Posts Tagged ‘kosher’

Parashah 29: Acharei Mot (After the death)

Leviticus 16:1-18:30
(In a regular year, read with Parashah 30; in a leap year read separately.)

“Adonai spoke with Moshe after the death of Aharon’s two sons, when they tried to sacrifice before Adonai and died; Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Tell your brother Aharon not to come at just any time into the Holy Place beyond the curtain, in front of the ark-cover which is on the ark, so that he will not die; because I appear in the cloud over the ark-cover’”(Leviticus 16:1).

Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement

After the events with Aaron’s sons, Adonai outlines the regulations for entering the Holy of Holies behind the Holy Curtain in front of the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron was not allowed to come in just any time because Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh appears in the cloud over the kapparah. He was only allowed to enter on Yom Kippur, the day of atoning for the sins of Isra’el, the priesthood, and the Tabernacle; it was a solemn day of fasting.

Aaron was to bathe and put on the holy garments: the linen tunic with the linen shorts next to his bare flesh. He was to wrap the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban.

Linen is worn by anyone who is set-apart to Elohim. Along with the priesthood, kings, and angelic beings, the armies of Yeshua and his Bride wear linen (Revelation 19:8,14). Mordecai was given a linen robe when he was paraded around Susa (Esther 8:15). David danced before the Ark of the Covenant as it was brought into Jerusalem wearing a linen Levitical garment and a linen ephod (2 Samuel 6:14, 1 Chronicles 15:27). Yeshua was wrapped in linen for burial (John 10:40).

When Aaron entered the Mishkan, he was to bring one bull, one ram, and two male goats.  The ram was sacrificed as a burnt offering which made atonement for himself and his family.  The two goats were placed at the entrance to the Mishkan. Lots were cast for the goats; one lot for Elohim and the other for Az’azel. The goat on which the lot fell for Adonai was a sin offering. The goat whose lot fell to Az’azel was presented alive, used for making atonement, and sent into the desert.

The bull was slaughtered as a sin offering for Aaron and his household. From the burning coals on the Altar, Aaron filled a censer. He filled his hands with fragrant incense and brought it inside the Holy Place. He put the incense on the fire so the cloud from the incense would cover the kapparah and he wouldn’t die. He took some of the bull’s blood and sprinkled it seven times with his finger on the kapparah toward the right and in front of the kapparah.

The entrance to the Mishkan where offerings were brought to the cohanim was on the eastern side. The entrance to the Most Holy Place also faced east. When the high priest entered through the veil into the Holy of Holies, he was on the eastern side of the Ark of the Covenant. When the high priest put the blood on the eastern side, it was on the entrance side to the throne room of yod-hey-vav-hey.

“There I saw the glory of the God of Isra’el approaching from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water, and the earth shone with his glory. The vision seemed like the vision I had seen when I came to destroy the city; also the visions were like the vision I had seen by the K’var River; and I fell on my face. Adonai’s glory entered the house through the gate facing east” (Ezekiel 43:2-5).

When the Jews pray at the Western Wall of the Temple mount in Jerusalem, they face east toward the Mount of Olives. When Yeshua returns, he will put his feet on the Mount of Olives which will split in half from east to west making a huge valley. They will be the first witnesses of this extraordinary event (Zechariah 14:4). Yeshua will enter Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate of Ezekiel’s Millennial Temple.

No specific instructions are given for the placement of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.  Some speculate that rather than sitting in the middle, it was situated on the northern side facing south.  This is alludes to Adonai’s judgments coming from the north; therefore, His Throne must be toward the north (Job 37:22). The Temple itself was also situated in the northern part of the city of Jerusalem.

If the Ark of the Covenant sat on the northern side of the Holy of Holies, then the eastern side would be the right side as the priest stood in front of it.  When he sprinkled the blood, it would be at the ‘right hand’ of Adonai’s Throne where Yeshua sits in glory (Luke 22:69, Colossians 3:1). Wherever the Ark of the Covenant sat in the Holy of Holies, Adonai required sprinkling of blood seven times to enter the throne room in order to complete the process and allowing Aaron to live.

The high priest also made atonement for the Mishkan and the Altar of Sacrifice with some of the bull’s blood by putting it on the four horns of the Altar.  He was to sprinkle the blood seven times using his finger to purify it from the ‘uncleanness’ of the people of Isra’el.  No other person was allowed in the Tabernacle, the Holy of Holies or the Altar of Sacrifice for the atonements of the priest, his family, and the community of Isra’el.

On Yom Kippur, not only the people received atonement, but also the holy objects. Objects like the Tabernacle, the Altar of Sacrifice, and the Ark of the Covenant could not sin, but they needed purification because of the sinful people who ministered there. They also needed purification from the people of Isra’el because the Altar became defiled through their sins.

In Ezekiel’s vision of the Millennial Temple, there is an Altar of Sacrifice. It will be for the unredeemed people living during the Millennium who need to make offerings. The same protocol will be used for this Altar of Sacrifice during the Messianic Era. It will also need to be cleansed from the sins of the human priesthood and the defilement of humanity.

The Two Goats

After the priest laid his hands on the two goats he said, “A sin-offering to Adonai (speaking the Tetragrammaton) and the two men accompanying him replied, ‘Blessed be the name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.’  He then fastened a scarlet woolen thread to the head of the goat ‘for Az’azel’ and laying his hands upon it again, recited the following confession of sin and prayer for forgiveness: ‘O Lord, I have acted iniquitously, trespassed, sinned before Thee: I, my household, and the sons of Aaron Thy holy ones. O Lord, forgive the iniquities, transgressions, and sins that I, my household, and Aaron’s children, Thy holy people, committed before Thee, as is written in the law of Moses, Thy servant, “for on this day He will forgive you, to cleanse you from all your sins before the Lord; ye shall be clean.’”

The first goat was slaughtered as a sin offering for the people of Isra’el. Its blood was brought inside the Holy Curtain and sprinkled on the kapparah as was the blood of the bull, purifying the Holy of Holies because of the ‘uncleanness’ of the people and their transgressions. The same was done for the Tabernacle and the Altar of Sacrifice to cleanse it from defilement.

The Mishnah continues, “Then a man was selected, preferably a priest, to take the goat to the precipice in the wilderness; and he was accompanied part of the way by the most eminent men of Jerusalem. Ten booths had been constructed at intervals along the road leading from Jerusalem to the steep mountain. At each one of these, the man leading the goat was formally offered food and drink, which he, however, refused. When he reached the tenth booth, those who accompanied him proceeded no further, but watched the ceremony from a distance. When he came to the precipice, he divided the scarlet thread into two parts, one of which he tied to the rock and the other to the goat’s horns, and then pushed the goat down.  The cliff was so high and rugged that before the goat had traversed half the distance to the plain below, its limbs were utterly shattered. Men were stationed at intervals along the way, and as soon as the goat was thrown down the precipice, they signaled to one another by means of kerchiefs or flags, until the information reached the high priest, whereat he proceeded with the other parts of the ritual.”

The Scapegoat or Az’azel

“No longer will they offer sacrifices to the goat-demons, before whom they prostitute themselves” (Leviticus 17:7).

In the Dead Sea Scrolls, the name Az’azel is found in the Book of the Giants, a section of the Book of Enoch that describes the activities of the fallen angels during the ‘days of Noach.’ According to the book, Az’azel was one of the leaders of the rebellious ‘Watchers’ who had sexual relations with human women (Genesis 6:24).

Az’azel taught human men the art of warfare: making swords, knives, shields, and coats of mail.  He taught human women the art of deception through ornamenting the body: dying the hair and painting the face and eyebrows with cosmetics.   He also revealed to both men and women the secrets of witchcraft leading them into wickedness and impurity (1 Enoch 8:1–3a).

The corruption brought on by Az’azel defiled the human race until all flesh, including human bloodlines, was corrupt except for Noach and his family. The four archangels, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Phanuel, “saw much blood being shed upon the earth and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth….  The souls of men [made] their suit, saying, ‘Bring our cause before the Most High…. Thou seest what Az’azel hath done, who hath taught all unrighteousness on earth and revealed the eternal secrets which were in heaven, which men were striving to learn’” (1 Enoch 9:1-4).

Elohim sees the sin brought about by Az’azel and has Raphael “bind Az’azel hand and foot and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert – which is in Dudael – and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever, and cover his face that he may not see light”(1 Enoch 10:6).

“And the angels that did not keep within their original authority, but abandoned their proper sphere, he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for the Judgment of the Great Day” (Jude 6).

Az’azel means ‘scapegoat’ and ‘rugged and strong’ referring to the cliff from which it would fall and die. Some commentary suggests Az’azel, the most mysterious being in sacred writings, was not just a supernatural being, but second in command to the Adversary. In the regulations for Yom Kippur, the ‘scapegoat’ is given the task of removing the wickedness and impurity brought about by a fallen angel named Az’azel.

“The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin” (1 Enoch 10:8).

There is no mention in Scripture that the Israelites ever sacrificed to goat-demons, only to the ‘god’ of the golden calf. However, Adonai is preparing them to enter and conquer the Promised Land from giants, the descendants of the Nephilim, who may themselves worship ‘goat-demons.’

Hebrew Word Pictures
Scapegoat or Az’azel – עזאזל – ayin, zayin, alef, zayin, lamed
– understand the division of the first strength, the division that urges forward

A tradition developed with the scarlet woolen thread placed on a rock before taking the goat into the desert. After the Temple was built, the scarlet thread was tied on the door of the Temple. When the thread supernaturally turned white, the priests and the people of Isra’el would breathe a sign of relief: the goat had shed his blood and their wickedness had been removed.

The Talmud records that during the 40 years that Simon the Just was high priest, the thread on the rock actually turned white as soon as the goat was thrown over the precipice: a sign that the sins of the people were forgiven. In later times, the change to white was not invariable: a proof of the people’s moral and spiritual deterioration was gradually on the increase, until 40 years before the destruction of the Second Temple when the change of color was no longer observed.

Selah
The scarlet thread represents the blood of the High Priest who made atonement for sin in 30 CE.

After the scapegoat was sent out into the desert, the high priest returned to the Mishkan where he bathed and changed his clothes.  The remnants of the burnt offering were burned outside the camp.  The man who went with the goat had to wash his clothes and bathe before he could return to camp.

“Watch out, so that no one will take you captive by means of philosophy and empty deceit, following human tradition which accords with the elemental spirits of the world but does not accord with the Messiah. Don’t let anyone deny you the prize by insisting that you engage in self-mortification or angel-worship [demons]. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he [Yeshua] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:8,15,18).

One Place for Sacrifices

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Speak to Aharon and his sons and to all the people of Isra’el. Tell them that this is what Adonai has ordered: “When someone from the community of Isra’el slaughters an ox, lamb or goat inside or outside the camp without bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to Adonai before the tabernacle of Adonai, he is to be charged with blood — he has shed blood, and that person is to be cut off from his people”’” (Leviticus 17:1-4).

Sacrifices were only offered at the entrance to the Mishkan.  If anyone sacrificed an animal anywhere else, whether inside or outside the camp, it was as if they had shed blood. Because the life of an animal is in the blood, shedding the blood of an ox, ram, lamb or goat anywhere but the Altar of Sacrifice was considered murder. This instruction kept the Israelites from sacrificing to goat-demons in the fields. This instruction keeps them from sacrificing animals wherever they live in the diaspora.

Some gentiles have started to sacrifice a lamb or goat at Passover. Adonai sees this as idolatry. By trying to guard Torah, these well-meaning people actually break Adonai’s command and sin. There is and will only ever be one acceptable place for sacrifices and offerings –– Altar of Sacrifice in the Temple.  Until there is a Temple in Jerusalem, sacrifices offered elsewhere are an abomination to Adonai.

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life. This is why I told the people of Isra’el, ‘None of you is to eat blood, nor is any foreigner living with you to eat blood’” (Leviticus 17:11-12).

Isra’el and foreigners living with them are not to eat or drink blood. Blood is to be drained from any ‘clean’ animal whether it is hunted or caught, whether it’s a mammal or bird.  The blood is to be poured out and covered with dirt. 

From this instruction in Leviticus 17, the priests developed the concept of kosher, meat of ‘clean’ animals from which all the blood is drained.   Shechita is the Hebrew word for the humane way of slaughtering an animal for dietary consumption that shows respect and compassion for the animal since “its life is in its blood.”

Hebrew Word Pictures
Kosher – כשר – kaf, shin, resh
– open and consume the highest authority

Shichita (Slaughter) – שחיטה – shin, chet, yod, tet, hey
– consume and protect the finished work of twisting, revealed

I remember the only time my dad shot a deer.  He hung the animal upside down from a tree in our backyard.  Underneath its head, he had dug a hole that caught the blood which had frozen because it was very cold.   I asked my dad why he had done that with the deer and he told me that it had to be drained of its blood in order to eat it.  More recently, my son-in-law who is a fishing guide in Alaska told me that when a salmon is caught, it is floated in the river in order to allow the blood to drain from it. When I explained the Biblical reason for what he was doing, he was intrigued.

Selah
Defrosting meat in the refrigerator does not allow the blood to drain from the meat.
I was taught to defrost meat outside the refrigerator because the warmer temperature allows the blood to drain from the meat so as not to consume blood.


Sexual Immorality

“Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Speak to the people of Isra’el, tell them, I am Adonai your God.  You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws.  You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai your God.  You are to observe my laws and rulings, if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai’” (Leviticus 18:1-5).

Sexual immorality is practiced many different ways and must have been rampant in Egypt because Adonai refers back to Egyptian practices along with those of the nations they are going to displace in the Promised Land. Incestuous relationships with family members, sisters and brothers, had not been condemned until Adonai sets up His righteous standard for sexual interaction within the family unit. The best explanation for this is that the farther away from perfection in the Garden of Eden, human genetics became more corrupt.

“You are not to have sexual relations with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination”
(Leviticus 18:22).

Marriage in western culture is being attacked every day.  Same-sex marriage has become legal because homosexual relations, or sodomy, are no longer illegal and have been normalized. To call any sexual behavior deviant, let alone an abomination to Adonai, is considered judgmental, unloving, and hateful.  Yet, for the One who created us male and female, the practice of sodomy still remains an abomination. Churches that have succumbed to the tolerance mantra also accept homosexuals, not only in their fellowship, but as priests and pastors. Recently, one mainstream ministry that considered itself Bible-based decided to allow homosexuals to be part of their international missions. After outrage by non-western nations, they had to change their position.

Abomination means ‘to cause hatred or disgust.’  Homosexuality disgusts Adonai and causes Him to hate. Adonai can and does hate (Proverbs 6:16-19). He can deny entrance to His eternal Kingdom to those who practice such behaviors (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Revelation 22:14-15). To overcome this sin and be acceptable to Elohim only requires acknowledging homosexual activity as sin and repenting from it. Rafa-El will forgive the sin and begin healing the wounds that caused the sin.

“You are not to have sexual relations with any kind of animal and thu s become unclean with it; nor is any woman to present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; it is perversion” (Leviticus 18:23).

Sex with an animal is called beastiality. With the premise of same-sex marriage being that people should be able to marry, and have sex whomever or whatever they love, it won’t be long until beastiality becomes a hot political issue. In Denmark, sex with an animal or ‘zoophilia’ is already legal and Danish lawmakers are fighting to make it illegal. This behavior is not only cruel to the animal (where is PETA now), but is an abomination to Adonai.

”’STDs in animals and humans have a historical relationship. Two or three of the major STDs have come from animals,’ says Alonso Aguirre, a veterinarian and vice president for conservation medicine at Wildlife Trust. ‘We know, for example, that gonorrhea came from cattle to humans. Syphilis also came to humans from cattle or sheep many centuries ago, possibly sexually. The most recent, as well as the deadliest, STD to migrate to humans is HIV, which hunters acquired from the blood of chimpanzees,’ says Aguirre. ‘The disease became transmissible from one person to another through semen and other bodily fluids after it had spread to the human population.’”

When a horse is mated with a donkey, a sterile animal is born –– a mule. If a similar thing occurred with spiritual angels and human women, their Nephilim offspring would be sterile. Could the issues today with gender confusion and sexual identity be evidence of sterile Nephilim (demons) possessing fathers and mothers who gender ‘neutralize’ their children? Younger and young children take hormones and the ultimate consequence will be mass sterilization. Those binary individuals and claim to be multiple genders are being deceived by the same spirit that created the idea of Adam and Eve being androgynous. These abominations are not new as there is ‘nothing new under the sun,’ but they are evidence that we are living in the ‘days of Noach.’

“You are not to let any of your children be sacrificed to Molekh, thereby profaning the name of your God; I am Adonai” (Leviticus 18:21).

Molech, derived from the Hebrew root melek meaning ‘king,’ refers to the Ammonite god who is depicted as a bronze statue that was heated with fire and into which human sacrifices were thrown. Fire-gods were worshiped by Canaanite, Syrian and Arab tribes through burning or sacrificing children in the fire. According to Jewish history, an image of Molech made of hollow brass stood in Jerusalem. Isra’el was warned multiple times by the prophets not to pass their children through the fire to Molech(2 Kings 23:10, Jeremiah 32:35). Human sacrifice, especially children to a god by fire, is murder and idolatry, both abominations to Adonai (Jeremiah 19:4-6).

“Yes, they shed innocent blood, the blood of their own sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to Kena‘an’s false gods, polluting the land with blood” (Psalm 106:38).

Abortion could be compared to child sacrifice because the blood of innocent children is being poured out onto the ground (and into garbage cans).  The murder of the innocent profanes the name of Adonai who is the Creator of life and instructs His people that no one is to pour the blood of their children out at any altar, including His.  The results of this immoral behavior is defilement of the land until the land itself vomits the people out of it.

“For the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled. If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you. For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people” (Leviticus 18:27-29).

When Elohim says the land will ‘vomit,’ he uses the Hebrew word qo which means ‘to spew out.’ Yeshua tells the Laodiceans that he will ‘vomit’ them out of his mouth. The Greek word emeo is used for ‘vomit’ and means ‘showing utter rejection.’ The land will ‘spew out’ the Canaanites because of their abominations. The Israelites, if they imitate the idolatries will be spewed out and utterly rejected.

“Throw out the worthless slave [servant] into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).

“[But] without [in the other darkness] are the dogs [gentiles] and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating)” (Revelation 22:15, AMP).

In a recent conversation with some believers, they questioned whether or not Elohim cares what we do. They supposed He does not care because of His grace, love, and mercy for everyone. They could not grasp that though Adonai loves us, our disobedience and sin breaks fellowship with Him. This could be compared to a child who is deeply loved by their parents, but disobeys their parents’ rules. Until there is correction for the behavior, fellowship between the parent and child remains broken. The only way to restore fellowship is for the child to accept their sin and repent from it. The love of a father includes discipline, and those who refuse discipline will be utterly rejected by the Father (Hebrews 12:6).

“You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai our God. You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai” (Leviticus 18:4-5).

Yeshua, the Way of Life

“You keep examining the Tanakh because you think that in it you have eternal life. Those very Scriptures bear witness to me, but you won’t come to me in order to have life!” (John 5:39)

Shim‘on Kefa answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life”
(John 6:68).

“Yeshua said, ‘I Am’ the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“A man approached Yeshua and said, ‘Rabbi, what good thing should I do in order to have eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘Why are you asking me about good? There is One who is good! But if you want to obtain eternal life, observe the mitzvot’” (Matthew 19:16-17).

“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure” (John 10:10).

“For I have not spoken on my own initiative, but the Father who sent me has given me a command, namely, what to say and how to say it. And I know that his command is eternal life. So what I say is simply what the Father has told me to say” (John 12:49-50).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

The Flesh of Swine

“I made myself accessible to those who didn’t ask for me, I let myself be found by a nation not called by my name. I spread out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who follow their own inclinations; a people who provoke me to my face all the time; they eat pig meat and their pots hold soup made from disgusting things” (Isaiah 65:1-4).

It’s not what goes into a man that makes him ‘unclean,’ it’s what comes out. Jesus made all foods clean in Mark 7; read Acts chapter 10 if you don’t believe me. Peter ate with gentiles so he had to have eaten pork. What about the Council of Jerusalem? There were only four requirements for gentiles. The broken record continues to skip, skip, skip.

Rightly Dividing Mark 7

“The Pharisees and some of the teachers of law Torah who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Yeshua and saw some of his disciples eating food with ‘unclean‘ – that is, ceremonially unwashed-hands” (verse 1).

Verse 1 states two specific things that set the foundation for the entire chapter. First, the disciples are eating food. The Greek word for ‘food’ in this verse is artos and means ‘bread.’ The disciples are not eating just any food, they are eating bread. Second, they have not ceremonially washed their hands.

“The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders” (verse 2).

Verse 2 explains that hand washing was a prerequisite to eating food, in this case bread. Hand washing had become a man-made tradition that even included a prescribed way to wash the hands.

“When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash.  And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles” (verse 3).

Verse 3 expounds on the tradition that was not just about hand washing, but about everything used for eating. The ‘tradition of the elders’ made cooking and eating a burden because of all the rules, including the ritual hand washing.

“So the Pharisees and teachers of the Torah asked Yeshua, ‘Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean‘ hands?” (verse 4).

The question the Pharisees ask in Verse 4 has nothing to do with what the disciples were eating, but why they were not following the ‘tradition of the elders’ with regard to ceremonial hand washing. According to these leaders, the disciples were eating bread with unwashed or ‘unclean’ hands.

“Yeshua replied, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.’ And he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions’” (verses 6-8).

From this point, there is no further mention of artos –– bread. The ‘traditions of the elders’ are being disputed in Mark chapter 7, the man-made Jewish rituals that nullify the commandments of God, specifically in reference to hand washing.

Yeshua continues to give other examples of when the Pharisees and teachers of Torah “nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down” (verse 13).

“Again Yeshua called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.  Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him.  Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean’” (verse 14).

Yeshua doesn’t mention food or bread in Verse 14. He says that nothing ‘outside’ a man can make him ‘unclean.’

“After he had left the crowd and entered the house, the disciples asked him about this parable.  ‘Are you so dull?’ he asked.  ‘Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’?  For it doesn’t go into his heart, but into his stomach, and then out of his body (into the latrine)” (verses 17-19).

Yeshua never mentions bread or even food when he explains the parable to his disciples. He says that nothing entering a man from outside makes him ‘unclean.’ The issue still being discussed is ceremonial hand washing. Yeshua’s disciples could have come from the marketplace, a grain field or even from fishing in the Sea of Galilee. Their hands were dirty and they were eating bread. This offended the leaders who held to the ‘tradition of the elders’ with regard to ritual hand washing. According to their tradition, no one is supposed to eat food, in this case bread, with dirty hands. Yeshua tells his disciples that dirty hands don’t make a man dirty or ‘unclean’ in his heart. The dirt that may enter his mouth on the bread from his unwashed hands will go through his body and out into the toilet.

Verse 19 causes all the confusion, “In saying this, Yeshua declared all foods clean.” In some versions of the Bible, there is a footnote clarifying that this parenthetical statement was added later by translators, meaning that some translator injected his doctrinal opinion rather than taking the Scriptural words and discussion at face value.

However, what the translator wrote is also true. Everything created by God for food is ‘clean.’ However, the specific food spoken about in this passage, bread, has always been, and always will be ‘clean.’ Some versions of the Bible have translated artos as ‘meat’ taking Yeshua’s parable in a very different direction than what the Pharisees asked, Yeshua explained, and his disciples understood.

What God Considers Food

Leviticus 11:1-23 outlines what God considers food and what He does not. These verses are referred to as ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ laws or the dietary regulations. These regulations are not only for the Jews because they are God’s dietary instructions; not Jewish tradition. Gentiles who put their faith in Yeshua and are adopted into the ‘Commonwealth of Israel’ are not excluded from obeying Torah commands.

“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Say to the Israelites: “Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud. There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you. The hyrax, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.’””

“‘Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean. And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.’”

“‘These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.’”

“‘All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you. There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.’”

God’s dietary instructions include more ‘unclean’ animals than just the pig. There is the rabbit, the camel, bear, and the hyrax. There are creatures in the ocean without fins and scales that are not considered food: sharks, eels, oysters, shrimp, and crabs. Birds such as vultures, ravens, hawks, and owls are not considered food. Insects that walk on all fours are not considered food. Verse 11 clearly states the word ‘unclean’ means ‘not food’: “And since you are to regard them as ‘unclean,’ you must not eat their meat.”

Noah Ate Everything, Right?

Noah lived before God gave His dietary instructions to Israel. Before the flood and during his lifetime, people ate only what they produced from the earth. According to the book of Enoch, in which more details are given for the ‘days of Noah,’ the Nephilim ate everything: every animal, bird, and creature. They even drank the blood of men. They devoured the earth and defiled humanity. God not only saw the lawlessness of the Nephilim, but also every evil inclination in the heart of mankind. He decided to wipe the human race from the earth and with them, the animals, the birds, and creatures that move along the ground (Genesis 6:5-7).

Within this context, Noah was commanded to build an Ark. He was also told to take with him into the Ark “seven pairs of every kind of ‘clean’ animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of ‘unclean’ animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth” (Genesis 7:2-3).

“Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah” (Genesis 7:8).

Twice it is mentioned that Noah took ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ animals with him on the Ark. Because Noah had never eaten the meat of animals, he probably didn’t know the difference between ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ so God brought the animals to him. From what he was shown in pairs of two or seven pairs of two, he learned and understood the difference immediately.

After the floodwaters subsided and the Ark rested on Ararat, Noah and the animals left the Ark. At this time, Noah worshiped God by offering a sacrifice. He used some of the ‘clean’ animals and birds, but none of the ‘unclean.’

“Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.  The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done’” (Genesis 8:19-21).

“Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.  Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you.  Just as I gave you green plants, I now give you everything’” (Genesis 9:3).

It would seem that after the flood, Noah could eat the meat of every animal that came with him on the Ark because “everything that lives and moves about will be food for you.” However, if Noah ate one of the pigs, rabbits or hawks, they would have immediately become extinct since there were only one male and one female of every ‘unclean’ animal.

Though Noah had eaten ‘all green plants,’ he probably didn’t eat Aminita mushrooms or poison ivy or the green leaves of rhubarb. Just as some plants were not edible and created as food, some animals had purposes other than food. The camel is a beast of burden as is a horse. A hawk cleans up dead animals on the earth while shrimp and crabs clean up the dead, decaying creatures on the sea bottom. God saying that just as Noah had green plants to eat so he has all animals cannot be all-inclusive given the information God has revealed to Noah regarding the number and pairs of animals brought onto the Ark.

Part of the sacrificial or offering system that was established by God with Israel included feeding the Levitical priesthood. They had been given no land inheritance, no livestock, no farms. They were fed from the offerings, all of which were ‘clean’ animals or those that God created for food. It is the same for Noah. He did not sacrifice and eat ‘unclean’ animals; he sacrificed and ate the ‘clean’ ones that had been shown to him as he entered the Ark. He knew what animal meat God considered food and what He did not.

Making all foods ‘clean’ was not the purpose of Noah’s deliverance from the polluted world of the Nephilim nor was it the message of the prophets, Yeshua or the apostles. It was not the purpose of Peter’s vision nor the conclusion of the Council of Jerusalem.

What About Peter’s vision?

“About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’”

“‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’”

“The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’”

“This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.”

“While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.”

“While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.’”

Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?” (Acts 10:9-21)

This account in Acts 10 is about a vision, a trance, and not an actual event. Just as Joseph’s dreams didn’t literally come true, but had spiritual meaning, so does Peter’s vision.

Peter went to the roof to pray. He was hungry and had a vision of a sheet filled with all kinds of ‘unclean’ animals. In the King James Version, this sheet was bound at the four corners suggesting that it was a talit or prayer shawl which adds another dimension to the spiritual meaning of the vision. When God tells Peter to “get up, kill and eat’,” Peter’s first response is, “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

Peter’s first response is to refuse to eat animals that are not considered food. This seems like a strange response from one of Yeshua’s disciples. Peter would have been with Yeshua when he “made all foods clean” in Mark chapter 7 if, in fact, that is what Yeshua actually did. Of course, after dissecting Mark verse by verse, it is clear that Yeshua was not talking about ‘clean‘ and ‘unclean’ foods, but the tradition of ritual hand washing. If Yeshua had, during his lifetime, made the meat of all animals ‘clean,’ Peter, of all the disciples, would have known and should have had a different response to God’s command. If Yeshua had, after his resurrection, made all meats clean, Peter, of all the apostles, surely would have known and should have had a different first response.

God speaks to Peter a second time because Peter is not understanding the vision. Even after the second time, he still doesn’t understand, and God speaks to him a third time. Many well-meaning, but untaught Christians immediately conclude that this vision was about the sudden realization that everything from horse to clams is now considered food; however, Peter, who experienced the vision was still wondering about its meaning even after being told three times! While Peter is still thinking about the vision, some men come to visit him.

At this time was a tradition that a Jewish person would not step foot in a gentile’s home. This was an understood tradition and one that Yeshua himself honored. He never went into a gentile’s home. Never. The Centurion in Matthew 8 understood this tradition and told Yeshua he did not need to come to his home. He knew Yeshua was a man of authority and that whatever Yeshua asked would be done. Yeshua commended him for having greater faith than those in Israel. There was also the Canaanite woman in who had a demon-possessed daughter. She asked Yeshua for help and was told it was not right to take food from [Jewish] children and give it to the dogs [gentiles]. She responded that even the dogs eat the crumbs from under their owner’s table (Matthew 15:21-28). Yeshua healed her daughter.

It isn’t until the following day at the house of a gentile man, a Roman centurion named Cornelius, that Peter begins to understand the vision. Cornelius wasn’t just any gentile. He was God-fearing and righteous. He was respected by all the Jewish people with whom he came in contact. In the presence of Cornelius, Peter finally interprets the vision: the message of Yeshua, the message of salvation, is to go to the nations that were represented by the four-footed ‘unclean’ animals in the sheet.

“Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right” (Acts 10:34).

What does Peter say? God accepts people from every nation who not only fear Him, but do what is right. What does this mean? To be a God-fearing gentile meant that the person obeyed God’s commandments. To do what is right is living rightly before God, being righteous.

Cornelius was a God-fearing, righteous gentile. From his interactions and relationships with the Jewish people around him, he already understood their God, His commandments, and what He considered food and what was not food. Cornelius’ eating habits were probably similar to those of the Jews who respected him and considered him righteous! No one in Cornelius’ house, including Peter, ever mentioned food –– eating pig or shrimp –– because food was never the meaning of Peter’s vision. The vision was about going to the gentiles and entering their homes with the message of Yeshua. It was the removal of a man-made tradition that kept the gentiles separated from the Jewish community. Because of Peter’s vision, Cornelius and his family, by putting their faith in Yeshua, could become more fully part of the ‘commonwealth of Israel.’ He and his family were filled with the Holy Spirit and immersed in water. Soon after this event, word spread throughout Judea that gentiles were receiving the salvation of God through Yeshua –– not having pork roasts.

Let’s suppose Cornelius did eat ‘unclean’ meats as many Christians claim. Wouldn’t his new-found faith in Yeshua, along with the righteous condition of his heart, give him the desire to learn the Scriptures and obey God’s commandments? Wouldn’t Peter have taken the time to teach him God’s commands? Or, wouldn’t the Spirit of God now write Torah on Cornelius’ heart? Being a gentile was and is still not an excuse for disobedience, especially after receiving the Spirit of God.

After the event with Cornelius, Peter went up to Jerusalem and was criticized for entering the homes of gentiles and eating with them. Again, it wasn’t about what Peter was eating, but with whom he was eating! Table fellowship bound people together and the leaders in Jerusalem were worried that the Scriptures were going to become watered down if Peter fellowshipped with gentile believers. Peter had to explain that gentiles were coming to faith in Messiah and living lives of repentance. ‘Repentance’ in Hebrew is shuv and means ‘returning to the ways of God,’ which would include His dietary regulations.

“Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story” (Acts 11:4). When they heard that God had baptized the gentiles with the Holy Spirit, they had no further objections to table fellowship between Jewish and gentile believers.

“When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18).

It is a serious distortion of Scripture to say that Peter, a faithful Messianic Jew, would suddenly eat animals that were not created to be food in order to win gentiles to faith in Yeshua. In reality, it was the gentiles who were coming to faith in the Jewish Messiah that were convicted to leave behind their pagan practices and live according to the commandments of God. No one ever mentioned from the first moment of Peter’s vision through its interpretation in Jerusalem that suddenly it was acceptable to eat ‘unclean’ animals. Instead, they rejoiced that the gentiles were being saved and entering the Kingdom of God.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

Council of Jerusalem

Some time after Paul began his ministry, certain people came from Judea, in Israel, to Antioch, in the diaspora, and were teaching that unless gentiles were circumcised, they could not be saved. This caused dissension within the Body of Messiah, and between Paul and Barnabas. They decided to go to Jerusalem to present the matter to the apostles.

The apostles considered the question and resolved that gentiles did not have to be circumcised in order to be saved, meaning that gentiles did not have to convert to Judaism through ritual circumcision, but could remain as gentiles. Because the elders heard that God was purifying the gentiles’ hearts and anointing them with the Holy Spirit, they concluded that justification is by faith in Yeshua alone. From these decisions, they developed a judicial statement and decided that turning to God should not be made difficult for gentiles. They outlined four beginning requirements.

“Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood” (Acts 15:20).

Each of these four requirements were part of pagan ritual worship and had to be removed from the gentile’s life so as not to pollute the growing Body of Messiah with the ways of the nations. This was to be the beginning of how gentiles to turn to God, not the only requirements. In fact, these four requirements encompass nearly all Torah commands given to Israel: dietary laws, sacrificial laws, sexual immorality laws, and idolatry.

The next verse is rarely quoted with the four requirements, but is just as important, if not crucial, to the growth of every new believer then, as well as now:

“For the Torah of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath” (Acts 15:21).

This final statement was to be the foundation of the life of every believer whether Jew or gentile in the first century. Born again gentiles who were turning to God attended synagogues every Sabbath. They heard the reading of the Torah and were being convicted regarding their sinful lifestyles. Through the Holy Spirit, their circumcised hearts were transformed and their minds renewed. The unity of Messianic Jews and gentiles in the synagogues testified to the ‘one new man.’


For the first 30 years after Yeshua’s resurrection, the Messianic community, including all gentile believers, were taught and instructed in the first five books of the Bible. They did not have Acts chapter 10. They did not have a New Testament book called Mark from which to create commentary about food. They only had the Torah with which to learn God’s commandments. They only had the Prophets and Writings to understand their new covenant Messianic faith.

At the Council of Jerusalem, there was nothing mentioned about dietary changes. No one suggested that eating pork, camel or dog was now acceptable because “Jesus had died on the cross.” In fact, quite the opposite was true. Sacrificing and eating ‘unclean’ animals along with idol worship was not to be found among the gentiles who were living lives of repentance. New believers from the nations obeyed these requirements because Yeshua’s death and resurrection had given them a new life in the Kingdom of God.

The Real Problem with ‘Porky the Pig’

Jewish people who were forced to convert to a new religion called Christianity were called maranos. This word in Spanish means ‘damned, accursed, banned, and hog.’ This name was applied to Spanish-Portuguese Jews when they succumbed to eating the ‘flesh of swine’ in order to save their lives.

Pig in the form of pork, sausage or bacon has been used throughout Christian history to force Jewish people to convert to Christianity on pain of death. Jewish people converted to this foreign religion to avoid cruel and inhumane persecutions based solely on the fact that they obeyed God’s commandments: did not eat pig, circumcised their sons, and kept the Sabbath, and the Feasts of the LORD. They were forced with threat of death to disobey God’s eternal commands in order to reside within the Christian community as a marano ‘pig’ convert.

The whole issue of eating pork, bacon, and ham –– the flesh of swine –– has been and continues to be used by the enemy to keep Jewish people from knowing the love of God through their own Messiah. It is eaten explicitly by people who say they know and love Jesus Christ! This is unfortunate because the Jews are looking for a Messiah who will teach the Torah in proper perspective as Yeshua did. They do not recognize a pork eating Christian Jesus as their deliverer and they never will.

The Millennial Kingdom

“Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens behind one of their temples and eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things – they will meet their end together with the one they follow,’ declares the LORD” (Isaiah 66:17).

The prophet Isaiah speaks about the Millennial Kingdom, the era before the new heavens and earth, when Yeshua will judge the nations. One of the judgments will be against those who eat the ‘flesh of swine’ behind their temples. Pig roasts, along with pork chops and ham, have become more prevalent in church fellowship meals as Christians fight for and defend eating the ‘flesh of swine.’ Bacon has become an almost revered food and flavors nearly everything offered in main and side dishes. If eating pig was no longer considered something ‘unclean’ in the eyes of God, then Isaiah would not have prophesied that those who eat this meat “behind their temples” will meet their end with the one they follow.

Yeshua did not make all bread ‘clean’ for he did not have to; it was already a ‘clean’ food. Noah understood the difference between animals that were considered food and those were not based on the number of pairs of animals God brought to the Ark. God’s dietary regulations for Israel made no mention of health or under-cooked meats. The only requirement was faith being expressed through obedience. Peter’s vision did not remove ‘unclean’ foods from a God-fearer’s diet, but was a revelation that the promise to Abraham was being fulfilled –– the good news of salvation was going to the nations. The Council of Jerusalem laid the foundation for gentiles who were coming to faith in Yeshua that included obeying the Torah commands about idolatry, sexual immorality, and the eating of blood. Finally, Isaiah prophesied what will happen to those who rebel against God and His commands by eating the ‘flesh of swine.’ They will meet their end with the one they follow who cannot be Yeshua –– the Jewish the Messiah.

©2010 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.