I.   History of Clean and Unclean Animals

A.     Genesis 1-8 - Every creature ate only plants until after the flood.

1.       Gen.  7:2 - There is a distinction between clean and unclean before the flood.

2.       Gen.  9:13 - Meat added to the diet after the flood. 

B.     Lev.  11 - The restrictions concerning clean and unclean animals made clear.  These restrictions are added to what was known before.

C.     Acts 10 - Peter on the rooftop - God tells him all are clean.  The restrictions are now removed.  So if you feed me ham or catfish, I'll eat it.


II.   The reason for the restrictions of Numbers 14.

A.     They are a particular people.  They call unclean those animals used by the heathen for food and sacrifice to their gods.

1.       The swine - sacred to Venus.

2.       Owl - sacred to Minerva

3.       The eagle - sacred to Jupiter

4.       The dog - sacred to Hecate

B.     The restrictions are to be a constant reminder, "I belong to God".  (By the clothes they wore, the food they ate, the arrangement of their camp, their system of government, so forth.) We are under the authority of God and will obey Him, even if we don't understand why.  Like in the Garden of Eden, Adam and his wife were forbidden to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  It was good if that fruit had been left alone.

C.     The restrictions are good for their bodies.

1.       By disobeying the command to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, sin has ravished our bodies.

2.       The unclean animals are "scavenger" animals, those animals that eat the dead, decaying bodies and clean up this world.  They are "God's garbage disposals".

D.     D.            God is preparing a people to bring forth the Christ child.            (The restrictions placed on the people by the clean and unclean animals is a public declaration of God's intentions.)

1.       Judges 13:2-5 - Samson's mother commanded to be pure before Samson is born because he was to be a Nazarite unto God.

2.       Matt.  1:23 - A virgin shall conceive.  God used a "clean" woman to bring forth Christ.

E.      Since Christ is come into the world, there is no need for clean and unclean animals.

1.       Judges 13 - After the birth of Samson, the restrictions placed on his mother were removed.

2.       Matt.  1:25 - Mary did not remain a virgin all her life.

a.      Matt.  12:46 - Jesus' mother and brothers desiring to talk with Him.

b.      Matt.  13:55 - The names of His four brothers and sisters (plural).  His sisters names are not given.


III.   Animals

A.     Verse 3-6 - gives a list of clean animals that may be eaten.

B.     V.  6 - three restrictions

1.       parteth the hoof - a complete separation in the hoof.

2.       clovenfooted - the bottom of the foot is divided.

3.       cheweth the cud - like a cow.

C.     These are unclean animals - V.  7 -

1.       The camel is unclean because his hoof is divided above, but joined together below to form a solid pad resting on the ground.

2.       The Coney - a rabbit that looks and acts more like a large rat.  Lives among the rocks.

3.       The hare - another type of rabbit.

4.       V.  8 - Swine - or hog.


IV.   Verse 9,10 - Fish

A.     Clean - having fins and scales.

1.       Bass

2.       Crappie (White Perch)

3.       Bream

4.       Carp

B.     Unclean - without fins and scales

1.       catfish

2.       whale


V.   Verse 11-20 - Fowls

A.     V.  12-19 - A list of scavenger fowls.

B.     V.  11,20 - All the fowls not mentioned are clean and may be eaten.


VI.   Verse 21 - What to do with an animal that dies of itself.

A.     The Israelite shall not eat of it because they are a holy people, a clean people.

1.       Just like clean animals eat only living things, Israel who is to be clean to the Lord will eat only living things.

2.       Heathen nations are like unclean animals who eat that which is dead already.

B.     The Israelite can give the dead animal to the stranger, or sell it to an alien.

1.       This is not doing anything to hurt the other person.

2.       The stranger or alien would think it was a waste to destroy the dead animal.

3.       They would consider the Israelite very generous to give or sell them a dead animal.

C.     "Thou shall not seethe a kid in his mother's milk."

1.       "Seethe" means to "boil" or "prepare for eating".

2.       This evidently has reference to the luxurious act of eating a newborn kid, an unborn kid, or to killing a pregnant animal and eating the animal and the unborn.



I.   This is a "second tithe" of seeds.

A.     There is a three year cycle in receiving this "second tithe".

1.       The first two years are part of the cycle and is discussed in part II on page 38.

2.       The third year is the remainder of the cycle and is discussed in part III on page 38.

B.     Verse 23 - The crops mentioned:

1.       corn.

2.       wine.

3.       oil.

C.     Verse 23 - The firstlings of the herds and flocks are those thanksgiving offerings that the person would offer to God.

D.     It is the responsibility of the individual to offer this second tithe.

1.       Verse 22 - "Thou shall truly tithe all the increase..."

2.       There is a special blessing to those who would willingly give this second tithe, making 20% to the Lord.

E.      The amazing thing about this tithe is that it teaches people to learn to fear the Lord.

1.       They learn that God can make 80% go further than they can make 100% go.

2.       They also learn that the total of the extra 10% tithe is given to the Lord, who gives it right back to them in the form of a "vacation".

3.       Those that step out by faith, believing and trusting God receive blessings others only see with their eyes.


II.   Verse 23-27 - How to spend the second tithe in the first two years.

A.     They shall bring the actual produce to Jerusalem, where they worship God by eating the food and worshipping God, rejoicing in His blessings and care for them.

B.     If they live so far from Jerusalem that the produce would ruin on the trip, they are instructed to sell the produce, bring the money to Jerusalem, where replacement produce is purchased, then the worship continues in the normal way.

1.       Verse 26 - Note: Anything may be purchased for use in this "vacation worship".

2.       Some would object to the purchase of wine, and strong drink.  But remember that only in the United States is there a restriction against strong drink.  And this came about because of the misuse of alcohol.  There is no scriptural basis for abstaining from intoxicating drink, except that our brother is offended.  For a fuller explanation of what I believe along this line, read my comments on the use of wine in the Lords Supper.

C.     Verse 27 - There is a strong recommendation that part of the second tithe be given to the Levite, for he doesn't have the opportunity for financial advancement as the "normal" Israelite.


III.   Verse 28,29 - How to spend the second tithe in the third year.

A.     There shall be no "vacation to the Lord" in the third year.

1.       The second tithe shall not be consumed by the person, but is to be distributed at home.

2.       The Levite shall be given his part for he has no inheritance like the other tribes.

3.       The stranger shall receive part of the second tithe.

a.      This will be very impressive to the stranger, and will help make them a believer of Christ.

b.      This will also keep the heart of the Israelite in the right place, not thinking about material gain all the time.

B.     The result is that God will abundantly bless Israel, even to the point that there will be no poor in all Israel.