Leviticus Chapter Seventeen


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In our study of Leviticus chapter seventeen, we see the spiritual significance of the shedding of blood and the necessity for proper handling of blood.

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Leviticus 17:1-5

ADONAI said to Moshe, "Speak to Aharon and his sons and to all the people of Isra'el. Tell them that this is what ADONAI has ordered: 'When someone from the community of Isra'el slaughters an ox, lamb or goat inside or outside the camp without bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to ADONAI before the tabernacle of ADONAI, he is to be charged with blood - he has shed blood, and that person is to be cut off from his people. The reason for this is so that the people of Isra'el will bring their sacrifices that they sacrifice out in the field - so that they will bring them to ADONAI, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, to the cohen, and sacrifice them as peace offerings to ADONAI.

This passage speaks of the slaughtering of clean animals for sacrifices without doing so in the proper location by the appointed people.

Leviticus 17:6 & 7

The cohen will splash the blood against the altar of ADONAI at the entrance to the tent of meeting and make the fat go up in smoke as a pleasing aroma for ADONAI. No longer will they offer sacrifices to the goat-demons, before whom they prostitute themselves! This is a permanent regulation for them through all their generations.'

We see that the proper sacrifice involves the priest throwing the blood on the altar and burning up the fat. We also see that the act of doing this in another place without the priest is, in fact, spiritual adultery. The fact that it is a permanent regulation speaks of the fact that this is a kingdom principle and it applies to us today in the fact that we cannot serve two masters. We cannot worship God and also take part in demonic activities. As we saw, the result of this spiritual adultery is exclusion from the community of witnesses.

Leviticus 17:8 & 9

"Also tell them, 'When someone from the community of Isra'el or one of the foreigners living with you offers a burnt offering or sacrifice without bringing it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to sacrifice it to ADONAI, that person is to be cut off from his people.

Here, we see that these regulations apply to everyone that is living in the land of Israel whether they are Jewish or not. If the sacrifices are not presented to the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting, then, the person is excluded from the people of God.

Leviticus 17:10-12

When someone from the community of Isra'el or one of the foreigners living with you eats any kind of blood, I will set myself against that person who eats blood and cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life.' This is why I told the people of Isra'el, 'None of you is to eat blood, nor is any foreigner living with you to eat blood.'

Now, we see that eating blood is prohibited because the blood is spiritually connected to life and its spiritual purpose is for atonement. We see again that this applies to everyone and not just the Jewish people.

Leviticus 17:13 & 14

"When someone from the community of Isra'el or one of the foreigners living with you hunts and catches game, whether animal or bird that may be eaten, he is to pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For the life of every creature - its blood is its life. Therefore I said to the people of Isra'el, 'You are not to eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it will be cut off.'

We see that this does not only apply to animals for sacrifices but for all animals that are eaten and we see that we are to recognize the significance of their loss of life by burying the blood.

Leviticus 17:15 & 16

"Anyone eating an animal that dies naturally or is torn to death by wild animals, whether he is a citizen or a foreigner, is to wash his clothes and bathe himself in water; he will be unclean until evening; then he will be clean. But if he doesn't wash them or bathe his body, he will bear the consequences of his wrongdoing."

Here, we see the consequences of eating an animal that has not been properly killed and that is the person being made unclean. We are reminded that being clean (pure) is preparation for blessing as we saw in the last chapter.

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