The Hare (Rabbit) and the Truthfulness of the Bible
October 30, 2015, 6:55 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book | Tags: , ,

Bible 10, rabbits

In Bible 10, we are studying the inerrancy of the Bible. I rejoice in the thought that my Bible is free of errors and I can be sure it is accurate in each truth. Skeptics of the Bible often make the claim that the Bible is full of errors. I am trying to equip my students to answer the critics. One such case is found in Leviticus 11. In verse 6, the hare (rabbit) is said to “chew the cud”. But rabbits don’t chew the cud. So, is this a place where there is an error in the Bible?
Today, we call animals that “chew the cud” ruminants. The barely chew their food at all, but shallow it into a special stomach which begins to digest the food. The animal then regurgitates the food, chews it again, and swallows it into a second stomach that digest it completely. While cows, sheep, and goats, who have four stomachs, are true ruminants, rabbits are not. So again, is the Bible wrong?
Of course not! In the time of Moses, “chewing the cud” was from a Hebrew phrase which meant “raising up what has been swallowed”. (Thanks Taylor for suggesting the thing about Hebrew). Rabbits go through a process that is so similar to ruminants that Linnaeus, the father of modern classification, classified rabbits as ruminants, at first. (By the way, Linnaeus was a creationist!) Rabbits and hares practice refection, similar to rumination, in which the food goes right through the rabbit and is passed out as a special type of rabbit dropping, sometimes calle cecotrope, which after being expelled is re-eaten. Since they have been partially digested, the rabbit can now use them for nourishment.
So the Bible is right that rabbits and hares do “chew the cud”. Thanks to Gabe, Ryan, Taylor, and Dustin for great insights that reveal a thought process in attempting to explain to the critics that the Bible is indeed, without error!