“Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.”
Gosh, how many times have you had a doctor to tell you to lose weight? Maybe we should have looked into the old testament for inspiration. Plain as day, the Lord gave instructions for what to eat. In the past I have read this portion of the Bible and not really paid any attention to what it says. Don’t we all do that? Maybe it is the same with instructions on how to put a bookshelf together or even a recipe; but we seem to skim over the instructions.
So what did this writer do? She researched about the hoof being parted and why that might be important and then looked up the “cheweth the cud”. I had already had an understanding of why the cud was chewed and an idea of the stomachs, but not a full understanding. Besides all that information was garnered in high school, probably Biology class. So why not give myself a refresher course.
So, we will start with the “cud”. An animal that chews it’s cud can eat some obnoxious plants and expel their body of it thru their salivary glands. It is not retained in their meat. Thus us poor humans can eat the meat and digest it easier. Those animals that do not “chew the cud ” do not convert their food as purely, thus their meats will retain some by-product, in succession when we eat such meat we are consuming the impure by-product. Good food for thought, don’t you think?
Let us now discuss what I found in relation to the “parteth the hoof”.
This verse and the ones following are not just given to Moses alone. The instructions were given to Aaron, also. So what is the purpose of an animal to have a hoof that parts equally? That hoof can support the weight of the animal more easily than if it were only in one part and it can spread the impact of the walking on uneven ground adding extra protection to the tissues and bone of the hooves. We have to see the correlation between the parted hoof and the message given to two leaders. As the “parteth hoof” supports the whole body, the two leaders were the ones guiding the former slaves that lived in a city that worshiped idols. It had been generations since these people had to ‘fend’ for themselves. As all humans when we are in need of comfort we look for what we are used to. So, if these freed slaves were not given instruction on what was clean and unclean, what was to say that they would not return to the heathen lifestyle they were used to? Point in case, in the chapter before, Aaron lost two sons for burning incense on the alter.
If we continue reading the chapter we will find other foods and animals that are forbidden. After reading these, I recognized some of the foods that my own body cannot handle. Who is to say that maybe we should go back and think of foods as “clean and unclean”?
But how can we use this verse to relate to our every day life? Easy. Chew your cud! Study your Bible and regurgitate the information, and then study it some more.