[b-hebrew] Re: Mice, Rats, Badgers, & Weasels

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Apr 29 12:03:32 EDT 2004

On 29/04/2004 08:31, David Kimbrough (CLWA) wrote:

>Of the four times that the word "mice" (akbari) occurs in the OT,  all are
>associated with golden objects resembling the animal rather than actual
>animal.  Further, all four occur in 1 Sam  6 (4-18) as "trespass offerings".
>The two times that the  word "mouse" (akbar) is used, it is in association
>with dietary prohibitions (Lev 11:29 and Isa 66:17).  I know people will eat
>mice and rats in desperation but I don't know of any societies where it is
>the norm.  If people were not actually eating these animals on some sort of
>routine and conspicuous basis, there would be no need for a prohibition.  It
>may well be that it is a reference to some other small mammal, although I
>guess the LXX translators clearly thought the appropriate Greek word was
>In terms of given names, many English family names are from small (and large
>mammals), e.g. Fox, Lamb, Hare, Rabbit, Mink, Hogge, etc.
>David Eugene Kimbrough
I looked at Leviticus 11:29 and found that in fact this is not primarily 
about dietary laws. Unclean food animals have already been listed in 
vv.4-8. Although the animals listed in vv.29-30 are certainly also not 
to be eaten, what the text actually says about them is that any person, 
article or food which touches theire dead bodies is unclean. Finding a 
dead mouse, rat or whatever would have been a common occurrence; eating 
them would not normally have been attempted.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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