Did God Establish Food Laws?

What was Known at Creation?

Was the knowledge of Clean And Unclean animals known since creation?

Let’s look at this verse for our answer.  We see Abel brought the firstborn of his flock as an offering. 

Genesis 4:4  And Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat of it. And Jehovah had respect to Abel and to his offering, 

Yehovah does not go back on His Word nor does He change.

Malachi 3:6  For I am Jehovah, I change not…

Psalms 89:34  I will not break My covenant, nor change the thing that has gone out of My lips.

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever. 

The sacrificial laws were not recorded until the Sinai Covenant and they are described in Leviticus chapters 1-5.  The designation of Clean, Unclean, and Common are also described in this Covenant.  And yet Abel not only brought an offering to Yehovah, but we know it was among the clean animals since Yehovah does not change His mind.  Therefore, we know at least some of these sacrificial laws existed before Cain killed Abel.  The sacrificial laws include sin offerings as well as praise offerings. 

If Abel had brought a horse, a camel, or a dog, either Yehovah changed His mind about what constituted Clean and Unclean OR He would have expressed His angry with Abel’s offering. Scripture tells us neither of those reasons are true.

We also see this occurred after Eve sinned by eating the apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil:

Genesis 3:21  And for Adam and his wife Jehovah God made coats of skins, and clothed them. 

This was the first sacrifice of an animal whose spilled blood covered over their sin. 

Noah also knew the difference between Clean and Unclean animals.

Genesis 7:2  You shall take with you every clean animal by sevens, the male and female. And take two of the animals that are not clean, the male and female. 

The common English translations are not accurate in the sense that in the original Hebrew, God told them to bring seven pairs of Clean animals and two pairs of Unclean animals. Obviously Noah needed more of the Clean animals since these were used for food and for “burnt offerings”.  Again, this is described in the Sinai Covenant, but we know they existed due to Abel and Noah’s understanding and obedience. 

After the flood ended, Noah knew the instructions for an offering.

Genesis 8:20  And Noah built an altar to Jehovah. And he took of every clean animal, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 

Abraham understood as well and was obedient.  As God prepared to make a Covenant with Abraham, He tells Him to bring these animals. These are all Clean animals.  Yehovah can not go back on His Word or change His mind.

Genesis 15:9  And He said to him, Take Me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 

As Abraham prepared to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, a Lamb and a Ram are referenced:

Genesis 22:8,13  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering. So they both went together.  13  And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked. And, behold, a ram behind him was entangled in a thicket by its horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 

Abraham obeyed His commandments, statutes, and laws before the Sinai Covenant.

Genesis 26:4  And I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of the heavens, and will give to your seed all these lands. And in your Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My Laws. 

And this is what Paul tells us:

Galatians 3:7  Therefore know that those of faith, these are the sons of Abraham. 

Galatians 3:29  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. 

John 8:39  They answered and said to Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus answered them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 

We are to do the works Abraham did and those works are recorded in The Law of God.  We call this The Torah of Elohim in Hebrew.

We know of course this Sinai Covenant was given under the leadership of  Moses after he led the people out of Egyptian captivity.  Moses indeed, recorded the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy, which are known as The Torah. 

And most importantly, we see Jesus (Yehshua is His Hebrew name) said this:

John 5:45-47  Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you, Moses, in whom you trust.  46  For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me.  47  But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My Words? 

And Paul said:

Romans 15:4  For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, so that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 

And Timothy said:

2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17  that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work. 

The New Testament had not yet been written during the times of Paul and the disciples.  They simply wrote letters to various assemblies to answer questions and teach them what was already recorded in The Scriptures.

And Peter himself said this in Acts as a result of the vision he saw:

Acts 10: 11-14  And he saw the heaven opened and a certain vessel like a sheet coming down to him, being bound at the four corners and let down to the earth;  12  in which were all the four-footed animals of the earth, and the wild beasts, and the reptiles, and the birds of the heaven.  13  And a voice came to him, saying, Rise, Peter! Kill and eat!  14  But Peter said, Not so, Lord, for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. 

Acts 10:15  And the voice spoke to him again the second time, What God has made clean, you do not call common.  16  This happened three times, and the vessel was received up again into the heaven.  17  And while Peter doubted within himself what the vision which he had seen might be, even behold, the men who were sent from Cornelius had asked for Simon’s house and stood on the porch. 

Acts 10:28  And he said to them, You know that it is an unlawful thing for a man, a Jew to keep company with or to come near to one of another nation. But God has shown me not to call any man common or unclean. 

This entire vision is about the political climate of Israel at that time and continues yet today.  Gentiles were and still are called Unclean. Yehovah gave Peter this vision of food to help him understand it was about people. He was not to call people Unclean.  This vision was to correct  Peter’s false understanding so he would  go to the home of Cornelius, a Gentile in Peter’s eyes.  NOW, Peter has been given understanding. Without this understanding, Peter would never have gone to see Cornelius.

What you have just read is an event in the life of Peter, after the death and resurrection of Jesus,  and yet Peter continues to abide by the food laws as given by God (Yehovah in Hebrew).  God Himself, comes to explain we are not to call people Unclean or Common.  He says nothing about discontinuing the food laws.  Why?  Because He can not go back on His Word.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He does not change.

Kosher Killing of the Animal – Painless and Quick

We are not to eat animals that died of natural causes or were killed by other animals.

Deuteronomy 14:21  You shall not eat anything that dies of itself. You shall give it to the stranger that is in your gates, so that he may eat it. Or you may sell it to a stranger. For you are a holy people to Jehovah your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk. 

The method of slaughter is a quick, deep stroke across the throat with a perfectly sharp blade with no nicks or unevenness. This method is painless, causes unconsciousness within two seconds, and is widely recognized as the most humane method of slaughter possible.

This ensures rapid, complete draining of the blood, which is also necessary to render the meat kosher.

The Torah prohibits consumption of blood.

Leviticus 7:26  And you shall not eat any blood, of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.  27  Any soul who eats any blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. 

Leviticus 17:10  And any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that are staying among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that soul who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.  11  For the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I have given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your souls. For it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.  12  Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that is staying among you eat blood.  13  And any man of the sons of Israel, or of the strangers that are staying among you, who hunts game, beast or fowl, that may be eaten, he shall even pour out its blood and cover it with dust.  14  For it is the life of all flesh. Its blood is for the life of it. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any flesh. For the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off. 

This is the only dietary law that has a reason specified in Torah: we do not eat blood because the life of the animal (literally, the soul of the animal) is contained in the blood. This applies only to the blood of birds and mammals, not to fish blood. Thus, it is necessary to remove all blood from the flesh of kosher animals.

Meat should then be broiled or boiled and salted to remove the remaining blood.

What does Clean and Unclean mean?

A basic definition is CLEAN represents food which is good and healthy for man-kind to eat.  It’s very purpose is for food.  UNCLEAN is not fit for human consumption.  It’s very purpose is to act more as a cleaner for the environment. Those that are considered unclean, eat other dead animals, decaying matter, and excrement.   Those considered clean have the physiology to allow for this as described in the laws posted in the Torah. 

Fish without fins and scales are scavengers or carnivores and have a high level of toxins in their bodies.

Camels have a high level of toxins in their bloodstream that is caused by retaining their body fluids rather than sweating.

Rabbits as well as all rodents are coprophagous, meaning that they eat their own feces, and the levels of toxins in their bodies high due to this.  Horses also do this as well as some dogs.

Predatory animals such as lions, leopards, wolves, and snakes prey on weak and often diseased animals.  

Pigs have very high histamine levels and Sulphur content, leading to high blood acidity and osteoporosis to those that eat their meat. They are also known to have a high level of bacteria and parasites in their meat.

Categories of animals

Land Animals that divide the Hoof and chew the Cud

Leviticus 11:1  And Jehovah spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,  2  Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, These are the animals which you shall eat among all the animals that are in the earth. 3  Whatever divides the hoof, and is cloven-footed, chewing the cud, among the animals, that you shall eat. 

4  Only, you shall not eat these of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: the camel, for he chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you.  5  And the rock badger, because he chews the cud, but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you. 6  And the hare, because he chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; he is unclean to you.  7  And the swine, though he divides the hoof and is cloven-footed, yet he does not chew the cud; he is unclean to you. 8  You shall not eat of their flesh, and you shall not touch their dead body. They are unclean to you. 

Deuteronomy 14:4  These are the animals which you shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,  5  the hart, and the gazelle, and the roe deer, and the wild goat, and the mountain goat, and the wild ox, and the mountain-sheep.  6  And every animal that divides the hoof, and divides it into two hooves, and chews the cud among the animals, that you shall eat. 

7  But these you shall not eat, of those which chew the cud, or of those that divide the cloven hoof: the camel, and the hare, and the rock badger, for they chew the cud, but do not divide the hoof. They are unclean to you.  8  And the swine, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud; it is unclean to you. You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their dead body. 

Examples of CLEAN animals

Antelope,  Bison (Buffalo), Cows, Caribou,  Deer (Venison), Elk

Gazelle, Giraffe, Goat, Hart, Ibex, Moose, Ox
Reindeer, Stags, Sheep, Lamb,  Wild Goat, Yaks

Examples of UNCLEAN animals

Armadillo, Badger, Bear, Beaver, Camel, Elephant, Ferret, Gorilla, Groundhog
Hippopotamus, Kangaroo, Llama (alpaca), Coney, Hare, Mole, Monkey
Mouse, Muskrat, Opossum, Porcupine, Rabbit, Raccoon, Rat, Rhinoceros
Skunk, Squirrel, Wallaby, Weasel, Wolverine

Coyote, Dog, Fox, Hyena, Jackal, Wolf

Cat, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Panther, Tiger

Ass, Donkey, Horse, Mule, Onager, Zebra

Boar, Peccary, Pigs or Pork and this includes food in the form of:  Ham, Bacon, Ground Pork, Pork Sausages, and Pepperoni

Animals that live in the Water – Fish

Leviticus 11:9  These you shall eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them you shall eat. 

10  And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing that is in the waters, they shall be an abomination to you. 11  They shall even be an abomination to you. You shall not eat of their flesh, but you shall have their carcasses in abomination. 12  Whatever has no fins nor scales in the waters shall be an abomination to you. 

Deuteronomy 14:9  These you shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales you shall eat. 10  And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat. It is unclean to you. 

Examples of CLEAN Fish

Albacore, Alewives, Anchovy

Barracuda, Bass, Black Drum, Black Pomfret, Blueback’s, Bluebill Sunfish, Bluefish

Bluegill, Blue Runner, Bonita, Bowfin, Buffalo fish, Butterfish
Carp, Chubs, Cod, Crappie, Drum, Flounder, Garfish, Grouper, Grunts, Gulf Pike
Haddock, Hake, Halibut, Hardhead, Hardtail, Herring
Kingfish, Long Nose Sucker

Mackerel, Mahi-mahi, Menhaden, Minnow, Mullet, Muskellunge (Jacks)

Orange Roughie, Perch (Bream), Pickerel, Pig Fish, Pike, Pollock, Pompano, Porgy (Scup)
Red Drum (Redfish), Rockfish, Red Horse Sucker, Redfish, Redfin, Red Snapper, Robalo
Salmon, Sardine (Pilchard), Scup (Porgy), Sea Bass, Sergeant Fish, Shad, Sheepshead

Silver Hake (Whiting), Silversides, Sucker, Sunfish, Smelt, Snapper, Snook

Sole,  Spanish Mackerel, Steelhead, Striped Bass, Tarpon, Trout, Tuna, Turbot (not European) Whitefish, Whiting, Yellow Perch

Examples of UNCLEAN Fish

Bullhead, Catfish, Eel, European turbot, Marlin, Paddlefish

Shark, Stickleback, Sturgeon, Swordfish, Dolphin, Otter, Porpoise, Seal, Walrus, Whale

Abalone, Clam, Conch, Crab, Crayfish, Lobster, Mussel, Oyster, Prawn

Scallop, Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Jellyfish, Limpet, Octopus, Squid (calamari)

Animals that Fly – Birds

Leviticus 11:13  And you shall have these in abomination among the fowls. They shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the black vulture, and the bearded vulture, 14  and the kite, and the falcon, according to its kind; 15  every raven according to its kind;  16  and the ostrich, and the great owl, and the gull, and small hawks, according to its kind,  17  and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the eared owl; 18  and the barn owl, and the pelican, and the owl-vulture; 19  and the stork, the heron according to its kind, and the hoopoe, and the bat. 20  Every flying swarming creature going on all four, it is an abomination to you. 

Deuteronomy 14:11  You shall eat all clean birds. 12  But you shall not eat of these: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey, 13  and the hawk, and the falcon, and the vulture after its kind, 14  and every raven after its kind, 15  and the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after its kind, 16  the little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, 17  and the pelican, and the owl, and the cormorant, 18  and the stork, and the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe, and the bat.

Notice verse 16.  Modern versions translate “swan” as an owl. 

The TS2009 – The Scriptures translates this verse as follows:  

Deuteronomy 14:16  the little owl, and the great owl, and the white owl.

The JPS – the little owl, and the great owl, and the horned owl;

The Lexham English Bible (LEB) – the little owl and the great owl and the barn owl,

Examples of CLEAN Birds

Chicken, Dove, Duck, Goose, Grouse, Guinea fowl
Partridge, Peacock, Peafowl, Pheasant, Pigeon, Prairie chicken, Ptarmigan
Quail, Sagehen, Songbirds, Sparrow

Swan  – Swan is generally translated as an Owl in most modern Bibles
Teal, Turkey

Examples of UNCLEAN Birds

Albatross, Bat, Bittern, Buzzard
Condor, Coot, Cormorant, Crane, Crow, Cuckoo
Eagle, Falcon, Flamingo, Grebe Ostrich, Grosbeak, Gull
Hawk, Heron, Hoopoe, Kite, Lapwing, Loon
Magpie, Osprey, Ossifrage, Ostrich, Owl
Parrot, Pelican, Penguin, Plover, Rail, Raven, Roadrunner
Sandpiper, Seagull, Stork, Swallow, Swift
Water Hen, Woodpecker, Vulture

Animals that Swarm – Insects

Leviticus 11:21  Yet you may eat these of any flying swarming thing that goes on all four, those which have legs above their feet, to leap with on the earth. 22  You may eat these of them: the locust after its kind, and the bald locust after its kind, and the long horned locust after its kind, and the short horned grasshopper after its kind. 23  But every other flying swarming thing which has four feet shall be an abomination to you. 

Examples of CLEAN Insects

Crickets, Grasshoppers, Locusts

Examples of UNCLEAN Insects

All other insects

Additional Explanations

Leviticus 11: 24  And you shall be unclean for these. Whoever touches their dead body shall be unclean until the evening. 25  And whoever carries the carcass of them shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; 

26  even every living thing which divides the hoof, and is not cloven-footed, nor chews the cud, they are unclean to you. Everyone that touches them shall be unclean. 

27  And whatever goes on its paws, among all the living things that go on all four, those are unclean to you. Whoever touches their dead body shall be unclean until the evening. 28  And he that carries their dead bodies shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. They are unclean to you. 

29  These also shall be unclean to you among the swarming things that swarm on the earth: the weasel, and the mouse, and the great lizard after its kind;  30  and the gecko, and the monitor, and the lizard, and the sand lizard, and chameleon. 31  These are unclean to you among all that swarm. Whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening.  32  And whatever shall fall on any of them when they are dead, shall be unclean, whether any vessel of wood, or clothing, or skin, or sack; whatever vessel in which work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean to the evening. So it shall be cleaned. 33  And every earthen vessel in which any of them falls, whatever is in it shall be unclean. And you shall break it.  34  Of all food which may be eaten, that on which such water comes shall be unclean. And all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.  35  And everything on which any part of their dead body falls shall be unclean; whether it is the oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down. They are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. 

36  But a fountain or pit, with a collection of water, shall be clean. But that which touches their dead body shall be unclean. 

37  And if any of their dead body falls on any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. 38  But if any water is put on the seed, and any part of the dead body falls on it, it shall be unclean to you. 

39  And if any animal among those you may eat dies, he that touches its dead body shall be unclean until the evening.  40  And he that eats of its dead body shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. He also that carries its body shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. 

41  And every swarming thing that swarms on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten.  42  Anything going on its belly, and any going on all four, and all having many feet, even every swarming thing that swarms on the earth, you shall not eat them. For they are an abomination.  43  You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that swarms, neither shall you make yourselves unclean with them, so that you should be defiled by them. 

44  For I am Jehovah your God, and you shall sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy, for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any kind of swarming thing that swarms on the earth.  45  For I am Jehovah who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.  46  This is the law of the animals, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that swarms on the earth,  47  to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the creature that may be eaten and the creature that may not be eaten. 


Slug, Snail (escargot), Worm, Frog, Newt, Salamander, Toad

Alligator, Blindworm, Caiman, Chameleon, Crocodile
Lizard, Snake, Turtle

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One thought on “Did God Establish Food Laws?

  1. Hoping every faithful servant of Yehovah and Torah observant read this article on kosher animals for food.


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