an organized living creature endowed with sensation. The Levitical law divided animals into clean and unclean, although the distinction seems to have existed before the Flood (Ge 7:2). The clean could be offered in sacrifice and eaten. All animals that had not cloven hoofs and did not chew the cud were unclean. The list of clean and unclean quadrupeds is set forth in the Levitical law (De 14:3-20; Le 11).
ANIMAL, is an organized and living body, endowed with sensation. Minerals are said to grow or increase, plants to grow and live, and animals alone to have sensation. The Hebrews distinguished animals into pure and impure, clean and unclean; or those which might be eaten and offered, and those whose use was prohibited. The sacrifices which they offered, were,
1. Of the beeve kind; a cow, bull, or calf. The ox could not be offered, because it was mutilated; and when it is said oxen were sacrificed, we are to understand bulls, Le 22:18-19. Calmet thinks, that the mutilation of animals was neither permitted, nor used, among the Israelites.
2. Of the goat kind; a he-goat, a she-goat, or kid, Le 22:24.
3. Of the sheep kind; a ewe, ram, or lamb. When it is said sheep are offered, rams are chiefly meant, especially in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin; for as to peace-offerings, or sacrifices of pure devotion, a female might be sometimes offered, provided it was pure, and without blemish, Le 3:1.
Besides these three sorts of animals, used in sacrifices, many others might be eaten, wild or tame; as the stag, the roe-buck, and in general all that have cloven feet, or that chew the cud, Le 9:2-3, &c. All that have not cloven hoofs, and do not chew the cud, were esteemed impure, and could neither be offered nor eaten. The fat of all sorts of animals sacrificed was forbidden to be eaten. The blood of all kinds of animals generally, and in all cases, was prohibited on pain of death, Le 3:17; 7:23-27. Neither did the Israelites eat animals which had been taken and touched by a devouring or impure beast, as a dog, a wolf, a boar, &c, Ex 22:3; nor of any animal that died of itself. Whoever touched its carcass was impure until the evening; and till that time, and before he had washed his clothes, he did not return to the company of other Jews, Le 11:39-40; 17:15; 22:8. Fish that had neither fins nor scales were unclean, Le 11:20. Birds which walk on the ground with four feet, as bats, and flies that have many feet, were impure. The law, however, excepts locusts, which have their hind feet higher than those before, and rather leap than walk. Those were clean, and might be eaten, Le 11:21-22, as they still are in Palestine. The distinction between clean and unclean animals has been variously accounted for. Some have thought it symbolical, intended to teach the avoidance of those evil qualities for which the unclean animals were remarkable; others, that, in order that the Hebrews might be preserved from idolatry, they were commanded to kill and eat many animals which were sacred among the Egyptians, and were taught to look with abhorrence upon others which they reverenced. Others have found a reason in the unwholesomeness of the flesh of the creatures pronounced by the law to be unclean, so that they resolve the whole into a sanative regulation. But it is not to be forgotten that this division of animals into clean and unclean existed both before the law of Moses, and even prior to the flood. The foundation of it was therefore clearly sacrificial; for before the deluge it could not have reference to health, since animal food was not allowed to men prior to the deluge; and as no other ground for the distinction appears, except that of sacrifice, it must therefore have had reference to the selection of victims to be solemnly offered to God, as a part of worship, and as the means of drawing near to him by expiatory rites for the forgiveness of sins. Some, it is true, have regarded this distinction of clean and unclean beasts as used by Moses by way of prolepsis, or anticipation,