Genesis 9:5

Hebrew Bible

3 You may eat any moving thing that lives. As I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. 4 “But you must not eat meat with its life (that is, its blood) in it. 5 For your lifeblood I will surely exact punishment, from every living creature I will exact punishment. From each person I will exact punishment for the life of the individual since the man was his relative. 6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by other humans must his blood be shed; for in God’s image God has made humankind. 7 “But as for you, be fruitful and multiply; increase abundantly on the earth and multiply on it.”

2 Samuel 4:11

Hebrew Bible

9 David replied to Recab and his brother Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered my life from all adversity, 10 when someone told me that Saul was dead—even though he thought he was bringing good news—I seized him and killed him in Ziklag. That was the good news I gave to him! 11 Surely when wicked men have killed an innocent man as he slept in his own house, should I not now require his blood from your hands and remove you from the earth? 12 So David issued orders to the soldiers and they put them to death. Then they cut off their hands and feet and hung them near the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish Bosheth and buried it in the tomb of Abner in Hebron.

 Notes and References

"... Not surprisingly, God himself was also involved in ensuring the appeasement of the spilled blood. In cases of individual accountability, he is portrayed as the choreographer of earthly action (e.g., Genesis 9:5). But in cases of blood retribution on a national scale, he could assume the role of avenger (e.g., Deuteronomy 32:43). Various idioms are employed to describe the Deity’s role in orchestrating vengeance. In these contexts, he is described as “demanding the blood” of the victim and as “avenging blood”. The state of bloodguilt and the obligation for retribution it entails are not described in abstract terms but in various graphic idioms depicting the state of blood. For example, the image of a bloodstain that clings to the murderer serves to illustrate the belief that guilt exists as an objective reality, bringing negative consequences until it is addressed ... I concur with most modern commentators in viewing the divine intervention insinuated by verse 8 as a Deuteronomic addition intended to emphasize the role of God in the expiatory process. Interestingly, even according to this addition, God’s role is that of Israel’s agent who intervenes to avert the otherwise inevitable ramifications of bloodguilt. This semi-autonomous dynamic of bloodshed retribution is likewise insinuated by the Deuteronomic exhortation (A similar formula appears in connection with the requirement to hand over the intentional murderer to the blood avenger (Deuteronomy 19:13; compare also 2 Samuel 4:11) ..."

Feder, Yitzhaq Blood Expiation in Hittite and Biblical Ritual: Origins, Context, and Meaning (p. 175, 183) Society of Biblical Literature, 2011

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