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“Clean” and “Unclean” Food

14 You are the children of the Lord your God. Don’t cut yourselves to honor the dead. Don’t shave the front of your heads to honor the dead. You are a holy nation. The Lord your God has set you apart for himself. He has chosen you to be his special treasure. He chose you out of all the nations on the face of the earth.

Don’t eat anything the Lord hates. Here are the only animals you can eat. You can eat oxen, sheep, goats, deer, gazelles, roe deer, wild goats, ibexes, antelope and mountain sheep. You can eat any animal that has a divided hoof. But it must also chew the cud. Some animals only chew the cud. Others only have a divided hoof. The camel, rabbit and rock badger chew the cud, but they don’t have a divided hoof. So you can’t eat them. They are not “clean” for you. Pigs aren’t “clean” for you either. They have a divided hoof, but they don’t chew the cud. So don’t eat their meat. And don’t touch their dead bodies.

Many creatures live in water. You can eat all the ones that have fins and scales. 10 But don’t eat anything that doesn’t have fins and scales. It isn’t “clean” for you.

11 You can eat any “clean” bird. 12 But there are many birds you can’t eat. They include eagles, vultures, and black vultures. 13 They include red kites, black kites and all kinds of falcons. 14 They include all kinds of ravens. 15 They include horned owls, screech owls, gulls and all kinds of hawks. 16 They include little owls, great owls, white owls 17 and desert owls. They include ospreys and cormorants. 18 They include storks and all kinds of herons. They also include hoopoes and bats.

19 All flying insects are “unclean” for you. So don’t eat them. 20 But you can eat any creature that has wings and is “clean.”

21 If you find something that’s already dead, don’t eat it. You can give it to an outsider living in any of your towns. They may eat it. Or you can sell it to someone from another country. But you are a holy nation. The Lord your God has set you apart for himself.

Don’t cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Give a Tenth of What You Produce

22 Be sure to set apart a tenth of everything your fields produce each year. 23 Here are the things you should eat in the sight of the Lord your God. You should eat a tenth part of your grain, olive oil and fresh wine. You should also eat the male animals among your livestock that were born first to their mothers. Eat all these things at the special place the Lord your God will choose. He will put his Name there. You will learn to honor him always. 24 But suppose the place the Lord will choose for his Name is too far away from you. And suppose your God has blessed you. And your tenth part is too heavy for you to carry. 25 Then sell it for silver. Take the silver with you. Go to the place the Lord your God will choose. 26 Use the silver to buy anything you like. It can be cattle or sheep. It can be any kind of wine. In fact, it can be anything else you wish. Then you and your family can eat there in the sight of the Lord your God. You can be filled with joy. 27 Don’t forget to take care of the Levites who will live in your towns. They won’t receive any part of the land as their share.

28 At the end of every three years, bring a tenth of everything you produce that year. Store it in your towns. 29 Then the Levites can come and eat. That’s because they won’t receive any part of the land as their share. The outsiders and widows who live in your towns can come. So can the children whose fathers have died. Everyone can have plenty to eat. Then the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.