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Meat-Offering

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(מַנְחָה, minchah'; sometimes more fully קָרְבִּן מַנְחָה, to mark its sacrificial character; Sept. fully δῶρον θυσία, but generally simply δῶρον or θυσία, sometimes προσφορά; Vulg. oblatio sacrificii. or simply sacrificium). The word minchah (from the obsolete root מָנִח, "to distribute" or " to give") signifies originally a gift of any kind, and appears to be used generally of a gift from an inferior to a superior, whether God or man (Lat.fertum). Thus in Genesis 32:13 it is used of the present from Jacob to Esau, in Genesis 43:11 of the present sent to Joseph in Egypt, in 2 Samuel 8:2; 2 Samuel 8:6 of the tribute from Moab and Syria to David, etc.; and in Genesis 4:3-5 it is applied to the sacrifices to God offered by Cain and Abel, although Abel's was a whole burnt-offering. Afterwards this general sense became attached to the word corban (קָרְבָּן ), and the word minchah restricted to an " unbloody offering," as opposed to זֶבִח, a "bloody" sacrifice. It is constantly spoken of in connection with the drink- offering (נֶסֶךְ, Sept. σπονδή, Vulg. libamen), which generally accompanied it, and which had the same meaning. (See DRINK- OFFERING).

The law or ceremonial of the meat-offering is described in Leviticus 2 and Leviticus 6:14-23. It was to be composed of fine flour, seasoned with salt, and mixed with oil and frankincense, but without leaven; and it was generally accompanied by a drink-offering of wine. A portion of it, including all the frankincense, was to be burnt on the altar as "a memorial;" the rest belonged to the priest; but the meat-offerings offered by the priests themselves were to be wholly burnt.

Its meaning (which is analogous to that of the offering of the tithes, the first-fruits, and the showbread) appears to be exactly expressed in the words of David (1 Chronicles 29:10-14), "All that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine. All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." It recognised the sovereignty of the Lord, and his bounty in' giving us all earthly blessings, by dedicating to him the best of his gifts: the flour, as the main support of life; oil, as the symbol of richness; and wine, as the symbol of vigor and refreshment (see Psalms 104:15). All these were un-. leavened and seasoned with salt, in order to show their purity, and hallowed by the frankincense for God's special service. This recognition, implied in all cases, is expressed clearly in the form of offering the-first-fruits prescribed in Deuteronomy 26:5-11.

It will be seen that this meaning involves neither of the main ideas of sacrifice-the atonement for sin and the self-dedication to God. It takes them for granted, and is based on them. Accordingly, the meat-offering, properly so called, seems always to have been a subsidiary offering, needing to be introduced by the sin-offering, which represented the one idea, and forming an appendage to the burnt-offering which represented the. other. Thus, in the case of public sacrifices, a "meat-offering" was enjoined as a part of

(1) the daily morning and evening sacrifice (Exodus 29:40-41);

(2) the Sabbath-offering (Numbers 28:9-10);

(3) the offering at the new moon (Numbers 28:11-14):

(4) the offerings at the great festivals (Numbers 28:20; Numbers 28:28; Numbers 29:3-4; Numbers 29:14-15, etc.);

(5) the offerings on the great day of atonement.

(Numbers 29:9-10). The same was the case with private sacrifices, as at

(1) the consecration of priests (Exodus 29:1-2; Leviticus 6:20; Leviticus 8:2) and of Levites (Numbers 8:8);

(2) the cleansing of the leper (Leviticus 14:20);

(3) the termination of the Nazaritish vow (Numbers 6:15).

The unbloody offerings offered alone did not properly belong to the regular meat-offering. They were usually substitutes for other offerings. Thus, for example, in Leviticus 5:11 a tenth of an ephah of flour is allowed to be substituted by a poor man for the lamb or kid of a trespass-offering: in Numbers 5:15 the same offering is ordained as the "offering of jealousy" for a suspected wife. The unusual character of the offering is marked in both cases by the absence of the oil, frankincense, and wine. We find also at certain times libations of water poured out before God; as by Samuel's command at Mizpeh during the fast (1 Samuel 7:6), and by David at Bethlehem (2 Samuel 23:16), and a libation of oil poured by Jacob on the pillar at Bethel. (Genesis 35:14). But these have clearly especial meanings, and are not to be included in the ordinary drink- offerings. The same observation will apply to the remarkable libation of water customary at the Feast of Tabernacles, but not mentioned in Scripture. (See TABERNACLES, FEAST OF).

From the above statements it appears that the "meat-offering" (or, rather, food-offering) was in general such eatable but bloodless articles (of vegetable growth) as. were to be presented to Jehovah as devout gifts (comp. the early instance, Genesis 4:3 sq.), and in a special sense only gifts of meal, raw or baked, which were brought to the altar of burnt- offerings, Exodus 40:29; comp. 30:9), and either wholly or partially burnt to the honor of Jehovah (commonly with incense) by the hand of the priest. The portion of such "meat-offering" that was to be consumed is called אִזְכָּרָה, in contradistinction from that part which fell to the priest (Leviticus 2:2; Leviticus 2:9; Leviticus 2:16; Numbers 6:26; comp. Leviticus 24:7, where the incense of the showbread is so called, which was also consumed). This word certainly has not the signification of odoramentum (Saadias), or in general offering (as Michaelis thinks), but is a verbal noun from, הַזְכַּיר (to cause to remember), and the Sept. translates μνημόσυνον accordingly (see Gesen. Thesaur. p. 417).

The Mishnic tract Menachoth- (v. 2; comp. Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 649) treats of the " meat- offering" in the above broad sense as an important part of the sacred ritual. The Bible itself specifies, of the not burned "meat-offerings," only the Pentecostal bread expressly by the name of a minchah (Leviticus 23:18; comp. Leviticus 23:17), while the Passover sheaf and the showbread belong by their own nature to the same category. The proper "meat-offerings," as above particularized, were either independent gifts (Talm. הבאות בפני עצמן ), or simply additions to other principal offerings (הבאות עם הזבח ). For example, no burnt-offering' could be presented without a meat or drink offering (see Leviticus 7:8 sq.); and drink-offerings were associated likewise with thank-offerings (Leviticus 7:12 sq.), and in a certain case with a sin-offering (Leviticus 14:10; Leviticus 14:20). This appears to have been on the principle that men do not eat flesh without bread and wine; a signification which also lay at the bottom of the Greek οὐλαί (coarse ground barley grains) and the Roman mola salsa, with which the victim was strewn. Bahr (Symbol. 1:216), however, regards the supplementary unbloody offering as a sort of compensation for the life taken from the sacrifice. Such additional meat-offerings, at all events, appear regularly in connection with the principal offerings, whether (a) free-will (Numbers 16:4 sq.; comp. Judges 6:19) or (b) enjoined.

The latter, again, were sometimes offered publicly in the name of the whole people (מנחת צבור ), as those in connection with the daily morning and evening oblation (Exodus 29:40; Exodus 28:6; Numbers 4:16), or with the sabbatical (Numbers 28:9) and feast offerings (Numbers 28:11 sq.; Leviticus 23); at other times they were private (מנחת יחיד ), as that of the purification of the leper (Leviticus 14:20 sq.), the Nazarite who had fulfilled his vow (Numbers 6:16-17), and the consecration. of Levites (Numbers 8:8 sq.), and perhaps of priests (Exodus 29:2, Leviticus 8:2). In these cases the essential part of the meat-offering was fine wheat flour (סֹלֶת; Josephus, ἄλευρον καθαρώματυν, Ant. 3:9 4), mixed with olive. oil (these were both to be the best procurable in Pales. tine; see the Mishna, Menach. 8:1), and it was all consumed upon the altar. The proportions were: for a lamb, 1/10 ephah of flour and 1/4 hin of oil; for a ram, 2/10 ephah of flour and'1/3 bin of oil; finally, for a bullock, 3/10 ephah of flour and 1/2 hin of oil (Numbers 15:4 sq.; Numbers 28:5; Numbers 28:9; Numbers 28:12 sq., Numbers 28:28 sq.; Numbers 29:3 sq.,Numbers 29:8 sq., Numbers 29:13 sq.; Leviticus 14:21). For the lamb offered with the Passover sheaf, 3/10 ephah of fine flour was prescribed (Leviticus 23:13). In the case of the Nazarite still different regulations are made (Numbers 6:16 sq.). (See NAZARITE).

From the fact that in connection with (free-will) burnt offerings a handful of the meal only as a meat- offering was to be sprinkled upon the altar to be consumed with the incense, while the remainder fell to the priest's lot (Leviticus 7:14 sq.), we see that priestly festivities were associated with the thank-offerings.

It likewise appears from the foregoing. account that the independent "meat-offerings" were sometimes freewill (Leviticus 2), and sometimes obligatory. To the latter belonged the casts specified above: (a) that of a poor man, who had made himself liable in the manner stated in Leviticus 2:1 sq. (comp. Leviticus 2:11); and (b) the "jealousy offering" of a wife charged with adultery (Numbers 5:15; Numbers 5:26); to which is to be added (c) the consecration-offering of a priest (high-priest) on entering upon his office (Leviticus 6:20 [13] sq.). The Talmud (see Menach. 4:5; 11:3) applies this law exclusively to the oblation of the high-priest, and makes the meat- offering to be a daily one (מַנְחָה תָמַיד ), with which Josephus agrees (Ant. 3:10, 7). In both the first cases the meat-offering consisted of 1/10 ephah of meal (without oil or in, cense), of which, as above noted, only a handful was burned, and the rest, as usual, went to the priest; whereas in the third case, the whole meat-offering was to be consumed (if so we may understand the somewhat dark passage of Leviticus 6:22). The meal in cases (a) and (c) was to be of wheat, but in the case (b) of barley. The free- will offering might be brought in either of three conditions, namely, as raw flour, upon which oil was poured and incense laid (strewed) (Leviticus ii, l sq.); or as roasted and pounded (firstling) grains, likewise with oil and incense (Leviticus 2:14 sq.); or, lastly, as baked dough. The dough, moreover, might be baked either ill the oven, and in that case the oil must be spread under the loaves, or sprinkled upon them (Leviticus 2:14); or in a pan (מִחֲבִת ), when the dough must be mixed with the oil. and in the presentation the loaves were broken in pieces and oil poured on them (Leviticus 2:5 sq.); or, finally, in the מִרְחֶשֶׁת, i.e.., according to the Jews, a deep stewpan, so that the loaves swam in oil-(Leviticus 2:7). (See CAKE).

The priest always burned of these free-will offerings a handful of meal with oil (or a batch), with all the incense, on the altar (Leviticus 2:2); the remainder fell sometimes to him, sometimes to the other priests (Leviticus 7:9 sq.), and must be consumed in the sanctuary (Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 10:10; Leviticus 10:12 sq.; comp. Josephus, Ant. 3:9, 4). Leaven or honey must not be mixed with the meat-offering (Leviticus 2:11; a rule which, with one exception [Leviticus 7:13], applied to all such offerings; see Exodus 29:2; Leviticus 7:12; Leviticus 8:26; Leviticus 10:12; Mishna, Menach. v. 1), but they must be salted (Leviticus 2:13). Even in eating the meat-offering the priests were not allowed to use ferment (see Leviticus 6:16 [9]; 10:12). See generally Reland, Antiq. Sacr. 3:7; Iken, Antig. Hebrews 1:14; Carpzov, Appar. p. 708 (brief); Bauer, Gottesd. Verd. 1:187 sq. (incomplete and inexact). See Vollborth, De sacrificio farreo Hebraeorum (Gottingen, 1780). (See OFFERING).

Mebane, William N.

a Presbyterian minister, was born in Guilford County, N.C. March 10,1809. His preparatory education was received in Greensborough, N. C., under the Revelation Drs. Pressly and Carothers. He graduated at the University of North Carolina in 1833, and at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1837; in 1838 and 1839 labored as a missionary in the bounds of the states of Louisiana and Texas; in 1840 was ordained and installed pastor of Spring Garden Church, N. C.; in 1852 took charge of Madison Church. He died in May, 1859. Mr. Mebane possessed fine conversational powers, together with a striking independence of thought; as a pastor he was very successful, as he was gifted with the happy faculty of introducing the subject of personal religion. See Presb. Hist. Almanac, 1861, p.97.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Meat-Offering'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/m/meat-offering.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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