What is the significance of…

  1. Metaphorical uses

    • to denote race

      …He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth… —Acts 17:26 NKJV

      NASB: “…He made from one man every nation of mankind…”

    • a symbol of slaughter

      …the mountains will be drenched with their blood. —Isaiah 34:3 NASB

    • The phrase “wash the feet in blood” meant to gain a great victory (Psalm 58:10).
    • Wine, from its red color, is called “the blood of the grape” (Genesis 49:11). See: wine
  2. Spilling of human blood

    In the Old Testament, God treated the sin of wilful murder among his Chosen People very seriously, never to be tolerated. The law for the Hebrews always required that a murderer be punished with death (Genesis 9:5). No other punishment was acceptable to God.

    …you shall not take ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death. —Numbers 35:31 NASB

    The blood of the murdered “crieth for vengeance” (Genesis 4:10). The “avenger of blood” was the nearest relative of the murdered, and he was required to avenge his death (Numbers 35:24, 27).

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  3. Passover Blood

    The blood of the sacrifice for the Passover was to be placed on the doorposts and lintels of the houses as a sign of belief and faith in the One, True God (Exodus 12; Leviticus 4:5-7; 16:14-19)

    See: Passover

  4. Blood sacrifices

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  5. Prohibition of blood as food

    Blood as food is prohibited in Genesis 9:4, where the use of animals as food is first allowed. Compare Deuteronomy 12:23; Leviticus 3:17; 7:26; 17:10-14. 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 (1 Samuel 14:32-34).

  6. Christ’s blood

    Blood and water issued from our Savior’s side when it was pierced by the Roman soldier (John 19:34). This has led pathologists to the conclusion that Christ’s heart ruptured. (Compare Psalm 69:20)

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Article Version: June 4, 2019