Tag Archives: blood

RH Negative Blood: Alien-Nephilim-Hybrid Nonsense

A couple months ago my PEERANORMAL Podcast focused on this modern myth. Here’s a pretty thorough-but-readable essay on the RH nephilim silliness. It’s very informative.

I guess at a time when people are willing to believe the earth is actually flat and all ISS / NASA photographs of the earth are fakes it shouldn’t surprise me that science ignorance would lead to this absurdity. But maybe it’s that I just don’t want to believe people can be this gullible. I can’t laugh at something so troubling.

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PEERANORMAL Podcast Episode 09: Is Rh-Negative Blood Proof of Alien or Nephilim Hybrids?

Short answer: No.

For why, listen to the episode and read its associated source material.

Description: The idea that people with Rh-Negative blood indicates alien or nephilim ancestry is on the rise in fringe internet communities and websites. In this episode our panel is joined by someone with medical training (MD) who is familiar with blood typing and the genetics behind Rh-negative blood. The episode discusses the nature of Rh-negative blood, its genetic explanation, and speculations about other traits associated with Rh-negative blood.

Guest host: Mike’s pastor, Dax Swanson, an MD who practiced medicine for six years and did post-MD research on blood and immunology.

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Did Yahweh Demand Blood for a True Relationship with Him? Part 2

[Editor’s note: Ronn Johnson’s post will remind those who listened to the Naked Bible Podcast series on Leviticus of the discussion of kaphar, how it referred to purgation — not from moral sins, but from ritual impurity. Consequently, it’s application to the work of Christ is a bit different than is commonly supposed. –MSH].


 

My last post ended with the recommendation that ancient atonement ritual and Yahweh’s forgiveness for sins functioned as independent ideas in the OT. Though atonement and forgiveness sometimes took place together, one could happen without the other. I would now like to think about the use of blood in Israelite ritual, and what it may mean to our understanding of the character of God.

In Israelite Religions: An Archeological and Biblical Survey (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007) Richard Hess defends the idea that, among our available options, there may be no better way to determine the meaning of Israelite sacrifices than to look across Israel’s borders. We can safely presume, for example, that Israelites were intimately knowledgeable of the Egyptian cultic practices they had witnessed (and with which they likely had participated) for many years, as well as those rituals used by their Canaanite neighbors. Mesopotamian texts continue to provide us with numerous parallel patterns for sacrifice and cultic ritual. This sharing of information may be why Israelite ritual hinted toward what amounts to a pagan notion—that Yahweh, a formless being, liked food (Lev. 3:11, 16; 21:6, 17, 21-22; 22:25; Num 28:2, 24; Ezek 16:19; 44:7; Mal 1:7), and possibly enjoyed set meal times (Exod 29:38-45; Lev 6:20). And is it only coincidental that Yahweh enjoyed the “sweet aroma” of burnt flesh (cp. Gen. 8:21; Exod 29:18, 25, 41; Lev 2:12; 3:16; 8:21, 28; 23:13; 26:31, etc.) like other deities did (Ezek 6:13; 16:19; 20:28)? I would agree with Hess that these parallels are due to borrowed cultural practice, even to the point of Yahweh describing himself in terms that all cultures would expect. It is in this sense, then, that I would agree that Yahweh “liked” blood. But here is where we are expected to be careful. Yahweh was not like the pagan gods in how blood functioned within the process of ritual.

Nothing But the Blood

These similarities of ritual between Israel and the ANE also apply to the use of blood. The blood of slain animals was regularly associated with cleansing, consecration, and ritual purification in all cultures. Leviticus, we acknowledge, appeals to the use of blood with regularity: the person who had been healed from a skin disease was to be anointed with blood and oil to signal that he was ritually clean (Lev 14:6–20); the main altar and the priests were consecrated with blood (8:14–15, 23–30); during a burnt offering, blood was to be splashed all around the altar, and even upon the people (Lev 1; cp. Exod 24:6, 8); during the ordination of Aaron and priests, blood was applied to the high priest’s right ear, thumb, and big toe (Lev 3; 8:23-24); during a sin offering, blood was to be sprinkled seven times in front of the curtain of the sanctuary and put on the horns of the incense altar (Lev 4; 6:24-30); the guilt offering found blood being splashed all around the altar (7:1-10).

So what was it about blood that made it seemingly so important to Israelite worship? We are not sure. Blood obviously plays a major role in sustaining life, so its importance may have developed naturally in relation to its biological uniqueness. Unlike almost everything else, it is something to be appreciated once-per-lifetime. Keep it, or lose life. God told Noah that animal blood was special, nigh unto life itself (Gen 9:4, “its life, its blood”), and that blood also stood for the life of the human who was made to physically image the image-less God (9:6-7). So maybe blood was simply special and everyone knew it. If so, the careful manipulation of blood (do we splash it? daub it? drip it? what if it touches my second toe? etc.) may be a distraction we subconsciously bring to these texts. As a matter of emphasis, we are probably being told what to cleanse the mercy seat with—presuming that the object needed ritualistic cleansing with something—and blood was simply chosen for its peculiar, unrivaled nature. Maybe they didn’t splash water or calf’s milk on the altar because these liquids were just not special enough.

So let’s imagine the scene in Leviticus 16 as the priest sprinkled some of the blood of the sin offering upon the kapporeth (lid of the ark) for the purification of sins. It is fair to ask the obvious question: What was actually happening at the moment of “atonement” (16:16) here? Was the priest using the animal and/or its death to appease the deity’s anger toward his personal sin or that of the nation? If so, why would a deity be pacified by blood? What does it say about the deity’s character if this was the case? Was magic even at work, with the deity being manipulated by something outside of his/her control? Or, switching gears completely, was the priest using blood to celebrate that he was able to communicate with his deity in spite of the sinfulness for which he and others were already guilty? Or was it being used as a symbol of something else? Since the pervasive call of Israelite religion was to avoid issues related to witchcraft and created spiritual powers (Deut 18:9-14), I would recommend away from attributing some kind of magical power to the fluid itself. Beyond this, however, we have no answers in the text itself.

Some have believed that Leviticus 17:11 signals Yahweh’s appreciation of blood: “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” (NASB). While we may sense in this passage that God is attributing some kind of potential power or capability to blood itself, or of the requirement to use blood, we need to pull ourselves back from making this actual claim. Of interest is the verb “given,” a translation of natan. While this common word (over 2000 uses in the OT) can refer to the action of “giving” or “supplying” something (Gen 24:35, “he has given him sheep and cattle”), the word is general enough to include the passive notion of “letting” or “granting” or “yielding” or “allowing” as well (cp. Exod 10:25, “You [Pharoah] must also let us [natan] have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice them to the LORD our God”). What is distinctly missing from Lev 17:11 is the command to use blood as though it is the only means of atonement. It was “given” to Israel, which need not carry the force of necessity or requirement. (The relatively common occurrence of “bloodless” atonements will be described below.) Blood may have been allowed to be used by Israel, as other nations did, in ritual practice. What cannot be argued in this passage is that Yahweh here invented, within some kind of cultural vacuum, the requirement to use blood when Israel performed atonement ritual.

The larger context of Leviticus 17 may provide help in determining what was at stake, however. Moses is here explaining the prohibition against sacrificing away from the central tabernacle. Yahweh’s desire for singular worship is noted by his insistence that sacrificial blood is not taken to the wrong location: “Any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, and does not bring it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to offer it to the LORD, that man also shall be cut off from his people” (Lev 17:8-9; cp. Deut 12:4-6). Bringing the animal and its blood to God’s house was a clear way of avoiding the problem of “offer[ing] their sacrifices to se’irim (most probably goat demons) (v.7). It therefore appears safe to interpret Yahweh’s insistence upon the presentation of blood as being subsumed within his jealousy of worship: “You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you, for the LORD your God is a jealous God among you” (Deut 6:14-15). This solidarity of worship was particularly concerned with where Israel would perform its sacrifices:

“Whatever man of the house of Israel kills an ox or lamb or goat in the camp or who kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to offer an offering to the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man. And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and burn the fat for a sweet aroma to the LORD.’” (Lev 17:3-4)

“You shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses out of all your tribes . . . . There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes ….” (Deut 2:5-6)

 

In review, then, Yahweh allowed (my recommended meaning for natan in Lev 17:11) Israel the use of animal blood in the exercise of their sacrificial ritual. This was because blood was already being used in neighboring cultures, as were arks and temples and priests. Other than this, there was nothing special about blood per se. It could be poured, daubed, drained, squeezed, sprinkled, or splashed on altars and ark lids because it carried symbolic value to the ancient world and to Israel. It was much like saying “this place needs to be clean before my deity can be here.” As a natural substance it bore unique significance as the literal difference between life and death. Of utmost importance, however, was where that blood was to be brought during sacrifice. And the discussion of where will now naturally give way to the question of who and to whom. My thoughts below will try to demonstrate that atonement was only to be enjoyed by the sincere Yahweh-loyalist. The mistake will be to think that atonement was a means, or an invitation, to enter into this loyalty itself.

Was Passover an example of bloody atonement?

While the association between atonement and Passover does not surface immediately in the Torah—there is only a singular mention during this week-long celebration that a goat was slain “to make atonement” for Israel (Num 28:22)—a brief word on the bloody nature of Passover is necessary since the NT develops such a close association between the death of Jesus and Passover (cp. 1 Cor 5:7, “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us”). The question before us is straightforward: Was Passover an example of a bloody atonement? Our answer will set the stage for how we interpret Jesus’ atonement.

I propose that the long-term significance of Passover was what happened later that evening, after the sacrifice, and what followed in the years to come. To follow the path that Passover takes into the future is to look past the bloody doorpost and toward the memory of God’s redemption of Israel from slavery. Blood played an important role in the story, of course (“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are “ [Exod 12:13]); but this blood was not shed for sin, nor to assuage God’s wrath. It was quite literally a “sign” for protection over certain houses within enemy territory (12:13, 23). The annual Passover celebration was not destined to repeat the splattering of lamb’s blood (cp. 1 Cor 5:8) particularly because this was not the crisis moment of the original event. The bloody “sign” signified that something else was about to take place. So in no sense did the Passover blood atone for Israel’s sin, nor bring Israel into fellowship with Yahweh. Passover solved, instead, the potential destruction of Israel at the hand of its own God. It provided the necessary signal to the angelic killer to move past one house and enter another. The question to ask, coming below, is whether Christ’s death was meant to announce a similar redemptive sign.

Bloodless Atonement

Blood wasn’t always to be considered a good thing. As a bodily fluid it could defile and pollute, if even symbolically. “Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it” (Num 35:33; cp. Ps 106:38). Cain shed Abel’s blood, which then “cried out” to God from the ground for vengeance (Gen 4:10). Hence murder, which resulted in “bloodguilt,” would have to be settled in favor of the innocent victim: “And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man” (Gen 9:5).

It is helpful to remember, too, that atonement ritual could took place in the absence of blood. The most famous example of bloodless atonement in the OT was the yearly ritual described in Leviticus 16. Two goats were chosen on the Day of Atonement, and distinguished by lots. The high priest sent one goat into the wilderness (“to Azazel,” Lev. 16:8, 10, 26, NET) to illustrate the carrying of sins and defilement away from the Israelite camp (“to make atonement” for the camp, presumably, 16:10). The other goat was sacrificed at the altar within the camp, its blood being sprinkled in very specific ways within the tabernacle and upon its furniture.

The meaning of this ritual seems easy to grasp. In celebrative fashion the nation was supplied a picture of what the removal of sin would look like if indeed sin were able to be physically removed. The joint symbolism of a dying and living animal (literally called “the day of atonements [pl.],” yom hakkippurim) was memorable if not a little horrific. The blood of the first animal represented its loss of life (“the life of the flesh is in the blood,” Lev 17:11), and the goat-gone-missing meant much the same. In both cases an animal died, and in both cases national uncleanness was symbolically removed, if only for the calendar year. The “goat of removal” (“for Azazel,” 16:22) pictured a non-bloody version of atonement, employing two enjoyable symbols, at least for the humans: Israelite sin was symbolically transferred to the goat (“Aaron shall lay both hands on the head of the goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat,” Lev 16:21), and the goat carried these sins out of the camp (“the goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land/Azazel,” v. 22). The details of both atonement stories are not meant to distract our attention from the main point at hand: to live within Yahweh’s covenant included release from sin, even if only symbolically.

Beyond the wilderness goat story, we find numerous non-bloody atonements or cleansings in the OT that should be on our radar when trying to think our way through atonement theory. Listed here are the OT passages in which kaphar is used without the mention of blood:

Gen 32:20: Also say, “Behold, your servant Jacob is behind us.” For he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.”

Exod 21:30: If there is imposed on him a sum of money, then he shall pay to redeem his life, whatever is imposed on him.

Exod 30:12: When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them.

Exod 30:15-16: The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves. And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves.”

Lev 5:11-13: But if his means are insufficient for two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then for his offering for that which he has sinned, he shall bring the tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall not put oil on it or place incense on it, for it is a sin offering. He shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it as its memorial portion and offer it up in smoke on the altar, with the offerings of the LORD by fire: it is a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin which he has committed from one of these, and it will be forgiven him; then the rest shall become the priest’s, like the grain offering.

Lev 14:18: The rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed. So the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD. Then the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. Afterward he shall kill the burnt offering. And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

Lev 14:53: Then he shall let the living bird loose outside the city in the open field, and make atonement for the house, and it shall be clean.

Lev 16:10: But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.

Num 16:46-47: So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people.

Num 31:50: Therefore we have brought an offering for the LORD, what every man found of ornaments of gold: armlets and bracelets and signet rings and earrings and necklaces, to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD.”

1 Sam 12:3: Here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you.”

2 Sam 21:3: Therefore David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of the LORD?” (hanging! in v. 6)

Isa 6:7: And [the seraphim] touched my mouth with it, and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.”

Isa 27:9: Therefore by this the iniquity of Jacob will be covered; and this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: when he makes all the stones of the altar like chalkstones that are beaten to dust, wooden images and incense altars shall not stand.

Jer 18:23: Yet, LORD, You know all their counsel which is against me, to slay me. Provide no atonement for their iniquity, nor blot out their sin from Your sight; but let them be overthrown before You. Deal thus with them in the time of Your anger.

Ezek 16:60-63: “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both your older and your younger; and I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant. Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I provide you an atonement for all that you have done,” the Lord GOD declares.

Amos 5:12: For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: afflicting the just and taking bribes; diverting the poor from justice at the gate.

Psa 49:7: None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.

Psa 65:3: Iniquities prevail against me; as for our transgressions, you will provide atonement for them.

Psa 78:38: But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath.

Psa 79:9: Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, for Your name’s sake!

Job 33:24: Then He is gracious to him, and says, “Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom.”

Job 36:18: Because there is wrath, beware lest He take you away with one blow; for a large ransom would not help you avoid it.

Prov 6:35: He will accept no recompense, nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.

Prov 13:8: The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, but the poor does not hear rebuke.

Prov 16:6: In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.

Prov 16:14: As messengers of death is the king’s wrath, but a wise man will appease it.

Prov 21:18: The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright.

Dan 9:24: “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.

2 Chr 30:18-20: For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good LORD provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.” So the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

 

With the above passages in mind I would like to offer these four points in conclusion:

  1. We find it difficult to translate kaphar with any real consistency, but surely this is a good thing. The connotative importance of kaphar is found in its appeal to the restored position of something which was in need of repair. Kaphar fixes things, even people. With or without blood it can deal with almost anything, including such things as mold or uncleanness (Lev 12:7; 14:18-20; 15:15, 30) or unsolved murder (Num 6:11; Deut 21:8) or inadvertent sin (Num 15:25). It can appear in scenes of physical ritual or in celebratory poetry.
  2. In noticing where atonement can occur without blood, we must conclude that the exception proves the rule: blood is not necessary for atonement. We can even sense in the verses immediately above that it is relatively easy to attain fellowship with Yahweh without the use of blood. Leviticus 5 provides the most striking example of this. Blood is used in vv. 1-10 for the trespass offering but it is not used in vv. 11-13 for the same offering. Blood is not the common denominator in this offering, then, and in one sense is not essentially a matter of requirement. In another example, kaphar is used in the death of an animal, with no mention of blood, and even implied lack of blood (Num 8:12, 19, 21). And in yet another example, kaphar is used in the death of an animal (“break the neck of the bull”) where blood is the distasteful item within the story (“Provide atonement, O LORD, for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel.’ And atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood [of the unsolved murder victim]” Deut 21:8).
  3. Of the 123 uses of kaphar in the OT, not one example applies to a person who is considered to be living outside the Abrahamic covenant. Turning this into a positive, atonement of any kind (bloody or non-bloody) was considered to be a privilege of the person-in-covenant. Atonement “ritual” should be better understood as an atonement “celebration,” therefore, illustrating the provision of cleansing/covering already offered within covenantal grace. Even the Passover was to be celebrated without Gentiles present (Exod 12:43-47). It is also important to note that in the event of bringing a Rahab or Ruth into the Abrahamic covenant, at no time was the mechanics of atonement used for making this entrance possible. As could be expected, then, kaphar was never made available for those outside the covenant (Num 35:31; 1 Sam 3:14; Isa 22:14; Amos 5:12 [used for “bribery,” apparently referring to the Israelites’ misuse of kaphar when worshipping other deities (cp. Prov 6:35)]).
  4. Observing the OT teaching on sacrifice and atonement is to notice the theological movement which came with it. I would recommend the following picture developing over time: God’s people were taught that sacrifice was an available cultural mechanism within a larger issue of fellowship between God and man. Sacrifice (even for “atonement,” Exod. 30:15; Lev. 14:53; Num. 31:50) was not to be thought of in terms of payments made, but in terms of relationship restored and maintained through sincere repentance, faith, and fidelity as symbolized in the ritual. In this sense sacrifice was ineffective to restore fellowship when not accompanied by inward commitment, and unnecessary when this commitment was present (2 Chron. 30:18-20; Dan. 6:10). This was because God was free to love those whom he so chose to love (Exod. 33:19; Deut. 7:7-11). Any appeal to the mechanism of sacrifice without inward commitment could even be considered blasphemous (Deut. 10:17; cp. Luke 23:39-43) on the basis that it assumed that God’s character was based on purely legal (and not personal) terms. The bloodlessness of many of the Psalms (e.g., Ps 91) was intended to progressively wire faithful Israelites toward the permanent understanding that blood was not necessary for gaining and maintaining a proper relationship to Yahweh. Most vital, of course, was settling the issue of monotheism, which necessarily brought with it the necessity for faithfulness to Yahweh. We could then presume that there would be a pattern of moving from literal use of blood (Lev. 17) to the recommended non-need of blood at all (Ps 51; Isa 1; Hosea 6; Amos 5; Dan 9; Jonah 4; 2 Chron 30). In the end, the greatest themes of Yahweh’s character would purposely leave blood out of the picture. He would be praised not for his fine use of blood, but for his character that operates outside the need for physical manipulatives of any kind (Deut. 7:9-10; Ps 136:1-2).

 

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Did Yahweh Demand Blood for a True Relationship with Him? Were the Other Gods More Merciful to their People?

[Editorial, MSH: Listeners to the Naked Bible podcast series on Leviticus will recall that nearly all the sacrificial language of Leviticus had to do with disinfecting or protecting sacred space from impurity – the blood was not applied to the one bringing sacrifice for any sort of moral cleansing. While the effect was God allowed people access of his presence once the rituals were performed – thereby suggesting things were “okay” between God and the offerer and the priest – a loving relationship with Yahweh was based on “believing loyalty” on the part of the Israelite and God’s own faithfulness to show mercy. It’s a good context for Dr. Johnson’s paper, so as to discern what he actually wants us to think about.]

 

This post is based on a paper written for the Evangelical Theological Society several years ago (“Bloodless Atonement in Israelite Religion and its Implications for Justification in NT Theology”). Please don’t be put off by the title. The real question I was thinking about as I wrote the paper never came out in the paper itself: So if other gods exist, how might they have compared to Yahweh with regard to blood and atonement? I hope you can enjoy the paper in this light. I have reworked it a bit, and divided it into several posts for sake of length.

The OT concept of animal sacrifice, especially bloody sacrifice, is usually considered the necessary backdrop for understanding the NT themes of justification and salvation. In this paper I will try to show that Israel’s religion did not set out to teach this on the front end, and that the larger biblical story will not defend those themes on the back end. In its place I will contend that the Yahweh/human relationship has always been primarily dependent upon fidelity (“faith”) and not upon blood sacrifice, nor even atonement (ritual purification).

I understand that those last three words are likely the most difficult to defend. It is a scary thing to challenge our modern understanding of atonement. The paradigm of Christ “dying for my sins” as a “substitute payment for my debt,” with the gospel even being described as “accepting this payment as my own” is pervasive to the point of not being considered one paradigm among other viable options. I opened a book just yesterday (which had nothing to do with the atonement) and found this sentence in the opening paragraph of the introduction: “They [my friends who will likely disagree with some points in this book] strongly affirm the complete inerrancy of the Bible, the Trinity, the full deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ for our sins, and dozens upon dozens of other important doctrinal convictions.” There you have it, I guess. To question substitutionary atonement or the way it’s talked about is to challenge the Trinity and the deity of Christ. I believe otherwise, and hope that this paper will show why.

Let’s Make a Sacrifice

Scholars disagree about the meaning of sacrifice in the ancient world. Considering all the sacrifices and offerings mentioned in the OT, there exists no clear indication that any of them were meant to be interpreted in terms of vicarious penalty-removal (I would recommend here Bradley McLean, “The Absence of Atoning Sacrifice in Paul’s Soteriology,” NTS 38 [1992], 532-42). Our biggest problem in forming a theology of sacrifice, quite frankly, is simply lack of information—mixed with our attendant predispositions of what we think the sacrificer was thinking at the moment of sacrifice. So let’s summarize what we do not know. We have no certain evidence that Israelite religion taught that sin and its guilt could be literally transferred to an animal (I say “literally” in the sense that even the goat sent out of the camp in Leviticus 16 was himself not to be considered a morally sinful goat). Imagine how interesting a world that would be, by the way, if sin could be transferred from a person to an animal: I commit a serious sin, grab Fido from his nap under the table, head out the back door, and . . . my sin is gone. But no Israelite thought like this. Maybe pagans did. But not Israelites. Add to this the fact that poor people could sacrifice food (no blood there) in place of animals (Lev 5:11-13), and we are forced into realizing that unless we are willing to see flour inheriting sin, we probably should not do the same for an animal. Then there are the sacrifices which were explicitly for a purpose other than that of solving sin (e.g., Abraham/Isaac, Passover, the peace offering, etc.), and we are left holding an empty bag if we were presuming that all sacrifices were primarily about sin. Most were not.

So why did Israelites sacrifice? We recall numerous examples of the many patriarchs and leaders who built altars with regularity, whether Noah (Gen. 8:20), Abraham (Gen 12:6 ff.; 13:18; 22:9), Isaac (Gen 26:25), Jacob (Gen 33:20; 35:1-7), Moses (Exod 17:15), Joshua (Josh 8:30 f.; cf. Deut 27:5), Gideon (Jdg 6:24 ff.), or David (2 Sam 24:18-25). From all indications, these individuals were simply following cultural norm, whether living before or after Moses. Archaeological evidence tells of Canaanite altars within Israel from the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. forward, and we suspect this tells the story of all nations long before that time. All ancient cultures viewed the physical world as created and lorded over by deities, and everyone lived and worked under the assumption that the gods expected some sort of penitential rituals on the part of worshipping humans. Bloodletting was a common means of gaining a god’s attention. There was even the shared notion that the gods fed upon human blood and food. As Daniel Block has pointed out, most of the categories of sacrifice found in Leviticus 1-5 are attested to outside of Israel, most notably zebah (sacrifice, sacrificial meals), selamim (peace/well-being offerings), ola (whole burnt offerings), and mincha (gift, grain/cereal offerings) offerings (“Other Religions in Old Testament Theology,” in Biblical Faith and Other Religions: An Evangelical Assessment [Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004] 43-78). So let’s follow through on this possibility: could Yahweh have allowed for sacrifice as a way of expressing religious devotion, as opposed to demanding it? I think yes, with some evidence to follow.

Triangulating between Sin, Forgiveness, and Atonement

Israelite religion taught that it was a serious thing to deviate from the expressed will and desire of Yahweh. This is what it meant to sin, at least in the behavioral sense. The seriousness of sin was expressed in many ways in the OT through the use of numerous Hebrew words, many times carrying curious illustrations. Consider these word pictures:

Sin is a thick cloud cover over one’s head: Lamentations 3:44-50

Sin is having dirty lips, the gateway to one’s soul: Isaiah 6:5 (cp. Prov. 6:12-14)

Sin is being a rebellious animal: Jeremiah 31:18

Sin is a demonic animal waiting to attack: Genesis 4:7

Sin is having a heart full of illegitimate desire: Ezekiel 20:16

Sin is breaking a promise between partners: Nehemiah 1:7

Sin is walking backward and not forward: Jeremiah 7:24

Sin is wandering away from someone: Jeremiah 14:10

Sin is turning of one’s back on someone: 2 Chronicles 29:6

Sin is being left alone to fend for oneself: Lamentations 1

Sin is being a rebellious child/spouse: Nehemiah 1:8-9; 9:33; Jeremiah 3:20, 22

Sin is being dirty: Psalm 51:4

Sin is a dirty garment, or a stain on a garment: Job 14:4; Isa 1:18; 64:6; Zech 3:4

Sin is a disease: Leviticus 16:21; Psalm 41:4; Isaiah 1:6

Sin is being blind: Isaiah 59:9

Sin is being shamed: Psalm 69:5-7

Sin is being ritualistically naive: Lev 22:14; 2 Sam. 6:6-7; Ezek 45:20

Sin is an inadvertent mistake: Leviticus 4:20; Numbers 6:9-11

Sin is a natural bodily discharge: Leviticus 15:16-24

Sin is a mildew or allergen: Leviticus 14:53

Sin is expressing human weakness as opposed to divine strength: Job 40:1-10

Sin is a burden to be borne: Exod 10:17; Lev 5:1; 16:21; 24:15; Ps 103:12

Sin is breaking of a law, necessitating penalty: Psalm 25:11

Sin is missing a target: Judges 20:16; Job 5:24; Proverbs 19:2

Sin is a master who pays cruel wages: Genesis 4:12-13

Sin is a debt or an account in delinquency: Isa 40:1-2

This list demonstrates how sin and transgression could be viewed from various (even competing) angles and levels of severity in the OT. It also establishes why sacrifices in any culture would have developed such rich meaning. If the heinousness of sin could be illustrated with flair, the attending rituals needed to keep pace with corresponding solutions. Yet, as we know from many stories in the OT, sin was not necessarily solved through sacrifice alone (Exod 23:21; Deut 29:20; Josh 24:19; 2 Kgs 24:4; Isa 22:14; Jer 5:27; Lam 3:42; Hos 1:6). Yahweh always held the right to refuse forgiveness, with or without an attending sacrifice.

So how was sin to be solved, if not by sacrifice? Here is where I believe we have been nearly hypnotized by associating the words forgiveness and sacrifice together (Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7; 19:22; Num 15:25-26, etc.) as though one brings the other. But—snap out of it!—there are far more examples in the OT of forgiveness being granted outside of sacrifice (e.g., Exod 10:17-18; 32:32; 34:7; Num 14:18-19; 30:5, 8; 1 Kgs 8:30, 34, 36, 39, 50; 2 Chr 6:21, 25, 27, 30, 39; 7:14; Ps 78:38; 86:5; 130:4; Isa 6:7). In the end, I believe it can be consistently argued that any necessary relationship between personal restorative forgiveness (where a person becomes “right” with God after being “wrong” with God, let’s say) and cultic sacrifice in the OT is unintentional. The text is not trying to literally tie atonement and forgiveness together as though the first causes, or necessarily results in, the second. The mature Yahwist understood that he could be on good terms with his god through loyalty alone (Exod 34:7; Num 14:18-20; Neh 9:7; Ps 130:4; Mic 7:18; Dan 9:9), an idea to be defended at length below. This included the concept of forgiveness, though we need to be careful what that means. There is no adequate Hebrew word which stands in for the English word “forgive.” This is why forgiveness as a concept is usually described by means of illustration:

Forgiveness is to remove something: Psalm 103:12; Zechariah 3:9

Forgiveness is to cast something into the sea: Micah 7:9

Forgiveness is to go away like a cloud: Isaiah 44:22

Forgiveness is to put something behind one’s back: Isaiah 38:17

Forgiveness is to cover something: Psalm 32:1

Forgiveness is to put something put out of sight: Psalm 51:9

Forgiveness is to blot out something: Jeremiah 18:23

Forgiveness is to wash something: Psalm 51:7; Isaiah 4:4

Forgiveness is to cleanse something: Leviticus 16:30; Numbers 8:21; Ps 51:2

Forgiveness is to receive a clean conscience: Psalm 51:10

Forgiveness is to remove blood: Deuteronomy 21:8

Forgiveness is to whiten something: Isaiah 1:18

Forgiveness is to send rain on parched land: 1 Kings 8:36

Forgiveness is to not remember: Jeremiah 31:34

Forgiveness is to hide one’s face from something: Psalm 51:9

Forgiveness is to heal from disease: Psalm 32:1-5; 103:3; Isaiah 53:5

Forgiveness is to freely show grace, mercy, and love: Exodus 34:6; Neh. 9:17

Forgiveness is to annul a decision: Numbers 30:12

Forgiveness is to stop something from burning: Deuteronomy 29:20

Forgiveness is to listen with approval: 1 Kings 8:30, 36

Forgiveness honors a person’s heart, or intentions: 2 Chronicles 6:30

It makes sense, then, to hear that God would at times not forgive. It’s a privilege, and not a right, to be “right” or proper with Yahweh. This teaching was intended to both remind the Israelite of the ineffectiveness of bare ritualism and the privilege of being forgiven for sins committed while living within God’s gracious covenant. The mention of the covenant, of course, reminds us of another important point: Yahweh never offered general forgiveness of sins to all people of all nations for all stock offenses. In fact, we could tighten that sentence up a bit more: Yahweh promised that the sins of the nations would be held against them provided they remained idolaters. And it is precisely here where atonement becomes important in OT theology.

There are only twelve occasions in the OT NASB which combine the words forgive and atone in the same verse (we will use English for now). Consider the audience in each, or to whom Moses is speaking:

Lev 4:20: He shall also do with the bull just as he did with the bull of the sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.

Lev 4:26: All its fat he shall offer up in smoke on the altar as in the case of the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin, and he will be forgiven.

Lev 4:31: Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat was removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma to the LORD. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.

Lev 4:35: Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar, on the offerings by fire to the LORD. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he will be forgiven.

Lev 5:10: The second he shall then prepare as a burnt offering according to the ordinance. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it will be forgiven him.

Lev 5:13: So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin which he has committed from one of these, and it will be forgiven him; then the rest shall become the priest’s, like the grain offering.

Lev 5:16: He shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it will be forgiven him.

Lev 5:18: He is then to bring to the priest a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his error in which he sinned unintentionally and did not know it, and it will be forgiven him.

Lev 6:7: And the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he will be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to incur guilt.

Lev 19:22: The priest shall also make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the LORD for his sin which he has committed, and the sin which he has committed will be forgiven him.

Num 15:25: Then the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and they will be forgiven; for it was an error, and they have brought their offering, an offering by fire to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their error.

Num 15:28: The priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be forgiven.

This list demonstrates both the cultic nature of the association between atonement and forgiveness (paired only in Leviticus and Numbers), as well as the intended audience for this association. It was the faithful Israelite—not the neighboring Moabite or Ammonite or Egyptian—who was told that he could celebrate forgiveness in spite of his recurring episodes of behavioral sinfulness. It went without much saying—though Yahweh said it repeatedly—that a pagan who worshipped other gods could not expect such merciful treatment (Exod 23:21; Deut 29:20; Josh 24:19; 2 Kgs 24:4; Isa 22:14; Jer 5:27; Lam 3:42; Hos 1:6). And the same could be said for the disloyal Israelite as well:

Exodus 34:6-7:Then Yahweh passed by in front of Moses and proclaimed, “Yahweh, Yahweh el, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives [nasa, carry, lift] iniquity [avon, guilt], transgression [peshah, offense, act of disloyalty] and sin [chatah, error, miss]; yet he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

Jeremiah 31:34: “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares Yahweh, “for I will forgive [salach] their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Nehemiah 9:17: They refused to listen, and did not remember your wondrous deeds which you had performed among them; so they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are an elohim [deity] of forgiveness [salach], gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness; and You did not forsake them.

Daniel 9:9: To Yahweh our elohim belong compassion and forgiveness [salach], but we have rebelled against him.

Psalm 86:5:

“For You, Yahweh, are good, and ready to forgive [salach],

and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

Psalm 130:4:

“But there is forgiveness [salach] with you,

that you may be feared [yare, frighten, reverence].

Psalm 32:

“How blessed is he whose

transgression [peshah, offense, act of disloyalty]

is forgiven [nasa, carry, lift],

whose sin [chatah, error, miss, cp. Numbers 19:9]

is covered [kasah, conceal, keep from being known]

How blessed is the man to whom

Yahweh does not impute [chasav, take into account]

iniquity [avon, guilt],

and in whose spirit there is no deceit [remiyya, fraud, deception]”

When I kept silent, my body ached

through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;

My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.

I acknowledged [yada, to know, understand]

my sin [chatah, error, miss] to you,

and my iniquity [avon, guilt]

I did not hide [kasah, conceal, keep from being known]

I said, ‘I will confess [yadah, to praise]

my transgressions [peshah, offense, act of disloyalty] to Yahweh’;

and you forgave [nasa, carry, lift]

the iniquity [avon, guilt]

of my sin [chatah, error, miss]

Therefore, let everyone who is faithful [chasid cp. Ps 145:17]

pray to you in a time when you may be found;

Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place; you preserve me from trouble;

You surround me with songs of deliverance.”

In the interest of space allow me to summarize my point without going into further detail. While I admit that there is a ritualistic or forensic aspect to atonement/forgiveness in the OT (think Leviticus), there is no post-Numbers 15 mention of atonement which speaks of a person becoming relationally right with Yahweh. I think that’s huge, even if talking statistics alone. Think of it this way: juridical forgiveness will account for (so go the illustrations above) a clean record in leaving the courtroom, a burden relieved from one’s back, or the cleansing of a bodily discharge. But penalty or burden or fluid will never primarily be in play when dealing with any text that describes being in a right relationship to Yahweh (e.g., “I will give them a heart to know me, for I am Yahweh; and they will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with their whole heart,” Jer 24:7; cp. 2:8; 4:22; 9:3, 6; 12:3; 22:16; 31:34). We would think that if atonement played an important role in relating to Yahweh it would get major press somewhere in the text. But the silence is deafening. And we have yet to step into the New Testament, where the word atonement is missing altogether.1 In my next post I will try to explain why the absence of atonement language in the NT makes predictable theological sense.

 

  1. The Greek words rendered occasionally in some English translations as “atone” or “atonement” are the verb hilaskomai and the related noun hilastērion. The former can (and often is, depending on the translation) rendered “forgive, be merciful.” It occurs twice (Luke 18:13 – “God be merciful to be a sinner”; Heb 2:17 – “to make propitiation”; “to forgive, show mercy.”) The latter noun also occurs twice (Rom 3:25 – God put forward Christ “as a propitiation” – an act of mercy or love? – Heb 9:5, a reference to the “mercy seat”).

Read More

Did Yahweh Demand Blood for a True Relationship with Him? Were the Other Gods More Merciful to their People?

[Editorial, MSH: Listeners to the Naked Bible podcast series on Leviticus will recall that nearly all the sacrificial language of Leviticus had to do with disinfecting or protecting sacred space from impurity – the blood was not applied to the one bringing sacrifice for any sort of moral cleansing. While the effect was God allowed people access of his presence once the rituals were performed – thereby suggesting things were “okay” between God and the offerer and the priest – a loving relationship with Yahweh was based on “believing loyalty” on the part of the Israelite and God’s own faithfulness to show mercy. It’s a good context for Dr. Johnson’s paper, so as to discern what he actually wants us to think about.]

 

This post is based on a paper written for the Evangelical Theological Society several years ago (“Bloodless Atonement in Israelite Religion and its Implications for Justification in NT Theology”). Please don’t be put off by the title. The real question I was thinking about as I wrote the paper never came out in the paper itself: So if other gods exist, how might they have compared to Yahweh with regard to blood and atonement? I hope you can enjoy the paper in this light. I have reworked it a bit, and divided it into several posts for sake of length.

The OT concept of animal sacrifice, especially bloody sacrifice, is usually considered the necessary backdrop for understanding the NT themes of justification and salvation. In this paper I will try to show that Israel’s religion did not set out to teach this on the front end, and that the larger biblical story will not defend those themes on the back end. In its place I will contend that the Yahweh/human relationship has always been primarily dependent upon fidelity (“faith”) and not upon blood sacrifice, nor even atonement (ritual purification).

I understand that those last three words are likely the most difficult to defend. It is a scary thing to challenge our modern understanding of atonement. The paradigm of Christ “dying for my sins” as a “substitute payment for my debt,” with the gospel even being described as “accepting this payment as my own” is pervasive to the point of not being considered one paradigm among other viable options. I opened a book just yesterday (which had nothing to do with the atonement) and found this sentence in the opening paragraph of the introduction: “They [my friends who will likely disagree with some points in this book] strongly affirm the complete inerrancy of the Bible, the Trinity, the full deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ for our sins, and dozens upon dozens of other important doctrinal convictions.” There you have it, I guess. To question substitutionary atonement or the way it’s talked about is to challenge the Trinity and the deity of Christ. I believe otherwise, and hope that this paper will show why.

Let’s Make a Sacrifice

Scholars disagree about the meaning of sacrifice in the ancient world. Considering all the sacrifices and offerings mentioned in the OT, there exists no clear indication that any of them were meant to be interpreted in terms of vicarious penalty-removal (I would recommend here Bradley McLean, “The Absence of Atoning Sacrifice in Paul’s Soteriology,” NTS 38 [1992], 532-42). Our biggest problem in forming a theology of sacrifice, quite frankly, is simply lack of information—mixed with our attendant predispositions of what we think the sacrificer was thinking at the moment of sacrifice. So let’s summarize what we do not know. We have no certain evidence that Israelite religion taught that sin and its guilt could be literally transferred to an animal (I say “literally” in the sense that even the goat sent out of the camp in Leviticus 16 was himself not to be considered a morally sinful goat). Imagine how interesting a world that would be, by the way, if sin could be transferred from a person to an animal: I commit a serious sin, grab Fido from his nap under the table, head out the back door, and . . . my sin is gone. But no Israelite thought like this. Maybe pagans did. But not Israelites. Add to this the fact that poor people could sacrifice food (no blood there) in place of animals (Lev 5:11-13), and we are forced into realizing that unless we are willing to see flour inheriting sin, we probably should not do the same for an animal. Then there are the sacrifices which were explicitly for a purpose other than that of solving sin (e.g., Abraham/Isaac, Passover, the peace offering, etc.), and we are left holding an empty bag if we were presuming that all sacrifices were primarily about sin. Most were not.

So why did Israelites sacrifice? We recall numerous examples of the many patriarchs and leaders who built altars with regularity, whether Noah (Gen. 8:20), Abraham (Gen 12:6 ff.; 13:18; 22:9), Isaac (Gen 26:25), Jacob (Gen 33:20; 35:1-7), Moses (Exod 17:15), Joshua (Josh 8:30 f.; cf. Deut 27:5), Gideon (Jdg 6:24 ff.), or David (2 Sam 24:18-25). From all indications, these individuals were simply following cultural norm, whether living before or after Moses. Archaeological evidence tells of Canaanite altars within Israel from the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. forward, and we suspect this tells the story of all nations long before that time. All ancient cultures viewed the physical world as created and lorded over by deities, and everyone lived and worked under the assumption that the gods expected some sort of penitential rituals on the part of worshipping humans. Bloodletting was a common means of gaining a god’s attention. There was even the shared notion that the gods fed upon human blood and food. As Daniel Block has pointed out, most of the categories of sacrifice found in Leviticus 1-5 are attested to outside of Israel, most notably zebah (sacrifice, sacrificial meals), selamim (peace/well-being offerings), ola (whole burnt offerings), and mincha (gift, grain/cereal offerings) offerings (“Other Religions in Old Testament Theology,” in Biblical Faith and Other Religions: An Evangelical Assessment [Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004] 43-78). So let’s follow through on this possibility: could Yahweh have allowed for sacrifice as a way of expressing religious devotion, as opposed to demanding it? I think yes, with some evidence to follow.

Triangulating between Sin, Forgiveness, and Atonement

Israelite religion taught that it was a serious thing to deviate from the expressed will and desire of Yahweh. This is what it meant to sin, at least in the behavioral sense. The seriousness of sin was expressed in many ways in the OT through the use of numerous Hebrew words, many times carrying curious illustrations. Consider these word pictures:

Sin is a thick cloud cover over one’s head: Lamentations 3:44-50

Sin is having dirty lips, the gateway to one’s soul: Isaiah 6:5 (cp. Prov. 6:12-14)

Sin is being a rebellious animal: Jeremiah 31:18

Sin is a demonic animal waiting to attack: Genesis 4:7

Sin is having a heart full of illegitimate desire: Ezekiel 20:16

Sin is breaking a promise between partners: Nehemiah 1:7

Sin is walking backward and not forward: Jeremiah 7:24

Sin is wandering away from someone: Jeremiah 14:10

Sin is turning of one’s back on someone: 2 Chronicles 29:6

Sin is being left alone to fend for oneself: Lamentations 1

Sin is being a rebellious child/spouse: Nehemiah 1:8-9; 9:33; Jeremiah 3:20, 22

Sin is being dirty: Psalm 51:4

Sin is a dirty garment, or a stain on a garment: Job 14:4; Isa 1:18; 64:6; Zech 3:4

Sin is a disease: Leviticus 16:21; Psalm 41:4; Isaiah 1:6

Sin is being blind: Isaiah 59:9

Sin is being shamed: Psalm 69:5-7

Sin is being ritualistically naive: Lev 22:14; 2 Sam. 6:6-7; Ezek 45:20

Sin is an inadvertent mistake: Leviticus 4:20; Numbers 6:9-11

Sin is a natural bodily discharge: Leviticus 15:16-24

Sin is a mildew or allergen: Leviticus 14:53

Sin is expressing human weakness as opposed to divine strength: Job 40:1-10

Sin is a burden to be borne: Exod 10:17; Lev 5:1; 16:21; 24:15; Ps 103:12

Sin is breaking of a law, necessitating penalty: Psalm 25:11

Sin is missing a target: Judges 20:16; Job 5:24; Proverbs 19:2

Sin is a master who pays cruel wages: Genesis 4:12-13

Sin is a debt or an account in delinquency: Isa 40:1-2

This list demonstrates how sin and transgression could be viewed from various (even competing) angles and levels of severity in the OT. It also establishes why sacrifices in any culture would have developed such rich meaning. If the heinousness of sin could be illustrated with flair, the attending rituals needed to keep pace with corresponding solutions. Yet, as we know from many stories in the OT, sin was not necessarily solved through sacrifice alone (Exod 23:21; Deut 29:20; Josh 24:19; 2 Kgs 24:4; Isa 22:14; Jer 5:27; Lam 3:42; Hos 1:6). Yahweh always held the right to refuse forgiveness, with or without an attending sacrifice.

So how was sin to be solved, if not by sacrifice? Here is where I believe we have been nearly hypnotized by associating the words forgiveness and sacrifice together (Lev 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:10, 13, 16, 18; 6:7; 19:22; Num 15:25-26, etc.) as though one brings the other. But—snap out of it!—there are far more examples in the OT of forgiveness being granted outside of sacrifice (e.g., Exod 10:17-18; 32:32; 34:7; Num 14:18-19; 30:5, 8; 1 Kgs 8:30, 34, 36, 39, 50; 2 Chr 6:21, 25, 27, 30, 39; 7:14; Ps 78:38; 86:5; 130:4; Isa 6:7). In the end, I believe it can be consistently argued that any necessary relationship between personal restorative forgiveness (where a person becomes “right” with God after being “wrong” with God, let’s say) and cultic sacrifice in the OT is unintentional. The text is not trying to literally tie atonement and forgiveness together as though the first causes, or necessarily results in, the second. The mature Yahwist understood that he could be on good terms with his god through loyalty alone (Exod 34:7; Num 14:18-20; Neh 9:7; Ps 130:4; Mic 7:18; Dan 9:9), an idea to be defended at length below. This included the concept of forgiveness, though we need to be careful what that means. There is no adequate Hebrew word which stands in for the English word “forgive.” This is why forgiveness as a concept is usually described by means of illustration:

Forgiveness is to remove something: Psalm 103:12; Zechariah 3:9

Forgiveness is to cast something into the sea: Micah 7:9

Forgiveness is to go away like a cloud: Isaiah 44:22

Forgiveness is to put something behind one’s back: Isaiah 38:17

Forgiveness is to cover something: Psalm 32:1

Forgiveness is to put something put out of sight: Psalm 51:9

Forgiveness is to blot out something: Jeremiah 18:23

Forgiveness is to wash something: Psalm 51:7; Isaiah 4:4

Forgiveness is to cleanse something: Leviticus 16:30; Numbers 8:21; Ps 51:2

Forgiveness is to receive a clean conscience: Psalm 51:10

Forgiveness is to remove blood: Deuteronomy 21:8

Forgiveness is to whiten something: Isaiah 1:18

Forgiveness is to send rain on parched land: 1 Kings 8:36

Forgiveness is to not remember: Jeremiah 31:34

Forgiveness is to hide one’s face from something: Psalm 51:9

Forgiveness is to heal from disease: Psalm 32:1-5; 103:3; Isaiah 53:5

Forgiveness is to freely show grace, mercy, and love: Exodus 34:6; Neh. 9:17

Forgiveness is to annul a decision: Numbers 30:12

Forgiveness is to stop something from burning: Deuteronomy 29:20

Forgiveness is to listen with approval: 1 Kings 8:30, 36

Forgiveness honors a person’s heart, or intentions: 2 Chronicles 6:30

It makes sense, then, to hear that God would at times not forgive. It’s a privilege, and not a right, to be “right” or proper with Yahweh. This teaching was intended to both remind the Israelite of the ineffectiveness of bare ritualism and the privilege of being forgiven for sins committed while living within God’s gracious covenant. The mention of the covenant, of course, reminds us of another important point: Yahweh never offered general forgiveness of sins to all people of all nations for all stock offenses. In fact, we could tighten that sentence up a bit more: Yahweh promised that the sins of the nations would be held against them provided they remained idolaters. And it is precisely here where atonement becomes important in OT theology.

There are only twelve occasions in the OT NASB which combine the words forgive and atone in the same verse (we will use English for now). Consider the audience in each, or to whom Moses is speaking:

Lev 4:20: He shall also do with the bull just as he did with the bull of the sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.

Lev 4:26: All its fat he shall offer up in smoke on the altar as in the case of the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin, and he will be forgiven.

Lev 4:31: Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat was removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma to the LORD. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.

Lev 4:35: Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar, on the offerings by fire to the LORD. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he will be forgiven.

Lev 5:10: The second he shall then prepare as a burnt offering according to the ordinance. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it will be forgiven him.

Lev 5:13: So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin which he has committed from one of these, and it will be forgiven him; then the rest shall become the priest’s, like the grain offering.

Lev 5:16: He shall make restitution for that which he has sinned against the holy thing, and shall add to it a fifth part of it and give it to the priest. The priest shall then make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and it will be forgiven him.

Lev 5:18: He is then to bring to the priest a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his error in which he sinned unintentionally and did not know it, and it will be forgiven him.

Lev 6:7: And the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he will be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to incur guilt.

Lev 19:22: The priest shall also make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the LORD for his sin which he has committed, and the sin which he has committed will be forgiven him.

Num 15:25: Then the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and they will be forgiven; for it was an error, and they have brought their offering, an offering by fire to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their error.

Num 15:28: The priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be forgiven.

This list demonstrates both the cultic nature of the association between atonement and forgiveness (paired only in Leviticus and Numbers), as well as the intended audience for this association. It was the faithful Israelite—not the neighboring Moabite or Ammonite or Egyptian—who was told that he could celebrate forgiveness in spite of his recurring episodes of behavioral sinfulness. It went without much saying—though Yahweh said it repeatedly—that a pagan who worshipped other gods could not expect such merciful treatment (Exod 23:21; Deut 29:20; Josh 24:19; 2 Kgs 24:4; Isa 22:14; Jer 5:27; Lam 3:42; Hos 1:6). And the same could be said for the disloyal Israelite as well:

Exodus 34:6-7:Then Yahweh passed by in front of Moses and proclaimed, “Yahweh, Yahweh el, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives [nasa, carry, lift] iniquity [avon, guilt], transgression [peshah, offense, act of disloyalty] and sin [chatah, error, miss]; yet he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

Jeremiah 31:34: “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares Yahweh, “for I will forgive [salach] their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Nehemiah 9:17: They refused to listen, and did not remember your wondrous deeds which you had performed among them; so they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are an elohim [deity] of forgiveness [salach], gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness; and You did not forsake them.

Daniel 9:9: To Yahweh our elohim belong compassion and forgiveness [salach], but we have rebelled against him.

Psalm 86:5:

“For You, Yahweh, are good, and ready to forgive [salach],

and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

Psalm 130:4:

“But there is forgiveness [salach] with you,

that you may be feared [yare, frighten, reverence].

Psalm 32:

“How blessed is he whose

transgression [peshah, offense, act of disloyalty]

is forgiven [nasa, carry, lift],

whose sin [chatah, error, miss, cp. Numbers 19:9]

is covered [kasah, conceal, keep from being known]

How blessed is the man to whom

Yahweh does not impute [chasav, take into account]

iniquity [avon, guilt],

and in whose spirit there is no deceit [remiyya, fraud, deception]”

When I kept silent, my body ached

through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;

My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.

I acknowledged [yada, to know, understand]

my sin [chatah, error, miss] to you,

and my iniquity [avon, guilt]

I did not hide [kasah, conceal, keep from being known]

I said, ‘I will confess [yadah, to praise]

my transgressions [peshah, offense, act of disloyalty] to Yahweh’;

and you forgave [nasa, carry, lift]

the iniquity [avon, guilt]

of my sin [chatah, error, miss]

Therefore, let everyone who is faithful [chasid cp. Ps 145:17]

pray to you in a time when you may be found;

Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place; you preserve me from trouble;

You surround me with songs of deliverance.”

In the interest of space allow me to summarize my point without going into further detail. While I admit that there is a ritualistic or forensic aspect to atonement/forgiveness in the OT (think Leviticus), there is no post-Numbers 15 mention of atonement which speaks of a person becoming relationally right with Yahweh. I think that’s huge, even if talking statistics alone. Think of it this way: juridical forgiveness will account for (so go the illustrations above) a clean record in leaving the courtroom, a burden relieved from one’s back, or the cleansing of a bodily discharge. But penalty or burden or fluid will never primarily be in play when dealing with any text that describes being in a right relationship to Yahweh (e.g., “I will give them a heart to know me, for I am Yahweh; and they will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with their whole heart,” Jer 24:7; cp. 2:8; 4:22; 9:3, 6; 12:3; 22:16; 31:34). We would think that if atonement played an important role in relating to Yahweh it would get major press somewhere in the text. But the silence is deafening. And we have yet to step into the New Testament, where the word atonement is missing altogether.1 In my next post I will try to explain why the absence of atonement language in the NT makes predictable theological sense.

 

  1. The Greek words rendered occasionally in some English translations as “atone” or “atonement” are the verb hilaskomai and the related noun hilastērion. The former can (and often is, depending on the translation) rendered “forgive, be merciful.” It occurs twice (Luke 18:13 – “God be merciful to be a sinner”; Heb 2:17 – “to make propitiation”; “to forgive, show mercy.”) The latter noun also occurs twice (Rom 3:25 – God put forward Christ “as a propitiation” – an act of mercy or love? – Heb 9:5, a reference to the “mercy seat”).

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Cattle Mutilations; It’s always been about the blood!

Trinidad cattle mutilation

When I was researching 19th Century cattle mutilation cases for my previous Alexander Hamilton blog, I came across an article from 1984 Fate Magazine about a UFO sighting and dead cow case from 1896 in Howell, Missouri. The article stated; The family first watched strange lights slowly descend upon their ranch from the night sky, eventually turning into a solid craft. The craft then hovered over their barn and pasture area where the cows were kept. The family ran into the house extremely frightened, and the youngest daughter exclaimed in the article, “This was the longest night of their lives. “

The next day when checking the herd, three cows were found dead. After the father examined the carcasses, he saw they were completely void of blood. Upon further examination he found puncture wounds on all three. There was no mention in the article the animals had any other type of external damage like we see in today’s mutilations.

Were the puncture marks created to extract all the blood from the animals? An average cow weighing from 900 to 1100 pounds has 4.5 gallons of blood, so roughly over 13 gallons of blood were taken from those animals.

Over the years of my research and personal field investigations of animal mutilations, there’s been one dominating factor in all cases, total lack of blood. The surgical cut wounds found on the animals have been all over the animal’s carcasses, and in some cases, complete destruction of the animal occurred leaving only an attached head, spine, and legs.

calf mutilation

I’ve also noticed most areas of the surgical cuts have been in locations where animal glands are present. Around the mouth, the anal area, the sex organ area, the milk sack area, so one would think, ah ha! The interest is with the glands, which hasn’t been totally ruled out yet.

gland cattle mutilation

But what if it’s all a ruse? A diversionary tactic? Stay with me on this…

Throughout the years most veterinarians who looked at animal mute cases state that the surgical-like cuts could be done by scavengers, some veterinarians disagree, stating the cuts are too precise for animals to do, so it must be human involvement. All the mutilation cases investigated by law enforcement have found no evidence of a predator killing the animal, so they classify these cases as Animal Cruelty which can only be done by humans.

The mystery has always been the death of the animal, contradiction mostly arises in the cuts or lesions. Regardless, animals are being killed and there’s never any evidence to whom is responsible and how they are doing it.

What if?

What if the perpetrator is not interested in animal parts at all, but only the blood?

What if the unusual damage to the animal is a diversionary attempt to throw off the ranchers, veterinarians, and law enforcement?

This is starting to make some sense.

First, the unknown perpetrator picks up the animal from a grazing area, takes it to a second undisclosed location and drains the blood and performs the surgical-like incisions, then brings back the animal near the original area it was taken from. Why?

Why is the animal always brought back? Why not keep the carcass or discard it elsewhere? These are questions I’m always asked. The Alexander Hamilton case had me thinking about this. His case stated animal parts were found 3 miles away in another rancher’s field. That’s not the normal modus operandi of animal mutilations.

The unknown perpetrator could be bringing the animal back for two reasons:

  1. If an animal or animals are missing from the herd, the rancher will search for them. If the rancher can’t find the animals on his property, then the search widens to adjoining properties. If the animals still can’t be found, then the possibility of poaching is a concern, and local law enforcement is summoned. If other nearby ranches also report missing animals, then law enforcement goes into extreme action. Local Law Enforcement will increase their investigations by re-deploying officers in specific areas where animals were lost, they’ll run random stake-outs, and perform multiple follow-ups; In other words, become quite noticeable in the areas of the missing animals. This would be a major concern for the perpetrators considering future mutilations.

If you follow my investigation reports, then you’ll know the same ranchers generally get hit multiple times.

  1. Now if the animal or animals are returned to the general area where they were picked up, and this is always the case, then there would be no missing animals. If the animals were returned with unusual cuts let’s say, trying to mimic scavenger damage, then hopefully the rancher would write off the death as a natural occurrence. Which I learned has been the case for previous animal deaths on ranches after interviewing the ranchers themselves.

Where the perpetrators fail with this tactic.

  1. Some of the unusual cuts and surgical-like incisions on the animal are not similar to natural scavenger damage and way out in left field in some cases and just don’t make sense.
  2. Some animals are dropped or placed from great heights leaving internal skeletal compound fractures which cannot be explained unless the predator or scavenger is a “Fricken” T-Rex! Which leaves a scary unknown; Who is doing this and why?
  3. Some animals are laying in a round ground depression anywhere from 16 to 22 feet in diameter. When the soil is analyzed, the nutrients or the CEC’s were different compared to the test soil sample. The soil is less soluble near the animal then away from it. Also, some mutilation cases unusual ground anomalies have been found nearby.

So, are other types of animals being mutilated as a diversionary tactic to take the focus off of cows? Or are other types of animal’s blood also important to the perpetrator.

Besides cows; horses, dogs, sheep, goats, coyotes and rabbits have been reported in similar mutilated cases. Native Americans also have stories from their ancestors talking about strange deaths seen with wolves and buffalo, so this is not a new phenomenon by any means.

The dominating factor in any mutilation case is always the lack of blood. So what is so important about blood, let’s say cow blood? What could bovine hemoglobin or bovine serum be used for? Here are some examples of what cow blood is being used for:

June 6th, 1989: Bovine serum albumin (BSA) can replace patient serum as a protein source in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) program.
(excerpts from paper) Benadiva CA, Kuczynski-Brown B, Maguire TG, Mastoianni L Jr, Flickinger GL
Alternate protein sources have been suggested to replace the commonly used cord or patient serum for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. During an 11-month period 127 patients treated for in vitro fertilization had either their serum (N = 71) or bovine serum albumin (BSA; N = 56) used as the protein source in the insemination and growth media.

May 22nd, 1998: Blood Substitute Could Save Lives.
(excerpts from DOD News) By Douglas J. Gillert American Forces Press Service
Imagine a soldier shot in the stomach, blood streaming from his torn gut. Can medics get him to a field hospital for a transfusion in time to save him? Perhaps. Probably not. Approved trials under way at Brooke Army Medical Center here and 10 other non-DoD laboratories could greatly decrease deaths from such catastrophic blood loss. Chief of trauma services, Army Dr. (Maj.) Stephen Flaherty, oversees a protocol that converts cow blood for human use. The end product is a purified blood substitute called Biopure.

April 19th, 2001: Blood product from cattle wins approval for use in humans.
(excerpts from article) By Corie Lok, Nature.com
An animal-derived blood substitute has been approved for use in humans in South Africa. Hemopure, an oxygen-carrying compound derived from bovine hemoglobin, has been given the go-ahead for treating acute anemia and for use during surgery.

If you don’t think our government doesn’t experiment on US citizens, then read this one!

December 15th, 2006: U.S. Navy backs plan for blood substitute.
(excerpts from article Associated Press)
Washington – A blood substitute the military wants to test on civilian trauma victims is urgently needed to save lives on the battlefield in places like Iraq, a Navy official told federal advisers Thursday. The Navy wants to test the product, derived from cow blood, on about 1,100 trauma victims in emergency situations. It proposes doing so without obtaining the customary informed consent of the patients in advance. The substitute blood, called Hemopure, would be given on the way to the hospital to patients ages 18 to 69 who have lost dangerous amounts of blood.

May 4th, 2011: Cow’s blood saves life of crash victim in world’s first procedure.
(excerpts from article) By David Gardner for MailOnLine
Doctors have saved the life of a woman car crash victim with the first ever use of cow’s blood. Tamara Coakley’s life was saved after a synthetic blood was created using cow plasma and then transfused into her; Tamara Coakley, 33, rejected a life-saving conventional blood transfusion because of her Jehovah’s Witness faith despite being close to death.

Summary: So Bovine Hemoglobin can definitely be used for humans, and in some cases like mentioned above, maybe without our consent. So who or whom is using animal mutilation blood and what for? Some researchers say Aliens are using it for food and some say for hybrid generation, but the bottom line is; The denominating factor in all mutilation cases is always the lack of blood.

Now we need to learn why, and who’s doing this!

The post Cattle Mutilations; It’s always been about the blood! appeared first on Chuck Zukowski UFO/Paranormal Investigations.

Read More

Cattle Mutilations; It’s always been about the blood!

Trinidad cattle mutilation

When I was researching 19th Century cattle mutilation cases for my previous Alexander Hamilton blog, I came across an article from 1984 Fate Magazine about a UFO sighting and dead cow case from 1896 in Howell, Missouri. The article stated; The family first watched strange lights slowly descend upon their ranch from the night sky, eventually turning into a solid craft. The craft then hovered over their barn and pasture area where the cows were kept. The family ran into the house extremely frightened, and the youngest daughter exclaimed in the article, “This was the longest night of their lives. “

The next day when checking the herd, three cows were found dead. After the father examined the carcasses, he saw they were completely void of blood. Upon further examination he found puncture wounds on all three. There was no mention in the article the animals had any other type of external damage like we see in today’s mutilations.

Were the puncture marks created to extract all the blood from the animals? An average cow weighing from 900 to 1100 pounds has 4.5 gallons of blood, so roughly over 13 gallons of blood were taken from those animals.

Over the years of my research and personal field investigations of animal mutilations, there’s been one dominating factor in all cases, total lack of blood. The surgical cut wounds found on the animals have been all over the animal’s carcasses, and in some cases, complete destruction of the animal occurred leaving only an attached head, spine, and legs.

calf mutilation

I’ve also noticed most areas of the surgical cuts have been in locations where animal glands are present. Around the mouth, the anal area, the sex organ area, the milk sack area, so one would think, ah ha! The interest is with the glands, which hasn’t been totally ruled out yet.

gland cattle mutilation

But what if it’s all a ruse? A diversionary tactic? Stay with me on this…

Throughout the years most veterinarians who looked at animal mute cases state that the surgical-like cuts could be done by scavengers, some veterinarians disagree, stating the cuts are too precise for animals to do, so it must be human involvement. All the mutilation cases investigated by law enforcement have found no evidence of a predator killing the animal, so they classify these cases as Animal Cruelty which can only be done by humans.

The mystery has always been the death of the animal, contradiction mostly arises in the cuts or lesions. Regardless, animals are being killed and there’s never any evidence to whom is responsible and how they are doing it.

What if?

What if the perpetrator is not interested in animal parts at all, but only the blood?

What if the unusual damage to the animal is a diversionary attempt to throw off the ranchers, veterinarians, and law enforcement?

This is starting to make some sense.

First, the unknown perpetrator picks up the animal from a grazing area, takes it to a second undisclosed location and drains the blood and performs the surgical-like incisions, then brings back the animal near the original area it was taken from. Why?

Why is the animal always brought back? Why not keep the carcass or discard it elsewhere? These are questions I’m always asked. The Alexander Hamilton case had me thinking about this. His case stated animal parts were found 3 miles away in another rancher’s field. That’s not the normal modus operandi of animal mutilations.

The unknown perpetrator could be bringing the animal back for two reasons:

  1. If an animal or animals are missing from the herd, the rancher will search for them. If the rancher can’t find the animals on his property, then the search widens to adjoining properties. If the animals still can’t be found, then the possibility of poaching is a concern, and local law enforcement is summoned. If other nearby ranches also report missing animals, then law enforcement goes into extreme action. Local Law Enforcement will increase their investigations by re-deploying officers in specific areas where animals were lost, they’ll run random stake-outs, and perform multiple follow-ups; In other words, become quite noticeable in the areas of the missing animals. This would be a major concern for the perpetrators considering future mutilations.

If you follow my investigation reports, then you’ll know the same ranchers generally get hit multiple times.

  1. Now if the animal or animals are returned to the general area where they were picked up, and this is always the case, then there would be no missing animals. If the animals were returned with unusual cuts let’s say, trying to mimic scavenger damage, then hopefully the rancher would write off the death as a natural occurrence. Which I learned has been the case for previous animal deaths on ranches after interviewing the ranchers themselves.

Where the perpetrators fail with this tactic.

  1. Some of the unusual cuts and surgical-like incisions on the animal are not similar to natural scavenger damage and way out in left field in some cases and just don’t make sense.
  2. Some animals are dropped or placed from great heights leaving internal skeletal compound fractures which cannot be explained unless the predator or scavenger is a “Fricken” T-Rex! Which leaves a scary unknown; Who is doing this and why?
  3. Some animals are laying in a round ground depression anywhere from 16 to 22 feet in diameter. When the soil is analyzed, the nutrients or the CEC’s were different compared to the test soil sample. The soil is less soluble near the animal then away from it. Also, some mutilation cases unusual ground anomalies have been found nearby.

So, are other types of animals being mutilated as a diversionary tactic to take the focus off of cows? Or are other types of animal’s blood also important to the perpetrator.

Besides cows; horses, dogs, sheep, goats, coyotes and rabbits have been reported in similar mutilated cases. Native Americans also have stories from their ancestors talking about strange deaths seen with wolves and buffalo, so this is not a new phenomenon by any means.

The dominating factor in any mutilation case is always the lack of blood. So what is so important about blood, let’s say cow blood? What could bovine hemoglobin or bovine serum be used for? Here are some examples of what cow blood is being used for:

June 6th, 1989: Bovine serum albumin (BSA) can replace patient serum as a protein source in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) program.
(excerpts from paper) Benadiva CA, Kuczynski-Brown B, Maguire TG, Mastoianni L Jr, Flickinger GL
Alternate protein sources have been suggested to replace the commonly used cord or patient serum for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. During an 11-month period 127 patients treated for in vitro fertilization had either their serum (N = 71) or bovine serum albumin (BSA; N = 56) used as the protein source in the insemination and growth media.

May 22nd, 1998: Blood Substitute Could Save Lives.
(excerpts from DOD News) By Douglas J. Gillert American Forces Press Service
Imagine a soldier shot in the stomach, blood streaming from his torn gut. Can medics get him to a field hospital for a transfusion in time to save him? Perhaps. Probably not. Approved trials under way at Brooke Army Medical Center here and 10 other non-DoD laboratories could greatly decrease deaths from such catastrophic blood loss. Chief of trauma services, Army Dr. (Maj.) Stephen Flaherty, oversees a protocol that converts cow blood for human use. The end product is a purified blood substitute called Biopure.

April 19th, 2001: Blood product from cattle wins approval for use in humans.
(excerpts from article) By Corie Lok, Nature.com
An animal-derived blood substitute has been approved for use in humans in South Africa. Hemopure, an oxygen-carrying compound derived from bovine hemoglobin, has been given the go-ahead for treating acute anemia and for use during surgery.

If you don’t think our government doesn’t experiment on US citizens, then read this one!

December 15th, 2006: U.S. Navy backs plan for blood substitute.
(excerpts from article Associated Press)
Washington – A blood substitute the military wants to test on civilian trauma victims is urgently needed to save lives on the battlefield in places like Iraq, a Navy official told federal advisers Thursday. The Navy wants to test the product, derived from cow blood, on about 1,100 trauma victims in emergency situations. It proposes doing so without obtaining the customary informed consent of the patients in advance. The substitute blood, called Hemopure, would be given on the way to the hospital to patients ages 18 to 69 who have lost dangerous amounts of blood.

May 4th, 2011: Cow’s blood saves life of crash victim in world’s first procedure.
(excerpts from article) By David Gardner for MailOnLine
Doctors have saved the life of a woman car crash victim with the first ever use of cow’s blood. Tamara Coakley’s life was saved after a synthetic blood was created using cow plasma and then transfused into her; Tamara Coakley, 33, rejected a life-saving conventional blood transfusion because of her Jehovah’s Witness faith despite being close to death.

Summary: So Bovine Hemoglobin can definitely be used for humans, and in some cases like mentioned above, maybe without our consent. So who or whom is using animal mutilation blood and what for? Some researchers say Aliens are using it for food and some say for hybrid generation, but the bottom line is; The denominating factor in all mutilation cases is always the lack of blood.

Now we need to learn why, and who’s doing this!

The post Cattle Mutilations; It’s always been about the blood! appeared first on Chuck Zukowski UFO/Paranormal Investigations.

Read More

Cattle Mutilations; It’s always been about the blood!

Trinidad cattle mutilation

When I was researching 19th Century cattle mutilation cases for my previous Alexander Hamilton blog, I came across an article from 1984 Fate Magazine about a UFO sighting and dead cow case from 1896 in Howell, Missouri. The article stated; The family first watched strange lights slowly descend upon their ranch from the night sky, eventually turning into a solid craft. The craft then hovered over their barn and pasture area where the cows were kept. The family ran into the house extremely frightened, and the youngest daughter exclaimed in the article, “This was the longest night of their lives. “

The next day when checking the herd, three cows were found dead. After the father examined the carcasses, he saw they were completely void of blood. Upon further examination he found puncture wounds on all three. There was no mention in the article the animals had any other type of external damage like we see in today’s mutilations.

Were the puncture marks created to extract all the blood from the animals? An average cow weighing from 900 to 1100 pounds has 4.5 gallons of blood, so roughly over 13 gallons of blood were taken from those animals.

Over the years of my research and personal field investigations of animal mutilations, there’s been one dominating factor in all cases, total lack of blood. The surgical cut wounds found on the animals have been all over the animal’s carcasses, and in some cases, complete destruction of the animal occurred leaving only an attached head, spine, and legs.

calf mutilation

I’ve also noticed most areas of the surgical cuts have been in locations where animal glands are present. Around the mouth, the anal area, the sex organ area, the milk sack area, so one would think, ah ha! The interest is with the glands, which hasn’t been totally ruled out yet.

gland cattle mutilation

But what if it’s all a ruse? A diversionary tactic? Stay with me on this…

Throughout the years most veterinarians who looked at animal mute cases state that the surgical-like cuts could be done by scavengers, some veterinarians disagree, stating the cuts are too precise for animals to do, so it must be human involvement. All the mutilation cases investigated by law enforcement have found no evidence of a predator killing the animal, so they classify these cases as Animal Cruelty which can only be done by humans.

The mystery has always been the death of the animal, contradiction mostly arises in the cuts or lesions. Regardless, animals are being killed and there’s never any evidence to whom is responsible and how they are doing it.

What if?

What if the perpetrator is not interested in animal parts at all, but only the blood?

What if the unusual damage to the animal is a diversionary attempt to throw off the ranchers, veterinarians, and law enforcement?

This is starting to make some sense.

First, the unknown perpetrator picks up the animal from a grazing area, takes it to a second undisclosed location and drains the blood and performs the surgical-like incisions, then brings back the animal near the original area it was taken from. Why?

Why is the animal always brought back? Why not keep the carcass or discard it elsewhere? These are questions I’m always asked. The Alexander Hamilton case had me thinking about this. His case stated animal parts were found 3 miles away in another rancher’s field. That’s not the normal modus operandi of animal mutilations.

The unknown perpetrator could be bringing the animal back for two reasons:

  1. If an animal or animals are missing from the herd, the rancher will search for them. If the rancher can’t find the animals on his property, then the search widens to adjoining properties. If the animals still can’t be found, then the possibility of poaching is a concern, and local law enforcement is summoned. If other nearby ranches also report missing animals, then law enforcement goes into extreme action. Local Law Enforcement will increase their investigations by re-deploying officers in specific areas where animals were lost, they’ll run random stake-outs, and perform multiple follow-ups; In other words, become quite noticeable in the areas of the missing animals. This would be a major concern for the perpetrators considering future mutilations.

If you follow my investigation reports, then you’ll know the same ranchers generally get hit multiple times.

  1. Now if the animal or animals are returned to the general area where they were picked up, and this is always the case, then there would be no missing animals. If the animals were returned with unusual cuts let’s say, trying to mimic scavenger damage, then hopefully the rancher would write off the death as a natural occurrence. Which I learned has been the case for previous animal deaths on ranches after interviewing the ranchers themselves.

Where the perpetrators fail with this tactic.

  1. Some of the unusual cuts and surgical-like incisions on the animal are not similar to natural scavenger damage and way out in left field in some cases and just don’t make sense.
  2. Some animals are dropped or placed from great heights leaving internal skeletal compound fractures which cannot be explained unless the predator or scavenger is a “Fricken” T-Rex! Which leaves a scary unknown; Who is doing this and why?
  3. Some animals are laying in a round ground depression anywhere from 16 to 22 feet in diameter. When the soil is analyzed, the nutrients or the CEC’s were different compared to the test soil sample. The soil is less soluble near the animal then away from it. Also, some mutilation cases unusual ground anomalies have been found nearby.

So, are other types of animals being mutilated as a diversionary tactic to take the focus off of cows? Or are other types of animal’s blood also important to the perpetrator.

Besides cows; horses, dogs, sheep, goats, coyotes and rabbits have been reported in similar mutilated cases. Native Americans also have stories from their ancestors talking about strange deaths seen with wolves and buffalo, so this is not a new phenomenon by any means.

The dominating factor in any mutilation case is always the lack of blood. So what is so important about blood, let’s say cow blood? What could bovine hemoglobin or bovine serum be used for? Here are some examples of what cow blood is being used for:

June 6th, 1989: Bovine serum albumin (BSA) can replace patient serum as a protein source in an in vitro fertilization (IVF) program.
(excerpts from paper) Benadiva CA, Kuczynski-Brown B, Maguire TG, Mastoianni L Jr, Flickinger GL
Alternate protein sources have been suggested to replace the commonly used cord or patient serum for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. During an 11-month period 127 patients treated for in vitro fertilization had either their serum (N = 71) or bovine serum albumin (BSA; N = 56) used as the protein source in the insemination and growth media.

May 22nd, 1998: Blood Substitute Could Save Lives.
(excerpts from DOD News) By Douglas J. Gillert American Forces Press Service
Imagine a soldier shot in the stomach, blood streaming from his torn gut. Can medics get him to a field hospital for a transfusion in time to save him? Perhaps. Probably not. Approved trials under way at Brooke Army Medical Center here and 10 other non-DoD laboratories could greatly decrease deaths from such catastrophic blood loss. Chief of trauma services, Army Dr. (Maj.) Stephen Flaherty, oversees a protocol that converts cow blood for human use. The end product is a purified blood substitute called Biopure.

April 19th, 2001: Blood product from cattle wins approval for use in humans.
(excerpts from article) By Corie Lok, Nature.com
An animal-derived blood substitute has been approved for use in humans in South Africa. Hemopure, an oxygen-carrying compound derived from bovine hemoglobin, has been given the go-ahead for treating acute anemia and for use during surgery.

If you don’t think our government doesn’t experiment on US citizens, then read this one!

December 15th, 2006: U.S. Navy backs plan for blood substitute.
(excerpts from article Associated Press)
Washington – A blood substitute the military wants to test on civilian trauma victims is urgently needed to save lives on the battlefield in places like Iraq, a Navy official told federal advisers Thursday. The Navy wants to test the product, derived from cow blood, on about 1,100 trauma victims in emergency situations. It proposes doing so without obtaining the customary informed consent of the patients in advance. The substitute blood, called Hemopure, would be given on the way to the hospital to patients ages 18 to 69 who have lost dangerous amounts of blood.

May 4th, 2011: Cow’s blood saves life of crash victim in world’s first procedure.
(excerpts from article) By David Gardner for MailOnLine
Doctors have saved the life of a woman car crash victim with the first ever use of cow’s blood. Tamara Coakley’s life was saved after a synthetic blood was created using cow plasma and then transfused into her; Tamara Coakley, 33, rejected a life-saving conventional blood transfusion because of her Jehovah’s Witness faith despite being close to death.

Summary: So Bovine Hemoglobin can definitely be used for humans, and in some cases like mentioned above, maybe without our consent. So who or whom is using animal mutilation blood and what for? Some researchers say Aliens are using it for food and some say for hybrid generation, but the bottom line is; The denominating factor in all mutilation cases is always the lack of blood.

Now we need to learn why, and who’s doing this!

The post Cattle Mutilations; It’s always been about the blood! appeared first on Chuck Zukowski UFO/Paranormal Investigations.

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