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4 But flesh [basar] with the life [nefesh] thereof, which is the blood [dahm] thereof, shall ye not eat.
Besides the ruach and neshemeh without, there are certain elementary principles, in a state of combination, within all living souls, which are related to them by fixed and appropriate laws, for the manifestation of living actions. The light to the eye, and the eye to the light; so also, the breath and the Spirit of God to the constituents of blood, and the blood to them. These, acting and re-acting upon each other in the lungs of all breathing frames, cause that motion throughout their structure which is termed life. The following testimonies will throw some light upon this part of our subject.
"Flesh, be-nephesh-u, with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat."
This teaches that blood is the nephesh, or life of the flesh; hence it continues, "and surely your blood, lah-nephesh-tikam, for your Iives will I require" (Gen. 9:5). We often find life put for blood, and blood for life, as elsewhere in the context.
" Be sure that thou eat not the blood, for the blood is the nephesh, or life; and thou mayest not eat the life, nephesh, with the flesh" (Deut. 12:23).
But, to this it might be objected, that if the blood be the life, then so long as it is in the body it ought to live; on the contrary it dies with the blood in it. True. Moses, however, does not teach the dogma of an abstract vital principle; but life, the result and consequence of the decomposition and re-combination of the elements of certain compounds. The blood abstractly considered is not life; yet relatively, it is "the life of the flesh."
The following testimony will show the sense in which the phrase "the blood is the life" is used.
"I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood. For the life of the flesh is IN the blood itself. I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for nephesh-tikem your lives: for it is the blood that atones be-nephesh for the soul "
"Whosoever catcheth any fowl that may be eaten, he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof. Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof" (Lev. 17:11).
Nothing can be plainer than this.
There are three kinds of living manifestations, which are characterized by the nature of the organization, or being, through which they occur. Hence, we have vegetable life, animal life, and incorruptible life. The last is immortality; because the body through which the life is manifested being incorruptible, never wears out; so that being once put into motion by the Spirit of God, it lives for ever.
Vegetable and animal life, on the contrary, are terminable or mortal; because the materials through which it is revealed are perishably organized. Mortality, then, is life manifested through a corruptible body; and immortality, life manifested through an incorruptible body. Hence, the necessity laid down in the saying of the apostle,
"this corruptible body must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality,"
before death can be "swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:53-54).
This doctrine of "life and incorruptibility" was new to the Greeks and Romans; and brought to light only through the gospel of the kingdom and name of Jesus Christ. It was to them foolishness; and is to the moderns incredible, because they understand not the glad tidings of the age to come.
Elpis Israel 1.2.
6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood [Shofech dahm (one who sheddeth man's blood)] , by man shall his blood [dahm] be shed: for in the image [tzelem] of Elohim made he man.
This principle taught the basic sanctity of life. This principle was soon abandoned by the pagan Apostasy that developed after the flood. The taking of a man's life was a crime which could only be atoned for by the shedding of the blood of the perpetrator (Nu.35.33). Blood was purged with blood. On this principle will Christ and the saints operate, to make a sin offering of the nations which have polluted the earth by their crimes (Is.34.5.8, Rev .19 .17- 21).
The Apocalyptic Messenger,
Bro Richard Lister