New Defender's Study Bible Notes
11:2 beasts which ye shall eat. This remarkable 11th chapter of Leviticus is controversial, not only because of its division of animals into clean animals (suitable for eating and for sacrifice) and unclean animals, but also because a great uncertainty exists among Hebrew scholars regarding the identity of many of the kinds of animals as named. The dietary restrictions no doubt were mainly for health and sanitation reasons, as well as ceremonial applications. The latter uses have been removed in the present economy (Acts 10:9-15; I Timothy 4:3-4), but the health and esthetic factors may still be worth consideration.
11:6 cheweth the cud. This is one of the classic “mistakes” of the Bible, since it is well known that the hare does not chew the cud. In fact, this would also have been known to the ancient Israelites, so that they would make no such mistake. The problem is simply the mis-translation of the Hebrew arnebeth. This animal was not a hare, but is an unknown animal, now extinct. Modern translators, with their uniformitarian bias, seem constrained to equate all the ancient animals of the Bible with modern animals. They overlook the fact that many have become extinct in the last four thousand years, especially during the traumatic centuries of climatic upheaval immediately following the great flood, the period known to evolutionists as the Pleistocene Epoch, or Ice Age. There is no reason whatever to equate the extinct arnebeth with the hare. The identities of several of the other animals listed in this chapter are equally uncertain.
11:36 plenty of water. The necessity of a good supply of pure fresh water for maintenance of health was stressed.
11:44 be holy. This is the first of four commands in Leviticus to be holy, because God is holy. This command is repeated and applied in I Peter 1:15,16. The basic reason for all the injunctions and restrictions imposed on the children of Israel in Leviticus is the goal of establishing them as a nation that was different from other nations and wholly separated to God.