We begin, first, with a discussion from the Besorah Marqus (the Gospel of Mark):
Marqus (Mark) 7:14-16
And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. 16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
There are some who make the case that YAHUSHA was granting allowance to eat the pork, the shellfish, the rabbit, and the owl. This argument becomes even more centered in the verses that follow, given that the word food is actually used:
Marqus (Mark) 7:17-23
And when he was entered into the house from the people, his Talmidiym asked him concerning the parable. 18 And he said unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without enters into the man, it cannot defile him; 19 Because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and goes out into the draught, purging all food? 20 And he said, That which comes out of the man, that defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Let us begin then with the question, and see if we can get a Scriptural answer: What is food?
Bere’shityh (Genesis) 1:29-30
And ELOHIYM said, Behold, I have given you את eth-every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and את eth every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given את eth every green herb for food: and it was so.
Here, we see no animals at all being given as food; however, we don’t see it being excluded either.
Mosheh (due to the hardness of the hearts of Yashar’el?) set forth another mitsvah concerning food:
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 11:1-31
AND YAHUAH spoke unto El-Mosheh and to El-Aharon, saying unto them, 2 Speak unto the children of Yashar’el, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 3 Whatsoever parts the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and chews the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. 4 Nevertheless these את eth-shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as את eth-the camel, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 5 And את eth-the coney, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 6 And את eth-the hare, because he chews the cud, but divides not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 7 And את eth-the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he chews not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
9 These את eth-shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye 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 which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have את eth-their carcasses in abomination. 12 Whatsoever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
13 And these את eth-are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: את eth-the eagle, and את eth-the ossifrage, and את eth-the ospray, 14 And את eth-the vulture, and את eth-the kite after his kind; 15 את eth Every raven after his kind; 16 And את eth-the owl, and את eth-the night hawk, and את eth-the cuckow, and את eth-the hawk after his kind, 17 And את eth-the little owl, and את eth-the cormorant, and את eth-the great owl, 18 And את eth-the swan, and את eth-the pelican, and את eth-the gier eagle, 19 And את eth-the stork, the heron after her kind, and את eth-the lapwing, and את eth-the bat. 20 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. 21 Yet these את eth-may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goes upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 22 את eth-Even these of them ye may eat; את eth-the locust after his kind, and את eth-the bald locust after his kind, and את eth-the beetle after his kind, and את eth-the grasshopper after his kind. 23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. 24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever touches the carcass of them shall be unclean until the evening. 25 And whosoever bears ought of the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. 26 The carcasses of every beast which divides the hoof, and is not cloven-footed, nor chews the cud, are unclean unto you: everyone that touches them shall be unclean. 27 And whatsoever goes upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening. 28 And he that bears את eth-the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening: they are unclean unto you.
29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, 30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. 31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever touches them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the evening.
Albacore (Crevalle, Horse Mackerel)
Alewives (Branch & River Herring)
Blueback (Glut Herring)
Blue Runner (Hardtail)
Boston Bluefish (Pollack)
Long jaw (Blackfin)
Flounder (Dab, Gray Sole, Yellow Tail)
Frost Fish (Ice Fish, Smelt)
Gulf Pike (Robalo, Snook, Sergeant)
Hardtail (Blue Runner)
Horse Mackerel (Albacore)
Long Nose Sucker
Red Striped Sucker
Pike (Jack, Northern)
Red Drum (Redfish)
Redfin (Red Horse Sucker)
Red Striped Sucker
Robalo (Gulf Pike)
Salmon (Chum, Coho, King, Pink, Red)
Sergeant Fish (Gulf Pike)
Silver Hake (Whiting)
Smelt (Frost Fish)
Snook (Gulf Pike)
Tuna (Albacore, Bluefin, Yellowfin, Skipjack)
Whiting (Silver Hake)
Skate (common in fake/imitation scallops and other seafood)
Swai (catfish family)
Giraffe (Not eaten due to being a protected species)
(Possess elongated middle toe and hind toe, crops and gizzards; not a raptor.)Dove
Kite (Red & Black)
All flying insects that walk on all four legs
So now that we have a comprehensive list, we need to take a look again at what was being said about that which is clean and unclean and what that meant in the Besorah Marqus (the Gospel of Mark). Let’s get the context:
Marqus (Mark) 7:1-8
THEN came together unto him the Parashiym, and certain of the scribes, which came from Yerushalayim. 2 And when they saw some of his Talmidiym eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. 3 For the Parashiym, and all the Yahudiym, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. 5 Then the Parashiym and scribes asked him, Why walk not your Talmidiym according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well has Yesha`yahu prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of YAHUAH, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Following another illustration of the premises that the doctrine of men was the laying aside of the commandment, HA’MASHIACH then goes on to clarify this issue of eating with unclean hands – that is to say, to address the rhetorical question: Does the touching of food (which has already been defined and declared above) with unclean hands (unwashed) render the food ritually unclean? That is the rhetorical question in this case. And the answer is:
Marqus (Mark) 7:15-16
There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. 16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
That is to say, there is nothing on the outside of a man that will render clean food unclean. That is what is being said here . . . and nothing more.
But what about Peter’s vision? Let’s take a look:
Ma’asiym (Acts) 10:9-28
On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Kepha went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw את eth heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12 Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Kepha; kill, and eat. 14 But Kepha said, Not so, ADONAI; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. 15 And the voice spoke unto him again the second time, What YAH has cleansed, that call not common. 16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
17 Now while Kepha doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Qurnelius had made inquiry for Shim`on's house, and stood before the gate, 18 And called, and asked whether Shim`on, which was surnamed Kepha, were lodged there.
19 While Kepha thought on the vision, the RUACH said unto him: Behold, three men seek you. 20 Arise therefore, and get you down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. 21 Then Kepha went down to the men which were sent unto him from Qurnelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? 22 And they said, Qurnelius the centurion, a just man, and one that fears YAH, and of good report among all the nation of the Yahudiym, was warned from YAH by a holy angel to send for you into his house, and to hear words of you. 23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Kepha went away with them, and certain brethren from Yapho accompanied him. 24 And the morrow after they entered into Qeycaryah. And Qurnelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends. 25 And as Kepha was coming in, Qurnelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26 But Kepha took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. 27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. 28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Yahudiy to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but YAHUAH has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
So, it is a proper exegesis to conclude that this Scripture passage is not about making unclean food clean, but rather cleansing the law that said that a Yahudiy could not company with someone of another nation.
So, others raise the issue about Pa’al’s discussion in Qolasiym, believing that somehow Pa’al is giving the world a new description of that which constitutes food:
Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:13-24
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all transgressions; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of dogma that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day, or of the New Moon, or of the Shabbath: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come for the body of MASHIACH.
18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of YAHUAH. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with MASHIACH from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to dogma, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
Now, Pa’al makes a case against the handwriting of dogma, not a case against the Torah, the statutes, the judgments, the ordinances, or the Torah of YAHUAH. At the time of his writing, handwriting such as the Gemara and the Mishnah were already in place. Isn’t this what he is discussing? Of course! Because he will go on to discuss (by inference) the very same thing discussed by HA’MASHIACH in refuting the law of handwashing in regard to whether or not unclean hands could render clean food unclean. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with MASHIACH from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to dogma, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
But what exactly is he saying in verses 16 and 17?
We can tell that whatever he is saying in verse 16, whatever it is will come to be a shadow of things to come for the body of MASHIACH. So what are these things:
- Feast days
- New Moons
- The Shabbath
So these are the things to come for the body of MASHIACH, and they are a part of the life of the believer even now as the shadow of things to come.
Let no man judge you therefore when you eat only that which is declared to be food in Scripture, instead of that which is declared to be food by those who produce such things.
Let no man judge you therefore for not drinking the things that the world encourages people to drink.
Let no man judge you therefore for keeping the Feasts of Vayiqra 23 – the practice of the seven-fold doctrine of his whole creation.
Let no man judge you therefore for celebrating the New Moons of the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth months, bringing the agricultural sewing and reaping cycles into recognition of the four seasons which begin on these moons.
Let no man judge you therefore for keeping the Shabbathoth (Sabbaths) of YAHUAH.