Clean and Unclean Meats

Food is a wonderful thing. Many churches have pot lucks and meals every week at church. It is a time for fellowship and discussion with our fellow brethren. Today most people will eat almost anything put before them. Frogs legs, pigs, cow, duck, horse, camel, lobster, vegetables, fish, sharks, cat fish, trout, deer, elk, antelope are all foods people eat today.   Does our creator God give us any lists of foods that we should or should not eat? Amazingly He gives us a detailed list of what to eat and not to eat. God created us so it would behoove us to follow His guidelines on clean and unclean meats.

God shows us in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 through Moses what is clean and not clean to eat. Lev. 11:3 He says it is okay to eat animals that have a split hoof and chew the cud (beef, lamb etc.) Vs. 4 He points out that some animals chew the cud but do not part the hoof. Some animals part the hoof and do not chew the cud. He says do NOT eat them. Vs 7 God specifically points out the swine (pork) as being unclean and says not to eat it. He tells us in vs 9 to eat fish that have fins and scales. Lobsters, clams and crabs do not have fins and scales and should not be eaten according to God.

While it has been the tradition of God’s people not to eat pork, this law did not start during the time of Moses. We read in Gen 7 that God told Noah to take seven pairs of “clean” animals onto the ark and only one pair of unclean animal onto the ark to be saved from worldwide destruction. We also see that during the entire life of Abraham that he only sacrificed “clean” animals. In Gen. 4:4 we see God respected Abel’s sacrifice of a sheep, a clean animal. In 168 B.C. Antiochus IV Epiphanes conquered Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple by sacrificing a “pig” an unclean animal on the altar. This was known as the first abomination of desolations. There has been a clear distinction between clean and unclean animals since the time of Adam and Eve. This distinction did not change in the New Covenant Church of God and today the eating of unclean foods is still an abomination to God.

There are two instances in the New Testament of significance on this issue. First is Mark 7:19 where the N.I.V. authors add to (insert their own opinion) into the text. They state Jesus made “all foods clean”. This is not in any other text and directly contradicts the context of the verse. Mark 7:1-5 Jesus is clearly discussing eating with un-washed hands, He is not discussing all foods. The second significant reference is Acts 10 where God shows Peter all PEOPLE (even the unclean Gentiles) are clean and can become Christians. See Acts 10:15, 19 and 35. Read the entire chapter to see how God made even the Gentiles clean for Christianity.

We have seen both in the Old and the New Testaments how the eating of unclean meats is an abomination to God. There is no place in the New Testament where God rescinds His laws of clean and unclean foods. It is good for us to follow our Creator, who made us, who knows what we should and should not eat to stay healthy and to honor Him. As we gather together in our homes or on Sabbath for our pot lucks and fellowship we should also honor Him who made us and only eat what He has made clean.

Posted in Clean and Unclean Meats, One-Page Biblical Studies.