These verses occur in the context of presenting a sacrificial animal as an offering to the Lord. The Israelites believed the blood of such an animal was sacred, since it carried the very essence of life itself. In a sense, the blood was the ransom price that atoned for their sins. It was to be drained from the animal and poured on the ground at the base of the altar.

The meat from some sacrificial animals could be eaten by the priests (Leviticus 6:19-30). But the blood of such animals was considered sacred and was never to be eaten.

Perhaps another reason for this prohibition against eating blood is that this was practiced in some pagan religious systems. Pagan priests would drink the blood of sacrificial animals to symbolize their devotion to the false gods they worshiped. God made it clear that His people were to avoid such pagan customs.

DEUTERONOMY 12:23-24 – Be sure that thou [Israelites] eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh. Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water.

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