On May 26th, CNN informed the world that the Old Testament people of God didn’t always follow the Mosaic dietary laws. Specifically, Israeli researchers found remains of catfish and sharks in Jerusalem – a big no-no according to the Torah.
While the academic sources for the story are far more restrained, the CNN piece leads off with hints of something more significant. The lede provocatively asserts that “Ancient Judeans ate non-kosher fish at a time when it was thought to have been prohibited in the Bible.”
It’s an interesting find, but not really much of a revelation about the Israelites. The Old Testament is pretty clear about how they struggled to follow God’s law, even falling into idol worship before they even got to the Promised Land! Much of the Old Testament, in fact, is God’s prophets mourning about Israel’s failure.
The far more shocking part of this story is what God did to rescue His disobedient people. You can read about it in the New Testament!
Ancient Judeans ate non-kosher seafood, fish bones show
Amy Woodyatt | CNN | May 26, 2021
The Pentateuchal Dietary Proscription against Finless and Scaleless Aquatic Species in Light of Ancient Fish Remains
Yonatan Adler & Omri Lernau | Taylor Francis Online | May 24, 2021
Israelites in Biblical Dan Worshipped Idols – and Yahweh Too, Archaeologists Discover
Philippe Bohstrom | Haaretz | October 31, 2018
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