The Older Covenant Scriptures give instruction on how to chew the cud (study Yahweh’s word) and gives an example of four types of animals that do not chew the cud. Those four animals are the camel, the coney, the hare, and the pig which indicate how we are not to interact with the scriptures and the Word of Yahweh.
Chewing the Cud
Deuteronomy 14:4-8 – “You may eat of every animal which chews the cud.”
Animals that chew the cud are basically those that eat only the plants and vegetation – grass, hay, etc. These animals also frequently have more than one stomach, allowing them to chew and chew and chew and digest. The same food is eaten over and over again, giving more nourishment each time it is eaten! Humans are also supposed to chew and chew and chew and digest Yahweh’s word, over and over again — in other words: to diligently search the word, each time receiving more nourishment and gaining new insights!
The Split Hoof
Deuteronomy 14:4-8 – “You may eat of every animal that has the hoof split in two.”
Split hoofs allow the animal to navigate difficult terrain, to walk on both hard and soft surfaces or difficult and easy areas, and to escape predators. Split hoofs allow the animal to be very quick and agile, allowing both direct and directionless travel. In other words, an animal with split hoofs can easily and quickly traverse all kinds of terrain. Humans often must make split decisions or must decide which direction to take when there is a split in the road or path! Humans are to chew on Yahweh’s word so that they are able to easily traverse all kinds of diverse situations in which they may find themselves.
Past, Present, and Future
Leviticus 11:4-7 – “You are not to eat of the hare because he did not divide the hoof; the camel, because he does not divide the hoof; the coney because he will not divide the hoof, nor the pig because he does not chew the cud.”
So why did Yahweh use the examples of the camel, coney (or rock badger), hare, and pig when speaking of the animals one is admonished not to eat?
The Hebrew word for split or divided is parac [H6536]. According to Pastor Mark Biltz, if you put the letter Heh both in front and behind parac, the word becomes – did not split. If you put the letter Mem in front of parac, the word becomes – does not split. And if you put the letter Yud in front of parac, the word becomes – will not split:
- The hare did not split the hoof – he has toes;
- The camel does not split the hoof – his hoof is webbed and therefore does not split;
- The coney has paws and will not split the hoof.
All three of these animals are an example of past, present, and future behaviors!
Study, Study, Study
Acts 17:11— “The Bereans were more open-minded than the Thessalonians; they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were true.”
2 Timothy 2:15 – “Make every effort to present yourself before Yahweh as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.”
Be a person who diligently studies Yahweh’s word. Do not be like the following animals:
- The Hare did not, an example that says we are not to be a person who did not study Yahweh’s word;
- The Camel does not, an example that says we are not to be a person who simply ignores Yahweh’s word;
- The Coney will not, an example that says we are not to be a person who will not study Yahweh’s word.
As for the pig – though it does have split hooves, an example of someone who does read Yahweh’s word, it does not chew the cud, an example that says we are not to be a person that simply reads the Bible but who does not meditate on it, who does not plumb it for greater insights, who does not examine the scriptures like a Berean.
Psalm 1:2 – “His delight is in Yahweh’s word; he meditates upon the word day and night.”
Chewing the cud represents chewing and digesting Yahweh’s word. Scripture is to be chewed on over and over again – we are to diligently search the word, each time receiving more nourishment and gaining new insights!
We are to chew on Yahweh’s word so, like an animal with split hoofs, we are able to easily traverse all kinds of diverse situations in which one may find oneself, and to do so without stumbling or falling.
We are not to be like the pig that simply does not chew the cud, to be one that ignores scripture and the Word of Yahweh.