How to Boil a Kid in its Mother’s Milk

Don’t get excited, ‘kid’ here means a baby goat.  And yes, people in ancient times would boil a kid in its mother’s milk.  Some scholars say that this was done by some ancients in the middle east in their worship of their gods.  Yehovah (the LORD) told the Israelites several times to not copy the nations’ practices in worship to Him.

“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.” Deuteronomy 14:21 (ESV)

This command gave rise to Judaisms’ complex set of rules about dealing with meat and milk products.  They started with this command, and in their wish to not even accidentally break, or even appear to break, this command, fences upon fences were built around this command until it looks like what it does today, where dairy and meat products should (ideally) be stored in separate refrigerators and served on separate dishes, hours apart.  Silly you say?

Well, at the other end of the spectrum we have Christianity taking a simple command such as “don’t eat blood” and building theology upon theology upon it stating that any “Old Testament” laws are not to be followed as “we are not under law, but under grace.”

“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do.  You shall not add to it or take from it.”  Deuteronomy 12:32 (ESV)

God is clear that He doesn’t want us to add to or take from His words.  Judaism loves to add to it (and I doubt any Christians out there will disagree with this, though Jews would), and Christianity loves to take away from His word (and I doubt any Jews would disagree with this, though Christians would vehemently disagree).

How do Christians take from His word?  Well, lets start with the command for not eating blood.  That is actually also found in the “New Testament” in a letter written to all Gentile churches (Acts 15:22-29).  The letter also mentions that you shouldn’t eat meat from a strangled animal.  (Ever hear either of these talked about during a sermon?)

[I’m not ‘bashing’ Christianity here, but there is a need to point out some facts.  I praise and thank God for my Christian brothers and sisters.]

Historically, Christianity started divesting itself of anything “Jewish”, including the “Law of God”.  This started as early as in the 2nd century AD.   Over the decades, this ‘divestment of all things Jewish’ went deeper and became thoroughly entrenched in Christian theology.  So much so that much of Christianity understands the apostle Paul’s comment about Christians “not being under law, but under grace” to mean that all “Old Testament” laws have been done away with (or fulfilled – the result is the same).

That is certainly ‘subtracting from’ God’s word in a big way.

Before wondering what, if any, of God’s “Law” is still to be followed today, first start following what Yeshua (Jesus) and the apostles said, including the “don’t eat blood” injunction.  And understand that the “Law of God” is not bad – even Paul states this.  But remember that Yeshua (Jesus) stated that “his burden is light and his yoke is easy.”  That saying is a Hebraism in reference to the “Law”  and following God.

Also, obedience to God is not to be misconstrued with being “under the law.”  Paul even refers to the anti-Christ as “the lawless one”.  2 Thessalonians 2:8-9.

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  Matthew 7:23 (ESV)

Yeshua (Jesus) said those words to apparent Christians.

So, be aware of adding to or taking away from God’s word, and don’t try a recipe for boiling a kid in its mother’s milk!

Shalom,

– Yosef

11 thoughts on “How to Boil a Kid in its Mother’s Milk

  1. What are your perspectives on the Deuteronomic prohibition on crossing the gender divide in clothing as pertaining to Jews at the time of this order? Thank you.

    • For those that don’t know what Tancy is referring to, it is written in Deuteronomy 22:5, “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.” (ESV)

      I still see this command as being pertinent to all followers of Yeshua (Jesus). One of the things at the core of this command is gender identity, and we are living today in a society that has both thrown out this command and is living with the inevitable outcome. There is confusion. People don’t know what the meaning of gender is any more.

      As with all (most?) of God’s commands, there is a spiritual side to this also. There are different responsibilities for men and women in the Torah (teachings or instructions of God – the first 5 books of the Bible). Trying to pass as the opposite gender and then deciding which commands apply to you, is an abomination to God. Choosing to follow this command, or any command, is a choice we are expected to make in this life as we are learning to follow God in all things, for how can we follow Him in spiritual matters when we don’t take him earnestly in physical matters?

      That all said, there are several (or many?) Christian churches out there that take this command and add to it. They confuse a ‘style’ with the actual clothes, and say that women shouldn’t wear pants. As you well know, there are many pants styles out there just for women. I do not see this command from God as pertaining to things such as that.

      Which leaves the whole question of “unisex” clothing. My opinion on this is that such clothing is attacking the core of this command. It is meant to confuse the fact that there are two genders in this world (hermaphrodites aside), and God wants us to maintain this distinction. It in no way implies one is better then the other (see my short comments about this in the two blog postings, “Yes, Yes; No, No; Men are men; Women are Women. Numbers 30” – parts 1 and 2).

      This does not apply to those times when it is needed to wear the opposite’s or unisex clothing. I’m thinking of women who are in jobs that require certain clothing or where appropriate clothing is just not available. This command applies when we have the choice.

      Hope this answers your question. If you are asking this because you are personally considering the issue, also remember that Yeshua (Jesus) said that his yoke is light and his burden is easy. He was referring to following God’s ways through him. When you can follow this command and rejoice that you have an opportunity to worship God in this way, then by all means stick to it! If you are unsure and prone to doing things simply out of ‘duty’, pray about it.

      Another comment: when a typical Christian is confronted with following or not following one of God’s commands, they say, ‘Ugh. A law I have to follow.’ In the Hebrew perspective, when one is confronted with one of God’s commands, they say, ‘Ah! A chance to love and worship God by obeying this command! Thank you God for the opportunity.’

      The apostle Paul had a very tough job: introducing gentiles to the ways and Laws of God. He knew from the start that asking people to start following all the laws from the beginning of faith would just lead to legalism. He fought hard against this trend. Rather, both he and the Jerusalem church elders came up with a list of four things all new believers should follow, with the understanding that they would learn more as they continued in their life with God through Yeshua (and met together on the Sabbath).

      – Yosef

      • Thank you so much Yosef. Especially about the pants. Quite a large number of opinions on this topic center on pants and make it seem that Yahweh was categorically making reference to it. What was the Jewish costume at the time of this prohibition? I have often wondered. I would like to know.

        I agree with you about unisex clothing. But l also think that once a female buys them, it becomes a woman’s clothing. Like T Shirts, raincoats, name it. What are your perspectives on this? Thank you

        • As to what clothing was like back in the days of Moses, I am not sure. That men’s and women’s clothing was different, at least among the Israelites, is known from scripture. Dressing using the other gender’s clothing (in that time period) was likely tied to some social or spiritual practice. I have heard a couple ideas on the topic, but it seems no one is completely sure.

          I not completely sure what you mean by saying, “once a female buys them.” If some unisex clothing becomes favored (almost) exclusively by one gender or the other, then I would agree with what you say. Probably. If you are saying that for one woman who buys unisex clothing, then that clothing becomes a woman’s clothing for her, then I’d say no, I don’t agree. To me, that is the kind of thinking that leads to all manner of self justifying arguments that try to get around one of God’s commands.

          Yeshua (Jesus) berated the religious leaders for nullifying the commandment to ‘honor your parents’ by doing something that, on the surface, was good and right: dedicating what they had to God. But that didn’t make what they did correct.

          In other words, the search for ways around a command leads to legalism. A path you don’t want to take. What did the apostle Paul say? ‘Avoid even the appearance of evil.’

          One way we are to be witnesses to the world is in that we follow God’s commands. It is then that this scripture really has meaning:

          Keep them and do them [the statutes and rules – the ‘law’], for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? Deuteronomy 4:6-8 (ESV)

          It is when people really notice that we are taking care to follow His commands that they begin to question – and that can be a great opportunity to share the love of God through Yeshua, and what Yeshua has done, with them. But not if it is a burden to you. When we can truly do these things with complete joy in our heart every time we are faced with a choice: do I chose this great looking unisex article of clothing, or do I chose this nice looking, obviously feminine, article of clothing.

          I can say from personal experience that such decisions are good when we are confronted with them. For example, I do not buy clothes of ‘mixed’ material. Not an easy task in our culture. Yet I try to remember, each time I am frustrated at the lack of choice in a particular area, that making the choice correctly is a form of worship that Yehovah likes. It’s obedience. Not always easy.

          But before all this is the command to love one another.

          This reply is getting long, so I’ll end here. I’m not sure I answered your actual question, though, so you may need to reword it and ask again.

          – Yosef

          • Hmmm. Anything for the honor of Yahweh. No sacrifice is too big .
            I am glad you mentioned the mixed material stuff. It isn’t discussed much. But they’re both two sides of the same coin.
            Thanks.

            • Very honest reply. Always remember why we follow His commands: because we love Him and we want others to know about Him! If you are sacrificing in this area, pray that Yehovah (Yahweh) will give you the opportunity to bring Him glory through it! Shalom! – Yosef

  2. You do a great job of identifying the divide between Judaizers and Christians.
    The former is inclined to “add” to God’s orders, and the latter tends to “subtract” from it.
    Your Jewish background lends a great platform to understanding the real intent of Yahweh on these issues. Thanks

    • Thanks. I do find myself in the odd position of having lived and understand both worlds. Off course, that means that I have double the traditions that I have to weigh against God’s word! But all things in His timing. – Yosef

  3. Maybe I am naive, or ill informed on Christian practice. Somewhere I missed the ritual blood drinking and feasting on strangled animals at my last Christian assembly. Do they really do that?

    • Thanks for the comment!

      Animal strangulation as a precursor to butchering was, and still is, practiced (probably more in regards to fowl, such as chickens, then larger animals). Not necessarily in the USA, though I have heard that prior to current regulations that we now have, it was practiced in this country also, but it is practiced.

      Though I have heard of people drinking animals blood, that is not what I think of when I read this injunction. God says explicitly that the blood is to be poured out on the ground when slaughtering an animal. This would mean that the blood can’t be collected and then used for any food preparation. There are foods that are prepared with blood. Blood sausage is one example. Blood sausage may not be popular here in the USA (I have no idea), but I do know that in at least one European country, it is popular, including among the Christians. There are probably other foods that have blood as an ingredient.

      But the main purpose of pointing out these verses is to show that even in the ‘new testament’, we are called to question and watch over some everyday practices in our lives. Granted, here in the USA, slaughter houses do let the animals bleed out, usually, so it isn’t normally thought about. But that is also part of the point: here we have a chance to follow God (and obeying Him is a form of worship) by simply ensuring that the meat we eat follows what God wants. Yet the command is (typically) completely ignored or it is simply taken for granted that it is somehow being followed. Part of learning to follow God is to learn, and practice, even everyday injunctions.

      The overall thrust of the post is to state that we are to neither add to, nor take away from God’s word. Ignoring a command is, in my opinion, a form of taking away from His word, especially since it directly leads to people inadvertently disobeying.

      The last point I am trying to make is that we do not live without God’s law. “Sin is lawlessness” 1 John 3:4 (ESV).

      Shalom!
      – Yosef

Share your Opinion!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.