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).
Leviticus 17:10, Eats any blood.This prohibition is so serious that the Torah repeats it three other places (Lev 3:17; 7:26; 17:14), and the apostles make it one of the four requirements imposed on new Gentile converts before allowed into the fellowship of believers (Acts 15:29). This law was so serious that not only was it imposed on the children of Israel, but upon the strangers that sojourned with them as well (Lev 17:10). The penalty for doing so was basically capital punishment—to be cut off from Israel (vv. 9, 14).Why is the eating of blood so onerous in the eyes of Elohim? The context of this verse involves prohibitions against the demonic practices of the neighboring Baal-worshiping heathens. Eating and then the letting of blood was something that figured prominently in the demonic religious rituals of the heathens and is something YHVH wanted to keep his people from practicing. (For a further discussion of this, see notes on Lev 17:1–14.) In YHVH’s spiritual economy, blood was to be reserved exclusively for the atonement of sin and was to be respected as such.Continue reading