Leviticus 7:26 and 17:10–14 state that the blood of land animals and aerial animals must not be consumed. These verses say nothing, however, about the blood of fish, implying that the consumption of fish blood is permitted. This difference in the treatment of land/aerial animal blood and fish blood is based on a belief that the blood of land/aerial animals is a breath/blood amalgam, while the blood of fish is simply blood. Thus, what Lev 7:26 and 17:10–14 prohibited was the consumption of a land/aerial animal’s breath/blood amalgam. And, since it was breath that set this amalgam apart from the blood of a fish, it was really the consumption of a land/aerial animal’s breath that was being prohibited. It was believed that the breath of a land/aerial animal was the essence of its life and that God had complete sovereignty over a land/aerial animal’s breath. Consequently, by prohibiting its consumption, the Levitical/Priestly tradents hallowed the breath of a land/aerial animal and acknowledged that sovereignty over it belonged exclusively to God.

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