Clean Bugs in Torah (Locust)

locust - clean bugsThe locust appears to be the only insect that flies, swarms and leaps on the earth and the only insect that I would choose to eat.

When Yehovah created the earth, He filled it with what He divided into four groups of animals; fish kind, bird kind, behemah kind (four-footed animals) and the creeping kind (or what I like to call “bug kind“).

Right after Yehovah tells the sons of Israel what they and their families may eat from the bird kind He then addresses flying bug kind:

“Also every creeping thing that flies is unclean for you; they shall not be eaten.” (Deu 14:19)

”All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you.” (Lev 11:20)

Yet, the very next verse in Leviticus, Yehovah give us one exception to this rule; it may seem like four exceptions, but before we are done I hope you will see there is only one.

“21 Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth.
22 These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind.
23 But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you.” (Lev 11:21-23)

In the world there is a wicked multitude of people who are rebellious concerning Yehovah’s word and who use these verses as an excuse for why they do not need to learn and follow only Yehovah’s word. They know that there are no four-footed flying insects. EVERY insect has 6 legs; beetles, butterflies, bees and wasps, ants and termites, flies, grasshoppers. crickets, katydids, locusts and the like are all insects and have 6 legs. Millipedes, Centipedes, Spiders, scorpions, Woodlice and worms and the like are NOT insects and of course are not food for us.

Here we have yet another of the many errors in Torah? Does this bother you? Does it violate one of your erroneous precepts? “Every word of Elohim is without error.” Part of knowing Yehovah is the ability to see through these errors. We must use His words to interpret His word, and not base any of our ideas on a single portion of scripture.

So what is going on in this passage? What is the Creator telling us we can eat? I have spent many hours on these verses and have come up some interesting answers.

Creeping kind - lucustIt appears to me that the bugs that we can eat from the flying creeping kind are those that swarm and leap on the earth.

(LITV)  “Only, this you may eat of any swarmingH8318 thing which flies, which goes on all fourH702, which has legs above its feet to leapH5425 with them on the earth;” (Lev 11:21)

(MKJV)  “Yet you may eat these of any flying swarming thing that goes on all fourH702, those which have legs above their feet, to leap with on the earth. “(Lev 11:21)

The two most important words that we are talking about here are these:

H8318
שׁרץ  sheh’-rets
From H8317; a swarm (Strongs)

H5425
נתר  naw-thar’
A primitive root; to jump (Strongs)

So of the flying kind of bugs, we see that they must swarm and leap if they are to be used for food. But the real puzzler for me was this word fourH702.

H702 [ar-bah]
(ארבּע AR-BAh) – Four

Yes four, as in the number. What is wrong here? No insects have 4 legs; so let’s dig deeper.

Here is the root of this word.

H7250, H7251 [raw-bah]
(רבּע R-BAh) – Square: To go down on the hands and knees in the sense of being on all fours. (Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible)

I see what Yehovah is trying to say is that these insects crawl on their legs. So if I were to do a translation of this verse it would go something like this:

(Michael Didier Version) Yet you may eat these, any flying, swarming thing that crawls, which have above their feet, legs jointed to leap upon the earth. (Lev 11:21)

Clean Bugs – Locust, Locust, Locust

Then, according to most translations, the Creator give us four different crawling things that meet His parameters. Here in one of the most outrageous translations.

(KJV)  “Even these of them ye may eat; the locustH697 after his kind, and the bald locustH5556 after his kind, and the beetleH2728 after his kind, and the grasshopperH2284 after his kind.” (Lev 11:22)

Does a beetle have legs that allow it to leap on the earth? Does it swarm anywhere but in the movies? Many translations say grasshoppers, crickets and katydids in addition to locust; but grasshoppers, crickets and katydids while they do have wings are not fliers. Their wings are more for sound. And when was the last time anyone dreaded a swarm of katydids or crickets?

No, I think there is something more here than a list of four edible insects. For there is little agreement on any of these words among the translators. Jeff Benner in his Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible was once again helpful to me. All four of these words have to do with locust. The first two have to do with swarming and jumping (just as I mentioned above); but the last two words do not seem to describe any particular characteristic and may be two different varieties of locust.

H697   ‘arbeh
(ארבּה AR-BH) – Locust: An abundant swarm

H5556  sol‛âm
(סלעם SL-AhM) – Locust: From its high jumping

H2728   chârgôl
(חרגּל HhR-GWL) – Locust

H2284  châgâb
(חגב  HhGB) ac: ? co: Locust

I did a search to find out the difference between grasshoppers and locusts. Here is one paragraph from a very interesting article which I found,

“Green grasshoppers and brown locusts are close cousins, both in the grasshopper family. But while grasshoppers hop like mad and can be abundant and pesky, locusts can fly. More significant, locusts have the unusual ability to be total loners or to enter what scientists euphemistically call “a gregarious state” — this is the flying and swarming stage, the stuff of Biblical proportions.” http://www.livescience.com/7782-grasshoppers-locusts-swarm.html

The “gregarious” state that is addressed in this article is what Yehovah is talking about when He mentions “swarming.”

The locust appears to be the only insect that flies, swarms and leaps on the earth and the only insect that I would choose to eat; and, even then, I would have to be pretty hungry.

Locust Recipes – Yum!

But hey, if ever you get that hungry here are a few recipes you might want to try from around the world. Happy crunching! 🙂

Tinjiya (Tswana recipe): remove the wings and hind-legs of the locusts, and boil in a little water until soft. Add salt, if desired, and a little fat and fry until brown. Serve with cooked, dried mealies (corn).

Sikonyane (Swazi recipe): prepare embers and roast the whole locust on the embers. Remove head, wings, and legs, in other words, only the breast part is eaten. The South Sotho people use locusts especially as food for travellers. The heads and last joint of the hind legs are broken off and the rest laid on the coals to roast. The roasted locusts are ground on a grinding stone to a fine powder. This powder can be kept for long periods of time and is taken along on a journey. Dried locusts are also prepared for the winter months. The legs, when dried, are especially relished for their pleasant taste.

Cambodia: take several dozen locust adults, preferably females, slit the abdomen lengthwise and stuff a peanut inside. Then lightly grill the locusts in a wok or hot frying pan, adding a little oil and salt to taste. Be careful not to over cook or burn them.

Barbecue (grilled): prepare the embers or charcoal. Place about one dozen locusts on a skewer, stabbing each through the center of the abdomen. If you only want to eat the abdomen, then you may want to take off the legs or wings either before or after cooking. Several skewers of locusts may be required for each person. Place the skewers above the hot embers and grill while turning continuously to avoid burning the locusts until they become golden brown.

Uganda: Clean the locusts by removing the legs and wings, then fry them with some chopped onion and season with curry powder.

Clean Bugs among the creeping kind (insects)

         Locust, locust and locust 🙂

Meat “Sacrificed” to “Idols” (9 Parts)
Oh my! We are all doing this, unless we are slaughtering our own animals. Many want to obey Leviticus 11, but completely ignore Leviticus 17. Failure to understand this will get a man (with his family) kicked out of Israel.

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