Advanced Medicine

God identified advanced medical knowledge to the Israelites long before such information became known to the rest of the world. He gave the Jews detailed instructions for handling bacterial infections. Although they would be exposed to the same diseases as those cultures around them, God promised that He would protect the Israelites if they would put their trust in Him and keep His commandments.

"The LORD will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you."
(Deuteronomy 7:15)

The level of Egyptian medical knowledge was horrifying. The suggested medical remedy for healing an infected splinter wound was an ointment composed of the blood of worms mixed with the dung of a donkey. Dung of various animals and even insects was a common theme in Egyptian medicine. Body parts of various creatures were also called for. The resulting germs would have quickly infected and killed a great many patients.

In sharp contrast, the Scriptures reveal advanced sanitation methods that were not understood by the scientific medical community until after World War 1! In fact, a total of 213 of the 613 biblical commandments found in the Torah--one third of the Law of Moses--were detailed medical regulations that insured the health of the Israelites if they obediently followed the laws of God.

Blood as the force of life

"For the life of a creature is in the blood..."
(Leviticus 17:11a)

God revealed blood as the foundation of life at a time when the level of pagan medical knowledge was barbaric. For centuries doctors "bled" their patients in an attempt to heal them, completely oblivious to this information which was revealed to Moses around 1440BC.

Germs and bacterial infections

"The clay pot the meat is cooked in must be broken; but if it is cooked in a bronze pot, the pot is to be scoured and rinsed with water."
(Leviticus 6:28)

Here God orders the Israelites to discard broken pottery because the cracks could contain harmful germs, even if boiled. At the same time, metal pots were to be disinfected by scouring and rinsing in water. These instructions saved the Jewish people from infection over the centuries when the world didn't even know germs existed.

"Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or cooking pot must be broken up. They are unclean, and you are to regard them as unclean."
(Leviticus 11:35)

In this law, God revealed the danger of food poisoning. Until the 20th century, medical researchers did not understand that germs could carry disease through raw meat. Leviticus 7:24 forbid people to eat the flesh of any animal that has died naturally of disease or by wild animals. The children of Israel were saved from untold numbers of diseases, such as rabies, that infected animals.

"This is the law that applies when a person dies in a tent: Anyone who enters the tent and anyone who is in it will be unclean for seven days, and every open container without a lid fastened on it will be unclean. Anyone out in the open who touches someone who has been killed with a sword or someone who has died a natural death, or anyone who touches a human bone or a grave, will be unclean for seven days."
(Numbers 19:14-16)

Germs from a dead human body are even more dangerous to people than germs from a dead animal. This was not discovered until the first part of this century. Yet 3500 years ago, the Bible gave clear instructions that protected people from these infectious germs. Here God told the Israelites to wash themselves and remove themselves from the rest of the community for a quarantine period if they had touched dead human flesh. They were also ordered to disinfect any open pots which had been in the area. If after seven days no signs of bacterial infection appeared, then it was highly unlikely that the person could contaminate the community.

"When a man is cleansed from his discharge, he is to count off seven days for his ceremonial cleansing; he must wash his clothes and bathe himself with [running] water, and he will be clean."
(Leviticus 15:13)

God ordered the Israelites to wash themselves in running water and to wash their clothes. It wasn't until the 1850's that doctors discovered this secret to protection from germs. Some English Bibles use the phrase "fresh" water, but the Hebrew word used here--mayim--refers to moving or running water such as found in a river, stream, or spring.

Leviticus 13:46 again points out the requirement to quarantine infected persons from the rest of the community. This may have made little sense to primitive peoples with no knowledge of germs. Yet following these instructions protected them from disease. God understood bacterial infections and gave instructions designed to protect His people if they followed His laws. Too bad the rest of the world didn't consider the biblical laws during the devastating Black Death of the 14th century. Only when they began to do so did the plague subside.

Advanced disinfectant solution

"The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer. After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening. A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They shall be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin."
(Numbers 19:6-9)

God commanded the priest to mix hyssop into the ashes to form an ointment. It turns out that hyssop oil is a very effective antiseptic and antibacterial agent. It contains 50% carvacrol which is an antifungal and antibacterial agent still used in medicine today. This solution was to be used to purify skin and items such as leather and clothing. Material which could withstand fire--such as metal pots--was to be purified through fire. God revealed an astonishing knowledge of bacterial warfare which we have only begun to understand this century!

The optimal time for surgery

Researchers have recently discovered that two different blood clotting factors, Vitamin K and Prothrombin, are at the highest level of your entire life (110% of normal) on the eighth day of life. In addition, they discovered that the blood clotting factor Vitamin K is formed in the blood of a baby between day five and day seven of the baby's life. Thus, of all the days of a person's life, the eighth day is the optimum day for an operation.

Isn't it interesting that this is the exact day on which God commanded the Israelites to perform the circumcision operation?

Looking at these facts and many others, the question we should be asking our friends in the medical and scientific communities is, "why don't you look to the Bible for your research?"

Most Advanced Civilization?

At the time the Mosaic laws were given to the Israelites, the Egyptian civilization had already been the most powerful on earth for hundreds of years. With the pyramids standing as the most visible evidence of its technical superiority, it was considered to be the most advanced nation on earth in its medical and scientific knowledge. Yet even the Egyptians knew nothing about microorganisms or the risk of infection.

And the Israelites? Did they borrow from the primitive medical science of Egypt? Quite the opposite. Following their escape from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites were given knowledge by God that truly made them the most sophisticated nation on earth regarding medical practice.