In Genesis chapter 9 it states this.

3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man

So does this mean that god gave permission to kill any animal for food? But after that he states not to eat flesh that has blood and life. Does that mean you should not eat the animal alive or not eat it at all? If so doesn't that contradict my first question?

And what does he mean in verse 5 and 6?



3 Answers 3


I often find it helpful to read multiple translations if something doesn't make sense right away. From the ESV translation:

4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

So to answer your question, he means you should not eat meat with the blood still in it. (A rather good tip even to this day)

In the end of verse 5 and into verse six, he goes on to talk about bloodshed but for humankind. He warns that violence incites violence.

  • Okay I understand. You sound not eat it alive. What about my first question? According to verse 3 has good given permission to kill fodd fo animals? Jul 25, 2017 at 0:03
  • @AkilaRandil Yes it does. Again from the ESV translation, 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. So as we have permission to eat plants, we have the permission to eat animals.
    – user20546
    Jul 25, 2017 at 15:30

Consider the entire context of diet described in Genesis. It's written that God specified that the diet of humans consist of green, seed-bearing vegetation and seed-bearing fruit (with one exception). Even the animals were vegetarian.

After the fall, it's written that God changed the diet of the sentient type of animal called "serpent" from vegetarian to dirt. Incidentally, there's only one animal that I know of that crawls on its belly and truly eats dirt--the earthworm.

Then after the flood, it's written that God gave humans "everything that moves" to eat as food (but with one exception having to do with blood). The prohibition also seems to include animals that were strangled or died on their own. The distinction between clean and unclean animals at the time of the flood seems to have been specified as what would be acceptable sacrifices to God.

Then, skipping over manna as described in Exodus, in Leviticus 11, it's written that God restricts the type of animal meat permitted to the Children of Israel to clean animals only.

Dietary changes and some related controversies continue in the New Testament.

  • ‏כל רמש אשר הוא חי

    • All roaming which it-lives
  • לכם יהיה לאכלה

    • to ya'll shall be for food
  • כירק עשב נתתי לכם את כל

    • as/like green vegetation I give ya'll all
  • ‏אך בשר בנפשו דמו לא תאכלו

    • however meat with its breath (of?) its blood shall you not eat

You should never form any viable doctrine out of the English or Greek translations. They are defective. Or any translation.

{נפשו דמו} = its breath of its blood.

{נפש} is often translated "soul". But I refrain from that translation because "soul" is a pagan term/concept. By pagan, I mean any ideology foreign to the Hebrew text of the Bible, frequently attempted to be injected into the comprehension of the Hebrew text to alias as to appear as though that concept is indeed found in the Hebrew text of the Bible.

Aliasing = Signal/Information engineering term for situations where a signal/message masquerades as another by sharing the same footprint.

However, {נפש} breath in Hebrew is widely accepted to mean the "state of being alive" whether you call it by the pagan term "soul" or any other translation.

So, {נפשו דמו} would mean its blood of breathing-life.

  1. You are mixing up the two words {חי} living and {נפש} breathing-life.

  2. You are not giving the language any chance to describe animals = roaming that lives.

    The Hebrew text says, animals (aka roaming stuffs that lives), you may eat.

  3. Except that, don't eat their meat when they are still with their blood of their life.

Simple as that. No need to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

  • Don't be mistaken that I denigrate "pagan". Pagan is good stuffs, not found in the Hebrew text of the Bible. A lot of Christian concepts are pagan to the Hebrew text, and they are good stuffs.
    – Cynthia
    Jul 25, 2017 at 8:32
  • נפשו דמו cannot mean "its breath of its blood". Basic Hebrew grammar.
    – fdb
    Jul 25, 2017 at 19:38
  • While I disagree with you on some points, I gave you a +1. As you probably know, Torah was the original part of the Tanakh that was translated into Greek by (most likely) 72 highly qualified Jewish elders who were chosen by the high priest Eleazar in Jerusalem somewhere around 350 BCE, and who used the Hebrew text that they had at the time. I wouldn't underrate its significance.
    – Dieter
    Jul 25, 2017 at 22:16

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