To Eat, or Not to Eat Pork?
Is it an abomination to eat pork? This is a common question of people who had been misled and had been made to believe that the law of Moses is still in effect despite the fact that we are already in the Christian dispensation.
Indeed, the Israelites had been prohibited from eating certain meats, and one of which is pork.
LEVITICUS 11:2-8 says,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and chewed the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
If you are going to look closely at the verses, you will realize that the Lord instructed Moses to speak to and teach the children of Israel His commandments. In other words, the commandments that God gave to Moses were meant for the Israelites, and not for all people.
During the time of Noah, they were also given a commandment concerning what they should eat.
GENESIS 9:3 says,
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
God did not make any exclusion to the meat that Noah could eat. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, He told Noah. So, he could eat pork.
The only prohibition given to Noah was not to eat blood. So, if he was to slaughter a beast for his food, he must let the blood of that beast be poured on the ground. The same thing was true during the time of Adam and Eve.
GENESIS 1:28-30 says,
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Adam and Eve, and their descendants, had been told by God that every living thing that creeps upon the earth was given to be meat for them.
But when God had chosen the Israelites as His people, when He brought them out of their slavery in Egypt, there were specific commandments that God gave them. And one of those commandments was a prohibition from eating pork.
We must remember that the Israelites lived in Egypt for 430 years without the law of God. They were used to eating the kinds of food that the Egyptians ate, like pork, for instance. But when they had been liberated from the tyrant pharaoh, upon reaching the Holy Land, certain prohibitions concerning what they could eat and what they should not eat were pronounced by God for them to observe. And the eating of pork, or the flesh of swine, was one of the prohibitions given to them.
But according to the Apostle Paul, those commandments given to the Israelites were only temporal commandments they were not meant to last until forever, or even until our dispensation. They were considered temporal commandments for their efficacy had limitations.
HEBREWS 9:10 says,
Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
The prohibitions on meats, drinks, divers washings, and carnal ordinances were imposed on them only until the time of reformation.
There was an appointed time that those commandments would be reformed. By whom? By no less than the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. When the Lord Jesus Christ came, He cleansed all those that had been regarded as abomination and unclean during the time of the Israelites — which means that the prohibition from eating pork had ceased to take effect.
As written by the Apostle Paul in 1 TIMOTHY 4:4-5, it says,
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
To determine the efficacy of a particular commandment, it is important that we consider the time element. It is true that eating pork was an abomination among the Israelites during the time of Moses. However, the dispensation of the Israelites is over; we are now in the Christian dispensation. The commandments and teachings that are now in effect are those of the Lord Jesus Christ.
COLOSSIANS 2:16 says,
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:
The time of Moses is over. ACTS 13:39 says,
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Justification will not come from the law of Moses, but from the law of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we regard the law of Moses now as obsolete because it had been replaced by the law of Christ.
The law had been changed when the priesthood was changed.
HEBREWS 7:12 says,
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
Let me reiterate that the law concerning the prohibition of meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, was imposed only until the time of reformation, which refers to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it was the Lord Jesus Christ who changed the law.