POSTED 30 OCTOBER, 2017
“It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood” (Leviticus 3:17).
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall not eat any fat from an ox, a sheep or a goat. Also the fat of an animal which dies and the fat of an animal torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but you must certainly not eat it. For whoever eats the fat of the animal from which an offering by fire is offered to the LORD, even the person who eats shall be cut off from his people. You are not to eat any blood, either of bird or animal, in any of your dwellings. Any person who eats any blood, even that person shall be cut off from his people’” (Leviticus 7:22-27).
“You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying” (Leviticus 19:26).
3:17 The direction, “An eternal decree for your generations in all your dwelling places; you may not consume any fat or any blood” (ATS), is actually preceded by details pertaining to the peace offering, which was to be presented by the Ancient Israelites before the Lord in the Tabernacle, and later the Temple. The prohibition of eating fat from the animals of the flock or herd—namely sheep, goats, and cattle—are in view. The fat, just like the blood, was to be a part of the animal reserved for God: kol-cheilev v’kol-dam lo to’keilu, “any-of fat or-any-of blood not you-must-eat” (Kohlenberger). The fat was supposed to be specifically presented before the Lord and burned (3:5, 11, 16), yet the prohibition of eating such fat was extended beyond the peace offering, and to all who would eat red meat.
Click here for the complete version of “Leviticus 3:17; 7:22-27; 19:26 – A Prohibition on Eating Blood”
When the subject of kosher, kashrut, or the dietary instructions of the Torah or the Law of Moses come up in various contemporary Messianic settings, there can be a tendency for some strong emotions to arise. The broad Messianic spectrum represents a diversity of views on “kosher”—ranging from the dietary laws being abolished and only to be observed as a part of Jewish culture, to people advocating a strict adherence to many Orthodox Jewish rulings and practices, to a kosher style diet where people mainly avoid pork and shellfish. At times, there has been an over-amount of attention given to the minutiae of keeping kosher, and not enough time given to some of the significant Biblical passages which either inform us about kosher or have been traditionally interpreted to say that kosher has been abolished for the post-resurrection era. And more than anything else, maintaining an appropriate, Messiah-centric attitude toward all of this, is most imperative. There have been far too many extremes represented regarding the issue of the dietary laws, at times, and not enough reasoned discussion. Too many people have issued accusations against others, and not enough have tried to inquire of both the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit, what is perhaps important about this issue. Human beings have to all eat, after all!
The Messianic Kosher Helper includes a wide breadth of material, addressing a wide array of topics associated with the Torah’s dietary laws. This publication has been divided up into two main parts: The Significance of Kosher and A Theology of Eating and Kosher. You will be able to detect a progression of sorts, in our family’s own approach to the subject matter, as some things are addressed first more generally and then more specifically. In our experience, we ourselves have certainly had to move from a more elementary view of the issue of kosher, to a more developed view, and we recognize how the Messianic community needs to do the same.
It is important to remember how Leviticus 11:44 says, “For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy” (cf. 1 Peter 1:16)—a concept which is directly connected to clean and unclean meats. But, if following this is not enjoined with a better appreciation and understanding of a steadfast mandate for all of us to have clean minds and hearts, imbued with the presence of God’s Holy Spirit, demonstrating the love of Yeshua to all—then outward holiness will not have been joined with the more critical inward holiness. If, however, we learn how to separate external things which are clean and unclean—then perhaps we can also learn, with God’s help, how to separate clean and unclean thoughts, ideas, and attitudes, being mature men and women in Him, and empowered on many different levels for service to His Kingdom!
This is a massive collection of material, well needed for every Messianic home and congregational library!