Hebrew Roots/Unclean foods
God has called us to be a holy, separated people, different from the world.
We who follow the Messiah are redeemed Israel. God desires everything we do to be a testimony to His holiness. Since God wants His people to be pure and holy in every area of life, He gave them instructions that tell them how to eat. For God wants His people to live clean, act clean, speak clean, think clean and eat clean.
We are told that we are to regard our bodies as His temple and not to defile it but to keep it pure and holy (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19)
And this does extend to how we care for our bodies in what we eat and drink: "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31) Even our eating is subject to the will of God, who gives us everything that is holy and good to enjoy.
Our bodily purity and its health is His concern, as cited by John, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers." (3 John 2)
“You shall therefore make a difference between clean animals and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and you shall not make your souls abominable by animal, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that moves on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And you shall be holy unto me. for I, Yahweh, am holy, and have separated you from other people, that you should be mine.” (Leviticus 20:25-26)
Now when it comes to how we should eat to maintain our bodies in a state of health, who knows better than God what is good for us to eat and what is not?
The dietary laws which He has given us are just as much a part of God's word as any other portion and if we are wise, we will heed them. Remember that obeying God's instructions, like the dietary laws, will be health to our flesh. (Proverbs 3:1-2, 7-8)
In Proverbs 16:25 it says, "There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death." And this verse follows verse twenty-four in which we see how God's words/laws and commandments are Sweetness to the Soul and health to the bones.
"For this is the love of God that you keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome." (1 John 5:3)
The "Kosher" or Clean Meats
The lists in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 shows us what Yahweh God considers fit to eat: Of the animals, they must chew their cud and have a split hoof. Those that qualify are are the ox (bovines, including cows), the sheep, the goat, the deer, the gazelle, the ibex, the antelope and the mountain sheep.
Animals that are not kosher/clean because although they have one of the two characteristics, they do not have both are the camel, the rock badger, the rabbit, and the pig. Any animal that walks on paws (such as dogs and cats) are also not kosher/clean.
- "chews the cud" - The Hebrew word that is translated "chews the cud" is "ma'alat", which comes from the root "alah", "going up". "Ma'alat" literally means "that lifts (the food)".
These animals regurgitate the food from the stomach and chew it thoroughly. Animals that chew the cud have three or four stomachs. When they eat, they swallow the food into the first stomach. Then the food moves to the second stomach. From there the food is "lifted" again to the mouth. After this, they swallow it down into the third stomach.
An interesting consequence of the ruminant-type digestive process is the fact that ruminants aren't Predatory or Carnivorous animals. They get all the nutrition they need from plants and this results in less disease and fewer parasites in their bodies.
There was an article published in 1953 in the bulletin of the history of medicine, published by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in a study entitled “an experimental pharmacological appreciation of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 by David I. Macht, M.D”. Dr. Macht tested extracts from the meats of the various clean and unclean animals as defined by the dietary law, including 54 kinds of fish, using a standard toxicological test.
The results were that every single animal meat that Yahweh forbade as food in His dietary law came out of the test as being toxic. And every single animal meat that Yahweh allowed as food in his dietary law was proved to be non-toxic. There was a 100% correlation between the list of animals in Yahweh’s dietary law and the scientific study.