Why is the pig considered unclean in the Bible?

  • Date: September 24, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

The pig has been an animal of contention in many cultures and religions, and it is particularly prominent in the Bible. In the Bible, the pig is considered unclean and forbidden to be eaten by humans. The reasons for this are mainly due to the pig’s diet and its association with uncleanliness in biblical times. This article will explore the various reasons why the pig is regarded as unclean in the Bible, and how this has been interpreted throughout history.

Why is the Pig Considered Unclean in the Bible?

The pig is an animal that has been vilified for centuries in many cultures, including the ancient Jews. The Bible does not explicitly state why the pig is considered unclean, but there are a few theories as to why it was seen as an impure creature.

The Theory of Contamination

One popular explanation is the theory of contamination. This theory suggests that the pig was seen as unclean because of its association with contamination. The pig was seen as a scavenger that would consume rotting food and other unclean things, and so it was viewed as a source of contamination. This theory is supported by the fact that the Torah forbids eating the pig, but does not forbid touching it.

The Theory of Hygiene

Another popular explanation is the theory of hygiene. This theory suggests that the pig was seen as unclean because of its lack of hygiene. Pigs are known for their dirtiness and in the Bible, they are associated with uncleanness. This theory is supported by the fact that the Bible forbids the consumption of pork and that it commands the Israelites to wash their hands after touching a pig.

The Theory of Idolatry

A third theory is the theory of idolatry. This theory suggests that the pig was seen as unclean because of its association with idolatry. The pig was seen as a symbol of pagan worship in the ancient world and so it was viewed as an impure creature. This theory is supported by the fact that the Bible forbids the consumption of pork and commands the Israelites to avoid idolatry.

The Theory of Taboo

Finally, there is the theory of taboo. This theory suggests that the pig was seen as unclean because of its association with taboo practices. The pig was seen as a symbol of sexual immorality and other taboos in the ancient world and so it was viewed as an impure creature. This theory is supported by the fact that the Bible forbids the consumption of pork and commands the Israelites to avoid sexual immorality.

It is difficult to know for sure why the pig was considered unclean in the Bible. However, the theories outlined above provide some insight into why the ancient Jews may have viewed the pig as an impure creature. Whether it was due to its association with contamination, hygiene, idolatry, or taboo practices, the pig was seen as an unclean animal in the eyes of the ancient Jews.

**Common Myths About the Biblical Uncleanliness of Pigs**

One of the most common myths about the Biblical uncleanliness of pigs is that they are “unclean” because they are dirty animals. This is completely false, as pigs are actually some of the cleanest animals in the animal kingdom. In fact, they spend much of their time grooming themselves and rolling in mud to keep cool.

Another myth is that pigs are unclean because they are scavengers. While pigs do scavenge for food, this does not make them any more unclean than any other scavenging animal.

A third myth is that pigs are considered unclean because they are not kosher. This is also false, as many Jews and Muslims do not consider pigs to be unclean.

The truth is that the Bible never explicitly states why pigs are considered unclean. Some believe that the reason for this is because pigs are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and animals, and thus the Bible could have seen them as eating “impure” food that could not be consumed by Jews.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the pig considered unclean in the Bible?

Answer: According to Leviticus 11:7-8, God declared that the pig was an unclean animal because it does not have a divided hoof and does not chew the cud. God commanded that the Israelites not eat pork or other animals considered “unclean”. This command was given to protect the Israelites from diseases and other health dangers.

What other animals are considered unclean in the Bible?

Answer: In addition to the pig, other animals considered unclean in the Bible include the hare, the rock badger, the rabbit, the water buffalo, the camel, the horse, the donkey, the hedgehog, the porcupine, the bat, the hawk, the raven, the ostrich, the owl, the stork, the heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:2-47).

Conclusion

: The pig is considered unclean in the Bible due to its association with contamination, hygiene, idolatry, and taboo practices.

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