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Clean and Unclean

Someone asked an interesting question while reading the Torah.   Here it is:

In reading Deuteronomy, Moses tells the people once they cross into the land they can eat clean and unclean animals.  Why was there a change and how does that apply now?

Appreciate you asking this as this person did not remember reading this command in scripture.  This convicted me to do further research and confirm the matter.

It appears you are referring to Deuteronomy 12:21-23.  At first glance it does appear to be saying that people can eat clean and unclean animals when entering the land—although you have to be careful, especially after reading Leviticus and the health laws. Reading it in context will give you a better understanding of what is being said here.

Let's step back to Deuteronomy 12:10-16, in which the initial command is given.  It clarifies here that you may eat within your gates (according to the blessing) and that both the unclean and clean may eat there.  An example of particular types of stag animals (the roebuck and hart, or the gazelle and deer) are given as example of meats that could be eaten when the blood is properly removed.   This gives clarification to its later reference.

For a second confirmation, go forward to Deuteronomy 15:19-23, in which even further clarity is given as what was said in the earlier portion.  Here it reiterates that when preparing a blemished bullock (not to be confused with the non-blemished bullock sacrificed that is prepared for the Father) both the unclean and the clean alike may eat it.

The earlier and later commands, when compared to the one in between, gives clarity as to what the initial command is referencing—the unclean and clean referenced are those within your gates, be they clean or unclean.  One can go further to say this is an interpretation of the children of Israel and the stranger/sojourner among them (as mentioned in Leviticus and Numbers).  You can also refer to the later books of Isaiah and Ezekiel which speaks of distinguishing the clean and unclean (Isaiah was in the land while Ezekiel was eventually exiled out from it).

This is a great example of how essential it is to allow the scripture to interpret itself.  Many people create man-made doctrines by basing it on a verse without giving it proper context to the rest of the writing, let alone the books in scripture.  We should allow the witnesses to establish the matter—not our own opinions and perceptions.

With that said, if this person would have read scripture and found it the other way around, would acknowledge it to be so.  So must we all when the Father speaks to us!


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