The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleLeviticus 11:4
Nevertheless, these shall ye not eat…
To whom one of
these descriptive characters may agree but not the other:
of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof:
being some that chewed the cud but did not divide the hoof; others that
divided the hoof but did not chew the cud, of which instances are given
[as] the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the
hoof; he [is] unclean unto you;
and not to be eaten, whether male or
female; or rather, "though he cheweth the cud"; and this account agrees
with what naturalists give of it; so Aristotle F26 says it has not both
rows of teeth, but wants its upper teeth, and chews as horned cattle
do, and has bellies like theirs; for they have more bellies than one,
as the sheep, and goat, and hart, and others; since the service of the
mouth is not sufficient to grind the food for want of teeth, this is
supplied by the bellies, which receive the food one after another; in
the first it is undigested, in the second somewhat more digested, in
the third more fully, in the fourth completely: and so many bellies the
camel has, as a very learned searcher F1 into these things observes;
the first is the biggest, the second very small, the third much greater
than the second, and the fourth equal to the second; in the second
belly between the tunics, he says, seem to be the hydrophylacia, in
which the water they drink is kept, very commodious for these animals
passing through sandy deserts, so that they can long bear thirst: Pliny
F2 says four days: Leo Africanus F3 relates a method used by
travellers in the deserts of Lybia, who being in extreme want of water
kill one of their camels, out of whose intestines they press out water;
this they drink, this they carry about till they find a well, or must
die with thirst: and the account also which is given of the feet of
these creatures agrees; it parts the hoof, but not thoroughly, it is
not cleft quite through, and so comes not up to Moses's descriptive
character of clean creatures; its hoof is divided in two, but so
divided, as Aristotle F4 observes, that it is but little divided on
the back part unto the second joint of the toes; the fore part is very
little divided, to the first joint of the toes, and there is something
between the parts, as in the feet of geese: and so Pliny says F5 it
has two hoofs, but the lower part of the foot is but very little
divided, so that it is not thoroughly cleft: but though the flesh of
these creatures was forbidden the Jews, it was eaten by people of other
nations; both Aristotle F6 and Pliny F7 commend the milk of camels;
and by the former the flesh of them is said to be exceeding sweet; and
Diodorus Siculus relates F8, that what with their milk and their
flesh, which is eaten, as well as on account of their carrying burdens,
they are very profitable unto men; and Strabo F9 says, the Nomades eat
the flesh and milk of camels; and so the Africans, according to Leo
Africanus F11; and a countryman of ours F12, who lived some time in
Arabia, relates, that when a camel falls they kill it, and the poorer
sort of the company eat it; and he says that he himself ate of camel's
flesh, and that it was very sweet and nourishing: these creatures, in
the mystic sense, may be an emblem of such persons, that carry their
heads high, are proud and haughty, that boast of their riches, or trust
in their righteousness.
F26 De Part. Animal. l. 3. c. 14.
F1 Scheuchzer. ib. p. 280.
F2 Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 18.
F3 Descriptio Africae, l. 1. p. 75.
F4 Hist. Animal. l. 2. c. 1.
F5 L. 11. c. 45.
F6 Hist. Animal. l. 6. c. 26.
F7 Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 41.
F8 Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 137.
F9 Geograph. l. 16. p. 535.
F11 Descriptio Africae, l. 1. p. 48. l. 6. 617, 620. Arab. Geogr. Clim.
1. par. 1. 3.
F12 Pitts's Account of the Mahometans, c. 8. p. 106. Vid. Hieron, adv.
Jovinian. l. 2.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Leviticus 11:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=le&chapter=011&verse=004>. 1999.