2/16/2018 Leviticus Chapters 11-13
As we read from Chapter 11 until roughly Chapter 15 we will see commandments on how the Nation was to remain “clean” by avoiding the eating or touching of certain animals & performing acts of purification. Now, I had thought that these commandments were established as “sanitary/dietary” hygiene restrictions to keep the people healthy.
But my rationale was shown to be incorrect by several New Testament teachings, including the very words of Jesus from Mark 7:18-19 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
So, how could food be unsanitary in the Old Testament and then suddenly be OK to eat in the New Testament?
In his commentary James Coffman clarifies the rationale for me when he writes: This definitely ties the whole “clean and unclean” meat question with God’s necessity, for a long period of time, to separate Jews from Gentiles. This undoubtedly means, therefore, that the thing which made one animal clean and another unclean to the Jews was the simple fact that God commanded one to be eaten and the other not to be eaten
As Job learned in answer to his many questions — you may not fully understand all things yet but trust that “I am God and you are not.”