If the place which the LORD your God has chosen to put his name there be too far from you, then you shall kill of your herd and of your flock, which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you, and you shall eat in your gates whatever your soul lusts after.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 12:15-16 is repeated, and the reason of it assigned.
16. ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water—The prohibition against eating or drinking blood as an unnatural custom accompanied the announcement of the divine grant of animal flesh for food (Ge 9:4), and the prohibition was repeatedly renewed by Moses with reference to the great objects of the law (Le 17:12), the prevention of idolatry, and the consecration of the sacrificial blood to God. In regard, however, to the blood of animals slain for food, it might be shed without ceremony and poured on the ground as a common thing like water—only for the sake of decency, as well as for preventing all risk of idolatry, it was to be covered over with earth (Le 17:13), in opposition to the practice of heathen sportsmen, who left it exposed as an offering to the god of the chase.Be too far from thee; in which case, being obliged to carry their sacrifice to the place of worship, that the blood might be there poured forth, &c., they might think themselves obliged, for the same reason, to carry their other cattle thither to be killed. They are therefore released from all such obligations, and left at liberty to kill them at home, whether they lived nearer to that place, or further from it; only the latter is here mentioned, as being the matter of the scruple, and as containing the former in it.
As I have commanded thee; in such manner as the blood may be poured forth, as above, Deu 12:16, and below, Deu 12:24. Deuteronomy 12:15.
then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock; of thy oxen and of thy sheep, creatures used in sacrifice; but this was no bar to the use of them for common food also:
which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee; Deuteronomy 12:15.
and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after; flesh of any sort, lawful to be eaten.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verses 21-23. - If the place.., be too far from thee; this supplies the reason for the alteration of the law in Leviticus 17:3. Only be sure; literally, only be strong; i.e. be firm and resolute, steadfastly resisting the temptation to eat it. The blood is the life (cf. Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 11:1; Leviticus 17:11). The word used is nephesh (נֶפֶשׁ). By this word the Hebrews designated the animal life-principle in men and in beasts; and as without this the body was a mere inert mass, the word came to be used for "life" generally. Of this life the blood was believed to be the seat, and was regarded as the symbol, so that to shed blood was tantamount to the taking away of life. As the blood, moreover, was the life, in it was supposed to lie the propitiatory power - the power, when shed, of atoning for sin, as the giving of life for life. The prohibition of eating it doubtless had respect to this. It was not merely to prevent ferocity in men towards the lower animals (as Rosenmüller suggests) that the eating of blood was interdicted, but specially because there was in this a sort of profanation, a putting to a common use of what appertained to a sacred rite. Leviticus 17:3-6), should be abolished. This is done in Deuteronomy 12:15, where Moses, in direct connection with what goes before, allows the people, as an exception (רק, only) to the rules laid down in Deuteronomy 12:4-14, to kill and eat flesh for their own food according to all their soul's desire. Flesh that was slaughtered for food could be eaten by both clean and unclean, such for example as the roebuck and the hart, animals which could not be offered in sacrifice, and in which, therefore, the distinction between clean and unclean on the part of the eaters did not come into consideration at all.
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