What does the verse “you shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk” mean?


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The verse can be found in Deuteronomy:

“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk” (Deuteronomy 14:21).

This law is also mentioned in two other references, (Exodus 23:19 and Exodus 34:26). There are possibly two reasons for this command:

A- This verse was connected with the Passover which may indicate that this was a mystical and unacceptable practice which is considered ‘unclean’ and unwholesome. Archaeologists have discovered texts in ancient Syria that explain that boiling a sacrifice of a young goat in their mother’s milk was a ritual practice of the Canaanites. This was the heathen nation that practiced so many abominable things that’s why God commanded Israel to utterly destroy them (Deuteronomy 20:17).

Another abominable practice that the Canaanites did in the worship of the god Moloch was to sacrifice children by having them pass through the fire (Deuteronomy 18:10). The Lord wanted to protect His people from these evil practices and warned His children saying, “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you , you shall not learn to follow the abomination of those nations” (V.9).

B-In view of the relationship between mother and kid, it is horrible for a kid to be boiled in the very milk which was supposed to feed it and be its source of life. This was an evil situation. A person would have to be totally cruel to do such an inhumane thing.

The Lord called His children to be holy and pure and not defile themselves with these heathen practices “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5, 6).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team


This answer is also available in: हिन्दी

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