Bible references to health
Bible References to Health
Bible References to
After The Great Flood God gave the
Israelites further instructions
Christ’s Death on the Cross Abolished the
Does the NT
specifically say that all foods (clean or unclean) are good to eat?
What we Eat or Don't eat is not the
Evidence of Toxicity
in “Unclean” Creatures
Miscellaneous Bible References to Food
to Essential oils
Bible References to Foods
Our diet has had spiritual significance from the beginning of man’s existence -
The original sin involved diet. Adam and Eve ate what they wanted, rather than
what was allowed, and we are still all reaping the punishment for their
“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you
will eat of it all the days of your life”
What Food was Allowed?
God said to Adam and Eve in the Garden of
“I give you every seed-bearing plant on
the face of the earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will
be your food.”
Every plant yielding
wheat, corn, rye, barley, rice, oats, millet, etc.
sunflower, sesame, flax, pumpkin seeds, etc.
soybeans, lentils, peas, peanuts, other beans, etc.
eggplant, okra, bell peppers, squash, green beans, pumpkins, cucumbers,
tomatoes, melons, etc.
citrus fruits, sweet fruits, palm fruits, etc.
almonds, pecans, cashews, brazil, walnuts, etc.
Thus, God originally intended man to eat
plants and fruits, but After Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden because of
their sin, God also added plants without seeds, previously given as food
for the animals:
“And you will eat the plants of the
of the Field includes:
lettuce, beet greens, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard, spinach, etc
globe artichoke, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus;
carrots, beets, potatoes, turnips, yams, etc.
moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even
as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its
After The Great Flood God added meat and fish to the menu.
After The Great Flood God gave the Israelites further
instructions to be followed under the O.T. Law
God instructed the Israelites on what was good to
eat and what was not -
Not only to test their obedience and
respect, but also to set them apart from the world as a model nation. God
promised good health to the Jewish people, and His law blessed them, by
affecting their social structure and stability, as well as their physical and
“My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are
life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.”
Proverbs 4:20-22 NIV
“If you listen carefully to
the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes,
if you pay attention to His commands and
keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on
the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
"My son, do not forget my
law, but let your heart keep my commands; for
length of days and long life and peace they will add to you".
Anyone reading Leviticus chapter 11 will
realize that the instructions mentioned (dietary and otherwise) were not just an
arbitrary set of rules, and that in addition to showing respect to our Creator,
they were also knowledgeable advice that created a stable social structure
and spared them from easily preventable emotional and physical
“Do Nots” –
do not steal, murder, lie, cheat on
your spouse, or envy your neighbor’s possessions
Touching certain dead
bodies make us unclean until evening. If you carry one of these carcasses you must also wash your
These carcasses included:
Creatures with paws that move on all fours
Flying insects with four feet
Creeping things -
mice, mole, large lizards:
monitor lizards, sand lizards, geckos, sand reptiles, and chameleons.
Furthermore, anything they fall on must be washed, and if they fall into an
earthen vessel it must be broken, and its contents not eaten. If they fall on a
stove, it must be taken apart.
Edible animals that just die –
i.e. Death by unknown causes, as opposed to such as “Road-kill”.
Christ’s Death on the Cross Abolished the Law
We are freed from
the law to be joined to Christ -
We are discharged from the law like a woman is
freed from a dead husband. It would be spiritual adultery to try to practice
both the old law and the law of Christ.
He abolished the old law by
“ For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is
living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the
husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man,
she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the
law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the
body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised
from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.“
Does the NT Specifically Say that
all Foods (“Clean” or
are now Good to Eat?
Two scripture references (In Mark 7 and Acts 10) are often cited to
support a view that in addition to no longer being under the law, that all meat
is now good for food. i.e. there is no distinction between clean or unclean:
Nothing outside a man can
make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that
makes him 'unclean.'" After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his
disciples asked him about this parable. "Are you so dull?" he asked.
"Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him
'unclean'? 19 For it doesn't go into his heart but into his
stomach, and then out of his body."
translations add here “In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean."
He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from
within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft,
murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and
folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' “
Jesus addressed a
question about why His disciples ate without washing their hands
according to ceremonial traditions
followed by the Pharisees.
Some Bible translations have added words
to Jesus’ answer in verse 19 that were not in the original
(words are added to the translations in parentheses), suggesting that all
meat is now good to eat. Christ’s point was that
ingested food or dirt passes through and
out of the body and does not
spiritually defile a person,
since it does not enter the heart to influence attitudes. i.e.
We are spiritually defiled from the
inside out rather than from the outside in. Jesus was
what we eat will not spiritually defile
us. The passage has nothing to do with whether we should eat
clean or unclean meat. Another thought here is that Verse 19 could not have been
referencing unclean meat because unclean meat was not even considered to be
‘food’ for a faithful Jew in Jesus’ day.
noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city,
Peter went up on the roof to pray.
became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being
prepared, he fell into a trance.
saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by
its four corners.
contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and
birds of the air.
a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."
voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God
has made clean.
happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision,
the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the
given a vision to help him understand God’s future plans for the growth of the
Church. He was shown a group of unclean animals and told three times to eat.
Each time he adamantly declined. (vv. 13–16). Remember too,
this was the Peter who supposedly heard Jesus abolish the dietary laws in
Mark 7 and who was trained by Christ for 3½ years.
The issue in Acts
10-11 is not a matter of clean or unclean food but the problem of the Jewish
association with the Gentiles. After the vision, God arranged for Peter to go to
the house of the Gentile centurion Cornelius:
(Peter) said to them: You are well aware that
it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But
God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.”
God’s message was that
were not to be considered
“unclean” or “common” and thus unworthy of being members of Christ’s church.
What we Eat or Don't eat is not the Important thing
As long as we serve Christ
whatever we eat or do not eat is acceptable to God -
The Kingdom of God is not concerned with our diet, but with
righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit:
"For the kingdom of
is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy
Spirit. For he that in these things serves Christ is acceptable to
God, and approved of men."
Those who eat all kinds of food do so to honor the Lord, since
they give thanks to God before eating. And those who won't eat everything also
want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.
Romans 14:6b (New
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter
times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and
doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience
seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath
created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the
truth. For every creature of God is
good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
1 Timothy 4:1-5
This passage would seem to say that ALL creatures provide good meat for
eating - In the same way, the passage in Genesis 1:29 NIV
“Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant
on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.
They will be yours for food” seems to say that ALL seed-bearing plants
are good for food. We know however, that because of their toxicity, we would not
deliberately eat, for example, poisonous hemlock or deadly nightshade plants.
is obviously expecting us to apply our knowledge and common sense in choosing
food which will be both beneficial to our health, and which will not harm us.
A Wise Man does not Ignore God’s Advice -
Christ’s death abolished
the law, so what we eat or don’t eat is now left to our own choosing. We could
for instance, choose to eat nothing but ice-cream, even though that would
eventually take its toll on our health. Likewise, the kind of meat and how much
of it we eat is also up to us.
In the Old Testament, God appeared as a
stern, uncompromising Father who laid down the rules and regulations, and
severely punished those who disobeyed them. As our scientific knowledge
progresses, the reasons behind
the rules and regulations are explained.
would behoove us to take a look at some of God’s O.T. laws from the perspective
that they were given to the Israelites, not as a punishment, but as a blessing
by a loving and merciful Father, in order to maintain their well-being.
Social Structure Laws
“Designate a place outside
the camp where you can relieve yourself.”
The “Black Plague”, which began in the
1300’s, killed an estimated one third of the European population. It was caused
by fleas and ticks that lived on black rats that feasted on readily available
waste and excrement from open sewer systems. In the Middle Ages, hundreds of
thousands of people died from other diseases related to human waste, including
typhus, dysentery and typhoid fever. In the 19th century, cholera,
another water-borne disease related to human feces, raged throughout Europe,
Russia, India, Iran and the United States, and could kill a person in 3 days.
Even today, poorer countries still have open sewers running through living
areas, being the cause of much disease. Many European Jews were spared from the
disease by obeying God’s instruction – i.e. protecting their water supply from
contamination and maintaining a separation from their waste.
“To err is human” -
Author’s personal note on homosexuality and sin in general -
Christian, I endeavor to understand what the Lord wants of us through reading
His Word, and the following references obviously do not support God’s approval
of homosexuality. My interpretation of God’s word in its entirety, is that we
should hate the sin, but not the sinner. I emphasize that I am not trying
to offend homosexuals in including these references, but rather to reveal the
truth for the sake of their relationship with God. If you consider yourself a
homosexual, I care about you and would ask you to have an open mind, that God’s
will for your life is made clear. I
hate sin (defined as disobeying God)
in my own life and in others’, and according to God’s word, I believe that to
have an eternal relationship with God, we need to accept His plan,
which is to believe that the death
and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ has already paid the price for our sin
when we acknowledge that sin and ask for forgiveness. Naturally, in that
relationship of love, we would not want to hurt God by deliberately continuing
to sin, whilst realizing that does still happen, even when we try hard not to
“Do not lie with a man as one
lies with a woman; that is detestable”
“Men committed indecent acts
with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion”
Homosexual activity is
prone to spreading infections -
God isn’t trying to curtail our sexual pleasure -
we now know that many highly contagious diseases are transmitted through
homosexual activity. The rectal membrane is much more fragile than the vaginal
membrane, and anal sex can lead to tears in its lining, which make the
transmission of diseased fluids much easier.
In the Genes? -
The modern argument that homosexuality can be genetically explained makes little
sense, in that natural selection would
quickly correct such a trait to ensure the survival of the race, and
more so when the trait also increases the death rate. God’s design, and nature
itself, promotes the procreation of species.
Evidence of Toxicity in “Unclean”
“Every word in the Hebrew Scriptures is well-chosen and
carries valuable knowledge and deep significance.”
Dr. David L. Macht
An informative experiment was published by the
John Hopkins Press in 1953 on the toxicity-level of the meats of various
creatures - by Dr. David Macht, a man responsible for many contributions
to pharmacology during the first half of the 20th century. (Pharmacology is the
study of the effect of drugs, toxins, sera etc. on living organisms).
Macht attained a bachelors and medical degree at John Hopkins University,
where he later became assistant professor, lecturing in pharmacology. Macht
published over 900 scientific studies, and three books. He also introduced
several new methods of disease treatment. His many contributions include
discovering the use of ephedrine as a substitute for cocaine, proving X-rays of
varying wavelengths produced different biological effects, and distinguishing
the sedative effect of morphine and codeine on the respiratory system from the
stimulant effect of other narcotics. Macht, who was an Orthodox Jew, also
received the first degree of advanced research awarded at Yeshiva College, New
York, being made Doctor of Hebrew Literature.
While researching the pharmacological
effects of cancer, on the properties of an individual’s blood and muscle tissue,
he became interested in investigating the comparative pharmacological actions of
fresh muscle juices and saline extracts of skeletal muscle tissue of different
species of animals and birds mentioned in the books of Leviticus and
He did this
by employing a simple method he had used for 30 years to detect toxins in blood
and other body fluids of human beings, and had already identified specific
toxins present in the blood of patients with pemphigus (skin disease w/itching
blisters), pernicious anemia and psychotic patients.
measured the effect, when exposed to various body solutions, on the root growth
of seedlings of Lupinus Albus, grown in strictly controlled environments
(temperature, light, etc giving statistically reliable, consistent results)
supplying plant-physiological solutions of salts and ions necessary for growth.
For example, a toxic body solution would inhibit the root growth compared to the
control sample proportional to its level of toxicity. The results he found were
quite enlightening from a biblical perspective:
of MUSCLE TISSUE in ANIMAL and BIRDS
(>75% Root Growth)
(<75% Root Growth)
deer; goat; ox; sheep
Not cud-chewing with cloven-hoofs
bear; camel; cat; guinea pig; dog; fox(silver); grizzly bear; ground
hog, hamster, horse, opossum, rabbit, rat, rhinoceros, squirrel,
Predominantly eat grasses / grains
chicken; coot; duck; pigeon; quail; swan; turkey;
Have omnivorous diet
ostrich; owl; red-tail hawk; sparrow hawk;
Not tested: Bat; cormorant; eagle; falcon; hawk; heron; ibis; kite; nighthawk;
osprey; pelican; raven; sea gull; stork; vulture;
Have fins and scales
bass, black drum; bluefish; carp; channel bass; chub; cod; croaker;
flounder; flying fish; goldfish; haddock; hake; halibut; herring;
kingfish; mullet; pike; pompano; porgy; rainbow trout; rock bass;
salmon; smelt; sea bass;shad; Spanish mackerel; spot; sturgeon; tuna
(bluefin); white perch; Carolina whiting; yellow perch;
Without scales and fins
eel; moonfish; porcupine fish; puffer; sand skate; shark (dogfish);
Not tested: clams; crabs; lobster; octopus; oysters; scallops; shrimp; squid;
Macht, D.I., (1953).
“An Experimental Pharmacological Appreciation of Leviticus XI and Deuteronomy
Dr. Macht also tested the
blood of all the fish species -
in every case it was more toxic than the flesh.
Do not eat the blood of animals
“You must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it”
Lev. 3:17; 7:26,27; 19:26; Deut. 12:`6-24; I Sam. 14:32-34
After the flood, God told Noah not to eat
the blood of any animal, meaning that the blood should be drained from the meat
– meaning we can strike European “Blood sausage” (“Black Pudding” in Great Britain) off our menu!
Apart from the respect issue that animal blood represented life, which
was accepted by God in atonement for sin, it is now well known that blood
carries the body’s waste products and can also carry microbial infections and
Eat meat from plant-eating animals with split hooves
“These are the animals which
you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth...
whatever divides the hoof having cloven hooves and
chewing the cud. There are some that only chew the cud or only
have a split hoof, but you must not eat them.
Animals which chew the cud are called
ruminants, having multiple stomachs for digesting plants. One stomach starts the
digestion, and then the food is partly regurgitated and sent to another stomach
to be digested some more. (Strictly speaking rabbits are not ruminants, although
at night rabbits produce and eat their own soft feces, effectively giving their
food a second digestion).
Research: Having split hooves
prevents toxins being drawn from the ground into the animal?
This is the meat that has created most controversy – who doesn’t like
to eat a couple rashers of fried bacon with their eggs for breakfast? In the
southern USA, barbequed spareribs are a way of life!
And yet, since pigs do not chew the cud,
O.T. law stated that pig flesh must not be eaten. The Lord even emphasized His
disapproval to Isaiah of those people who disobeyed this instruction, who as
well as committing idolatry and conjuring up spirits from the dead:
”continually provoke me to my very
face, … who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of unclean meat”.
What might God be
protecting us from? -
It’s interesting in Matthew 8 that Jesus had no compunction about
sending some demons into a large herd of pigs to be drowned? Presumably the pigs
were someone’s livelihood, so it would be unlike Jesus to destroy someone’s
property without reason.
- is caused by a small parasitic roundworm that
gets into the muscle tissue of animals and humans, affecting ~60 million people
worldwide. It is transmitted by eating undercooked pork and other “unclean”
animals. It is most common in the developing world where pigs are fed raw
garbage, but today is rarely diagnosed in the U.S., due mainly to public
awareness of cooking requirements and the government restriction on the feeding
of raw meat garbage to commercially raised pigs.
Tapeworms - 3%
of the global population (~180
million people) have tapeworms, and
the pork tapeworm can be fatal if not eliminated.
Erysipelas and typhoid –
are also carried by pigs.
Too Much Cooked Meat Taxes the PancreaS
"Be not ... among those who
gorge themselves with meat.”
"Excess of meats bringeth
Raw meat contains the enzymes required for
its digestion. Enzymes are destroyed by cooking, so the task falls to the
pancreas to produce some more. This puts a strain on this busy organ, which also
is required to produce the all important insulin to trigger glucose transport
into cells. Today, type II diabetes is being diagnosed in epidemic proportion, a
condition where the pancreas eventually burns itself out. Additionally, too much
protein leaches calcium from the body – calcium is particularly essential to
Do not Eat Animal Fat
God said to Moses:
"Say to the Israelites: Do not eat
any of the fat of cattle, sheep or goats”.
Animals store toxins (e.g. insecticides,
herbicides, antibiotics, hormones) and parasites in their covering fat.
The saturated fatty acid, stearic acid, is a healthy fat used in cell membranes,
however, it is found in unbalanced proportion in animal covering fat,
which can have detrimental effects on our health.
Eat only Non-Scavenger
a primarily Vegetarian diet)
Birds on the “Can eat” list eat primarily
plant parts (leaves, seeds, fruits), insects, grubs, caterpillars, and
crustaceans. In contrast, birds of prey, which were excluded in the Law, are
likely to have eaten other scavengers or dead meat with its inherently high
microbial level resulting from the decay process.
“ But these you may not
eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture,
the red kite, the black kite, any kind of falcon, any kind of raven,
the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little
owl, the great owl, the white owl,
the desert owl, the osprey, the cormorant,
the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.”
Many of these birds are ecologically
necessary scavengers, and the non-scavenger birds feed on and control the
population of rats, mice, reptiles, lizards, frogs and other birds.
For example, storks are carnivores; their diet consists of fish,
amphibians, reptiles, insects, rodents and other small mammals. The Marabou
stork's diet consists primarily of dead animals including fish, insects,
birds, frogs, and rodents.
EAT Fish WITH FINS AND SCALES
"Whatsoever hath fins and
scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. And all
that have not fins AND scales in the seas . . . they shall be an
abomination unto you.”
Clean, edible fish have fins and scales -
Those without fins and scales are generally bottom-feeding fish, which
do a great job absorbing toxins existing in the water. Many varieties of fish
are loaded with anti-degenerative omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish – Getting Omega-3 by Eating Fish
YOU CAN EAT SOME Insects
“Yet these you may eat of
every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed
legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth.”
Only grasshoppers, locusts
and crickets –
all primarily herbivorous
- Mmm, Mmm, Mmm !
Miscellaneous Bible References to Food
“7 For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a
good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that
spring out of valleys and hills;
8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and
pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without
scarceness, thou shalt not lack any
thing in it;”
"and I have come
down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out
of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey"
“13 He made him ride on the heights of
the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished
him with honey from the rock, and with oil
from the flinty crag, 14
with curds and milk from herd and flock and
with fattened lambs and goats, with choice rams of
and the finest kernels of wheat. You drank the foaming blood
of the grape”.
"Sustain me with raisins, refresh me
with apples: for I am sick with love.
Song of Solomon 2:5
"And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs,
and two clusters of raisins....."
"And you take wheat and
barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt, and put them in a single
vessel, and make bread of them."
"Eat your bread
with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart."
"I went down into the garden of nuts ...."
"The glutton shall
come to poverty... and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony."
Proverbs 23:2, 20
Information on some foods referenced in the bible
the vital mineral boron, sadly lacking in today’s diet; has tranquilizing
powers, and can aid in healing wounds.
rich in boron, a mineral used in preventing osteoporosis.
and figs -
are natural laxatives and a good source of antioxidant vitamins A and C.
people in the Middle East call it "heart medicine" to this day; The loaves and
fishes miracle used barley loaves.
- rich in
essential amino acids and antioxidant vitamins A and C; also contains lecithin.
antioxidant vitamins and substances that fight cancer; juice is antiviral.
Esau sold his inheritance for the famous "mess of pottage" a dish of cooked
lentils and some bread! Complex
carbohydrates regulate the body's metabolic system, prevent diabetes, fight
obesity by making you feel full longer. Rich in vegetable protein and fiber.
source of certain antioxidants, a source of omega-3 fatty oil, potassium,
magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E.
Long-time use in the Middle East, Iran and India for treating disease and
infections. Pomegranates are proving to be the most powerful antioxidant
available and show ability to lower LDL cholesterol oxidation.
source of beta carotene, potassium, and vitamins C and B6.
Biblical References to Essential Oils
The bible contains 188 references to essential
oils – with references to the following oils:
-- Boswellia carteri)
(Styrax benzoin, aka. benzoin)
Rose of Sharon/cistus
(Labdanum -- Cistus ladanifer)