A Thing Most Holy
Almost every scholar wants to change the meat offering to something else—although they cannot decide what else. The name is said to be confusing to Bible readers. The meat offering has no animal flesh. In fact, it is the only major offering in which no animals are killed. Why is it called the meat offering? Actually, there are very good reasons for calling it the meat offering.
The Biblical use of meat refers to solid food as opposed to drink (see Psalm 69:21; Daniel 1:10; Matthew 25:35; John 6:55; Romans 14:17). This is also the older use of the word in English. The first occurrences of meat in the Bible are found in Genesis 1:29-30 where God gives every “herb bearing seed” and the “fruit of a tree…for meat.” Obviously, the fine flour of the meat offering would fit into the meaning of the word.
But there is more. The meat offering has a very special typology that is revealed plainly by the cross references to the word meat as used by Christ. The meat offering is the offering of a “living sacrifice”—the kind Christians are supposed to give (Romans 12:1). It is also the kind of sacrifice Christ gave during His earthly ministry. Two verses especially teach this. In John 4:34, Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” In John 6:27, He declares, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.” These references to meat fit perfectly with the meaning of the meat offering.
Yet, this wonderful connection in scripture is destroyed in the modern versions of the Bible. And it is not simply a matter of them choosing another word. None that I have examined use the same word—any word—in all three passages. Observe the following chart:
|Bible Version||Leviticus 2:1||John 4:34||John 6:27|
|Living Bible||grain offering||nourishment||food|
|King James Bible||meat offering||meat||meat|