Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Question for Old Testament experts

with 9 comments

The Old Testament (as Christians call it) contains many, many laws about what you can eat and what you must not. I was wondering whether, among the laws, any forbids the eating of human flesh. Murder is, of course, forbidden, but I am reminded of a traveler who was nervous about the native guides, of a tribe that once practiced cannibalism. On being question, one of the guides reassured the travelers that no longer was cannibalism a part of their activities—though, he said, if any of the travelers were to die, they would certainly not be wasted.

No, I haven’t come across any unusual sales or strange Web sites. I was just wondering as a matter of curiosity.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 November 2009 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food

9 Responses

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  1. I studied the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) in college and I was pretty sure there were no explicit mentions of cannibalism. A quick trip to Google seems to verify this.


    22 November 2009 at 2:38 pm

  2. I tell you, scottfeldstein, I really am relieved. Thank you.


    22 November 2009 at 3:07 pm

  3. Heh. Well there IS pretty much every other form of debauchery and evil. Often perpetrated by God or his favored people.


    22 November 2009 at 4:18 pm

  4. A little non sequitur: not only was cannibalism one of the nasty rumors going around the Roman empire about the early Christians, but it was said that ate babies. Why? Well, if one takes communion (partaking in the flesh and blood of the innocent) out of context, one can see where this came from.


    22 November 2009 at 4:35 pm

  5. Christians said the same thing about us Jews.


    22 November 2009 at 4:38 pm

  6. It strikes me that the lack of explicit prohibition speaks well of the culture: cannibalism so far beyond the pale that it’s not even visible.


    22 November 2009 at 4:42 pm

  7. The Levitical dietary laws disallow the eating of human flesh. Among land animals, Jews can only eat those who have a split hoof and chew the cud. Humans have neither of these qualities. While eating human flesh is not specifically mentioned, the way that hare, swine and hyrax are, neither is horse, dog, or bear, all of which are forbidden by the Levitical dietary laws.

    47th Problem of Euclid

    22 November 2009 at 5:15 pm

  8. Aha. Many thanks.


    22 November 2009 at 5:55 pm

  9. And yet incest is not.


    22 November 2009 at 11:06 pm

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