1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
Dietary restrictions are a fundamental part of the Law given to Moses. However, it is important for the Christian to read, along with this the following passages in the New Testament. Read Acts 10 and 11 paying particular notice of what change Christ’s death and resurrection implemented.
Acts 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Read Romans 14 after that. Pay close attention to verse 20.
Romans 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
There are Christian groups who keep trying to keep their adherents under the Law. These are the Judaizers of today. Read the book of Galatians to see Paul’s argument against those who would think that they were justified by observing the Law. They mingle legalism with their faith in Christ, making that faith of none effect because it gives them, not God, the power to maintain their salvation.
3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
The curious thing to me is that I wonder if the nature of these unclean animals has anything to do with what the renegade sons of God did in Genesis 6. Is it possible that this supernatural interference along with our sin has helped pollute life on earth?
Genesis 6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
9 ¶ These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
This is pretty self explanatory, leaving all sorts of fish available to them to eat but leaving things like eels, crabs, and the like for them not to eat. Sadly, steamed crabs would be out.
13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;
15 Every raven after his kind;
16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,
18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,
19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
This is a very important point to make. Long before Linnaeus, God classified creatures in a different way. Winged creatures were not divided into birds and mammals but this classification of “fowls” included the bat because it was a winged creature.
20 ¶ All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.
21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;
Now, we are brought to insects that can fly.
22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even.
25 And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.
26 The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean.
27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even.
28 And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you.
29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind,
Turtle soup was a no-no.
30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole.
31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.
32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.
33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it.
34 Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.
35 And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you.
Here’s an important health notice. Did you know there was a time in towns in America that people might share a common drinking vessel in a foundation or well? Just think of the disease such things would carry.
36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean.
37 And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean.
38 But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you.
39 And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even.
40 And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.
Here is a fairly basic rule for handling a dead animal. Of course, there are a lot of spiritual applications for the believer and there have probably been some good sermons to come out of this. Christians handle all sorts of dead things in this world, much to our detriment. Entertainment, vocations, and relationships often revolve around dead things that should not be handled.
It’s also clear from reading the Bible that devils love dead bodies and cemeteries. Death is celebrated by the unclean spirit world. Much in our culture that passes for success and amusement revolves around handling a corpse in a figurative sense. This underscores the belief that devil possession is more common than one would realize. Hollywood has warped our thinking of devil possession into a head spinning, pea soup spewing phenomenon, but it seems clear to me that most devil possessed people appear to be perfectly sane and normal. However, like the proverbial lemmings, they are all walking off the nearest cliff.
41 And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.
42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.
43 ¶ Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.
44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
By making these demands on the Hebrews God reveals the condition of the heathen around them. Certainly these things that are forbidden must have been dietary regularities for the heathen. If it were not so, why would God have felt the need to so clearly condemn them?
45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
To belong to God they had to separate themselves from the pollution of the world, as should we.
46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:
47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
Discrimination, making a difference between clean and unclean, is a key to spiritual maturity. Unfortunately most Christians aren’t willing to do this, much to their later regret. How are you going to walk with God when you keep covering yourself with rotting garbage and dead things.
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.