1 And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, 2 Speak to the children of Israel saying, These are the animals that you may eat among all the creatures that are on the earth. 3 Whatever divides the hoof, is split-footed, and chews the cud, among the animals, that may you eat. 4 Only you are not eat among those that chew the cud and among those that divide the hoof like the camel, because he chews the cud, but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you. 5 And the rock badger, because he chews the cud, but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you. 6 And the rabbit, because he chews the cud, but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you. 7 And the pig, though he divides the hoof, and is split-footed, yet he does not chew the cud; he is unclean to you. 8 You are not to eat of their flesh, and you are not to touch their carcass; they are unclean to you.
- At first man ate the fruit of God’s garden, Eden.
- Then at the fall God instructed man to eat herbs of the field that he grew (Genesis 3:18).
- After the flood God added animals to man’s diet (Genesis 9:3).
- Now in Leviticus 11 God restricted the type of animals to be eaten.
- he last verse of the chapter explains why.
- Notice that God is very clear and simple in His instructions.
- The animals God listed as unclean are scavengers.
- They eat dead things.
- They are more prone to carry disease.
- God is life and brings us to life.
- God protected the health of His people by instructing them to eat the best food.
- The rock badger is common in Sinai and around the Dead Sea.
9 You are to eat from all that are in the waters whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, you are to eat those. 10 And all that do not have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that moves in the waters, and of any living thing in the waters, they are to be filth to you: 11 They will be an abomination to you; you are not to eat of their flesh, and you are to detest their carcasses. 12 Whatever has no fins or scales in the waters, that is to be filth to you. 13 And these are those that are to be filth to you among the birds; they are not to be eaten, they are filthy: the eagle, the lammergreier, the ospray, 14 the vulture, and the kite species; 15 Every raven species, 16 the owl, the night hawk, the seagull, the hawk species, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18 the swan, the pelican, the gier eagle, 19 the stork, the heron species, the lapwing, and the bat.
- Some seasons of the year lobsters and rabbits emit poisons.
God’s infinite genius is displayed in creation
20 All winged insects that creep, going on all fours, will be filth to you. 21 But may you eat of every flying swarming thing that goes on all fours that have legs above their feet, to leap on the earth; 22 From these you may eat; the locust species, the bald locust species, the beetle species, and the grasshopper species. 23 But all other flying swarming things that have four feet, are to be filth to you. 24 You will be made unclean by these: whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean until the evening. 25 And whoever carries any carcass of theirs is to wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening.
- God did not forbid them to touch the live animals.
- But they were forbidden to touch the carcass.
- When a person became unclean by touching the carcass, then there was a procedure to follow to become clean again.
- Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he:
- Deuteronomy 7:25 The carved images of their gods you are to burn with fire: you are not to desire the silver or gold that is on them, or take it unto you, lest you be trapped in it: for it is disgusting to the LORD your God.
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
26 The carcasses of every animal that divides the hoof, and is not split-footed, or chews the cud, are unclean to you: every one that touches them will be unclean. 27 And whatever walks on its paws, among all kinds of beasts that go on all fours, those are unclean to you: whoever touches their carcass will be unclean until the evening. 28 And he that carries their carcass is to wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening: they are unclean to you. 29 These also are unclean to you among the swarming things that wriggle on the earth; the weasel, the mouse, the tortoise species, 30 the ferret, the chameleon, the lizard, the snail, and the mole. 31 These are unclean to you among all that swarm: whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean until the evening. 32 And on whatever any of them, when they are dead falls, it will be unclean; whether it is any utensil of wood, or clothing, or skin, or sack, whatever it is in which any work is done, it must be put into water, and it will be unclean until the evening; then it will be clean.
- John 15:3 Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
33 And every earthen utensil, where any of them falls, whatever is in it will be unclean; and you are to break it. 34 All food that may be eaten on which such water comes will be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such utensil will be unclean. 35 And every thing on which any part of their carcass falls will be unclean; whether it is an oven, or ranges for pots, they are to be broken down: for they are unclean, and will be unclean to you. 36 But a fountain or pit where there is plenty of water will be clean: but that which touches their carcass will be unclean. 37 And if any part of their carcass falls on any sowing seed that is to be sown, it will be clean. 38 But if any water is put on the seed, and any part of their carcass falls on it, will be unclean to you.
- Since the invention of the microscope we know that microorganisms multiply rapidly in water.
- Think about this. God told His people how to be healthy and avoid disease thousands of years before the invention of the microscope!
- That is another proof of the existence of God.
39 And if any animal that you may eat, dies, he that touches its carcass will be unclean until the evening. 40 And he that eats of its carcass will wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening: also, he that carries its carcass is to wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. 41 And every swarming thing that wiggles on the earth is to be considered filth; it is not to be eaten. 42 Whatever crawls on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all swarming things that wiggle on the earth, you are not to eat them; for they are an filth. 43 You are not to make your souls abominable with any swarming thing that wiggles, or make yourselves unclean with them, to be defiled by them. 44 For I am the LORD your God: you are to sanctify yourselves, and you are to be holy; for I am holy: you are not to defile yourselves with any kind of swarming thing that glides swiftly on the earth. 45 For I am the LORD that brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God: you are to be holy, for I am holy. 46 This is the law of the animals, the birds, and every living creature that glides swiftly in the waters, and of every breathing creature that glides swiftly on the earth: 47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.
- The Lord is ours. We are His. He is holy.
- Think of the awesome privilege that the infinite and eternal Creator wants us to be with Him.
- God taught us what is clean and unclean in His sight.
- We are allowed our own opinions but since He is perfect and we are not, His opinions are without flaw.
- When we differ with Him, we are wrong.
- It is wise to align our thinking with His before we go to be with Him. Christ’s death for us changed all this law. God cleansed all things in Jesus Christ.
- Acts 10:12-16 In which were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came a voice, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15 And the voice spoke to him again the second time, What God has cleansed, do not call that common. 16 This was done three times: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
- Colossians 1:20 having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
God teaches sinful man how to approach Him
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 2 Speak to the children of Israel saying, If a woman has conceived seed, and has given birth to a man child: then she will be unclean seven days; according to all the days of the separation for her infirmity she will be unclean. 3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin will be circumcised. 4 And she will then continue in the blood of her purifying 33 days; she is to touch no consecrated thing or come into the sanctuary until the days of her purifying are fulfilled.
- Circumcision was their dedication of the child to God.
- The symbolism is beautiful. The flesh is cut in a circle, representing eternity. Once done, it can’t be undone showing our eternal security in Christ.
- It is at the front and center of man’s body showing the need to keep God as the front and center of our lives (Deuteronomy 6:5).
- It is the organ of expressed passion as well as procreation. Therefore the passions are rightly dedicated to God.
- The ritual was to be passed on to the children produced by the loving union that God would provide.
- Nothing needed or of value was lost in the procedure while everything eternally worthwhile and valuable was gained if the life was lived as so dedicated.
- Several times a day the man would be reminded of these things.
- Only the pure and clean were to come into His presence at the sanctuary.
- The consecrated things were the offerings of the people that the priests and their families ate.
- The unclean woman was to eat something else for this time. Not the holy bread or offerings of the people to God.
- Psalm 127:3 children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
- Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, take away the foreskins of your heart.
5 But if she bears a female child, then she will be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she will continue in the blood of her purifying 66 days. 6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she will bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to the priest: 7 Who will offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her; and she will be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that has given birth a male or a female. 8 And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she is to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons; one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.
- God made His way possible for the rich and poor.
- Atonement means covering and canceling.
- The sacrifice she brought didn’t take away her uncleanness but was a picture of Christ who would.
- It was a picture of her faith in the great love of God to be poured out in death for her sins.
- Christ is the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. He cleanses the unclean so that we may abide in His presence forever.
- We cannot grasp the wonder of being in God’s presence forever but that is our future.
- When we know who and what God is we will want nothing else.
- He is the source of all that we seek, enjoy, and adore, and therefore greater than anything else. _
- John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
- Matthew 8:3 Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him saying, I will; be clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
- Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
- Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Colossians 1:20-23 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they are things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, now he has reconciled 22 in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.
God protected the health of His people
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, 2 When a man has a rising, a scab, or bright spot, in the skin of his flesh and it is in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he is to be brought to Aaron the priest, or to one of his sons, the priests: 3 And the priest will look at the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague has turned white, and the plague looks deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest will look on him, and pronounce him unclean. 4 If the bright spot is white in the skin of his flesh, and looks deeper than the skin, and its hair has not turned white; then the priest will confine him that has the plague seven days: 5 And the priest will look on him the seventh day: and if the plague looks the same, and the plague has not spread in the skin; then the priest will confine him seven more days: 6 And the priest will examine him again the seventh day: and if the plague is somewhat dark, and the has not spread in the skin, the priest will pronounce him clean: it is a scab: and he will wash his clothes and be clean. 7 But if the scab has spread much in the skin after he has been seen of the priest for his cleansing, he is to be seen by the priest again: 8 And if the priest sees that the scab is spreading in the skin, then the priest will pronounce him unclean: it is a leprosy.
- Leprosy was the most dreaded disease of the ancient world.
- It began as a small spot that didn’t appear too harmful.
- But it could devour the body in a hideous way, rotting away the flesh and bone until nothing was left.
- Leprosy is the disease in the scripture that God uses to illustrate what sin does to our hearts.
- Sin begins small and can contaminate the whole life and the whole nation.
- God is our great Physician…the Great Physician.
- Much of the healing arts throughout history treat the body but not the heart.
- Yet inside of man is the source of disease.
- This chapter describes in detail how the priests were to diagnose leprosy and isolate those contaminated with it to contain it.
- God was the only cure for leprosy as He is the only cure for sin.
- God cleanses us from leprosy of the soul.
- As devastating as the disease of leprosy is, sin is much more damaging.
- If not removed, it’s results spread to all around us and the results last for eternity.
- Genesis 4:7…sin lies crouching at the door of the heart.
- Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you so that he will not hear.
- Romans 6:23 the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
9 When the plague of leprosy is in a man, then he is to be brought to the priest; 10
And the priest will examine him: and if the rising is white in the skin, and it has turned the hair white, and there is quick raw flesh in the rising; 11 It is an old leprosy in the skin of his
flesh, and the priest will pronounce him unclean, and will not confine him: he is unclean.
- The leprosy had returned.
- There was no need to observe it for a week because the priest already knew that it was leprosy. God quarantined contagious diseases.
12 And if a leprosy breaks out abroad in the skin, and the leprosy covers all the skin of him that has the plague from his head even to his foot, where ever the priest looks; 13 Then the priest will look: and if the leprosy has covered all his flesh, he will pronounce him clean that has the plague: it is all turned white: he is clean.
- The man was no longer contagious when his skin had all turned white with no swelling or redness.
- Jesus has made us clean from sin.
- Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together says the LORD: though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be as wool.
- I John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
- Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
- John 15:3 Now you are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you.
14 But when raw flesh appears in him, he will be unclean. 15 And the priest will see the raw flesh, and pronounce him to be unclean: for the raw flesh is unclean: it is a leprosy. 16 Or if the raw flesh turns again, and is changed to white, he will come to the priest; 17 And the priest will see him: and if the plague has turned into white; then the priest will pronounce him clean that has the plague: he is clean. 18 And when the flesh has in its skin a boil, and is healed, 19 And in the place of the boil there is a white rising, or a bright spot, white, and somewhat reddish, and it is shown to the priest; 20 And if when the priest sees it, it looks lower than the skin, and its hair has turned white; the priest will pronounce him unclean: it is a plague of leprosy broken out of the boil.
- God addressed every possible circumstance in dealing with leprosy.
21 But if the priest looks on it, and there are no white hairs in it, and if it is not lower than the skin, but is somewhat dark; then the priest will confine him seven days: 22 And if it spreads much in the skin, then the priest will pronounce him unclean: it is a plague. 23 But if the bright spot stays in its place, and does not spread, it is a burning boil; and the priest will pronounce him clean. 24 Or if there is any flesh, in its skin where there is a burn and burned flesh has a white bright spot, somewhat reddish, or white; 25 Then the priest will look at it: and if the hair in the bright spot has turned white, and it looks deeper than the skin; it is a leprosy broken out in the burn:the priest will pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy. 26 But if the priest looks on it, and there be no white hair in the bright spot, and it is not lower than the other skin, but is somewhat dark; then the priest will confine him seven days: 27 And the priest will examine him the seventh day: and if it has spread much in the skin, then the priest will pronounce him unclean: it is the plague of leprosy. 28 And if the bright spot stays in its place, and has not spread in the skin, but it is somewhat dark; it is a rising of the burn, and the priest will pronounce him clean: for it is a scar of the burn.
- Do not miss the significance of this.
- The priests had the power to isolate people from the rest of the community for the good of the others that disease not spread.
- These laws were given around 1400 BC more than 3000 years before the invention of the microscope.
29 If a man or woman has a plague on the head or the beard; 30 Then the priest will inspect the plague: and if it looks deeper than the skin; and there is a yellow thin hair in it; then the priest will pronounce him unclean: it is a dry scale, a leprosy on the head or beard. 31 And if the priest looks at the plague of the scale, and it does not appear deeper than the skin, and there is no black hair in it; then the priest will confine him that has the plague of the scale seven days: 32 And in the seventh day the priest will examine the plague: and if the scale has not spread, and has no yellow hair in it, and the scale does not look deeper than the skin; 33 He will be shaved, but he will not shave the scale; and the priest will confine him that has the scale seven more days: 34 And in the seventh day the priest will look on the scale: and if the scale has not spread in the skin, does not look deeper than the skin; then the priest will pronounce him clean: and he will wash his clothes and be clean. 35 But if the scale has spread much in the skin after his cleansing; 36 Then the priest will examine him: and if the scale has spread in the skin, the priest will not look for yellow hair; he is unclean. 37 But if the scale looks the same to him, and black hair has grown in it; the scale is healed, he is clean: and the priest will pronounce him clean. 38 If a man or a woman has in the skin of their flesh bright spots, white bright spots; 39 Then the priest will look: and if the bright spots in the skin of their flesh are darkish white; it is a freckled spot that grows in the skin; he is clean. 40 And the man whose hair has fallen off his head, he is bald; yet he is clean.
- A beard was a sign of manliness until the time of Alexander the great.
- Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear: you are of more value than many sparrows.
41 And he that has his hair fallen off from the part of his head toward his face, he is forehead bald: yet he is clean. 42 And if there is in the bald head, or bald forehead, a white reddish sore; it is a leprosy sprung up in his bald head, or his bald forehead. 43 Then the priest will look at it: and if the rising of the sore is white reddish in his baldhead, or in his bald forehead, as the leprosy appears in the skin of the flesh, 44 he is a leprous man, he is unclean: the priest will pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague is in his head. 45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes will be torn, and his head bare, and he will put a covering on his upper lip and will cry, Unclean, unclean. 46 All the days in which the plague is on him he will be defiled; he is unclean: he will live alone; his dwelling is to be outside the camp.
- Lepers were outcasts.
- They had to live outside the city.
- They had to call out a warning each time they came near a clean person.
- To touch a leper was to make yourself unclean.
- It was of enormous significance that Jesus touched the lepers as He healed them.
- That was God’s love reaching out to the most desperate of people.
- God heals leprosy.
- God heals lepers by faith:
- II Kings 5:14 (Naaman the leper))Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
- Matthew 8:3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him saying, I will; be clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
- Psalm 139:7-10 Where will I go from your spirit? Or where will I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there will your hand lead me, and your right hand will hold me.
- Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being…
- Psalm 103:3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;
47 The garment that has the plague of leprosy in it, whether it is a wool garment, or a linen garment; 48 Whether it is in the warp, or woof; of linen, or of wool; whether in a skin, or in any thing made of skin; 49 And if the plague is greenish or reddish in the garment, or in a skin, either in the warp or in the woof, or in anything of skin; it is a plague of leprosy, and will be shown to the priest: 50 And the priest will look on the plague, and confine what has the plague seven days: 51 And he will look on the plague on the seventh day: if the plague has spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in a skin, or in any work that is made of skin; the plague is a corroding leprosy; it is unclean.
- By all this, God protects His people from disease.
52 He will burn that garment, whether warp or woof, in woolen or in linen, or anything of skin, in which the plague is: for it is a corroding leprosy; it will be burned in the fire. 53 And if the priest looks, and the plague has not spread in the garment, either in the warp, or in the woof, or in any thing of skin; 54 Then the priest will command that they wash the thing that has the plague, and he will confine it seven more days: 55 And the priest will look on the plague after it is washed: and if the plague has not changed its color, and the plague has not spread; it is unclean; you will burn it in the fire; it is eaten inward, whether eaten away inside or outside.
- If it looked the same after washing it was contaminated and to be destroyed.
56 And if the priest looks, and the plague is somewhat dark after the washing of it; then he will tear it out of the garment, or out of the skin, out of the warp or out of the woof: 57 And if it still appears in the garment, either in the warp or in the woof, or in anything of skin; it is a spreading plague: you will burn what contains the plague with fire.
- The garment was burned to destroy and stop the plague.
- The plague of sin will one day be removed from the universe in this same way.
- 2Peter 3:12 Looking for and hurrying to the coming of the day of God in which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
58 And the garment, either warp, or woof, or whatever thing of leather that you wash, when the plague is taken from them, then it is to be washed the second time, and will be clean. 59 This is the law of the plague of leprosy in a garment of woolen or linen, either in the warp, or woof, or anything of skins, to pronounce it clean, or to pronounce it unclean.
- God can heal every illness.
- He wants to heal every illness:
- Jeremiah 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? (Gilead was known for its healing balm)
- Exodus 15:26 And said, If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that what is right in his sight, and will listen to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases on you that I have brought on the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you.
- Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
SUMMARY: Leviticus 11-13
- He cares what we eat
- His infinite genius is displayed in creation
- He protects the health of His people