Laws About Animals the Israelites May and May Not Eat—Deuteronomy 14:3–20
1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, 2 “Tell the Israelites: Here are the kinds of land animals you may eat: 3 all animals that have completely divided hoofs and that also chew their cud. 4 However, from those that either chew their cud or have divided hoofs, these are the kinds you must never eat: You must never eat camels. (Camels are unclean because they chew their cud but do not have divided hoofs.) 5 You must never eat rock badgers. (Rock badgers are unclean because they chew their cud but do not have divided hoofs.) 6 You must never eat rabbits. (Rabbits are unclean because they chew their cud but do not have divided hoofs.) 7 You must never eat pigs. (Because pigs have completely divided hoofs but do not chew their cud, they are also unclean.) 8 Never eat the meat of these animals or touch their dead bodies. They are unclean for you.
9 “Here are the kinds of creatures that live in the water which you may eat—anything in the seas and streams that has fins and scales. 10 However, you must consider all swarming creatures living in the seas or the streams that have no fins or scales disgusting. 11 They must remain disgusting to you. Never eat their meat. Consider their dead bodies disgusting. 12 Every creature in the water without fins or scales is disgusting to you.
13 “Here are the kinds of birds you must consider disgusting and must not eat. They are eagles, bearded vultures, black vultures, 14 kites, all types of buzzards, 15 all types of crows, 16 ostriches, nighthawks, seagulls, all types of falcons, 17 little owls, cormorants, great owls, 18 barn owls, pelicans, ospreys, 19 storks, all types of herons, hoopoes, and bats.
20 “Every swarming, winged insect that walks across the ground like a four-legged animal is disgusting to you. 21 However, you may eat winged insects that swarm if they use their legs to hop on the ground. 22 You may eat any kind of locust, cricket, katydid, or grasshopper. 23 Every kind of winged insect that walks across the ground like a four-legged animal is disgusting to you.
24 “Regarding the creatures mentioned above, this is how you would become unclean: Whoever touches their dead bodies will be unclean until evening. 25 Whoever carries any part of their dead bodies must wash his clothes. He will be unclean until evening. 26 All animals whose hoofs are not completely divided or that don’t chew their cud are unclean for you. Whoever touches them is unclean. 27 All four-legged animals that walk on their paws are unclean for you. Whoever touches their dead bodies will be unclean until evening. 28 Those who carry the dead body of any of these animals must wash their clothes and will be unclean until evening. These animals are unclean for you.
29 “The following swarming creatures that move on the ground are unclean for you—moles, mice, and all types of lizards: 30 geckos, monitors, lizards, skinks, and chameleons. 31 Among all the swarming creatures that move on the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches their dead bodies will be unclean until evening. 32 When the dead body of one of these creatures falls on something, that thing will be unclean. It may be a wooden article, clothing, leather, a sack, or anything used for any purpose. It should be put in water and will be unclean until evening. Then it will be clean ⸤again⸥.
33 “If any of these creatures falls into a piece of pottery, break the pottery because everything in it is unclean. 34 If water ⸤from that pottery⸥ touches any food, the food is unclean. Any liquid that you drink from that pottery is unclean. 35 Anything on which their dead bodies fall is unclean. If it is an oven or a stove, smash it. It is unclean and will remain unclean for you. 36 However, a spring or a cistern holding water will remain clean. But anyone who touches their dead bodies will be unclean. 37 If their dead bodies fall on seed that is to be planted, the seed is clean. 38 But if water is poured on the seed and their dead bodies fall on it, the seed is unclean for you.
39 “When any animal that you are allowed to eat dies, whoever touches its dead body will be unclean until evening. 40 Those who eat any of its dead body must wash their clothes and will be unclean until evening. Those who carry its dead body away will wash their clothes and will be unclean until evening.
41 “Any creature that swarms on the ground is disgusting and must not be eaten. 42 Don’t eat any creature with many legs that goes on its belly or on the ground like a four-legged animal, or any creature that swarms on the ground. Consider them disgusting. 43 Don’t become disgusting by eating anything that swarms on the ground. Never allow yourselves to become unclean because of them.
44 “Here is the reason: I am the Lord your God. You must live holy lives. Be holy because I am holy. Never become unclean by touching anything that swarms or crawls on the ground. 45 Here is the reason ⸤again⸥: I am the Lord. I brought you out of Egypt to be your God. Be holy because I am holy.
46 “These are the instructions about animals, birds, and every living creature that swims in the water and every creature that swarms on the ground. 47 These instructions help you distinguish between clean and unclean, the animals you may eat and those you may not eat.”
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