Blood for Atonement
17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron and his sons and all the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord has commanded, saying, 3 “Any man from the house of Israel who kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp 4 and has not brought it to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting to [a]offer it as an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord, that man shall be guilty of bloodshed. He has shed blood and shall be cut off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them]. 5 This is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing [to idols] in the open field [where they killed them], that they may bring them in to the Lord, at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the Lord. 6 The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the Lord at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting and offer the fat up in smoke as a sweet and soothing aroma to the Lord. 7 So they shall no longer offer their sacrifices to goat-idols or demons or field spirits with which they have played the prostitute. This shall be a permanent statute for them throughout their generations.”’
8 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Any man from the house of Israel or any of the strangers living temporarily among you, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice 9 and does not bring it to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting to offer it to the Lord shall be cut off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them].
10 ‘Any man from the house of Israel, or any stranger living temporarily among you, who eats any blood, against that person I shall set My face and I will cut him off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them].(A) 11 For the [b]life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life [which it represents].’(B) 12 Therefore I have said to the sons of Israel, ‘No person among you may eat blood, nor may any stranger living temporarily among you eat blood.’ 13 So when any Israelite or any stranger living temporarily among them, catches [c]any ceremonially clean animal or bird when hunting, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth.
14 “For in regard to the life of all flesh, its blood is [the same] as its life; therefore I said to the Israelites, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the [d]life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off [excluding him from the atonement made for them].’ 15 Every person who eats an animal which dies [of natural causes] or was torn by a predator, whether he is native-born or a stranger, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be [ceremonially] unclean until evening; then he will become clean.(C) 16 But if he does not wash his clothes or bathe his body, he shall bear his guilt [for it will not be borne by the sacrifice of atonement].”
- Leviticus 17:4 At this point the Israelites were not permitted to eat meat at will. But, after the animal was offered as a burnt offering, most of it was returned to the owner as a gift from God.
- Leviticus 17:11 Lit soul.
- Leviticus 17:13 Lit an animal or bird which may be eaten.
- Leviticus 17:14 Lit soul.