NON-CANONICAL EPISTLES AND RELATED WRITINGS
ple, who are like pigs.” That is to say, when they live in luxury, they forget the Lord, but when they are in need, they remember the Lord. This is just like the pig: when it is eating, it does not know its master, but when hungry, it cries out— until it gets its food, and then is silent again. 4 “And do not eat the eagle, the hawk, the kite, or the crow.”55 “You must not,” he says, “cling to such people or be like them, people who do not know how to procure food for themselves through toil and sweat, but by their lawless behavior seize food that belongs to others. And they are always on the watch, strolling about with ostensible innocence, but looking to see what they can plunder because of their greed.” For these are the only birds that do not procure their own food, but sit by idly, waiting to see how they might devour the ﬂesh procured by others, being pestilent in their evil. 5 “And do not,” he says, “eat the lamprey-eel, the octopus, or the cuttleﬁsh.”56 “You must not,” he says, “be like such people, who are completely impious and condemned already to death.” For these ﬁsh alone are cursed and hover in the depths, not swimming like the others but dwelling in the mud beneath the depths. 6 But also “do not eat the hare.”57 For what reason? “You must not,” he says, “be one who corrupts children or be like such people.” For the rabbit adds an ori ﬁce every year; it has as many holes as years it has lived. 7 “Nor shall you eat the hyena.”58 “You must not,” he says, “be an adulterer or a pervert nor be like such people.” For what reason? Because this animal changes its nature every year, at one time it is male, the next time female. 8 And he has fully hated the weasel. “You must not,” he says, “be like those who are reputed to perform a lawless
deed in their mouth because of their un cleanness, nor cling to unclean women who perform the lawless deed in their mouth.” For this animal conceives with its mouth. 9 And so, Moses received the three ﬁrm teachings about food and spoke in the Spirit. But they received his words according to the desires of their own ﬂesh, as if he were actually speaking about food. 10 And David received the knowl edge of the same three ﬁrm teachings and spoke in a similar way: “How for tunate is the man who does not proceed in the counsel of the impious” (like the ﬁsh who proceed in darkness in the depths) “and does not stand in the path of sinners” (like those who appear to fear God but sin like the pig) “and does not sit in the seat of the pestilent”59 (like the birds who sit waiting for something to seize). Here you have a perfect lesson about food. 11 Again Moses said, “Eat every ani mal with a split hoof and that chews the cud.”60 What does he mean? He means that the one who receives food knows who has provided it and appears to be glad, having relied on him. He spoke well, looking to the commandment. What does he mean then? Cling to those who fear the Lord, to those who meditate on the special meaning of the teaching they have received in their heart, to those who discuss and keep the upright demands of the Lord, to those who know that medi tation is a work that produces gladness, and to those who carefully chew over the word of the Lord. But why does he men tion the split hoof? Because the one who is upright both walks in this world and
Cf. Lev 11:13–16. 56Source unknown. 57Cf. Lev 11:6. 58Source unknown. 59Ps 1:1. 60Cf. Lev 11:3; Deut 14:6.