Some argue that the Bible cannot be inerrant because it says that the badger and rabbit chew the cud, but badgers and rabbits do not actually chew the cud. However, there is an easy explanation that solves this alleged mistake in the Bible.
Leviticus 11:5-6 – Do the Badger and Rabbit Chew the Cud?
5 And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. 6 And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you.Leviticus 11:5-6
Cud refers to food that is regurgitated from the stomach into the mouth, which is then chewed again. Badgers and rabbits do not do this.
The Answer – Do the Badger and Rabbit Chew the Cud?
Badgers and Rabbits Make Motions Similar to Chewing the Cud
The Bible is not meant to be a scientific or technical textbook, so in Leviticus 11:5-6, it is not saying that badgers and rabbits actually chew the cud, but rather merely that they make motions that ”’appear as if”’ they are chewing the cud.
Badgers and rabbits move their jaws in a manner so similar to chewing the cud that a Swedish scientist at first classified them as ruminants, or animals that chew the cud.
Also, rabbits practice something called ”reflection”, which is similar to ”rumination”, or chewing the cud. They re-eat what they have already eaten by eating their own droppings.
Essentially, Leviticus 11:5-6 is simply classifying a wide range of animals that make this similar jaw movement into the same category. It is not saying that badgers and rabbits chew the cud in a technical sense, but rather in a general visual sense.
Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties
There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.
Related to “Do the Badger and Rabbit Chew the Cud?”
To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.
These books are also excellent resources: