Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Are ducks considered to be edible according to Scripture?

READER QUESTION:  Are ducks considered to be “clean”?


We find 24 birds/classes of birds specifically forbidden in the Torah. These are mainly predatory and scavenger birds. Conversely, the Torah does not provide characteristics of kosher birds. So in general, if it is not and excluded bird, then it is okay. Thus, domestic species of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and pigeons/doves are considered clean/kosher.

I should add that while the Mishnah addresses "3 features of kosher birds," (a crop, extra toe, peelable gizzard), it is not at all clear how these features were derived, nor is there agreement in the Jewish community about them. For example, a goose does not have a crop, but is considered kosher.

Perhaps the "debate" about ducks includes what they eat? Ducks are "opportunists." They will eat small fish and fish eggs, snails, worms, slugs, frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, and other small amphibians. But they also eat grass, leaves, weeks, algae, and aquatic plants, seeds, grain, berries, fruit, nuts, and insects. Thus they are not "scavengers" or "predatory".


  1. This is unrelated to this question, but I can't see a way to post a new question on the blog, so I'm sneaking it in here.
    This is related to the article "Assessing the Year and Day of Y'shua's Death" (no by line). I find the argument that the death and resurrection took place in A.D. 30 very compelling, assuming the accuracy of all the facts on which it is based. Except for one thing: I read that it was the practice to sacrifice the ceremonial Paschal lamb at the temple in the late afternoon on the first day of unleavened bread, passover eve (near the end of Nisan 14). All three synoptic writers indicate that Jesus approached His talmudim on this day to ask them to find a place and prepare a meal. Mark even says Jesus did this when the passover lamb was being sacrificed. Assuming this is true (as I do), how could the Last Supper have taken place that same evening. Clearly this would mean Jesus was crucified on the 15th during the passover festival.
    To be clear, how could the Last Supper have been on the evening of the 14th (Jewish reckoning) if Jesus commissioned His disciples to arrange the meal later that day?
    If I could reconcile this issue, I would be completely convinced. Please explain. I would love to be notified when there is a response at falcnjet@gmail.com.
    Thank you

  2. I'm sorry, but you are misled when you say "All three synoptic writers indicate that Jesus approached His talmudim on this day to ask them to find a place and prepare a meal." It was the 13th when they asked that question, and it was only after the sunset of the 13th when they reclined to eat. That was Yeshua's "last supper"

    Note that then they ate, they had "bread". In the Aramaic it is clear they had "bread". That was permitted for supper the 13th. If it had been the 14th, they would have known to have only matzah.

    Further, had that evening been the evening after sunset the 14th, it would have been the High Holy day, and neither Yehsua, his Talmidim, nor all the Sanhedrin have been "out" to confront each other!

    I've seen this argument many times, that Yeshua had to be crucified on the 15th, but is simply does not hold water!

    1. Thanks so much Liam. I appreciate your time. I want you to know, I'm not trying to disprove your contention, I'm trying to convince myself. And I want to be convinced because the matter of three-days-and-three-nights has always made me uneasy. I have absolutely no agenda to make Nisan 15 the day of the crucifixion. These are the passages that concern me:

      Mt. 26:17  Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

      Mk. 14:12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when [d]the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples *said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

      Lk 22:7-8 Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.”

      Is it not correct to say that 14 Nisan is the first day of Unleavened Bread? If so, how can these passages be reconciled with a Last Supper on the evening of the 13th (as the date changed to 14th). Is that day the 13th rather than the 14th?
      Thank you again for helping me understand this.

  3. Matthew 26:17. The 1st day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins at sunset on the 13th when it becomes the 14th, for matzah is needed the afternoon of the 14th. (Exodus 12:18.) It makes perfect sense that when the talmidim said "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?", they were talking about the Passover mean which would be the NEXT evening, a meal which would take some time to prepare - not the regular evening meal which we see them having.

    Mark 14:12. Same response. Here is the same verse from the Aramaic: "And in the first day of the unleavened bread in which the Yehudeans slay the Paskha, his disciples were saying to him, “Where do you desire us to go for you to prepare the Paskha to eat?” This is still evedently the night of the 13th, not necessarily the 14th.

    Luke 22:7-8. Again, from the Aramaic: "And the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread arrived during which there was the custom that the Paskha be slaughtered. 8. And Y’shua sent Keefa and Yochanan and said to them, 'Go. Prepare the Paskha for us that we may eat'.” This is the evening of the 13th, not the 14th.

    Yes it is correct to say that 14 Nisan is the first day of Unleavened Bread! But the 14th begins at sunset the 13th, and Matzah is needed for the evening meal of the 14th, again, Exodus 12:8!

    But in the Gospels, again, the text does not preclude that it was the 13th-14th sunset that was Yeshua's last meal, and as I pointed out, he broke "bread" with his tamlidim, not matzah. Had it been the night of the 14th, bread would have been forbidden. we can trust that if Yeshua was having an actual Passover meal, he would have only eaten matzah and would have criticized his talmidim for not removing the leavening from their domain.

  4. Okay. That's very interesting, and I appreciate your patience in explaining it. I understand your position now. Thank you.

    1. You are welcome. We must all be careful in our interpretation of scripture about what it actually says vs what we think we are understanding in the translation we are reading.


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