Where did all that blood go from the temple sacrifices?

Blood Sacrifices

From time to time, the question of what happens to all the blood of the animals sacrificed comes up.

For me, the answer is a matter of volume and topography.

In the summer of my thirteenth year, I worked in a slaughterhouse where we daily “dressed out” cattle. That is to say, the cattle were humanely killed, hung by their hind hooves, throats cut open, blood drained away, skinned, and “processed”. The reader may not want more details.

The smallest animals were year-old cattle from which approximately five gallons of blood would drain. The butcher’s slaughterhouse and butcher shop were out in the country. A V-shaped concrete channel and an inclined slaughterhouse concrete floor caused the blood of the animals to drain away into an open field where pigs delighted in consuming the blood.

In 2019, the average weight of all breeds of cattle slaughtered is 1,390 lbs. The blood of an average cow today ranges from 4.2% to 5.7% of total weight. Using the lower percentage of blood weight, a slaughtered cow will drain 58.38 lbs. of blood. Blood is slightly heavier than water at about 8.85 lbs./gal. Therefore, an average slaughtered cow will produce 6.6 gallons of blood.

When King Solomon opened the Temple for business (so to speak), he sacrificed 22,000 oxen (cattle-like creatures). Lacking scientific data on the exsanguination of oxen of that era, let’s use what we know about today’s cattle, just for discussion purposes.

22,000 cattle X 6.6 gal. of blood = 145,200 gallons of blood

Question: Where did all that blood go?

That summer experience working in a slaughterhouse helps me answer the question as to where the blood went.

Gravity and topography are the keys to knowing where the blood went.

Wadi Kidron (Brook Kidron) is a creek bed, usually dry in the summer. The Kidron Valley runs downhill from the east side of the old Temple eastern wall down to the Dead Sea.

In modern times the Kidron has become one of the most polluted valleys in Israel. The Kidron stream still flows (except in summer), but it now carries most of Jerusalem’s sewage. Fortunately, the stretch near the city is piped underground.”

Its whole length, in a straight line, is only some 20 miles, but in this space its descent is about 3,912 feet.

In different books of the Bible, this valley is known as Kidron, Cedron, and the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

2 Chronicles 30:14, Amplified Version, describes the Brook Kidron as “the dumping place for the ashes of such repulsive things”.

Percent slope can be determined by multiplying the feet of vertical rise or fall by 100 and dividing by the horizontal distance in feet. Vertical rise of the valley is 3,912 feet. Overall, the slope of the Kidron Valley is 3.5%. [Reference: NDS- Principles of Exterior Drainage]

If a drain slope, whether by pipe or open surface, is too low, there will be insufficient water velocity to move solids and if too steep, solid materials will not evenly move with the water.

The Dung gate was located during the times of the first and second temples somewhere on the south side of the city, closer to the Kidron valley.


Due to the location of the Kidron valley (Brook Kidron), the slope of the valley, terminal of drainage into the Dead Sea, and the proximity to the Dung Gate, I believe this valley was the destination of the blood drained from sacrificed animals. The 3.5% slope also serves to move dung, animal entrails, and other unclean materials downhill, away from Jerusalem.

There is no longer any need for animal sacrifices, whether by Jews or Muslims. Jesus, Isa, Messiah, is the Lamb of God, was slain for the sins of the entire world, regardless religious affiliation.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It’s a fact that sin can only be blotted out by a blood sacrifice and Jesus, Isa, is that sacrifice for all mankind.

Going to a church is not an end in itself. There is a process by which you are saved, healed, set free, discipled, equipped, empowered, and serving. The word for this process is discipleship.

Learn more from Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church- 2020: God’s Vision For My Life

John White
Rockwall, Texas

3 thoughts on “Where did all that blood go from the temple sacrifices?

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