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Many of the prohibitions and requirements in the Old Testament, seem pointless to the modern Western mind. A case in point is the ban on eating pork (Leviticus 11:7). After all, to most people, a g...
My wife tells me cooked pork doesn't keep. Also the pig is a host for several human parasites which can kill humans. It is a scavenger so has a rather unholy diet, as do oyster and some fish. The levitical laws for food hygiene are in sharp contrast with Egyptian laws which are folly. God here provided wise dietary cleanliness practices to his people. Ten Commandments and all Mosaic laws covenants and practices were for His people who lived on the Holy Land and followed those Temple/tabernacle community rules. Not given to us at all, we are Gods children by the covenants of Abraham, priests in His kingdom not after Mosaic practices but in the Order of Melchisadech
It is not only pork which the OT commands people to abstain from, but several other meats as detailed in Leviticus 11. It is important from the outset to state that this is one of the most controversial subjects in Christendom with two extremes. On the one hand are those that will stick to letter of the OT and abstain from even touching anything contaminated with pork, while another group believes that all things can now be eaten since Jesus declared all foods clean. Whilst there are verses that say abstain from pork, there are no direct verses that say now you are free to eat anything you fancy. Conclusions have been drawn from inference and indirect reference. The most popular verses that are usually quoted by those advocating for eating pork are Acts 10:9-16, Romans 14:1-12 and Mark 7:1-19. However a critical reading of these verses reveals that in Acts 10 this is a vision about the personal prejudice that Peter had against gentiles, which was not biblical and God wanted to clear that. When Peter relates the whole story later he says nothing about food but states the message he got from the vision, that all souls are precious to God. Nowhere do we see Peter demonstrating this new found freedom to eat pork because it was never the subject of the vision. In Mark 7 the punchline used is the statement “(In saying this Jesus thus declared all foods clean)”. Thankfully they put this statement in brackets and have not put it as the direct words of Jesus. The conclusion I have reached is that while there is a direct command from God that says abstain from pork, there is no direct command from God reversing this directive. We have simply inferred from events and other verses that pork can now be eaten. I have also realized that when people say Jesus declared all meats clean they don’t exactly mean all, they are talking about pork. No Christian has ever said Jesus said we should eat cats, dogs, snakes, lizards, donkeys etc. Almost all of us are unanimous in saying there is something wrong with eating these things except pork. To me this is an attempt to justify something that we love, rather than basing our arguments of the Word of God. Furthermore those Christians who claim that as long as you have prayed over your food it’s now good to eat regardless of what the OT says do not actually mean that. They still recognize that some foods are injurious to our health even there is the antidote of prayer. My personal opinion as why God would want us to abstain from pork and other unclean meats is that this has to do with our health. The creator from the beginning wanted Man to be vegetarian. After the flood vegetation became scarce and God instructed Noah and family to start eating flesh but only from clean animals. Gen 7:2 and Gen 9:1-6 shows that the concept of clean and unclean already existed during the time of Noah and there were also restrictions related to eating of blood. Doctors today will tell you that most cancers have something to do with our diet particularly meat eating. White meat which has very little blood is recommended instead. High blood pressure and heart disease is scientifically linked to cholesterol of which pork has plenty. Pork has the added problem of carrying other dangerous organisms deadly to humans. By the way Leviticus 3:17, 7:23 also prohibits people from eating animal fat and blood even from clean animals.
Pigs are filthy animals and will eat nearly anything including humans. They have no sweat glands, therefore all the impurities are kept inside of them. God commanded his people not to eat it for that reason plus to seperate themselves from their pagan counterparts. Some people with high blood pressure have that problem due to high sodium content in their diet..ie pig. I think God commanded them not to eat the swine due to health and religious reasons.
It should also be remembered (although alluded to here and there already) that the dietary laws of the Old Covenant involved restrictions on way more animals than just pigs. The main criteria for an acceptable animal to eat, according to Leviticus were: an animal that both (1) had the cloven hoof, and also (2) chewed the cud. Anything that did only one of these things was forbidden. To add to the other thoughts of why, there are also theories out there that state that for the Israelites, an animal that did filled both of the above criteria was considered 'whole' in a sense (those two qualities constituting a certain wholeness, where a lack of one would constitute a 'mixing' of sorts. This could also be seen to be played out in the laws concerning fields sown with two kinds of seed, garments made from two kinds of fabric, etc.). It could possibly represent Israel's refusal to mix with the religions of the surrounding nations, staying totally sanctified to YHWH.
Pure and simple. There is no modern day explanation. All Semitic people during antiquity, including the Hebrews, raised swine for consumption. However, once out of Egypt, God's chosen people were forbidden to eat swine. In Judaism today many believe the prohibition was simply to test the resolve of the people and had nothing to do with health issues. Many of the ancient laws make no sense to us today. This is one such law.
On creation of man, God's provision for food was "every bearing seed which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat (food)" (Genesis 1:29). Thus in the beginning no actual animal flesh was condoned. With Adam's fall from spiritual connection with God, man's sinful nature became predominant and man turned from God. In Genesis 7 because of man's sin, God sent the floods and destroyed the world after man ignored His warning sent through Noah--only the occupants of Noah's Ark were saved. In Genesis 8:20 Noah built an altar and offered sacrifice to God. The Lord, smelling the sweet savour, said He would not again curse the ground for man's sake; man's heart is evil from youth and neither will He smite any living thing (Genesis 8:21). Fear and dread took the place of the previous harmony between man and animals. In Genesis 9:3, God gave sanctions for man to eat animals. However in Leviticus 11:1-31, God gave Moses the list of clean animals that could be eaten--V.3 "Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven footed, and cheweth cud, among the beast, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless, these shall ye not eat." V.7 "The SWINE though he divided the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you." Swine was also the animal of choice used by pagan worshipers to sacrifice to their gods. It was also the animal used to contaminate the Temple during the Maccabee war. In the New Testament it was into this animal that Yeshua (Jesus) cast the demons at their request. Scientifically it has been proven that unlike other animals the swine has a type of worm that can only be destroyed when the meat is well cooked. Secondly, the meat of the swine spoils quickly and will be infested by worms if not refrigerated or salted as soon as possible.
Under the Old Covenant pigs were considered as unclean and were forbidden to be eaten by the Israelites; however the Holy Spirit in Acts 10:9-15 used what was once considered as unclean as an illustration that the Gentiles were appointed unto eternal life as well. Under the New Covenant nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving and is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:1-5
When considering the laws that were written in the Old Testament, one must pay attention to the type of law it is. There were moral laws, dietary laws and ceremonial laws. The dietary laws were for Jews only, and some of moral and ceremonial laws were for the nation of Israel operating as a theocracy. For example, some of the laws such as requiring stoning for blasphemy or adultery are no longer applicable. The followers of Jesus were given two commandments, found in Matt 22:34-40: 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." As mentioned before, Jesus emphasized that living in a holy way before God (being clean) has to do with what comes out of the heart, not what one takes in and eats (Matt 15:11). Different cultures have different ideas about what is good food and what is not, but God has joined all peoples from all tribes into one church. What Christians should do in the matter of food (or any other preference) is follow what Paul said in Rom 14. The stronger brother (who believes he is free to eat anything) should not look down on the weaker brother (who may not believe everything can be eaten) and make allowances for each other. Whatever one decides is the course for them, they should be fully convinced in their own mind. No one should ever be forced to act against their conscience. Paul himself specifically gives his opinion of food with v14 “As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself.” But as the body of Christ, we should not insist that others have the same point of view if they are not convinced.
Genesis 1: 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. Genesis 1: 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. This shows that originally GOD made fruits and seeds to be food to all animals and human beings. But because of disobedience GOD had to kill an animal to dress them. Maybe they ate the animal, and maybe animals had begun preying on other animals. We all missed the unhindered presence and fellowship of GOD.
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