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Harmony of the Law - Volume 3
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Deuteronomy 12

Deuteronomy 12:15, 16, 20-25

15. Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roe-buck, and as of the hart.

15. Pro omni desiderio animae tuae mactabis, et comedes carnes secundum benedictionem Jehovae Dei tui, quam dederit tibi intra omnes portas tuas: immundus et mundus comedet eas, sicut capream et cervum.

16. Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.

16. Tantummodo sanguinem non comedetis, super terram effundetis illum instar aquae.

20. When the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, (because thy soul longeth to eat flesh,) thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

20. Quum dilataverit Jehova Deus tuus terminum tuum, quemadmodum loquutus est tibi, et dixeris, Comedam carnem, quod concupiscat anima tua vesci carnibus: juxta omne desiderium animae tuae comedes carnes.

21. If the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd, and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

21. Quum longinquus a te fuerit locus quem elegerit Jehova Deus tuus ut ponat nomen suum ibi, mactabis de bobus tuis et de pecudibus tuis quas dederit Jehova tibi: quemadmodum praecepi tibi, et vesceris in portis tuis secundum omne desiderium animae tuae.

22. Even as the roe-buck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them; the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike.

22. Certe quemadmodum comeditur caprea et cervus, sic comedes illas: immundus pariter et mundus vescentur illis.

23. Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.

23. Tantum roborare ut non comedas sanguinem: quia sanguis est anima, et non comedes animam una cum carne.

24. Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water.

24. Non comedes illum, sed in terram effundes illum instar aquae.

25. Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.

25. Non vesceris illo, ut bene sit tibi, et filiis tuis post te, quum feceris quod rectum est in oculis Jehovae.

 

Leviticus 7

Leviticus 7:26-27

26. Moreover, ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings.

26. Nullum sanguinem comedetis in cunctis habitationibus vestris, tam de avibus quam de jumentis.

27. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.

27. Omnis anima quae comederit ullum sanguinem, excidetur anima illa e populis suis.

Leviticus 19

Leviticus 19:26

26. Ye shall not eat anything with the blood.

26. Non comedetis cum sanguine.

 

Deuteronomy 12:15. Notwithstanding thou mayest kill. What precedes I have introduced in its proper place, viz., that they should not kill the sacrifices anywhere but in the sanctuary, of which there was only one in Judea. Here the permission to eat meat is given, provided that they do not offer the animals to God, but eat of them as of wild beasts. By way of example, two kinds are mentioned, the roe-buck and the hart, of which no offering was made. They are, therefore, freely allowed to eat meat wheresoever they pleased, with this exception, that they should not taste the blood; for, although this was observed by their forefathers before the giving of the Law, God ratifies it anew when He would gather a peculiar people to Himself. We know that immediately after the deluge, Noah and his posterity were commanded to abstain from blood; but, inasmuch as the greater part of mankind soon degenerated, it is probable that all nations neglected God’s command, and permitted to themselves a universal license on this point; and it is even questionable whether this observance, which was everywhere fallen into desuetude, prevailed among the family of Shem. Certainly it may be conjectured from the renewed promulgation of the law, that it was altogether obsolete; at any rate, God would have His chosen people distinguished by this mark of separation from heathen nations.

The reason of the prohibition which is now mentioned had already been declared, 1818     See on Leviticus 3:17, vol. 2, p. 335, whence, however, he refers to Genesis 9:4. C. Society’s edition, vol. 1, p. 293. viz., because the blood is the seat of life. But although it, was allowable to kill an animal for food, yet, was it a useful restraint to prevent inhumanity, that they should not touch the blood; for if they abstained from the blood of beasts, much more necessary was it to spare human blood. After God, therefore, has forbidden blood to be eaten, He immediately proceeds to speak of men themselves: “Whose sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” 1919     Lat. “Qui effuderit sanguinem hominis in homine;” he who shall have shed the blood of man in man. — Vide C. in loco. (Genesis 9:4-6.) Hence I have deemed it appropriate to annex all the passages in which God commands the people to abstain from blood, to the Sixth Commandment. In itself, indeed, the eating of blood was a thing of no great importance: since, therefore, God so often inculcates a point of so little weight, it may be inferred that the law has some further object. To this may be added the severity of the punishment, for surely it was not a crime worthy of death to taste the blood of some little bird; and hence, also, it is manifested that the prohibition had another meaning, viz., that cruelty might be abhorred. And the words of Moses show that the eating of blood is not forbidden because it infected man with its uncleanness, but that they might account the life of man to be precious; for it is said, “the blood is the life,” which, in the opinion of Augustine, 2020     Quaest. in Leviticum, 57 Section 2. “Illud appellatur anima, quod significat animam.” — Edit. Benedict. tom. 3, p. 1 pag. 516. is equivalent to its being “the sign of life;“ but Moses rather means that animal life is contained in the blood. Wherefore, blood, which represents the life, was not interdicted without reason, nor was it only sinful to eat the blood by itself, but also together with the flesh, as is expressly declared both in Deuteronomy and in the last passage from Leviticus.

23. Only be 2121     Lat., “Roberare.” Margin, A. V., “Heb., Be strong.” sure that thou eat not. It is not without cause that he earnestly exhorts them to inflexible firmness, because it was both a matter trifling in appearance, and its observation troublesome, whilst it was easy to decline from it on account of the universal example of the Gentiles. For if they considered within themselves that it contributed not to holiness that they should not touch blood, hence a snare to indulgence might easily have arisen.


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