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Good Health through Biblical Nutrition

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Paul Wong


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.


          Adam                            930 years old    (Gen. 5:5)

          Seth                              912 years old    (Gen. 5:8)

          Enosh                          905 years old    (Gen. 5:11)

          Cainan                         910 years old    (Gen. 5:14)

         Mahalaleel                   895  years old    (Gen. 5:17)

         Jared                            962 years old    (Gen. 5:20)

         Enoch                          365  years old    (Gen. 5:23-24) 

         Methuselah                 969 years old    (Gen. 5:27)

         Lamech                       777 years old    (Gen. 5:31)

         Noah                             950 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. 


          Shem                            602 years old    (Gen. 11:10-11)

          Arphaxad                    438 years old    (Gen. 11:12-13)

          Salah                            433 years old    (Gen. 11:14-15)

          Eber                              464 years old    (Gen. 11:16-17)

          Peleg                            239 years old    (Gen. 11:18-19)

          Reu                               239 years old    (Gen. 11:20-21)

          Serug                           230 years old    (Gen. 11:22-23)

          Nahor                           148 years old    (Gen. 11:24-25)

          Terah                            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 health.


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:


“You 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. 15:26)


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 life.


Please Click on the Titles to access the Links

Can Gentile Christians Eat any Meat They Want?
Eating Pork can be Hazardous to Your Health
SARS linked to Three Small Animals
Prosper in all things and be in Health



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 pages.


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.” (Deut. 8:6-8)


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 again.


“Most assuredly, 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.” (Jn. 12:24)

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 disease.




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.


May God bless you

A sermon based on this article was preached by Paul Wong

to a Congregation in Houston, Texas on October 16, 2004


This article was transferred to this Website on July 13, 2009


For comments please write first to: arkpw@sbcglobal.net



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