Leviticus 11:20-21

“All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;”

There are some who have suggested that Leviticus 11:20 contains an error. In that verse, the Israelites are forbidden to eat insects that “go on all fours”, except those which have jointed legs and which hop on the ground. Well, we know that insects have six legs, so does the Bible contain an error?

No, it does not. The Bible does not specifically refer to insects, but it does talk about creeping things. These are small animals which creep, so they can include a lot of different types of animals. The animals referred to as “winged insects that go on all fours” might not be referring to insects at all. It could be referring to bats, for example. The hopping winged insects are easier to explain. These would appear to be locusts, so God is permitting the Israelites to eat locusts. Today, we know that locusts make very good eating. As insects, they also have six legs, but they have four front legs, and a pair of hopping back legs. So the Bible’s description of them being on all fours is accurate. It can also be pointed out that the phrase “all fours” can often be a euphemism. For example, the English word dozen means twelve, but if we refer to “dozens” this can be an inexact amount. In the same way, “all fours” does not have to mean exactly four.

Prayer: Praise You, Lord, for Your provision for us, and thank You that Your word is always accurate, even when there are those who want to claim otherwise. Amen.

Ref: Does the Bible Really Claim that Insects Only have Four Legs?, < http://www.icr.org/article/does-bible-really-claim-that-insects-only-have-fou/ >, accessed 02/12/2018. Image: H. Crisp, license: Creative Commons