Speak unto the children of Israel, saying
For to them only belong the following laws, and not unto the Gentiles, as Jarchi rightly observes; these were parts of the ceremonial law, which was peculiarly given to them, and lay, among other things, in meats and drinks, and now abolished; for it is not what goes into a man that defiles him; nor is anything common or unclean of itself, but every creature of God is good if received with thanksgiving. The sons of Noah had free liberty, without any restraint or limitation, of using for food any living creature that moved upon the face of the earth; in the choice of which they were left to exercise their reason and judgment, and is the case with us now; but as men have not so nice a smell as some animals have, and cannot distinguish by their senses so well as they what food is most wholesome, which makes the exercise of their reason and judgment necessary, and the people of the Jews being a special people, and for whom the Lord had a peculiar regard; for the sake of their health, and to preserve them from diseases they were subject to, such as the leprosy and others, and to direct them to what was most salubrious and healthful, gave them the following laws; and which, though they are not obligatory upon us, yet may be a direction to us, in the use of what may be most suitable and proper food for us, the difference of climates, and of the constitutions of men's bodies, being considered: not that we are to suppose, that the case of health was the only reason of delivering out these laws to the children of Israel, for other ends, besides that, may be thought to be had in view; as to assert his sovereign right to the creatures, and his disposal of them to them according to his will and pleasure; to lay a restraint on their appetites, to prevent luxury, and to teach them self denial, and compliance with his will; as also to keep them the more from the company and conversation of the Gentiles, by whom they otherwise might be led into idolatry; and to give them an aversion to their idols, to whom the creatures forbidden them to eat, many of them were either now or would be sacred to them; and chiefly to excite to a care for purity, both inward and outward, and create in the man abhorrence of those vices which may be signified by the ill qualities of several of the creatures; and to instruct them in the difference between holy and unholy persons, with whom they should or should not have communion; see ( Acts 10:11-15 Acts 10:28 )
these are the beasts that ye shall eat among all the beasts that
are on the earth;
they are not particularly mentioned here, but they are in ( Deuteronomy 14:4 Deuteronomy 14:5 ) and they are these ten; the ox, the sheep, and the goat, the hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois; of all which, (See Gill on Deuteronomy 14:4) (See Gill on Deuteronomy 14:5): here only some general things are observed to describe them by, as follow.