In Isaiah 65:4, we’re told that those who eat the flesh of pigs will go to destruction. Doesn’t this apply to Christians? Can Christians eat pork?
In Isaiah 65:4 the Lord, speaking through Isaiah, is addressing the nation of Israel. He declares that Israel has a long history of disobeying His commandments. Let’s look at the passage in its proper context:
Isaiah 65:1-7 (NKJV)
The Righteousness of God’s Judgment
65 “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me;
I was found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’
To a nation that was not called by My name.
2 I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts;
3 A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face;
Who sacrifice in gardens,
And burn incense on altars of brick;
4 Who sit among the graves,
And spend the night in the tombs;
Who eat swine’s flesh,
And the broth of abominable things (unclean meat) is in their vessels;
5 Who say, ‘Keep to yourself,
Do not come near me,
For I am holier than you!’
These are smoke in My nostrils (cause my wrath to smoke),
A fire that burns all the day.
6 “Behold, it is written before Me:
I will not keep silence, but will repay—
Even repay into their bosom—
7 Your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together,”
Says the Lord,
“Who have burned incense on the mountains
And blasphemed Me on the hills;
Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom.”
In this passage, the Lord cites numerous examples of how Israel has disobeyed the instructions given to them in the covenant of Law, including Israel’s disobedience in eating pork. The people of Israel were commanded in their law to never eat pork, but the nation disobeyed the Lord nonetheless. Because of their disobedience under the Law, the Lord promises to prevent them from receiving their Messiah for a time, while the Gospel goes to the Gentiles.
The Old Covenant was only binding on Israel. It was intended to set Israel apart from the Gentile world, and it eventually gave the Lord just cause to withhold the Kingdom from Israel while offering salvation to the Gentiles. The Lord was speaking to Israel in 65:4, so His admonishment was directed to Jews alone, who were willingly violating the Old Covenant law. Can Christians Eat Pork
Today, Christian believers in Jesus Christ are saved by the grace found in the New Covenant, and as Paul taught, we are not bound by the regulations of the Law found in the Old Covenant:
Romans 6:14 (NKJV)
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 7:4, 6 (NKJV)
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. Can Christians Eat Pork
Colossians 2:16-17 (NKJV)
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival (feast day) or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance (body) is of Christ.
Therefore, any Gentile and all Christians are free to consume pork or anything God has made since the regulations of the Law do not apply to those who are not bound by that covenant. Only unbelieving Israel has kept themselves bound by that covenant today.
Furthermore, there is nothing inherently sinful about pork or any food. The Lord’s displeasure at Israel for eating pork had nothing to do with pork itself. Just as the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden was not inherently sinful, neither is pork inherently sinful. In both cases, the problem wasn’t the food itself, for as Paul says: Can Christians Eat Pork
1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NKJV)
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified (set apart) by the word of God and prayer.
Rather, the problem in both cases was disobedience to God’s word. Adam received an instruction from God, which he disobeyed resulting in God’s judgment against him. Likewise, Israel received a word to abstain from pork in the covenant, yet they disobeyed, provoking His anger against them. Can Christians Eat Pork
“The author’s biblical interpretations and conclusions presented in this document rely on original teaching used by permission of Verse By Verse Ministry International (VBVMI). The author’s views may not represent the views of VBVMI, it’s Directors or staff. Original VBVMI teaching may be found at http://www.vbvmi.org.”
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