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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Closely associated with the blood in sacrifices, and as being the richest part, appropriated peculiarly to God (Leviticus 3:16-17); i.e. the internal fat, the "sweet fat" or suet , chelev; the fat of the kidneys, the sign of the animal's excellence and vigor. As of all produce the first-fruits were offered to Jehovah, so of sacrifices the blood and the fat. Hence the choicest are expressed by "the fat of the earth," "the fat of the wheat," etc., "the fat of the mighty" (Genesis 45:18; Deuteronomy 32:14; Numbers 18:12 margin; 2 Samuel 1:22). The fat mixed with lean, mishman or shameen (Numbers 13:20; Psalms 78:31; Isaiah 10:16), was lawful to eat; so also the peder or fat of the burnt offering, burned along with the flesh. The proper development of fat in the animal marked its perfection, it being the source of nutriment of which the animal economy avails itself in emergency; hence, its appropriateness as the offering to Jehovah.

"The whole fat tail was taken off hard by the backbone" where the pad of fat begins (Leviticus 3:9), for an offering by fire to Jehovah. The broad-tailed sheep of the East has an apron of marrowy fat as wide as the hind quarters, and trailing on the ground unless when artificially supported by a small truck (Herod., 3:113). The choicest of all that we have and are is to be presented to God (Romans 12:1; Philippians 4:18). Fat, i.e. vat. Hebrew gath is the upper receptacle or "press" in which the grapes were trod. The yeqeb or "vat" was on a lower level, into it the juice flowed from above. The root means to hollow; for the winepress and vat were dug out of the rocks of the hills whereon were the vineyards. Compare Mark 12:1; Isaiah 5:2, margin.

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

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