Sanctity of Animal Life
Leviticus 17:1-9
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,…

All God's people commanded to observe restrictions as to the shedding of blood. Door of the tabernacle connected with the sphere of common life; thus religion and its duty threw sacredness over all things.


1. Appointed by God (see Genesis 1:26 and Psalm 8).

2. Limited in its extent, by necessity, humanity of feeling, provision for the higher purposes of human life.

3. Capable of being blended with the Law of the sanctuary. We should afford all creatures dependent on us, as much as possible our own sabbath of bodily rest. We should make it a religious duty to protect them from injury and suffering. In so far as we use them for food, an offering of them should not be to the god of sensuality, but to him whose Law requires temperance, self-restraint, and reverence for the lower nature, that it may support the higher. All with thanksgiving.

II. POWER OF LIFE AND DEATH IS IN AND FROM GOD. As entrusted to man, whether over the lower animals or over his fellows, it is a power to be exercised as in the sight of God and at the door of his house.

1. Shedding of blood a solemn responsibility. In common life, lest we be guilty of cruelty and destruction of a true and valuable element in the world's welfare. In execution of law, lest we give to that which represents the Divine will the appearance of injustice and wantonness. Even in healthy sport, care must be taken lest there be an overbalance of the mind towards shedding of blood or disregard of suffering. In all questions of difficulty, bring the matter to the door of the tabernacle.

2. The sacredness of blood points to atonement. The devoted and slaughtered animal was received back again as a Divine gift for the use of the offerer, thus lifting up death into life. Sacrifice is not God's delight in death, but his promise of salvation. The sanctity attached to the blood of victims prepared the way to the higher sanctity attached to the blood of Christ. The Old and New Testaments explain one another.

III. PRESERVATION FROM IDOLATRY AND FALSE WORSHIP IN THE POSITIVE REGULATIONS OF THE LAW. Mistake of supposing that mere negative religion will purify men from corruption. Against the worship of devils we are never sate except as we are engaged in the worship of the true God. - R.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

WEB: Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

One Place of Sacrifice
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