Yes, in at least 64 ways the ancients were ahead of us. And in so many other things they excelled just as we do. Take, for example, medical and health knowledge.



Oliver Wendell Holmes, in a published paper in 1843, warned doctors that puerperal, or child-bed fever, was being carried by them from post mortem corpses to pregnant women.

After presenting impressive evidence to support his conclusion, he then strongly suggested that physicians stop taking an 

active part in autopsies of puerperal fever, if they are later to attend cases of midwifery.

Holmes also recommended that doctors frequenting such post mortem exams should change their clothes and wait a certain period of time before they perform their obstetric duties.

His findings had little effect on the medical community. 

You see, at that time, the link between bacteria and contagion was still unknown.

And in this connection I want to tell you about the tragic 

story of Ignaz Semmelweis. 

This physician was heading a maternity ward at a famous teaching hospital in Vienna in the early 1840s. Like Holmes, 

he became aware that child-bed fever was being conveyed by 

doctors who examined dead bodies.

Each morning students and doctors would perform autopsies on bodies of dead women who were struck by the dreaded disease. 

Later, with unclean hands, they would make pelvic examinations in the obstetrical ward. As a result, many of those looked at, 


Not surprising, you say. 

The hospital doctors attributed their deaths to constipation, delayed lactation, poisoned air and fear.

Semmelweis knew better. He reasoned that some deadly substance was being transferred from his staff to the patients.

He ordered all personnel to thoroughly wash their hands after their post mortem activities. As he expected, the death rate 

was drastically reduced.

But the students and doctors did not appreciate this outcome. 

They belittled and denounced him for compelling them to wash all the time. And when his contract was up for renewal, he found himself without a job.

After he left, his successor threw out the wash basins. And you can guess what followed. Naturally, the mortality rate soared back to its original high.

Dr. Semmelweis went to work for a hospital in Budapest, his home town. He again instituted the practice of washing hands.

Again he was faced with bitter opposition and contempt from his colleagues. 

Inevitably, the pressure put upon him and the needless pain that he witnessed led to his commitment to a mental institution, 

where he died.

These are the rewards that the biased medical establishment bestowed upon him for his outstanding efforts.

Doesn’t it surprise you that this occurred as recently as the 1800s?

But I have news for you.

As reluctant as medical science has been in advancing effective methods for controlling contagion, it is utterly remarkable that 3,500 years ago the Hebrews practised sanitary measures that were not only superior to those proposed by Holmes and Semmelweis, but they were even up to par with 21st century standards, if not better in some respects.

Karl Sudhoff, a famous medical historian, said that two of the greatest hygienic advancements of mankind have their beginnings with the early Hebrews: the weekly day of rest and the direct prophylaxis of disease.

You are about to learn of an incredibly advanced medical and health knowledge in the Ancient Hebrew Civilization. Let me 

give you these examples:


Did you know that the ancient Hebrew Scriptures recorded dietetic principles which are only now – in your lifetime and mine - being recognised by science. 

This information included the superiority of fruit, nuts, grains and green vegetables for optimum health; it is stated that when man was set up in his ideal state that was his diet. 

(Genesis 1:29)

Later, as flesh foods were adopted, there was outlined a detailed classification of meats fit and unfit for human consumption. (Leviticus chapter 11; Deuteronomy 14:2; Leviticus 7:4,19)  

As you peruse the old records you will discover that the Hebrews were allowed to eat fish with fins and scales, and herbivorous, ruminant animals. 

Birds of prey and carnivorous beasts are unclean in their 

eating habits; therefore, they are more susceptible to disease than the clean domesticated stock.

But did you know that warnings were given against the consumption of animal fats and blood? (Leviticus 7:23,26-27) 


Medical authorities today recognise that fat stored in a carcass contains a high concentration of toxic waste. You are probably also aware that if there is any disease in a dead animal, it infects the blood throughout the body.

You may find these other instructions interesting:

* The Hebrews were instructed not to consume the flesh of an animal that died of natural causes. The creature may have been infected. (Deuteronomy 14:21)

* Meat was not to be kept more than 2 days. In the desert they had no refrigeration facilities. (Leviticus 19:5-8)

* The caul above the liver, the diaphragm, was not to be eaten. 

The muscle might be infected with worms. (Leviticus 7:4)

* Flesh that touched any unclean thing was unfit for nourishment. 

Instead, it was burned. (Leviticus 7:19)

It is true that scholars believe these laws of the Ancient Hebrew Civilization were for religious reasons: that those who were unclean were not fit to approach God. I will give them no argument. This is exactly what they were intended to be on a superficial level. 

But their real purpose was to improve the health of the people. 

The health benefits that accrue to people living under the mandate of these laws have been demonstrated time and again.


I want to tell you about some amazing quarantine laws of the Ancient Hebrew Civilization. 

Individuals infected with various skin diseases were outlawed from the community. 


Did you know that there were regulations for disinfection after quarantine? 

The victim shaved his hair, washed himself and his clothes and used antiseptics – blood, hyssop, scarlet and cedar wood. 

(Leviticus chapters 13 and 14)

Does this sound sort of familiar to you?  

Surprisingly, almost the same steps are taken in modern times. 

Hair and body are washed. Clothing is sterilized and antiseptics are administered.

It is significant that the deadly European plagues of the Dark Ages were brought under control by following the quarantine and other rules laid down in the biblical writings of the book of Leviticus. I tell you, with medicine at such a low point during this period, Jewish doctors were highly esteemed.


While many nations around them suffered sicknesses aggravated by poor hygiene, the Ancient Hebrew Civilization practised superior standards of cleanliness.

You would like a few examples? Here are 16: 

* If a man had a pathological body issue, he was considered “unclean”. 

Any object touched by him was likewise unclean. Persons touching the contaminated individual or objects touched by him were deemed “unclean until evening”. They were ordered to wash their clothes and bathe. 

* A person spat upon by the sick party was instructed to take a bath and wash his garments, being unclean until evening. 

* Earthenware vessels used by the ill man were broken; the wooden ones, washed.

* After the victim had been cured, he was allowed seven days for purification. His clothing was laundered and his body was washed with running water.

* A man with a discharge of semen was obliged to bathe. He was “unclean until evening”. If his garments came into contact with the issue, then they were cleaned. 

* In cases of sexual relations, both man and woman were “unclean until evening”. A bath was mandatory for the participants.

* With reference to menstrual flows, similar commandments were to be followed by females.

* A latrine was installed outside the desert camp, and a spade was used to bury the excreta. (Leviticus chapter 15; Numbers 

19:11-16; Deuteronomy 23:12-14)

* As modern science will attest, many harmful bacteria can be conveyed through body issues and waste secretions.

* A person who touched a corpse was “unclean seven days”. A bath in running water was necessary on the third and seventh day.

 (Numbers 19:11-13,16)

* Anyone who handled the carcass of an unclean animal was contaminated for the remainder of the day. A bath was required.

* Regarding small unclean creatures – mole, rat, lizards: gecko, koah, letaah, chameleon and tinshameth; any contact made rendered the person “unclean until evening”.

* Objects that they fell into – wooden and earthenware vessels – were unclean. If the animals touched cooking and eating utensils, stoves, ovens, garments, skin, sackcloths and other items; the objects were either rinsed with water or destroyed. 

(Leviticus 11:29)

* Bodies of victims who died of pestilence were burned. 

(Amos 6:10) If a man died inside a tent, any person who entered or was already there was judged unclean for a seven day period. 

Open vessels found in the shelter were likewise unclean. 

(Numbers 19:14-15)

* Objects captured from the enemy were put through fire or washed. 

(Numbers 31:21-23) 

* If an article of clothing had a fungi growth, it was washed, destroyed or cut out. (Leviticus 13:47) Stones and plaster in houses infected by molds were replaced. But if the growth continued, the dwelling was leveled. (Leviticus 14:33)

Are you shocked? Are you in disbelief that these ancient people had such hygiene laws? Don’t be, becauseit’s absolutely true. 

You can check it for yourself! 


Today you can also read the ancient rules governing antisepsis and sterilization. These are as modern as tomorrow! 


chapters 13 and 14; Numbers 31:21-23)


Moreover, King David also hinted at what we today know to be the essence of the sugar/phosphate human cellular DNA-helix tapes and their genetic “blueprints”:  “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect: and in they book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 

(Psalm 139:16)



Circumcision (the male type) is the removal of the excess foreskin over the tip of the penis.

Did you know that in the history of Ancient Israel, circumcision was practised not as a puberty rite, but according to the standards of 21st century medicine – on the eighth day.

 (Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3)  

We begin to see the reason for this, at last. Discoveries have revealed that a newborn baby has a bleeding tendency – until in five to seven days a clotting agent, Vitamin K, is manufactured. 

The eighth day is the day when another clotting element, prothrombin, is at its highest level in a human’s entire life – 110 percent of normal! That is why it is better to wait until the eighth day for circumcision. And no anaesthetic is needed if the circumcision is done in infancy.

Before that time (especially before the fifth day) a serious post-operative hemorrhage may result, and this may be difficult to control.

So according to modern medicine, circumcision is best performed on an infant, in the eighth day of life.


If you’re like me, when you first hear about something like this you probably think it must be some mistake… that the strict Hebrew dietary laws were laid down thousands of years ago by someone who knew all about bacteria, contagion, and even about which day of life the body manufactures Vitamin K and prothrombin! 

You ask, how is this possible?

Actually, that’s not all.

There is heaps more to share with you on the amazing advanced knowledge of our ancestors. 

Jonathan Gray