Did Rebbe Yeshua Really Declare All Food Clean? – part 1

Out of the many aspects of the restoration to a true Hebraic lifestyle none has caused such conflict as the change in dietary practice which YHWH has prescribed in His Torah. For many of our family and friends who still hold to the traditional teachings of the church of Christendom whose main tenet is, We are no longer under the Law, nothing sets them quite on edge as when we try and explain why we no longer eat certain meats, fish and seafood…etc. It is amazing that in some instances these well-meaning folks will actually fight for your right to eat pork, shrimp…etc. The Torah of YHWH is eternal. (Tehillim/Psalm 119:89; M’lakhi/Malachi 3:6) He does not say one thing today and then suddenly change His mind tomorrow. In this study we are going to look at a number of the so-called New Testament passages (Messianic Scriptures) that seemingly contradict what YHWH gave in loving instruction for His people to consider as food. That last word food will become a very pivotal point in our discussion. YHWH in our Torah portion, Sh’mini/Eighth, goes into great detail in describing what He deems to be food, and what is not. Before we go in that direction, we must first lay a foundation that will help us understand just when and where the seeds of this controversy were laid. It may surprise some that the blame does not begin with Constantine in the 4th Century, as is so much the case with many of the errors which plague the modern church. No, we must actually go back a little further in time to a man called Marcion.

Marcion And The Initiation Of Replacement Theology

Marcion was a very wealthy man who lived during the 2nd Century. He was also a very learned and religious man. It is said that his father was actually a bishop in the Catholic church. In essence, Marcion used his wealth and influence to buy his way into the church, in order to put forth his quite unorthodox theological ideas. He was actually the first to compile a list of written works and make them into a canon of Scriptural text. Marcion’s idea of a canonized Scripture actually helped pave the way for the canon of Scripture we today refer to as the Bible

In Marcion’s thought, there was a distinct difference between the so-called God of the Old Testament, and the one that was found in the New. In his eyes, the Old Testament God was wrathful and vengeful. He especially got great delight out of punishing the Jewish people for their sins. In turn, the so-called God of the New Testament was one of love and compassion. This was clearly seen in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Therefore Marcion divided the Scriptures between the so-called Old and New Testaments. He made this differentiation clear, and characterized the Jewish people with the former. In his thought, Jesus came to establish an entirely separate religion from that of Jewish Yisrael. The apostle Paul was supposedly God’s first and most ardent apostle of this new faith. (Hmmmm….beginning to sound familiar?) Marcion’s canon of Scripture text completely disregarded the TaNaKh/Hebrew Scriptures. It consisted of eleven books…one gospel, resembling that of Luke, but bearing his name, and ten of the letters of Paul. 

In time, the Catholic church rose up and renounced Marcion and his theology as completely heretical. While the Catholic church continued to maintain this stance, Marcion pressed on undeterred. He actually founded a church system established on the precepts of his theology. He, in fact, continued as a very strong presence both in his day and for many years to come. Even today, while not buying completely into the broader scope of his heretical theology, the church of Christendom does in fact embrace many of Marcion’s foundational tenets of faith. Many well-meaning and orthodox Christian believers do not realize that when you make a division between the TaNaKh/Hebrew Scriptures and the Messianic Scriptures, this is in essence the ghost of Marcionism! When you further divide those to whom each covenant was meant for, the so-called Old for Jewish Yisrael, and the so-called New for the Gentiles, you are in reality embracing this same heretical spirit!

The truth is, that both the TaNaKh/Hebrew Scriptures and the Messianic Writings [Matthew to Revelation] are ONE in essence and intent. The one was NEVER intended by YHWH to exist without the other. What Constantine was so aptly able to accomplish in divorcing the church of Christendom in the 4th century from its Hebraic heritage, vilifying the Jewish people, and replacing Yisrael with a new entity called the church, was in actuality no new concept. Its very origin can be traced back to the man Marcion. Today, YHWH in His great mercy is arising in the midst of His people. He is outpouring the Ruach HaKodesh, the Ruach/Spirit of Truth. In this Hebraic restoration of the Whole House of Yisrael, we are putting away the heretical lies that have separated us from our heritage, and a holy remnant is purging itself of this leaven of lies and paganism. 

My intent at the outset here was not to do an in-depth examination of this man Marcion and his heretical system of theology. I only wanted to touch upon it in order to open our eyes to see where this unholy influence of dividing YHWH’s Word actually originated.  The seeds of replacement theology, which denigrates the nation of Yisrael and the Jewish people, and replaces them with a separate entity called the church, was sown long before Constantine came along in the 4th century. The beginning of this terrible heresy rests squarely at the feet of Marcion. The goal of the Hebraic is unity…ONENESS. As we return to YHWH’s Torah, by His Ruach, we will be able to remove the splintered and fragmented lies that have veiled themselves with Scriptural light. The Torah reveals the truth…YHWH is ONE…His Word is ONE. The continuous manifestation of YHWH as The Son is not meant to be understood as a separate Person from Himself. Our blessed Master Yeshua IS YHWH’s most perfect, complete/continuous manifestation of Himself that has ever been or ever will be. When our eyes are opened to see YHWH and His Son in His unique existence as ONE Being in distinct, not divided deity, then we too will begin to become ONE in Him. This ONENESS causes us to see YHWH’s Word as ONE. The TaNaKh/Hebrew Scriptures is the root that finds its fullness in the Messianic Scriptures, which testify to the fullness of the ReNewed Covenant. As has been said, The Old is the New contained. The New is the Old explained. It is when we make the two as separate and complete in themselves that trouble begins. The reason the so-called New Covenant seems so at odds with its Older counterpart, is that when you throw away the TaNaKh/Hebrew Scriptures, you throw away the definitions for giving understanding to the Messianic Scriptures. This then forces you to come up with new definitions. Unfortunately you lose YHWH’s designed sense of continuity in the process of translation. In this Hebraic restoration of the Whole House of Yisrael, the ReNewed Covenant is being placed back into its proper place in relation with YHWH’s Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures. The result is a seamless unity of thought from B’resheet/Genesis to Hitgalut/Revelation. May Abba YHWH help us as we look further into this study of His instructions as to what is food and how both the TaNaKh/Hebrew Scriptures and the Messianic Writings harmoniously speak the same Truth cover to cover.

Wayikra/Leviticus Chapter 11: YHWH’s Definition Of What Food Is

In the last chapter of the Torah parasha Sh’mini/Eighth, we find YHWH, through Moshe Rabbeinu/Our Teacher, giving Yisrael His instructions on exactly what is to be considered food. You can read this on your own, but you will find it is a list of what is considered to be clean and unclean animals, aquarian life, birds, and even insects. The clean are considered by YHWH to be food. The unclean simply are not to be considered as such. YHWH created the unclean creatures for one thing…to clean the earth. When’s the last time you looked at your garbage can or vacuum cleaner and thought…‘You know with a little Heinz 57 that might be pretty tasty!’ I don’t think so. It’s trash not food. Nobody in their right mind eats trash. Well, that’s what we’ve been doing while we’ve been separated from YHWH’s Torah. [see Hoshea/Hosea 9:3] We’ve learned ways to make these creatures edible. While the unclean creatures serve a good purpose when allowed to fulfill the function for which they were created, YHWH NEVER intended for them to become food. When they are removed from their intended purpose and forced to assume a role as food, then YHWH calls them an abomination!

Now here’s the issue, in our minds we can logically understand Torah commandments like Thou shalt not commit murder, or Thou shalt not commit adultery. The reasoning is obvious. However, the commandments YHWH gave concerning food are not so logical. In fact, the rabbis say they are illogical commandments. In other words, YHWH doesn’t give any actual logical explanation as to why we shouldn’t eat those things. In Hebrew these commandments are called a chuk [ch-oo-k] (singular), or chukkim [ch-oo-khim]/chukkot [ch-oo-kot] (plural). They are ordinances given by YHWH. He just simply says, ‘Don’t eat these.’ The problem is that as Yosef-Ephraim-Yisrael, the returning non-Jewish house of Yisrael, we have been scattered out among the nations. We have forgotten our heritage, and YHWH’s ways as revealed in His Torah. If we had never been scattered, if we had remained faithful to Him, then we wouldn’t have learned to do things contrary to His will. However, we did, and now in His mercy, just as He prophesied, He is regathering us from among the nations. We are waking up to who we really are, and as a result, we are being repatriated back to our heritage and the Torah. This process is not so simple, but by YHWH’s grace through our blessed Mashiach Yeshua, we are getting there.

This is why those who haven’t had their eyes opened yet to the Hebraic restoration that is happening, are having such a hard time with what is going on in our lives. They are still living under the heretical/religious spirit that Marcion was responsible for sowing into the world. Until YHWH opens the eyes of their heart as He did us, we simply must love them and pray that Abba YHWH will show them mercy too. Then and only then will they be able to see why we have made the choices we have. 

So now, we are ready to begin our trek into the passages in the Messianic Scriptures that have seemingly caused such issue. However, when the Messianic Scriptures [Heb. Ketuvim HaNotzrim/Writings of the Nazarene’s] are looked at through Hebraic eyes, there are no issues. There are no contradictions. This will become abundantly clear as we go along.

Did Rebbe Yeshua Really Teach All Meat Was Clean?

Our first passage will come out of the Gospel/Besorah of Mark. Its sister passage is in the Gospel/Besorah of Mattityahu/Matthew. However, we will focus on what is contained in Mark’s version because it is the one that most people use to refute the Torah’s instruction about food. At first glance, and without the foundation we have already laid, it might just seem that Rebbe Yeshua does in fact contradict the Torah. But as we will see, He in fact upholds YHWH’s Torah. The real issue here is not even food itself per se, but something else entirely. Rebbe Yeshua uses the situation to actually speak to what YHWH’s real concern is…not the stomach, but the heart

“And, when they had come down from Yerushalayim [Jerusalem], the Perushim [Pharisees] and some of the Sofrim [Scribes] come together around Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach [Teacher, King The Messiah], And they had observed that some of his talmidim [talmidim] were eating their lechem [bread] with yadayim temeiot [unclean/unwashed hands], that is, hands ritually unclean. [For the Perushim [Pharisees], and indeed this was the Jewish minhag [custom], do not eat without doing netilat yadayim (ritual of the washing of the hands) and also observing the Masoret HaZekenim (the Torah Shebal peh, Oral Torah/Traditions of the Elders). And when they come from [the] marketplace, unless they do so, they do not eat. And there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the Tevilah [washing] of cups and pitchers and copper pots.And the Perushim [Pharisees] and the Sofrim [Scribes] question Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, [Teacher, King Messiah] Why do your talmidim [disciples] not follow the halachah [ways/practice] according to the Masoret HaZekenim [the Torah Shebal peh, Oral Torah/the Traditions of the Elders], but eat their lechem [bread] with Yadayim temeiot [unclean hands]? ” (Mark7:1-5 OJB- definitions mine)

As we examine this passage, let’s take a moment to gain some focus. Rebbe Yeshua was stirring things up among the religious system of His day. The Perushim/Pharisees and the Sofrim/Scribes were looking for ways to discredit Him and His ministry. As a side note, these Pharisees and Scribes spoken of here in our passage were from one of the two major Pharisaical schools of that day, the school of Shemmai. [The school of Shemmai was a very strict sect of the Pharisees, as opposed to the school of Hillel, which was more moderate] In our passage, they, along with some of the Scribes, [they were the actual biblical scholars of the day. It was their task to communicate the Torah in both written and oral mediums providing interpretations and instruction on text], believed that they had come upon a situation that would give them just the ammunition they needed to accomplish this desire. 

We must at this point make a statement of clarification. The Torah in the eyes of Jewish Yisrael in Rebbe Yeshua’s day consisted of both Written and Oral forms. There are things that the written Torah did not go into much elaboration on. [eg. What is considered to be work?]. The Oral Torah brings this into understanding by giving definitions and Midrashes [rabbinical commentary and discussions] on the subject. Thus the two were seen as necessary counterparts of one another. The problems arose when the Pharisees began to put fences around the written Torah in an effort to keep people from breaking the actual Torah commandments themselves. It may have started out as a good idea, but it soon became a means by which the Oral Torah, known in Master Yeshua’s day as The Tradition of the Elders, began to be seen as more important than the written Torah of Moshe. This was the beginning of certain trouble. In a much later time, the Oral Torah was compiled and codified into written form. As such, it began to lose its purity as the rabbis began to add their traditions and interpretations to it. This was NEVER to be in YHWH’s intended purpose. However, Rebbe Yeshua did seek to try and work within the Oral traditions of His day. It can, in fact, be found that some of His very teachings find their origin from within the Oral Traditions of the Elders. The conflict we are about to encounter in our passage quoted above is in the application of the interpretations from within this body of work. The Traditions of the Elders became the precursor to the Mishna and Talmud. 

One of the commandments which was contained in The Traditions of the Elders was that one must wash hands and recite the appropriate blessing. The school of Shemmai added the time for this observance was BEFORE any food was eaten. On the other hand, the school of Hillel taught that the observance could be done at any point, before, during, or even after a meal. Thus, the two houses of Pharisaic practice were constantly at odds with one another. The instruction, as applied by the school of Shemmai, went so far as to dictate that if one ate without washing their hands and saying the appropriate blessing before eating, then the food that was eaten was made unclean. In turn, those eating this contaminated food were now themselves made unclean. The fact that it is noted that these Perushim/Pharisees were from Yerushalayim/Jerusalem is a hint that they were from the school of Shemmai. They, along with the Sofrim/Scribes, saw that some of Rebbe Yeshua’s talmidim had not observed this part of the Traditions of the Elders before eating their meal. Therefore they seized this supposed violation to make their accusation.

In light of the above, we must add a few more comments for clarification purposes in order to understand what is transpiring. It is apparent from the above passage from Mark’s Besorah/Gospel, that there were some of Rebbe Yeshua’s talmidim/disciples that DID keep the instruction of The Traditions of the Elders. They in fact DID wash their hands and say the blessing before eating the meal. At the same time, there were also some of Rebbe Yeshua’s talmidim/disciples that HAD NOT kept this tradition. It was their lack of obeying this tradition before the actual meal was eaten that gave place to the accusation of these Perushim/Pharisees and Sofrim/Scribes from the house of Shemmai in the first place. So, what we see here is that Rebbe Yeshua must have Himself been willing and DID keep this tradition, because they DID NOT accuse Him of not keeping the tradition, only some of His talmidim/disciples apparently had not done so. Second, He apparently made allowance for His talmidim/disciples to keep this tradition and choose at what point during the meal they washed hands and say the blessing. It is clear that He DID NOT make the timing of the observance binding upon all those who followed Him.  It is noted that Rebbe Yeshua did seem to lean more toward the way the school of Hillel interpreted the Tradition of the Elders. If that was true, then it wasn’t that those of His talmidim/disciples that hadn’t washed their hands weren’t going to wash their hands and say the blessing, they simply had not done it yet! This tradition was not a part of the written Torah. Therefore Rebbe Yeshua did not dictate how His talmidim/disciples observed the instruction of the Oral mitzvot/commandments. He allowed latitude as to when they did it. This insight is critical in order to understand Rebbe Yeshua’s halachah, or way of walking which He taught His talmidim/disciples.

The Oral Torah is something very foreign to those of us from the returning house of Ephraim. Sadly, even in Rebbe Yeshua’s day the Oral Torah, The Traditions of the Elders, was fast becoming something that it should have NEVER become. Our Rebbe Yeshua rebuked those within the sects of the Perushim/Pharisees for making the Torah of Moshe a burdensome yoke too great for any one in Jewish Yisrael to bear. As a true prophet of Yisrael, Master Yeshua called the people of Jewish Yisrael back to the simplicity of YHWH’s written Torah given to them by Moshe Rabbeinu/our Teacher. (Mattityahu/Matthew 11:28-30) I do not believe in the wholesale rejection of the Oral Traditions of Judaism as a source of reference. There are many things that can be gleaned therein. However, it is the written Torah alone which is most important. We have the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit, and He will teach us by the anointing that comes as we hear YHWH speak to our spirit.

So let us understand something clearly here. The Perushim/Pharisees and Sofrim/Scribes were NOT accusing Rebbe Yeshua nor His talmidim of eating food that was not designated as food by the written Torah. In other words, the food which Rebbe Yeshua and His talmidim/disciples were eating was not something on the unclean list found in Wayikra/Leviticus chapter 11. That was NOT the issue. They were in fact eating bread not meat any way. Since these Perushim/Pharisees and Sofrim/Scribes were looking so intently to find a way to accuse and discredit Rebbe Yeshua, had He or His talmidim/disciples been eating unclean meat, fish or insects that would have served their purpose even more so. However, the food Rebbe Yeshua and His talmidim were eating was indeed considered clean by the written Torah’s instruction. The problem was not what they ate, but how it was being eaten.

“And Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach [Teacher, King Messiah] said to them, Yeshayah [Isaiah] rightly gave a dvar nevuah [word of prophecy] of you tzevuim [hypocrites], as it has been written, HAAM HAZEH BISFATAV KIBDUNI VLIBO RIKHA MIMENI VATEHI YIRATAM OTI MITZVAT ANASHIM MELUMMADAH (This people with [their] lips honor me, but their heart is removed far away from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the mitzvot [commandments] of men.) [YESHAYAH 29:13] Abandoning the mitzvat Hashem [commandments of YHWH], you are holding to the Masoret HaBnei Adam [Traditions of The Sons of Men/the Torah Shebal peh, Oral Torah]. And he was saying to them, You have a fine knack for setting aside the mitzvat Hashem [commandments of YHWH] in order that your own Masorot [Traditions] might stand undisturbed. For Moshe [Rabbeinu] said, KABED ES AVICHA VES IMMECHA (Honor your father and your mother), and, The one reviling AVIV VIMMO MOT YUMAT (father or mother let him be put to death. [SHEMOT 20:12, DEVARIM 5:16, SHEMOT 21:17, VAYIKRA 20:9] But you say, If a man says to his Abba [father] or to his Em [mother], whatever by me you might have benefited is Korban [that is, the taitsh (translation) of korban is an offering to Hashem/YHWH], Then no longer do you permit him to do anything for his Abba [father] or his Em [mother]. You nullify and make void the dvar Hashem [word of YHWH/the written Torah] by means of your Masoret [traditions] youreceived. And you do many similar things.” (Mark 7:6-13 OJB- definitions mine)

In our immediate passage above, Rebbe Yeshua used the argument of the Perushim/Pharisees and Sofrim/Scribes to point to the real issue that was YHWH’s concern. First, He contrasts the hypocrisy by which they justified their greed by using the Tradition of the Elders to remove themselves from YHWH’s instruction in the written Torah to take care of their parents. Instead of giving what they had in order to fulfill this commandment, they took it and made it an offering to YHWH. In turn, their parents went without. For this Rebbe Yeshua exposed their hypocrisy. He used the navi/prophet Yeshayahu’s/Isaiah’s words to do it. Then He calls the people together to further refute the hypocrisy of these hardline Perushim/Pharisees and Sofrim/Scribes concerning what makes food and people clean or unclean.

“And having summoned again the multitude, he was saying to them, Give ear to me and have binah (understanding). There is nothing outside of a ben Adam (human being/son of man) entering into him which is able to make him tameh [unclean], but it is the things coming out from the ben Adam  [human being/son of man] that make him tameh [unclean]. He who has oznayim [ears] to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 7:14-16 OJB- definitions mine)

Pay attention to what Rebbe Yeshua is saying. He makes it clear, regardless of what the Tradition of the Elders may teach, the food which YHWH prescribes in the Torah as clean cannot be made unclean simply because one may eat without washing their hands. The commandment to wash the hands IS NOT from YHWH’s written Torah. But was found in the Oral Torah, the Tradition of the Elders. The reason for this instruction was in order to make an impact upon our heart that all we do should be done with a conscious awareness of the spirit of holiness. The world we live in is a fallen one. Therefore, if we choose to wash our hands as a symbolic mini-mikvah that is a picture of sanctifying our hands from the uncleanness of the fallen world, it is good and acceptable. The Tradition of the Elders went beyond these instructions and made it a binding practice. It also added the part about touching clean food with unwashed hands not only making the food unclean, but also the one eating it. This is where Rebbe Yeshua parted ways with this tradition. If one wishes to wash their hands in regard to the Oral Torah, then fine. But if one doesn’t wash their hands before or after the meal it does not make their food unclean. It also does not make them unclean by eating it. That food simply passes into the mouth and out through the digestive system. By YHWH’s miracle design of the human body there is no problem!

However, the real issue is not the stomach. It’s the heart. What DOES defile a man is what comes from within, out of his heart. This is the real crux of the issue. It is also one of the purposes of the Torah and the Ruach HaKodesh. It speaks to the heart. It reveals the true motives. It uncovers sin in the heart, which uses religious traditions to hide itself.

Rebbe Yeshua’s talmidim/disciples waited until later to try and have Him clarify what He was saying. This is the conversation that followed.

“And when he left the multitude and entered a bais [house], his talmidim were asking him [about] the mashal [parable]. And he says to them, Are you so lacking in binah [understanding] also? Do you not have binah [understanding] that it is not what is outside and entering into the ben Adam [son of man] that is able to make him tameh (unclean)? Because it does not enter into his lev [heart], but into his stomach and goes out into the latrine, making all okhel tahor [foods clean]. And Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach [Teacher. King Messiah] was saying, It is the thing proceeding out of the ben Adam [son of man] that makes him tameh [unclean]. For from within the lev [heart] of the ben Adam [son of man] comes evil cravings and machashavot [plans]: then zenunim (fornications), gneyvot (thefts), retzichot (murders), Niufim (adulteries), chamdanut (greediness), rishah (wickedness), nechalim (scheming deceitfulness), zimmah (lewdness, sensuality), an ayin horo or roah ayin (an envious evil eye), lashon hora [evil tongue], gaavah (pride), and ivvelet (foolishness). All these evil things proceed from within and make the ben Adam tameh son of man unclean].” (Mark 7:17-23 OJB- emphasis/ definitions mine)

Now Rebbe Yeshua again focuses on the real issue for His talmidim/disciples. It’s the heart. He lists the many evils that lurk within it. Those things, as they are allowed to manifest (by words and/or actions) are really what defiles a person. Again, this is one of the things YHWH designed the Torah to do. It reveals sin. There is nothing that can hide in the human heart from its pure light of holiness. We know from the writings of Rav Sha’ul in the Messianic Scriptures (see Romans 6-8) once the Torah has done that, then it points us to our only hope of eternal redemption and present deliverance from sin’s penalty and power: Our blessed Savior Yeshua HaMashiach!

As you can see, this whole discourse has really nothing to do with food in the sense of what can or cannot be eaten. It is in actuality a comparison (a very Hebraic teaching method) between the written Torah of Moshe and that of the Tradition of the Elders. There is nothing within this discourse at all that even remotely teaches that Rebbe Yeshua somehow changed the Torah and made all meat whether clean or unclean suitable to YHWH for our consumption. This flagrant attempt to twist the Messianic Scriptures in order to circumvent YHWH’s Torah is simply not true. It is the influence of the heretical teaching of Marcion. As we said earlier, there is NO contradiction between the TaNaKh/Hebrew Scriptures and their newer counterparts, The Messianic Writings. They agree in spirit and practice 100%. Rebbe Yeshua DID NOT come to do away with the Torah. In fact He came to establish its validity! (Mattityahu/Matthew 5:17-18) There are certain things that did change because of Master Yeshua’s redemptive work on the execution stake. We no longer depend on the blood of animals for atonement/covering and forgiveness. The pure and spotless blood of His perfect offering for our sins has taken care of that once and for all. There are many other aspects of the Torah that, while valid, cannot be fulfilled today because there is no standing Temple or functioning priesthood. That will change once Master Yeshua returns, and the Whole House of Yisrael is regathered to The Land, the Temple is restored, and there is a functioning Levitical Aharonic priesthood again. However, we must keep in mind, we do not keep the Torah in order to achieve eternal redemption leading to the fullness of eternal salvation. We keep the Torah today because we ARE REDEEMED! The Torah is not, nor was it ever intended to be a salvation instrument. It is a sanctification instrument.

Now in closing this part of our teaching, we must point back to the part of verse nineteen in Mark chapter 7 which most biblical translations have included. It is this small fragment that so many use to set aside the entire weight of the Torah instruction YHWH gave for us to follow. I will make two comments.

 First, in most Bible translations which have this phrase, it is in parenthesis, thus noting it is an addition. It is not in the earliest manuscripts of Mark. This parenthetical statement seemingly makes Rebbe Yeshua seem to say that He is now declaring ALL food clean. Keeping in mind that all the animals on the clean list are indeed food in YWHW’s eyes, if we stopped there all would be fine. It’s when we try and force the meaning of Master Yeshua’s words to include things on the unclean list that we cross the line into error. As we have already stated the food that Rebbe Yeshua and His talmidim/disciples were eating was the clean type which YHWH instructed us to eat in the written Torah. Anything on the unclean list was not even a consideration within the text of this entire passage. Why? Because it wasn’t considered to be FOOD in the first place!

As we have already seen, Rebbe Yeshua cleverly addresses food from the clean list becoming contaminated because of being touched by unwashed hands. HE explained how that food, even if it was supposedly contaminated by unwashed hands, would pass from the stomach to the latrine. He is actually making a very clear point about how YHWH made the digestive system work. If there was some contamination that the clean food picked up because of the hands being dirty, it would be separated from the food in the digestive process. As it passes out into the latrine, the body and its digestive track would actually be cleansed. But, if one was to eat anything off of the unclean list the digestive process WOULD NOT change what it was. It in essence would remain unclean and the one who was eating it would become unclean too. Remember, the food in question in our passage is according to the written Torah. That was not the issue. The issue was whether one had fulfilled the instructions of the Tradition of the Elders by ceremonially washing their hands. Further, according to the school of Shemmai’s strict interpretation, the washing of the hands must be before the food is eaten. Rebbe Yeshua soundly refutes the argument of the Perushim/Pharisees and Sofrim/Scribes about unwashed hands being unclean and therefore causing the food they touched to become unclean. Which in turn makes the person eating it unclean. He does this by citing the wonderful way in which YHWH designed the digestive system and its operation.

Second, because Rebbe Yeshua was Jewish, we know He both knew and definitely kept the written Torah of YHWH and its clear instructions on food. So when He spoke of anything as food He meant that which the written Torah declared to be food! As we have already shown, the creatures on Torah’s unclean list in Wayikra/Leviticus chapter 11 were NEVER considered to be food by YHWH’s instruction. Rebbe Yeshua DID NOT change the Torah by anything He said in the whole discourse of what happened in Mark 7. Also, since Rebbe Yeshua was YHWH in the flesh, and as the Shema declares, YHWH is ONE, how could He speak a word in contradiction of Himself?

Fallen mankind is always looking for a way to circumvent YHWH’s Torah. We who are of the returning house of Ephraim/Yisrael, have learned these pagan ways while being scattered among the nations. However, YHWH is regathering us and repatriating us to our Hebraic heritage. Now, we are learning how to live before Him in the true spirit of holiness. To keep YHWH’s commandments are no longer a burden for us. The Torah by the Ruach HaKodesh/Holy Spirit is teaching us how to love YHWH with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. May we take courage and press on into the freedom that Torah is bringing to us by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh.

Joe Snipes
Gates to Zion Ministries

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