clean and unclean

Animals [[➝ animals]] and fish designated ‘unclean’ were forbidden to be eaten; the ‘clean’ were permitted. The distinctions are clearly written into the Pentateuch (e.g. in the time of Noah, Gen. 7:2). This suggests that as elaborated after the Exile by the P source in the tradition, they may have coloured the narratives of earlier periods. Roughly, birds and animals that devoured their victims were unclean, because they consumed blood. A full list of unclean creatures is given in Lev. 11. People might become unclean—for instance, if they touched a dead body (Num. 19:11 ff.; cf. Luke 10:31) or came into contact with leprosy (Lev. 13:3) or bodily fluids (Lev. 12:2). Means of ceremonial purification from the effects of defilement were prescribed.
The origin of these distinctions may have been hygienic; for example, the experience of food poisoning. But the effect of the legislation was to emphasize the difference of Israel as a holy people separate from other nations. It was precisely this notion of separateness that Peter was reluctantly persuaded to renounce (Acts 10:15) as being inconsistent with Christian fellowship. Much of Paul's energy was given to teaching that for Christians the time of the Law, including its food regulations, was over (Rom. 14:15), and Jews who joined the Church should renounce all their ties with the synagogue and throw in their lot with those converted from paganism. There should be one community in faith and worship and fellowship (Rom. 15:7) on Pauline principles.

Dictionary of the Bible.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Clean and Unclean — • The distinction between legal and ceremonial, as opposed to moral Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Clean and Unclean     Clean and Unclean      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Unclean animals — This article presents religious views on unclean animals. For discussion in relation to specific animals and food, see Taboo food and drink. The pig is considered an unclean animal as food in Judaism and Islam and some Christian denominations.… …   Wikipedia

  • unclean — There is a comprehensive list in the Pentateuch of creatures that are regarded as unclean and therefore forbidden as food, or even to be touched (Lev. 11:8); those animals that ruminate (chew the cud) but do not have cloven hooves, such as camels …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Clean —    The various forms of uncleanness according to the Mosaic law are enumerated in Lev. 11 15; Num. 19. The division of animals into clean and unclean was probably founded on the practice of sacrifice. It existed before the Flood (Gen. 7:2). The… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Unclean — Un*clean , a. [AS. uncl?ne. See {Unnot}, and {Clean}.] 1. Not clean; foul; dirty; filthy. [1913 Webster] 2. Ceremonially impure; needing ritual cleansing. [1913 Webster] He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. Num.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Unclean animals — Unclean Un*clean , a. [AS. uncl?ne. See {Unnot}, and {Clean}.] 1. Not clean; foul; dirty; filthy. [1913 Webster] 2. Ceremonially impure; needing ritual cleansing. [1913 Webster] He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Unclean spirit — Unclean Un*clean , a. [AS. uncl?ne. See {Unnot}, and {Clean}.] 1. Not clean; foul; dirty; filthy. [1913 Webster] 2. Ceremonially impure; needing ritual cleansing. [1913 Webster] He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Clean URL — Clean URLs, RESTful URLs or user friendly URLs are purely structural URLs that do not contain a query string and instead contain only the path of the resource (after the scheme [e.g. http] and the authority [e.g. example.org]). This is often done …   Wikipedia

  • unclean — [[t]ʌ̱nkli͟ːn[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED Something that is unclean is dirty and likely to cause disease. ...the Western attitude to insects as being dirty and unclean... By bathing in unclean water, they expose themselves to contamination. Syn: dirty Ant …   English dictionary

  • clean — 1. adjective /kliːn/ a) Not dirty. Are these dishes clean? b) In a condition of having been cleaned. Your room is finally clean! Ant: dirty, unclean …   Wiktionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.