The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
"Say to the Israelites: 'Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat:
You may eat any animal that has a split hoof completely divided and that chews the cud.
" 'There are some that only chew the cud or only have a split hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you.
The coney, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you.
The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you.
And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.
You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.
" 'Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales.
But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales--whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water--you are to detest.
And since you are to detest them, you must not eat their meat and you must detest their carcasses.
Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you.
" 'These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture,
the red kite, any kind of black kite,
any kind of raven,
the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk,
the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,
the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,
the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.
" 'All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you.
There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.
Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper.
But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest.
" 'You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.
Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening.
" 'Every animal that has a split hoof not completely divided or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches [the carcass of] any of them will be unclean.
Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.
Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. They are unclean for you.
" 'Of the animals that move about on the ground, these are unclean for you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,
the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon.
Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening.
When one of them dies and falls on something, that article, whatever its use, will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth. Put it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean.
If one of them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean, and you must break the pot.
Any food that could be eaten but has water on it from such a pot is unclean, and any liquid that could be drunk from it is unclean.
Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or cooking pot must be broken up. They are unclean, and you are to regard them as unclean.
A spring, however, or a cistern for collecting water remains clean, but anyone who touches one of these carcasses is unclean.
If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted, they remain clean.
But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.
" 'If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies, anyone who touches the carcass will be unclean till evening.
Anyone who eats some of the carcass must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening.
" 'Every creature that moves about on the ground is detestable; it is not to be eaten.
You are not to eat any creature that moves about on the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is detestable.
Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them.
I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground.
I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.
" 'These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves in the water and every creature that moves about on the ground.
You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.' "
I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that.
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those "super-apostles."
I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.
Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge?
I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you.
And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.
As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine.
Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then receive me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting.
In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool.
Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast.
You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise!
In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.
To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! What anyone else dares to boast about--I am speaking as a fool--I also dare to boast about.
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I.
Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.
I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.
In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me.
But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.
Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack.
My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me.
They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life.
On no account let them escape; in your anger, O God, bring down the nations.
Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll-- are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise--
in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.