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  1. As food, prohibited in Gen 9:4, where the use of animal food is first allowed. Comp. Deut 12:23; Lev 3:17; Lev 7:26; Lev 17:10ff. The injunction to abstain from blood is renewed in the decree of the council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:29). It has been held by some, and we think correctly, that this law of prohibition was only ceremonial and temporary; while others regard it as still binding on all. Blood was eaten by the Israelites after the battle of Gilboa (1Sam 14:32ff).
  2. The blood of sacrifices was caught by the priest in a basin, and then sprinkled seven times on the altar; that of the passover on the doorposts and lintels of the houses (Ex. 12; Lev 4:5ff; Lev 16:14ff). At the giving of the law (Ex 24:8) the blood of the sacrifices was sprinkled on the people as well as on the altar, and thus the people were consecrated to God, or entered into covenant with him, hence the blood of the covenant (Mt 26:28; Heb 9:19f; Heb 10:29; Heb 13:20).
  3. Human blood. The murderer was to be punished (Gen 9:5). The blood of the murdered "crieth for vengeance" (Gen 4:10). The "avenger of blood" was the nearest relative of the murdered, and he was required to avenge his death (Num 35:24ff). No satisfaction could be made for the guilt of murder (Num 35:31).
  4. Blood used metaphorically to denote race (Acts 17:26), and as a symbol of slaughter (Isa 34:3). To "wash the feet in blood" means to gain a great victory (Ps 5810). Wine, from its red colour, is called "the blood of the grape" (Gen 49:11). Blood and water issued from Jesus' side when it was pierced by the Roman soldier (Jn 19:34). This has led pathologists to the conclusion that the proper cause of Jesus' death was rupture of the heart. (Comp. Ps 6920.)
This article needs to be merged with BLOOD (Jewish Encyclopedia).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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