Biblically Clean Foods

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The Bible is clear as to what God defines in Leviticus 11 as food for humans. To make it simple for bringing food to our Oneg Fellowship Lunch or for Believers to eat in general, anything with shellfish or pork in any form is not acceptable.

Please read labels on grocery items to clarify what is actually in a product. If in question, please do not bring it. Although we do n ot require the ‘Kosher’ label as defined by rabbinic rules in the Jewish tradition, Kosher food is acceptable for Oneg or for believers to eat. For example, by Jewish tradition, it is not kosher to mix meat and dairy; however, the Scriptures do not require that rule. In fact, we allow both meat and dairy to be eaten together, just as Abraham did:

Genesis 18:7-8
And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. 8So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

God’s Definition of Food

Leviticus 11
Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, 2“Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: 3Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud—that you may eat. 4Nevertheless these you shall not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have cloven hooves: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 5the rock hyrax, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 6the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, is unclean to you; 7and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. 8Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you.

9‘These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers—that you may eat. 10But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you. 11They shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination. 12Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales—that shall be an abomination to you.
13‘And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, 14the kite, and the falcon after its kind; 15every raven after its kind, 16the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; 17the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; 18the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture; 19the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.

20‘All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. 21Yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. 22These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. 23But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you.
24‘By these you shall become unclean; whoever touches the carcass of any of them shall be unclean until evening; 25whoever carries part of the carcass of any of them shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening: 26The carcass of any animal which divides the foot, but is not cloven-hoofed or does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches it shall be unclean. 27And whatever goes on its paws, among all kinds of animals that go on all fours, those are unclean to you. Whoever touches any such carcass shall be unclean until evening. 28Whoever carries any such carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. It is unclean to you.

29‘These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; 30the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon. 31These are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until evening. 32Anything on which any of them falls, when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is any item of wood or clothing or skin or sack, whatever item it is, in which any work is done, it must be put in water. And it shall be unclean until evening; then it shall be clean. 33Any earthen vessel into which any of them falls you shall break; and whatever is in it shall be unclean: 34in such a vessel, any edible food upon which water falls becomes unclean, and any drink that may be drunk from it becomes unclean. 35And everything on which a part of any such carcass falls shall be unclean; whether it is an oven or cooking stove, it shall be broken down; for they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. 36Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, in which there is plenty of water, shall be clean, but whatever touches any such carcass becomes unclean. 37And if a part of any such carcass falls on any planting seed which is to be sown, it remains clean. 38But if water is put on the seed, and if a part of any such carcass falls on it, it becomes unclean to you.
39‘And if any animal which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until evening. 40He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening.

41‘And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten. 42Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth—these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination. 43You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them, lest you be defiled by them. 44For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 45For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

46‘This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, 47to distinguish between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.’ ”

The Misconception

There is a common misconception in the church that in the New Testament, God changed what foods are allowed to be eaten. A study of the Word will bring much clarity.

  1. God’s definition of what is ‘food’ in Leviticus is specific. Anything He declares ‘unclean’ is not even considered food – ever.

  2. Yeshua did not change the law or instructions in His Word when He came to Earth. In fact, He followed the food laws as defined in the Torah and was very clear when he said:

  3. Matthew 5:17-19
    “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


    In other words, Yeshua showed us how we are to live out the commandments in the Torah; He didn’t do away with them. He is our role model to clarify what is acceptable to God, not what is defined by man.

  4. When Peter saw the vision of the sheet with various kinds of animals on it while he was on the rooftop in Acts 10, it was puzzling to him as to what the vision meant. If it had meant he could now eat those things, it would have been very clear and Peter would have immediately known God now declared those items as food and acceptable to eat. But the text clearly shows he had to really contemplate what was actually meant by the vision he had seen. As he pondered about it, three Gentile men came asking for him. As he talked with them, the meaning of the vision became clear to him:

  5. Acts 10:28-29
    Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 29Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for.

    Peter’s vision was not about what was acceptable to consume as food – it was about people and that God was wanting Peter to ignore a common rabbinic rule and go with these Gentiles so that the Gospel would be shared with them and spread to the world!

  6. There is a controversy regarding Mark 7:19. Some manuscripts do not have the last phrase used in some translations.

  7. Mark 7:19
    “…because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”

    The phrase “…thus purifying all foods” is not considered by some experts to have been part of the original Scripture manuscripts. However, there are some in the church who use this phrase as their “God-given” permission to eat shellfish and pork. God indeed gave His people permission to eat all foods - as He defined them. Therefore, “foods” are still what He says they are in Leviticus 11 because that tells us what all “foods” are. Anything unclean there isn’t even considered food! Get that? God didn’t say some foods are clean and others are unclean in this regard. He just defined “food” period and all “foods” are already clean to eat!

 
 
 
 
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