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What does the book of Deuteronomy say we should eat?


Deuteronomy 14:1-21

1 Ye are the children of the Lord your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

2 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.

4 These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,

5 The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.

6 And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.

7 Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.

8 And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.

9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:

10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.

11 Of all clean birds ye shall eat.

12 But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,

13 And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,

14 And every raven after his kind,

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

16 The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,

17 And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,

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

19 And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten.

20 But of all clean fowls ye may eat.

21 Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

The Biblical Diet derives rules for determining clean and unclean foods from a number of places in the books of Genesis, Proverbs, Luke, Exodus, Peter, Leviticus, Judges, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, 1 Corinthians, Habakkuk, and Daniel.

The foods incorporated in this diet are organic vegetables, fruits and legumes. The diet encourages the removal of unclean and unacceptable foods. This natural, organic approach to eating suggests that one should only eat things created by God in the way they were intended. That means no processed foods or those produced with contact to hormones, pesticides or fertilizers. Leviticus (11:9-10) states that one should eat "whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters" but not to eat "all that have not fins and scales in the seas."

This means that fish with scales are intended to be eaten, such as salmon and trout, but smooth fish such as catfish and eels should not be eaten. It also means that crustaceans with hard shells such as lobsters, crabs, and clams are not to be eaten. The other main dietary laws are taken from Leviticus (11:3 and 11:7-8). Here man should eat "whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud".

Man should not eat "the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you."

This means that the animals that can be eaten would need to have hooves in which each has two parts, cleft down the middle, and which also chew their cud, such as cows, goats, and sheep.

The types of foods that can be eaten include:

  • Grains - barley, corn, millet, oats, rice, rye, wheat

  • Seeds - sunflower, sesame, flax, pumpkin

  • Legumes - soybeans, lentils, peas, peanuts, other beans

  • Succulent foods containing seed - bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, melons, okra, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, strawberries, and other berries.

  • Fruits - citrus fruits such as lemons and limes, palm fruits, sweet fruits

  • Nuts - almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, pecans, walnuts

  • Herbs (vegetables): beet greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, globe artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, potatoes, turnips

The types of animals that can be eaten include:

  • Livestock - cow, deer, lamb, caribou, buffalo, elk, goat, moose

  • Fish - bass, bluefish, crappie, perch, pike, salmon, sunfish, trout

  • Birds - chicken, turkey, pheasant, grouse, quail

  • Insects - locusts, crickets, grasshoppers

These dietary rules were never intended to apply to anyone other than the Israelites. The purpose of the food laws was to make the Israelites distinct from all other nations. After this purpose had ended, Jesus declared all foods clean.

Mark 7:15-29

15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.

18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

God gave the Apostle Peter a vision in which He declared that formerly unclean animals could be eaten:

Acts 10:9-15

9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

When Jesus died on the cross, He fulfilled the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:24-26; Ephesians 2:15). This includes the laws regarding clean and unclean foods.

Romans 14:1-23 teaches that not everyone is mature enough in the faith to accept the fact that all foods are clean. As a result, if we are with someone who would be offended by our eating “unclean” food, we should give up our right to do so as to not offend the other person. We have the right to eat whatever we want, but we do not have the right to offend other people, even if they are wrong. For the Christian in this age, though, we have freedom to eat whatever we wish as long as it does not cause someone else to stumble in his/her faith.

In the New Covenant, the Bible is far more concerned with how much we eat than what foods Christians eat. Physical appetites are an analogy of our ability to control ourselves. If we are unable to control our eating habits, we are probably also unable to control other habits such as those of the mind (lust, covetousness, unrighteous hatred/anger) and unable to keep our mouths from gossip or strife.

A Christian should not let their appetites control us; rather, we are to control them (Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:2; 2 Peter 1:5-7; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Corinthians 10:5).

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