For I [am] the Lord your God
Their Lord, and therefore had a right to enjoin them what laws he pleased concerning their food; and their God, their covenant God, and therefore would consult their good, and direct them to what was most proper, convenient, and wholesome for them:
ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be
holy, for I
that is, separate themselves from all other people, and be distinct from them, by using a different diet from theirs, as their Lord and God was different from all others, so called; and thus by observing his commands, and living according to his will, and to his glory, they would be holy in a moral sense, as they ought to be, who were under the peculiar care and notice of a holy God, and so highly favoured by him; and particularly by attending to the above laws concerning food, they would be kept from mixing with, and having conversation with the Gentiles, and so be preserved from falling into idolatry, and continue a holy people, serving and worshipping the Lord their God, and him only; and which seems to be a principal view as to religion, in delivering out the above commands:
neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of
thing that creepeth upon the earth;
which is repeated to keep them at the utmost distance from these things, and to fill them with an aversion to them, that they might be careful to avoid them. There is no penalty annexed to these laws, but the breach of them making them unclean, thereby they were debarred the use of the sanctuary, and of holy things, and of the conversation of men, for that day; but, according to the Jewish writers, such transgressions were punishable with stripes. Jarchi observes out of the Talmud F12, that he that eateth "putitha" (a small water reptile) was to be beaten four times, and if an ant or pismire five times, and if a wasp or hornet six times.