Saturday, February 20, 2010
Roasted Gecko, Anyone?
Today's reading has a long list of clean and unclean animals. I've never really figured out why some animals were OK to eat and some were not. But in today's reading I was struck by the fact that most of the animals on the prohibited list we don't eat, have never eaten, don't even want to eat. Interesting!
4 "You may not, however, eat the following animals[a] that have split hooves or that chew the cud, but not both. The camel chews the cud but does not have split hooves, so it is ceremonially unclean for you. 5 The hyrax[b] chews the cud but does not have split hooves, so it is unclean. 6 The hare chews the cud but does not have split hooves, so it is unclean. 7 The pig has evenly split hooves but does not chew the cud, so it is unclean. 8 You may not eat the meat of these animals or even touch their carcasses. They are ceremonially unclean for you.
9 “Of all the marine animals, these are ones you may use for food. You may eat anything from the water if it has both fins and scales, whether taken from salt water or from streams. 10 But you must never eat animals from the sea or from rivers that do not have both fins and scales. They are detestable to you. This applies both to little creatures that live in shallow water and to all creatures that live in deep water. 11 They will always be detestable to you. You must never eat their meat or even touch their dead bodies. 12 Any marine animal that does not have both fins and scales is detestable to you.
13 “These are the birds that are detestable to you. You must never eat them: the griffon vulture, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, 14 the kite, falcons of all kinds, 15 ravens of all kinds, 16 the eagle owl, the short-eared owl, the seagull, hawks of all kinds, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18 the barn owl, the desert owl, the Egyptian vulture, 19 the stork, herons of all kinds, the hoopoe, and the bat.
20 “You must not eat winged insects that walk along the ground; they are detestable to you. 21 You may, however, eat winged insects that walk along the ground and have jointed legs so they can jump. 22 The insects you are permitted to eat include all kinds of locusts, bald locusts, crickets, and grasshoppers. 23 All other winged insects that walk along the ground are detestable to you.
24 “The following creatures will make you ceremonially unclean. If any of you touch their carcasses, you will be defiled until evening. 25 If you pick up their carcasses, you must wash your clothes, and you will remain defiled until evening.
26 “Any animal that has split hooves that are not evenly divided or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you. If you touch the carcass of such an animal, you will be defiled. 27 Of the animals that walk on all fours, those that have paws are unclean. If you touch the carcass of such an animal, you will be defiled until evening. 28 If you pick up its carcass, you must wash your clothes, and you will remain defiled until evening. These animals are unclean for you."
What do you do if God prohibits something you want to do? Do it anyway? Pause? Stop and obey blindly?
These are the thoughts I had today as I read this rather tedious passage...