Prohibitions against Eating Blood
1Then the Lord said to Moses, 2“Give the following instructions to Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel. This is what the Lord has commanded.
3“If any native Israelite sacrifices a bull#17:3 Or cow. or a lamb or a goat anywhere inside or outside the camp 4instead of bringing it to the entrance of the Tabernacle#17:4a Hebrew Tent of Meeting; also in 17:5, 6, 9. to present it as an offering to the Lord, that person will be as guilty as a murderer.#17:4b Hebrew will be guilty of blood. Such a person has shed blood and will be cut off from the community. 5The purpose of this rule is to stop the Israelites from sacrificing animals in the open fields. It will ensure that they bring their sacrifices to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle, so he can present them to the Lord as peace offerings. 6Then the priest will be able to splatter the blood against the Lord’s altar at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and he will burn the fat as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 7The people must no longer be unfaithful to the Lord by offering sacrifices to the goat idols.#17:7 Or goat demons. This is a permanent law for them, to be observed from generation to generation.
8“Give them this command as well. If any native Israelite or foreigner living among you offers a burnt offering or a sacrifice 9but does not bring it to the entrance of the Tabernacle to offer it to the Lord, that person will be cut off from the community.
10“And if any native Israelite or foreigner living among you eats or drinks blood in any form, I will turn against that person and cut him off from the community of your people, 11for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord.#17:11 Or to make atonement for you. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible. 12That is why I have said to the people of Israel, ‘You must never eat or drink blood—neither you nor the foreigners living among you.’
13“And if any native Israelite or foreigner living among you goes hunting and kills an animal or bird that is approved for eating, he must drain its blood and cover it with earth. 14The life of every creature is in its blood. That is why I have said to the people of Israel, ‘You must never eat or drink blood, for the life of any creature is in its blood.’ So whoever consumes blood will be cut off from the community.
15“And if any native-born Israelites or foreigners eat the meat of an animal that died naturally or was torn up by wild animals, they must wash their clothes and bathe themselves in water. They will remain ceremonially unclean until evening, but then they will be clean. 16But if they do not wash their clothes and bathe themselves, they will be punished for their sin.”