Soul and Blood

Sec. XI.

Upon the relation of the soul to the blood, Scripture contains statements not merely casual, but deliberate, to which it attaches the greatest fundamental importance. We assure ourselves at once, without further reflection, that there is a meaning and coherency in these statements. Such are the following: (1.)

'l The reproach of R. Wagner, Der Kampf urn die Seek, p. 120, that" "in this paragraph such a breadth is given to the arbitrariness of scriptural interpretation, that no criticism can be brought to bear against it more," is none the less unjust. I have the assurance, that what I have said upon the individual forms of life, not only permits, but also bears criticism: the association of each individual will of necessity only be regarded as arbitrary, when the postulates of this association are regarded as untenable. This is true also against Noack, who, in respect of Sec. VI., at least concedes: "It certainly cannot be said that the play of these powers was carried into the psychical life of man absolutely, and that in reality nothing at all may be referred to that of the analogue" (Psyche, 1860, p. 846) ; and in respect of Sec. XL, declares, "Something true there always is in the propositions of the biblical-theological writers; but as soon as they are laid hold of decidedly and in earnest, they appear equally ill-founded and arbitrary. They are a play on words, figures, and relations" (ibid. p. 347).

Gen. ix. 4-6. The word ^ introduces a limitation of the permission to eat flesh, freely given in ver. 3: "But flesh with its soul, which is its blood, ye shall not eat." tol is an apposition to ;and in this closer determination of the by io^ subsists, briefly intimated, the foundation of the prohibition. The blood of beasts is for this reason excepted from the permission to eat, because it is the soul of beasts. But, according to ver. 5, man's blood and man's soul are even more closely associated. Man is to eat of the flesh of beasts, but not the blood of beasts. To this restricting "but" is added, in the "nevertheless" (Eng. ver. "and surely") of ver. 5, a restriction referring to man's own blood: the former is not to be eaten, and is therefore to be poured out; but the latter is strictly forbidden to be shed. "Nevertheless, your blood of your souls," i.e. whosesoever soul it may be to whom it belongs, "will I avenge:" thus the life of man contained in the blood of man is not to be touched by beasts or men, under the penalty of death. (2.) Lev. xvii. 10—14. That he who eateth any manner of blood (no matter whether it be the blood of sacrifice or not), whether he be Israelite or stranger, is to be destroyed, is here established in the following manner: Ver. 11. "For the soul of the flesh," i.e. of the nature living in the flesh, " is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar, to make an atonement for your souls: for the blood by means of the soul, B'M?, is an atonement." To translate this ttfea3, with Luther, according to the LXX. (avrl yfrv^fjs, Cod. Alex, avri r/j? "tyvyrjfi) and Jerome (pro animce piaculo), the blood is the atonement "for the life" (as even Ewald, sec. 282, a: the blood atones for the soul), we are compelled to regard with Kurtz as inadmissible, since IB3 may perhaps be constructed with 1JB (e.g. Lev. ix. 7), but otherwise never with 3, of that which is to be atoned for. Bather it might be explained with Hof mann, the blood atones as the soul in this character; for the noun with which Beth essentia; is associated, may just as well be grammatically defined (as "the soul") as undefined (as "soul"): it occurs with proper names, which (without adopting the article) are determined by themselves, and with appellatives which are more closely defined by suffixes annexed to them.1 But why should the 3 be otherwise

1 Vid. Hofmann's Schriftbeweis, ii. 1, 239, and my Commentary on die Psalter, vol. i. p. 272.

understood here than as it is to be taken elsewhere in connection with "is?? In the action of the atonement, it is the Beth instrumenti which indicates the means of the atonement (as e.g. Gen. xxxii. 21; Lev. vii. 7 ; Num. v. 8 ; 2 Sam. xxi. 3). The blood atones by the means or by the power of the soul which is in it. The life of the sinner, says Knobel in locOj has specially incurred the punitive wrath of Jehovah; but He accepts for it the substituted life of the sacrificial beast, the blood of which is shed and brought before Him, whereupon He pardons the sinner.1 The prohibition of eating the blood is thus doubly established: the blood has the soul in itself; and it is, in consequence of a gracious arrangement of God, the means of atonement for the souls of men, in virtue of the soul contained in it. The one reason lies in the nature of the blood, and the other, in its destination to a holy purpose, which, even apart from that other reason, withdraws it from a common use: it is that which contains the soul, and God suffers it to be brought to His altar as an atonement for human souls; it atones not by indwelling power, which the blood of beasts has not, except perchance as given by God for this purpose,—given, namely, with a view to the fulness of the times foreseen from eternity, when that blood is to flow for humanity which atones, because a soul united to the eternal spirit (see on Heb. ix. 14) has place therein, and because it is actually of such absolute value, that it could screen the whole of humanity. When hereupon it is said that the blood of slaughtered beasts is to be poured forth, and the blood of game slain in the open field is, besides, td be covered over with earth, the above reasons follow once more, somewhat otherwise applied and solemnly sanctioned (ver. 14): "For the soul of all flesh Kw iEtoja iOT—whereof I said to the children of Israel,—blood of all flesh (whether it be of beasts sacrificed, or slaughtered for the common use) ye were not to

1 Thus also Bahr, Symbolik, ii. 207, and most of the Jewish interpreters, according to the traditional maxim {5*M "iS3m t?W tOTI, one soul covers or atones for the other, i.e. the offering atones so far as it is a substitutionary surrender of the life of the beast that flows in the blood, instead of the life of man: e.g. David b. Abraham in hiaLexicon, written in Arabic, (see in Pinsker. Zur Gesch. des Karaumus, p. 13p). The blood atones through the soul: this is its fundamental ground, and for this reason it atones for souls ('an en-nufus), and takes their place (janCbu, from which ndt6, the representative).

cat, for its blood is the soul of all flesh: whosoever eats of it shall be destroyed." The passage here (which the LXX. has simplified by omission of the is difficult. Wessely and

other Jewish commentators explain, as concerning the soul of all flesh (whether it be of tame cattle, wild beasts, or feathered fowl), its blood is most closely associated with its soul: it cannot be said of the blood of the slain beast, that the soul is as little therein any more, as a man is in the house from which he has gone forth; for there remain in the blood, the elements which served the soul as media of its efficiency, a;id thus are themselves of a psychical kind. This explanation is not inconsistent with the meaning of the Thora; for the prohibition of eating blood has actually its reason in the continuous psychical arrangement of the blood. Otherwise Knobel, who, however, takes the preposition a similarly in the sense of the prohibition: "The life of all flesh—it is its blood with its life, i.e. it subsists in its blood, nevertheless, only so far and so long as this latter is united with its t?S3, and includes and contains it: it is not the material of the blood in itself that is the life, e.g. not therefore coagulated and dried blood, from which the E'bj has vanished, but blood associated with the t?W. But this distinction between blood that still contains soul, and blood deprived of soul, lies altogether outside the range of the prohibition of blood: it comes into consideration only in a certain measure within the law of sacrifice, in that there the atoning power cleaves pre-eminently to the blood of the soul flowing forth of itself—the so-called life's blood (D"nn OT)." Against both explanations, as well that of Wessely as that of Knobel, it is, however, to be observed, that a passage which regards blood and soul as united, and therefore holds them as distinct from one another, does not truly agree with those that identify them (11a, 146) by which it is surrounded, according to which it is more probable that a is to be apprehended in the sense of immanence, rather than in the sense of concomitance, which, besides, in such a simple declaratory text, is more according to the usus hquendi. Moreover, neither does Baumgarten's explanation commend itself: "As regards the soul of all flesh—its blood is in its soul (wn referred back to icj), i.e. it has therein its being—it is its manifestation;" nor the explanation proposed in the first edition: u This is (ton referred back per attractionem to $£0) its blood in its soul, i.e. its blood existing in its soul—having this for its existence, and bringing it to manifestation."1 Both explanations are hair-splitting, not sufficiently simple and natural. Equally conformed to the connection and to the usus loquendi, on the other hand, is Hofmann's explanation, according to which i!TD33 is a predicative idea, introduced by Beth essentiale: "Of all flesh, soul avails thus much, that to it its blood is that which is constituted by its soul."2 The blood has the peculiarity of being the soul of the being living in the flesh; therefore it is even to be allowed to flow from the body of the beast not offered in sacrifice, and to be covered with earth. It is to flow forth because it is not to be eaten, and, as it were, to be buried,—out of respectful awe, to wit,—for the blood is tfW as the human body is CW,—the former as that which has been the vehicle, the latter as that which has been the shrine, of the soul. (3.) Deut. xii. 23. Beasts of sacrifice, it is said here, may be slaughtered and eaten for common use, generally like the roebuck and the hart, i.e. beasts not of sacrifice: "Only be sure that thou eat not the blood; for the blood is the soul, and thou niayest not eat the soul witli the flesh. Thou shalt not eat of it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth like water." How much the Thora relies upon this prohibition, is seen from the fact that, without closer reasons, it is often repeated (Lev. iii. 17, vii. 26); so that in the Mosaic legislation itself, it occurs in all seven times (Lev. iii. 17, vii. 25-27, xvii. 10-14; Deut. xii. 16, 23, 24, xv. 23).3 The later literature, moreover, shows us that eating of blood was acknowledged in Israel as sin (1 Sam. xiv. 32). Even in the prophets, who otherwise meddled little with the prescriptions of the law in detail, the transgression of this special one is not left unpunished (Ezek. xxxiii. 25, comp. Isa. lxvi. 3). And even in the New Testament, where the seasonable occasion of the prohibition in the sacrificial use of the blood ceases, abstinence from blood outside or inside the body of the beast (aifia

1 Thus also David b. Abraham, from Fes. I.e.: "The blood is in the soul, i.e. the one is in the body, in and with the other, so that with the condition of the one, that also of the other stands or falls."

1 Schriftbeweis, ii. 1, 238, with which I have declared myself agreed in the Commentary on Genesis, p. 272 (3d ed.).

3 The pre-Mosaic texts (Gen. ix. 6), and that which does not specially belong to the subject (Lev. xix. 26), are left in this out of the question.

To? Kal Itviktov) is maintained (Acts xv. 20, 29, xxi. 25) as binding upon the Gentile Christians. The ancient church adheres strongly to it, as numerous witnesses testify: Erubescat error vester Christianis—Tertullian is able to oppose to the suspicions of the heathens—qui ne animalium quidem sanguinem in epulis esculentis habemus, qui propterea suffocatis quoque et morticinis abstinemus.1

The idea of the unity of the soul and the blood, on which the prohibition of blood is based, comes to light also, everywhere where the Scripture speaks of violent death, in its mode of expression. In the blood of one mortally wounded, his soul flows forth (Lam. ii. 12), and He who voluntarily sacrifices Himself pours out His soul unto death (Isa. liii. 12). The blood of man shed, which in the plural is named DW,2 cries to heaven for vengeance (Gen. iv. 10; Heb. xii. 24). Wherefore, in Job xxiv. 12, comp. Apoc. vi. 9, it is said that the soul of those that were slain cries out. Of the murderer of the innocent, Scripture says that he slays the soul of the blood of the innocent (yfrv^rjv aXfiaros dOwov, Deut. xxvii. 25), and that the blood of the souls of the innocent (aXfiara '^rv^aiv aOoiwv) cleaves to his skirts (Jer. ii. 34, comp. Pro v. xxviii. 17, blood of a soul). And because the blood is the soul, that which is true of tho person is said of the blood: (Ps. xciv. 21), al'fia Slkcuov

(Matt. xxiii. 35).3 This idea of the unity of the blood and the soul is not exclusively peculiar to the Holy Scripture. How variously antiquity thus expressed itself, has been set forth by Biihr in his Symbolism of Mosaic Worship. That in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, the hawk, which according to old tradition feeds on blood, implies the soul, proceeds, according to Horapollo (i. 7), on just the same idea. Virgil, in his JEneid, gives to it the boldest expression, when in ix. 349 he says of a dying person, purpuream vomit ille animam. Many Greek and Roman philosophers and physicians sought to establish it scientifically as the true view among the many various notions of the situation of the soul.4 Critias taught absolutely: the blood

1 Opp. ed. Oehler, i. 149.

2 Vid. on this plural of the product, my Commentary on Genesis, p. 204.

'Beck, Biblische Seelenlehre, p. 5. '4 Vid. Aristotle, xtpl ^i/jew, B. i. ch. 2, and Tertullian, de anima, ch. xv.

is the soul.1 Pythagoras and others: the soul is nourished by the blood. Empedocles: the heart's blood (aifia irepiKdpSiov) is the seat of the soul.2 The Stoics: the soul is the exhalation (avadvfiia<7i<;) of the blood. In the supposition of these last, that the soul is developed from the blood, as gas from the fire, they derived '^'i^ from ^w^eti/ in the sense of cooling.3 The better knowledge is found in Homer. The Psyches in Hades, when it is allowed them to take up blood into themselves, attain again the power of thought, language, and experience. The blood is thus not absolutely one with the soul. It is only—as, moreover, Scripture supposes it—the means of its self-attestation.

Turning back again to the Scripture, it is first of all

1 Matthaei observes, in loco, when Nemesius mentions this, that this Critias at any rate, if anybody had, had a soul of blood:—he was one of the thirty tyrants.

2 He says it in the verse often cited in the church fathers, yip dtipLvai; irtpixxpoion tori finfix; comp. Cicero, Tusc. i. 9: Empedochs animum esse censet cordi suffusum sanguinem.

3 The Stoic derivation of the name 'tyvyfl appears, moreover, differently used, e.g. by Chrysippus, in Plutarch, de Stoicorum repugnantiis, ch. xli.: "The child is naturally nourished in the womb like a plant; but when it is born it is cooled by the air (\pvxiftt»on), fills the mouth with breath, and thus passes into a living life; wherefore the soul is fittingly so named from the cooling breathing (vxpi ri» \^S*/»)." Just so the physician Hicesius, in Tertullian, de anima, ch. xxv. (where he contends against the view that the child is not endowed with soul till birth): Hicesius jam natis animam superducens ex aeris frigidi pulsu, quia et ipsum vocabulum animae penes Graecos de refrigeratione respondens. Plato succeeds better in etymology, in the Crdtylus, p. 399: "The soul is the cause of life, which procures to the body the capacity of breathing, and refreshes it 5x«»);" for \pvx,un signifies to breathe, to blow, and also to cool, inasmuch as a man breathing cools himself, and blowing cools anything else. The simplest is Dio Chrysostomus, Or. xii. p. 887 (in union with the view of the endowing with soul at its birth): "When the child has left the womb, the air awakens it to life by means of breathing and inbreathing (tlowtvax; r.xi iiinpv*xi)." Moreover, Origen assumes that the soul has its name from

'\pvxpin, but a refrigescendo de statu diviniore ac meliore, as it were cooled by its journey down into the world of darkness (dxo\pvytiatt). See Lobeck's Aglaophamus, i. 759. One remembers in this, Plato and Heraclitus; for the latter (see Gessner, de animis Heracliti) distinguished damp or moist (sinking down) and dry (ascending) souls: the latter are those akin to the primitive fire, and drawn from Him whose d-roaxxafnttix or ovipfixtx the souls are.

deserving of consideration, that it always combines soul and blood only—nowhere spirit (nvi) and blood, as a unity. Philo has noticed this. It is only the sensuous soul—he says quite correctly—not the intelligent and thinking soul, whose ovaia is called the blood: the blood is the ovala of the soul; but the ovala of its nobler part, which is related to it as the apple of an eye, to the eye—as it were the ^"X*??ls tne spin' which

originates from God.1 The spirit, say we—on the foundation of such christologic passages psychologically applicable, as Heb. ix. 14,2 Acts xx. 28—is only mediately immanent in the blood, in that it is immanent in the soul.

The spirit reveals itself in the soul, and the soul lives and moves in the blood. How sharply the Scripture here separates and defines, is seen from the fact that internal bodily organs such as the heart, the nerves, etc., are frequently named as the localities of spiritual occurrences, but never the blood. It is thus only the soul on its physical side, which is so pre-eminently in the blood, that can be said to be one with the blood: not in the sense of identity, for the expression "the soul is the blood" alternates with " the soul is in the blood;" and not in the sense of local enclosure, for the soul, although an unextended nature, is certainly capable of being localized in an organic body, but not in such a way as that one part of the organism should exclusively include it in itself. The scriptural view, at least, is entirely opposed to such a placing of the soul in one part of the human corporeity. According to Scripture, the soul is not so in the blood, that it could not also be outside the blood.3 For it is also in the organs of respiration and of nutrition: the breath is actually called t^W (Job xli. 13), and even the yawning mouth is called t^u (Isa. v. 14). It is everywhere where

1 See Philonis Op. ed. Mangey, i. 206, 480, ii. 356, and Opp. ed. Tauchnitz, 1. vi. pp. 258, 390.

! The ir'»tvfca aiuHor of Christ stands here in contrast with the perishable soul of the beast; according to the difference of their irnifcaru, is measured the respective value of the bloody self-sacrifice of Christ and of the sacrifice of beasts. The bold assertion of the contrary, by Liinemann, On the Hebrews, p. 289 (ed. 2, 1861), that the Scripture throughout knows nothing of a ir»wfca of beasts, is contradicted by Ps. civ. 30, Eccles. iii. 21, Gen. vii. 15, comp. 22, and other places.

3 Cnssiodorus thinks, in naive ignorance of language, that anima is perhaps therefore related to u»xifca.

bodily life is; and where it is, there it is always entire, although here and there in distinct degrees of manifestation.1 The question only occurs: With what justice is the soul, that manifests itself in all corporeal forms of life, brought into so pre-eminently close a union with the blood?

The identification of the blood with the soul which prevailed in antiquity, appears at first to have no farther foundation, than that a sudden diminution of the quantity of blood in the body causes death. But this phenomenon itself has the deeper reason, that all efficiency of the body—namely, that of the nervous and muscular systems—depends on the quantity of the blood; for if a part of the body be deprived of the flow of blood, all activity therein ceases—a sensible part in a few minutes loses all sensibility—a muscle no longer serves the volition, nor is it susceptible of reflex irritability. The consequence which antiquity gathered from the phenomenon that blood-shedding and death coincide, is thus perfectly justified on physiological grounds. Irritability, sensibility, capacity of movement,—all activity of the body,—are lost with the loss of blood. The blood is actually the basis of the physical life; and so far, the soul, as the principle of bodily life, is pre-eminently in the blood. Therefore in the

1 Our old dogmatists express both the above propositions in the following manner: "Anima in ubi est corporeo, sed non corporaliter neque loealiter;" and, "Anima in toto corpore tota et in singulis simul corporis partibus tota." Even the Calvinistic dogmatists maintain the former position, but not the latter. It is true also of the brute soul. Claudius Mamertus (i. 21) says even of the plants, not without truth: Aut cuncta qu» de seminibus prodeunt intra eadem semina corporaliter ostende, aut herbarum quoque vitam incorpoream confitere. In extreme opposition thereto, it is said now, pointing to the fact, that from the lower beasts, e.g. polypi and worms, from the one hydra or naid, by mechanical division, two, three, or several hydrse or naids may be formed by divisibility of the soul—yea, indeed, "of the consciousness." The expression is old (e.g. in Albertus M., de anima, i. 15, with reference to the same experimental fact: Anima qua; uno numero fuit in toto efficitur duae numero per divisionem), but inappropriate; for, as it has been rightly said in opposition, "that which is divisible must, moreover, be extended; and what is extended is a body." That which is multiplied as the result of the cutting up of the bodies of lower creatures (comparable to the setting of a plant), is only the body, to which neither individualized life, as in the higher kind of beasts, nor, what is the same thing, psychical life, cleaves. As concerns the multiplication of souls, however, in the process of generation, this is no division, and ought not therefore to be called so.

sacrifice, the blood of the sacrificial beast represents the soul of the offerer, and, indeed, as we have elsewhere shown, not in symbolical, but in intercessory and substitutional worth.1

There is still, besides the principle that the blood is the basis of the psychical life, a second, without the addition of which the biblical prohibition of the eating of blood, although it doubtless seeks to prevent a brutal degradation of man, cannot at all be comprehended. The blood is not only the allconditioning basis, but also the all-embracing source, of the physical life. Scripture expresses itself on this point as decidedly as possible (certainly without purposing to give us physiological information), when, in Acts xvii. 26, it says that God hath made e'£ kvb< ; a"fiaTo<; all nations of men on all the face of the earth; and in John i. 13,2 that man by nature is born e£ aljuiTiov. The blood is there plainly considered as the original material, and, as it were, the chaos from which the whole human organism proceeds. This view is scientifically confirmed: for it is generally acknowledged, that from the point at which in the embryo the nervous marrow and blood have come into existence, all further secretion and formation arises from the blood; and that even after birth, in every body endowed with soul, all the material for growth, i.e. for all sorts of nourishment, as well as of secretion, proceed from the blood. Only it is still scientifically in debate, whether the various kinds of material are contained in the blood in a state of actual diversity, and thence,

1 See the second final consideration of my Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, 1857: "When the priest," says Nachmani on Lev. i. 5 (to appeal to a Jewish witness), "sprinkles the blood on the altar, this represents the position of the blood and of the soul of the offerer,—that he may consider, when this occurs, that he has sinned in his body and his soul; and that properly his blood ought to be shed and his body burnt, if God had not graciously ordained this substitution (miDll)-"

'In this passage, oi« f£ xifnttun denies the material basis; oiSs lx fixro; o-xpxof the causality of the fleshly, therefore unspiritual, unsanctified will; ovos ix . ithiifiKTo; dnlpi; the causality of man's, and therefore of created will. An Old Testament parallel does not occur to the above two New Testament passages. For the "blood-relationship" is in Hebrew T\~\N!> (fellowship of the flesh), Lev. xviii. 17. My blood relation is

^Xt?, '"1E'a, or nfeoi '•DVV- In both those New Testament passages, Hellenic and Israelitish views apjiear to prevail. Comp. Euripides' Ion, uXhuv tpXQu; dip' alftutun. But it is only the Hellenic uxus loquendi which here defines the biblical: the view is old-Israelitish.

l>y virtue of the relations of affinity which the several organs have thereto, are transferred to these as actual products;1 or whether they are first changed by the organs themselves, by virtue of the functional powers of these organs, in such a way as to furnish them with certain characters and qualities. If the former view be true of some materials, and the latter of others, it is the fact that the restlessly prosecuted investigation of the blood, in respect of the manifold material of healthy and unhealthy life, supplies to the view of their pre-existence in the blood, a continually extending support.2 The same acknowledgment, although certainly not scientifically stated, lies at the base of the biblical prohibition of the eating of blood. The blood is thus stringently forbidden, because it is the substantial centre whence the animal life in all its forms is radiated into development. Everything fluid and firm, which, in the body endowed with soul, separates itself, by way of assimilation or secretion, exists already either as a product, or else potentially, in the blood. The immanence of the soul in the body is thus physically regarded as nowhere so intensive as in the blood. The blood is the soul, not only as the principle of bodily life, but also as the principle of bodily formation in its sensible manifestation.

But only the blood of beasts is forbidden, in order to prevent the contact of the human soul with the brute soul. That the traditional practice allows the blood of fishes, arises from the fallacious idea that the blood of fishes has not the same relation to their life as the blood of other creatures. Meanwhile the Thora certainly does not expressly forbid the blood of fishes; and, moreover, it does not forbid human blood. Human blood, says Wessely, is legally permitted, for no reason exists to forbid it.3 Wherefore not? Because it is homogeneous to man. He, therefore, who thus sucks the blood perchance from one who has cut himself, does nothing unlawful. And when

1 See e.g. Rosch, Bedeutung des Blutes, p. 8: "The blood as the primitive fluid is a homogeneous liquid, which, notwithstanding, contains all differences, whereby it is possible that even the most different things can be formed from it, and be nourished from it,—depositing this in one place, that in another, and thus it is dispersed as the light is broken up into colours." It is the so-called humoral-pathologic view.

2 See, for example, Budge, Memoranda, ii. sec. 268.

3 riDi6 nt oj?a pat? mmn p lnio mK m

the Lord, in the last supper, ordains His blood for drink, that is not, on the legal standing, so startling as when Peter receives the command to eat of the living things in the descending vessel. In the former case, the purpose is to transplant the life of the God-man into us; and this life is so far homogeneous to us, that it is the life of man, in which the idea of humanity has attained to its highest conceivable perfection.

Thus much upon blood and soul. That spiritual functions are nowhere attributed to the blood, we have already observed above. So much the more multifarious are the functions which Scripture attributes to the heart, which is the reservoir of the blood; and in conjunction with the heart, there scarcely occurs any mention of the head, which is the reservoir of the brain. Here, if anywhere, biblical psychology encounters difficult problems, which, however, when they shall be solved, are equally evidences for the just claims of the science, with the building up of which we are concerned.