Keith Hunt - Overview of Food Laws - Page Nineteen   Restitution of All Things

  Home Previous Page Next Page

Overview of Food Laws

A nutshell list

               From an old issue in "Answers Magazine"(1984)


Characteristics: Bears young live (not eggs), suckle their young,
breathe through lungs, hair on skin, constant body temperature,
four-chambered heart.


The Bible says that animals are permitted for food which chew the
cud and part the hoof. These animals are herbivores, have
incisors in upper jaws, stomach with four compartments, hollow or
solid horns.
Examples: Cow, sheep, goat, buffalo, deer, giraffe, gazelle,
antelope, ox.


1) Parts the hoof, but does not chew the cud. Walks on hooves,
possess canine and incisor teeth. Examples: Pig, hippo.
2) Chews the cud but does not part the hoof. Has small hooves
like nails, walks on cushion-like pads, tusk-like canines on both
jaws and incisor teeth on upper jaws, but stomach has only three
Examples: Camel, LLama.
3) Solid-hoofed, herbivorous, single-stomach, incisor teeth on
both upper and lower jaws.
Examples: Horse, donkey, mule, zebra.
4) Carnivores, six incisors and two sharp canine teeth on both
jaws, 4 or 5 toes with claws on each foot and walk either on
their toes or their paws. Examples: Lion, leopard, dog, wolf,
jackal, hyena, fox, bear.
5) Other mammals, neither chews cud nor parts hoof.
Examples: Ape, bat (even though found with birds in Lev. 11:19),
elephant, hare, mouse, rat, whale. 


Characteristics: Vertebrates living in water and  through gills.
In some species the body with bony or teeth-like scales; others
scales. All possess fins. Body temperature according to their
environment. :either by laying eggs or bringing forth young live.


The Bible says that fish are permitted for food which have "fins
and scales in the waters, in the seas and in the rivers" (Lev.
11:9, Deut. 14:9). Only bony skeletons are included, since they
alone posses fins and scales. The scales must be real ones that
overlap one another and be of bony origin a growth of the skin.
Some scales are of minute proportions, but for the fish to be
clean the scales must be visible to the eye. If a fish has scales
which can be seen only through microscope, it is to be regarded
as being without scales. If a fish has scales while young and
sheds later, it is clean. If a fish develops scales only when to
maturity, it is also clean.
examples: Carp, herring, salmon, trout.


1) Some fish either have no scales or have scales like teeth,
which are not true scales as they do not overlap.
Examples: Shark, ray.
2) Some fish lack true scales and their bodies are unprotected
except that they are partly covered five long rows of protective
matter. These fish are the main source of caviar.
Example: Sturgeon.
re fish which have no visible scales. Catfish, eel.    
3) There are fish which have no visible scales.
Example: Catfish, eel.


Characteristics: Bodies covered with feathers, upper limbs are
winged-shaped, no teeth, breathe through lungs, constant body
temperature, four-chambered heart, lay eggs.


The Bible does not give characteristics which distinguish clean
birds from unclean. But, based on the scriptures which list
unclean birds and then comparing the qualities of clean and
unclean birds, we find 6 general rules in order for a bird to be
1) Not a bird of prey. 
2) Catch food thrown to them in the air, bring it to the ground
and divide it with their bills;(unclean birds devour it in the
air, or press it with one foot to the ground and tear it with
their bills. 
3) Elongated middle front toe plus a hind toe.
4) Three toes on one side of a perch, with hind toe on the other
5) Has a crop.
6) Gizzard with double lining, easily separated. 
Examples: Duck, goose, hen, house sparrow, quail, partridge,
peacock, pheasant, pigeon.


1) Birds of prey.
a) Falcon-like birds are carnivores, have hooked beaks, sharp
talons bent like hooks.
Examples: Eagle, kite, hawk, buzzard.
b.) Vulture-like birds feed on carrion, thick solid bills, bare
neck (usually), blunt talons slightly inclined. 
Examples: Bearded vulture, black vulture, Egyptian vulture,
Griffin vulture.
2) Night birds of prey. Large head and eyes, 4 toes, (two
pointing forward and two backward).
Example: Owl.
3) Water and marsh fowls. All are exception of the goose and
4) Other birds.
Examples: Crow, swift, ostrich.


Characteristics: Vertebrates born in water, living in water,
land, or both. During early stages(larvatadpole), they breathe
with gills, and the adult stage either with lungs or gills. Body
temperature changes in as the medium in which they live.


There are no clean amphibians.


Examples: Salamander, neut, toad, frog.


Characteristics: Creeping and crawling things,which have short
legs or none at all (so that they move close to the ground or
drag along it), live mostly on dry land, have lungs, majority lay
eggs with soft shell in which the white and the yolk are mixed,
cold blooded (temperature adjusts to the environment), skin
covered with scales.

CLEAN There are no clean reptiles. 


In the Bible, reptiles are included in the general prohibition
"and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth shall be an
abomination: it shall not be eaten. Whatsoever goes upon the
belly and whatsoever goes upon all four, or whatsoever has many
feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them
you shall not eat for they are an abomination" (Lev. 11:41-42).
The crocodile is prohibited by "whatsoever has no fins or scales
in the water" (Lev. 11:12). All species of snake are prohibited.
Examples: Black snake, viper, cobra.


Characteristics: Largest number of species in the animal kingdom,
no bony skeleton, skin is either bare or covered with a shell.
Reproduce by a simple division of the body by laying eggs or
bringing forth their offspring alive.


Only a few of the million species of insects are permitted as
food by the Bible: "these may you eat of every flying creeping
thing that goes upon all four which have legs above their feet.
to leap withal upon the earth: even those may you eat, the locust
after its kind..." (Lev. 11:21-22).


Most invertebrates are forbidden. Those which live in the water
are under the prohibition either of fish which lack fins and
scales or of "any living thing which is in the waters (Lev.
11:10). Those which live on land are forbidden in accordance with
the prohibition against "whatsoever goes upon the belly, and
whatsoever goes upon all four, or whatsoever has more feet" (Lev.
Examples: Snail, oyster, squid, jellyfish, protozoa, sponges,


Answer magazine 1984

  Home Previous Page Top of Page Next Page

Navigation List:

Word Search: