Tuesday, March 02, 2010

God Chews on Israel

Mary Douglas points out that there is a "sly 'inclusio'" in Leviticus 11 where the passage begins with the general description of clean animals which includes the characteristic of "chewing the cud" (Lev. 11:3). The word for "chewing the cud" means to go up or ascend, and while the word is repeated several times throughout the chapter with regard to chewing the cud, the conclusion is in 11:45 where God says: "For I am the Lord your god who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God." The word for "brings you up" is the same word for chewing the cud. Israel is the "cud" that God is "bringing up" and chewing on. (Leviticus as Literature, 49)

No comments: