- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and Answers - other
- Published on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 11:05
Are we to Suppose that the injunction to abstain from blood (Genesis 9:4) holds good to day?
If not, how quote verse 6 to justify capital punishment? Or does 1 Timothy 4:1-5 allow us to eat all things even blood, so long as we give thanIs?
Sometimes we have to complain that the divisions of the chapters in our Bible cut the sense, but in this case the division between Genesis 8: and 9, though it may seem awkward, is really useful to the right understanjing of the passage. God’s covenant with man, guaranteeing him from a recurrence of the deluge “while the earth remaineth,” with an uninterrupted continuance of harvests, seasons and diurnal changes is contained in the two closing verses of ch. 8. This is known as the Noachian Covenant. In Genesis 9:1-7 we have God’s blessing on Noah, accompanied by (1) a promise, V. 2 (2) a provision, V. 3; (3) a prohibition, v. and (4) a penalty, VV. 5, 6, in which penalty was embodied the entrusting of govermuent into the hands of men.All this, however, was apart from the covenant, which is unconditional, and which is brought up again in vy. 9-12, thus: verse 9—its universality; 9-I I—its perpetuity, V. x2—its token, the rainbow.
As for the prohibition and penalty attaching to the blessing, we should not know whether they were perpetually binding on man or the children of God, apart from the rest of the Scriptures. As far as I can see, the penalty attaching to murder has never been abrogated and is binding to-day as a governmental act, on rulers to whom God has entrusted the sword for executing justice on evil doers, especially murderers. As for the prohibition to eat blood, it held, as we know, under the law (see Leviticus 17:10-11), and in the Acts period Acts 15:20), but has, I believe, been abrogated for us, not only by such a Scripture as the questioner quotes; but by such a verse as 1 Corinthians 10:25: “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no questions for conscience sake.” The heathen knew nothing of slaughtering after the Jewish method, so as to be sure of draining off the blood of the animal.
According to this verse, therefore, a believer might eat whatsoever was put before him, asking no question for conscience sake. Then it does not say, “But if any say unto you, This has the blood in it, eat not,” for that question we may infer was of no importance, but rather, “This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not” (v. 28). It is perfectly clear then that the injunction not to eat blood does not apply to Christians to-day. ‘rhe prohibition in Acts 15 really has nothing to set against this, as things were then in a transition state, and the Corinthian Epistle had not been written.