That which died of itself, or that which was torn - Because, in both cases, the blood was retained in the body; hence the council at Jerusalem forbade things strangled as well as blood, because in such beasts the blood was coagulated in the veins and arteries. See Acts 15:28-29. Every thing considered, surely there is as little propriety in eating of blood as there is necessity to do it. They who will do otherwise must bear their iniquity. If blood eating be no offense, then they have no sin to answer for. The principal subjects of this chapter have been already so amply handled in the notes, that there is no need to add any thing by way of reflection or improvement.
This law appears to be grounded on the fact that the body of an animal killed by a wild beast, or which has died of itself, still retains a great portion of its blood. The importance ascribed to this law in later times may be seen in 1 Samuel 14:32-35; Ezekiel 4:14; Ezekiel 44:31, and still more in the apostolic decision regarding “things strangled,” which are pointedly connected with blood Acts 15:20.
Only such animals could be used for food as were in good condition. No creature that was torn, that had died of itself, or from which the blood had not been carefully drained, could be used as food. MH 312.1
By departing from the plan divinely appointed for their diet, the Israelites suffered great loss. They desired a flesh diet, and they reaped its results. They did not reach God's ideal of character or fulfill His purpose. The Lord “gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Psalm 106:15. They valued the earthly above the spiritual, and the sacred pre-eminence which was His purpose for them they did not attain. MH 312.2Read in context »