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Re: Problems and Contradictions in the Bible
Healme Views: 1,893
Published: 12 years ago
This is a reply to # 812,939

Re: Problems and Contradictions in the Bible

Here's one guys explanation for rabbits chewing cud:

Two issues are at hand: the definition of ‘cud’ and that of ‘chewing’. Let’s take a close look at the Hebrew version of both. Cuds first, chewies afterwards.

First, gerah (or gehrah) is indeed the word used here, and—this is important—it is used nowhere in the Old Testament besides these verses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. We have only this context to help us decide what it means in terms of the Mosaic law.

Second, the process rabbits go through is called refection, and it is not just ‘dung’ that the rabbits are eating, which is probably why the Hebrew word for ‘dung’ was not used here. Indeed, contrary to Meritt’s assertion, that the word gehrah also means 1/20th of a shekel actually gives us a hint here! 1/20th of a shekel is of little worth, but it does have worth. Where the word for ‘dung’ is used in the Bible, it implies something defiled, unclean, or useless. But in lapine terms, ‘dung’ is not useless: It contains pellets of partially digested food, which rabbits chew on (along with the waste material—UGH!) in order to give their stomachs another go at getting the nutrients out. (It’s an efficient way of getting more vitamins and nutrients, we’re told, but I think I’ll stick with my Flintstones chewables, thank you very much.) The pellets have some minute value, much as 1/20th of a shekel has some value.

Contrast this with what cows and some other animals do, rumination, which is what we moderns call ‘chewing the cud’. They regurgitate partially digested food in little clumps called cuds, and chew it a little more after while mixing it with saliva. (This also, presumably, helps them get the most out of their food, but I’m not trying it.)

So, let’s see … partially digested food. Partially digested food. Seems to be a common element here. Could it be that the Hebrew word simply refers to any partially digested food? Could it be that the process is not the issue, just the object?

Our other key word provides us with some hints. Meritt is partially correct when he says that the phrase translated ‘chew the cud’ in the KJV is more exactly ‘bring up the cud’. (The full phrase is ‘maketh the cud to come up’.) By leaving it at that, he apparently wishes for us to believe that ‘bring up’ means, in an exclusive sense, regurgitation. Whoooooa, horsey. Back up. Let’s check those hooves for Hebrew words! The word here is ‘alah, and it is found in some grammatical form on literally (well, almost literally) every page of the OT! This is because it is a word that encompasses many concepts other than ‘bring up’. It also can mean ascend up, carry up, cast up, fetch up, get up, recover, restore, take up, and much more. It is a catch-all verb form describing the moving of something to another place. (‘maketh the gehrah to ‘alah’)

Now in the verses in question, ‘alah is used as a participle. Let’s look at the other verses where it is used this way (NIV only implies some of these phrases; where in parentheses, the phrase is in the original, sometimes in the KJV):

Josh. 24:17 It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt. …

Isaiah 8:7 … therefore the Lord is about to bring (up) the burnt offering …

Nahum 3:3 Charging cavalry, flashing swords (lifted up), and glittering spears!

Isaiah 8:7 … therefore the Lord is about to bring (up) against them the mighty floodwaters of the River …

2 Chron. 24:14 When they had finished, they brought (up) the rest of the money …

Ps. 135:7 He makes clouds rise (up) from the ends of the earth …

2 Sam. 6:15 … while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. (Similar quote, 1 Chr. 15:28)

OUCH! That last one would hurt if the word meant regurgitation. No wonder people were shouting …

So what have we learned? The Hebrew word is question is NOT specific to the process of regurgitation; it is a phrase of general movement. And related to the specific issue at hand, the rabbit is an animal that does ‘maketh’ the previously digested material to ‘come up’ out of the body (though in a different way than a ruminant does—as Meritt says, with rabbits, it comes all the way through; but again, the word is not specific for regurgitation!) and does thereafter does chew ‘predigested material’! The mistake is in our applying of the scientific terms of rumination to something that does not require it.

snails melt with salt if they come in contact with it , I'm sure snakes have gotten some dirt in their mouth even if they didn't consider that there meal.


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