SECTION XXVI.

 

SHEMINI.

 

 

               IX. And on the eighth day Mosheh called Aharon and his sons and the elders of Israel. And he said unto Aharon, Take to thee a calf, a young bullock from the herd, for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering unblemished, and offer before the Lord. And with the sons of Israel he spake, saying, Take a kid of the goats for a sin offering, and a calf, and a lamb of the year, unblemished, for a burnt offering, to sacrifice before the Lord; and a mincha of flour sprinkled with oil: for this day will the glory of the Lord be revealed to you.

              

               And what Mosheh had commanded they brought before the tabernacle of ordinance, and all the congregation approached and stood before the Lord. And Mosheh said, This is the thing that the Lord hath commanded to be done, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed to you.

 

               And Mosheh said to Aharon, Approach the altar, and make thy sin offering and thy burnt sacrifice, and make atonement for thyself and for the people, and perform the oblation of the people, and make atonement for them, as the Lord commanded. And Aharon drew near to the altar, and slew the calf for the sin offering for himself. And the sons of Aharon brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the base of the altar. But the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul of the liver of the sin offering he burned at the altar, as the Lord commanded Mosheh. And the flesh and the skin he burned in the fire without the camp.

 

               And he killed the whole burnt offering; and the sons of Aharon brought the blood to him, and he sprinkled it upon the altar round about. And they brought to him the whole burnt offering by its members with the head, and he burned upon the altar. And he washed the inwards and the legs, and burned with the offering at the altar. And he brought the oblation of the people, and took

the kid for the sin offering of the people, and killed it, and made atonement with its blood, as before. And he brought the whole burnt offering, and performed in the manner proper. And he took the mincha, and filled his hand with it, and burned it upon the altar beside the morning sacrifice. And he slew the bullock and the ram for the hallowed oblations of the people; and the sons of Aharon brought the blood to him, and he sprinkled the blood round about. Also the fats of the bullock and of the ram, the tail, and the covering of the inwards, with the kidneys, and the caul of the liver; and they placed the fats upon the breast, and burned the fats at the altar. And the breast with the right shoulder Aharon uplifted, an elevation before the Lord, as the Lord commanded Mosheh.

 

               And Aharon lifted up his hands over (to) the people and blessed them, and cane down from performing the sin offering, and the burnt sacrifice, and the hallowed oblations. And Mosheh and Aharon entered the tabernacle of ordinance, and came forth and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord was revealed unto all the people: and fire came forth from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt sacrifice and the fats: and all the people saw, and gave praise, and fell upon their faces.

 

               X. But the sons of Aharon, Nadab and Abihu, took each man his censer and put fire in them, and put sweet incense upon it, and offered (or brought) before the Lord strange fire which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.

 

               And Mosheh said unto Aharon, This is that which the Lord spake, saying, In them who approacheth Me I will be sanctified, and in the face of all the people will I be glorified. And Aharon was silent.

 

               And Mosheh called to Mishael and to Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aharon, and said to them, Come nigh, and carry your brethren from before the sanctuary without the camp. And they came nigh, and carried them in their vestments out of the camp, as Mosheh had spoken.

 

               And Mosheh said to Aharon and to Elazar and to Ithamar his sons, Make not bare your heads, nor rend your garments, lest you die, and wrath be upon all the congregation; but let your brethren and all the house of Israel bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled; and go not forth from the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, lest you die; for the anointing oil of the Lord[1] is upon you. And they did according to the word of Mosheh.

 

               And the Lord spake unto Aharon, saying: Drink not wine nor strong drink, neither thou nor thy sons with thee, when you enter into the tabernacle of ordinance, that you die not. It is an everlasting statute unto your generations, for the distinguishment between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean; and that you may teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the Lord hath spoken to them through Mosheh.

 

               And Mosheh spake with Aharon and with Elazar and with Ithamar his sons who were left: Take the mincha which remaineth of the oblations of the Lord, and eat it unleavened at the side of the altar, because it is most holy. It shall be eaten in the holy place; for it is thy portion, and the portion of thy sons of the oblations of the Lord; for so have I been commanded. But the breast of the uplifting and the shoulder of the separation you may eat on (any) clean place, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee; for it is thy portion, and the portion of thy sons, which hath been given of the hallowed sacrifices of the children of Israel. The shoulder of the separation and the breast of the uplifting they will bring with the oblation of the fat things to uplift, an elevation before the Lord: and they shall be thine and thy sons’ with thee by an everlasting statute, as the Lord hath commanded.

 

               But Mosheh made inquiry[2] for the goat of the sin offering; and, behold, it had been burned; and he was angry with Elazar and Ithamar the sons of Aharon who were left, saying: Why have you not eaten of the sin offering in the holy place, because it is most holy; and He hath delivered it unto you for pardoning mercy upon the sin of the congregation to make atonement for them before the Lord? Behold, the blood of it was not brought in within the sanctuary: eating you should have eaten it within the holy (precinct), as I had commanded. And Aharon said to Mosheh, Behold, this day they have brought their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord; but such griefs as these having come upon me, if I had eaten of the sin offering to-day, would it have been right before the Lord? And Mosheh heard, and it was pleasing in his eyes.[3]

 

               XI. And the Lord spake with Mosheh and to Aharon, saying to them: Speak with the children of Israel, saying: These are the animals which you may eat of all the beasts which are upon the earth. Every one that parteth the sole and divideth the paw (or hoof) and that bringeth up the cud among the cattle, that you may eat. But these you shall not eat, - of them that bring up the cud or of them that divide the hoof – the camel, because he bringeth up the cud, but divideth not his hoof, he is unclean to you. And the coney, because he bringeth up the cud, but doth not divide the hoof, is unclean to you. And the hare, because he bringeth up the cud, but the hoof divideth not, shall be unclean to you. And the swine, because he parteth the sole, and divideth the hoof, but cheweth not the cud, he shall be unclean to you. You shall neither eat their flesh nor touch their carcases; they are unclean to you.

 

               And these you may eat of all that are in the waters; every one that hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, of them you may eat. But any one that hath not (both) fins and scales in the seas and in the rivers; every (such) reptile of the waters, and every living animal in the waters, shall they be to you; of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcases you shall abhor; whatsoever hat not (both) fins and scales in the waters is to be an abomination to you.

 

And these shall you hold in abomination among the birds; you shall not eat them, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the sea eagle, and the osprey, and the kite, and the vulture, after his kind; and every raven after his kind; and the ostrich, and the night bird, and the gull, and the hawk, after his kind; and the owl, and the diver for fish, and the ibis, and the swan, and the green bird, and the stork, and the pica, after his kind, and the moorcock, and the bat. Every winged thing that creepeth, (or) walketh upon four,[4] is an abomination to you. Yet these you may eat, of every creeping thing that flieth, that walketh upon four which hath joints above its feet wherewith to leap upon the ground. Of such as these you may eat, the locust after his kind, and the bald locust, and the serpent-killer after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind;[5] but every other creeping thing that flieth having four feet is to be an abomination to you. And by these you will be unclean; every one who toucheth their carcases shall be unclean until the evening. And whosoever carrieth a carcase of them, shall was his clothes and be unclean until the evening; every beast that divideth the hoof, but is not cloven-footed, and that bringeth not up the cud, is to be unclean to you; whosoever toucheth them shall be unclean. And every (animal) that goeth upon its paws, of all beast that go upon four, shall be unclean to you; whoever toucheth their carcases shall be unclean until the evening. And whoever carrieth their carcase shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; to you they are unclean.

 

               And these shall be to you unclean among the reptiles which creep upon the ground; - the weasel, and the mouse, and the crocodile after his kind, and the field mouse (or ferret,) and the chameleon, and the newt, and the lizards, and the mole. These are unclean to you of all that creep; every one who toucheth them in their dead state shall be unclean until evening. And upon whatever any of them may fall in their dead state it shall be unclean; whether a vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, everything whatever in which work is doen, must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening, and must be purified. And whatever earthen vessel into which any of them may fall, all that is within (it) is polluted, and you shall break it. Any food for eating, upon which water (from such a vessel) is poured, shall be unclean, and all liquor which was for

drinking in any (such) vessel shall be unclean. And anything upon which a part of their dead bodies may have fallen shall be unclean; oven or cooking pan, they shall be broken, they are unclean and shall be unclean to you. Nevertheless, a fountain or a pit, the place of a collection of waters, (into which they may have fallen,) shall be clean; but he who toucheth their dead bodies shall be unclean. And if a part of their carcase fall upon any seeding seed which is to be sown, it is clean; but if water be put upon the seed, and a part of their carcase fall their fall thereupon, it is unclean to you.

 

               And if any one of the cattle of which you eat die, whosoever toucheth its carcase shall be unclean until the evening. And he who eateth of its carcase shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. And he who may carry its carcase shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. And every reptile that creepeth upon the ground is abominable, it shall not be eaten. Whatsoever goeth upon its belly, and whatever goeth upon four, anything that hath many feet, and every reptile that creepeth, you shall not eat, for they are an abomination.[6] Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with your animals by any reptile that creepeth, nor make yourselves unclean, nor be polluted by them, lest by them you be made unclean. For I am the Lord your God; sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I am Holy; that you may not contaminate your souls with any reptile which creepeth upon the ground; for I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Mizraim to be unto you a God; and you shall be holy, for I am Holy.

 

               This is the law of the cattle, and of the fowl, and of every living animal that moveth in the waters, and of every living thing that moveth on the ground, for making a distinction between the unclean and the clean, between the animal that may be eaten, and the animal that may not be eaten.

 



[1] Sam. Vers., “the oil of excellency.”

[2] “Requiring, required.”

[3] Compare the Palestinian Targum on the place.

[4] Animals with wings, having more than two feet, as insects. – MENDELSSOHN.

[5] The names in the Hebrew test are arbeh, saleam, chargol, and chagab. Onkelos renders them by goba, rashona, chargola, and chagaba. They refer probably to four of the ten species of locusts, though it seems impossible to identify them specifically. The Mishna gives four marks by which a clean locust may be known: “Of locusts, all the kinds are clean which have four feet, four wings, and four leaping legs, and whose wings cover the greatest part of the body.” – Cholin, c.3.

[6] This, the forty-second, is the middle verse of the Pentateuch. The Masorites affirm the exact middle to be the vau holem in the word gahvon, “belly.”