Answering the Critics! PART 7
Biblical Health Laws in Plain Language Thousands of Years Ago!
In the pages of the Old Testament unbeknownst to many today, contains many statutes which relate to health. If the world had followed them, the diseases and its toll would have been minimized or at least greatly reduced.
At the close of the 17th century, hygienic conditions in cities remained at best deplorable. Excrement and filth were often dumped into the streets. Flies, breeding in the filth, spread and carried disease to millions.
However, the principle of burying excrement and filth was given by the Scriptures over 1400 years before Christ. God told Moses and the children of Israel: "Thou shalt have a place also. without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: and thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee" (Deut. 23:12-13).
According to medical historian Arturo Castiglioni he wrote, "The regulations in Deuteronomy as to how soldiers should prevent the danger of infection coming from their excrement by covering it with earth constitute a most important document of sanitary legislation" (A History of Medicine, p. 70).
Castiglioni declared, "Study of Biblical texts appears to have demonstrated that the ancient Semitic peoples, in agreement with the most modern tenets of epidemiology, attributed more importance to animal transmitters of disease, like the rat and the fly, than to the contagious individual" ( op; p. 71).
When the bubonic plague devastated Europe, three thousand years later, this knowledge had generally been lost. Some blamed noxious fumes in the air; others attributed it to the stars; some thought it was caused by a conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn; yet others blamed the Jews, and many blamed God.
In General, the world did not realize the importance of hygiene and cleanliness until about the end of the 18th century. Yet these vital principles of sanitation and cleanliness were revealed by God to Moses almost 3,500 years ago!
The Biblical laws of cleanliness, washings, and purification were not all merely customs or rituals. They protected the camp of Israel from the dangers of contagious diseases and deadly plagues!
States Dr. D. T. Atkinson, "In the Bible greater stress was placed upon prevention of disease than was given to the treatment of bodily ailments, and in this no race of people, before or since, has left us such a wealth of LAWS RELATIVE TO HYGIENE AND SANITATION as the Hebrews. (Not the Jews but the Hebrews) These important laws, coming down through the ages, are still used to a marked degree in every country in the world sufficiently enlightened to observe them. One has but to read the book of Leviticus carefully and thoughtfully to conclude that the admonitions of Moses contained therein are, in fact, the groundwork of most of today's sanitary laws. As one closes the book, he must, regardless of his spiritual leanings, feel that the wisdom therein expressed regarding the rules to protect health are superior to any which then existed in the world and that to this day they have been little improved upon" (Magic, Myth and Medicine, Atkinson, p. 20).
Even in today's modern world people are beginning to lose sight of the vital importance of sanitation and cleanliness in not only combating, but also in the prevention of illness and contagions. Our modern cities are becoming increasingly congested, polluted, filthy and dirty. The increase of garbage and the disposal of it pose serious health problems. Our air is becoming unfit to breathe because of pollution; and our water is becoming increasingly contaminated with industrial chemicals, urban wastes, and a host of many pollutants unheard of until recently!
Could the continuing decrease of sanitation, and the growing violation of Biblical hygienic and health principles, be contributing factors in the escalating incidence in modern degenerative and contagious diseases around the world?
Think about it. It has an obvious answer!