The Bible and Four-footed Insects

Crit­ics of the Bible often attempt to dis­cred­it God’s word by claim­ing that it con­tains sci­en­tif­ic inac­cu­ra­cies and so could not have been writ­ten by an all-know­ing God. One such crit­i­cism is lev­eled against Leviti­cus 11:23, which states, “But all oth­er fly­ing insects which have four feet shall be an abom­i­na­tion to you” (NKJV).

In our time of sci­en­tif­ic enlight­en­ment, most of us have been taught that insects are par­tial­ly clas­si­fied by the fact that they have six legs. Such a sim­ple fact that most chil­dren prob­a­bly are aware of.

So what are we to do with this Bible verse which states that some insects have four legs? Do we seek to rebuke God for not know­ing the design of His own hand­i­work, or do we acknowl­edge that there are some insects which get around in a quadrupedal motion.

The scrip­tures state that the Jew was allowed to eat fly­ing insects only if two of their six legs were jump­ing legs (i.e., grasshop­pers, locusts, crick­ets). Oth­er­wise, the fly­ing insects which creep upon four legs were to be con­sid­ered unclean.

Does not the fly use its fore­most legs as arms, wash­ing its face and manip­u­lat­ing objects, mak­ing its mid­dle and rear legs its pri­ma­ry means of locomotion?

Mantis religiosa For a visu­al exam­ple, take a look at this pic­ture of a man­tis. Upon how many feet is it standing?

God was per­fect­ly accu­rate when He had Moses pen that por­tion of the Law, and only those who want to find an error with the Bible will see an error with this verse. Those who hon­est­ly con­sid­er the scrip­tures, how­ev­er, will find no con­tra­di­tion between Leviti­cus 11:20–23.

All fly­ing insects that creep on all fours shall be an abom­i­na­tion to you. Yet these you may eat of every fly­ing insect that creeps on all fours: those which have joint­ed legs abvoe their feet with which to leap on the earth. These you may eat: the lcoust after its kind, the destroy­ing locust after its kind, the crick­et after its kind, and the grasshop­per after its kind. But all oth­er fly­ing insects which have four feet shall be an abom­i­na­tion to you. NKJV

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Rick Beckman