When a bullock - is brought forth - This is a most unfortunate as well as absurd translation. The creature called an ox is a bull castrated; surely then a bullock was never yet brought forth! The original word שור shor signifies a bull, a bullock, or indeed any thing of the neat kind: here, even common sense required that it should be translated calf; and did I not hold myself sacredly bound to print the text of the common version with scrupulous exactness, I should translate the former clause of this verse thus, and so enter it into the text: When a Calf, or a Lamb, or a Kid is brought forth, instead of, When a bullock, a sheep, or a goat is brought forth, the absurdity of which is glaring.
Seven days under the dam - In vindication of the propriety of this precept it may be justly asserted, that the flesh of very young animals is comparatively innutritive, and that animal food is not sufficiently nourishing and wholesome till the animal has arrived at a certain growth, or acquired the perfection of its nature. There is something brutish in eating the young of beast or fowl before the hair and hoofs are perfect in the one, and the feathers and claws in the other. Before this period their flesh is not good for food. See the note on Leviticus 9:1.