The issue of clean and unclean animals did not exist until after the flood. Before then the diet God gave to His people in the beginning was fruits, grains, and nuts. Vegetables were added later (Genesis 3:18). The Bible has ample evidence that there were clean and unclean animals from the very dawn of Creation.
Noah lived long before any Jews existed, but he knew of the clean and unclean, because he took into the ark the clean animals by “sevens” and the unclean by “twos.” The Bible tells us, “And the Lord said unto Noah, … Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens … and of beasts that are not clean by two” (Genesis 7:1, 2).
In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God points the clean and unclean animals. These chapters show that most animals, birds, and water creatures that people ordinarily eat are clean. But there are some very clear exceptions:
- All animals which do not have a split hoof and chew the cud (Deuteronomy 14:6).
- All fish and water creatures that do not have both fins and scales. Nearly all fish are clean (Deuteronomy 14:9).
- All birds of prey, carrion eaters, and fish eaters (Leviticus 11:13-20).
- Most “creeping things” (or invertebrates) are also unclean (Leviticus 11:21-47).
Are Unclean Animals in the OT still Unclean Today?
The death of Christ had no altering effect whatever on the health laws of the Old Testament. The Jew’s stomach and digestive system in no way different than that of the Gentile. These health laws apply for all people and at all times.
God gave us the health laws because He knows what is best for the human body. These health laws are like a wall to keep out the diseases of Satan away. And the Christian’s first motive in living in harmony with God’s health laws should be to honor God. The Bible teaches, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
In His service,