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On QOLASIYM: Chapter 3 – Part Four: Unclean.2

Posted by Stephen Pidgeon on Monday, September 7, 2015 at 12:00 AM


Let’s take a look at another example concerning the clean and unclean.  To be sure, the whole of the chapter is a bit lengthy, but the end is a worthy discussion.

Qolasiym (Colossians) 3:5-6

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of YAH comes on the children of disobedience:

We continue our discussion of uncleanness with one particular chapter in Vayiqra (Leviticus), let us consider what it says:

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 11:1-8

And YAHUAH spoke unto El-Mosheh and to El-Aharon, saying unto them, 2 Speak unto the children of Yisra’el, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 3 Whatsoever parts the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and chews the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. 4 Nevertheless these את eth-shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as את eth-the camel, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 5 And את eth-the coney, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 6 And את eth-the hare, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 7 And את eth-the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he chews not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

Now, this passage does not describe unclean people, but rather, unclean animals for purposes of that which ye shall eat.  This passage segregates the clean from the unclean, and although people argue that it is possible to eat such foods, recent evidence indicates that in fact this list is perfectly accurate as to foods which are healthy compared to those which are not. 

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 11:9-12

These את eth-shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have את eth-their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

In this passage, we see uncleanness described as abomination, and we see the distinction between seafood which is considered clean to eat and that which does not have fins nor scales in the waters should not be eaten, because it is abomination.  Strong language for people who love clams, mussels, shrimp, crab, and lobster – but an easy remedy for those who have a shellfish allergy. 

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 11:13-23

And these את eth-are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: את eth-the eagle, and את eth-the ossifrage, and את eth-the ospray, 14 And את eth-the vulture, and את eth-the kite after his kind; 15 את eth Every raven after his kind; 16 And את eth-the owl, and את eth-the night hawk, and את eth-the cuckow, and את eth-the hawk after his kind, 17 And את eth-the little owl, and את eth-the cormorant, and את eth-the great owl, 18 And the את eth-swan, and את eth-the pelican, and the את eth-gier eagle, 19 And the את eth-stork, the heron after her kind, and את eth-the lapwing, and את eth-the bat. 20 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. 21 Yet these את eth-may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goes upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 22 את eth-Even these of them ye may eat; את eth-the locust after his kind, and את eth-the bald locust after his kind, and את eth-the beetle after his kind, and את eth-the grasshopper after his kind. 23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.

Okay, while some people might be interested in eating some of the birds, I have never found such birds on any restaurant menu.  These birds (and the bats) are ruled out as food, and again are called abomination. Bugs, lizards and so on are also ruled out, but surprisingly enough, the locust, the beetle, and the grasshoppers qualify.  When deep-fried, some say they taste like French fries.

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 11:24-26

And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever touches the carcase of them shall be unclean until the evening. 25 And whosoever bears ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. 26 The carcases of every beast which divides the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor chews the cud, are unclean unto you: everyone that touches them shall be unclean.

It behooves us to look closely at this passage, because the passage does not say that those who eat the unclean are unclean, but rather, those who touch the unclean.

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 11:27-28

And whatsoever goes upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso touches their carcase shall be unclean until the evening. 28 And he that bears את eth-the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening: they are unclean unto you.

What is this?  Petting a dog makes you unclean?  According to this verse, the answer is yes if the dog is dead, and a shower is required.

Finally, we get the creeping miscellaneous abominations.

Vayiqra (Leviticus) 11:29-42

These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, 30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. 31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever touches them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the evening. 32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, does fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; so it shall be cleansed. 33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falls, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it. 34 Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water comes shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. 35 And everything whereupon any part of their carcase falls shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you. 36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which touches their carcase shall be unclean. 37 And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. 38 But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you. 39 And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that touches the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the evening. 40 And he that eats of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening: he also that bears את eth-the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. 41 And every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. 42 Whatsoever goes upon the belly, and whatsoever goes upon all four, or whatsoever has more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.

43 Ye shall not make את eth-yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. 44 For I am YAHUAH ELOHAYKEM: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile את eth-yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. 45 For I am YAHUAH that brings you up out of the land of Mitsrayim, to be your ELOHIYM: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 46 This is the Torah of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps upon the earth: 47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten. 

This passage may look familiar in so much as it repeats ye shall be holy; for I am holy, a passage we see affirmed later in the writings of the Talmidiym:

Kepha Rishon (1 Peter) 1:16

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

If we are to use scripture to define and describe scripture – a proper hermeneutic – then we see that in one instance, being holy means avoiding unclean foods and foods that are an abomination.  It is interesting that the phrase be holy, for I am holy would appear here, isn’t it?  Part of the sanctification process is to make yourself clean – to mortify uncleanness as Sha’ul would say, and that process includes eating that which is clean, and avoiding that which is unclean.  (Note that the animals identified in this passage as unclean all practice coprophagia and as a result present numerous issues of compromised DNA, parasitical infestation, intolerable bacteria and so forth).

Yet the torah mitzpath is to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

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