A Handbook of Bible Law - Food and health laws

Copyright 1991 by Charles A. Weisman. 2nd Edition: Aug., 1992; 3rd Edition: Dec., 1994

Food and health laws

Comments: The Bibles says that, "It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink" (Eccl. 5:18). But the Bible also says what is best or healthier for man to eat and drink.

God in the Law specifically describes the "clean" animals which may be safely eaten, and the "unclean" ones that are not to be eaten.

The distinction between clean and unclean animals is not based on any ritualistic or religious dogma, but rather on sound biological principles. Animals prohibited to be eaten in the Bible have been proven to be unhealthy for the body.

Animals such as deer, sheep, and buffalo which "chew the cud and have a divided hoof" are regarded as "clean." These animals have a specialized digestive system which works to refine and purify their food; thus weeding out from their systems most of the poisonous and deleterious matter.

The "clean" animals also eat clean, vegetable food, while many "unclean" animals such as the swine, are scavengers. In addition to this animals like the swine have but one poorly constructed stomach arrangement and very limited excretory organs. Consequently, the polluted swill, putrid carrion, or other offensive matter it eats becomes a part of its flesh. Their flesh also carries many parasites and diseases such as trichinosis which can be picked up by man.

The law prohibits eating all purely carnivorous birds and animals, and modern science discovers a poisonous substance in their flesh. Birds and fishes that are acceptable to eat have distinctive gizzards and scale -arrangement that constitutes a peculiar grinding, refining and cleansing laboratory which works to exempt their flesh from disease.

The scaleless fishes, shell fishes, oysters, clams, lobsters, etc., which God prohibited us from eating, modern science has discovered to be lumps of vitalized and disease-producing filth, because of inadequate excretion.

The Bible says we are to eat green plants and herbs of the field. The benefits of the herb hyssop as a purifier is revealed- "Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean" (Psa. 51:7). Hyssop was also used to purify the uncleanness from touching a dead body (Num. 19:17-18), and cleansing of a leper (Lev. 14:4-7). Hyssop has long been used to expel mucus from all parts of the body and as a blood purifier. In reference to figs as a health aid the Bible states:

"Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover" (Isa. 38:21).

Fresh figs have been found to act as a poultice to draw out inflammation and were commonly employed as such until the use of antibiotics.

Fasting was a common practice in Biblical times. A fast was to go without food, letting the bodily filter systems (liver, lungs, kidneys, skin, and colon) rest and be cleaned out.

Wherever the Bible mentions the treatment of diseases or the use of foods, it will be found in harmony with, and never in contradiction to,, the most scientific methods known. God told us the proper foods to eat and what health practices to follow that we might stay healthy in His service:

"For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep" (1 Cor. 11:29-30)

Modern science has forced the world to respect and accept the Biblical laws regarding food and health.

14A - Clean Animals Fit to Eat

  1. Whatever animals that have divided or cloven hoofs and chews its cud you may eat. Lev. 11:2; Deut 14:6.
  2. Fishes that have fins and scales may be eaten (Bass, croppie, flounder, cod, haddock, pike, salmon, sunfish, mackerel, snapper, trout, perch, smelt, tuna, etc.). Lev. 11:9; Deut 14:9.
  3. All clean birds can be eaten (e.g., chicken, turkey, pheasant, quail, grouse, partridge, etc.). Deut 14:11, 20.
  4. Insects-locust, bald locust, grasshoppers. Lev. 11:22.
  5. If a clean animal dies it is considered unclean until evening. Lev. 11:39-30.
  6. Animals which you can eat--ox, sheep, goats, deer, roebuck, gazelle, fallow deer, wild goat, antelope, buffalo, caribou, elk, ibex, wild ox, moose, chamois. Deut. 12:15,22; Deut 14:4-6.

14B - Unclean Animals Unfit to Eat

  1. Camel (does not have a divided hoof). Lev. 11:4; Deut. 14:7.
  2. Rabbits, hares, and rock hyrax (does not have a divided hoof). Lev. 11:5-6; Deut. 14:7.
  3. Cattle which either do not chew the cud or divide the hoof (horse, donkey, quagga, llama, etc.). Lev. 11:4; Deut 14:7.
  4. Swine or hog (does not chew the cud). Lev. 11:7; Deut. 14:8.
  5. Creeping things-weasel, mouse, tortoise, turtle, sand reptile, ferret, chameleon, gecko, frogs, toads, snakes, crocodile, lizard, squirrel, raccoon, mole. Lev. 11:29-31.
  6. All water life that does not have fins and scales are not to be eaten (e.g., shrimp, lobster, snails, clams, shark, shell fish, eels, catfish, scallop, octopus, etc.). Lev. 11:10-12; Deut 14:10.
  7. Every creeping thing that flies is unclean. Deut 14:19.
  8. Unclean birds-Eagle, buzzard, osprey, vultures, kite, ravens, owl, night hawk, ostrich, hawk, little owl, cormorant, great owl, falcon, swan, pelican, stork, herons, hoopoe, bats (and the eggs of unclean birds). Lev. 11:13-19; Deut 14:12-18.
  9. All winged insects that walk on all fours. Lev. 11:20.
  10. Whatever crawls upon its belly or is multi-footed among all creeping things that creep on the earth. Lev. 11:42.
  11. Whatever goes on its paws, among all kinds of animals that go on all fours, are unclean (e.g., dogs, cats, coyote, bears, foxes, etc.). Lev. 11:27.

14C - Plants and Herbs

  1. Every green herb and herbs bearing seed have been given by God to be used for food. Gen. 1:29; Gen. 3:18.
  2. A newly planted tree producing edible food shall not be eaten for the first three years it produces. In the fourth year all its fruit shall be an offering to God. In the fifth year the fruit of the tree may be eaten. Lev. 19:23-25.
  3. Every tree which bears fruit yielding seed was made by God to be eaten as food. Gen. 1:29.
  4. You are not to sow your vineyards with divers seeds: least all the produce of the seed which you have sown, and the fruit of the vineyard become defiled (hybridized). Deut. 22:9.
  5. You shall not sow your field with mingled (mixed) seed, for the different kinds created were to be kept separate. Lev. 19:19.
  6. Green plants given by God for food. Gen. 9:3.

14D - Forbidden Foods and Practices

  1. You shall not eat anything which dies of itself. Deut. 14:21.
  2. That which dies of itself may be given or sold to foreigners. Deut. 14:21.
  3. One who eats any animal that died of itself shall wash his clothes and bathe, and will be unclean until evening; otherwise he will bear his iniquity. Lev. 17:15-16.
  4. You shall eat no manner of fat from any animal. Lev. 3:17; Lev. 7:23-25.
  5. You shall not eat any abominable thing. Deut. 14:3.
  6. You shall not eat any manner of blood from fowl or beast either by itself or with its flesh. Gen. 9:4; Lev. 3:17; Lev. 7:26-27; Lev. 17:10-14; Lev. 19:26; Deut 12:16, 23-25; Deut 15:23; Acts 15:20, 29; Acts 21:25.
  7. You are not to boil a kid in the milk of its mother. Exod. 23:19; Exod. 34:26; Deut. 14:21.
  8. Abstain from animals that were strangled. Acts 15:20-9; 21:25.
  9. Admonished not to drink strong drink and become drunk. Lev. 10:9; Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 6:10.
  10. You shall not eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field, you shall cast it to the dogs. Exod. 22:31.
  11. Admonishment against gluttony and overeating. Prov. 23:1-3, 20-21; Phil. 3:18, 19.

14E - Fasting

  1. Fast observed on occasions of judgments of God. Joel 1: 14; Joel 2:12.
  2. Fasting is not to be made a subject of display. Matt. 6:16-18.
  3. Fasting is to be unto God. Zech. 7:5; Matt. 6:18.
  4. Fasting for private afflictions. 2 Sam. 12:16.
  5. You shall 'afflict your souls' (fast) on the Day of Atonement. Lev. 16:29, 31; Lev. 23:27, 29.
  6. Fasting accompanied by confession of sin. 1 Sam. 7:6; Neh. 9:1-2.
  7. Public fasts proclaimed. 1 Kings 21:9; Ezra 8:21; Zech. 8:19.
  8. Fasting accompanied by prayer. Ezra 8:23; Dan. 9:3.; Matt. 17:21.

14F - Personal Health and Hygiene

  1. You are not to disfigure your body by making any cuttings in your flesh or tattoo marks in your skin. Lev. 19:28; Lev. 21:5; Deut. 14:1.
  2. God promises health and to heal sickness of those who will pray to Him for it. 2 Kings 20:5; Psa. 30:2; Jer. 17:14.
  3. We are to praise God for recovery from sickness. Psa. 103:1-3; Luke 17:15-19; Acts 3:7-8.
  4. You shall touch no unclean thing, nor touch the carcass of any unclean beast. Lev. 11:26, 31; Isa. 52:11.
  5. Cleansing of a woman after child birth. Lev. 12:1-8.
  6. Laws concerning women during menstruation. Lev. 15:19-33.
  7. Pregnant women are not to take alcoholic drink. Judges 13:3-42 77 14; 1 Sam. 1:15.
  8. Laws concerning bodily discharges and cleansing. Lev. 15:1-18.
  9. All male children born are to be circumcised on the eighth day after birth. Gen. 17:10-14; Gen. 21:4; Exod. 12:48; Lev. 12:3; Luke 1:59; Luke 2:21; Acts 7:8; Phil. 3:5.

14G - General Health Laws

  1. Those with a plague or contagious diseases are to be quarantined. Lev. 13:5, 21, 46; Num. 5:2-3.
  2. He that touches the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. Num. 19:11.
  3. Lepers are to be cleansed. Lev. 14:1-32; Deut. 24:8.
  4. A house occupied by one having a plague or contagious disease is to be cleaned and disinfected. Lev. 14:34:57.
  5. For him that is sick, let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him. James 5:14.
  6. Laws of purification. Lev. 19:1-22; Num. 31:19-24.
  7. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. James 5:15.
  8. Laws concerning contact with dead or unclean things. Lev. 5:2; Lev. 11:24-40; Lev. 21:1-4, 11; Num. 5:2; Num. 9:6, 10; Num. 19:11-22; Num. 31:19.
  9. Garments worn by one who has a contagious disease are to be burned. Lev. 13:52, 55, 57.
  10. All things that touch a dead unclean animal must be cleansed with water and allowed to set until evening. Lev. 11:32-38.
  11. Those who are sick or have a contagious disease shall not conceal their condition but are to alert others as to their condition. Lev. 13:14.
  12. Health and healing come from obedience to the word and law of God. Exod. 15:26; Exod. 23:25; Deut 7:15; Psa. 41:3; Prov. 3:1-8; Prov. 4:20-22; Jer. 30:17; Jer. 33:6; Hos. 6:1.
  13. God puts disease and sickness on those who will not heed his commandments and keep his statutes. Exod. 15:26; Lev. 26:14-16; 2 Deut. 28:27, 35, 61. Chron. 21:12-15, 18; 2 Chron. 26:16-21; 1 Cor. 11:30.

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