Further Instructions to the People

Leviticus 7:22-38

After instructing the priests with further details of the sacrificial rites, God tells Moses to instruct the people regarding portions they are forbidden from eating at any time and who gets to partake in the sacrifices they bring and how.


God commands the Children of Israel not to eat the fats of animals which would otherwise be offered upon the altar. This includes sheep, goats and oxen. Even if the animal is not to be eaten, such as a carcass which died on its own, the fats may be used for other purposes, but not human consumption. The blood of any animal may not be eaten at any time, according to the Torah. Anyone who eats the blood or forbidden fats will be “cut off from its people”, a heavenly punishment considered to be the harshest God ever doles out.


The people are also told that when they bring a peace offering, the fat shall be burned for God, but the breast and right thigh shall be the priestly portion for all eternity.


The final four verses of this section serve to bookend all that came before, signalling that God has finished instructing Moses with everything he would need to know before the Tabernacle begins operating.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think eating the forbidden fat and blood is so severe a transgression that it is punishable by the most serious of consequences known in the Torah?

Comments ( 10 )

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  • Tonja Roman

    Okay I understand about the fat consumption of. But it brings out the Israelite were able to use the fat for other purposes excluding the Chelev part. What are those other purposes did they use the fat for?

  • Angela B

    I agree, because life is in the blood. For those that live in non-kosher countries and surroundings, how best do we go about this? I for one don’t eat soup from meat or chicken stew because I assume there’s blood in there, so I usually consume the meat only, especially the roasted one. Any advice would be helpful.

    On the point of fat, I agree with Diana, just trust and obey, even when you don’t understand. On the science level, I don’t see any nutrient in fat, it instead gives one excess fat, when they consume it.

    • SueJean Heinz

      I understand your concerns Angela as we have very little control over our food sources basically in any country. The only place I ever felt comfortable eating whatever was put in front of me was in Israel and there’s still concerns there that came after a BIN article that showed dead pigs lying on the streets of Y’rushalyem. I know people eat pork there in the Land.
      I first started dealing with all this when I lived in Thailand and bought most of my food off the street markets. At first I nearly went crazy worrying about getting this all right. I was so caught up in what I couldn’t eat that I nearly made myself sick by not eating anything at all.
      One day, I just grabbed a hold of myself and gave myself a good talking to. The Torah is about LIFE! I needed to eat and it wasn’t like there wasn’t anything to eat. I sat down and started making a list of all the things I knew I could eat and I started out by eating them.
      For example, boiled eggs and yogurt and fruits and vegetables and then I added some chicken and beef back into my diet. Sometimes, I made a mistake and ate something with fish sauce. When you eat something unclean, you’re only unclean for that day. I asked HIM to forgive me and moved on.
      We live in an imperfect world that doesn’t care about Torah or Elohim. We can only do our best and leave the rest of it up to HIM. Some day we’ll be in HIS Kingdom (we hope) and then these worries will all be gone. I hope this helps to ease some of your fears.
      Baruch Hashem.

      • Angela B

        Thank you Sue, this is certainly most helpful; like you said, let's do our best and God will help us through.

  • Kara Strain

    The life is in the blood. God creates the sanctity of life and we should not presume to do our own will. The fat is something very bad for us, causing health issues when consumed in large measures. I think it comes back to being obedient. God has very good reasons for the purpose of each commandment. They are not to fulfill our own gratification, but for a living testimony of the Holy One we are in covenant with.

  • Theresa

    The life is in the blood and may not be eaten. Many dangerous pathogens can be found in the blood. I had to research the fat; it appears not all fat is forbidden. Some fat is permitted, like the fat on the tail. “A certain kind of fat, known as chelev, which surrounds the vital organs and the liver, may not be eaten. Kosher butchers remove this. Modern scientists have found biochemical differences between this type of fat and the permissible fat around the muscles and under the skin.” – Judaism 101. In order that fat should be considered chelev it must look like a sheet of fats, like a thick fibrous skin that can be removed. From what I see this dietary law is really a health concern, God protecting His people from foods that are harmful. I agree with Kenneth, it goes back to the command in the garden. Don’t do this or something bad will happen to you.

    • SueJean Heinz

      I like Diana’s comment that it is good to just trust and obey when we don’t understand an instruction. I also really like it when the scientific evidence bears witness to the wisdom that is inherent in Elohim’s instructions.
      I have seen a lot of spiritual damage among people that consume the blood of the animals around them. It is a common practice in many parts of the world today. Sadly, people that eat the blood of the animals begin to take on strange behaviors. It definitely causes confusion.
      We’ve all seen the dangers of consuming the wrong kinds of fat.

  • Diana Brown

    I know Leviticus says “life is in the Blood” so mixing your blood with animal blood brings confusion. The fat belongs to the Lord. Fat is stored in our bodies for times when we can’t find food according to scientists. The Lord seems to say fat has no place for our body. He says to give it to Him. He knows everything so He has a good reason. Just trust and obey when you don’t always understand His Ways. Danielle, do you have a drash on this?

    • Danielle Reisman

      According to the sages this prohibition of “fat” means only the fatty tissue of sheep, goats,and cattle that would be placed on the altar in the case of offerings.
      The text prohibits the consumption of fat from types of animals which could be offered as a sacrifice. Since the Jews were not allowed to eat any part of most kinds of animals except those listed, they would not have had much fat in their diet.

  • Kenneth Osterman

    Three things come to mind.
    1) the simple commandment given to Adam and Eve. Ge 2:16-17
    2) choose life and live. De 30:19-20
    3) the soul that sinneth, shall die (Ezk 18:4; Jer 31:30)
    Perhaps God is simply repeating the fact that he expects strict adherence to doing the right thing. We are blessed that God is merciful and provides a bright future when restoration is complete and dong right will be natural. Something few can grasp in our present imperfection.

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