Dietary Laws and Kosher Eating: Leviticus 11:1-47; Deuteronomy 14:3-21; Acts 10:9-16

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Dietary Laws and Kosher Eating: Leviticus 11:1-47; Deuteronomy 14:3-21; Acts 10:9-16

In this blog post, I will show how the dietary laws given by God to Israel in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are still valid today for those who want to follow the Hebrew roots movement. The Hebrew roots movement is a movement of Christians who seek to restore the Jewish roots of their faith and practice the Torah as much as possible.

The dietary laws, also known as kashrut, are part of the Torah, which means instruction or teaching. They are not merely health regulations or cultural customs, but divine commands that reflect God’s holiness and separate His people from the nations. They teach us to distinguish between clean and unclean, pure and impure, holy and profane.

The dietary laws specify which animals can and cannot be eaten, how they must be slaughtered and prepared, and how to avoid mixing meat and dairy products. They also prohibit eating blood, fat, and certain parts of animals. The main categories of animals that are forbidden are:

  • Land animals that do not have a split hoof and chew the cud, such as camels, rabbits, pigs, horses, etc.
  • Sea creatures that do not have fins and scales, such as shellfish, crabs, lobsters, shrimp, etc.
  • Birds of prey and scavengers, such as eagles, vultures, owls, bats, etc.
  • Flying insects that do not have jointed legs for hopping on the ground, such as flies, mosquitoes, etc.
  • Reptiles and rodents, such as snakes, lizards, rats, mice, etc.

These animals are considered unclean because they either eat other animals or live in unclean environments. They also symbolize moral corruption and spiritual defilement. By avoiding them, we honor God’s creation and preserve our physical and spiritual health.

Some people may argue that the dietary laws are no longer relevant for Christians because of Peter’s vision in Acts 10:9-16. In this vision, Peter saw a sheet with all kinds of animals coming down from heaven and heard a voice saying “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” Peter refused to eat anything unclean, but the voice said “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

However, this vision was not about abolishing the dietary laws, but about accepting Gentiles into the church. The sheet with all kinds of animals represented the Gentiles who were considered unclean by the Jews. God was showing Peter that He had cleansed them by faith in Jesus and that he should not reject them. The vision was confirmed by the Holy Spirit falling on Cornelius and his household after Peter preached to them.

Therefore, the dietary laws are still valid for those who want to follow God’s instructions and live a holy life. They are not a burden or a legalism, but a blessing and a privilege. They are part of our identity as God’s people and our testimony to the world. They are also a way of expressing our love for God and our gratitude for His salvation.

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