Acts 10:13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
In ‘Acts of the Apostles’ chapter 10 Peter saw a vision in which different kinds of animals came down from heaven in a sheet. Then he heard a voice telling him, ‘Rise, kill and eat’, not once but 3 times.
However, Peter refused…
What does the text say?
Acts 10:14, 16 14But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 16This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.
Straight to His face, Peter said “No” to God Almighty! He clearly was ‘NOT’ going to eat anything “unclean”!
This next point is critical; the documented fact is, Peter was “inwardly perplexed” as to the meaning of this vision. After the vision, Peter is confused, he’s baffled as to what it meant…
What does the text say?
Acts 10:17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean
The Word of God states he did NOT know the ‘meaning of the vision’, yet, mainstream theology has cast aside the ‘apostle Peter’ and interprets its meaning without reading the rest of the discourse! Today’s mainstream Christian System teaches that the meaning of Peter’s vision is about food, and that all animals of every kind are now ‘clean’ to eat. However, Peter obviously is having issues with an “apparent” change in the Food-Laws. So, shouldn’t we see how all this plays out in the rest of the chapter, before just stopping at verse 13 and ‘(declare all foods are now clean)’? At this point in the discourse, Peter didn’t know what the vision meant… How arrogant is it of us to assume that we could know better than Peter?
From Mark 7:19, mainstream Christianity teaches that Jesus ‘(declared all foods clean)‘; please read, ‘(Thus he declared all foods clean) Part 1‘. Wasn’t Peter with Jesus during that ‘Mark’ 7 event? ‘If’ he learned from the Master Himself that ‘(all foods had been declared clean)’, Why would Peter adamantly claim that he was not going to eat, nor had ever eaten anything “unclean” years later, here in Acts 10:14? Why would he be confused about the meaning of the vision if he already knew that Jesus had ‘(declared all foods clean)’??? Didn’t Peter get the memo?
Think logically, not emotionally.
This vision takes place years after the ascension of Jesus, and Peter still believes there are “unclean” animals that he cannot eat, that he will not eat! He still believes the Mosaic food Laws are current and valid!
‘If’ Jesus did (declare all foods clean) in ‘Mark’ 7, then Peter is contradicting the Son of God.
‘If’ Acts 10:14 contradicts Mark 7:19 then we have to throw out both ‘Books’ from the Bible, because Scripture cannot contradict itself.
Today’s mainstream Christian System teaches that the whole context of the Acts 10 vision is about food, and food alone. If you will allow, the Scriptures alone will prove that the purpose of the vision has nothing to do with food.
What no one is being taught in mainstream churches today is that the ‘interpretation’ of Peter’s “vision“ is given to us, twice. Right there in the dialog of chapters 10 and 11, the visions interpretation is given to us, twice; and it has nothing to do with food.
What does the text say?
Acts 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has “shown” me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
Acts 11:4-18 4But Peter began and explained it to them in order: 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance, I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. 6Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. 7And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ 10This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12And the Spirit told me to Go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
Shouldn’t we just accept the fact that God knew what He was talking about when He revealed to the disciples this ‘interpretation’?
Peter made it very clear, that even through the time of this vision he had never eaten an “unclean” animal, and that he had no intentions of eating those “unclean” animals that he saw.
Peter saw that vision three times and “Behold”, a funny thing happened, three men came looking for him; coincidence???
What does the text say?
Acts 10:13-20 13And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven. 17Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate 18and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. 19And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. 20Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.”
After the metaphorical word “eat” in verse 13, and “eaten” in verse 14 in the vision, food is never discussed again, ever. Yet, mainstream Christianity teaches that the whole context of Acts 10 is about food, and that somehow without any Scriptural documentation, God’s Instructions regarding clean and unclean animals are now null and void.?.?.
After the vision that mentions “unclean“, we see that Peter stated ‘God showed’ him something that actually refers to “unclean“…
What does the text say?
Acts 10:28 …but God has shown me (via the metaphorical vision) that I should not call any person common or unclean.
When Peter finally explains this interpretation of the vision to his brothers in Jerusalem in chapter 11, nothing is mentioned regarding a change in the food Laws, nothing.
Stop and think for second; it would have been “Front-Page” news to hear that unclean-animals were now considered “food”! If this was the meaning of the vision, why is it never mentioned anywhere in the Scriptures??? It’s because that was not the meaning of, nor the purpose of the vision. The purpose of the vision was to get these 1st-Century-believers-in-Jesus to quit following “doctrines/laws of men”.
What does the text say?
Acts 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
Nowhere in the Law of God given through Moses do we find this underlined statement above to be true. This was not God’s Law, it was man’s law.
The Talmud, in the Gemara discussions, makes two claims on why the Goim (gentiles/nations) are thought/considered to be unclean: because they themselves were not cleansed on Mount Sinai, and because they eat unclean things.
In ‘Gemara – Abhodah Zarah, (22b)’ it says:
- “Why are the Goim (gentiles/nations) unclean? Because they were not present at Mount Sinai. For when the serpent entered into Eve he infused her with uncleanness. But the Jews were cleansed from this when they stood on Mount Sinai; the Goim, however, who were not on Mount Sinai were not cleansed.”
Likewise, in ‘Gemara – Schabbath, (145b)’ it says:
- “Why are the Goim (gentiles/nations) unclean? Because they eat abominable things and animals that crawl on their belly.”
These understandings were put into practical application in the first century when the governing council of Judea, which was under the control of the House of Shammai, declared numerous edicts that made associating with and eating with non-Jews forbidden.
It was a “man-made law” that claimed the Jews could not associate with or eat with the nations/gentiles. The council did have authority and jurisdiction to rule on/interpret the Law, BUT this edict contradicted the Law of God given through Moses.
The Law of God given through Moses actually ‘forbids‘ the Israelites to show “enmity” towards the gentiles/nations. The Law of Moses ‘forbids‘ Israelites from excluding, dissociating with, or treating as “enemies” any stranger or foreigner from other nations/gentiles.
What does the text say?
You shall not wrong a H1616sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. | Exodus 22:21
You shall not oppress a H1616sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. | Exodus 23:9
Love the H1616sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. | Deuteronomy 10:19
You shall not pervert the justice due to the H1616sojourner or the fatherless | Deuteronomy 24:17
“‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the H1616sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ | Deuteronomy 27:19
- ‘Sojourner’ in all of these verses is Strong’s H1616, ger/גָּר in Hebrew, according to Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon it means: a stranger, foreigner, one who is living outside his own country.
There are many other verses like these from the Law, as well as the Prophets and the Writings, and they all instruct the Israelite to engage with the stranger/foreigner, as well as treat them with respect, love and compassion, not enmity! Israel, with the Law of God as it’s foundation, was to be an example, to persuade all of the nations to fear and follow the Instructions of the Almighty; to be a light to the nations ~
What does the text say?
6Keep them and do them (The Commandments), 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.’7For 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? 8And 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
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel, I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” | Isaiah 49:6
In addition, the Scriptures prophesy that in the End-Times ‘all of the nations will learn the Law of God ~
2It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, 3and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths. ”For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. | Isaiah 2:2-3
A second witness ~
1It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, 2and many nations shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. | Micah 4:1-2
‘Peter’s Vision’ corrects the false understanding that Jews were not allowed to associate with the gentiles/nations because they were considered to be unclean. The religious leaders routinely put up “fences” around the Law of God given through Moses, in order to help ensure that it was not violated. In general, these fences were not bad or wrong, however, this “man-made fence” actually contradicted the Law of God.
The ‘Acts 10’ vision “showed” Peter that this man-made law was wrong, in order to remove any reluctance that he might have had in entering the house of Cornelius.
So, one more time here are both references of the interpretation of the vision given to us straight from the Scriptures ~
Acts 10:28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful (man’s law) it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
Acts 11:18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”
As I mentioned in ‘(Thus he declared all foods clean) Part 1’, there has been a HUGE disconnect in the understanding of God’s Law/Instructions, especially regarding His Food Laws ~
Here is the disconnect: we have been taught for centuries that anything you can shove into your mouth is ‘food’, and that in times past, some of it was considered ‘clean-food’ and some of it was considered ‘unclean-food’.
That premise is 100% Scripturally wrong! God never said, ‘pig, crab, dog, snake, vulture, etc. were ‘unclean-food’; He said, they were “unclean animals” and “not to be eaten” | Leviticus 11.
In the eyes of Almighty God, the unclean creatures of Leviticus 11 are not what some today call “food”.
The mainstream Christian System has plucked out the single sentence of ‘Acts 10:13’ and ignored the context of the surrounding verses, in order to change the meaning of the vision so it will fit into their false man-made denominational dogma that the Law of God given through Moses, more specifically God’s Food Laws, have been abolished.
We are being lied to; whether it is deliberate or in ignorance is irrelevant, it’s still deception.
Final Thought: What many have not considered, is that this vision that the LORD gave in ‘Acts 10’, is actually a stern ‘Heavenly–reminder’ to finally initiate the instruction He had already given Peter ~
What does the text say?
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
- For further study of the Scriptures see the ‘Links’ at the top of this page or blog posts at the bottom. Be like the Bereans, and test mainstream Christianity’s doctrines to the “Scriptures”; look up for yourself more than 60 of the “forever verses” listed directly below. Please ‘share’ this study. Thank you for your time!
15 thoughts on “(Thus he declared all foods clean) Part 2: Peter’s Vision | Acts 10:13”
Here is the disconnect: we have been taught for centuries that anything you can shove into your mouth is ‘food’, and that in times past, some of it was considered ‘clean-food’ and some of it was considered ‘unclean-food’. That premise is 100% Scripturally wrong! God NEVER said, ‘pig, crab, dog, snake, vulture, etc. were ‘unclean-food’; He said, they were “unclean animals” and “NOT food”! | Leviticus 11.
Do you mean then that unclean animals are still not to be eaten? Why would Jesus say that what we eat can’t make us unclean if He meant that we could not eat it? It can’t make us unclean so why can’t we eat it? (I know His main point was the Levitical hypocrisy behind ceremonial hand washing)I am not suggesting that I would eat certain foods because they gross me out, but many cultures don’t have this uh, picky of a palate as westerners do and so condemning people because of what they eat would be an obstacle to the Good News, if we got hung up on cultural differences. Jesus should be the final arbiter should He not? Isn’t He the essence of the Good News? I just want to understand. I can’t afford to build a kosher kitchen right now.
Thank you for taking the time to read the studies. I understand where you coming from, and completely empathize.
I’m more than happy to address any questions you have. However, I respectfully request that you read, ‘(Thus he declared all foods clean) Part 1’, which focuses on Mark 7:19. Please also read, ‘The Law: Fulfilled or Abolished’, ‘Examining the Scriptures’ and ‘The Sabbath: Forever Means Forever’ studies.
Those focus on most of the questions you posted. I suggest you read each of them a couple of times, and look up all of the Scriptures for yourself.
Please let me know when you’ve read them, or if you did already. I would be happy to discuss any ongoing concerns you still have.
May God bless your time in His Word.
Thank you this was very informative and well put. Jesus is a great and just God and there’s none like Him 👍🏽
Acts 10:14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”
The understanding and doctrine of the day was that a Jew who is in a state of cleanliness would fall to a common state even if he/she ate with a gentile who were deemed unclean. But this doesn’t explain why Peter would look at the CLEAN ANIMALS in the sheet and call them “COMMON”. We know what made a JEW seen as “common”, but not what makes an ANIMAL seen as “common.”
So why did Peter refer to the ANIMALS, as “common”?
Dear H Singh:
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the study!
In a ’vision’ Peter saw animals, crawling creatures and birds, ‘Acts’ 10:12 Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air (KJV).
The Greek states it was, ‘all quadrupeds, crawling things, and fowls that fly in the air’. The verse does not state in the Greek nor in the English that the creatures were “clean”, “common” or “unclean”. It does say “panta” in the Greek, which is “all” or “all kinds”, so, in my humble opinion, it is most likely that “all” living land and air animals created by the Almighty were seen by Peter.
That being said, this occurred in a “vision” to Peter; it was not a literal sheet with every living creature on earth in it. The Master was giving Peter an allegorical lesson.
But Peter didn’t recognize this as a metaphor at first because when God told him to sacrifice and eat the animals he was confused, and he “refused” to do this, because he knew that many, if not most, of the creatures were not allowed to be eaten.
Now, as to your question of, “why did Peter refer to the animals as common?”, I don’t know if you were taught that Peter thought some or all of the animals were ‘common’, but if you re-read the verses again you will see that he does not “call” those creatures anything. All Peter said was, “No Master, I have never eaten anything common or unclean”.
He was stating a fact about “himself”.
Peter was telling God that he was refusing the command, that he had never disobeyed the food Laws and he was not about to start now!
What is NEVER considered by the mainstream theological system is that Peter actually ‘REFUSED’’ to obey God. He said, “NO” to God, not once but THREE times, when God (in a vison) told him to do something. This is critical to acknowledge if we are going to understand this passage. As I stated in the study, the mainstream teachers use these verses to “claim” that all animals have been authorized by God to be clean and eatable. This is ludicrous and blasphemy. And this is why Peter was perplexed and confused; he knew God does not change, he knew that it was sin/disobedience to eat some of those animals in that vision, so he was “confused” as to why God Himself would give orders that violated His own commands. BUT, because it was a metaphorical vision, God was NOT commanding Peter to break the Law NOR was He changing His Laws; “I am Yahweh I change not” | Malachi 3:6.
Peter “KNEW” the food Laws were current and valid when he saw this vision (post-resurrection) because he stated, “I have never eaten anything common or unclean”. By claiming he never ate anything “unclean”, and that he was not going to eat those animals in the vision, he was admitting that he at that point in time was still eating according to the Food Laws in the Law of God given through Moses.
So, as to your question, I don’t believe Peter was calling any of those animals ‘common’; I think Peter was giving God his explanation as to why he was NOT going to eat “some” of the creatures in the sheet. Animals, in and of themselves, are either ‘clean’ or ‘unclean’. All four-legged animals are either clean or unclean. All crawling things and birds are either clean or unclean.
Only a ‘clean’ animal can become ‘common’; an ‘unclean’ animal is already worse than common. In order to understand the difference between ‘common’ and ‘unclean’, please read ‘Part 4’ of this series, the Romans 14:4 study.
Again, thanks for your comment, and I hope these studies can help you in your walk. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
So why does Paul in Romans 14 state that a person who is strong in faith eats everything, but a person who is weak in faith eats only vegetables?
And he goes on to say that nothing is unclean, Romans 14:14 KJVS
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.
Where did Paul learn this?
Thank you for taking the time to read the study.
Please take the extra time to read Part 4 this series which covers those verses in Romans chapter 14, at this link https://apaulogetic.com/2019/11/16/thus-he-declared-all-foods-clean-part-4-romans-1414/
If you have further questions after that reading, please feel free to ask.
May God bless you as you study His Word.
In leviticus 11 ,it does point blank what animal also fat and blood, and swine, he said it was a abomination to even touch it.as for me and my family,we just don’t eat pork any more. I saw that as a commandment, not a suggestion Thank you for your help.
Thank you for taking the time to read the study! I hope it was an encouragement to continue studying the Word of God so as to dispel the disconnected doctrines of the mainstream denominational system. The Almighty has given us Instructions/Commandments “for our good always” (Deut. 6:24) which He says will be righteousness for us (Deut. 6:25). The Master told us to seek the Creators righteousness (Matt. 6:33) and we shall be blessed (Matt. 5:6 & 10).
May you be blessed as you continue in His Word.
That phrase, ”hus he declared all foods clean’;was inserted by a Scribe and is a lie,
That’s why it is in italics, and is not in all translations.
God’s Laws are forever, and we will all be judged by His Law.
Dear Rich J.,
Thank you for taking the time to write a comment. I hope they are useful and a blessing.
You are 100% correct that a man inserted that phrase, which was not in the original Greek, into the text. And ‘yes’, not every Bible version has this error. The 20th century transcribers of numerous publication companies added to the Word of God, and knowingly forced their false doctrine onto the reader. Also, many of the false versions do not put that phrase in italics, further insinuating that it is accurate when, in fact, it is ‘a lie from the pit of hell’. Those Bible versions are an embarrassment and blaspheme God’s name and authority.
As you’ve asserted, GOD’s Laws are the baseline for His judgements; if you haven’t already, I recommend reading the study on my website entitled, ‘What is Truth?’ That study covers the subject in great detail, all verified by the Word of God.
May Yah bless you as you study His Word!