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Dietary Laws

(560 words)

Author(s): Reventlow, Henning Graf
In the ancient Orient (e.g., Egypt, Persia), as in all cultures, dietary laws were common. Being taboos, they defy rational explanation. In the OT they apply primarily to animals used for food. Deuteronomy 14 and Leviticus 11 contain systematic lists of clean and unclean animals of the land, sea, and air. Animals that chew the cud and have cloven hoofs are clean, as are most birds, all fish that have fins and scales, and, among insects, grasshoppers. Unclean are cloven-hoofed animals that do not chew the cud, various birds, fish …