The Law considered some fish unclean

Leviticus Bible Background

02.10.2018 – Old Testament: Lev 11.9–12

To read the Bible in a year, read Leviticus 10–12 on February 10, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

Of the creatures that live in the water, the Lord declared that for the children of Israel some of those creatures were unclean,

“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. 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 to you. They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales—that shall be an abomination to you” (Leviticus 11.9–12).

Why did the Lord not want Israel to eat those particular aquatic creatures? Sometimes we can see a reason for why He declared an animal unclean, but even then, unless He has said, we merely speculate. For other creatures we do not know why He considered them unclean. However, He did for Israel, and they did well to observe His will.

Christians do not have this kind of listing, revealing what is clean and unclean concerning food, but it does show us that the Lord makes distinctions and that there are some things in life to avoid and others to embrace (See 2Co 6.17; Eph 5.5).


  • Do you consider somethings unclean?
  • Why?

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