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What are we supposed to eat?

Leviticus 11:1-12 :

Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘These are the living things which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and chews the cud among the animals, that you may eat.

“‘Nevertheless these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud, or of those who part the hoof: the camel, because he chews the cud but doesn’t have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you. The cony, because he chews the cud but doesn’t have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you. The hare, because she chews the cud but doesn’t part the hoof, she is unclean to you. The pig, because he has a split hoof, and is cloven-footed, but doesn’t chew the cud, he is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.

“‘These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, that you may eat. All that don’t have fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of all the living creatures that are in the waters, they are an abomination to you, and you detest them. You shall not eat of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses. Whatever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that is an abomination to you.



It is important that we read the first part of these rules, where God tells Moses and Aaron that these things are to be spoken to Israel. God was setting them apart from all of the other people in the world. He didn't tell the rest of the people of the world that they had to eat these things. He was only speaking to Israel.


I don't know why God made these distinctions. He doesn't have to explain it to me either. All I know is that these were His rules and because He is God they had to be obeyed. One possibility was that these animals were already known to be not sacrificial to God. In other words, only things that could potentially be sacrificed were to be eaten by God's people. Hmmm. Sounds good, but I don't know. I get this idea from the fact that Noah actually sacrificed "clean" animals to God when he got off of the ark.


Gentiles are not bound by these special rules to Israel. If they were, it would not be right to eat pork or shrimp. This is clear from the life of Noah. You see, originally, we were weren't allowed to eat any meat. That was the rule given to Adam back before the flood. After the flood, God told Noah this:



Genesis 9:3-4 :

Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. As I gave you the green herb, I have given everything to you. But flesh with its life, that is, its blood, you shall not eat.



Our distant relative, Noah, was clearly given rules here. We can eat anything that moves as long as it is dead and without blood in it. By the way, the red stuff in your steak isn't blood. It's myoglobin not hemoglobin. (Yes, I looked it up)






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