This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Concluding Notes on Leviticus 11


(1.) Health and Longevity of the Jews. — The more we study the law of Moses in its relation to health, and in its various provisions which long ago anticipated the sanitary science of our day, in its system of dietetics, in its convocations and feasts, in its purifications and its varied restrictions which touch the social life at every point — we shall be amazed at the wisdom manifested in that ancient law, as exhibited in its safeguards against vice, disorder, and disease.

From its initiatory rite, the seal of the covenant, which was in itself a protection against self-abuse and disease, down to the close of life, the Jewish law sedulously guarded the physical health of the people; and even the laws concerning the dead exhibit the same divine wisdom. Dr. Gibbon, a health officer of London, reports that the life of the Jew in London is, on an average, twice as long as the life of the Gentile. The medical officer of one of their large schools has remarked that Jewish children do not die in any thing like the same ratio as the children of the Gentiles. In the district of Whitechapel, the medical officer in his report states that on the north side of High Street, which is occupied by Jews, the average death-rate is twenty-seven per thousand; while on the south side, occupied by English and Irish, the average death-rate is forty-three per thousand.

The church registers of Prussia, between the years 1823 and 1841, show that there died on an average, annually, one in thirty-four Gentiles, and only one in forty-six Jews. Of the children born among the Gentiles, forty-four and a half per cent. reached the age of fourteen, but among the Jews fifty per cent. reached that age. Among the Gentiles only twelve per cent. reached the age of seventy, while among the Jews twenty per cent. reached that age. These conclusions are carefully drawn from reliable statistics, and accord with the statements of Dr. Pressel, and show that the learned French physician, Dr. M. Levy, is abundantly justified in concluding that while the average term of life among the Gentiles is twenty-six years, among the Jews it is thirty-seven.

“Hence, while the beer-drinking, whiskey-loving, pork-eating Gentile dies, on an average, at the age of twenty-six, the Jew, giving heed to the teachings of Moses, adds nearly one-half to the length of his days, having an average of eleven years longer to enjoy life, attend to business, and acquire property. Is it any wonder that, as a rule, Jews excel the Gentiles in whatever they undertake?” — H.L. Hastings.
Further, not only is the death rate less among the scattered nation, but the birth rate is greater — fifty-five per one thousand, to thirty-eight of Gentile births; while the still-born Jews out of one hundred thousand were only eighty-nine to one hundred and forty-three still-born Gentiles. Carefully prepared statistics show that infant mortality is nearly twice as great among Gentiles as among the Jews, being in Frankfort, Germany, two hundred and forty-one to one hundred and twenty-nine per one thousand. Under the hygienic laws of Moses there are no Jewish paupers nor drunkards, and very few insane.

In Great Britain, where scepticism widely prevails, and “the mistakes of Moses” are discussed in club-rooms, beer-shops, and gin-palaces, one person in every eleven is said to be a lunatic, a criminal, a pauper, or a drunkard. Would not the teachings of Moses, in spite of all his alleged “mistakes,” go far to remedy the wreck and ruin which have been wrought there by intemperance, vice, and crime?

(2.) “The animals that are permitted and that are forbidden had hardly any existence in the wilderness in which the immediate life of Israel was then being spent. The people might have said, Why permit us to eat animals which are not at hand? Why forbid us to eat food which is not within our reach? Why, in a great desert, lay down rules and regulations about the fish in the sea? Here is the solemn lesson that we are to provide for all life, for all the possibilities of life, for all the yet unknown contingencies of life, as far as they can be forecast and ruled by inspired prudence.” — Joseph Parker.

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