Clean or Unclean



One of the arguments commonly made for the eating of unclean meats is that Peter was told to eat them in Acts 10. Peter had been staying at the home of Simon the tanner in Joppa. While preparing to eat he had a vision. Cornelius, a Roman centurion also had a vision where he was told that he should send an envoy of men to find Peter. Let’s pick up the story in Acts 10:9-16.

(Acts 10:9-16 NKJV) The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. {10} Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance {11} and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. {12} In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. {13} And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." {14} But Peter said, "Not so, Master! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." {15} And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What Yahweh has cleansed you must not call common." {16} This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.

The first thing to notice is that Peter had never eaten unclean meats, not even after Yahshua’s resurrection perhaps ten years before. In fact he went so far as to not eat anything common or ceremonially unclean, i.e. not perfect enough to be sacrificed. The Greek word koinos, koy-nos' is translated as "common." See Strongs # 2839.

The sheet was shown to him three times. Peter’s conclusion is shown in verse 28. Notice that he did not interpret it as meaning he could begin eating unclean meats.

(Acts 10:28 NKJV) Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But Yahweh has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Jews in the first century were forbidden by traditional law to have social contact with Gentiles for fear of becoming ritually unclean and thereby not being able to participate in Temple worship. Simon Peter said it was unlawful for a Jewish man to keep company with a Gentile or go into his house. But that law was not a part of the Torah. It may have been a part of the Oral tradition established by the rabbis. And in this case, Peter not only went into a Gentile’s house but he even ate with him.

Another scripture that many religious Christians stumble over is found in Mark 7.

(Mark 7:18-19 NKJV) So He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, {19} "because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?"

The key to understanding this scripture is found by reading verses 1 and 2 at the beginning of the chapter. Let’s read them.

(Mark 7:1-2 NKJV) Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. {2} Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.

The disciples had not gone through the ritual hand washing traditions of the Pharisees before they began to eat. Messiah turned the conversation around to stress what really defiles a man in verses 20-23.

(Mark 7:20-23 NKJV) And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. {21} "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, {22} "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. {23} "All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

Paul also addressed the matter of abstaining from foods Yahweh had created. This is another scripture many religious Christians like to use to justify eating unclean meats.

(1 Tim 4:1-5 NKJV) Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, {2} speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, {3} forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which YHWH created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. {4} For every creature of Yahweh is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; {5} for it is sanctified by the word of Yahweh and prayer.

This scripture states that those who command that we abstain from foods which Yahweh created to be received with thanksgiving are giving heed to doctrines of demons. In as much as the laws concerning clean and unclean meats were given by Yahweh, to contradict those laws would be close to blasphemy. There are those who believe that if you just pray over food, you can purify whatever you eat. Yahweh has given us clean meats to be received with thanksgiving. Poisonous fruits and unclean meats were never intended to be received with thanksgiving.

Here is another verse used by people who want to justify eating unclean meats.

(Rom 14:1-2 NKJV) Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. {2} For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.

These verses are describing people who choose to eat vegetables for religious reasons. They think it is sinful to eat meat, any meat. In the next verses, Paul takes advantage of this situation by admonishing people not to judge such people.

(Rom 14:3-4 NKJV) Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for Yahweh has received him. {4} Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for Yahweh is able to make him stand.

At the end of the same chapter Paul describes such judgment as an evil influence which can encourage weak people to sin.

(Rom 14:23 NKJV) But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Let’s look at one more statement from which some get the idea they can eat whatever is put before them:

(1 Cor 10:25-27 NKJV) Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake; {26} for "the earth is Yahweh your Elohims, and all its fullness." {27} If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake.

Don’t these verses allow us to eat any kind of meat? It would seem so, but these verses must be understood in the context of the surrounding verses. Let’s read the context:

(1 Cor 10:19-28 NKJV) What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? {20} Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to Yahweh, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. {21} You cannot drink the cup of Yahweh the Elohim and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Master's table and of the table of demons. {22} Or do we provoke the Elohim to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? {23} All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. {24} Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being. {25} Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake; {26} for "the earth is Yahweh your Elohims, and all its fullness." {27} If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake. {28} But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the Master’s, and all its fullness."

The context provides four points:

1. Verses 19 and 28 shows that the subject is about meat offered to idols, not clean versus unclean meat.

2. One would usually not have to ask if the meat were pork. It’s usually fairly obvious. But it would not be known if it were offered to idols.

3. It would not be physically harmful to a person to eat meat offered to idols, but it might be harmful to the host if he thinks thereby that idol worship is acceptable.

4. The point is that these verses refer to idols, not to clean verus unclean meat.

It is well known that Greeks, to whom this book is written, didn’t eat pork.

Now, a word of caution: Many try to avoid what is unclean by looking on the product label to see what the product contains. If they see that the label is marked with a capital K, usually but not always within a circle, they assume the product to be free of any unclean meat products. The K stands for Kosher.

The Kosher mark indicates that a rabbi has certified the product to be free of unclean meats. In the case of gelatin, some would judge that certification to not be totally reliable. Gelatin is made from the hides and joints of animals such as cattle and pigs. It is claimed that in the process of making gelatin, a chemical and physical change takes place which alters the material so that its original identity as meat is lost. Additionally, there are some more liberal groups of Judaism which do not strictly follow the laws of clean and unclean meats. A rabbi of one of these more liberal groups is less likely to prohibit the consumption of these altered products and is therefore more willing to certify the resulting product as Kosher even though its source may be from pigs. Orthodox rabbis disagree with marking gelatin which may be from pigs as Kosher. Obviously, a food producer who uses gelatin is very willing to have his product marked Kosher.

One final scripture which is commonly used to justify eating unclean meats (and several other "freedoms" regarding keeping the law) is found in Paul’s letter to the Colossians.

(Col 2:13-17 NKJV) And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh [gentiles], He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, {14} having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. {15} Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. {16} So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, {17} which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Messiah.

The essence of these verses is that we need not worry about how others judge us in these matters. When looking at the early manuscripts of this verse, one will find that verse 17 states "which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance [body] of Messiah." The word "is" has been added to verse 17. Earlier references to "the body of Messiah" in this book show that the body of Messiah are the fellow believers, the Congregation. Let our judges be those in the church who are Biblically knowledgeable, not unbelievers who look for ways to avoid the law. Those who quote this scripture usually point out that this scripture somehow proves that the law was nailed to the cross. We have already shown that YHWH’S law was observed and kept long after Messiah’s crucifixion. What was nailed to the cross were the traditions of men which were being enforced by religious leaders of His day.

One of Paul’s statements to the Corinthians included the following:

(2 Cor 6:16-18 NKJV) And what agreement has the temple of YHWH with idols? For you are the temple of the living YHWH. As Yahweh has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their Elohim And they shall be My people." {17} Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Master. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." {18} "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says YHWH Elohim Almighty."

Verse 17 is quoted from Isaiah 52:11. Paul did not question Old Testament law and Old Testament promises. Neither should we.

YHWH has provided us with meat which is clean and meat which is unclean. Like Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit, it is another opportunity for us to decide whether we will obey YHWH or not. It is not so much a matter of whether we will be physically harmed by eating that which is unclean. Even with the advanced technology of today, we still do not know whether the eating of unclean creatures will hurt us physically. But what we do know is that the eating or even touching of that which is declared to be unclean will harm us spiritually. For as we just read in verses 17 and 18: If we will separate ourselves from the ways of the society around us and not touch that which is unclean, Yahweh will receive us and be a Father to us, and we shall be His sons and daughters. In these end-time days, when the growing schism between good and evil is becoming ever more apparent, when Satan’s fury to destroy mankind is increasing worldwide in the form of hatred, rebellion, violence and degeneracy, isn’t it time to please Yahweh and be received as sons and daughters of Yahweh our Elohim . Isn’t that enough incentive to avoid unclean meats?


Isaiah/Yasha/Yahu 66:17

"Those who Sanctify and Purify themselves to go to the gardens, Following one in the center,

 

Who eat Swine's Flesh, Detestable things and mice, Will come to an end altogether," declares YAHUAH!

 

Isaiah/Yasha/Yahu 65:2-4

I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; A people that provoke Me to Anger Continually to My Face; that sacrifice in gardens, and burn incense upon altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments,

 

Which Eat Swine's Flesh, and broth of Abominable things is in Their Vessels.

 

Leviticus/U Yaqra 11:7 

And the swine(pig), though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.

 

YASHAYAHU/Isaiah 65:4 

Who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of swine(pig), and whose pots hold broth of Unclean Meat;

 

Ezekiel/Yachazaq'Al 4:14 

Then I said, "Not so, Sovereign YAHUAH! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No unclean meat has ever entered my mouth."

 

Deuteronomy 14: 3-20  

3  “You shall not eat any abomination. 

 

9 “Of all that are in the waters you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales you may eat. 10 And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.

 

 8 And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch.

 

 

11 “You may eat all clean birds. 

12 But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, 

 

13 the kite, the falcon of any kind; 

 

14 every raven of any kind;

15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; 

16 the little owl and the short-eared owl, the barn owl 

17 and the tawny owl, the carrion vulture and the cormorant, 

18 the stork, the heron of any kind; the hoopoe and the bat. 

9 And all winged insects are unclean for you; they shall not be eaten. 

20 All clean winged things you may eat.

 

 

 

4  These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 

 

5 the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex,[a] the antelope, and the mountain sheep.

 

6 Every animal that parts the hoof and has the hoof cloven in two and chews the cud, among the

animals, you may eat. 

 

7 Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cloven you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not part the hoof, are unclean for you. 

 

 

8 And the Swine(pig), because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch.

 

Isaiah/Yasha/Yahu 1:6

From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

 

Deuteronomy/Dabarym 7:26

And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.

 

 

Leviticus Chapter 11

1 And YAHUAH spake unto MASHAH/Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,

 

2 Speak unto the children of YASHARAL/Israel, saying, These [are] the beasts which you shall eat among all the beasts that [are] on the earth.

 

3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, [and] chew the cud, among the beasts, that shall you eat.

 

4 Nevertheless these shall you 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.

 

5 And the coney, because he chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; he [is] unclean unto you.

 

6 And the hare, because he chew the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he [is] unclean unto you.

 

7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he chew not the cud; he [is] unclean to you.

 

8 Of their flesh shall you not eat, and their carcase shall you not touch; they [are] unclean to you.

 

9 These shall you 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 you eat.

 

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:

 

11 They shall be even an Abomination unto you; you shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in Abomination.

12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that [shall be] an Abomination unto you.

 

13 And these [are they which] you shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they [are] an Abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,

 

14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;

 

15 Every raven after his kind;

 

16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,

 

17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,

 

18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,

 

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

 

20 All fowls that creep, going upon [all] four, [shall be] an Abomination unto you.

 

21 Yet these may you eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon [all] four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;

 

22 [Even] these of them you 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.

 

23 But all [other] flying creeping things, which have four feet, [shall be] an Abomination unto you.

 

24 And for these you shall be unclean: whosoever touch the carcase of them shall be unclean until the evening.

 

25 And whosoever bear [ought] of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.

 

26 [The carcases] of every beast which divideth the hoof, and [is] not clovenfooted, nor chew the cud, [are] unclean unto you: every one that touch them shall be unclean.

 

27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on [all] four, those [are] unclean unto you: whoso touch their carcase shall be unclean until the even.

 

28 And he that bear the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they [are] unclean unto you.

 

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,

 

30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole.

 

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

 

32 And upon whatsoever [any] of them, when they are dead, do 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.

 

33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto [any] of them fall, whatsoever [is] in it shall be unclean; and you shall break it.

 

34 Of all meat which may be eaten, [that] on which [such] water come shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every [such] vessel shall be unclean.

 

35 And every [thing] whereupon [any part] of their carcase fall shall be unclean; [whether it be] for pots, they  [for] they [are] unclean, and shall be unclean unto you.

 

36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, [where there is] plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which touch their carcase shall be unclean.

 

37 And if [any part] of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it [shall be] clean.

 

38 But if [any] water be put upon the seed, and [any part] of their carcase fall thereon, it [shall be] unclean unto you.

 

39 And if any beast, of which you may eat, die; he that touch the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even.

 

40 And he that eat of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that bear the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.

 

41 And every creeping thing that creep upon the earth [shall be] an Abomination; it shall not be eaten.

 

42 Whatsoever go upon the belly, and whatsoever go upon [all] four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them you shall not eat; for they [are] an Abomination.

 

43 You shall not make yourselves Abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall you make yourselves unclean with them, that you should be defiled thereby.

 

44 For I [am] YAHUAH your ALAHYM=MIGHTY ONE: you shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be SET-APART; for I [Am] SET-APART: neither shall you defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

 

45 For I [Am] YAHUAH that brings you up out of the land of MYSTRAYM/Egypt, to be your ALAHYM=MIGHTY ONE: you shall therefore be SET-APART, for I [Am] SET-APART.

 

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:

 

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.

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