Offerings Outside the Tabernacle and Blood

Leviticus 17:1-16

Although God permits His people to eat meat, in this portion he instructs the people only to slaughter animals as peace offerings in the Tabernacle. Offerings brought outside the Tabernacle are considered bloodshed, and cause the person to be cut off from the nation. The Israel Bible explains the reasoning for this command. One purpose for the sacrificial service is the create unit among the nation. By mandating service be performed in the Tabernacle, and later, the Temple, God limits the possibility of variety of worship. LIkewise, He builds in an opportunity for all the Children of Israel to spiritually recharge three times annually by attending the pilgrimage festivals in Jerusalem.


Likewise, the Torah prohibits the people from eating the blood of the animal, as it contains the soul and serves as atonement for the sinner’s soul. Instead, the Torah instructs the people to pour out the blood of the animal and cover it with earth. This applies to wild animals which were trapped and slaughtered.


Finally, the Torah warns against eating a creature that died on its own or was torn apart by a beast. One who does must immerse himself and is contaminated until evening.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think slaughtering animals outside the Tabernacle would be considered bloodshed?

Comments ( 14 )

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  • Herman Arentsen

    I think that first of all obedience is the keyword. When HaShem orders only sacrifices in the temple it should be done. Animals to be slaughtered for a living are permitted outside the Tabernacle area.
    But in sacrificing to G'd under controle of the Kohen then it was surveyed that everything went well and according to that which was prescribed.

  • SueJean Heinz

    From the comments above: "Although God permits His people to eat meat, in this portion he instructs the people only to slaughter animals as peace offerings in the Tabernacle. Offerings brought outside the Tabernacle are considered bloodshed, and cause the person to be cut off from the nation."
    According to the Hebrew Scripture, the first statement above is confusing when it is translated into English. The word translated as "slaughter animals as peace offerings" used in Hebrew is "korbanot" which refers to animals or meal offerings made to Elohim. We are NOT to present these kinds of offerings anywhere but at the Temple.
    The Hebrew word used for slaughtering animals simply as food is "zevach". There is no restriction regarding the slaughtering of animals for food being given here.
    I have pasted a small quote from another teaching to give further understanding to this matter here:
    "So Qorban, then, as a noun, is defined as "that which is brought near." Literally, it means "offering" or something "brought near" to the altar. Simply put, a Qorban includes anything that is brought near and offered up to Elohim. A sacrifice, however, is not the same.
    The Hebrew word for "sacrifice" is זבח (zevach) which is derived from the verb zavach (same spelling, different vowels). So simply put, a "sacrifice" is merely something that has been slaughtered. While QorbZavach is a verb meaning "to slaughter" and zevach is a noun meaning "that which is slaughtered."an (offering) refers to any offering in general, zevach (sacrifice) refers specifically to an animal that has been slaughtered. This includes an animal killed simply for food, not necessarily as a sacrifice to YHWH."
    I wanted to clarify this as it "stumbled" me when I first read through this.
    Baruch Hashem.

    • Angela B

      Suejean, am a little confused with your explanation. In your third paragraph, you say that zevach (slaughtering for food) can be done anywhere and later, as per your fifth paragraph, you seem to contradict that.

    • Doreen Poole

      I understand your explaination, a sacrifice is not to be done outside the Temple, for man cannot preform the act. A priest has been appointed by Hashem, ordained, set apart for the offering. Hunting is a different story, this is not attoining for sin or making a vow. Thank you.

  • Sheila

    According to the Apologetics Study Bible, this ordinance was to prevent sacrifices to the goat demon who inhabited the wilderness. Offering sacrifices to demons was a flagrant breach of the 1st commandment. God had provided blood as a covering for sin—- therefore the blood makes atonement for the human soul —- so the blood of slaughtered animals was not to be misused especially by drinking it This was sometimes involved in pagan rituals totally forbidden to God’s people.

    • Diana Brown

      Truly spoken! Believers must always seek to worship the Lord, your God, in the manner He proscribes. When we are faithful to obey, He is faithful to see and be with us for obeying!

  • Melinda

    My understanding is that one is done for a sacrifice and must be done according to the laws of God as stated in the torah. Killing an animal for food is done outside the tabernacle by a normal man not a high priest. The blood then is not considered holy a sacrifice to a Holy God.

    • Diana Brown

      I agree with all of these responses. In the 1 and 2 Temple, God’s Order was to be followed to the last jot and tittle. We are thankful for the faithfulness of God’s Chosen People. Chosen to bring Light to the Nations, preserve the Word so deception would not win. Thankyou!

  • Ken

    As I understand it, if the animals were killed in or outside the camp for food, then it is OK. But if the animals were killed outside and used as an offering outside the tabernacle, then they have deviated from the Torah and they are following the practice of the other nations. The blood represents LIFE and only the priest can properly dash or sprinkle the blood upon the altar. If the common man offers the sacrifice, then the blood has none effect and the animal has died for no reason.

  • Marilyn

    I think the animals were to be slaughtered in specific ways and according to ritual. I don’t know that it could be guaranteed that the ritual was done as God commanded if it were done outside the Tabernacle.

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