CLEAN AND UNCLEAN MEATS IN THE BIBLE

God the Father and Christ designed and created all things.  Some plants and animals were designed not to be eaten by humans.  The Bible which is God’s instruction book for all mankind is very plain about what animals to eat or not eat.  We must obey God’s instructions and not eat the unclean animals.  If the animal is unclean, that makes it automatically bad for our health.  God forbids humans to eat any manner of blood.

Lev 17:10  And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, THAT EATETH ANY MANNER OF BLOOD; I will even set my face against THAT SOUL THAT EATETH BLOOD, AND WILL CUT HIM OFF FROM AMONG HIS PEOPLE.

Lev 17:11  For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Lev 17:12  Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, NO SOUL OF YOU SHALL EAT BLOOD, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.

Lev 17:13  And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.

Lev 17:14  For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, YE SHALL EAT THE BLOOD OF NO MANNER OF FLESH: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.

 

These verses say two times that IF A PERSON EATS BLOOD, THEY SHALL BE CUT OFF.  To be cut off from God is serious and could lead to the Lake of Fire.  Again, in Leviticus 19, we are commanded not to eat blood.

Lev 19:26  YE SHALL NOT EAT ANY THING WITH THE BLOOD: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.

Again in Deuteronomy 12, we are commanded not to eat blood, in verse 25 God makes a threat against the people who will eat blood.  It will not go well with us or our children if we insist on eating blood.

Deu 12:16  Only YE SHALL NOT EAT THE BLOOD; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.

Deu 12:23  Only BE SURE THAT THOU EAT NOT THE BLOOD: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.

Deu 12:24  THOU SHALT NOT EAT IT; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water.

Deu 12:25  THOU SHALT NOT EAT IT; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.

Verse 25 above basically makess a threat.  It is saying that if you DO EAT BLOOD, that it will not go well with you and your children.  God cannot bless you.

In Deuteronomy 15:23, WE ARE INSTRUCTED NOT TO EAT BLOOD, but to pour it out on the ground like water.  WHEN GOD REPEATS SOMETHING TWO TIMES OR MORE, WE HAD BETTER PAY ATTENTION.

Deu 15:23  Only THOU SHALT NOT EAT THE BLOOD thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water.

Lev 7:26  Moreover YE SHALL EAT NO MANNER OF BLOOD, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.

Lev 7:27  Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

Verse 27 is very plain.  If you eat blood, you will be cut off from God’s people.

ANIMAL FAT is something else we are commanded three times not to eat.

Lev 3:17  It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.

Lev 7:23  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, YE SHALL EAT NO MANNER OF FAT, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.

Lev 7:24  And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it.

Lev 7:25  For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people.

In verse 25, it says that if you eat the fat, you will be cut off from God.

Study Leviticus 20:25.  This verse is not a suggestion; it is a command.

Lev 20:25  Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.

This is a very stern warning that we must not eat the unclean things and that we must stay away from the unclean food items as that can make us an ABOMINATION to God.

Now, let us look at the list of clean and unclean animals, fish, birds, insects and crawling things.

Lev 11:1  And the LORD spoke unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,

Lev 11:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.

Lev 11:3  Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.

Lev 11:4  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 11:5  And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

Lev 11:6  And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

Lev 11:7  And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.

Lev 11:8  Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

Lev 11:9  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 shall ye eat.

Lev 11:10  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 11:11  They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcasses in abomination.

Lev 11:12  WHATSOEVER HATH NO FINS NOR SCALES IN THE WATERS, THAT SHALL BE AN ABOMINATION UNTO YOU.

Lev 11:13  And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey,

Lev 11:14  And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;

Lev 11:15  Every raven after his kind;

Lev 11:16  And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind,

Lev 11:17  And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,

Lev 11:18  And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier-eagle,

Lev 11:19  And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

Lev 11:20  All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.

Lev 11:21  YET THESE MAY YE EAT OF EVERY FLYING CREEPING THING THAT GOETH UPON ALL FOUR, WHICH HAVE LEGS ABOVE THEIR FEET, TO LEAP WITHAL UPON THE EARTH;

Lev 11:22  EVEN THESE OF THEM YE MAY EAT; THE LOCUST AFTER HIS KIND, AND THE BALD LOCUST AFTER HIS KIND, AND THE BEETLE AFTER HIS KIND, AND THE GRASSHOPPER AFTER HIS KIND.

Lev 11:23  But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.

Lev 11:24  And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcass of them shall be unclean until the even.

Lev 11:25  And whosoever beareth aught of the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.

Lev 11:26  The carcasses of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not cloven-footed, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean.

Lev 11:27  And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcass shall be unclean until the even.

Lev 11:28  And he that beareth the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you.

Lev 11:29  These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind,

Lev 11:30  And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole.

Lev 11:31  These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.

Lev 11:32  And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.

Lev 11:33  And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it.

Lev 11:34  Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.

Lev 11:35  And every thing whereupon any part of their carcass falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you.

Lev 11:36  Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcass shall be unclean.

Lev 11:37  And if any part of their carcass fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean.

Lev 11:38  But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcass fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you.

Lev 11:39  And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcass thereof shall be unclean until the even.

Lev 11:40  And he that eateth of the carcass of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcass of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.

Lev 11:41  And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.

Lev 11:42  Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.

Lev 11:43  Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.

Lev 11:44  For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and YE SHALL BE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Lev 11:45  For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: YE SHALL THEREFORE BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.

Lev 11:46  This is the law 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:

Lev 11:47  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.

Verse 47 explains the grand purpose for all these instructions about clean and unclean.  Sinners are unclean to God, just as certain animals are unclean to us.  As Christians, we must learn to tell the difference between clean and unclean, sin versus righteousness.  Then we MUST become clean and holy before God in all aspects of our lives.  Just as certain animals are unclean in their entirety, even the blood and fat of clean animals are unclean for us to eat.

All animals that chew the cud and have a split hoof are clean to eat, such as goats, sheep, cattle, antelope, and many big game animals.  Some animals chew the cud, but do not have a split hoof, like the camel and rabbits.  Swine or pigs have a split hoof, but do not chew the cud, so they are unclean.

Leviticus 11:9 makes it clear that the only fish we can eat are the ones that have fins and scales.  Some fish such as catfish, sharks, whales, and others have fins, but no scales on their skin.  Any fish without both scales and fins are unclean and we should not eat them.  All of the other animals that live in the water, such as turtles, crayfish, lobster, shrimp, lizards, snakes and many others are unclean for humans to eat.  Anything that lives in the water and does not have fins and scales is unclean for humans.

Verses 13-20 make clear the kind of birds that we cannot eat.  Verses 21-22 name insects that humans may eat.  Verses 41-42 are describing the various assortment of worms, snakes, lizards, bugs, beetles, spiders, and such that must not be eaten.  The list goes on and on.  I think it is safe to say that only the locust and grasshoppers are clean for human food.

Deu 14:2  For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

Deu 14:3  Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.

Deu 14:4  These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,

Deu 14:5  The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.

Deu 14:6  And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.

Deu 14:7  Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.

Deu 14:8  And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.

Deu 14:9  These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:

Deu 14:10  And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.

Deu 14:11  Of all clean birds ye shall eat.

Deu 14:12  But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey,

Deu 14:13  And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,

Deu 14:14  And every raven after his kind,

Deu 14:15  And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind,

Deu 14:16  The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,

Deu 14:17  And the pelican, and the gier-eagle, and the cormorant,

Deu 14:18  And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

Deu 14:19  And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten.

Deu 14:20  But of all clean fowls ye may eat.

These verses repeat the description that we just read in Leviticus 11.

Clean birds that can be eaten like chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, all have a crop with a gizzard, which are the first organs of digestion.  Also, they have perching feet, three toes forward with one toe backward.  Unclean birds of prey have grasping feet with sharp talons like hawks and owls.  Most songbirds are clean. Parrots are not.  Birds that live on carrion such as vultures are unclean also.

Do not let yourselves be deceived as many people do.  The New Testament verses below are used to try to say that God cleansed all the unclean animals, which is totally untrue.

Act 10:9  On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

Act 10:10  And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

Act 10:11  And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

Act 10:12  Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

Act 10:13  And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

Act 10:14  But Peter said, NOT SO, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

Act 10:15  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Act 10:16  This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

Act 10:17  NOW WHILE PETER DOUBTED IN HIMSELF WHAT THIS VISION WHICH HE HAD SEEN SHOULD MEAN, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,

Verse 14 shows that Peter argued, saying “NOT SO.” Verse 17 says that from the start, Peter doubted what this vision might mean.  Peter knew that God had not cleansed the unclean animals.

Act 11:3  Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.

Act 11:4  But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,

Act 11:5  I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:

Act 11:6  Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

Act 11:7  And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.

Act 11:8  But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.

Act 11:9  But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Act 11:10  And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.

Acts 11 above says essentially the same thing.  Consider what God tells Peter in Acts 10:15 and Acts 11:9.

Act 10:15  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Act 11:9  But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

WHAT GOD HAS CLEANSED, DO NOT CALL IT COMMON.  Peter was a Jew, and the Jews of that time held all Gentiles in contempt, refusing to have any friendly relationship with any non-Jews.  Acts 10:28 and 11:18 show us that God had granted the Gentiles repentance just like the Jews.  Thus, repentance was opened up to the whole world.  Peters was accused of sinning because he ate with Gentiles.

Act 11:3  Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.

Act 10:28  And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Act 11:18  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Acts 11:15-16 tell us that as Peter watched, the Holy Spirit was given to the Gentiles, just as it had been given to the Jews earlier.  The animals that God created unclean for humans to eat, are still unclean to this day.  These two visions was used to teach Peter the lesson that Gentiles could receive the Holy Spirit  just like the Jews.

Act 11:15  And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.

Act 11:16  Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

God was simply making the point in these verses that salvation was offered to all people, Gentiles and Jews alike.  The Jews up to that point IN THEIR SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS had considered the Gentiles an unclean, lower life form.  That was NEVER God’s thought at all.  God used the example of unclean animals to make His point.  All humans will have to decide whether or not to obey God in all things.  Obeying the laws about clean and unclean foods is just as important as obeying the Sabbath and tithing laws.  DISOBEYING SHOWS AN ATTITUDE THAT GOD WILL NOT ACCEPT INTO HIS KINGDOM.  Regardless of your past eating habits, an attitude now should be to repent and say, YES, FATHER.  IF YOU SAY IT, I LOVE IT.

Published December, 2012

© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA
edgar@solidrockspeople.org
www.solidrockspeople.org