(Leviticus 17:10) 10 “‘As for any man of the house of Israel or some alien resident who is residing as an alien in YOUR midst who eats any sort of blood, I shall certainly set my face against the soul that is eating the blood, and I shall indeed cut him off from among his people.
The Insight book under this matter has this to say about the meaning of this
*** it-1 p. 345 Blood ***
Anyone who ate blood of any sort of flesh was to be ‘cut off from among his people.’ Deliberate violation of this law regarding the sacredness of blood meant being “cut off” in death.—Le 17:10; 7:26, 27; Nu 15:30, 31.
So from this we can clearly see the punishment for voluntarily eating blood was death.
This brings us to a problem. In 1Sam 14:24-46 we see a situation where this very thing happened. The results however are very puzzling.
(1 Samuel 14:32) 32 And the people began darting greedily at the spoil and taking sheep and cattle and calves and slaughtering them on the earth, and the people fell to eating along with the blood.
Why, were they not killed according to the law?
Firstly some background information.
Saul and his men were in a battle with the Philistines. Saul commands his troops not to eat anything until the battle is over and they have won. (1 Samuel 14:24)
Jonathan his son not knowing about his father’s oath takes a little honey and breaks the oath.
(1 Samuel 14:27)
The troops though, did not break the oath Saul made and were very hungry once the battle was over, because of this they darted greedily at the spoil and ate. (1 Samuel 14:32)
Saul told them not to do this and made a sacrifice for this (1 Samuel 14:34)
What was the result of this?
(1 Samuel 14:37) 37 And Saul began to inquire of God: “Shall I go down after the Phi·lis´tines? Will you give them into the hand of Israel?” And he did not answer him on that day.
Why do you think Jehovah did not answer him? Was it because of the men eating the blood,and Saul not killing them as the law says?
No, it was not, in the Law there was a stipulation for this very situation.
Notice the Law on these matters.
(Leviticus 17:13-16) “‘As for any man of the sons of Israel or some alien resident who is residing as an alien in YOUR midst who in hunting catches a wild beast or a fowl that may be eaten, he must in that case pour its blood out and cover it with dust. 14 For the soul of every sort of flesh is its blood by the soul in it. Consequently I said to the sons of Israel: “YOU must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh, because the soul of every sort of flesh is its blood. Anyone eating it will be cut off.” 15 As for any soul that eats a body [already] dead or something torn by a wild beast, whether a native or an alien resident, he must in that case wash his garments and bathe in water and be unclean until the evening; and he must be clean. 16 But if he will not wash them and will not bathe his flesh, he must then answer for his error.’”
If a Jew was out hunting and was starving but couldn't find anything to kill, bleed, and eat. If he found an animal already dead but not bled can he eat it? Yes but if so he must wash and be unclean till evening and then he is clean. But notice what Deuteronomy had to say on this.
(Deuteronomy 14:21) “YOU must not eat any body [already] dead. To the alien resident who is inside your gates you may give it, and he must eat it; or there may be a selling of it to a foreigner, because you are a holy people to Jehovah your God.
This is what is done normally with "found meat" let a non-Jew eat it.
So why is this found, not properly bled meat allowed in Leviticus? Why was it allowed in Samuel?
Looking at the context, in Leviticus it was referring to Hunting. Now they already know they aren’t to eat unbled meat and in Deuteronomy it says it again. But when hunting if one was unable to get anything and finds something already dead, meaning the blood was not able to be properly poured out as customary he would not be killed for eating it, he would wash and be unclean till evening, even though in normal circumstances he is not to do this.
So then, back to Saul, why was Jehovah not answering his prayers?
(1 Samuel 14:43-45) 43 Then Saul said to Jon´a·than: “Do tell me, What have you done?” So Jon´a·than told him and said: “I did for a fact taste a little honey on the tip of the rod that is in my hand. Here I am! Let me die!” 44 At this Saul said: “Thus may God do and thus may he add to it, if you do not positively die, Jon´a·than.” 45 But the people said to Saul: “Is Jon´a·than to die, who has performed this great salvation in Israel? It is unthinkable! As Jehovah is alive, not as much as a single hair . . .
It was due to Jonathans breaking the oath, not the people eating the blood that his prayers were not answered.
Did this change in Christian times, the allowance in emergencies?
(Acts 15:19-20) Hence my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, 20 but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.
What does this mean? Does this mean that as some say taking in blood is right up there with fornication and idolatry?
First of all this is speaking of food sacrificed to idols, and later we read the Apostle Paul telling us
(1 Corinthians 8:1-13) 8 Now concerning foods offered to idols: we know we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone thinks he has acquired knowledge of something, he does not yet know [it] just as he ought to know [it]. 3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by him. 4 Now concerning the eating of foods offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5 For even though there are those who are called “gods,” whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many “gods” and many “lords,” 6 there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him. 7 Nevertheless, there is not this knowledge in all persons; but some, being accustomed until now to the idol, eat food as something sacrificed to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But food will not commend us to God; if we do not eat, we do not fall short, and, if we eat, we have no credit to ourselves. 9 But keep watching that this authority of YOURS does not somehow become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone should see you, the one having knowledge, reclining at a meal in an idol temple, will not the conscience of that one who is weak be built up to the point of eating foods offered to idols? 11 Really, by your knowledge, the man that is weak is being ruined, [your] brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 But when YOU people thus sin against YOUR brothers and wound their conscience that is weak, YOU are sinning against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat flesh at all, that I may not make my brother stumble.
Here he presents the eating of food sacrificed to idols as a conscience matter.
This said blood and things strangled, how often do we ask when we buy meat if it was strangled or not?
This was not a new law to Christians or law for Christians if that was the case why did it not mention lying, stealing, murdering?
This was meant as guidelines to not to stumble non-Jews who were converting at the time.
If we take this in harmony with the other scriptures and the evidence mentioned that becomes clearly evident.
If blood is a sin like fornication than why are those of us who are Doctors and Nurses allowed to administer Transfusions?
You cannot take a scripture out of context and out of harmony with the rest of the bible.
This pains me very much and makes me very sad and depressed, at one point in time we didn’t take transplants now we do, what about those who didn’t take it at that time, or who were remove from the congregation for that. What about the time when we didn’t take vaccinations?
We now take every form of blood just separated into parts and also allow Hemopure which is a purified form of cows blood, this makes me sick. I personally don’t like the idea of blood or transplants but to impose it upon others ,and to not admit when we were wrong….this reminds me of the words of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
"One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, 'Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?' He answered, 'Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.' Then he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath [i.e. the needs of man exceed the legal requirements of the Sabbath]'...Then Jesus asked them, 'Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?' But they remained silent" (Mark 2:23-27, 3:4; NIV).
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?' 'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." The second is this: "Love your neighbor as yourself [see Leviticus 19:16-18 above]." There is no commandment greater than these.' 'Well said, teacher,' the man replied. 'You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.' When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God' " (Mark 12:28-34).