And every soul that eateth that which died [of itself]
Through any disease upon it, or by means of any other creature seizing upon it and worrying it, or was not lawfully killed; if a man ate ever so little of it, even but the quantity of an olive, it was a breach of this law; which is connected with the preceding, there being a similarity between them, because such creatures must have their blood in them, not being regularly let out, and so eating of them would offend against the above law. It is very probable, as Grotius thinks, that Pythagoras took his notion from hence, and strictly enjoined his followers to abstain from all animals that died of themselves, as Laertius F14 and Aelianus F15 relate, and which Porphyry F16 suggests, was what universally obtained among men: or that which was torn [with beasts];
though not dead, yet ready to die, and so unfit for food; (See Gill on Exodus 22:31); [whether it be] one of your own country, or a stranger;
a native of Israel, or a proselyte of righteousness; for as for any other stranger he might eat of it, ( Deuteronomy 14:22 ) ; he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe [himself] in water;
in forty seahs of water, as the Targum of Jonathan, dip himself all over: and be unclean until the even;
and so have no conversation with men in civil or religious things: then shall he be clean;
when he has washed his garments, and bathed himself, and the evening is come, and then shall be admitted to society as before: this is to be understood of one who ignorantly eats of the above things, not knowing them to be such; otherwise, if he did it presumptuously, he was to be punished.
F14 In Vit. Pythagor. l. 8. p. 588.
F15 Var. Hist. l. 4. c. 17.
F16 De Abstiuentia, l. 3. sect. 18.