Yes, Scripture most definitely forbids the eating of blood. Let’s begin by looking at Genesis 9:3-4, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall eat flesh with ITS LIFE, that is, ITS BLOOD” (NKJV). God was speaking to Noah (after the waters of the Flood had abated) and He told him he could now eat MEAT (for the first time) but he could NOT eat the BLOOD. Why? Because the “blood is the life of the flesh,” and that life belongs to God. So, when an animal was killed its blood should be drained from the flesh before the meat is eaten, for the blood was, as another has said, “the vehicle in life in animals as in humans.”

This prohibition was confirmed hundreds of years later when God gave the Law to the nation of Israel. We read about this in Leviticus 17:10-12, “And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, WHO EATS ANY BLOOD, I will set My face again that PERSON WHO EATS BLOOD, and will cut him off from among his people. For THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood.’” In Noah’s day the Lord prohibited the eating of blood when eating animals in a common meal; here the subject deals with not eating the blood of animals that were offered on Jewish altars as a sacrifice for sin. In both cases it was forbidden because “the life of the flesh is in the blood” and that LIFE belongs to God. Once the animal was sacrificed its blood was immediately drained from its body and offered to God.

One may be thinking, “Okay, but those verses are in the Old Testament and they don’t pertain to those who live during New Testament times.” Let’s read Acts 15:19-20, “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and FROM BLOOD.” A church council was convened to determine whether or not new believers from among the Gentiles should be put under the Law of Moses. In the verses we read James, a leader in the Jewish church, stated emphatically that the Gentiles should NOT be troubled by putting them under the Law, yet he did give three prohibitions, including NOT EATING BLOOD! He was no doubt thinking of what we saw in Leviticus 17:10-12 AND God’s original prohibition of eating blood in Genesis 9:3-4. This prohibition has never been revoked so it stands for all time. Again, THE LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD and that life is sacred to God and belongs to Him alone.

Before we end this meditation, let’s think again of what we read in Leviticus. The reason the blood of a sacrifice was “to make atonement for your souls,” was because man has sinned and the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23). In other words, because man has sinned, they deserve to die and yet God has provided a way for man’s sins to be atoned for; by the SHEDDING OF BLOOD! This means His holiness demands “life for life.” Someone must die if man is to live! All of those sacrifices offered on Jewish altars pointed to the perfect sacrifice that would be offered, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is borne out beautifully in the following verses, “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins…And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down at the right hand of God…For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:3-4, 11-12, 14) Christ willingly “laid down His life so we could have life.” His blood has made atonement for our souls! (316.4) (DO)