Dietary Laws in the Old Testament

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The Dietary Laws of The Old Testament When Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, a set of dietary laws was presented to the people of Israel. These laws informed the Israelites what types of animals were considered clean and unclean. This paper will discuss, compare and contrast the different interpretations of these laws. In addition, the paper will give examples from the Bible where these laws are presented as well as look at commentaries of the Bible to explain the different interpretations of the dietary laws. The paper will also discuss how these laws are portrayed and obeyed today. The dietary laws in the Old Testament are presented in Leviticus chapter 11 and in Deuteronomy chapter 14. These laws that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai was an overview of what type of food and animals were considered clean and unclean. The Old Testament divides the animals into three different categories. Land animals, sea life and birds, fowl and reptiles. The land animals with cloven hoofs and animals that chewed the cud were considered clean. Fins and scales were needed among the sea life animals to be considered clean. Among the birds and insects, only the locust of any kind was allowed for consumption. There were a lot of individual laws regarding animals and food that were considered unclean as well. For example, the flesh of an ox that had gored a man to death was illegal to eat. The fruit produced from a tree during the first four years was also considered unclean. Food would also be considered unclean if there was a corpse in the house (Hartman 572). It is interesting that all flying creatures that had four legs were forbidden, however, in addition 24 birds were mentioned in addition to the four-legged feature. “The reasons for these particular inclusions and exclusions have never been worked out persuasively” (Freidman 346). There are

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