The Law of Eating Children
Mar 30, 2011
In the Laws of Tribulation, we read of one particular judgment that seems most horrible. Leviticus 26:29 says,
(29) Further, you shall eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you shall eat.
This is repeated in greater detail in Deut. 28:53-57. It is really the culmination of judgment that is imposed when Israel continually refuses to recognize God's right to rule the nation.
The Hebrew term "eat" is akal and means "to consume, waste, destroy, or even to burn up." When used in battle terms, a sword can eat people, because the edge of a sword is literally the mouth of the sword (as in Deut. 20:13). The Hebrew word for "flame" is lehavah, which means "the tip of a weapon." A sword or spear is said to consume as a flame.
Hence God is said to be a consuming fire, and the Word of God is "the sword of the Spirit." The Spirit of God comes as a baptism of fire to consume the flesh, while physical swords come like a physical fire to kill men's bodies. There are two kinds of swords in Scripture, as well as two kinds of fire. Both consume flesh, but in different ways with differing results.
Once we grasp some of the metaphorical language in Hebrew, we can see that "eating" one's sons and daughters does not necessarily have to be literal. It was certainly literal in 2 Kings 6:26-29 during the Syrian siege of Jerusalem, when the famine caused women to eat their children. But the term also carries a metaphorical application, such as we find in Num. 14:9, when Joshua said of the giants in Canaan, "they are bread for us." Also, in the Laws of Tribulation, Lev. 26:38 says,
(38) But you will perish among the nations, and your enemies' land will consume [akal, "eat"]you.
How does the enemy's land eat people? They are assimilated into those societies, and their prior identity is lost.
Ezekiel 4 and 5 prophesies of judgment upon Israel and Judah. Part of these judgments include famine (4:16, 17). The prophet was then told in chapter 5 to prophesy judgment upon Jerusalem, saying,
(9) And because of all your abominations, I will do among you what I have not done, and the like of which I will never do again. (10) Therefore, fathers will eat their sons among you, and sons will eat their fathers; for I will execute judgments on you, and scatter all your remnant to every wind. . . (17) Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children. . .
In some primitive cultures, they would eat those whom they had conquered, or they would drink their blood. This was done in the belief that they would obtain the strength or power that their enemies possessed. It was about power, not about food shortages. In modern society, we are shocked when news reports tell of the occasional cannibal. Hence, we do not think these judgments of the law fit us in any way.
But when we consider the larger word picture in the Hebrew language, we find that there is more than one way to fulfill these judgments. Eating is about gaining power over others, and devouring people is really about overpowering them and using them for one's own purposes.
When God does this as "a consuming fire," it has a positive effect upon the person, because the baptism of the Holy Spirit is designed to consume the flesh and to assimilate people into the very nature of God. But when men do this by the power of flesh, they essentially act like wild beasts (Ez. 5:17) who do all they can to assimilate all men into their image and character.
Here is where this idea of "eating" takes on a more prophetic implication. The book of Daniel pictures various nations as "beasts." Babylon was a lion, Persia was a bear, Greece was a leopard, and Rome was a nameless beast with iron teeth (Dan. 7). Likewise, when King Nebuchadnezzar was divinely judged, he ate grass for "seven times" and even came to look like a wild beast (Dan. 4:32, 33).
Isaiah tells us that "all flesh is grass" (40:6). Thus, when Nebuchadnezzar was given the heart of a beast and consigned to eating grass for seven times, it pictured him as a wild beast among the nations, consuming people and assimilating them for his own fleshly purpose.
The Kingdom of God, on the other hand, is ruled by "a consuming fire" who devours only that part of us that keeps us in bondage to the flesh. It is a fire of Love, which is totally unselfish and seeks the good of others. When the glory of God covers the whole earth, the baptism of fire will consume all flesh and assimilate all men into the Kingdom of God. But it will be done through Love, not through carnal, self-seeking motives.
Finally, in Rev. 12 we see a picture of a red dragon who attempts to devour the Manchild as soon as he is born. This is based upon the same Law of Tribulation seen earlier. In a time of divine judgment, the wild beasts have been loosed upon the nation. The leaders eat the flesh of the people in a self-seeking manner. In such a scenario, even the Manchild is in danger of being devoured.
When Jesus was born, King Herod was the earthly manifestation of this red dragon. Herod was half Edomite. Edom means red. Herod attempted to kill Christ when he was born (Matt. 2:16), but only succeeded in killing other children, for God protected Him.
Jesus Christ came to be the Bread of Life (John 6:48). This is why He was born in Bethlehem, "the house of bread." This is why He was put in a manger (Luke 2:7), which is the box holding the food for the animals. He came that we might eat His flesh and drink His blood, metaphorically speaking (John 6:53-58). This is the True Bread that came down from heaven.
We are what we eat. Beast nations devour in order to assimilate their power in a selfish manner. Jesus Christ came by the power of the Love of God in order to BE EATEN, so that we might assimilate His power and character. But it must be done properly. He was not to be "eaten" by King Herod in a destructive and carnal manner. Only believers were to eat Him, because He was to be eaten by faith.
Jesus said in John 6:51, "I am the living bread which comes down out of heaven." As such, he identified as the manna in the wilderness. But He is also the quail that God gave the people. The quail too came down from the sky (the heavens). In this sense, His flesh was quail, and His blood was manna. We eat His flesh by hearing; we drink His blood by seeing. Both forms of assimilating divine revelation are important in this balanced diet.
So we see from the Laws of Tribulation that when Israel refused to submit to the consuming fire of God, refused to recognize Him as the rightful Heir of the Kingdom, and refused to eat His flesh and drink His blood, God gave them a fleshly diet and also sent wild beasts to eat them. They were consigned to worship the golden calves (beasts), who would, in turn, eat them for lunch.
Toward the end of our time as food for beasts, we began to eat our own children through the practice of abortion which began in 1973. The abortion clinics used to save money by selling the body parts to hog farms. Hogs can be quite cannibalistic. Then the public ate the hogs and indirectly ate their own children. God has ways of judging us even without our knowledge. His Word will always be fulfilled.
The good news is that we have reached the end of our "wilderness" after 38 years (1973-2011). The sick man of John 5:5 is ready to be healed. The sick man is Israel (America), and he has been really sick for the past 38 years, but Jesus is now in the area and drawing closer.
Dr. Stephen Jones