Scripture tells us what is approved for eating and what is not approved. Both Deuteronomy and Leviticus lay out the requirements. Some of the foods sold in a marketplace would be ritually clean foods according to Torah, and some would be ritually unclean foods. The vendors would say prayers in their “gods” name over the food they sold in the market place. Those prayers then made the foods unholy, or common, due to the connection to a foreign god.
Holy means set apart – not pure and sinless. The opposite of holy is not sin, it is common. Clean means those foods which Torah in Leviticus declares clean. Unclean means those foods which Torah in Leviticus declares unclean. Clean and unclean is not a salvation issue. It is, however, an issue of how close you want to be to Yahweh, Yeshua, and the Ruach Ha’Kodesh. And it all centers around food and what one eats! The first sin in the Garden of Eden is about what Adam and Eve ate – the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil!
The Older Covenant Scriptures gives instruction on how to chew the cud (study Yahweh’s word) and gives an example of four types of animals that do not chew the cud. Those four animals are the camel, the coney, the hare, and the pig which indicate how we are not to interact with the scriptures and the Word of Yahweh. Let’s take a closer look:
Chewing the Cud
Deuteronomy 14:4-8 – “You may eat of every animal that has the hoof cloven in two, and which chews the cud.”
Animals that chew the cud are basically those that eat only the plants and vegetation – grass, hay, etc. These animals also frequently have more than one stomach, allowing them to chew and chew and chew and digest. The same food is eaten over and over again giving more nourishment each time it is eaten! Humans are also supposed to chew and chew and chew and digest Yahweh’s word, over and over again, in other words: to diligently search the word, each time receiving more nourishment and gaining new insights!
The Split Hoof
Deuteronomy 14:4-8 – “You may eat of every animal that has the hoof cloven in two.”
Split hoofs allow the animal to navigate difficult terrain, to walk on both hard and soft surfaces, or difficult and easy areas, and to escape predators. Split hoofs allow the animal to be very quick and agile, allowing both direct and directionless travel. In other words, an animal with split hoofs can easily and quickly traverse all kinds of terrain. Judaism has survived due to its ability to survive in all environments. Humans often must make split decisions, or must decide which direction to take when there is a split in the road or path! Humans are to chew on Yahweh’s word so that they are able to easily and traverse all kinds of diverse situations in which they may find themselves.
Clean vs. Unclean
Deuteronomy 14:21 – “You shall not eat of anything that dies of itself: you may give it to the foreigner living among you who is within your gates, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner: for you are a holy people to Yahweh.”
Clean animals eat plants, in other-words chew the cud, but also have split hooves. Unclean animals may chew the cud but not have split hoofs. Or, they may have split hoofs but not chew the cud. In many instances, these unclean animals kill and eat dead things with the blood still in. Scripture tells us that we are what we eat. So, eat clean animals if you want to be set apart from everyone else, to be holy to Yahweh! All humans can eat any food they want, but the choices one makes determines if one is clean or unclean. Deuteronomy 14 even says it is okay to sell or give unclean food to the foreigner to eat.
Past, Present and Future
Leviticus 11:4-7 – “You are not to eat of the hare because he did not divide the hoof; the camel, because he does not divide the hoof; and the coney because he will not divide the hoof; they are unclean to you.”
Holiness, in the Older Covenant, has everything to do with what one puts in one’s mouth, takes in through the eyes or ears! So why did Yahweh use the examples of the camel, coney (or rock badger), hare, and pig when speaking of the animals one is admonished not to eat and remain clean?
The Hebrew word for split, or divided is parac [פָּרַס H6536]. According to Pastor Mark Biltz, if you put the letter Mem in front of it, the word becomes does not split [מָפָּרַס]. If you put the letter Yud in front of it, the word becomes will not split [יפָּרַס], and if you put the letter Heh both in front and behind it, the word becomes did not split [תפָּרַסת].
● The hare did not split the hoof – he has toes;
● The camel does not split the hoof – his hoof is webbed and therefore does not split;
● The coney has paws and will not split the hoof.
All three of these animals are an example of Past, present, and future behaviors! When we judge we are not just to look at a person’s present state, but are to take into consideration both the past and the future states as well!
Study, Study, Study
Acts 17:11 – “The Bereans were more open-minded than the Thessalonians; they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were true.”
2 Timothy 2:15 – “Make every effort to present yourself before Yahweh as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.”
Be a person who diligently studies Yahweh’s word. Do not be like the following animals:
● The Hare did not, an example that says we are not to be a person who did not study Yahweh’s word;
● The Camel does not, an example that says we are not to be a person who simply ignores Yahweh’s word;
● The Coney will not, an example that says we are not to be a person who will not study Yahweh’s word.
As for the pig – though it does have split hooves, an example of someone who does read Yahweh’s word, it does not chew the cud, an example that says we are not to be a person that simply reads the Bible but who does not meditate on it, who does not plumb it for greater insights, who does not examine the scriptures like a Berean.
1 Peter 1:16 – “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Psalm 1:2 – “His delight is in Yahweh’s word; he meditates upon the word day and night.”
Holiness has everything to do with what one puts in one’s mouth, takes in through the eyes or ears! All humans can eat any food they want, but the choices one makes determines if one is clean or unclean. Eating only animals that chew the cud and have a split hoof is a guide to holiness and drawing closer to Yahweh.
Chewing the cud represents chewing and digesting Yahweh’s word. Scripture is to be chewed on over and over again – we are to diligently search the word, each time receiving more nourishment and gaining new insights!
We are to chew on Yahweh’s word so, like an animal with split hoofs, we are able to easily traverse all kinds of diverse situations in which one may find oneself, and to do so without stumbling or falling.
We are not to be like the pig that simply does not chew the cud, to be one that ignores scripture and the Word of Yahweh.
Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew Prophets. The day is coming when Yahweh will show his strength on the mountains of Israel. What is prophesied will come to pass, what is foretold will be made known. Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.
The prophetic signs are burgeoning and not abating. The impact of Wormwood on the Earth is still expected in April 2029. Be of great cheer, keep looking up, and keep maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Be sure Yeshua is your Redeemer, King, and High Priest, and your sins are forgiven.