Healthy Living

The Law of Clean & Unclean Animals 

Happy Thursday y’all! Hope your week is going great. We are getting a lot of rain here. The temperatures are down, but you can’t really tell it because of the humidity. We are so ready for Fall!
Last week I eluded to pork and catfish and said we would discuss it later. Well, later has come. I am going to share some excerpts from my dissertation where I addressed this topic. I am a Bible believing Christian, so this information comes from a Biblical perspective. I make no apologies for that.So, here we go!
“God’s people, the Israelites, were a separate people. He called them out to be a holy people unto Himself. He established laws by which they were to live, and in doing so, they would be blessed and healthy. If they did not follow the Law, they would be cursed. It was plain and simple. Scripture tells us that the Israelites were healthier and had more wisdom and provoked their neighbors to jealousy. Throughout history the Jewish people have been the most hygienic and healthiest race on the planet, as long as they held true to God’s commandments.
Their hygiene practices have protected them from virulent diseases. When the Bubonic Plague swept through Europe in the Middle Ages and wiped out more than a quarter of the population, many small pockets of observant Jews, escaped the Black Death, and for that, they attracted much persecution. 
Medieval cities were places without modern sewer or garbage collection, and rats which carried the fleas hosting the Plague, lived in close proximity with humans. The Jews, however, knew that rats were unclean animals and stayed clear of them. They followed God’s simple hygiene commandments that the rest of the world thought were ridiculous. For example, in the Middle Ages, people used a slop bucket for their household toilet. They became so accustomed to having sewage around them, they slept in close proximity to their own waste. Compare this form of dirty hygiene to the Jewsih practice of burying human waste since the days of Exodus. Also, no Jews of the Middle Ages drank from city wells, because they knew the water was unclean. n order to stay Kosher, Jews had to draw water from country springs. 
None of this.  Should surprise us, since the Jewish people have been keeping themselves separate and clean since they received the promise in Exodus 15:26, ‘And said, if thou wilt diligently harken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandment, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.’
According to Jordan Rubin, ‘The Egyptians happened to be the most medically, culturally, and technologically advanced people in the world’ (Rubin: The Great Physician’s Rx for Health and Wellness). When modern day scientists unwrapped the mummified bodies of Egyptians thousands of years later, they determined that Pharaoh and his family suffered from health problems that sound rather familiar to us today: bone deterioration, otherwise known as osteoporosis, joint degeneration or arthritis, calcification of the arteries or heart disease, and malignancies similar to today’s cancers. In other words, the most medically, culturally, and technologically advanced society was populated by men and women with sub par health. This wasn’t so among the Israelites. They weren’t recognized for their advancements, but they had a health plan far superior to that of the Egyptians.
God, in His infinite wisdom, did not mince words when He directed Moses to tell the Israelites of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat. He said they may eat any animal that has a split hoof, completely divided, and that chews the cud (Leviticus 11:2-3 KJV). Some examples of these are: cows, goats, sheep, oxen, deer, buffalo, and other wild game. The camel, though it chewed the cud, did not have a split hoof, and therefore was unclean and could not be eaten.Badgers, rabbits, and pigs were also the same.He said to them, ‘Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you’ (Leviticus 11:8 KJV). 
God’s categorizations are elaborate and leave nothing to chance. However, the main reason He labeled certain animals, birds, or fish is that they are scavengers, bottom feeders, and mobile trash compactors. There was a reason why He forbad the eating of pork. He knew something about pig’s physiology since He created them. Pigs have a simple stomach arrangement. Whatever a pig eats goes straight down the hatch, into the stomach, and out the bak door in four hours maximum. As far as their diet goes, let’s just say, pigs are barnyard animals known to eat anything thrown their way. They feast on slop and whatever they can find under their muddy feet. They even eat the carcasses and body parts of other pigs. Compare the pig’s digestive system to that of the animals God allowed the Israelites to eat. These animals essentially have three or four stomachs. They take a leisurely twenty-four hours to digest their food.
The Hebrew word used to describe unclean meat can be translated as ‘fowl, polluted, and putrid.’ This is the same term used to describe human waste. Jordan Rubin says, ‘I believe God was quite serious when He directed us to keep unclean meat at arm’s length’ (Rubin: The Great Physician’s Rx for Health and Wellness). I agree! Do not think that God banned pork from the Israelites in those days because of their lack of refrigeration, or that storing ham, bacon, and baby back ribs in a cool environment makes them safe for modern day consumption. And don’t think that we now have ways to make pigs healthy, because we do not. Organic pork is an oxymoron. God excluded pork because they are unclean animals. They are not fit for human consumption.
God knew that lobster, crab, shrimp, and catfish are bottom feeders. They troll along the sea bed or lake bed, sustaining themselves on fish droppings. Whatever they eat goes directly into their system, which explains why scientists measure pollution in the water by checking the flesh of crabs, clams, and lobsters for toxin levels. There is a reason why Jesus did not touch the shrimp cocktails when they were passed around, or feast on pork during His time on Earth. Those were unclean foods. According to Jordan Rubin, and I concur, ‘What was unclean for the Israelites and for Jesus thousands of years ago, is still unclean today, and that’s why I don’t want to go against His commandments’ (Rubin: The Great Physician’s Rx for Health and Wellness). The God we serve is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He has never made and will never make a mistake.
We are not under the sacrificial law of the Old Testament. However, while we are released from sacrificing animals to atone for our sins, Jordan Rubin says, ‘I still believe that His dietary commandments are relevant and important to us today, and should be observed for our own good’ (Rubin: The Great Physician’s Rx for Health and Wellness).”
I hope this gives you a deeper insight into why certain foods are unhealthy. I could go into much greater detail, but if I haven’t convinced you already, I probably can’t convince you at all. Maybe next week we will look deeper into the Jewish hygiene practices.
For more information about Homestead Nutrition, or to make an appointment, email me at homesteadnutrition@dr.com. Have a healthy and blessed week! ☺️

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