Updated: May 23
To eat or not to eat? That is the question. I have heard preachers and Bible teachers say on numerous occasions, “I’m glad God did away with the law because I love my bacon!” At the time I had no idea how completely wrong that statement was. Mainstream Christianity either by choice or ignorance proclaims the Torah is done away with, which includes the commandment not to eat unclean animals.
Clean and Unclean Land Animals
Let us all investigate the matter, that way we know exactly what YHWH proclaims as clean and unclean.
“Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl (Israel), saying, ‘These are the living creatures which you do eat among all the beasts that are on the earth: ‘Whatever has a split hoof completely divided, chewing the cud, among the beasts, that you do eat. ‘Only, these you do not eat among those that chew the cud or those that have a split hoof: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not have a split hoof, it is unclean to you; and the rabbit, because it chews the cud but does not have a split hoof, it is unclean to you; and the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have a split hoof, it is unclean to you; and the pig, though it has a split hoof, completely divided, yet does not chew the cud, it is unclean to you. ‘Their flesh you do not eat, and their carcasses you do not touch. They are unclean to you.” (Leviticus 11:2–8)
According to Torah, pork is unclean and is not to be eaten. To further illustrate that message, we’ll look to see what the prophet Isaiah had to say.
“I have held out My hands all day long to a stubborn people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts; the people who provoke Me continually to My face, who slaughter in gardens, and burn incense on slaughter-places of brick; who sit among the burial-sites, and spend the night in secret places, who eat flesh of pigs, and the broth of unclean meat is in their pots,” (Isaiah 65:2-4)
Should be pretty clear that, no matter how much you love your bacon, it is deemed unclean by your Father. I used to enjoy bacon, now, I can’t even imagine eating it again. It has lost all appeal to me, that goes for all the other unclean animals I was eating.
Dietary Instructions Regarding Fish and Birds
Now, let’s see what birds and fish are considered unclean and not to be chosen as food.
“These you do eat of all that are in the waters: any one that has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas or in the rivers, that you do eat. ‘But all that have not fins and scales in the seas and in the rivers, all that move in the waters or any living being which is in the waters, they are an abomination to you. ‘They are an abomination to you – of their flesh you do not eat, and their carcasses you abominate. ‘All that have not fins or scales in the waters are an abomination to you. ‘And these you do abominate among the birds, they are not eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the vulture, and the black vulture, and the hawk, and the falcon after its kind, every raven after its kind, and the ostrich, and the nighthawk, and the seagull, and the hawk after its kind, and the little owl, and the fisher owl, and the great owl, and the white owl, and the pelican, and the carrion vulture, and the stork, the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe, and the bat.” (Leviticus 11:9-19)
So, catfish, shrimp, crawfish, lobster, and crab, are all unclean. My wife used to really enjoy eating crawfish, but after waking up to Torah, she gave it up and has never looked back. Well good news, chicken and turkey are clean! I don’t think many people struggle with not eating the following but here you go.
“And these are unclean to you among the creeping creatures that creep on the earth: the mole, and the mouse, and the tortoise after its kind, and the gecko, and the land crocodile, and the sand reptile, and the sand lizard, and the chameleon.” (Leviticus 11:29-30)
Yeshua Did Not Do Away with the Torah
Let’s examine two sections of scriptures that are usually given to “prove” that the dietary commandments have been done away with.
“And the Pharisees and some of the scribes assembled to Him, having come from Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). And seeing some of His taught ones eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Yehuḏim (Jews), do not eat unless they wash their hands thoroughly, holding fast the tradition of the elders, and coming from the market-place, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions which they have received and hold fast – the washing of cups and utensils and copper vessels and couches. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your taught ones not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” And He answering, said to them, “Well did Yeshayahu (Isaiah) prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it has been written, ‘This people respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men.’ Forsaking the command of Elohim, you hold fast the tradition of men. And He said to them, “Well do you set aside the command of Elohim, in order to guard your tradition. “For Mosheh (Moses) said, ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ “But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me, is Qorban (that is, a gift),” ’ you no longer let him do any matter at all for his father or his mother, nullifying the Word of Elohim through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such traditions you do.” And calling the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: “There is no matter that enters a man from outside which is able to defile him, but it is what comes out of him that defiles the man. “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” And when He went from the crowd into a house, His taught ones asked Him concerning the parable. And He said to them, “Are you also without understanding? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside is unable to defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purging all the foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil reasonings, adulteries, whorings, murders, thefts, greedy desires, wickednesses, deceit, indecency, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. “All these wicked matters come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:1-23)
Notice that it makes it very clear that the act of washing your hands before eating (in a ceremonial sense, check the Talmud for that), is a tradition of men and not a commandment from YHWH. I think mainstream Christian leaders need to be told to stop teaching the traditions of men (man doctrine) and to start obeying the Father's instructions (Torah). I know Yeshua would tell them so, just as he told the Pharisees. I know some of you may use a translation that says “Thus making all foods clean” at Mark 7:19. I’ve seen that newer translations use this but this is the translators putting their own meaning and thoughts into the text. This is evident because they put it in parenthesis. I would also suggest that the Bible never claims unclean animals as food, thus unclean animals would not fall into the category of food. Furthermore, historical research has shown that it was once believed that eating bread with unwashed hands would allow demons to enter into the body. And Yeshua is stating that eating bread with unwashed hands will not defile or profane the body but committing sin will, which is why he then lists off several sins.
“For out of the heart come forth wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, whorings, thefts, false witnessings, slanders. “These defile the man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” (Matthew 15:19-20)
Peter’s Vision Explained
“And on the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Kĕpha (Peter) went up on the house-top to pray, about the sixth hour. And he became hungry and wished to eat. But while they were preparing, he fell into a trance, and he saw the heaven opened and a certain vessel like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth, in which were all kinds of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping creatures, and the birds of the heaven. And a voice came to him, “Rise up, Kĕpha (Peter), slay and eat.” But Kĕpha (Peter) said, “Not at all, Master! Because I have never eaten whatever is common or unclean.” And a voice came to him again the second time, “What Elohim has cleansed you do not consider common.” And this took place three times, and the vessel was taken back to the heaven. And while Kĕpha (Peter) was doubting within himself about what the vision might mean, look, the men who had been sent from Cornelius, having asked for the house of Shim‛on, stood at the gate, and calling out, they enquired whether Shim‛on (Simon), also known as Kĕpha (Peter), was staying there. And as Kĕpha (Peter) was thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “See, three men seek you. But rise up, go down and go with them, not doubting at all, for I have sent them. So Kĕpha (Peter) went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, “Look, I am the one you seek. Why have you come?” And they said, “Cornelius the captain, a righteous man and one who fears Elohim and well spoken of by the entire nation of the Yehuḏim (Jews), was instructed by a set-apart messenger to send for you to his house, and to hear words from you.” So inviting them in, he housed them. And on the next day Kĕpha (Peter) went away with them, and some brothers from Yapho (a seaport city of Pal) went with him.” (Acts 10:9-23)
“And talking with him, he went in and found many who had come together. And he said to them, “You know that a Yehudi (Jew) man is not allowed to associate with, or go to one of another race. But Elohim has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” (Acts 10: 27-28)
What was the vision about? Well, it was not about making all animals clean; the Bible is very specific on what the vision was about. Cornelius was a gentile, and as per Jewish traditions (man-made law), gentiles were seen as unclean people. But, as we all know (If you don’t, see my post “Grafted In”) we can become a part of Israel, once we accept Yeshua. We become a citizen of Israel, no longer seen as gentiles. If you want to know more about the Torah, you can click on the tab titled “Torah related”. As to why Elohim used such a dream to convey the message that no person should be called common and why He didn't just tell him plainly, we look to Numbers 12. Here, YHWH states that to prophets He speaks to them in dreams, visions, and riddles.
“And He said, “Hear now My words: If your prophet is of יהוה, I make Myself known to him in a vision, and I speak to him in a dream. “Not so with My servant Mosheh (Moses), he is trustworthy in all My house. “I speak with him mouth to mouth, and plainly, and not in riddles. And he sees the form of יהוה. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Mosheh (Moses)?” (Numbers 12:6-8)
I hope this post brought some clarity and encouragement to follow the ways of our Elohim. I pray that you all come out of the doctrines of men and help spread the truth to the ends of the earth. May the Rauch Hakodesh guide you into all truth.
I wrote a novel for those who guard the commands of Elohim and have the testimony of Yeshua. If you have ever searched for such a fictional novel or book, you may have noticed that there is scant material when compared to other religious fantasy works. I truly feel that YHWH was supplying me the story to tell, and did my best to convey that in written form. If you are interested in checking it out you can pick up a copy here!