Biblical Q&A: A Question On Numbers 35:25&32. Why Couldn’t The Offender Leave Until The Death Of The High Priest?

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Anonymous asks:

Re Numbers 35:25,32, why can’t the offender leave the city of refuge until the high priest dies?

‘Would very much appreciate your view on this. Many thanks and God bless.


Thank you for your question, I hope my answer(s) help.

Answer:

Numbers 35:25,32

25 The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send the accused back to the city of refuge to which they fled. The accused must stay there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.
32 “‘Do not accept a ransom for anyone who has fled to a city of refuge and so allow them to go back and live on their own land before the death of the high priest.

In verses 26-27 in the same chapter, the avenger of blood still had the right to kill the one who killed his family member. The city of refuge was his protection and leaving that protection would cost him his life. That is a picture of Jesus Christ who is our wall of protection from the enemy. The reason he had to stay there until the death of the high priest is best explained in Genesis 27:41-45 which says, 41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. 44 Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”

Esau held such hatred towards his brother that in his heart he already had killed him but was waiting for an opportune time to actually do it. Jacob’s mother knew this so what did she do to save her son Jacob? She sends him away to a place of refuge where Esau couldn’t get to him knowing that time would soften Esau’s heart towards his brother.  

Let’s see what happened after spending some time apart do when they met. 

Genesis 33:1,4

1 Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants.
4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.


Now we see why the man who had killed a person without any malice intentions must stay until the death of the high priest. To give sufficient time to the avenger of blood to calm down and realize the man’s innocence. After the death of the high priest he can know that he will be safe when he goes back home but if he goes out of the city of refuge too early, the avenger of blood will still be hot with anger and if he sees him outside will surely put him to death. 

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.