New International Reader's Version

Leviticus 17

Do Not Eat Meat With Blood in It

1The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron and his sons. Speak to all the Israelites. Tell them, ‘Here is what the Lord has commanded. He has said, “Suppose someone sacrifices an ox, a lamb or a goat. They sacrifice it in the camp or outside of it. They do it instead of bringing the animal to the entrance to the tent of meeting. They sacrifice it instead of giving it as an offering to me in front of my holy tent. Then they will be thought of as guilty of spilling blood. Because they have done that, they must be separated from their people. The Israelites are now making sacrifices in the open fields. But they must bring their sacrifices to the priest. They must bring them to me at the entrance to the tent of meeting. There they must sacrifice them as friendship offerings. The priest must splash the blood against my altar. It is the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. He must burn the fat. Its smell will please me. The Israelites must stop offering any of their sacrifices to statues of gods that look like goats. When they offer sacrifices to those statues, they are not faithful to me. This is a law for them that will last for all time to come.” ’

“Tell them, ‘Suppose someone offers a burnt offering or sacrifice. It does not matter whether they are an Israelite or an outsider. And suppose they do not bring it to the entrance to the tent of meeting to sacrifice it to me. Then they must be separated from their people.

10 “ ‘Suppose someone eats meat that still has blood in it. It does not matter whether they are an Israelite or an outsider. I will turn against them if they eat it. I will separate them from their people. 11 The life of each creature is in its blood. So I have given you the blood of animals to pay for your sin on the altar. Blood is life. That is why blood pays for your sin. 12 So I say to the Israelites, “You must not eat meat that still has blood in it. And an outsider who lives among you must not eat it either.”

13 “ ‘Suppose any of you hunts any animal or bird that can be eaten. It does not matter whether you are an Israelite or an outsider. You must let the blood flow out of the animal or bird. You must cover the blood with dirt. 14 That is because every creature’s life is its blood. And that is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat any creature’s meat that still has blood in it. Every creature’s life is its blood. Anyone who eats that kind of meat must be separated from the community of Israel.”

15 “ ‘Suppose someone eats anything found dead or torn apart by wild animals. It does not matter whether they are an Israelite or an outsider. They must wash their clothes. They must take a bath. They will be “unclean” until evening. After that, they will be “clean.” 16 But suppose they do not wash their clothes. And suppose they do not take a bath. Then they will be held responsible for what they have done.’ ”