Foods Permitted and Forbidden
Leviticus 11:1-8 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: 3 Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud—that you may eat. 4 Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean (impure) to you; 5 the rock hyrax (rock badger), because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 6 the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 7 and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8 Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you.
“Kosher” animals ARE ALLOWED to be eaten as “clean animals”. But “Non-Kosher” animals are not allowed to be eaten, they are “unclean”. Leviticus 11:4
Donkeys are not kosher and cannot be eaten by Jewish law, since they neither chew their cud nor have split hooves.
However! The donkey is the one and only, single non-kosher animal whose firstborn is considered holy.
Now here is an interesting tidbit that everyone should know because it is one of many ways where Jewish feasts and the Levitical Laws are prophetic: In this case, it foretells the arrival of the Jewish Messiah, Jesus. Jesus rode the colt of a donkey (male in its first year) into Jerusalem when He was declared King of the Jews.
Kosher (clean) animals, such as a sheep or goats, the firstborn was sacrificed in the Holy Temple and then eaten by the priests. Since donkeys are not kosher and they cannot be sacrificed in the Temple, what should be done with their firstborn?
Exodus 13:13 But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb.
Since donkeys cannot speak but only bray, they would be called “dumb (mute) asses”
Why is the donkey singled out? It is a puzzling Scriptural decree with no reason provided.
But WE know the answer: it takes a Lamb to save a “dumb ass” and make it holy.
Like Balaam’s donkey (Numbers 22).
In Balaam’s case, Balaam, and not his donkey, was the “dumb ass”.
In other words: It takes the Lamb of God to buy back from the slave market of sin, a foolish person and set him apart for a sacred purpose.
Titus 2:14 (Jesus) who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Leviticus 11:9-12 ‘These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat. 10 But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination (detestable) to you. 11 They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. 12 Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales—that shall be an abomination to you.
The Leviathan, a reptilian sea monster is unclean. Figuratively, the Leviathan in scripture is used to describe Satan who is also unclean and who lives in the sea of people.
- Isaiah 27:1 In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea (of people).
- Job 41:24 His (Leviathan’s) heart is as hard as stone, even as hard as the lower millstone. – 34 He beholds every high thing; He is king over all the children of pride.”
Leviticus 11:13-19 ‘And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 14 the kite, and the falcon after its kind; 15 every raven after its kind, 16 the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; 17 the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; 18 the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; 19 the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.
Leviticus 11:20-23 ‘All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. 21 Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. 22 These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. 23 But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you.