14:21 You may not eat any corpse, though you may give it to the resident foreigner who is living in your villages26 and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. You are a people holy to the Lord your God. Do not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.27
sn Do not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. This strange prohibition—one whose rationale is unclear but probably related to pagan ritual—may seem out of place here but actually is not for the following reasons: (1) the passage as a whole opens with a prohibition against heathen mourning rites (i.e., death, vv. 1–2) and closes with what appear to be birth and infancy rites. (2) In the other two places where the stipulation occurs (Exod 23:19 and Exod 34:26) it similarly concludes major sections. (3) Whatever the practice signified it clearly was abhorrent to the Lord and fittingly concludes the topic of various breaches of purity and holiness as represented by the ingestion of unclean animals (vv. 3–21). See C. M. Carmichael, “On Separating Life and Death: An Explanation of Some Biblical Laws,” HTR 69 (1976): 1–7; J. Milgrom, “You Shall Not Boil a Kid In Its Mother’s Milk,” BRev 1 (1985): 48–55; R. J. Ratner and B. Zuckerman, “In Rereading the ‘Kid in Milk’ Inscriptions,” BRev 1 (1985): 56–58; and M. Haran, “Seething a Kid in its Mother’s Milk,” JJS 30 (1979): 23–35.