O.K., I saw this ad in a newspaper for a special dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant specializing in an Eel Dinner for the bargain price of $39.95. I am not sure reading the ad that I had any idea what an Eel might be. I knew what they were but not as a food source. It is: “Any of numerous voracious elongate snakelike bony fishes (order Anguilliformes) that have a smooth slimy skin, lack pelvic fins, and have the median fins confluent around the tail.” (Merriam-Webster) That’s perfect! In another words: A Snake Fish or if you prefer, a Fish Snake. Well, I became curious about these Snake Fish and here is what I found: “Eating Eel can easily be lethal. Eels’ blood is poisonous, which discourages other creatures from eating them. A very small amount of eel blood is enough to kill a person, so raw eel should never be eaten. Their blood contains a toxic protein that cramps muscles, including the most important one, the heart. Make sure you cook it before eating.” You know… a Snake is a Snake, Fish or no-Fish, Snake Fish or Fish Snake. I cannot think of a much worse combination of words than Snake and Fish unless it is Spider and Fish or Fish Spider or Spider Fish.
Even before getting clear instruction from the Old Testament food laws I knew it was just plain wrong to eat Eels as it is any other Fish or Snake. “Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean. And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.” (Leviticus 11:9-12; also see Deuteronomy 14:9-10) Those are clear instructions.
But… we are no longer under the Old Law. On this one I am definitely still under the Old Law…way under even at the great price of $39.95. “You must regard their carcasses as unclean…” Amen, Moses.
“Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in. But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest point of God’s law to be overturned.” Jesus