Today we begin Leviticus Chapter 11.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Version, click here.
“For I am Adonai, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. Therefore you are to be holy, because I am holy.“-Leviticus 11:45
From today we’re going to be getting into a controversial topic.
Chapter 11 deals with the laws governing what the Lord’s people are to eat and NOT to eat.
Or to put it in more familiar terms, we’re going to be discussing the Kosher food laws.
Now before we get into the nitty gritty details, I need you to first understand that there is one common theme underlying these rules governing diet.
And this theme was actually expressed in the last chapter (Leviticus 10) when the Lord said “you will distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean”
What’s interesting is that this statement was made within the context of a Levitical Priest being forbidden to drink any wine before engaging in his priestly duties lest HASHEM’s heavy hand of judgement fall upon him.
There was nothing more important to YHVH than that His Chosen People lived a life of purity and holiness.
And even today, God’s chosen people are to lead a holy and pure lifestyle as DEFINED BY THE LORD IN HIS WORD.
And who are God’s Chosen People?
The answer is the same whether we are talking about yesterday, today, or forever.
God’s Chosen People have always only been Israel.
The Torah was ONLY given to Israel and nobody else.
All the laws, commands, rituals, and sacrifices in the Torah weren’t given to mankind in general, they were ONLY given to Israel.
But there is one caveat to that last statement.
In both Old Testament and New Testament times, foreigners have always been permitted to join Israel.
And when a foreigner did join Israel, he was considered an Israelite.
God did NOT create two classes of Israelites in His Kingdom, one natural born and one adopted.
His purpose from the beginning was to create ONE people unto Himself.
From the Lord’s perspective, all of His People, whether natural born or adopted were EQUAL in his eyes.
Both the natural born and the adopted or grafted in were to operate under the SAME JUSTICE SYSTEM AND COVENANTS.
And this principle applies directly to gentile believers today and their relationship to Israel.
So, yes, while it is true that the Torah was only given to Israel as a specially chosen group of people, it is also equally true that the Bible teaches that all gentile believers through their faith in the Jewish Messiah have been adopted into or grafted into Israel.
Or to put it another way, gentile believers through their faith in Messiah, on a spiritual level, have become ONE with Israel.
What I am going to discuss will be relevant to all believers, whether Jew or Gentile.
Therefore, I reiterate my earlier point.
In terms of living a holy life, as we are all commanded to do, diet was central!
Having said that, I do think that Rabbinic Judaism has taken the rather brief Scriptural commands on kosher eating and turned them into a full blown food cult unto itself.
Nevertheless, the Lord deems His commands on what and what not to eat so important that they are repeated again in Deuteronomy 14.
Fair warning here folks.
In order to make sense of the Scripture in the areas of purity, cleanness, and holiness, a lot of what I’m going to share will NOT reflect modern Judaism, and neither will it reflect doctrine-based Christianity.
It will be the Scriptural view.