After writing the first 8 articles on how Yehovah’s son, the Ezrach is to properly slaughter, eat and dispose of any animals eaten from the herd (cattle) or flock (sheep and goats) as commanded in Leviticus 3, 7 and 17; it seems appropriate that I also address the killing of wild game (deer, elk, moose, etc.) and birds (chicken, turkey, etc.) as described in Leviticus 17 as well.
Most folks, those who have any exposure to the Hebrew roots of the faith which all of Yehovah’s great men have lived and taught, are aware of what clean 4-footed animals and clean birds are available for His people to eat. But very few are aware of how they are to be killed, and by whom. Yehovah’s instructions in Leviticus 17 are brief.
“And any man [eesh, eesh] of Israel’s seed [they are the Ezrach in Yehovah’s kingdom], or the Stranger [the Ger] who dwells among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust; for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to Israel’s seed, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.’ (Lev 17:13-14)
Again, as it was with the beef, sheep and goat, it is the “man man” or “any man” who kills the animals; not a woman. But, in this case wild 4-footed animals (as opposed to domestic animals which are slaughtered to Yehovah by only His son) and birds can be killed by both the Ezrach and the Ger who dwells with them.
Notice: There is no provision here for a Gentile to kill meat and sell this (already been killed) meat to the Ezrach or to the Ger.
There are two things that troubled me about the meat I was previously buying from the market. The first, and most obvious is, I did not kill it! But the second issue for me requires a bit longer explanation.
The meats, especially chicken (among the birds) which are sold in huge quantities in our local markets are provided through large corporations and have not had their blood poured out on the ground and covered with dust. Instead, that blood has been captured and turned into other products.
I see in Leviticus a great concern by Yehovah in how the animals, which His people eat, are to be treated. Both the Ezrach and the Ger who dwells with them must see to it that the animal is treated with respect and its blood is disposed of properly. Look what Yehovah said about the animal among the cattle, sheep and goats which is slaughtered before Yehovah’s altar.
“Any man [eesh eesh] of the house of Israel who kills cattle or lamb or goat in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, and brings it [the animal] not to the door of the tent of meetings to bring his offering [his cor-vawn, with the fat and the blood] unto Yehovah, before the presence of Yehovah; the blood which the man shed shall be imputed on him, and that man shall be cut off from among his people. (Lev 17:3-4)
If we eat chicken, turkey, and other wild game that has not had its blood disposed of properly, is their blood imputed on us? I think it is. So what is the alternative to store-bought meats? The only one I see is to raise our own birds or buy birds and kill them for ourselves (and our family) as instructed. In this way we are assured that the blood was disposed of properly and we will not be cut off from Israel.
Just a side note: Most who call themselves Israel have never made themselves a Ger, and much more, an Ezrach; so now we can not be cut off from Yehovah’s people because we are not His. I say, BUMMER!
Another significant difference that I see between the domestic animals (which can be brought to Yehovah’s altar and have their fat burned there) and the clean wild game and birds is twofold. Concerning the meat which is killed before Yehovah, only those who are clean (tahor) can eat it; but with regard to wild game and birds, both the unclean (tamei) and the clean (tahor) can eat them.
Even as the gazelle and the hart is eaten, so, shalt thou eat, – the unclean and the clean, alike shall eat it. (Deu. 12:22)
And, unlike the domestic animals which must be eaten, if used for a she-la-mim, on the day it is slaughtered, or on the following day in two cases; the wild game and the birds do not seem to have any limitation concerning how long they may be kept. So jerking them, canning them or even freezing them for later use may be acceptable. At this time, and in the light of what I have seen in Yehovah’s instructions, at least these three options are available to me.
I am looking at raising some chicks this summer to kill and freeze throughout the winter or a place that I can purchase live full-grown chickens or turkeys to kill for myself. For me it is one of these options or continue with a meatless diet.
Before I close I should say that Yehovah is silent concerning the killing and eating of clean fish. For me the fresher and least handled the fish is, the better. Of course catching my own would be best but I am not ever going to get any license from the state, so the potential hassle in court is just not worth the trouble.
As a teacher of Torah Leviticus 17 was a real challenge for me to learn, incorporate into my life and then teach to others. We have so much in our lives today that we think is OK, but the more I learn, the more clearly I see how short we have fallen from Yehovah’s good and acceptable and perfect ways; and, with these new-found understandings comes greater sighing and crying for the abominations which are being done in the world today.
So much to learn, so little time.