A gazelle near Jerusalem.
Food According to the Scriptures
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off.
(Deuteronomy 30:11 ASV)
First we need to believe and understand that the dietary instructions that we can find in the Scriptures are not a burden but rather they are a blessing. We don't call them law because the word law (Hok in Hebrew) is not used in the Hebrew for what we normally read “law”, the word Instructions (Heb. Torah) is used. All of these commandments were instructed by our good Lord for a reason, and many blessings come with them. For example; protection from sicknesses, protection from unclean spirits (because they move through unclean animals) and the blessings that just come by obedience alone. This last point by itself justifies the keeping of the dietary instructions.
This work of the Spirit starts with a vision. The writer of this article saw in a vision-dream that someone was offering me something unclean to eat, and I raised my hand to stop it and said something like "no thanks", this vision changed my heart.
Later the Lord showed me that the unclean spirits move and enter into our lives using unclean things, and this includes unclean food. The Lord limits the move of unclean spirits using His Word, the Torah (5 first books of the Bible) set the rules for the demons to move. That's why they are called "unclean spirits" because they move using and through unclean things (to say evil spirits instead of unclean spirits is just a wrong translation). It is good to mention that demons also can use other kinds of things to enter into our lives like; for example pictures, words, statues and more, but they can attack only according to the rules set in the Torah.
What kind of creatures can we eat according to the Scriptures.
There are many verses that instruct us about what can be eaten, in this study you will not find all of them but many of them will be represented. Let's read what the Lord is saying about this subject.
According the Scriptures all vegetables for food are good to eat.
And Elohim said, Behold, I have given you every plant seeding seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree seeding seed; it shall be food for you.
(Genesis 1:29 LITV)
Animals that can be eaten that live on land.
This is not a Jewish thing. The knowledge of clean and unclean animals was not revealed for the first time to the sons of Israel in the desert through Moses and the Torah. The Scriptures showed that Noah had this knowledge even before the flood, as we read;
You shall take to yourself from every clean animal by sevens, male and female, and from the animal that is not clean by two, male and female.
(Genesis 7:2 LITV)
What animals can be eaten?
Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, These are the living things which you shall eat out of all the animals which are on the earth. Any that divides the hoof and is wholly clovenfooted, bringing up the cud, among the living things, you may eat it.
(Leviticus 11:2-3 LITV)
You shall not eat any abominable thing. These are the animals which you shall eat: the ox, the flocked sheep, and the flocked goat, the hart and gazelle, and roe deer, and wild goat, and antelope, and oryx, and moufflon. And you may eat every animal that divides the hoof, and divides two hoofs wholly, and chews the cud among the animals.
(Deuteronomy 14:3-6 LITV)
All the animals that fall in these categories can be eaten but there is some conditions; They need to be;
Without their blood.
But you shall not eat flesh in its life (Heb. Nefesh/soul), its blood.
(Genesis 9:4 LITV)
Only, be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life (soul), and you shall not eat the life (soul) with the flesh; You shall not eat it; you shall pour it on the earth as water.
(Deuteronomy 12:23-24 LITV)
They need not have been strangled or killed suddenly (killed without spilling blood) or related to sacrifice to idols.
We must not eat dead animals.
You shall not eat of anything that died of itself. You may give it to the alien who is within your gates, that he may eat it. Or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a holy people to Yhuh your Elohim.
(Deuteronomy 14:21a LITV)
We cannot cook a young goat in their mother's milk.
You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.
(Deuteronomy 14:21b LITV)
The way of taking the life of an animal must be according to certain rules established by the Lord to respect life, that's one of the reasons why these specific instructions for the way of killing animals were given. There are also spiritual issues, for example demons are left in a body of a strangled animal even if it is a clean animal the meat can be contaminated or it is wise to wash with water the animals before killing them.
Animals that can be eaten that live in the waters.
Of all that are in the waters, you shall eat these; any one that has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the torrents, you may eat them.
(Leviticus 11:9 LITV)
Birds that can be eaten and their eggs
All bird (ציפור) pure you can eat.
All poultry (עוף) pure you can eat.
The pure birds are those who do not eat any unclean food such as worms, snakes or dead animals. If the bird is not pure, their eggs are also unclean and cannot be eaten. For example, the chicken eats worms and unclean, so according to the Torah it is unclean, and you cannot eat it or their eggs. To know which bird is pure, you just have to know it's diet. Examples of pure birds- in Israel we have a kind of pigeon called Tsotselet (צוצלת) that eat seeds and therefore is pure. Also there is the Tor (another kind of pigeon) that eats only seeds. These two birds were taken as a sacrifice in the temple and can be eaten because they are pure. In addition, many of the geese are pure and can be eaten and also from the family of the ducks, they do not eat meat and despite they some unclean insects they constantly washed and immerse themselves in water like the fishes.
Flying insects that can be eaten.
Only, this you may eat of any swarming thing which flies, which goes on all four, which has legs above its feet, to leap with them on the earth; these are those you may eat: the locusts according to its kind, and the bald locust according to its kind, and the long horned locust according to its kind, and the short horned grasshopper according to its kind.
(Leviticus 11:21-22 LITV)
What cannot be eaten.
Elohim protect the sons of Israel from unclean spirits (demons) by His commandments, He give instructions to keep all unclean outside the camp. The Tabernacle was in the middle of the camp. Today if we are born again from the water and from the Spirit (John 3:5) we are the tabernacles of the Living Elohim, and the rules for the camp and the Tabernacle of the sons of Israel in the desert apply to us today.
Spiritually talking all the components of the Tabernacle and the camp can be found in us; a holy place, a "menora" (a lampstand with seven lights), an altar, an ark, and incense altar etc. For example in the parable of the ten virgins YESHUA spoke in the Aramaic language about their "menoras" because we truly have one inside us, not any lamp.
The Tabernacle in the desert could be defiled if unclean things or idols were brought in. The same rules apply to us, we can be defiled if we bring unclean into our lives. Our homes are like the camp of the sons of Israel in the desert, they need to be holy and clean. Our bodies are like the Tabernacle of the living Elohim in the desert, the fences are just made from fragile skin but the Glory of the Lord is inside.
We are commanded not to defile the tabernacle by bringing unclean into the tabernacle.
From the animals that live on the land that cannot be eaten.
Only, you may not eat these, of those bringing up the cud, and of those dividing the hoof: the camel, though it brings up the cud, yet it does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you; and the rock badger, though it brings up the cud, yet it does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you; and the hare, though it brings up the cud, yet it does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you; and the swine, though it divides the hoof and is clovenfooted, yet it does not bring up the cud; it is unclean to you. You shall not eat of their flesh, and you shall not touch their dead body; they are unclean to you.
(Leviticus 11:4-8 LITV)
... even every living thing which divides the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, and does not bring up the cud, they are unclean to you; anyone who touches them shall be unclean. And any going on its paws among all the living things which go on all four, they are unclean to you; anyone who touches their dead body is unclean until the evening;
(Leviticus 11:26-27 LITV)
But you shall not eat of those that only chew the cud, or those only dividing the cloven hoof: the camel, and the hare, and the rock badger; for they chew the cud but do not divide the hoof. They shall be unclean to you. And the swine, because it divides the hoof, but does not chew the cud; it is unclean to you. You shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead body.
(Deuteronomy 14:7-8 LITV)
And these you shall count unclean among the fowls; they shall not be eaten; they are unclean: the eagle, and the black vulture and the bearded vulture, and the kite, and the falcon, according to its kind; every raven according to its kind; and the ostrich, and the great owl, and the gull, and small hawks, according to its kind; and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the eared owl; and the barn owl, and the pelican and the owl-vulture; and the stork, the heron according to its kind, and the hoopoe, and the bat.
(Leviticus 11:13-19 LITV)
From the living things in the water that cannot be eaten.
But any one that does not have fins and scales in the seas, and in the torrents, of any swarming creature of the waters, and of any creature which lives in the waters; they are to be detested by you.
(Leviticus 11:10 LITV)
From the insects that cannot be eaten.
Every flying swarming creature going on all four, it is an abomination to you.
(Leviticus 11:20 LITV)
But every swarming thing which flies, which has four feet, it is unclean to you.
(Leviticus 11:23 LITV)
In addition, all the insects that eat impurities (such as meat, excrement etc.) Are unclean. For example bees are unclean because they eat other insects' excrement and some eat meat and they have 6 legs, and therefore the honey produced by them is unclean and cannot be eaten.
The bodies of animals that cannot be eaten are unclean when they are alive and become more unclean when the animal dies, after there is no life in the body or in a part of a body they are unclean and can bring uncleanness to the ones that touch them, when they are alive there is less transfer of uncleanness if we are in contact with a body. The bodies of people are similar when they are alive they can transmit some uncleanness but when they die is a strong uncleanness that can be purified in seven days (With the exception of those born again from the water and from the Spirit that practice purification and deliverance).
It is not a sin to touch unclean body, a dead body or part of it, sometimes it is necessary, for example to bury someone, but after that, it is necessary to become pure. In the times of the Temple service it was necessary to do it using special water that was called the Water of the Purification, also water was used and sometimes together with sacrifices for some types of purifications. The preparation of this waters to purify demanded sacrifices in many cases. Today for those that are in the New Covenant with Elohim (God) purification and cleansing can be done by proclamation in the name of YESHUA, because He fulfilled the instructions for all sacrifices. This doesn’t exclude the use of water for the purification, often this make the purification more effective.
Unclean spirits can be picked up by touching unclean (of course by eating) and that's the real issue, the Lord was protecting the sons of Israel with these commandments. That's the real reason for the commandment. Today for those in the New Covenant, the demons can be cast out in the name of YESHUA. All the rules still apply, we only need spiritual eyes to see and apply them.
Let's read more instructions about this;
These are unclean to you among all which swarm; anyone who touches them in their death is unclean until the evening. And anything on which any one of them falls in their death is unclean, whether of any vessel of wood, or garment, or skin, or sack; any vessel in which work is done shall be caused to go into water, and shall be unclean until the evening; then it shall be cleaned. And any earthen vessel into the midst of which any one of them falls, whatever is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break it. And of all the food which may be eaten, that on which such water falls shall be unclean, and all drink that may be drunk in any such vessel shall be unclean. And anything on which any part of their dead body falls shall be unclean; an oven or hearth shall be broken down; they are unclean; yes, they are unclean to you. But a fountain or a well, a collection of water, shall be clean; only that touching the dead body is unclean. And when any part of their dead body falls on any sowing seed which is sown, it shall be clean; but when water is put on the seed, and any of its dead body has fallen on it, it shall be unclean to you. And when any of the animals which are food for you dies, he who touches its dead body is unclean until the evening; and he who eats of its dead body shall wash his garments and shall be unclean until the evening; and he who lifts up its dead body shall wash his garments and shall be unclean until the evening. And every swarming thing which swarms on the earth is unclean; it shall not be eaten. Anything going on its belly, and any going on all four, and all having many feet, even every swarming thing that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them, for they are unclean. You shall not pollute yourselves with any swarming thing which swarms, nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them, so that you should be defiled by them.
(Leviticus 11:31-43 LITV)
It is good to mention that in all the Scriptures the definition of holy by Elohim is found in the Torah. The Lord always related holiness with the keeping of His commandments, as we read.
For I am Yhuh your Elohim, and you have sanctified yourselves, and you have become holy, for I am holy. And you shall not defile your persons with any swarming thing which creeps on the earth; for I am Jehovah who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to become your Elohim; and you shall be holy, for I am holy.
(Leviticus 11:44-45 LITV)
The way we need to keep all of these commandments is by the leading of the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit, without the direction of the Ruach the commandments cannot be kept.
To submit to the Ruach HaKodesh requires more effort than to set rules, the submission to our Lord must be done in prayer, verbally and in advance, only then the Lord YESHUA will come to teach us through the Ruach HaKodesh how to keep them. We always make mistakes, but we have all the Grace to obey but not to disobey.
The Instructions (the Torah) is the Lord and the Lord is Love. We need to understand this to be able to obey in a way that will please Him, it is possible to obey commandments in a way that will not please Him! We must be aware of that. If we stop being merciful for the sake of keeping one of His commandments, we depart from keeping them because we are not loving our neighbor as ourselves and that's one of the commandments. YESHUA was very clear about this, that it is possible to break a commandment for the sake of keeping loving.
YESHUA was explaining about food, He was showing that the defiling doesn't come from eating unclean but from what will come out of the heart after eating unclean. If an unclean spirit enters in to us, it doesn't defile us it just made us unclean. It is what it can produce in us that defile us, for example if a spirit of murder enters in us through unclean food it doesn't mean that we are defiled, spiritually talking. We will be defiled the moment that murder will come out of our hearts. This is the purpose of the unclean spirits, to make us sin and they do it easily when they enter our temple. The commandments in the Torah about clean and unclean are protecting us from defilement by avoiding the demons to reach our hearts.
YESHUA is explaining here the Torah in a very detailed and deep way.
And calling all the crowd near, He said to them, All hear Me and understand. There is nothing from outside the man, having entered into him, which is able to defile him. But the things going out from him, those are the things defiling the man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. And when He entered into a house from the crowd, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He said to them, Are you also so undiscerning? Do you not perceive that all that enters from the outside into the man is not able to defile him? This is because it does not enter into his heart, but into the belly, and goes out into the waste-bowl, purging all the foods. And He said, That passing out of the man, it is the thing that defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, pass out the evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, greedy desires, iniquities, deceit, lustful desires, a wicked eye, blasphemy, pride, recklessness. All these evil things pass out from within and defile the man.
(Mark 7:14-23 LITV)
Thanks Lord for your commandments.
In the Love of YESHUA.
Glory to the King of Glory, YESHUA Hamashiach.
The City of The King.
Note: Unless otherwise indicated the verses from the Bible are in "light blue" and taken from the translation called "The King James Version 1769", the literal translations are in "dark blue", the Name YESHUA has been kept in his original Hebrew form, the Greek word Christos has been kept as Messiah his real meaning.
(*) The expression "the LORD" has been kept also in his original form of four Hebrew letters, in English Yhuh where "U" is a "long U", this is the transliteration of the Hebrew letter "Vav", that YESHUA in His big mercy has revealed to us was the old way of pronouncing.
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