Leviticus 17:1–14, Exploring the concepts of sacrifice, blood letting and eating blood.
The sacrificing of animals as an act of worship or for any reason is a foreign concept in our modern, secularized society, but this was not the case in the ancient biblical world. Concomitant with sacrifices is the idea of freewill offerings,which, in the ancient world, were often made together as an act of worship to various deities.
With regard to sacrifices, man’s first act of worship outside the Garden of Eden was to make offerings and sacrifice to Elohim (Gen 4:1–4). Making a sacrifice to Elohim was also Noah’s first act of worship after the flood (Gen 8:20). The same is true of Abraham upon receiving the covenant from Elohim (Gen 12:6). At key points in his spiritual journey, Abraham repeated this same act of worship (Gen 12:8; 13:3, 18). The same is true of the Israelites who after having received the Torah at Sinai made a sacrifice to Elohim as they entered into a covenantal agreement with him (Exod 24:4). Subsequently, YHVH instructed the Israelites to establish an entire sacrificial system as a means to be reconciled to him. Similarly, animal sacrifices and offerings being made to various deities was an important aspect of the heathen cultures of the biblical world. Even in the first century, the Greeks were still sacrificing animals in their pagan temples to their gods and goddesses (1 Cor 8:1–13; 10:20) as were the Jews prior to the destruction of their temple in A.D. 70 (Acts 21:24 cp. Num 6:13–21).
So, in the mind of the ancients, what was the purpose of sacrifice? The ritual killing and offering of an animal was part of a religious ritual either to appease or to gain the favor of a deity.
With this concept in mind, several points should be noted. Man’s rebellion and sin against Elohim in the Garden of Eden caused man to be cut off from his Creator and incur his judgment against man’s sin. The Garden of Eden and the fall of man event is part of the mythos of many ancient civilizations (e.g. Mesopotamian, Summerian, Greek, Indians, Moslem and apparently the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Persians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Ethiopians, Mexicans and Chinese as well), and thus this idea of man’s separation from deity because of his sin informed the ancients of their need to be reconciled to deity.
However, it stands to reason that as men moved further down history’s timeline and away from the fall of man in Garden of Eden and thus man’s need for an atoning blood sacrifice, the pure worship of Elohim through sacrifice became at the same time blurry in men’s minds and corrupted by demonic incursions and influences (e.g. Gen 6:2–5) and by manmade traditions. As a result, men began to worship counterfeit deities of their own concoction that ran cross grain to or were outright antithetical to the strictures of YHVH Elohim with regard to offering and sacrifices. Instead of men making sacrifices and offerings to be reconciled to Elohim because of sin, the heathens made sacrifices to appease the anger of the false gods and, at the same time, to curry their favor (for fortune, fame, spiritual power and long life). Over time, man’s sin and his need to be reconciled to the Creator was no longer the focal point of the sacrifice or offering. The Israelites, under YHVH’s guidance, on the other hand, kept in view the true purpose of sacrifice: It was for the purpose of atonement for sin in order to reconcile sinful and fallen man to his Creator as Leviticus 17:11 states.
As the biblical narrative reveals, the ancient Israelites were all too easily swayed by the heathen, Canaanite, Baal-worshipping cultures around them whose gods had moral stringencies much less demanding than those of Elohim, and who instead of forbidding sinful acts not only tolerated but often promoted them, even incorporating them into their cult rituals (e.g. ritual temple prostitution and other forms of sexual deviancy including homosexuality). This is why YHVH’s Torah included strict commands against Israel’s fraternizing in any way with the neighboring Canaanites or adopting any of their religious rituals—especially those involving blood and sacrifice, since the Creator originally designed these rituals only for worship, atonement and reconciliation purposes. With this historical backdrop in view, it hopefully should be easier to see why YHVH was so adamant that the Israelites adhere to his strict protocols with regard to making animal sacrifices, while at the same time he prohibited them from following the heathen’s perverted versions of these rituals—rituals that had devolved into outright demon worship (Lev 17:7).
So this begs a question. Despite the technical advancements and secularization of our modern society, has human nature really changed from ancient times until now? Although modern man no longer offers animal sacrifices for the purpose of appeasing or garnering favor with some invisible deity, what practices do modern men engage in instead to achieve the same benefits (e.g. assuaging of guilt brought on by sin, seeking the favor of some ideological deity, seeking fame, fortune, long life, personal power or peer acceptance) as the ancients did when sacrificing to their demon deities?
One example of an improper sacrifice would be human sacrifice, which the Bible strongly forbids (Lev 18:21). A modern version of child sacrifice would be abortion. Human sacrifice, especially that of a newborn or young (innocent) child, in ancient times and among modern devil worshippers (or to put it in biblical terms, Baal worshipers), was and is believed to spiritually empower those preforming the sacrifice. Similarly, the practice of abortion—the killing of an innocent child—supposedly empowers the practitioner with the misguided promise of eliminating the affects (and guilt) of an unwanted pregnancy and the financial and lifestyle burdens and encumbrances resulting therefrom. Therefore, abortion holds out the promise of financial prosperity (i.e. not having to pay the high cost of raising a child) and freedom (from the responsibility of rasing a child) all the while giving people the freedom of unlimited sex without the consequences of unwanted children.
This chapter in Leviticus also forbids the improper shedding of blood and the drinking of blood.
Today, some Satanists or modern Baal worshipers believe that the drinking of human or animal blood promotes longevity of life, imbues the drinker with supernatural energy and power, and brings him to a higher spiritual plane, since the blood carries the life energy. They believe that a living body (human or animal) is a storehouse of energy and that by drinking the blood from something or someone that has just been killed, energy transference occurs from the victim to the recipient. It is believed that the healthier, the younger and the purer the victim, the more energy the victim possesses and the more potential for attaining a higher level of power for the blood drinker. A young, healthy virgin is preferred, since their energy hasn’t been dissipated yet. Drinking blood is a form of spiritual vampirism—parasitizing the life out of one person or animal for the benefit of another person. Sex magic and pedophilia go hand-in-hand with the practice of blood drinking. The belief among these occult practitioners is that the moment sexual energy is released (at sexual orgasm), blood should be let (called blood-letting) and drunk, since, at that moment, it contains the highest energy potential (called adrenalized blood). Sexually abusing and then sacrificing children in this manner is supposed to bring maximum benefits to the host as they siphon off and then consume the child’s pure essence, soul energy and life force for their own benefit.
To wit, U.S. scientists have reported that infusing young blood (called vampire therapy) improves health. This practice reportedly can repair muscle tissue, the liver and can firm up sagging facial and breast tissue according the Daily Mail online news source in an article dated Nov, 22, 2016 (www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3961264/Dracula-right-infusing-young-blood-improves-health-WON-T-make-younger.html#ixzz4Qg9daH95).
When it is not possible to perform human or animal sacrifices, satanic practitioners will work themselves into a frenzy and then cut themselves until the blood flows in order to summon demonic powers. This is what the prophets of Baal did in the showdown on Mount Carmel with Elijah the prophet (1 Kgs 18:25–28). Verse 28 records that cutting themselves “was their custom.” This means that cutting themselves was a ritual they habitually practiced to summon demonic power. The Bible provides another example of this practice in Mark 5:5 where the Gadarene demoniac would cut himself with stones presumably to excite demonic activity in himself. Interestingly, the Torah forbids the heathen practice of cutting the flesh to conjure up demons or the spirits of the dead (Lev 21:5–6; Deut 14:1). All these practices involved the letting of blood whether through sacrifice, drinking blood or cutting oneself.
Akin to cutting oneself is the making of tatoos, which the Torah also forbids, while at the same time juxtaposing this practice with the cutting one’s flesh for the dead (Lev 19:28).
Ancient tatooing procedures involved cutting the skin with a sharp object and then rubbing soot into the wound marks. Modern tatooing with a needle or tatoo machine still punctures the skin causing small amounts of bleeding from each puncture wound. YHVH forbids both tatooing and cutting the flesh in the same verse, which is evidence that YHVH links these two practices and views them as a heathen, occult ritual. Self mutilation in any form is a blood ritual and is a heathen practice and often is associated with conjuring up demons (e.g. 1 Kgs 18:28).
Moreover, the letting of blood is an important aspect of the so-called Satanic black mass because it is believed that the shedding of blood unleashes great spiritual power for the benefit those living. Although there is no standardized black mass ritual, one concept of this satanic practice is to mock the Roman Catholic mass by corrupting or inverting its symbolisms. The Catholic mass has as its focal point the concept of transubstantiation. This is the idea that the when one eats of the communion sacraments of the bread and wine they turn into the literal blood and body of Yeshua thus empowering the recipient spiritually. For some practitioners of the black mass, the Catholic mass is mocked by drinking actual human or animal blood and eating the flesh of a sacrificed animal or human purportedly for the purpose of gaining supernatural spiritual power energy.
The shedding, drinking, desecrating of human blood or even cannibalism is a Satanic concept that goes back to the worship Baal. In the Bible, there are indications that the Baal-worshiping Canaanites known as the anakim, who were giants and descendants of the fallen angel nephilim, were actually cannibals. For example, we read in Num 13:32–33 that the land of these people “devours [lit. eats] its inhabitants.” Whether this is meant literally or figuratively, it is hard to say, but the ancient Book of 1 Enoch informs us that the nephilim were human flesh eating and blood drinking cannibals (1 Enoch 7:13–14; Laurence edit.; The Genesis 6 Conspiracy, p. 92, by Gary Wayne). Moreover, the Bible reveals that Satan who is the first liar and murderer (John 8:44) hates humans and wants to destroy them (John 10:10; 1 Pet 5:8). Satan’s human servants similarly are waging a war to control the world for Satan and them rule. To accomplish their goals, they must control people if not shed the blood of as many people as possible—especially Bible believers (read the Koran and what its verdict is for “the people of the book”; i.e. Jews and Christians) in homage to their Satanic masters. The difference between Satan and Yeshua is that the former wants his servants to shed their blood and that of other humans for him and even die for him, while Yeshua, on the other hand, died shedding his blood for his servants that they might have their sins forgiven and experience eternal life! This fact about salvific and atoning nature of Yeshua’s shed blood is the essence the gospel message. Satan and his evil servants have literally turned the glorious gospel message on its head by twisting its truths into horrific, repulsive and murderous rituals.
Another truth is revealed in Leviticus 17 that goes hand-in-hand with sacrifice and the shedding of blood. The Torah specifies that when the Israelites ate food, it was a holy occasion accompanied by prayer and thanksgiving and acknowledgement of the Creator from whence it came. Moreover, only certain meat could be eaten. To eat forbidden meats not only made a person unholy and un-God-like, but was considered to be an abominable act (see Lev 11). Therefore, eating the right kind of meat in the prescribed manner was an act of worship of Elohim, and not to follow YHVH’s protocols with regard to disposing properly of an animal’s blood after slaughtering it, or even slaughtering it in the right place, was considered an act of defiance against Elohim and opened one up to the influences of idolatry leading to the worship of demons as this chapter suggests (Lev 17:7). Such an act could arouse Elohim’s anger and cause one to be cut off from Israel. Indeed, in our day, sharing a meal with others is an intimate and communal affair and can result in the forming of close and binding relationships. Thus, YHVH gave his people strict guidelines about food, thus greatly limiting with whom and how they could eat a meal and what they could eat.
All of these restrictions (i.e. properly sacrificing animals and disposing of blood, respecting blood, and not mutilating oneself) if adhered to would have naturally been a limiting factor regarding the Israelites’ involvement with the heathen in that it would keep them separated from their heathen neighbors who didn’t adhere to YHVH’s Torah guidelines. These laws when practiced acted as a fence protecting the Israelites from falling into apostasy, idolatry and outright demon worship. Similarly, when YHVH’s saints practice his Torah laws which are still applicable to them today, they will act as a protective barrier from being negatively influenced by their heathen neighbors and eventually assimilating with them and falling into apostasy.
Leviticus 17:7, Sacrifices to demons. Sa’ar, the Hebrew word for goat, refers to the Egyptian goat gods, or goat demons that were believed to inhabit the wilderness (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Vayikra Leviticus Commentary, p. 313; Keil and Delitzsch, p. 593). In several places, the KJV and NAS translate this word as satyr (e.g. Isa 13:21; 34:14), which, in Greek and Roman mythology was associated with Pan, the half goat and half man-like creature. These demonic forces were believed to be destructive causing fear and turbulence, murder and mayhem (ibid., The ArtScroll Tanach Series Vayikra). Interestingly, sa’ar and Se’ir as in Mount Seir, the home of Edom (Num 24:18), share the same Hebrew consonants and derive from the same root word. From this, the Jewish sages deduce that Edom, the descendents of Esau—Israel’s perpetual enemies down through the ages (even to the last days)—was the embodiment of evil (ibid.). Additionally, in occult lore, there exists a creature called Baphomet, which is represented by a horned goat’s head inside of an inverted star or pentagram. There is an ongoing debate whether this symbol goes back to the satyr or is of more recent origination. However, it is well-documented that the use of blood (in sacrificial and cannibalistic rites) and its veneration is an important aspect of Satanic rituals even into modern times. This is one reason why YHVH forbad the Israelites from eating animal blood (verse 10).
From this passage in Leviticus (and the surrounding verses), it should be clear that YHVH not only expected the Israelites to respect blood (see verse 11), but to properly dispose of it in a way that would preclude them from being tempted to engage in idolatrous and demonic rituals. In our notes under verse 11, we will see why YHVH valued the blood so highly.
Additionally, this passage teaches us several things. First, the blood carries the life force of a living being and, as such, represents life. Second, blood must be shed to atone for sin, which shows us the gravity of sin. The Bible elsewhere declares that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and the soul that sins shall die (Ezek 18:4).