SWINE'S FLESH AS FOOD?
SOME WRONG INTERPRETATIONS CORRECTED
The following article was reprinted from MOUNT ZION REPORTER, Editor A. N. Dugger.
"We believe it states the true meaning of God's Law and other related Scriptures about the eating of pork by man. ...We pray it will stop many from the error of disobeying God." -Pastor Sheldon Emry
The command was given to Noah after the flood to "Kill and eat." There was a surplus supply prepared, for all vegetation was destroyed. It was necessary, for them to eat, but as the clean beasts entered the Ark by sevens, while the unclean were taken by twos. Genesis 7:2, it was not intended for Noah to eat the unclean ones. Therefore the very nature of the animal was such that it was not fit for food, long before the days of Moses, when definite laws were made regarding food.
In the 11th chapter of Leviticus it is very clearly given what kind of flesh was intended for food, and the kind that was unclean. There are, however, certain texts in the New Testament that people wrongly interpret, like the one explained in the June issue, which I shall not repeat. (That article is unfortunately not available.)
Another text which is taken for an excuse to eat the swine is found in Acts 10th chapter where the apostle Peter was shown in vision a sheet let down from heaven with all manner of four footed animals, and a voice said to him, "Arise Peter, kill and eat. What God hath cleansed call thou not common." It is claimed that the swine and all kinds of unclean creatures were cleansed, and can therefore be eaten as good food without any danger to ones health. This is man's interpretation of the intention of the vision, but in verse 28 we have the Spirit's interpretation. Peter says,
"God hath SHOWN ME that I should call NO MAN,
(not the animals)
common or unclean."
So dear reader, let us believe what Peter says about it, and not some man's statement contrary to the scripture.
Peter was here undergoing a test as to whether he should go in among Gentiles or not, as you will gather from reading the chapter. This was the way the Father chose to show him that all men were the same and the middle wall of partition between the Jew and the Gentile had been broken down. Those led by the Spirit, after knowing what it says in verse 28, will no longer misrepresent this lesson, but will teach it as Peter tells us to teach it.
Another fact worth noting here is that this was eight years after Pentecost, and Peter says,
"I have never eaten anything common or unclean," Verse 14.
Surely, if the swine had been cleansed by the shed blood on Calvary, as many claim, Peter would have known it, and would not have been abstaining from eating the unclean meats for these eight years. I am sure Peter's example is a good one to follow.
Another text frequently used is found in I Timothy 4:3-5. It says that the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some will forbid people to marry, and
"command them to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving".
(or set apart),
by the Word of God and prayer."
Many honestly believe that they sanctify swine's flesh through prayer and make it clean. But notice just what it says here. It says it is sanctified (set apart) by the WORD of GOD. Now what meats are set apart by the Word of God, and what meats were created to be received? In this text we have two positive statements, that it is the meat CREATED TO BE RECEIVED, and the other is the meats SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD OF GOD. The word "Sanctify," means to set apart for holy use. The unclean animals were never created to be received for food, neither are they sanctified (set apart) by the Word, for food. In the previous scripture given in Leviticus 11th chapter, it is very easy to learn the meats that were set apart by the Word of God for food, and those created to be received. Therefore, let us not wrongly interpret these scriptures and bring sickness and untimely death upon us.
After man sinned, there was a curse brought forth upon the earth, and the earth produced thorns and briars, we are told. Also there was death. Then there needed to be buzzards, vultures and pigs for scavengers to eat up the rotten flesh of things that died. The pig is a scavenger. It has four canals, one running down each leg with the outlet in the bottom of the foot. When this outlet gets stopped up the pig gets down in the back and can't walk. I well remember my folks calling an animal doctor when I was a boy at home to see what was the matter with the hogs, as they had a big pen full of them. It had been a long spell of rain and the mud was thick. This outlet had gotten clogged up with mud. When the veterinarian saw them, he knew at once what was wrong. He dug the dirt and mud out of this outlet and the matter and puss squirted out in a stream. When eating pork, the puss in these canals is eaten too, as food.
Hogs are scavengers, created for that purpose. Strychnine will not kill them. They eat poison and it passes off in this way. A rattlesnake infested patch of hill out in the western part of the US, not so far from where we lived, was cleaned up by fencing and turning in a bunch of swine. Bell Isle, between Michigan and Canada, was also infested with rattlesnakes, a very poisonous snake, and it was cleaned up the same way. The hog is a product of the curse, and by nature, scavengers like the buzzard and vulture.
When I was a young man at home with the folks, there were three women all members of our religious group, who never would eat pork. Everyone else ate it because they (wrongly interpreted the foregoing scripture, as many now. I always believed there was a purpose in the Father declaring swine to be unwholesome and dangerous food, so I watched these three women in after years. As time went on, all of the men and women in our old neighborhood were dead, but these were still living. I was convinced by that and also by the statement in Isaiah 66:15-17 that swine was not for human food.
Everyone in our old neighborhood died from early fifties to middle sixties, but these women were living and going strong. Twenty-five more years passed and they were the same. One lived to over a hundred, and the other two up in the nineties. One was my own mother, who would never eat the pork.
"And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you." -Leviticus 11:7.
Feel free to send your helpful comments.