Do not eat creatures that live in water other than kosher fish

The Literal Commandment

Do not render yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm; and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean." (Leviticus 11:43)

 

The literal commandment is that we are not to render ourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Some have asked about Mark 7:19. Messiah was speaking of ritual impurity resulting from eating bread with unwashed hands. We recommend this detailed study of that passage if you have additional questions.

 

Pictures of Messiah

G-d created the heaven, the earth, the sea and everything that is in them. (Psalm 146:6) He did so with an intended structure and order. Part of that intended order was that certain creatures were made for food and others were not. This was recognized from the beginning even as early as Noah's time. He recognized the difference between clean and unclean animals. (Genesis 7:2-9).

In a similar manner, there is a certain individual in G-d's order who would save the world from sin: the Messiah Yeshua. There is no other person intended for that purpose. Attempting to find salvation in anyone (or anything) else is akin to eating eels, shrimp, or fish not intended for food or intending to marry your sister: G-d says 'no'.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

We know that Messiah did not sin (Hebrews 4:15) and so we know Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not eating creatures that live in water other than kosher fish.

 

Traditional Observance

Traditional observance of this commandment is found in its literal sense: not eating creatures that live in water other than kosher fish. The two signs that indicate which fish are kosher or not are found in Leviticus 21: they must have fins and scales.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and should not eat creatures that live in water other than kosher fish.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 187
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 5
  • Mishneh Torah Book Holiness
  • Mishneh Torah Category 26- Forbidden Foods
  • Reference Leviticus 11:43
  • Scripture Book Leviticus
  • Chapter 11
  • Verse 43
  • English Do not render yourselves detestable through any of the swarming things that swarm; and you shall not make yourselves unclean with them so that you become unclean.
  • Hebrew מג אַל-תְּשַׁקְּצוּ, אֶת-נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם, בְּכָל-הַשֶּׁרֶץ, הַשֹּׁרֵץ; וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם, וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם.
  • Greek 43 καὶ οὐ μὴ βδελύξητε τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ἑρπετοῖς τοῖς ἕρπουσιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ οὐ μιανθήσεσθε ἐν τούτοις καὶ οὐκ ἀκάθαρτοι ἔσεσθε ἐν αὐτοῖς·
  • Parashah 26- Shemini
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 164
  • Sef. Hach. Command The prohibition against eating creatures that swarm in the water
  • Category Food
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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