Leviticus 11 – 12

Leviticus 11

God established the laws of clean and unclean as an object lesson to teach us that there is a difference between the holy and the profane.

Living “unclean” animals are not unclean to touch and neither is the hair or wool sheared from living animals; it is the DEAD animals that are unclean and not to be eaten or even touched.  That means that the skin and furs of dead unclean animals are not to be touched.

For an explanation of the spiritual meaning of the Law of Clean and Unclean see this article.

Paul admonished the New Covenant faithful to obey the laws of clean and unclean, and to eat only those things sanctified by scripture; which sanctification is listed in Leviticus 11.

We may eat or use with thanks to God the dead bodies of those creatures SANCTIFIED by the Word of God ONLY!  We are to avoid contact with those dead creatures not sanctified for our use by the Word of God.

1 Timothy 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 4:5 For [IF] it is [it must be] sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Leviticus 11:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, 11:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 11:3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud [both], among the beasts, that shall ye eat.

We may not eat, use or touch the dead body of any creature that does not BOTH chew the cud and split the hoof among animals, or any underwater creature that does not have BOTH fins and scales at the time that we take it.  We may not eat, use or touch the dead body of any bird that does not have a crop and is not able to fly, nor can we eat any insect that does not have both legs for leaping and wings for flying. 

We must also be very careful to properly clean fish, fowl and land animals to remove the gut and crop intact so as to prevent any unclean thing which they may have eaten from contaminating the flesh.  For example a salmon may have bits of shrimp etc. in its gut and fowl may have insects in their gut or crop.

11:4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

11:5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

11:7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.

11:8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

Things in the waters

11:9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 11:10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11:11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.

11:12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.


11:13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 11:14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; 11:15 Every raven after his kind; 11:16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 11:17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, 11:18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, 11:19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

The characteristics and features of clean birds can be determined from the scripturally known clean birds; namely the dove (turtledove), pigeon, and quail (Leviticus 1:14-17, 12:8, 14:22, 15:14-15; Psalm 105:40; Matthew 3:16, 21:12; Mark 1:10, 11:15; Luke 2:24, 3:22; John 1:32, 2:14-16).

The turtledove and pigeon are clean birds as they were used in sacrifices and only clean birds could be used for sacrifices (Leviticus 1:14-17, 12:8, 14:22, 15:14-15). A dove (the Holy Spirit) descended upon Yeshua (Jesus), illustrating that doves are clean birds (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). Doves were sold along with oxen and sheep in the Israeli marketplace, further indicating that doves are clean birds (Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:14-16). Quails are clean birds as the Lord provided them to the Hebrews for food after the Hebrew exodus from Egypt (Psalm 105:40).

Clean birds have all of the following characteristics:
– they are foragers and are not birds of prey or scavengers
– they have craws or crops
– they have a gizzard with a double lining which can easily be separated
– they have three front toes with an elongated middle front toe and a hind toe
– they spread three front toes on one side of a perch and their hind toe on the
other side
– they do not eat in flight, landing to eat.

Unclean birds lack one or more of the characteristics of clean birds. The
characteristics and features of unclean birds can be determined from the list of
unclean birds listed in Scripture.

Unclean birds include those that are:
– birds of prey
– carrion-eating scavenger birds
– ratite birds [flightless birds having no keel protrusion on their breast bone].
– web-footed, and zygodactyl-footed [two front and two back toes] birds
– waterfowl
– flying mammals (bats)

The pelican and the seagull are listed in Scripture among the unclean birds.
The pelican and seagull possess webbed feet, as do ducks, geese, and swans. Ducks, geese, and swans are unclean because they lack some of the characteristics and features of clean birds – they do not have crops, they have different body structures than clean birds do, their body fat is intertwined with their flesh and they have webbed feet.


11:20 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.

11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 11:22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle [“Beetle” is a poor translation, the Hebrew word #2728 חַרְגֹּל chargol {khar-gole’} meaning a leaping locust. —Brown-Driver-Briggs (Old Testament Hebrew-English Lexicon)] after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. 11:23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet [but do not have powerful legs to leap with], shall be an abomination unto you.

To prepare locusts, grasp the body between thumb and forefinger and grasp the head between the other thumb and forefinger and pull, the head will come off taking the internal viscera with it. Then pull off the small front legs and the wings and cook with your favorite recipe.  Don’t have a recipe?  Try Google!


The Law of the Unclean

To even touch the carcass [dead body] of an unclean creature makes one unclean and they cannot enter a holy place (the tabernacle or temple) and must bathe and be unclean until the sun is set. This is symbolic that any person who is spiritually unclean by reason of sin cannot enter the presence of God.

11:24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. 11:25 And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.

11:26 The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean. 11:27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even.

To touch the dead body makes one unclean and if we wear skins and furs from dead unclean creatures it is as if we have eaten them; for both acts make us unclean.

11:28 And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash [himself and] his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you. 

The operative word here is carcase and refers to a dead body.  Touching a living animal or using the hair or wool taken from a living animal is not unclean.

11:29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, 11:30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. 11:31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.

11:32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.

11:33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it.

11:34 Of all meat [food] which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.

11:35 And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean and shall be unclean unto you.

11:36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean.

11:37 And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed [which is dry and not germinating] which is to be sown, it shall be clean.

11:38 But if any water be put upon the seed [because it would cause the grain to begin germinating I.E. come to life], and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you.

11:39 And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die [of itself]; he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even. 11:40 And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.

11:41 And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. 11:42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.

Those who make themselves unclean are an abomination to God.  WHY?  To teach us the difference between spiritually holy things and spiritually profane things.

The dead physically unclean thing is a picture of sin and the death of the wicked in their unrepented sin, of those who are not in UNITY and AT ONE in holiness with God the Father!

The clean thing that is killed by man is a picture of the perfection, purity and sinlessness of godliness!

11:43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.

11:44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Physical defilement is a picture of spiritual defilement by association with and partaking in the sins of others

In other words avoiding the physically unclean thing teaches us that we are to avoid contact with all spiritual uncleanness [sin]. 

If we love to vicariously participate in sin by enjoying watching others sin [porn s a classic in this], of if we participate in others sins by hiring catered meals or patronizing restaurants on the Sabbath; we have become spiritually unclean and we have separated ourselves from God!

1 Timothy 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

Leviticus 11:45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

This is the kind of priests, the kind of ministry of the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ; that God wants:

Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the [physically and spiritually] unclean and the clean. 44:24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.

We should be zealous to be physically clean, in this overwhelmingly unclean world and we should go forward to be zealous to become spiritually clean, without any spot, blemish or wrinkle of spiritual uncleanness or sin.

We should be as shocked, disgusted and appalled at the very idea of eating some scripturally unclean thing, or for some spiritual uncleanness and sin like calling the Sabbath holy and then paying others to serve us; as we would be if we were served a bowl of sewage.

Leviticus 11:46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: 11:47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten. 

See the parallel description of clean and unclean meats in Deuteronomy 14


Leviticus 12

Leviticus 12 is about things associated with childbirth

Leviticus 12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 12:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

We are commanded to circumcise our sons on the eighth day of their life.  The eighth day represents a new beginning.

Circumcision removes a piece of skin covering a most sensitive area and is an allegory of the removal of the sin that separates people from God thereby making people sensitive to the whole Word of God.

Physical circumcision is an allegory of the spiritual circumcision of the heart which is sincere repentance 

Jeremiah 4:4  Circumcise yourselves to the Lord [sincerely repent], and take away the foreskins of your heart [remove the sin which separates us from God], ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 59:2  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Circumcision of the flesh is an allegory of circumcision of the heart which is sincere repentance and the application of the sacrifice of Christ which truly reconciles all humanity to God the Father.

Leviticus 12:3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

Paul tells us that adult converts need not be circumcised in the flesh for they are already circumcised in heart; that in no way obviates the command to circumcise our male children on the eighth day; since they are not circumcised in heart. We are to circumcise all of our male children on their eighth day of life.

After Jesus Christ comes all human males will be circumcised in both the heart and in the flesh, for ALL nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship the Eternal   

Ezekiel 44:9 Thus saith the Lord God; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.


Seclusion of mother and child

After the first seven days of seclusion the mother must remain in seclusion for another 33 days making a total of 40 days in seclusion.  The forty days is the period of purifying before entering the tabernacle, temple or any holy place.

Let me also say that such a seclusion is of great benefit to the mother and child; giving them time in a close family home environment to bond and to recover from the birth and develop immunity to disease.  Breast feeding is highly important for this bonding and natural immunization process.

One should never allow the child to be artificially immunized by physicians since the mercury preservatives often used are known to cause autism and a variety of other issues like SIDS; and  baby formulas should be avoided unless the mother cannot nurse; even then whenever possible the first choice should be a converted wet nurse [with a biblical diet] and not formula. 

Commercially prepared baby foods which are high in starch and preservatives [a ticking time bomb for future diabetes] should also be avoided.  Simply mash your own soft food for the child.

Leviticus 12:4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.

If the child is female the mother’s separation is double that of a male child

12:5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six [66] days.

66 days plus two weeks is 80 days. My wife and I practiced this by mutual consent for our three sons and one daughter.

We make these specified sacrificial offerings today by going to God the Father in prayer and asking that the sacrifice of Christ be applied to us and to the child, setting the child apart through our faithfulness, and asking for an understanding of these things.

The sin offering for the mother, being the application of Christ’s sacrifice for the repentant obedient woman: And a burnt offering to demonstrate wholehearted faithful service to God the Father and Jesus Christ.

The woman is commanded to reproduce and childbearing is a great service to God the Father, because a woman gave birth to Messiah the Christ, the Deliverer of humanity.

12:6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: 12:7 Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.

12:8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles [turtle doves], or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.


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