Many people today, in attempting to salve their conscience in the context of eating food specifically prohibited in the Bible, have, in addition to claiming exemption from the Law through grace, indicated that God’s restrictions on certain animals were purely ceremonial and therefore invalid in the physical sense. Make no mistake here. The terms ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ - Hebrew, ‘taher’ and ‘tame’ - while occurring in many instances in a ceremonial context, are not limited to that sphere and are positively applied to the dietary Laws which have absolutely nothing to do with religious considerations. Long before any ceremonial ritual had been provided, animals (Heb.: behemah: quadrupeds) and birds (Heb.: owph; those covered with feathers) were divided into either ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ categories or, as the Hebrew text describes them, ‘pure’ or ‘foul’ departments. It is most interesting to note that these two categories only came into being as a result of the relationship between Adamic man and the animals in the context of food for in the creation of the whole animal kingdom;

    “God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:25).
Whether or not the Adamic race was given a list of clean or unclean animals is not recorded nor does it suffice to contend that the antediluvian civilisation was a vegetarian one, therefore making such a list unnecessary. However, when one comes to the time of the Flood, Noah was first commanded to preserve two of every species and later, to increase the number of ‘clean’ animals to seven, while that of the ‘unclean’ was to remain at two. The point to note here is that while the Hebrew text uses the words ‘taher’ and ‘tame’ - clean and unclean - no further definition of the terms precedes this, leaving one to understand that the Adamic race either was or had become familiar with the implication of the terminology. As all animals are basically ‘good’ within their own spheres - this was the Benediction of the Lord after creation - in the context of Adamic man’s relationship to them and within the framework of food, this relationship should be governed by God’s knowledge of that which He created. Within the framework of this knowledge, the Lord said to Israel:
    “These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you . . .” (Lev. 11:2-7).
The identifying principles, so clearly set out in God’s Holy Law, are totally rejected today by God’s Covenant people who relish their breakfast of ‘bacon and eggs’ and who do not object to the increasing usage of pork products within their processed foods. To them, the ‘ham’ has been ‘cured’ and the pig has therefore been transposed, by modern technology, from an ‘unclean’ to a ‘clean’ food. One wonders if the advocates of the universal ‘cleanliness’ of all foods have ever taken the trouble to have a serious look at God’s Word and to note that it contains more than just a prohibition against certain animals and that it states, in the case of swine:
    “Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you” (Lev. 11:8).
Many, of course, will claim that the prohibition against even touching the carcase is going too far and yet, for some strange reason, abattoirs follow standard instructions in slaughter procedures which make sense out of the Lord’s prohibition against even touching the carcase of the pig. Abattoir operators are not allowed to slaughter other animals after the slaughtering of pigs unless the abattoir has been completely scrubbed and all floors, ceilings and freezers used for pig carcases completely disinfected. After this procedure has been followed, the abattoir must stand idle for 48 hours. While there may not be complete and universal unanimity on this procedure, the fact that it has been adopted in certain countries as a derivative from experience should cause many to rethink their prejudices about God’s Law and to realise that man is the benefactor when he abides by the Lord’s instructions. Abattoir procedures as elucidated above, while preventing contamination of other carcases with that of the pig, does nothing for the consumer who buys his portion and apparently enjoys his meal, secure in the so-called assurance that all is well. One wonders what would happen if the gourmet realised precisely what he was eating and that the bacteria within the flesh of the pig - bacteria so essential to the animal’s function of assimilating the world’s refuse - is not destroyed, no matter how much technology may claim to ‘cure’ it. Within the canning process, it has been established that while some bacteria are destroyed by the heat, others come to life which actually thrive on excessive temperatures. In God’s Law He categorically states:
    “Of their (swine) flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you”,
and as one studies the official reports of government agencies, one is able to appreciate the answer to the question ‘Why?” when projected into God’s prohibitions in His Law. In the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers Bulletin No. 1787 which deals exclusively with the internal parasites of swine, it states that there are twelve different forms of organisms which should be considered when raising swine. They are (1) dysentery-producing protozoa, (2) coccidia, (3) tape worms, (4) pork bladder worms, (5) the hydatid, (6) roundworms, (7) the intestinal threadworm, (8) the thorn-headed worm, (9) nodular worm, (10) the swine kidney worm, (11) lug worms, (12) trichina. In considering number 12, i.e. trichina or trichinella spiralis, these are slender threadworms occurring as adults in the small intestine of swine, in the blood as migrating larvae and in the muscles as encysted or encapsulated worms. The adult worm in the small intestines are from one-sixteenth to one-sixth of an inch long and about as wide as a very fine thread; the migrating worms in the blood are microscopic in size while those in the muscles are spirally rolled and are about one twenty-fifth of an inch long. The life history of trichinella spiralis is known and, as trichinosis in Anglo-Saxondom is on the increase as a result of the increased consumption of pig’s flesh in opposition to God’s Command, this history is now provided. The adult worms in the intestine are rather short-lived, but before they die and pass out with the droppings, the females produce numerous young worms which are deposited directly in the lymph spaces in the walls of the intestine. From the lymph channels, the worms reach the large blood vessels leading to the heart itself and the blood vessels leaving the heart, and are carried, by the blood, to all parts of the body. When the young worms in the bloodstream reach the muscles, they penetrate the muscle fibres and grow at the expense of the muscle tissue. After approximately three weeks, the young worms have attained their maximum size, having become spirally coiled with a thin membrane or cyst measuring roughly one-fiftieth of an inch forming around each worm. The worm is thus trapped in the muscles and cannot undergo any further development until the muscle tissue in which it is lodged is eaten. It is estimated that pigs acquire trichinae as a result of eating scraps of pork containing the encysted worms, or as a result of eating dead pigs, dogs, cats, rats or mice. Rats and mice become infested as a result of eating scraps of infested pork or each other. Human beings, so claims the report, become infested with trichinae as ‘the result of eating raw or imperfectly cooked pork infested with these parasites’. Dr. Thomas Parran, former Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, estimated that sixteen million persons in the United States are currently infected with trichinosis and that some fifty other diseased conditions of the human body are the direct result of contracting trichinella spiralis. In ‘Studies on Trichinosis’, a United States Public Health Report issued in 1943, the insidious nature of trichinosis is reported in that of 222 cadavers studied, each had the worm and yet none had been correctly diagnosed. In the report it is stated that unknowingly, millions of Americans harbour in their muscle tissue the larvae of trichinella spiralis and this because vested interests use pork as an adulterant in meat products. In summing up, the Public Health Report concludes: “Of the total persons dying in the United States over the period of these surveys, one out of every six was infected with the trichina parasite.”

There are, of course, many who hold that “God has said it; I have read it; I believe it”, and who require nothing further than God’s Law as the basis for their conduct. On the other hand there are those who take 1st Timothy 4:4-5 as their authority for eating all things.

    “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it is received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer”.
No doubt the infected persons referred to in the U.S. Public Health Report were of this persuasion and not even the report by Dr. Willard H. Wright, Chief of the U.S. Zoological laboratory would cause them to change their minds. In this report, Dr. Wright quoted the findings of others and is worthy of record here. “Dr. J.H. Kellogg, in his study, ‘Scientific View of the Hog’, shows that the hog is such a dangerous carrier of disease because the animal itself is diseased. The lungs of the hog are frequently filled with large numbers of tubercles; in seventy-five cases out of one hundred you will find the liver filled with abscesses; the diseased liver upon closer inspection will be found to contain sacs in which are living tapeworms. Dr. Kellogg then shows that the excess fat of the pig is not a natural or healthy condition, but results from the animal’s inability to throw off impurities. Since the swine cannot throw off its poison, this accumulated venom circulates throughout the body of the swine bringing about a diseased carcase.” This, of course, means nothing to those who live under the grand delusion of the time and who care little or nothing about the words of He Who rose from the dead and Who said:
    “If they hear not Moses and the prophets neither will they be persuaded through one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).
Meat - in General

While that which has been written above comes within the context of natural phenomena, i.e. God’s prohibition against eating swine’s flash on the basis of His knowledge of its constituents, the Law advocating the eating of beasts which part the hoof, is clovenfooted and chews the cud, did not take into account modern technology which is currently turning food into insidious poison. Vested interests, in their corporate desire for more profits, have realised the impossibility of cattle (and pigs) to fatten any faster and have thus joined science and technology to convert meat into refuse. While not specifically in the context of meat, the principles behind God’s warning recorded in Amos 8:4-6 is the same in that He condemns the exploiters who ‘sell the refuse of the wheat ‘ for profit.

In 1976, the U.S Department of Agriculture made a proposal that in the light of modern technology, the definition of ‘meat’ be widened to accommodate ‘additives’ not currently covered by the word. At that time the well-known ‘hot-dog’ already contained 20 per cent of pulverized bones and fat in their total weight and it was estimated that within two years, i.e. in 1978 (twenty years ago from this year), sausages, hamburgers, all processed meat and all other sausages would be composed of this new definition of ‘meat’. While reaction against this new concept halted the proposal, the implementation of the definition has not halted the pollution of food. From the information available it would appear that the ‘new meat’ was to be created from the bones and offal. After the removal of all flesh, the bones would be pulverised to which would be added the fat with 13 portions of the animal carcase not usually eaten by humans, but which formed the basis for cat and dog food. In the normal course of events it takes three to four years for cattle to be converted into beef, but with today’s methods motivated by the demand for quick monetary returns, it takes between one and one and a half years to put beef on the table. According to a report in ‘Spotlight’, animals in the United States are fattened by a mixture of urea and carbohydrate added to a high protein diet while tests are conducted using substances such as triturated plastic, pulverised newsprint mixed with molasses, wood shavings or sawdust. Another method to achieve even quicker fattening in the animals is the changing of the metabolism of the animal with drugs such as a very high-powered sex hormone, the results of which, on the consumer, could be extremely dangerous. The meat of a sex hormone-fed animal appears to the casual observer to be tender and delicious, and yet contains all the elements which could produce a very sick people.

The use of antibiotics on animals destined for human consumption makes the fat in the meat white and hard instead of the yellowish soft appearance. The essential difference between the two should be noted, for the fat produced by the introduction of antibiotics contains quantities of cholesterol and which could create heart conditions in the habitual consumer of this type of meat. Just prior to selling a beast for the consumer’s market, some producers inject them with enzymes extracted from pineapples and papayas or paw-paws to tenderise their meat and with other chemical products to make them retain liquid which they would otherwise eliminate in the normal biological process. In this manner, the beast’s weight would be greater thus providing the producer with a greater financial return.

All this is as obtains in many places where scripturally permitted meat is for sale. It should be stated with all emphasis that while God’s Law merely relates the clean and unclean kinds of animals which should and should not be eaten, the morality of the producers of ‘clean’ food should be governed by his obedience to the whole body of the Law which does not permit either exploitation of circumstance nor the adulteration of his calling as a food producer. The things that are therefore done in order to gain a quick return for invested capital which are detrimental to the health of the consumer as much as a violation of the Law as is the eating of swine’s flesh.

Identity of ‘Clean” Food

It is absolutely true that ‘two wrongs do not make a right’ and the fact that unscrupulous persons are polluting good food should not give rise to an attitude of capitulation in which God’s People discard all that the Lord has commanded and eat all things. The Laws governing clean food still obtain notwithstanding the perversions of vested interests and it behoves each of God’s Covenant People to be fully conversant with these. In Deuteronomy 14:1, Israel was instructed:

“Ye are the children of the Lord your God . . .”

and the subsequent instructions concerning the dietary laws were intended to make the people a worthy and healthy depiction of this status. The clean and unclean foods have distinguishing marks by which animals not mentioned in either Leviticus 11:1-8 and Deuteronomy 14:3-8 can be identified. In the case of clean mammals, these are they that must be herbivorous; and they should not have incisor or canine teeth; they must ruminate; they should have a stomach of multiple compartments and should walk on two toes or be cloven-hoofed. All others not conforming with these criteria are classified as unclean. In verse 4 of Deuteronomy 14, the identification of the ox, sheep and the goat provides no problem, but as confusion may arise in identifying the animals in verse 5, each one will be dealt with separately. The ‘hart’ (Heb. Ayyal) is the deer generally classified as cervus capreolus and while now extinct in Palestine was found to inhabit Mt. Carmel until fifty or so years ago. The ‘roebuck’ (Heb. Tsebi) is the gazelle, gazella subgutturosa, which, apart from being a clean animal, was noted for its beauty and speed of flight and is referred to in many symbolic passages. The ‘fallow deer (Heb. yachmur) is the antelope bubalis boselaphus which is depicted in many ancient drawings of hunting scenes. The ‘wild goat’ (Heb. Ako) is the type designated as capra aegagrus which even today inhabits the mountains of the Syrian desert and is also considered a close relative to the ‘nubian ibex’ (capra nubiana) which in Hebrew is written as the ‘yael’. The ‘pygarg’ (Heb. Dishon) is the antelope adax nasomaculatus which at one time, freely roamed the land of Palestine, but which has since disappeared and is only to be found in East Africa. The ‘wild ox’ (Heb. to or teo) is the bison, bison bonasus, bones of which have been found in the Lebanon. The ‘buffalo’, although not mentioned in the list of clean foods, was used as such as verified by the accounts in Isaiah 1:11 under the Hebrew name ‘meri’ and translated simply as ‘fed beasts’ and under the same name in Amos 5:22, 2nd Samuel 6:13, and 1st Kings 1:19. The ‘chamois’ (Heb. zemer) appears to be the wild sheep (ovis musimon) or the oryx (oryx algazel). Some confusion appears to attend a positive identification here as authorities are still in the process of their investigations. The carnivorous animals are unclean and among those listed in the Bible although not specifically within the Law, are the lion (Heb. arye); the leopard (Heb. namer); the dog (Heb. keleb); the wolf (Heb. zeeb); the jackal (Heb. iyyim); the hyena (Heb. tzaboa); the fox (Heb. shual) and the bear (Heb. Dob).

    “Nevertheless, these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the coven hoof; as the camel, the hare, and the coney . . .” (Deut. 14:7).
The reason behind the prohibition in this instance appears to be that while they chew the cud, they have no cloven hoof and therefore are unclean. The ‘hare’ (Heb. arnebet) has been in the center of much controversy because of the Greek translation of the Hebrew into ‘dasypoda’ which means ‘hairy-footed’. When the Septuagint was produced at the order of Ptolemy, the translators were in the difficult position of not offending the ruler whose mother’s name was ‘Arnabta’ which, as is obvious, has a close affinity with the Hebrew ‘arnebet’ which means ‘the hare’. Whichever way one may look at this, the hare and its associates which do not part the hoof are not good for food. The ‘coney’ (Heb. shaphan) is the hyrax, procavia syriaca, whose external and internal structure is so anomalous that it is classed in an order by itself, having an affinity with the cloven-hoofed animals on the one hand and to the animals possessing trunks on the other. As the Law specifies the coney as unclean, it falls within the category no matter what men say about it.

Clean Birds

It should be stated in the outset that in connection with birds, no distinguishing marks of cleanness or otherwise are provided in the Pentateuch. One is therefore left with accepting what the Law actually says leaving the subject at that. However, there are one or two pointers which provide the basis for further research and which the individual could follow up. For instance, among the birds which should not be eaten, one finds the statement:

    “. . . And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, And the stork, and the heron after her kind and the lapwing and the bat . . .” (Deut. 14:18).
In the English translation, most names are easily understood, but when one comes to the Hebrew text, one finds that instead of the names of the various species of birds, their main characteristics are recorded. For instance, the English name eagle is translated from the Hebrew ‘nesher’ which means literally to ‘lacerate’, and by implication covers the activity of the birds of prey. It was on this basis that the priesthood of the Old Testament ruled that all birds of prey were unclean. Attention is now drawn to Leviticus 11:18 and Deuteronomy 14:16 where the swan is referred to as unclean. The Hebrew word from which this has been translated is ‘tanshemeth’ which literally indicates a characteristic rather than a proper noun and means ‘irascible’ and has, in various places been translated as ‘tree toad’, ‘mole’, ‘waterhen’, ‘ibis’, ‘swan’ and ‘heron’. As the context under consideration is birds, the tree toad and mole can be discarded thus leaving the waterhen, ibis, swan and the heron. These four belong to the family known as the ‘Anatidae’ which is the name generally applied to the web-footed species and as the heron is specifically mentioned in both Leviticus and Deuteronomy plus those ‘after its kind’, one can safely say and still be within the authority of the Law, that the Anatidae family comes under the prohibition as food. The duck, which many consider a delicacy, comes under this heading. Previously and under the generalisation of clean and unclean birds, the authority for which is 1st Kings 4:23 where Solomon, at the height of his wisdom, provided a feast which comprised, among other things, “Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred of sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow deer and fatted fowl . .”, the fatted fowl is translated from the Hebrew ‘barburim abusim’ which rabbinic authorities identify as the white goose whose fat and lungs were also used for medicine. The prefix ‘bar’ means pure while ‘barbara’ in Arabic means ‘to scream’, this is the basis for this identification. However, while it would appear that the ‘barburim abusim’ was used for food, its association is only on the most flimsy of data and should be excluded.

The ‘Creeping Things’

Of those creatures which are classified as creeping things, the weasel, the mouse, the tortoise after his kind, the ferret, the chameleon, the lizard, the snail and the mole are singled out as unclean. There is no difficulty in identification here for each type enumerated is an accurate translation from the various Hebrew words.

Sea Food

    “These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters; whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them ye shall eat. And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you” (Lev. 11:9-10).
The criteria here is very straightforward, for anything in the waters which has fins and scales is good for food, while anything falling outside this, is not. The waters of the earth are a vast unknown despite man’s much vaunted science and technology and within this sphere live animals who are being exploited to supplement the worlds food supply. All and sundry are fished and presented in various ways as edible for human consumption. This is not what God said and while men may have a free choice as to his sea food, he has absolutely no choice when it comes to the by-product of that choice if it falls outside that which God declared as good for food. Shellfish are eagerly sought out today with oysters, crab meat, mussels, and crayfish highly prized as exquisite delicacies. The ominous warnings which appear in daily newspapers are disregarded and men wonder why the general health of the nation is deteriorating and the need for larger hospitals is growing. Last month and in Australia, the people were warned against eating oysters - a warning which was followed by an all-clear signal in a Sydney newspaper which stated that Australians would be relieved to know that is was safe again to eat the oysters. An outbreak of food poisoning caused by eating oysters resulted in at least two thousand people being treated in hospital. The explanation was that the oysters had been harvested too soon after heavy rain had washed sewage into the rivers. The oysters were performing their natural function of cleaning up the mess - men were performing a lawless one by eating them. A dead and rotting carcase, washed down the rivers and into the sea soon disappears when the shrimp and other shellfish begin their task of cleaning up the oceans of the world and man, notwithstanding his demand for a healthier life and better environment, harvests the scavengers of the sea and devours them! It is small wonder that the world’s ecology is shot to pieces and smaller wonder indeed that human society is demanding more and more by way of hospital facilities. Looking at the overall situation and knowing full well the gravity of this, men still ask for the reason behind it all. Why, in the light of present technology is there so much misery and suffering? Why, after all this time is human society in such a state of upheaval, chaos and anarchy? The answer is unbelievably simple - men have forgotten God Whose appointed witness nation wallows with the rest of mankind in the cesspool of its own choice. As always, God’s Way is the way to recovery for He says:
    “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezek. 18:30-31).
* * * * * * * * * * * *
This is the final message in this truly wonderful series on the Law of God.
Truly, the Law of God is perfect, converting the soul.
Truly has the prophet Isaiah stated;
    “O that thou hadst obeyed My commandments. Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea”.
How long are we, as individuals, and as a nation, going to continue to flout the righteous Laws, Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments of a loving God who desires nothing more for His people than the absolute best that He can give. We continue to disobey Him at our continuing peril. Our safety and health and well being in every avenue of our lives is assured only when we humble ourselves in total obedience to the One who loved us so much that He gave His life to redeem us from the curse of the law which through continued disobedience could, and would, have only one end - Misery and Death. He did not do this for us as a matter of favouritism. He did it because He loved us. He did this because for reasons which most of us find impossible to even begin to understand, He has foreordained us to be the instrument by which, and through which, He will bring hope, life, and joy, to all families and nations of the earth. We can only achieve this noblest of all purposes as we demonstrate through our example His Great Purposes for a sick and weary world. We dare not fail Him. Indeed, it is His Divinely stated intention that we will not fail Him. The prophet Isaiah assures us of this. May we, in the short time that remains for us, do our very best, in every way, and at every opportunity, to awaken our people to the fact that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is still our God, and that, despite all our failings, we are still His people whom He has chosen to show forth His glory.
    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
    “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
May we be led by the Spirit of God to obey Him in all things.
Only then can we expect His rich blessings.
Frank W. Dowsett. Editor.