Biblical Q&A: A Question On Genesis 9:4-5, Eating Meat With Blood And Shedding Men’s Blood

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Anonymous asks:

Can you please explain Genesis 9:4-5?

1) Is there a difference between these two sentences (if there is, what is it then?):
“And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting.”
and…
” And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.”

2) And what does this sentence mean: “I will demand an accounting from every animal”–but the Lord has made some animals to be carnivorous, and we eat the flesh of animals as well?


Thank you for your questions, they are great questions by the way. I hope my answers help. 

Answer:

I’m going to answer verse 4 first.

Genesis 9:4

4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.

The answer is found in Leviticus 17:11-12 which says, 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites, “None of you may eat blood, nor may any foreigner residing among you eat blood.”

Blood was sacred because of the significance of its purpose and the fulfillment is seen in the blood of Jesus Christ as seen in Hebrews 9:12-14 which says, “12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

The blood of animals was to show that someone had to shed their blood for you, die in your place for your sins, who was unblemished (without sin). The blood signifies life and through that life One (Jesus Christ) would come and give up His life (shedding of His blood) for us so that we can obtain forgiveness from the Father in heaven or else we would have to die in sin because of our sins. That’s why we couldn’t drink blood because of its meaning and importance. 


Now, I’m going to answer your question 1

1) Is there a difference between these two sentences (if there is, what is it then?):
“And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting.”
and…
” And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.”

No, there is no difference, both mean the same. If an animal kills a man or a man kills another man both the animal and the man will be required to give an account before a Holy God. Why you may ask? The answer is found in the next verse, verse 6 which says, “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.

Men were created in the image of God, not the animal. An animal didn’t have the right as well as another human being to kill or murder (speaking about a human) someone created in God’s image. 


Your question 2

2) And what does this sentence mean: “I will demand an accounting from every animal”–but the Lord has made some animals to be carnivorous, and we eat the flesh of animals as well?

The animal wasn’t created in God’s image and doesn’t have a soul like a man. Animals after the fall of man, they became our source of food and we humans rule over them because God has given us dominion over all animals. Yes, some animals are carnivores but the line ends with humans, they can eat their prey but those created in God’s likeness are off limits. 

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