Question: "Why did the Old Testament Law command against the eating of pork?"

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MrStevish

Senior Member
May 5, 2017
159
1
0
#1
Question: "Why did the Old Testament Law command against the eating of pork?"

Question: "Why did the Old Testament Law command against the eating of pork?"

Answer: Many of the prohibitions and requirements in the Old Testament, seem pointless to the modern Western mind. A case in point is the ban on eating pork (Leviticus 11:7). After all, to most people, a good pork loin served with apples and nuts makes for a very fine meal! Understanding the purpose of the Mosaic Law, generally, and the cultural view of swine in particular is essential to appreciating the restriction on eating pork.

The Law given to the Israelites had a number of important purposes. Following God’s prescribed actions was not to be a simple ritual; rather, obedience to the Law expressed a strong internal faith in God and healthy fear of Him. Deuteronomy 30 records the blessings God would grant Israel if they followed Him and the curses He would enact if they did not. These blessings and curses were an integral part of the covenant between God and Israel, so the Law was the basis of a conditional covenant. Also, the Law stood as a unique sign of the privilege granted to Israel, setting them apart from their pagan neighbors.

The whole world in Moses’ time was idolatrous, with each nation believing in many deities. The forbidding of certain foods such as eating pork clearly distinguished between what would later be termed “Jew” and “Gentile.” The dietary restrictions further indicated that Israel was a separate nation, a chosen people, and this helped the Israelites to break free from idolatry—a sin they struggled with (see Exodus 32).

Under the Old Testament Law, even touching the meat of swine made one ritually unclean (Deuteronomy 14:8). This detail further insulated the Israelites from pagan practices. The Canaanites kept herds of swine and sacrificed them to idols. The connection between swine and pagan worship became so strong that the prophet Isaiah equated the sacrificial offering of pig’s blood with murder—both are called “abominations” (Isaiah 66:3).

Then there are the hygienic concerns related to the Law’s dietary restrictions. It is well known today that pork carries any number of diseases, and the meat requires stricter cooking techniques than other meats such as beef or poultry. In Moses’ day, there was no knowledge of microscopic pathogens, and the cultural norm was to eat raw or under-cooked meat (Leviticus 19:26). Of course, eating under-cooked pork would have posed a significant health threat to Israel, but God providentially protected them through the Mosaic Law. “If you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you” (Exodus 15:26).

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Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
382
36
28
#2
Re: Question: "Why did the Old Testament Law command against the eating of pork?"

The OT law given in fleshly reminders of God's laws were described by Paul as like teachers guiding the school children on the way to school. The laws they were to guide them to are still God's law. We are given the Holy Spirit to guide us instead of reminders like not eating Pork. They were told it was to set them apart from idol worshippers and to not give their minds what is garbage to eat.

It is still true that we need to know we are set apart to live differently and be different from all who decide for themselves how to live instead of letting God decide for them so their lives are in tune with how God created the world to be. We are to keep our minds on the good and let God handle what isn't. We are not to read books showing the garbage of life or go to movies that fill our minds with garbage.

The only difference between OT times and NT times in regard to pork eating is that gentiles are required to follow the Holy Spirit instead of needing to become national Jews to follow Jesus.
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
7,433
287
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#3
Re: Question: "Why did the Old Testament Law command against the eating of pork?"

for us, personally, we gave-up 'pork' in the early 80's which we both loved -
when we read about and understood about the 'abomination of desolation' in God's temple,
when the gentiles used pork to desecrate God's Holy Altar, this along with other scriptures
about swine and the 'health factors, was a huge 'turn-off' for the both of us...

several years ago, my husband was apprenticing with a veterinarian and he described to him
how, back then, hogs/swine, were raised and fed in 'tiers', one story upon another, well,
the swine on the top got the premo' feed, and all those beneath had to eat their recycle...
talk about a 'turn-off'...

in the story of the sheet coming-down from heaven, which was around, we think about
30yrs. after Christ's death, Peter tells us that he had definitely not eaten anything 'unclean'...
at that point, Peter and the disciples were definitely eating 'clean', according to the
dietary Laws...
 

EarnestQ

Senior Member
Apr 28, 2016
2,405
180
63
#4
Re: Question: "Why did the Old Testament Law command against the eating of pork?"

Because right after the flood Ham was cursed.
 
B

BeyondET

Guest
#5
Re: Question: "Why did the Old Testament Law command against the eating of pork?"

Ancient folks weren't very good cooks.
 
Aug 2, 2009
20,286
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#6
Re: Question: "Why did the Old Testament Law command against the eating of pork?"

Because bacon had not been invented yet. :rolleyes: