WHAT ARE THE BIBLE’S TEACHING ON FOODS???
"HAVING ABOLISHED IN HIS FLESH, THE ENMITY, EVEN THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS ...TOOK IT OUT OF THE WAY, NAILING IT TO HIS CROSS."
The law was a ‘schoolmaster’ (Galatians 3:19-25), and it was to teach us some things. The necessity of cleansing, of needing the blessing of God, of a change to make the unclean to be clean, was the purpose of laws regarding meats. When that lesson was taught and fulfilled on the cross, the way to cleanse the unclean is now shown, and we enjoy the benefits.
Some flunk the course that the ‘schoolmaster’ has been teaching.
II Corinthians 3:6-18
"6. WHO ALSO HATH MADE USABLE MINISTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, NOT OF THE LETTER, BUT OF THE SPIRIT, FOR THE LETTER KILLETH, BUT THE SPIRIT GIVETH LIFE.
7. BUT IF THE MINISTRATION OF DEATH, WRITTEN AND ENGRAVEN IN STONES, WAS GLORIOUS... WHICH GLORY WAS TO BE DONE AWAY.
11. FOR IF THAT WHICH IS DONE AWAY WAS GLORIOUS, MUCH MORE THAT WHICH REMAINETH IS GLORIOUS.
13. ... TO THE END OF THAT WHICH IS ABOLISHED.
14. ... WHICH VEIL IS DONE AWAY IN CHRIST.
16. WHEN IT SHALL TURN TO THE LORD, THE VEIL SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY."
Over and over, we are told that the law is ‘done away’, and ‘abolished’ in Jesus. Many want to return to the ‘beggarly elements of the law’. We, as saints today, should be aware of such things, and avoid, as it were the plague, the false doctrines of ‘commanding not to eat meats.’
"THINK NOT THAT I AM COME TO DESTROY THE LAW OF THE PROPHETS, I AM NOT COME TO DESTROY, BUT TO FULFILL, FOR VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, ONE JOT OR ONE TITTLE SHALL IN NO WISE PASS FROM THE LAW, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED."
The law has not passed away, but is done away in preference to what it fore-shadowed. It was meant to teach us some things, and as the fulfillment of such lessons came,we take those fulfillment, not the former lessons, and shadows of them.
The Sabbath was a part of the law, but Jesus fulfilled that law also. And now that we ‘enter into Him’, we have rest from our works in Him, and He is our Sabbath.
(Rom. 14:5-6, Gal. 4:9-10, Col. 2:14-17)
Circumcision was a part of the law. In the early church, there was much disputing
about whether this should remain mandatory. The law of circumcision was fulfilled in Christ in baptism. (Acts 15:5-25) In our day, we are to have our ‘hearts’ circumcised, and the former circumcision was only a schoolmaster to teach us
toward that truth.
The laws about ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ meats, in the Old Testament, were to bring us to certain truths of the New Testament era.
"BLOTTING OUT THE HANDWRITING OF ORDINANCES, THAT WAS AGAINST US,
WHICH WAS CONTRARY TO US, AND TOOK IT OUT OF THE WAY, NAILING IT TO HIS CROSS. AND HAVING SPOILED PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS, HE MADE A SHOW OF THEM OPENLY, TRIUMPHING OVER THEM IN IT. LET NO MAN THEREFORE JUDGE YOU IN MEAT OR DRINK, OR IN RESPECT OF AN HOLY DAY, OR OF THE NEW MOON, OR OF THE SABBATH DAYS. WHICH WERE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME, BUT THE BODY IS CHRIST."
"...PRIESTS OFFER GIFTS ACCORDING TO THE LAW, WHO SERVE UNTO THE EXAMPLE AND SHADOW OF HEAVENLY THINGS."
"WHICH STOOD ONLY IN MEATS AND DRINKS, AND DIVERS WASHINGS, AND CARNAL ORDINANCES, IMPOSED ON THEM, UNTIL THE TIME OF THE
"FOR THE LAW HAVING A SHADOW OF GOOD THINGS TO COME, AND NOT THE VERY IMAGE OF THE THINGS, CAN NEVER WITH THOSE SACRIFICES WHICH THEY OFFERED YEAR BY YEAR, CONTINUALLY MAKE THE COMERS THERE UNTO PERFECT."
GOD OFFERED AN ABUNDANCE OF FOODS,
SOME OF WHICH ARE PLANTS
"... a land of wheat and barley and vines, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil, and honey, a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness; thou shalt not lack anything in it."
"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was done."
God created many plants for us to eat. Plants were mainly created to be for food.
"I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit, you shall have them for food."
In the Book of Revelation, we see a description of a ‘tree of life’, in which there are 12 kinds of fruit. These fruit, and the leaves of such, are given to bring ‘eternal’ life to the eaters. God had this tree created originally, to be eaten along with all the other fruit and vegetables. Vegetable foods, meaning all ‘non-flesh’ foods, were the first foods given for mankind to eat. We do not find the permission to eat flesh until Genesis 9, after Noah’s flood. So, previous to the flood, mankind may (not certain) have been vegetarian.
Many would take wheat, remove the husks, and eat the grains raw. Or the wheat could be taken unground, and be parched or roasted. This was sometimes eaten with bread and vinegar (sour wine). Grain was ground into flour, put through a sieve and made into bread (leavened or unleavened).
"Meal" was something made by rubbing wheat or barley grains with stone [often with a hand mill].
Vegetable foods such as lentils and beans have long been common foods. They were eaten raw, cooked, ground, etc. Jacob gave Esau lentils to eat. These were probably flavored with onions and herbs. Sometimes these leguminous plants were crushed, ground, or even raw, and then roasted and eaten with oil and salt, and parched like corn. This was an early variation of what we now eat in doritos, tortilla chips.
Israel looked back at Egypt remembering the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic, of Egypt (Numbers 11:5). There were four varieties of beans enjoyed by them, also eaten were spices of chickory and endive, the chick pea, the bitter herbs, and mustard.
The cucumbers were less fibrous and more digestible than our current cucumbers used. They were used by travelers as good satisfiers of thirst.
The poor of Egypt ate much bread, cucumbers, and melons. The cucumbers eaten raw, with or without salt. They could also be stuffed and cooked to make a meal. Sometimes they were pickled and eaten as relish for meat.
Fruit of trees
The olive trees required 10 to 15 years, after planting, to reach productive stage.
The fig trees were planted near them, and were depended on for fruit until the olive tree matured. The berries of the olive tree was used mainly for oil. Fig trees were the principal shade and fruit tree of Palestine. These trees grew even spontaneously in the land. The first ripe fig growing on old wood, is considered a great delicacy
(Isaiah 28:4, Jeremiah 24:2). These figs were often eaten while young and green.
The late figs were dried in the sun and used for out of season eating. Figs were pressed into molds and called a ‘cake of figs’ (I Samuel 25:18, I Chronicles 12:40).
Fig cakes were used a poultrice (A.V. = ‘plaster’) for Hezekiah’s boil. The fig buds and appears before the leaves, but no fruit, was considered barren. (Mark 11:12, Isaiah 28:4, Matthew 21:19, Luke 13:7).
Grapes are called ‘the fruit of the vine’ (Matthew 26:29). Every man was to have a vine and a fig tree (I Kings 4:25). Grape leaves were used as a vegetable. The branches were cut off to make charcoal. Raisins are dried grapes. Grapes were used to make wine. Often, in the Bible times, the people mixed grape juice and honey to make a grape syrup.
It was common for people to use the fruit of the mulberry fig tree (sycamore), and of the date palm. The fruit of these was often dried, pressed into cakes.
Pomegranates, pods of the carob tree was often used also.
Nuts, especially pistachio nuts, almonds, and walnuts were eaten and used in cooking.
The cummin (Kammon, anise, dill) mint, mustard, and salt were the common seasonings. Salt was considered good and vital. To eat someone else's salt was tantamount to eating his bread (Ezra 4:14). The ‘covenant of salt’ was inviolable (Numbers 18:19, II Chronicles 13:5).
‘Bread’ usually stands for food in general in the Bible. This is likely because meat, cheese, raisins, olives, etc. were inserted in the bread, to be eaten, along with the bread. Thus, bread could be the whole meal. The art of making bread is very ancient, the Egyptians, the Hebrews of the Exodus, used bread as a staple. Barley bread was common for the poorer classes. Wheat of the Syrian plains is known for its nutrition and keeping ability.