A friend of mine is really struggling with this one. Leviticus 11:6 says that a rabbit chews the cud. The dictionary says that cud is "partly digested food returned from the first stomach of ruminants to the mouth for further chewing." But the rabbit is not a ruminant! What do I tell him? He seems to be struggling in general, so I imagine there are deeper issues going on, but it would be nice to have a good answer for him (and I am very curious as well). -- Michael (Augusta, GA)
What rabbits practice is refection, which resembles chewing the cud. Since the Bible is usually phenomenological in its language, this presents no problem. For example, the kosher list also includes bats among birds, even though technically speaking they are in the order Mammalia... This should not be taken as a scientific categorization, but a phenomenological one. That is, bats appear to be like birds. Come to think of it, the Bible speaks phenomenologically about sunrise and sunset. (Is this wrong?) So do you and I, and the weatherman.
The contradiction is only on the surface.