Did God forbid the eating of blood?

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After the flood when the Lord permitted the eating of the flesh of animals because of the scarcity of plant resources, He gave this condition, “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (Genesis 9:4). And later on, the same principle was restated in the Mosaic law, “This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood” (Leviticus 3:17 also Leviticus 7:22-25).

This prohibition applies to the eating of flesh with blood in it, whether of living animals, as had been the barbarous custom of some pagan heathen tribes in the past and even in some parts of the world today, or of slaughtered animals from which the blood has not been properly drained. This prohibition is, among other things, a safeguard against cruelty and a reminder of the sacrifice of animals, in which blood as the bearer of life was held sacred.

God saw that man would adopt superstitious beliefs in partaking of the blood of animals such as believing it would give strength, health and long life. For these and probably other reasons, the eating of flesh with the blood in it was clearly forbidden.

In the New Testament, the apostles considered this same prohibition still binding in the Christian era. They especially pointed the attention of Gentile Christian believers to it because these new believers, before their conversion, had been accustomed to the eating of flesh with blood in it (Acts 15:20, 29).

Today, the Jews observe this rule in their slaughtering houses. Their meat is said to be “kosher” and marked accordingly. Unfortunately, Christians, in general, pay little attention to this health ordinance, forgetting that it was only on this condition that God originally allowed the use of flesh food.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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