The first man and woman were created in God’s own image which is to have a body, spirit and soul (Gen. 1:27; 2:7;
1 Thes. 5:23). Since God is perfect therefore Adam and Eve were also created
perfect (Ecc. 7:29; Psm 139:14). After the Fall they died spiritually, however
Adam continued to live physically for a long time. In fact many of our early
ancestors had long life.
930 years old (Gen. 5:5)
912 years old (Gen. 5:8)
905 years old (Gen. 5:11)
910 years old (Gen. 5:14)
years old (Gen. 5:17)
962 years old (Gen. 5:20)
Enoch 365 years old (Gen. 5:23-24)
969 years old (Gen. 5:27)
years old (Gen. 5:31)
years old (Gen. 9:29)
Not counting Enoch who was taken by God the average life span of the early patriarchs
from Adam to Noah (nine generations) is 912 years. When we look at the life spans
of the patriarchs after Noah we can see a reduction in the years they lived.
602 years old (Gen. 11:10-11)
Arphaxad 438 years old
433 years old (Gen. 11:14-15)
Eber 464 years old (Gen. 11:16-17)
239 years old (Gen. 11:18-19)
239 years old (Gen. 11:20-21)
230 years old (Gen. 11:22-23)
148 years old (Gen. 11:24-25)
205 years old (Gen. 11:32)
The average life span of the patriarchs from Shem to Terah (nine generations) is
333 years. The dividing line between the two sets of generations is the Great
Flood. Before the Great Flood there was no rain “but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”
(Gen. 2:5-6) This vapor canopy also
acts like a screen that filters out the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun. This
atmospheric condition provided an ideal climate that is neither hot nor cold and this prolongs life. This is one of the reasons the pre-flood patriarchs lived longer than the ones after the Great Flood.
Long Life and Biblical Nutrition
Longevity is related to good health. In order to live a long life one must
be healthy, and we can see that good health is dependent on what the person eats and drinks.
Nutrition is the natural or organic processing of food and drink for the nourishment of the human body in order to
keep healthy or to grow.
There is a good reason for the longevity of the pre-flood patriarchs. Their
staple diet was mostly vegetarian (Gen. 1:29-30). In the Garden
of Eden God gave man and all His creatures the food that is “very good.” “And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yield seeds which is on the face of the earth, and every
tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth,
in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food’; and it was so.
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So
the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Gen. 1:29-31)
After the Great Flood God allowed man to eat meat but with restrictions.
“Every 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 blood.” (Gen. 9:3-4)
After meat was introduced to the diet of man we can see the life span became shorter.
Abraham, for example, lived 175 years (Gen. 25:7). A few generations later, Joseph lived only 110 years (Gen. 50:22). We are told in the Psalms that seventy years is considered to be a long life, and men reach eighty years only "by reason of strength" (Psm. 90:10). David died at the age of seventy in about 1000 BC, and is described as dying
"in a good old age, full of days" (I Chr. 29:28).
Unclean Food defiles the Body
Before the Great Flood God had instructed Noah about the “clean” and “unclean” animals
and birds. (Gen. 7:2-3). Noah knew exactly what they are when he brought them
into the ark and after the Flood when he made the offerings to the LORD (Gen. 8:20-21).
The acceptable diet given by God to His people from the time of Noah to the present day Messianic Jews has always been
“Kosher” that includes only “clean” meats and foods that are herbal and
vegetarian in content. This is the Biblical nutrition that is the key to good
There is misunderstanding amongst Gentile Christians concerning the eating of biblically “unclean” animals,
birds and fish. They regard the dietary laws as belonging to the Old Testament
therefore applicable only to the Jews and not to New Testament Christians. Now
let us consider what the Bible states:
shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps; nor shall you make yourselves unclean with them,
lest you be defiled by them.
For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither
shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the LORD who brings you up out
of the land of Egypt,
to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. "This is the law of the animals and the birds and every living
creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth, to distinguish between the unclean
and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten."' (Lev. 11:43-47)
Now let us compare these Old Testament verses with the New Testament teaching.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and
that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the
temple of God
is holy, which temple you are.” (1 Cor. 3:16-17)
Both the Old and New Testaments express the same concept. If you eat “unclean”
animals, birds and fishes you defile your body which is the temple of God, and God will allow your body
to be destroyed. In simple words, if you eat “unclean” food
and become sick, you can pray until you are blue in the face and God will not heal you.
“For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the
land of Egypt,
to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Lev. 11:45)
The main reason God delivered the children of Israel from the Egyptian bondage is to make them a holy nation. (Ex. 19:3-8) God had given instructions to Noah concerning the “clean” and “unclean” animals and birds. (Gen. 7:2-3). After Jacob and his family moved to Egypt and lived there for more than four hundred years the children of Israel had forgotten the dietary instructions and have adopted
the Egyptian way of life and their diet. Here God reminded them about keeping
the dietary laws.
“And said, ‘If you diligently heed the
voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep al His statutes, I will
put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I
am the LORD who heals you.” (Ex.
The Egyptians eat all kinds of “unclean” animals
and birds and therefore suffer from all kinds of sicknesses and diseases. If
we keep the God’s instructions and eat only “clean” foods then He will give us a healthy
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Nutritious Foods from the Bible
In the first chapter of Genesis God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields
seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.” (Gen. 1:29) Then in the
last chapter of Revelation it states: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding
from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either
side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22:1-2) God has revealed His plan of nutrition
for man. In the Garden of Eden before sin entered into man God gave him herb,
seed and fruit. In heaven where there is no sin God also gave man fruit and leaves
from the tree. This is an indication that God’s nutritious diet for man
is herb, seed, fruit and vegetables.
Why is the diet that includes plants and vegetables so
nutritious and healthful to man? The reason is very simple. The green leaves from the plants contain chlorophyll that is essential for the production of oxygen through
photosynthesis. Chlorophyll's structure has been found to be almost identical
to the structure of hemoglobin, a vital component within human blood. The most obvious difference between the two is that
the structure of chlorophyll is based around magnesium, while hemoglobin is arranged around iron. Both minerals promote good health for humans.
The Bible discusses a wide variety of foods within its
Therefore you shall keep the
commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. For the
LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of the
valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey.”
Each one of these seven foods is of high nutritional merit.
Of all the foods mentioned in the Bible, assuredly none
holds a higher position of importance than wheat. Both the Bible and archaeology
show that wheat was one of the main staple foods of ancient times and some form of it was probably eaten at every meal. Time and again in the Bible, a bountiful wheat harvest is portrayed as a blessing
from God to His people.
“Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your
God, O Zion! For
He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you.
He makes peace in your borders, and fills you with the finest wheat.” (Psm. 147:12-14)
Wheat was also used as a symbol for the dying and resurrecting
Savior. Wheat is the symbol of eternal life. It doesn't really die. It goes into the ground and is transformed and reborn
I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”
One wheat berry can be planted in the right soil and
from that berry will sprout up a whole stalk of wheat that will contain some 30, 60 or 100 fold new berries. You can see the
Lord Jesus Christ, like one wheat berry being planted into the ground by His death, burial and resurrection have produced
a whole field of wheat grain over and over again. So it is with the Kingdom of God.
Wheat is a high-fiber grain,
loaded with B-vitamins and folic acid, which can help prevent heart disease and certain birth defects. Nutritionally, wheat does seem to contain it all. It is an excellent source
of protein, fat, and carbohydrates as well as vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Wheat truly is a special gift from God and every
aspect of this sacred grain should be considered for good health.
Barley, like wheat, is a highly nutritious grain and is
mentioned close to 40 times in the Bible. In ancient Israel, its growing season and harvest actually came before wheat and it was the
first crop of the year.
In one of the greatest miracles ever performed our Lord
Jesus Christ took five barley loaves and two small fish and multiplied the food to feed five thousand people (Jn. 6:1-14)
Barley is rich in in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.
Of all the plants mentioned in the Bible there is none
more significant in symbolism of the Lord Jesus Christ than the vine. Our Lord
Jesus Christ calls Himself “the True Vine.” (Jn. 15:1) In the Holy Communion our Lord used “the fruit
of the vine” to spiritually
transform into His blood of the New Covenant. (Mt. 26:26-29) Grapes and wine are mentioned many times in the Bible, and
are still an important part of Christian and Jewish ritual. Wine was used not only as a beverage, but also as a healing compound;
it was used to disinfect wounds and, mixed with myrrh, acted as a painkiller. Grapes
are a great antioxidant and grape skins contain a substance called resveratrol, which some researchers think can be beneficial
in fighting cardiovascular (heart) diseases and cancer.
Figs and Dates
One of the earliest cultivated fruits, figs, figured prominently
in the Bible. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve made their first garments from
fig leaves.. Modern research has found that figs and dates are high in fiber and antioxidants, and figs contain an enzyme
that is considered a digestive aid.
In the Song of Solomon pomegranates were used to describe
the beauty of his beloved. (Songs 4:1-3) King Solomon is reported to have cultivated
a large pomegranate grove as a display of his wealth. (Songs 4:13) Eaten whole or juiced, these delicate fruits are potent antioxidants, and some studies suggest pomegranate
juice may contain almost three times the antioxidant ability of green tea or red wine.
References to the olive are scattered throughout the Bible:
The olive branch was a symbol of peace brought to Noah after the Great Flood, and olive oil was poured into the wounds of
the man on the road by the Good Samaritan. Considered a fruit, olives were eaten
whole as food and pressed to make oil for cooking and medicinal uses. Today we know more about the healing benefits of olives
and olive oil: They contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular
In the Bible honey is mentioned quite often. It is most
frequently used to say how sweet something is. “And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey.” (Rev. 10:10) John the Baptist depended on honey for his survival: “And John himself was clothed in camel's hair,
with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.” (Mt. 3:4).”
Honey is a sweet fluid made by honeybees. The bees make
honey to feed the baby bees (larvae). Also, they need honey in order to stay alive during the winter. It is stored in aged
honeycombs by the bees.
There is no mention of beekeeping in
the Bible, but wild honey was plentiful. It's a store house of natural energy. Honey contains boron, a vital mineral
sadly lacking in the modern diet. It has tranquilizing powers, and can aid in healing wounds.
A sermon based on
this article was preached by Paul Wong
Congregation in Houston, Texas
on October 16, 2004
article was transferred to this Website on July 13, 2009
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