In addition to the laws concerning PLANTS, BLOOD, and FAT, the
Bible also talks about "clean" and "unclean" meats. Laws
pertaining to animals, fish, birds and creeping things that are
permitted or prohibited as food. These laws were in existence
from the very beginning of Genesis because such creatures didn't
change their habits, nor was the composition of their flesh
altered, when Christ died on the stake. It is, of course, true
that eventually the lion will eat grass like the ox (Isa. 11:7;
65:25) when the natures of animals are changed in the Millennium.
It may also be true that originally in the Garden of Eden the
animals were not fearful of man (Gen. 9:2), but neither of these
two conditions exist today and neither condition makes unclean
meat into clean meat.
Notice that "Abel was a keeper of SHEEP" (Gen. 4:2). Abel raised
SHEEP for food, just as his brother tilled the ground for food.
Abel didn't keep a herd of SWINE because he knew only clean
animals were to be eaten! Again notice that Abel "brought of the
firstlings of his flock" (v.4) an offering for the Eternal. Since
it was from his flock, it had to be an offering of SHEEP. He
didn't offer a DOG or a HORSE on the altar because he knew that
only clean animals could be offered as sacrifices (Lev. 1 to 5;
Noah also knew the difference between clean and unclean animals
since God told him in Genesis 7:2, "Of every clean beast thou
shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female; and of
beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female."
Obviously Noah needed more of the clean animals since these were
used for food (Lev. 11 & Deut. 14) and "burnt offerings." Noah
didn't sacrifice any unclean animals! Instead, he "took of every
clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings
on the altar" (Gen. 8:20).
Furthermore, Abraham knew about and obeyed the laws of clean and
unclean meats since he too correctly offered "an HEIFER ... a
SHE-GOAT ... a RAM ... a TURTLEDOVE, and a young PIGEON" (Gen.
15:9) and "a LAMB" (Gen. 22:8,13), all of which are clean
animals! Also in Genesis 26:5 we read that Abraham "obeyed my
voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my
LAWS (Heb. "torah"). In Leviticus 11:46, in regard to the dietary
laws, the Eternal says, "This is the LAW (Heb. "torah") of the
beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth
in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the
earth; To make a difference between the unclean and the clean,
and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may
not be eaten." (See also Ez. 22:26) Notice that both words are
IDENTICAL, so Abraham must have obeyed the laws of clean and
unclean meats! If we are Abraham's children, all Christians are
(Gal. 3:7,29), we will DO THE WORKS of Abraham (John 8:39).
Finally, we know that Moses obeyed these laws since, of course,
he was the human author of both Leviticus and Deuteronomy and
gave these laws to Israel.
The examples of obedience by ABEL, NOAH, ABRAHAM and MOSES to
these laws of clean and unclean meats were "written for our
learning" (Rom. 15:4) and "these things (righteous acts) were our
examples" (1 Cor. 10:6,11). "All scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF,
for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS" (2 Tim. 3:16)
and the only "scripture" known to Timothy at that time was the
Now...... it is safe to say that these FOOD LAWS have always
existed and continue to exist today. The laws of clean and
unclean meats existed before the Old Covenant was ever instituted
and so what the Old Covenant didn't bring in, it can't take away
when it is abolished! The DIETARY LAWS are part of the eternal
law even though they are just physical laws regulating health! It
isn't a spiritual sin to break them (Mark 7:14-23), but the
transgressor will suffer disease, sickness, and an early first,
physical death (generally speaking, depending how much and how
often you break those food laws, the eskimo at one time did not
live much past the age of 35 - Keith Hunt). The penalty for
violating spiritual laws (where intent and motive are involved)
is the second, spiritual death (Rev. 20:14).
These food laws are not ritualistic, sacrificial types or symbols
that foreshadow a more permanent reality in Christ or the Holy
Spirit! Instead, they are laws which DETAIL and MAGNIFY the Ten
Commandments! Christ didn't come to destroy these laws (Matt.
5:17; 19:17-19). Just as the Holy Days further define the Sabbath
Commandment (fourth), and Tithing further defines what stealing
is (eighth commandment), so the Food Laws explain one way a
person can commit murder against himself (sixth commandment). If
a person deliberately defiles his body with unclean food, it is a
spiritual sin and God will destroy him (1 Cor. 3:17).
Yet some misguided "Christians" are genuinely deceived and insist
that because the laws of clean and unclean meats aren't
specifically found in the Old Covenant or "book of the covenant"
(Ex. 19:5 to 24:8), they are not part of the eternal code of laws
but are merely ritualistic laws added later.