“For the life of the flesh is in the blood.”
Forty-five hundred years ago after the Great Flood, Yahweh told this to Noah when He gave Noah permission to eat meat (Genesis 9:3-4).
Thirty-five hundred years ago Moses recorded these words of Yahweh for the Israelites (Leviticus 17:10-14; Deuteronomy 12:23).
Yet this Biblical truth was either ignored or not understood by men of science and medicine for thousands of years. Eventually, around 1620 the English physician and creationist scientist William Harvey (1578–1657) discovered the circulation of blood pumped throughout the body by the heart. Blood maintains and supports life by carrying nutrients to every cell of the body and taking away wastes. In this way the life of the flesh is in the blood.
Even as few as 200 years ago this Biblical truth was ignored when it was common to try to heal people by draining their blood. Barbers, identified by their red-and-white-striped poles, were the usual operators. Bloodletting is an ancient practice, going back well over 2,000 years to ancient Greece.
A famous example of bloodletting is George Washington. He was bled to death by his doctors in 1799 at age 67 after catching a cold from inspecting his farm in a snowstorm. The average adult body contains 160-170 ounces of blood. Yet over the course of 10 hours preceding Washington’s death, 125 ounces of his blood were withdrawn.
(Vadakan, Vibul V. “A Physician Looks At The Death of Washington“. The Early America Review. Winter–Spring 2005.)
When you lose your blood, you lose your life, in accord with the Biblical truth, “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Too bad President Washington’s doctors paid no attention to this. Moses made this very clear by recording these words of Yahweh 3500 years ago:
“And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.’ So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’” (Leviticus 17:10-14 NASB)
Yahweh instructed the Israelites not to eat blood because blood is special, as the life of flesh is in its blood. This is why the Bible teaches that man is redeemed and forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13-14). Scripture tells us that the Messiah “made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20) and that we are now “justified by His blood” (Romans 5:9). The blood of Jesus, His life, was the price for man’s salvation.
The truth about blood being the life of flesh has been in the Bible since around 1500 BC, yet science is late to the table on understanding this.
Blood is fundamental for life. It reaches every cell via an extensive microscopic capillary network. The combined length end-to-end of an adult’s blood vessels is about 100,000 miles. This is about four times the circumference of the earth.
The heart pumps about 100,000 times a day to send blood with oxygen, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients through the capillaries to each cell and carry away waste products. It pumps about 80,000,000 gallons in a lifetime. What man-made pump could deliver this level of performance? Is it reasonable to believe it could have “evolved” as a result of accidental mutations?
Your liver chemically monitors and adjusts components of your blood moment by moment within very narrow limits to keep it in proper condition for its work. For example, blood acidity is constantly adjusted to within one part in a hundred million.
Blood is a great gift from the Creator to sustain life. It performs a multitude of highly complex functions. For example, one of its very complicated functions is clotting. The blood clots upon exposure outside the body, but remains liquid inside the body when things are working properly. The clotting cascade (a series of chemical processes in which each step of the process depends on the preceding one) consists of over 100 steps, with more being discovered regularly. The removal or failure of only one of the steps or components would dynamite the entire cascade. A clot would not form and blood would run out of the body ending in loss of life.
How could a mindless, error-driven, evolutionary process develop the clotting cascade when it has to be fully functioning from the beginning to work at all? Did evolution develop the entire circulatory-respiratory heart-lung system which has to work perfectly from the beginning to sustain life? The answer is obvious. A super-intelligent Creator put man together working perfectly in finished form in the beginning.
Questions to Ponder
- Can you think of other practical implications of “the life is in the blood“?
- What are other examples of “science in the Bible” that precede knowledge by scientists?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
This begins a Science in the Bible series of blog posts. While there is much science connected with Creation and Noah’s Flood, this series will focus on lesser known scientific truths that were alluded to in the Bible long before they were known to scientists.
Read the sequel:
2. Science in the Bible – Ocean Currents
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
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(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday January 11, 2017 A.D.
Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)