Saturday, October 13, 2012

The OT Food Laws and Gen. 1

I have recently been reading some commentaries on Deuteronomy 14, one of the two OT chapters (the other being Leviticus 11) detailing the laws of kashrut regarding the foods that the Israelites were permitted to eat. Several of the commentators have noted that the division of animals into (1) land animals, (2) water animals, and (3) air animals has a connection with the similar division articulated in Gen. 1. In the minds of these commentators, this is apparently supposed to be significant, and perhaps demonstrate a shared ideology or some such.

But that seems rather silly. Classifying animals by their habitation seems a rather obvious way to go about classifying animals, and then land, sea, and sky are the obvious distinctions among animal habitations. Where else do animals live but on land, in the sea, and in the sky? Drawing a connection between Deut. 14 (or Lev. 11) and Gen. 1 based on this would be like connecting two different chapters that both attest that grass is green.

Am I overlooking something? Is this more significant than I think?

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