The swine is described to be unclean in the Bible. Influenced by such teachings, some believers do not eat of swine flesh, and judge others who eat it as unclean.
However, the Bible does not refer to swine in the natural world. It uses the swine to disclose the spiritual world of truth. That is, the characteristics of physical swine are bor-rowed in order to explain the spiritual world. So these believers who follow this literal meaning are in error, if they want to understand and believe correctly. I will now tell you the true meaning of “You shall not eat of swine’s flesh.”
And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcasses.
What We Eat is What We Are
The Scripture testifies of Jesus, the giver of eternal life to believers. As such, all of Scripture is about the life of Jesus, not about the affairs of the world. In order for us to have eternal life, we have to eat something, as we eat food in order to sustain our natural life.
So, we should eat if we desire to have eternal life. What should we eat? They are the flesh and blood of Jesus.
Read John below.
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
We shall have eternal life when we eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood. In this passage of Scripture, the flesh and blood of the Son of man represents the Word.
However, if we eat something other than His flesh, what will we be? We will remain dead because we have failed to receive eternal life. So, we should be alert to what we eat. Is it the flesh of Jesus or something else? Verses in the Scriptures that command not to eat various unclean animals are meant to read in this manner.
What Does the Flesh of Swine Mean?
Swine are classified as one of the unclean animals. The Scripture gives reason why swine are unclean. The reason is that they do not chew the cud. Chewing the cud is the process for a herbivore to bring the food back from the stomach into the mouth and chew it again.
Through this characteristic of the herbivore, the Scripture reveals to us what we should do in eating the word, the flesh of Jesus. That is, we should chew the cud when eating the word of Jesus.
How can we chew the cud? When we reading the Scriptures we need to pray, meditate on it, study it, and think on it deeply again and again. This is the way we chew the cud. The Bereans are an example.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
By chewing the cud, we can find the true meaning of the word. Without it, we will only know the superficial meaning, which is, in reality the morals and ethics of men. This way we will be eating something else, not the word.
The swine represent those who receive the word of God without serious meditation and prayer, and so they only grasp the literal and superficial meaning of it. Superficial meanings of the Scripture are referred to a gnat and hidden true meanings to a camel in Matthew 23:24: “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
They are swine. And their teachings (words) are the flesh of swine, as Jesus’ teachings (words) are His flesh. Therefore, learning and receiving their teachings is eating the flesh of swine.
Then why are swine and their flesh unclean? That which makes us clean is clean. Consider John 15:3: “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
The swine and their flesh are unclean because it cannot give us cleanness of spirit, that is, forgiveness of sin, even if we eat it. However, the one who chewed the cud has the spiritual meanings of the word. They will provide us the flesh of Jesus, the real clean food.
Therefore, even though the same word of God in the Scriptures is preached, some preachers give it as the flesh of swine, and some give it as the flesh of Jesus. Watch from whom you are hearing and learning! Below is the description of men who are giving and taking the teachings of swine from the Scriptures.
Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels.
Men are born sinners. Unless they are saved by the word of God, they remain in the grave, the symbol of the death. The monuments mean their self-righteousness accumulated by doing many good things in the eyes of man, not God. They teach and receive doctrines of men (the flesh of swine) as that of God. Here in Isaiah 65:4 men are likened to ‘vessels,’ and the ‘abominable things’ are such as evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit et cetera (Mar 7:21-22).
The true meaning of the word of God will be revealed to you when you chew the cud deeply by thinking and praying. If you will have eternal life, you should not eat the flesh of swine. If so, you are dead.
Swine and Pearls
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Jesus says, “Neither cast ye your pearls before swine.” In this case, the swine signifies those who do not think on the word deeply and know it as if it were the commandments of men. If we preach to them the gospel, likened to pearls, they blaspheme in opposition to us, saying, “It is an arbitrary interpretation,” or “It’s heresy.” If they go further, they will harm us. This is their trampling of pearls under their feet.
You can remember the Pharisees who fought against Jesus, and the Jews who tried to kill the apostles. As to be expected, they were swine who had been receiving the word of God without chewing the cud.
Divide the Hoof
In the mean time, if the hoof is divided, we can eat of it. The one who can divide the law and gospel; he is the man who can divide the hoof. We can have teachings from him. Many believers do not know even whether there are hidden meanings in the Scriptures. They only know the superficial and natu-ral meanings. They are they who do not and cannot divide the hoof. If we receive their teaching, we will not be saved, and remain as dead. So the Scripture instructs not to eat of the flesh of such animal.
In the swine’s case, its hoof is divided, but it does not chew the cud. Dividing the hoof and chewing the cud is saying one and the same thing. Therefore, if either of the two is not met, none is met.
Some people in the church prohibit eating of the flesh of swine. Such behavior is caused by their sincere desire to live by the Scripture. However, such conducts is already the result of ‘eating the flesh of swine.’ That is, they do not eat pork because they have already eaten the flesh of swine from the Scriptures.
Our eyes to read the Bible are blind. We should be humble in front of God in reading the Bible, and then God will lead us to the right truth. We have believed in Jesus blindly. That is clear if we think about that in so far that we have been reading the Scriptures, which testifies to Jesus, in a very different way. Quite naturally, a self-created Jesus would be very different from who Jesus is in reality. So much for the flesh of swine and the flesh of animals with a non-divided hoof. Now is the time to eat of the flesh of Jesus.
* Taken from the book “Fresh Eyes to Read the Bible II – The Real Jesus”