Law of First Mention/ Clean & Unclean

Law of First Mention/ Clean & Unclean 

by Christine Egbert

In sound biblical exegesis, the Law of First Mention requires a Bible student to study that portion of Scripture where a principle or doctrine is first mentionedThat first occurrence  establishes the inherent meaning of that principle in an unchangeable pattern throughout the rest of Scripture. Unfortunately, since most Christians study only the apostolic writings (New Testament), and interpret it through the contemporary lens of their denomination’s doctrine, they frequently–like activist leftist-judges who fail to rule in accordance with the original intent of the U.S. Constitution–miss the original intent of what Scripture says. How do I know? Because I did too at one time. In this article we will deal with one specific instance of the abrogation of this exegetical law of first mention: the false assumption that the Most High’s many decrees to separate “clean” from “unclean” is not taught in the New Testament, and therefore no longer applicable

First Mention

Genesis 7:2 You shall take to yourself from every clean animal by sevens, male and female, and from the animal that is not clean by two, male and female.

Lev 10:10-11 And that you may put a difference between holy and unholy, and between uncleanand cleanAnd that you teach the children of Israel all the statutes which YHVH has spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.

In Lev 11:44-43 He says this: You shall not make yourselves “abominable” with any creeping thing that creeps, neither shall you make yourselves “unclean” with them, that you should be “defiled.” For I am YHVH your Elohim: you shall therefore “sanctify” yourselves, and you shall “be holy, for I am holy”! 

Lev 11:46-47  This isthe law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps upon the earth: To make “a difference between the unclean and the clean“…

This principle of “clean and unclean” is further addressed in Lev 20:24-26. 

“But I have said unto you, You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey: I AM YHVH your ELOHIM, who has “separated” you from otherpeople. “You shall therefore put a difference between clean beasts and unclean”… you shall not make your souls abominable by beast or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And you shall be holy unto me: for I YHVH am holy, and have severed you from other people, that you should be mine.”

Eze 22:26  Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have put no difference between the holyand profane, neither have they showed a difference between the unclean and the clean...

Eze 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.


1Thessalonians 4:7  “For God has not called us unto “uncleanness” but unto holiness.” When most Christians read this they fail to apply the principle of “first mention”. In spite of the fact that the uncleanis contrasted to holiness, they wrongly assume that the writer of Thessalonians meant something else, something other than what YHVH clearly indicated in the Torah.  

Rom 6:19  “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to “uncleanness” and to “iniquity”(anomia: literally lawlessness) unto iniquity (lawlessness); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.”  In this passage again uncleanness is contrasted to holiness and linked to lawlessness. But somehow most Christians fail to make the connection.    

2Co 12:21  Andlest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and thatI shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the “uncleanness” and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.

Gal 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness,lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Here uncleanness is listed with 16 other sins, including murder, sorcery, and heresy. The writer says those practicing these sins which include “uncleanness” will NOT inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Yet, somehow they miss it.

Here are some more mentions of uncleanness.

Eph 4:19  Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all “uncleanness” with greediness.

Eph 5:3  But fornication, and all “uncleanness” or covetousness, let it not be once named among you as becomes saints;

Col 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, “uncleanness”, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

1Th 2:3  For our exhortation wasnot of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the “unclean” thing and I will receive you.

So the next time someone (with or without a doctorate in Theology) tells you our Creator’s instruction manual (His Torah) concerning cleanand unclean(or the Sabbath, the Feast Days, what is and is not food, etc) is not taught in the New Testament so it no loner applies, implore them to start practicing sound biblical exegesis. For no one can correctly interpret YHVH’s Holy Scriptures, when he refuses to interpret Scripture in light of Yah’s original intent.

Book your tickets