Deuteronomy 12:21 MEANING

Deuteronomy 12:21
Verses 21-23. - If the place.., be too far from thee; this supplies the reason for the alteration of the law in Leviticus 17:3. Only be sure; literally, only be strong; i.e. be firm and resolute, steadfastly resisting the temptation to eat it. The blood is the life (cf. Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 11:1; Leviticus 17:11). The word used is nephesh (נֶפֶשׁ). By this word the Hebrews designated the animal life-principle in men and in beasts; and as without this the body was a mere inert mass, the word came to be used for "life" generally. Of this life the blood was believed to be the seat, and was regarded as the symbol, so that to shed blood was tantamount to the taking away of life. As the blood, moreover, was the life, in it was supposed to lie the propitiatory power - the power, when shed, of atoning for sin, as the giving of life for life. The prohibition of eating it doubtless had respect to this. It was not merely to prevent ferocity in men towards the lower animals (as Rosenmüller suggests) that the eating of blood was interdicted, but specially because there was in this a sort of profanation, a putting to a common use of what appertained to a sacred rite.

12:5-32 The command to bring ALL the sacrifices to the door of the tabernacle, was now explained with reference to the promised land. As to moral service, then, as now, men might pray and worship every where, as they did in their synagogues. The place which God would choose, is said to be the place where he would put his name. It was to be his habitation, where, as King of Israel, he would be found by all who reverently sought him. Now, under the gospel, we have no temple or altar that sanctifies the gift but Christ only: and as to the places of worship, the prophets foretold that in every place the spiritual incense should be offered, Mal 1:11. Our Saviour declared, that those are accepted as true worshippers, who worship God in sincerity and truth, without regard either to this mountain or Jerusalem, Joh 4:21. And a devout Israelite might honour God, keep up communion with him, and obtain mercy from him, though he had no opportunity of bringing a sacrifice to his altar. Work for God should be done with holy joy and cheerfulness. Even children and servants must rejoice before God; the services of religion are to be a pleasure, and not a task or drudgery. It is the duty of people to be kind to their ministers, who teach them well, and set them good examples. As long as we live, we need their assistance, till we come to that world where ordinances will not be needed. Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we are commanded to do all to the glory of God. And we must do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to the Father through him. They must not even inquire into the modes and forms of idolatrous worship. What good would it do them to know those depths of Satan? And our inward satisfaction will be more and more, as we abound in love and good works, which spring from faith and the in-dwelling Spirit of Christ.If the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to put his name be too far from thee,.... Or rather "for" (h), or "seeing" the place will be too far from thee; for it is allowed before that they might kill and eat flesh for common food in their gates, Deuteronomy 12:15.

then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock; of thy oxen and of thy sheep, creatures used in sacrifice; but this was no bar to the use of them for common food also:

which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee; Deuteronomy 12:15.

and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after; flesh of any sort, lawful to be eaten.

(h) "cum", Pagninus, Montanus.

Courtesy of Open Bible