What Does the Bible Say about Diet

What Does the Bible Say about Diet  -  By Ted Robertson  -  Dec. 2011

Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit 

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:  all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats:  but God shall destroy both it and them.  Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?  shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot?  God forbid.
What! know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body?  for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
Flee fornication.  Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
What!  know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.  1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Obviously, taking care of our bodies is very important in the Christian walk.  Not only do we have dietary laws in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 which quite clearly state the difference between clean and unclean meats, but there are other texts that give us advice and instruction on diet also

                            Several Examples follow:

Samson's mother was not to drink booze or eat unclean meats so that she might bear a son that was a deliverer:

And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Mano'ah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.
Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:
for, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.  Judges 13:2-5

Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself through diet and reaped great results from such a decision – he and his friends were 10 times better than the other students:

And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hanani'ah, Mish'a-el, and Azari'ah:
unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshaz'zar; and to Hanani'ah, of Shadrach; and to Mish'a-el, of Meshach; and to Azari'ah, of Abed'nego.
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank:  therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink:  for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hanani'ah, Mish'a-el, and Azari'ah,
Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat:  and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.
Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.     Daniel 1:5-16

John the Baptist had a very humble diet:

And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.  Matthew 3:4

The eating of pork and other unclean meats is a very serious matter with God

It is a sign of rebellion against God to eat pork:

I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments; which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;  Isaiah 65:2-4

Those who eat pork will not stand in the last Day

For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.    Isaiah 66:15-17

Uncleanness will keep us out of the Kingdom

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Ephesians 5:5

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said,
   I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,
and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you,
and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  2 Corinthians 6:16-18

Other helpful dietary instructions in Scripture

We should avoid overindulging in sugar:

It is not good to eat much honey:
so for men to search their own glory is not glory.  Proverbs 25:27

The  Original  Diet

God gave us herbs of the field for food from creation:

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. 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.  Genesis 1:29-30

God gave us fruit and nuts in the Garden of Eden

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. …
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.  Genesis 2:9,16-17

The first mention of clean meat is at the time when the animals came into the ark, and apparently they were given as food due to shortage of food:

And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.  Genesis 7:1-3

Sister White was shown that we should accept temperance as a way of life

In the light given me so long ago, I was shown that intemperance would prevail in the world to an alarming extent, and that every one of the people of God must take an elevated stand in regard to reformation in habits and practices.  At that time I was eating meat two or three times a day, and I was fainting away two or three times a day.  The Lord presented a general plan before me. I was shown that God would give to His commandment-keeping people a reform diet, and that as they received this, their disease and suffering would be greatly lessened.  I was shown that this work would progress. – Ellen G. White,  Notebook Leaflets from the Elmshaven Library Vol. 1, Page 135.

And of meat eating, she gives this forward-thinking revelation

Again I will refer to the diet question.  We cannot now do as we have ventured to do in the past in regard to meat eating.  It has always been a curse to the human family, but now it is made particularly so in the curse which God has pronounced upon the herds of the field, because of man’s transgression and sin.  The disease upon animals is becoming more and more common, and our only safety is in leaving meat entirely alone.  The most aggravated diseases are now prevalent, and the very last thing that physicians who are enlightened should do is to advise patients to eat meat.  It is in eating meat so largely in this country that men and women are becoming demoralized, their blood corrupted, and disease planted in the system.  Because of meat eating many die, and they do not understand the cause.  If the truth were known, it would bear testimony it was the flesh of animals that have passed through death.  The thought of feeding on dead flesh is repulsive, but there is something besides this.  In eating meat we partake of diseased dead flesh, and this sows its seed of corruption in the human organism.  – Ellen G. White,  Manuscript Releases Volume Eighteen [Nos. 1301-1359], pp. 355-356


Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

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