“If an animal of a kind that you are permitted to eat dies, whoever touches its carcass will be unclean until evening. A person who eats meat from its carcass or carries its carcass is to wash his clothes; he will be unclean until evening.”-Leviticus 11:39-40
We are continuing on with our study of Leviticus Chapter 11 and dealing with the issue of how UNCLEANNESS is transmitted from dead animals to humans and things.
Up until now we have been dealing with what happens when contact is made with UNCLEAN creatures.
However, from verse 39, the instructions switch over to what happens when contact is made with CLEAN creatures.
We learn that death makes a normally CLEAN thing UNCLEAN.
For example, if a sheep, which is a CLEAN animal dies for whatever reason, the person who touches its dead body will be UNCLEAN until sundown.
And anybody who eats this formerly CLEAN, but now dead creature also becomes UNCLEAN and must wash his clothing.
The same also goes for the person who has to carry the carcass.
Now you may be a bit baffled.
‘What?!’ you may be thinking.
If death transforms a CLEAN or kosher animal into something UNCLEAN, then how can we ever be allowed to eat them?
The answer to that question is it is the CAUSE of the animal’s death that is the key.
A CLEAN animal that is slaughtered for sacrificial purposes or for food does NOT become UNCLEAN.
However, if the animal passes away due to disease, or is killed by a predator, or dies due to some unfortunate accident like falling off of a cliff, then it becomes UNCLEAN and as a result its corpse also becomes capable of transmitting UNCLEANNESS.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the big takeaway I’m getting from this is that in God’s Kingdom or from God’s perspective death is the most unnatural thing in the world.
Thus, even a CLEAN animal, when it dies becomes UNCLEAN.
Let’s move on to verses 41-43.
“Any creature that swarms on the ground is a detestable thing; it is not to be eaten — whatever moves on its stomach, goes on all fours, or has many legs — all creatures that swarm on the ground; you are not to eat them, because they are a detestable thing. You are not to make yourselves detestable with any of these swarming, crawling creatures; do not make yourselves unclean with them, do not defile yourselves with them.”
The Lord is again bringing up those creatures that He calls SHEKETS or an “abomination”.
He reiterates that any creature that SHARATS or “swarms” is to be avoided like the plague.
We are given a list that includes crocodiles, alligators, mice, lizards, frogs and snakes etcetera.
The common characteristics of all these creatures are that they slither on their bellies, crawl on all four’s and dart around in a random manner.
Now this must be a very serious matter or YHVH would not have repeated these instructions within just a few verses.
Anybody who eats these things becomes DETESTABLE to God.
And I don’t think being considered DETESTABLE in the Lord’s eyes is a position any of us would ever want to be in.
One may ask why does God consider such creatures DETESTABLE to Him?
My answer: Stop thinking like a Greek and just accept that what the Lord has declared DETESTABLE to Him is DETESTABLE and that’s it.
If you want the real answer, take a look at Leviticus 11:45.
“For I am Adonai,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt
to be your God.
Therefore you are to be holy,
because I am holy.“
This is the reason why the Lord has established such strict rules for Israel and anyone who would be grafted into Israel.
Because He His HOLY, His people must also be HOLY.
Do you remember the rules governing the COMMON and the HOLY that we studied?
ONLY SOMETHING OR SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN DECLARED HOLY BY YHVH CAN ENTER INTO HIS PRESENCE.
This principle goes back to the Garden of Eden.
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
From the beginning, we can see it was ordained that man is to be HOLY because His Creator is HOLY.
And we also that scripturally (and scientifically), there is no other living being on earth but human beings who have the ability to comprehend God and the spiritual world.
This characteristic is unique to mankind.
This is also the reason why it is okay for men to kill and eat other God-ordained animals but the opposite is not true.
According to the TORAH, any animal who kills a human being for any reason is to be put to death.