“Adonai said to Moshe and Aharon, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘These are the living creatures which you may eat among all the land animals.””-Leviticus 11:1
The first verse of Leviticus chapter 11 is revolutionary and represents something unprecedented.
This was the first time in human history that YHVH began setting restrictions on exactly what types of “living creatures” could be eaten.
After the flood, from the time of Noah, men had been eating meat for a long time but with no limitations.
Up until Leviticus 11, the only restrictions placed on mankind’s diet were to NOT EAT THE BLOOD of a living creature.
“God blessed Noach and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will be upon every wild animal, every bird in the air, every creature populating the ground, and all the fish in the sea; they have been handed over to you. Every moving thing that lives will be food for you; just as I gave you green plants before, so now I give you everything-only flesh with its life, which is its blood, you are not to eat.”-Genesis 9:1
Another fascinating topic that we’re not going to get into now but will later is that when Yeshua returns as reigning King, the killing of animals for food will no longer be allowed.
At this point, as preparation for our study of the food Kosher laws, there are two new Hebrew words I need to introduce to you.
The first word is HAYYAH.
HAYYAH is the Hebrew word for “living creature”.
It is a very general term referring to pretty much any kind of living organism outside of plant life.
The second word is BEHEMAH.
BEHEMAH is the usual Hebrew word used for “land animals”.
However, BEHEMAH is not just any kind of “land animal”.
It ONLY refers to those types of animals that can be or are already domesticated, like sheep, goats, and cattle for instance.
When studying the Lord’s rulings on what foods are permitted and not permitted to eat, we’ll see that animals are divided into three different categories based on which type of environment they inhabit.
The three categories are WATER, AIR, and LAND and there is some fascinating spiritual significance connected to them that will be getting into later (stay tuned!).
Now the only BEHEMAH or domesticated land animals the Lord decrees okay for human consumption are those He has declared CLEAN.
The big question that probably pops into your mind at the moment is on what basis did the Lord declare some animals CLEAN and others UNCLEAN.
We’ll be exploring that matter later, but for right now, just accept this answer:
THEY ARE CLEAN BECAUSE THE LORD HAS DECLARED THEM CLEAN!
I know the Greek mind hates that kind of simplicity and always needs to have some kind of logical or scientific basis behind why the Lord in His Sovereignty has declared what He has.
Nevertheless, just accept for now that they are CLEAN because the Lord has declared them clean.
One final point.
Until the nation of Israel was chosen and separated away from all the other nations of the Lord, from God’s perspective, all humans were of the same status.
In other words, before Israel came into being, the whole world was COMMON.
However, once God divided Israel away from the COMMON world and made them a special possession unto Himself, at that very instant, the world became divided into two (and ONLY two) different people groups: those who are HOLY and those who are COMMON.
So we can see that now that the Lord has separated Israel from among the GOYIM or nations of the world, He is now choosing what is fit for His people to eat from the foods that COMMON people or Gentiles eat.
Are you seeing the pattern here?
First, He separated Israel from the world to be HOLY.
Second, He is now separating animals into clean and unclean, or those fit for Israel to eat and those NOT fit for Israel to eat.
I have one final question to ask you before I close.
Are you Israel?
Have you been grafted into Israel via your faith in Israel’s Messiah?
Then nothing should be more natural for you than to adopt a diet that reflects the Lord’s HOLINESS.