Leviticus 11

The LORD gives rules about food to the people

1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 ‘Some animals walk on the land. Tell Israel's people which of these animals they can eat. 3 Each foot on the animal must have two separate parts. The animal must eat its food and then it must bring the food back into its mouth. And then it must eat the food again. Some animals eat their food twice and they have feet with two parts. You can eat those animals.

4 Some animals have feet that have two separate parts. But they do not eat their food twice. Other animals eat their food twice. But their feet do not have two separate parts. You must not eat those animals. The camel eats its food twice. But its feet are not in two separate parts. The people must not eat the camel. 5 The rock badger eats its food twice. But its feet are not in two separate parts. They must not eat the rock badger. 6 The rabbit eats its food twice. But its feet are not in two separate parts. They must not eat the rabbit. 7 The pig's feet are in two parts. But when the pig eats its food, it does not bring the food back into its mouth. It does not eat it twice. The people must not eat the pig. 8 They must not touch the dead bodies of those animals. They must not eat their meat. They are not clean for you to eat.

9 They can eat some animals that live in the sea or in the river. Those animals must have fins and scales on their bodies. 10 They must not eat any other animals from the sea or the river. They must keep away from them. 11 They must not touch the dead bodies of the animals from the sea or the river. They must not eat the meat from those other animals. 12 Animals from the sea and the river may have fins and scales on their bodies. Those are the only ones that you can eat. Those without fins or scales are not clean.

13 They must not eat some birds because they are not clean. They must not eat either the eagle or the vulture. 14 They must not eat the buzzard or the kite. 15 They must not eat the raven. 16 They must not eat any owl, seagull or hawk. 17 They must not eat the cormorant. 18 They must not eat the osprey. 19 They must not eat the heron, the hoopoe or the bat. The people must not eat them nor touch their dead bodies. They are not clean.

11:19These birds are all birds that eat meat.

20 Some insects fly in the air and walk on the ground. The people must not eat them. 21 Some insects can fly. And they have legs that can jump. They can eat those insects. 22 They can eat any of these. They include the locust, the cricket and the grasshopper. 23 They must not eat any other flying insect that has legs.

24 A person may touch the dead body of an animal that is not clean. If he does, that person is not clean either. They must keep him separate from the other people until the evening. 25 He must wash his clothes immediately.

26 An animal might not have feet that are in two separate parts. It is wrong to touch the dead body of this animal. Some animals do not bring food back into their mouths and eat it again. It is wrong to touch the dead bodies of these animals. 27 Some animals walk on four feet. It is wrong to touch the dead body of an animal that has paws (the kind of feet that animals like cats and dogs have). 28 A person who picks up the dead body of these animals must wash his clothes immediately. They must keep him separate from the people until the evening.

29 Some animals that walk on the ground are not clean. You must not touch a weasel, a rat or a mouse. 30 You must not touch any kind of lizard. 31 A person might touch the dead body of one of those animals. If he does, he will not be clean. So they must keep him separate from the people until evening. 32 A dead animal may fall on to something that someone made from wood, cloth or skin. That thing becomes unclean. A person must put it into water until the evening. Then it will be clean. 33 A dead animal might fall into a pot. Then the pot and the things in it are not clean. The person must break the pot. 34 The food or water from the pot is not clean. A person must not drink it or eat any of that food. Water from the pot may have touched some food. If it did, that food is not clean. You must not eat it. 35 If a dead animal falls on to a cooking pot, then the pot is not clean. You must break the pot. 36 If a dead animal falls into a fresh water stream, the stream stays clean. The pot that a person uses to get fresh water from the stream is clean. 37 If a dead animal falls on to some seeds, they stay clean. 38 A person might pour water on the seeds. A dead animal might fall on the wet seeds. Then those seeds are not clean.

39 An animal that is good for food might die. A man might touch its dead body. If he does, they must keep him separate from the people until the evening. 40 If a person eats meat from the body of the dead animal, he must wash his clothes. He will not be clean until the evening. If a person picks up the body of the dead animal, he must wash his clothes. He will not be clean until the evening.

41 The people must not eat small animals that move across the ground. 42 This means animals that pass across the ground on their stomachs. It also means animals that walk on 4 (four) legs or many legs. 43 The people must not touch them or eat them. 44 God says, “I am the LORD your God. I am holy. Make yourselves holy. Do not touch any small animal that moves across the ground. If you do, you will not be clean or holy. 45 I am the LORD who brought you away from Egypt. I became your God. So be holy because I am holy.” ’

11:45This is the most important message in the Book of Leviticus.

46 These rules are about animals, birds and all animals that move in water or on the ground. 47 The people must learn to know which animals are clean. They must recognize which animals they can eat. And they must recognize which animals they must not eat.

11:47The LORD gave clear rules about clean and unclean foods. Not to obey these rules made a person unclean. This meant that the person was not able to get near to God. His sin kept him away from the LORD.