If the camel is unclean why was its milk drank? https://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/32-15.htm

  • I don't see any textual statement that people drank the milk. 32:16 speaks of female camels that are nursing their own young sefaria.org/… . 7:2 doesn't mention camels at all sefaria.org/Genesis.7.2?lang=bi&with=Rashi&lang2=en
    – rosends
    Aug 11, 2021 at 2:06
  • Note that a camel is not considered a clean animal as it does not have split hoofs. As a result, Noach could not bring it as a sacrifice nor did he bring seven pairs of camels. In any case, Noach 7:2 only refers to those animals that he was able to bring as a sacrifice after the flood. He was allowed to eat any animal. Aug 11, 2021 at 16:27

2 Answers 2


The Hebrew is better translated as nursing camels, not that camel milk was sent. The second word in your link that's translated as "milk" is a verb that in the interlinear English is left unconjugated; it's not a noun (you can look at the V underneath it to tell). It helps to look at a proper translation, not just at an interlinear one. If you're looking for a free online one from the Jewish perspective, consider Sefaria or Chabad (note that in the versification commonly used by Jews, this is verse 16, not 15).

But even if you took this to be camel milk, there is no problem. This story occurred long before the giving of the Torah, and hence prior to the prohibition against drinking milk from a non-kosher animal.

  • What about Gen 7:2? Aug 11, 2021 at 0:35
  • 4
    @PabbleGoobs Jewish interpretation about "clean/unclean" in Noah's story is in fact "the animals that would be listed as clean later on in history." But this is a REALLY moot point. Camel milk ain't kosher. Jacob's gift was gemalim meinikot. Lactating camels. I'm sorry whichever translation you were using was confusing. The root of meinikot is always about nursing young. Milk would be chalav.
    – Shalom
    Aug 11, 2021 at 2:45

Vayishlach 32:16

Thirty nursing camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty she donkeys and ten he donkeys.


Thirty nursing camels with their young: Heb. וּבְנֵיהֶם. And their young with them. According to the Midrash Aggadah, the word וּבְנֵיהֶם means בַּנָאֵיהֶם, their builders [those who impregnate them], a male corresponding to a female, but since it (the camel) is discreet in mating, Scripture did not publicize it (Gen. Rabbah 76:7).

Yaakov carefully sent the herds in such a way as to show that he was an expert herdsman. He sent the animals that Eisav could use to breed in the appropriate numbers to be able to use as a breeding herd. Similarly, camels at that time could not really be bred by most inhabitants of that area. Thus he sent nursing camels with their young to show that he was a master herdsman who had been able to breed the camels, something that most people of his day were incapable of doing.

Additionally, this showed that he had not gotten his wealth from the blessing that Yitzchak had given him. That blessing was completely agricultural and Yaakov had gotten nothing of what that promised. This was an attempt to appease Eisav.

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