Do Not Cook a Young Goat in Its Mother's Milk

23: 18-19

     DIG: Why was there a commandment prohibiting cooking a young goat in its mother’s milk?

    REFLECT: What have you sacrificed anything to the LORD this week?

    These sacrificial practices also applied to all three national festivals. Therefore, yeast needed to be removed from their houses during the festival periods.

    The substitutional sacrifice of animals was to be done in four specific ways. First, God, said: Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to Me along with anything containing yeast. Because yeast was a symbol of sin in the Scriptures. Secondly, He said: The fat of My festival offerings must not be kept until morning. It needed to be either eaten or destroyed. That commandment had been specifically related to the Passover, but then it became foundational to the agricultural calendar of Israel. Thirdly, He said: Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God. This was so important that both holy names were used. Lastly, ADONAI said: Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk. This particular prohibition would be repeated three times in the Torah (Exodus 23:19b, 34:26, Deuteronomy 14:21), because that was the Canaanite method of offering sacrifices. After boiling the young goat they would take the milk and sprinkle all the trees, fields, gardens, and orchards around for the purpose of making them more fruitful the following year. Then they would eat the young goat.447 Therefore, because it was an act of idolatry, God forbid it. On that note, the commandments of the Book of the Covenant come to an end.

    Not surprisingly, the rabbis overreacted to this one law and, as a result, Jews never mix milk and meat products. An orthodox Jewish home always has two sets of dishes, pots, and pans. One set is used exclusively for meat and the other for dairy products. If one accidentally uses a meat dish and puts cheese on it, that dish is defiled and has to be destroyed.

 

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