Health and the Law of God

What shall we eat? Images of Both clean and unclean foods

Preventative Medicine

During and since World War 1, great strides have been made in preventative medicine. The importance of an adequate and pure water supply; the prompt disposal of all decomposable matter; personal cleanliness; the isolation of those with infectious diseases; an adequate and suitable diet; and the avoidance of overcrowding has been recognised. Modern knowledge in this field has derived from scientific developments in only the last 150 years or so.

But did you know that 3000 years ago there existed amongst the Israelites a definite and unique system of public health?

The laws God gave to Israel embraced not only religious ordinances, but laws which governed every aspect of the community life; economic, agricultural, social, etc. These included laws of hygiene, sanitation and diet, the keeping of which would protect them from the familiar, evil diseases which had been prevalent in Egypt and would be met again in the Promised Land.

Contamination by Dead Bodies (Animal and Human)

Precautions included the washing of a person or any raiment, skins, wooden vessels, etc., which had been in contact with the body, and the breaking of any earthen vessels, which we know today are very difficult to sterilise. Specific mention is made of the uncleanness of uncovered vessels in the vicinity of a death. This was to avoid contamination of the contents by flies which could have settled on the corpse.

Infectious Diseases

Those with infectious diseases dwelt in isolation without the camp until pronounced cured by the priest, and obviously contaminated garments, furniture, etc., were burned. The principles of controlling infectious diseases were practised, viz. - notification (priest told), isolation, frequent inspection (by priest), quarantine and disinfection.

Cleansing after very infectious diseases was carried out even to the shaving off of all hair. Items suspected of contamination were washed thoroughly and, if metal, were passed through fire, showing the practice of sterilisation by heat.

Disposal of Refuse, etc.

Laws provided for the burial of excreta and the burning of other organic refuse, outside the camp.

Hygiene Laws

Laws were given for PERSONAL hygiene, particularly in such cases as cleansing after childbirth, etc.

Circumcision, a proven beneficial health measure, was performed in infancy, the most humane time, and on the EIGHTH day of life. The very high level of antitoxins in a new-born baby's blood, received from the mother before birth to help combat disease and infection, begins to decrease after the first week of life. But a baby’s blood-clotting ability does not reach the normal level until the second week of life. On the eighth day, therefore, the baby's disease-fighting and blood-clotting abilities are both at a high level, making this day the safest for the operation.


Foods were classified as "clean" or "unclean", i.e. as suitable or unsuitable for consumption.



Animals which both chew the cud and have cloven feet; e.g. oxen, sheep, goats, deer - all clean-feeding herbivores.
Such animals have more than one stomach, which ensures a purification of food material before absorption.


1. Pigs, hares, etc. - scavengers; Swine's flesh has in past years caused a great amount of disease and many deaths (from trichinosis, etc.).
  2. Animals which go on all paws - flesh and carrion eaters - e.g. dogs, cats, wolves, lions, etc. These are liable to rabies and other serious communicable diseases.
  3. Creeping things - scavengers, e.g. lizards, snakes, chameleon, tortoise.


Suitable: Only those that have both fins and scales - (there are no poisonous fish in this category).
Unsuitable: Flesh and carrion eaters and scavengers: Sharks, eels, etc. and ALL shellfish.


Suitable: Non-flesh eaters with a well-developed digestive system, e.g. chicken, turkey, game, etc. and their eggs.
Unsuitable: Flesh and carrion eaters: e.g. eagle, hawk, vulture, etc. AND THEIR EGGS
Scavengers: E.g. all web-footed birds, duck, geese, etc. AND THEIR EGGS. A poisonous substance is to be found in the flesh of carnivores, resulting from the eating of flesh.

Unsuitable for food:

  Blood: - It transmits disease and contains waste matter.
  Offal: - kidney, liver, etc. (contains blood).
  An animal that dies of itself: - (It is possibly diseased and contains blood).
  An animal torn by a Beast in the field: - (Possible disease from the beast and contains blood).

Any animal which is to be eaten must be well drained of BLOOD. In the past there has been remarkable freedom, amongst orthodox Jews who kept the Food Laws, from diseases such as cancer. The findings of modern science testify to the basic soundness of God's health laws.

WHY POISON YOUR BODY WITH UNSUITABLE MEATS? Though the ordinances of worship were fulfilled in Jesus Christ and are therefore no longer in force, the NATIONAL Law has never been repealed.

It is ONLY when, as a nation, we return to obeying the WHOLE LAW OF GOD, the principles of which are set out in Scripture, that we can hope for health, happiness, peace and prosperity.

Recommended Reading:

  • ‘The Covenant Health Digest - Digest of Divine Law’ by H. Rand.
  • ‘Kingdom Law of Divine Healing’ by Rev. Wm. Pascoe Goard.
  • ‘Nature's Big Twelve’ by Rev. J. W. Shenton.
  • ‘Healing by Obedience’ by G. M. Smith.

 Source: "Today, Tomorrow and the Great Beyond" by John S. Fox, Canada 1948