Deuteronomy 14:4
These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,
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(4) These are the beasts which ye shall eat.—The following paragraph to the end of Deuteronomy 14:8 answers to Leviticus 11:2-8, with this difference. The beasts that are to be eaten are specified in Deuteronomy. The exceptions are given in Leviticus.

The ox, the sheep, and the goat.—These being sacrificial animals, naturally stand first. “The sheep and the goat” are literally, “a young one of the sheep or of the goats.” This may serve to illustrate Exodus 12:5, “Ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats.” According to the letter of the Law in Exodus, the Passover victim might be either lamb or kid. The word sêh, used there and in Genesis 22:7-8, is not distinctive of the species. This word is rendered “lamb” in several places in our English Version.

14:1-21 Moses tells the people of Israel how God had given them three distinguishing privileges, which were their honour, and figures of those spiritual blessings in heavenly things, with which God has in Christ blessed us. Here is election; The Lord hath chosen thee. He did not choose them because they were by their own acts a peculiar people to him above other nations, but he chose them that they might be so by his grace; and thus were believers chosen, Eph 1:4. Here is adoption; Ye are the children of the Lord your God; not because God needed children, but because they were orphans, and needed a father. Every spiritual Israelite is indeed a child of God, a partaker of his nature and favour. Here is sanctification; Thou art a holy people. God's people are required to be holy, and if they are holy, they are indebted to the grace God which makes them so. Those whom God chooses to be his children, he will form to be a holy people, and zealous of good works. They must be careful to avoid every thing which might disgrace their profession, in the sight of those who watch for their halting. Our heavenly Father forbids nothing but for our welfare. Do thyself no harm; do not ruin thy health, thy reputation, thy domestic comforts, thy peace of mind. Especially do not murder thy soul. Do not be the vile slave of thy appetites and passions. Do not render all around thee miserable, and thyself wretched; but aim at that which is most excellent and useful. The laws which regarded many sorts of flesh as unclean, were to keep them from mingling with their idolatrous neighbours. It is plain in the gospel, that these laws are now done away. But let us ask our own hearts, Are we of the children of the Lord our God? Are we separate from the ungodly world, in being set apart to God's glory, the purchase of Christ's blood? Are we subjects of the work of the Holy Ghost? Lord, teach us from these precepts how pure and holy all thy people ought to live!Compare Leviticus 11. The variations here, whether omissions or additions, are probably to be explained by the time and circumstances of the speaker.De 14:4-8. Of Beasts. Of which see Le 11. The small differences between some of their names here and there are not proper for this work. The learned reader may find them cleared in my Latin Synopsis. For others, they may well enough want the knowledge of them, both because these are the smaller matters of the law, and because this distinction of clean and unclean beasts is now out of date.

These are the beasts which they shall eat,.... That is, which they might lawfully eat of, which were allowed for their food; for they were not obliged to eat of them if they did not choose it:

the ox, the sheep, and the goat; which were creatures used in sacrifice, and the only ones, yet nevertheless they might be used for food if chosen.

{b} These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,

(b) This ceremonial Law instructed the Jews to seek a spiritual pureness, even in their meat and drink.

4. These are the beasts which ye shall eat] Leviticus 11:2-23 has no list of clean beasts such as here follows.

ox, sheep, goat] For the sacramental nature of the slaying and eating of domestic animals see on Deuteronomy 12:20-28. In ancient times the enjoyment of flesh by ordinary people was rare; that of the domestic animals was limited to special occasions such as the arrival of a guest, or a family festival, but kings and the rich ate it every day, and successful raids were celebrated by feasting upon the animal spoil (e.g. Jdg 6:19, 1 Samuel 14:32; 1 Samuel 16:20; 1 Samuel 25:18; 1 Samuel 28:24, 2 Samuel 12:4, 1 Kings 4:23, Amos 6:4). The flesh was, as still in Syria and Arabia, usually of sheep and goats; Arabs regard the former as the more honourable for a guest. Bullocks and calves were slain much more seldom, except in great houses. So it is still with the fellaḥin; while in Arabia, where pasture is scarce and the oxen are for the most part meagre and stunted, ox flesh is very rarely eaten; and its place is taken by that of the camel (see below). Ancient Arab physicians held beef to be poisonous; in parts of S. Arabia it was eaten only by the very poor; to set it even before a servant was regarded as an insult (Georg Jacob, Altarabisches Beduinenleben, 94).

Verses 4-20. - The regulations here concerning food, and the animals the use of which is forbidden, are substantially the same as in Leviticus 2. There are, however, some differences between the two accounts which may be noticed.

1. In Deuteronomy, the mammals which may be used for food are severally specified as well as described by the general characteristic of the class; in Leviticus, only the latter description is given.

2. In the list of fowls which may not be eaten, the raah (glade) is mentioned in Deuteronomy, but not in Leviticus; and the bird which in the one is called da'ah, is in the other called dayyah (vulture).

3. The class of reptiles which is carefully described in Leviticus is wholly omitted in Deuteronomy.

4. Winged insects are forbidden without exception in Deuteronomy; in Leviticus, the locust and certain other insects of the same kind are excepted.

5. Some slight differences in the order of enumeration appear. Deuteronomy 14:4With reference to food, the Israelites were to eat nothing whatever that was abominable. In explanation of this prohibition, the laws of Leviticus 11 relating to clean and unclean animals are repeated in all essential points in vv. 4-20 (for the exposition, see at Leviticus 11); also in Deuteronomy 14:21 the prohibition against eating any animal that had fallen down dead (as in Exodus 32:30 and Leviticus 17:15), and against boiling a kid in its mother's milk (as in Exodus 23:19).
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