Leviticus 11 - The Jerusalem Bible: Reader's Edition

III: RULES CONCERNING THE CLEAN AND UNCLEAN

Clean and unclean animals

a: On land

      1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron and said to them, 2 'Speak to the Israelites and say:

      "Of all animals living on land these are the creatures you may eat:

      3 "You may eat any animal that has a cloven hoof, divided into two parts, and that is a ruminant. 4 The following, which either chew the cud or have a cloven hoof, are the ones that you may not eat: you will regard the camel as unclean, because though it is ruminant, it does not have a cloven hoof; 5 you will regard the coney as unclean, because though it is ruminant, it does not have a cloven hoof;  6 you will regard the hare as unclean, because though it is ruminant, it does not have a cloven hoof;   7 you will regard the pig as unclean, though it has a cloven hoof, divided into two parts, it is not a ruminant.   8 You will not eat the meat of these or touch their dead bodies; you will regard them as unclean.

b: In water

      9"Of all that lives in water, these you may eat:

      "Anything that has fins and scales, and lives in the water, whether in sea or river, you may eat.   10 But anything in sea or river that does not have fins and scales, of all the small water-creatures and all the living things found there, you will regard as detestable.   11 You will regard them as detestable; you must not eat their meat and you will regard their carcases as detestable.  12 Anything that lives in water, but not having fins and scales, you will regard as detestable.

c: Birds

      13 "Of the birds these are the ones that you will regard as detestable; they may not be eaten, they are detestable for eating:

      "The tawny vulture, the griffon, the osprey,   14 the kite, the various kinds of buzzard,  15 all kinds of raven,   16 the ostrich, the screech owl, the seagull, the various kinds of hawk,   17 horned owl, night owl, cormorant, barn owl,  18 ibis, pelican, white vulture,   19 stork, the various kinds of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.

d: Winged insects

      20 "All winged insects moving on four feet you will regard as detestable for eating.  21 Of all these winged insects you may eat only the following: those with the sort of legs above their feet which enable them to leap over the ground.   22 These are the ones you may eat: the various kinds of migratory locust, the various kinds of solham locust, hargol locust and hagab locust.   23 But all other winged insects on four feet you will regard as detestable for eating.

Contact with unclean animals

      24 "By the following you will be made unclean. Anyone who touches the carcase of one will be unclean until evening.   25 Anyone who picks up their carcases must wash his clothing and will be unclean until evening.   26 Animals that have hoofs, but not cloven, and that are not ruminant, you will regard as unclean; anyone who touches their carcases will be unclean.   27 Those four-footed animals which walk on the flat of their paws, you will regard as unclean; anyone who touches them will be unclean until evening.   28 and anyone who picks up their carcases must wash his clothing and will be unclean until evening. You will regard them as unclean.

e. small ground animals

      29 "Of the small creatures which crawl along the ground, these are the ones which you will regard as unclean: the mole, the rat, the various kinds of lizard:  30 gecko, koah, letaah, chameleon and tinshamet..

Further rules on contact with things unclean

      31 "Of all the small creatures, these are the animals which you must regard as disgusting. Anyone who touches them when they are dead will be unclean until evening.

      32 "Any object on which one of theses creatures falls when it is dead becomes unclean: wooden utensil, clothing, skin, sacking, any utensil whatsoever. It must be immersed in water and will remain unclean until evening: then it shall be clean.   33 If the creature falls into an earthenware vessel, the vessel must be broken; whatever the vessel contains is unclean.   34 Any edible food will be unclean if the water touches it; any drinkable liquid will be unclean, no matter what its container.   35 Anything on which the carcase of such a creature may fall will be unclean: be it oven or stove, it must be destroyed; for they are unclean and you will regard them as unclean  36 (although springs, wells and stretches of water will remain clean); anyone who touches one of their carcases will be unclean.   37 If one of their carcases falls on any kind of seed, the seed will be clean;   38 but if the seed has been moistened and one of their carcases falls on it, you will regard it as unclean.

      39 "If one of the animals that you use as food dies, anyone who touches the carcase will be unclean until evening;   40 anyone who eats of the carcase must wash his clothing and will remain unclean until evening; anyone who picks up the carcase must wash his clothing and will remain unclean until evening.

The religious aspect

      41 "Any creature that swarms on the ground is detestable for eating; it must not be eaten.   42 Anything that moves on its belly, anything that moves on four legs or more--in short all the creatures that swarm on the ground--you will not eat, since they are detestable.   43 Do not make yourselves detestable with all these swarming creatures; do not defile yourselves with them, do not be defiled by them.   44 For it is I, Yahweh, who am your God. You have been sanctified and have become holy because I am holy: do not defile yourselves with all these creatures that swarm on the ground.   45 Yes, it is I, Yahweh, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God: you must therefore be holy because I am holy." '

Conclusion

      46 Such is the law concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in water and all creatures that swarm on the ground.   47 Its purpose is to distinguish the clean from the unclean, the creatures that may be eaten from those that may not be eaten.

Other Versions of Leviticus 11:

The Geneva Bible  (1599)

King James Bible  (1611)

The Holy Bible in Modern English by Ferrar Fenton  (1910)

The Tanakh  (1985)

Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI)

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This page was updated on April 6, 2011