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The food laws given had very little to with health reasons

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Q. Were the food laws in Leviticus 11 and Deut 14 given for health reasons?

A. No, health has little to do with these laws. Some say this is the reason to follow these laws today but did the Lord actually institute these laws for health reasons?

Did He give the dietary laws for hygienic purposes and the unclean animals were never intended for human consumption? What does unclean mean to begin with?

All these questions will be answered in the next few articles.

But to answer your question, let’s go to Leviticus 11.8 where it says one is not to eat or touch the carcass of these creatures or you would become "unclean."

In v 25 it says that if you touched them you were to wash your clothes (immersion) and be unclean until evening. In v 40 it says if a clean animal died of itself and a person ate it he was told to wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.

If hygienic "uncleanliness" were meant, how could a man be hygienically "decontaminated" simply by the setting of the sun?

This would mean that he was in an unhealthy state just before the sun went down, but just after the sun set he instantly was in a healthy state.

This clearly is not what the Lord was saying in these laws.

These laws were given in a ritual, ceremonial sense and has nothing to do with physical.

So in answering that question, it brings several other issues that we will begin to deal with.

The Bible teaches that all people are sinners, even believers. Anyone who casually studies the Word understands this point.

This means that no believer is a "keeper" of biblical law and most people know this.

What I have taken issue with is those who say they "keep" the Law and at the same time violate it in other areas.

The dietary laws of the Bible are violated by the very people who say they keep them, and that’s what we will talk about.

As I have said before, the food laws are found in Lev 11 and Deut 14. God said certain animals with cloven hoofs and chew the cud were "clean" and those that didn’t were "unclean."

All fish with scales and fins were clean and those that didn’t were unclean.

Insects of the locust family were clean.

Any creature that did not meet the "clean" criteria was considered "unclean." These laws came from God and many debate about them even today. Some say they should be kept today and others say we don’t have to because "Jesus set us free from the Law." Well, what does all this mean?

The word "clean" in Hebrew is "tahor" and "unclean" is "tamai" and these words have nothing to do with physical or moral uncleanliness, they are to be understood as ceremonial or ritual.

But what does that mean? Something clean and unclean related to three things in the Bible. If one was unclean, they could not go into the sanctuary, touch holy things and if a priest, participate in the services.

Uncleanliness was not sin because Yeshua was unclean many times and we know he was without sin. In these food laws, you will not see that being unclean was sin, it’s simply not there.

Clean and unclean relate to sanctuary purity. With that said, next week we will pick up there and relate this to the dietary laws and hopefully shed some light on a very misunderstood subject.


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