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Mosaic Laws from c.

1500 BCE that Contribute to Good Health

Deut 23:12-14: bury excrement for it is unclean


“If thou examinest a man having an abscess … in his breast: (and) thou findest a very large swelling
protruding on his breast Thou shouldst treat him with wound-treatment, with applications for drawing out
the inflammation … Leaves of acacia, sycamore … ox dung … Bind upon it” (The Edwin Smith
Surgical Papyrus by J. H. Breasted, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1980; 17 th Century BCE).
The medical remedies of the Egyptians were of ancient origin, and deviated from by Egyptian physicians
with great danger to themselves.
The ancient Egyptians were considered the world’s best physicians by the Greeks and the Persians.
A European pharmacopoeia of the 17th C. by a medical doctor: “Types of excrement commonly used in
medicine are: The excrement of geese, asses, wild boars, cows, dogs, goats, storks, pigeons, horses,
poultry, humans, wolves, mice, sheep, sparrows, peacocks, pigs” (Pharmacopoeia by John Schroder,
M.D., 2, 35, p. 144, Leiden, Netherlands, Felix Lopez d’Haro, 1672).

Num 19:11-13: wash after touching a dead human


“The first order of each morning was the entrance of the physicians and medical students into the
morgue to perform autopsies on the unfortunate victims who had died during the preceeding twenty-four
hours. Afterward, without cleansing their hands, the doctors with their retinue of students marched into
the maternity wards to make pelvic examinations on the living women … Dr. Roswell Parks tells about
his own experiences in his book on medical history: ‘When I began my work, in 1876, as a hospital
interne, in one of the largest hospitals in this country, it happened that during my first winter’s
experience, with but one or two exceptions, every patient operated upon in that hospital, and that by
men who were esteemed the peers of any one in their day, died of blood poisoning’ [An Epitome of the
History of Medicine by Roswell Parks, second edition p. 326, Philadelphia, F.A. Davis Co., 1901] … Dr.
Parks states that in the two years following 1876, the antiseptic method of cleansing hands and
instruments was introduced and there was a spectacular drop in the mortality rate” (These Diseases pp.
15-18).

Lev 13:4, 5: quarantine the sick


“Leprosy … began to spread more widely in Europe and became a serious social and health problem …
Leadership was taken by the Church, as the physicians had nothing to offer. The Church took as it
guiding principle the concept of contagion embodied in the Old Testament … defined with great clarity in
the book of Leviticus … Such persons were to be isolated from the rest of the community until they had
undergone specific purification rites … Leprosy [when controlled] accomplished the first great feat in …
methodical eradication of disease … this principle of preventive medicine was amplified and carried
further in dealing with that other great scourge of the Middle Ages known as the bubonic plauge” (A
History of Public Health by George Rosen pp. 38-43, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993).

Lev 17:13, 14: dispose of blood, do not ingest it


Blood transfusions are becoming less popular. Statements are being made by medical researchers that
blood transfusions have done more harm than good. As with these other medical practices of the past
that were discarded when human understanding increased, so it seems that blood transfusions are
heading in that direction.