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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Not in our sense, "flesh." Thus of the three divisions of offerings "the burnt, the meat, and the peace offering," the meat offering is a "present or oblation" (minchah from a root "to send or offer"), consisting only of flour, grain, and oil, flesh never being in it as in the other two. In Psalms 111:5, "He hath given meat (tereph ) unto them that fear Him," literally, spoil such as Israel brought out of Egypt (Exodus 12:36), and which God had covenanted to Abraham, Genesis 15:14 (Kimchi). Rather, the manna and quails, a heaven-sent "booty" (treasure trove) to the hungering people. Τereph is used for "meat" in general (Proverbs 31:15; Malachi 3:10). In 1 Corinthians 8:13, "if meat make my brother to offend," etc., and Romans 14:20, "for meat destroy not the work of God," brooma means food in general, not merely flesh.

The minchah denotes generally a gift from an inferior to a superior, whether God or man (Genesis 4:3-5; Genesis 32:13); qorban or korban afterward expressed this general sense. Μinchah then was restricted to the unbloody offering, zebach to the "bloody sacrifice". Νecek , "drink offerings", accompanied the minchah . In Leviticus 2; Leviticus 6:14-23 the law of the meat offerings is given. Their ingredients, flour and oil, were the chief vegetable foods of Israel; so in them the Israelite offered his daily bread to the Lord, but in a manner distinct from the merely dedicatory first fruits of grain and bread (compare 1 Chronicles 29:10-14; Deuteronomy 26:5-11). The latter loaves were leavened, and neither they nor the first fruits sheaf were burial upon the altar (Leviticus 23:10-11; Leviticus 23:17; Leviticus 23:20). Each meat offering on the contrary was to be prepared without leaven, and a portion given by burning to Jehovah for a sweet savor upon the altar.

The rest as a most holy thing was to be eaten in the holy place by the priests alone as the mediators between Jehovah and the people. Therefore, the meat offerings did not denote merely the sanctification of earthly food, but symbolized the spiritual food enjoyed by the congregation of the Lord. If even the earthly life is not nourished merely by the daily bread but by the divine grace which blesses the food as means of preserving life, much less can the spiritual life be nourished by earthly food, but only by the spiritual food which a man partakes of by the Spirit of God from the true bread of life, the word of God. As oil symbolizes the Spirit as the principle of all spiritual life, so bread from the seed of the field symbolizes the word of God (Luke 8:11; Deuteronomy 8:3). Sanctification consists in the operation of this spiritual food through the right use of the means of grace for growth in holiness (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12). This inner food fills the inner man with peace, joy, and blessedness in God.

This fruit of the spiritual life is shadowed forth in the "meat offerings." They must be free from the "leaven" of hypocrisy (Luke 12:1) (the leaven of the old nature, Kurtz), malice, and wickedness (1 Corinthians 5:8), and from the "honey" of carnal delights, both being destructive of spiritual life. "The salt of the covenant of God" (i.e. the purifying, strengthening, and quickening power of the covenant, whereby moral corruption is averted) and the incense of prayer were to be added, that the fruit of the spiritual life might be well pleasing to the Lord (Qeri). Wine symbolized vigor and refreshment (Psalms 104:15). The priests' own meat offerings were to be wholly burnt. The sin offering implied atonement for sin; the burnt offering self dedication to God; the meat offering spiritual sustenance through the word and Spirit.

"The prayer to God, Give us this day our daily bread, is accompanied by the demand on God's part, Give Me today My daily bread. This demand is answered by the church when it offers to God in good works that for which God has endowed it with strength, benediction, and prosperity." (Hengstenberg, Dissertation on the Pentateuch, ii. 531.) The meat offering was to be for a "memorial" reminding God of His people; so Cornelius' alms and prayers (Acts 10:4). The minchah , as a sacrifice, was something surrendered to God, which was of the greatest value to man as a means of living. It was not merely grain, but grain prepared by man's labor. Hence the minchah , expressed a confession that all our good works are wrought in God and are due to Him (Speaker's Commentary, Leviticus 2:14).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Meat'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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