Chapter 17 of Leviticus details some additional rules for sacrificing animals and the proper handling of blood.
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Sacrificing in the Tent of Meeting
The Tent of Meeting was to be the only place that an Israelite was to make a sacrifice. If a person was found sacrificing an animal in an unholy place, they were considered guilty of shedding blood. The consequences would be getting cut off from the community.
The reason given for sacrificing animals in the Tent of Meeting was so that the priest could perform the proper ritual. In addition, the sacrifice could then be shared with the people in a form of fellowship. Atonement could also be made by the priest on behalf of the Israelite community.
Laws Regarding Blood Consumption
Leviticus Chapter 17 also explains that no one should ever consume blood. If someone was found guilty of consuming blood, they were to be cut off from the community.
The reason behind the rule was that God was responsible for creating life in all creatures. The blood that runs through a creature is what was used by the Israelites to atone for their sins. This blood made the atonement for one’s transgressions possible. In addition, when an Israelite went hunting for food, the animal that was killed had its blood drained. The blood was to then be covered by dirt.
Rules about Handling Animals
There are also rules in Leviticus Chapter 17 for handling animals that are found dead of natural causes. If a person was to eat the meat of this animal, they must wash their clothes and take a bath. This was done in order to avoid being contaminated by the animal.
The rules continue to detail the importance of giving an animal sacrificed for food or fellowship to the Lord. If the life of an animal, either by slaughter or natural causes, was not offered to the Lord, it was considered going against God. The offering of every life was an important part of honoring the glory of God.
Leviticus 17 (King James Version)
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them; This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, saying,
3 What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp,
4 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people:
5 To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest, and offer them for peace offerings unto the LORD.
6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and burn the fat for a sweet savour unto the LORD.
7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.
8 And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice,
9 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the LORD; even that man shall be cut off from among his people.
10 And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
12 Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.
13 And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.
14 For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
15 And every soul that eateth that which died of itself, or that which was torn with beasts, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even: then shall he be clean.
16 But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh; then he shall bear his iniquity.