The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
~ Vegetarianism in the Bible ~

An original essay by

Martha Helene Jones

        The Levite animal sacrifice cult that originated with Ezra and his great-grandfather Hilkiah

imposed the law of animal sacrifice under penalty of death (Ezra 7:26).

This transition occurred during the time of the takeover of the Priesthood

that was originally denied to the Levites by Moses in Num. 16:8-10.

I have looked deeply into the questions of vegetarianism and animal sacrifice in the Bible, and my research has shown that not only was there was a transition from living as vegetarians in Eden, but there was an actual imposition of the law of animal sacrifice under penalty of death (Ezra 7:26) by the Levite animal sacrifice cult originating with Ezra and his great-grandfather Hilkiah.  This transition occurs during the time of the takeover of the Priesthood (originally denied to the Levites by Moses in Num. 16:8-10) by Hilkiah and the Levites under King Josiah (II Kings 23:5-9). I will go into this again after noting the original instructions upon which the Levites based their demand for animals to be sacrificed in their temple (of which the Levites freely partook - leading to the diseases and infirmities in their "priesthood" noted by Isiah and in the New Testament).

"Hear O heavens, and Earth, for YHVH has spoken..., (
יהוה - yod, heh, vav, heh - It is common today to represent יהוה as YHWH rather than YHVH but there is to this day still a raging controversy over whether vav should be pronounced as waw, as in Arabic. There is much evidence on both sides, but there can be no definitive proof as Hebrew became a dead language more than once, thus the ancient pronunciation cannot be conclusively known) ...My people transgress me...they do not consider ...they forsake YHVH, they spurned the Holy One of Israel, they are estranged, going backward. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness, but wounds, and putrefying sores...Why? To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? says YHVH...I delight not in the blood of bullocks, lambs or goats...And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes...I will not hear: because your hands are full of blood. Wash yourself, purge yourselves; leave off the evil of these doings." Isa. 1:2-16.

"For if perfection had been according to the Levitical priesthood...what further need was there that another priest ...According to the likeness of Melchisedek, there is one standing up who is different. Who is not (teaching) according to the law of the precepts of the carnal (flesh) ones (the Levites) but according to the ability of life indissoluble (health)...For the (carnal) law makes high priests (of the Levites) who have infirmities." Heb. 7:15-16 & 28.

Now the Levites were always jealous of the original (vegetarian) priesthood (Num. 16:8-10) and killed their successors (the priests of the high places) who were observing passover with only unleavened bread (making them followers of Mosiac law - NOT idolaters) precisely because they would not attend the Levite animal sacrifice (II Kings 23:5-9) and for this reason Jesus and his disciples referred to the Levites as the "sons of those who murdered the prophets" (Stephen was murdered for referring to this murder) Matt. 23: 29-31 & Acts 7:52.

The following verse was used by the Levites in their takeover of the priesthood as a rationalization of the murders they committed (under the authority and using the military might of a non-Israelite King - Josiah).

"Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household...(marking) blood...on the houses which they shall eat him. (7)...And they (are to) eat the flesh on this night...not reserving any for morning...And this day shall be a memorial for generations for eons...and you shall observe the feast of unleavened breads, that in this very day I brought your hosts of you out of the land of Egypt." Ex. 12:3-8, 17

Notice that in verse 7 it refers to "the houses which" were to eat the lambs, not everyone (the vegetarian children of Israel did not need to be protected from the coming plague!). Verse 7 is interpreted in KJV as "wherein they shall eat it" instead of the
word for word interpretation that actually reads "on the houses which they shall eat him in " in Hebrew.

<>. AND it actually says that the memorial observance thereafter is for Moses and all the generations which were to follow, to eat unleavened bread for seven days, not meat! (Ex. 12:18). 

According to the OT during the Exodus, Moses speaks of those among the tribes who do eat flesh commanding them on how they must prepare it. "And he sent young men, of the children of Israel which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to YHVH." (Ex. 24:5) Notice that the directions concerning sacrifice was only for those “of the children of Israel which offered burnt offerings,” not all of the Israelites. Those who did not eat meat were not bound to perform any of the necessarily hygienic rituals for sacrificing animals, because it only applied to those who did so.

"And you shall sequester the sons of Israel from uncleanness to them, so they shall not die from uncleanness to them, defiling them in the tabernacle of Me (the tabernacle of the congregation where Levites sacrificed animals) which is in midst of them." Lev. 15:31.

So Moses recognized the uncleanness of sacrificing and eating animals and wrote the Levitican laws to try to allay the spread of disease, not as commandments for animal sacrifice! The Israelites were not originally meat eaters and instinctively resisted the Levite interpretation of the law of animal sacrifice.

"For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for [this] day [is] holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry: for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day [is] holy; neither be ye grieved....for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so." Neh. 8:2-11&17

That the Israelites had to be commanded to eat animal sacrifice (II Kings 23:20-22) and that they were weeping upon being so commanded to eat flesh shows that they were originally vegetarians!

I have written extensively about this in chapters 8&9 of my book "The Lost Data on the Chariots of the Elohim" ( and how this takeover by the Levite animal sacrifice cult caused the original records kept by the vegetarian priesthood to be changed by the Levites to eliminate references to the visitations of the Elohim over whom YHVH is king.

"That you YHVH (
יהוה), Supreme over all of the earth, exceedingly you are ascendant over all of elohim."

Ps. 97:9: "In melodies we shall shout to Him, that el Great YHVH (יהוה), king over all of the elohim." Ps. 95:2-3 

This was ostensibly because the priests of the high places burned incense to the "host of heaven" tzba eshmim (II Kings 23:5-9).  The tzba eshmim were YHVH's Elohim, His heavenly hosts who were in oneness with Him.

"Praise YHVH, all His heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will." Ps. 103:21 "Therefore hear the word of YHVH, I saw YHVH sitting on His throne and all the host of the heavens (tzba eshmim) standing on His right and His left." I Kings 22:19.

Ps. 148:2: "Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him all His heavenly hosts."

The New Testament supports this observance showing that it was NOT heresy to burn incense to the host of heaven, so the Levites not only broke the commandment against murder, the priests of the high places were put to death for a completely unjust reason!

"They made a calf in those days and led sacrifice to the idol…Turns yet the God (Theos in Greek) and besides (instead) gives them to be offering divine service to the host of heaven (Greek-stratia ho ouranos, Hebrew-tzba eshmim); as it is written in the scroll of the prophets, no slayed ones and sacrifices you offered to Me (God) for forty years in the wilderness, house of Israel." Acts 7:42.

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