What does Leviticus say about bats?

Leviticus is a book in the Old Testament of the Bible that contains a plethora of laws and regulations regarding various aspects of life, including animal sacrifices, dietary restrictions, and cleanliness. One of the animals that the book mentions is the bat.

According to Leviticus 11:13-19, bats are considered unclean animals and are therefore forbidden to be eaten by the Israelites. The passage reads, "These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat."

The reason for the bat's classification as unclean is not explicitly mentioned in the text. However, some scholars suggest that it may be because bats were associated with darkness, the underworld, and death in ancient Jewish culture. Moreover, bats are nocturnal creatures that feed on insects and fruits, and some species are known to carry diseases, which could have contributed to their negative perception.

It is worth noting that the Bible's classification of animals as clean or unclean was not only based on hygienic or scientific reasons but also had symbolic and religious significance. For instance, clean animals were considered suitable for sacrifice and could be used as offerings to God. In contrast, unclean animals were considered impure and were not allowed to be used for such purposes.

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Jamie Larson