Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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Deuteronomy 14

Deuteronomy xiv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Be ye. Hebrew, "you are," &c. It may be connected with the preceding chapter. --- Cut, as the barbarians and infidels do, who have no hope, 1 Thessalonians iv. 12., and Leviticus xix. 29. --- Dead idols, Adonis, &c. The Arabs and Saracens cut the hair on the forepart of the head only, and so did the ancient Scotch monks, in imitation, as they pretended, of St. John. The Egyptians cut off the hair of their head and eye-brows, when they were initiated in the mysteries of Isis, (St. Ambrose, ep. 58,) to testify that they partook in her sorrow for the death of her husband, Osiris. Hence, it is probable, that Moses forbids any conformity in such superstitious practices; particularly as the Israelites were consecrated to the service of the living God. (Calmet)

Ver. 3. Unclean. See the annotations on Leviticus xi. (Challoner) --- Some of the beasts here specified were not mentioned before, as the buffle, &c.

Ver. 5. Buffle. Hebrew yachmur, which some translate "the fallow-deer." The Arabs give this name to a beast resembling a hart, which has horns and red hair. (Calmet) --- It was served up on the table of Solomon, 3 Kings iv. 23. Pliny ([Natural History?] viii. 13,) mentions the bubalus of Africa, which is like a calf. (Menochius) --- Chamois, (tragelaphum) a beast which has the head of a he-goat, and the carcass of a hart. (Scaliger.) (Pliny, viii. 33.) --- Bochart translates akko after the Arabic, "the wild goat." --- Pygarg, another species of goat, (Pliny, viii. 53,) of the colour of ashes. (Bellon., q. 51.) Dishon means "ashes" in Hebrew. --- Goat, (orygem) "a wild goat, (Septuagint; Bochart; &c.) or ox." Aristotle allows it only one horn. Juvenal mentions that the Getulians feasted on its flesh; and the Egyptian priests, according to Horus, were allowed to eat it, without any scrupulous examination of the sealers. (Calmet) --- Camelopardalus. This animal resembles a camel in its head and longish neck, and the panther in the spotted skin. (Pliny, viii. 18.) --- Bochart (iii. 21,) thinks that the Hebrew zamer, means "a wild goat," noted for "leaping."

Ver. 7. Cherogril, or porcupine, Leviticus xi. 5. St. Barnabas and Clement of Alexandria (Pæd. ii. 10,) subjoin the hyena to the hare, though the name occur not in Moses. This animal was supposed to change sexes every year, and was a symbol of incontinency. (Menochius)

Ver. 10. Unclean. St. Barnabas adds, "Thou shalt not eat the murena, polypus, or cuttle fish;" and these are in effect of the description given by Moses. (Calmet)

Ver. 13. Ringtail (ixion). Hebrew raa. The same bird seems to be called dae in Leviticus, by the change of the first letter, though it is there translated the kite. The ixion is a sort of white, quick-sighted vulture. --- Kite. Hebrew diae, according to Bochart, means the vulture, as Isaias (xxxiv. 15,) insinuates that this bird goes in flocks, while the kite is a solitary bird.

Ver. 15. Ostrich. Hebrew, "the daughter of the júne." The Rabbins say only the young ones were eaten. But this seems doubtful, with respect to many nations, which formerly served up ostriches at table. Heliogabalus presented some of these, as well as camel, to his guests, falsely asserting, (Calmet) that the Jews were commanded to eat them, præceptum Judæis ut ederent. (Lamprid.)

Ver. 19. Wings. Hebrew, "every reptile that flyeth," such as bees. (Calmet)

Ver. 21. Of itself, or by suffocation. --- Stranger, who has not embraced your religion. (Menochius) --- Hence it is inferred, that the Jews might keep unclean animals, and sell them; as they did not defile till they were dead. (Jansenius) --- If they had been unclean by nature, they could not have been sold, which shews that this ceremonial law regarded only the Jewish religion. --- Dam. All appearance of cruelty must be avoided. Christ, who is signified by the kid, on account of his assuming our sinful nature, shall not be slain in his infancy. (St. Thomas Aquinas, i. 2. q. 102. a. 6.) (Worthington). --- Some take this prohibition literally, and extend it to calves and lambs. The Arabs use milk in almost all their ragouts. (Roger. ii. 2.) --- Others think that kids must not be eaten, while they are as yet too tender, Qui plus lactis habet quam sanguinis. (Juvenal, Sat. xi.) --- But we believe that God forbids the paschal lamb or kid to be offered while it sucks. It must be of a competent age, of one year, Exodus xii. 5., and xxiii. 19. Other victims would do if they were only eight days old, Leviticus xxii. 27. (Calmet)

Ver. 22. Tithes. The Jews carried with them some money to buy peace-offerings. (Estius)

Ver. 26. Herds. Hebrew, "oxen." --- Sheep; under which name are comprised goats.

Ver. 29. Filled. Of this feast the owner did not partake, (St. Augustine, q. 20,) as he did of the former, ver. 26. (Menochius) --- Josephus ([Antiquities?] iv. 8,) acknowledges three sorts of tithes: but Calmet thinks that only two were paid every third year, and that the same tithe is mentioned, ver. 22, and 28., and Tobias i. 7. The only difference is, that on the third and sixth years, the products were consumed on the spot, and in other years they were spent at Jerusalem. See Leviticus xxvii. Many, however, believe that three tithes were then exacted: 1. For the Levites. 2. For a feast at Jerusalem, and to defray the expenses on the road. 3. For the poor at home. (Du Hamel; &c.) (Haydock)