand lizard, and the chameleon." (Leviticus 11:29-30 RSV)

Leviticus Chapter 12

The natural recovery time for childbirth was also protected within a specified time of "purification," a rite still observed centuries later at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ ("And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to The Lord as it is written in the law of The Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to The Lord," and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of The Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons," Luke 2:22-24 RSV).


"The Lord said to Moses, "Say to the people of Israel, If a woman conceives, and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Then she shall continue for thirty-three days in the blood of her purifying; she shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed. But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six days.

And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering, and he shall offer it before The Lord, and make atonement for her; then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood.

This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female. And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean." (Leviticus 12:1-8 RSV)

Leviticus Chapter 13

As with all of the Laws of God, they always had a practical purpose, whether immediate, or prophetic. The laws of hygiene were intended to protect health; they are as relevant and true today as at any time in the past. Examples (note that the translated word "leprous" applies to infectious diseases in general, or even to spreading mildew in a building):


"The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "When a man has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot, and it turns into a leprous disease on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests, and the priest shall examine the diseased spot on the skin of his body; and if the hair in the diseased spot has turned white and the disease appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is a leprous disease" (Leviticus 13:1-3 RSV)

When there is a leprous disease in a garment, whether a woolen or a linen garment, in warp or woof of linen or wool, or in a skin or in anything made of skin, if the disease shows greenish or reddish in the garment, whether in warp or woof or in skin or in anything made of skin, it is a leprous disease and shall be shown to the priest. And the priest shall examine the disease, and shut up that which has the disease for seven days; then he shall examine the disease on the seventh day. If the disease has spread in the garment, in warp or woof, or in the skin, whatever be the use of the skin, the disease is a malignant leprosy; it is unclean. And he shall burn the garment, whether diseased in warp or woof, woolen or linen, or anything of skin, for it is a malignant leprosy; it shall be burned in the fire." (Leviticus 13:47-52 RSV)

Fact Finder: What is the natural basis for The Lord's healthy diet law?
See Clean and Unclean

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