Leviticus 11:22

22 Even these of them ye may eat: the locust after its kind, and the bald locust after its kind, and the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind.

Leviticus 11:22 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 11:22

[Even] these of them ye may eat,
&c] The four following ones, which seem to be no other than four sorts of locusts:

the locust after his kind;
this is the common locust, called by the name of Arbeh, from the great multiplication and vast multitudes of them; the phrase, "after his kind", and which also is used in all the following instances, signifies the whole entire species of them, which might be eaten:

and the bald locust after his kind;
which in the Hebrew text is Soleam, and has its name, as Aben Ezra suggests, from its ascending rocks: but since locusts do not climb rocks, or have any peculiar regard for them, rather this kind of locust may be so called, from their devouring and consuming all that come in their way F7, from the Chaldee word (Melo) , which signifies to swallow, devour, and consume; but why we should call it the bald locust is not so clear, though it seems there were such, since the Jews describe some that have no baldness, which the gloss explains, whose head is not bald F8, which shows that some are bald; and so, this is described by Kimchi F9, it has an eminence, a rising, or bunch upon it; some render it baldness, and it hath no tail, and its head is long; and so Ben Melech:

and the beetle after his kind;
which is another sort of locust called Chargol, and should not be rendered a beetle, for no sort of beetles are eatable, nor have legs to leap withal, and so come not under the general description given of such flying, creeping things, fit to eat: Kimchi says it is one kind of a locust F11, and Hiscuni derives its name from (dxt) and (lgr) , because it strives to leap with its feet, which answers to the above descriptive character: the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, and some others, render it by Ophiomachus, a fighter with serpents, to which the locust is an enemy, and kills them, taking fast hold of their jaws, as Pliny says F12, and so Aristotle F13:

and the grasshopper after his kind;
this is another, and the fourth kind of the locust that might be eaten; its name is Chagab, from the Arabic word Chaguba, "to vail", locusts vailing the light of the sun: and according to the Jewish doctors, it is a name which every locust fit to eat should have;

``among the locusts (fit for food) are these, who have four feet, and four wings and thighs, and wings covering the greatest part of them, and whose name is Chagab F14;''

and commentators say F15, it must be called by this name, as well as have those signs: the difference between these several sorts is with them this; the Chagab has a tail, but no bunch; Arbeh neither bunch nor tail; and Soleam has a bunch, but not a tail; and Chargol has both bunch and tail F16: Maimonides F17 reckons up eight sorts of them fit to eat; and these creatures were not only eaten by the Jews, but by several other nations: with the Parthians they were very agreeable and grateful food, as Pliny F18 relates; who also says F19, that some part of the Ethiopians live only upon them all the year, hardened in smoke, and with salt: Diodorus Siculus F20 makes mention of the same, and calls them Acridophagi, locust eaters, and gives a particular account of their hunting and taking them, and preserving them for food; and so does Strabo F21; and the same Solinus F23 relates of those that border on Mauritania; and they are still eaten in Barbary, where they dry them in ovens to preserve them, and then either eat them alone, or pounded and mixed with milk: their taste is said to be like shrimps F24; and Bochart F25 has shown, from various writers, that they were a delicious food with the Greeks, especially among the common people; and so they are with the Indians F26.


F7 So R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 88. 1.
F8 T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 65. 2.
F9 Sepher Shorash. in voc. (Melo) .
F11 Ib. in voc. (lwgrx) .
F12 Ut supra. (Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 29.)
F13 Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 6.
F14 Misn. Cholin, c. 3. sect. 7.
F15 Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
F16 Vid. T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 65. 2.
F17 Maacolot Asurot, c. 1. sect. 21.
F18 Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 29.
F19 Ib. l. 6. c. 30.
F20 Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 162, 163.
F21 Geograph. l. 16. p. 531.
F23 Polyhistor. c. 43.
F24 Sir Hans Sloane's Natural History of Jamaica, vol. 1. p. 29.
F25 Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 4. c. 7. col. 490, 491.
F26 Agreement of Customs of the East Indians and Jews, art. 12. p. 60.

Leviticus 11:22 In-Context

20 All winged creeping things that go upon all fours are an abomination unto you.
21 Yet these may ye eat of all winged creeping things that go upon all fours, which have legs above their feet, wherewith to leap upon the earth.
22 Even these of them ye may eat: the locust after its kind, and the bald locust after its kind, and the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind.
23 But all winged creeping things, which have four feet, are an abomination unto you.
24 And by these ye shall become unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcass of them shall be unclean until the even;
The American Standard Version is in the public domain.