The first sin mankind committed was against a food law, when Eve ate of the fruit that Yahweh had forbidden. Many people do not know that there are other biblical commands against eating what was never meant as food for us. Let us learn about them now.
The laws of clean and unclean food found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 were strictly for the Jewish people
b. Yahweh’s laws of clean and unclean food are for all mankind. At Mt. Sinai Yahweh gave His commandments, statutes, and laws not only to the tribe of Judah (Jews), but also to the eleven other tribes of Israel who were gathered at Sinai as well. In addition, we see from prophetic chapters that all of mankind in the coming Kingdom, whether Jew or gentile, will be expected to observe all of Yahweh’s laws (see Isa. 2:2-3; 66:17; Micah 4:1-2; Zech. 14:16-19). And the New Testament is filled with examples of how the Savior and His disciples observed the statutes of the Scriptures. Therefore, His laws are for everyone, both now and in the world soon to come.
When did Yahweh enact the food laws?
a. When filling the ark with animals, Noah knew which were clean and which were unclean, Genesis 7:2. Yahweh had only to tell Noah how many of each to load—the clean animals were taken by sevens, the unclean only in pairs. Clearly this law of clean and unclean animals was in effect in Noah’s day, some 900 years before Moses received the codified law at Sinai. 3
The Hebrew word kosher, which refers to the clean food laws, is derived from the Hebrew word kasher, which means “fit” or “proper.”
a. The Hebrew word kosher, which is derived from the Hebrew word kasher, means to be fit or proper and is applied to Yahweh’s clean and unclean food laws found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. The opposite of kosher is trafe, which means “torn” or “damaged” and applies to what is unfit for food. 4
Which two scriptural qualifications must an animal meet to be acceptable for food?
a. and d. Yahweh states in Leviticus 11 that all animals that chew the cud and have split hooves (completely divided) are clean and approved for consumption. Examples are beef, buffalo, sheep, goat, deer, and antelope. Any animal that does not meet both of these qualifications is considered unclean. Swine do not chew cud. Some have questioned why rabbits and hares are said to chew the cud in vv 5-6. The hare family of animals actually don’t regurgitate as true cud-chewing animals do. Yet, because of their apparent mouth movements, they appear to chew the cud and that is probably why we find this statement in Leviticus.
Which two qualifications must a water creature meet to be biblically acceptable for food?
b. and d. Yahweh commands in Leviticus 11 that all water life must have both fins and scales. Some have questioned whether tuna is clean because they seem to be missing scales. Tuna indeed has scales, albeit they are very small. Shark, on the other hand, do not have true flat scales as do clean fish. Shark “scales” resemble small shark teeth, dermal denticles known as placoid scales, which give shark skin its rough, sometimes sandpaper-like texture.
What part(s) of an animal must not be eaten?
A. and D. Yahweh commands through the Torah that we are not to eat blood or fat (Lev. 3:17). The reason in the case of blood is that it is the blood that contains life (Lev. 17:11). It is blood that makes atonement for sin possible and it is Yahshua’s shed blood that paid the penalty for our sin; He gave His life in our stead. In the process of animal sacrifices, Yahweh strictly maintained that the fat belonged to Him and was not to be eaten (Lev. 3:16).
What kosher symbol(s) on food packaging is reliable when verifying clean foods?
D All of these kosher symbols will confirm clean foods. There are many other reliable symbols that can be used as well, found in kosher books and kosher web sites. One caution, however, is with the letter K standing alone. Because no single letter of the alphabet can by copyrighted or registered, any food processor can legally place a simple K (without a circle, triangle or other shape around it) on any product packaging, whether the contents are kosher or not.
Generally, flesh-eating birds of prey are unfit for human food.
a. All birds that are raptors are unclean. The birds prohibited as human food in Leviticus 11:13-20 and Deuteronomy 14:11-20 are primarily meat eaters. We know of the clean birds basically through process of elimination. Those listed in these passages, along with their family types, are prohibited for human consumption.
Which of the following insect(s) is acceptable for food?
c. The law states that those insects that have legs above their feet (meaning joints for hopping, Lev. 11:21) are clean to eat, but all insects that walk on all fours are unclean. Although all insects have six legs, the NIV Study Bible notes that in ancient times the two large hind legs were probably not considered ordinary legs. This eliminates all insects except those of the locust family (“beetle” in the KJV actually refers to a type of wingless locust)
Peter’s vision in Acts 10 revealed that...
b. The vision seen by Peter in Acts 10 had nothing to do with Yahweh’s clean food laws. Yahshua, the one who produced the vision, was trying to get the message through to Peter that he was not to call any man common or unclean. This can be seen in verses 28 and 34-35, where Peter himself explains that the point of the vision was that he was not to call any human being unclean. Peter had a problem with being a respecter of persons, as Paul recounts in Galatians 2.
What food product(s) does not ordinarily contain gelatin, a by-product primarily made from pigs?
b. Jello, marshmallows, and soft gel capsules are generally always made from gelatin, which is produced by melting the different parts of an animal that are not normally sold for food, e.g. bones and hooves The problem is that most animals used in the production of gelatin are unclean.
What was Yahshua referring to in Mark 7 when He said, “Whatsoever thing from without enters into the man, it cannot defile him”?
d. Yahshua in this passage was not speaking of the clean and unclean food laws, but was referring to rabbinical oral laws. This fact can be verified in a parallel passage found in Matthew 15:20: “These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”