Question: Are pigs native to the Middle East, then? If no decent jew or muslim could eat them, why were they raised and by whom?
God seems quite fickle about what were were to eat:
- Adam and Eve are supposed to eat a vegan diet: Genesis 1:29: And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
- Noah and his sons can eat any living thing, but they have to drain the blood first: Genesis 9:2-4: And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
That didn't last long because in Deuteronomy and Leviticus he gets into all the things that are forbidden. Here I'll highlight the references to swine.
- Leviticus 11:7: And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
- Deuteronomy 14:8: 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 carcase.
In Proverbs, we see more insults to the pig and loose women:
- Proverbs 11:22: As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
In Isaiah, eating swineflesh or mice means god will have to kill you:
- Isaiah 66:16-17: For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. God will "plead with all flesh" with fire and sword, "and the slain of the Lord shall be many." They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
What does the new testament say about the pig?
Jesus obviously hated pigs. He killed a whole herd of them in the gospels:
- Matthew 8:32: And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. (Same story Mark 5:7-17, Luke 8:26-37)
In all three accounts Jesus and his posse are asked to leave. Maybe because they were valuable pigs.
Why drive demons into a herd of swine? Isn't that wasteful? Who's herd was it? Why would anyone be raising pigs if Jews couldn't eat them? Why not just zap the demons with laser eyes or something? Jesus was so unimaginative, if you ask me. (Don't even get me started about his hatred of a fig tree)
Jesus also insults pigs (as well as dogs):
- Matthew 7:6: 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.
But then, to confuse matters (we know how consistent and On Message the bible is), Some heavenly voice talks to Peter. It's apparently the lord.
- Acts 10:10-16: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
So if god cleans it, then it's not common and OK to eat? Oh, these weird visions. Even Peter didn't know what the hell it meant.
Now in Romans, we have more conflicting messages:
- Romans 14:2: For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
So if you are a believer you can eat anything, but you're weak if you're a vegetarian? But wait! There's more!
- Romans 14:14-15: I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
Ok, now nothing is unclean (yay, bacon!) of itself, but if you think it's icky, then it's icky. Is that like The Secret or something? Your thoughts make things dirty? What is the second verse? Christ died for bacon? No? Well it doesn't make much sense to me. (Then again I'm a lowly woman and I can't teach or ask questions about the bible, so this is all circumspect anyway.)
- Romans 14:21: It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
Srsly, WTF? That's the same chapter! Am I the only one who finds it confusing?
Speaking of Timothy:
1 Timothy 4:1-4: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
So some will leave the faith and become vegetarians. I guess that's bad? But it clarifies the issue, that now every creature of god is good and not to be refused. Just be thankful about it. I guess they got tired of not eating pork and rabbits and other creatures. Probably because they were low on goats, having sacrificed so many to their god (who loves the smell of burning flesh.. NOM!)
Now, just to be fair, allah in the quran also hates pigs but only has to mention it twice:
- The Cow 2:173: He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
So, as a side note, islam talks of other gods, then too. But like christianity and judaism, you have to only worship the one hateful god of your people, I guess.
- The Table Spread 5:3: Forbidden unto you (for food) are carrion and blood and swineflesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which hath been killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which ye make lawful (by the death-stroke), and that which hath been immolated unto idols. And (forbidden is it) that ye swear by the divining arrows. This is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Oh, and saying allah is merciful and forgiving in between mentioning all the doom he's going to heap on you for any little thing doesn't lessen the cognitive dissonance (aka, the CRAZY).