Leviticus 17

1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘This is the thing which the LORD has commanded, 3 Whatever man there is of the house of Israel, who kills a bull, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, 4 and hasn’t brought it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to offer it as an offering to the LORD before the LORD’s tabernacle: blood shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from amongst his people. 5 This is to the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they sacrifice in the open field, that they may bring them to the LORD, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest, and sacrifice them for sacrifices of peace offerings to the LORD. 6 The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the LORD’s altar at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and burn the fat for a pleasant aroma to the LORD. 7 They shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat idols, after which they play the prostitute. This shall be a statute forever to them throughout their generations.’ 8 “You shall say to them, ‘Any man there is of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners amongst them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9 and doesn’t bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to sacrifice it to the LORD; that man shall be cut off from his people. 10 “‘Any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners amongst them, who eats any kind of blood, I will set my face against that soul who eats blood, and will cut him off from amongst his people. 11 For the 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. 12 Therefore I have said to the children of Israel, “No person amongst you may eat blood, nor may any stranger who lives as a foreigner amongst you eat blood.” 13 “‘Whatever man there is of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners amongst them, who takes in hunting any animal or bird that may be eaten; he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust. 14 For as to the life of all flesh, its blood is with its life: therefore I said to the children of Israel, “You shall not eat the blood of any kind of flesh; for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.” 15 “‘Every person that eats what dies of itself, or that which is torn by animals, whether he is native-born or a foreigner, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening: then he shall be clean. 16 But if he doesn’t wash them, or bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity.’”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–9

All the cattle killed by the Israelites, while in the wilderness, were to be presented before the door of the tabernacle, and the flesh to be returned to the offerer, to be eaten as a peace-offering, according to the law. When they entered Canaan, this only continued in respect of sacrifices. The spiritual sacrifices we are now to offer, are not confined to any one place. We have now no temple or altar that sanctifies the gift; nor does the gospel unity rest only in one place, but in one heart, and the unity of the Spirit. Christ is our Altar, and the true Tabernacle; in him God dwells among men. It is in him that our sacrifices are acceptable to God, and in him only. To set up other mediators, or other altars, or other expiatory sacrifices, is, in effect, to set up other gods. And though God will graciously accept our family offerings, we must not therefore neglect attending at the tabernacle.

Verses 10–16

Here is a confirmation of the law against eating blood. They must eat no blood. But this law was ceremonial, and is now no longer in force; the coming of the substance does away the shadow. The blood of beasts is no longer the ransom, but Christ’s blood only; therefore there is not now the reason for abstaining there then was. The blood is now allowed for the nourishment of our bodies; it is no longer appointed to make an atonement for the soul. Now the blood of Christ makes atonement really and effectually; to that, therefore, we must have regard, and not consider it as a common thing, or treat it with indifference.

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