In my thoughts, Exodus 24:9-11 might be speaking of what is termed Eucharist, Sacrament of the Lord's Supper or the Communion in NT. Christians cannot partake in the divinity of the trinity without participating in the sacraments in the ways they are set as examples by Christ. The Scripture speaks of this when John's Gospel says:

Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. (John 6:56 ESV)

It becomes a little bit surprising, therefore, how Sacrament has got something to do with "eating and drinking"

. . . also they saw God, and did eat and drink. (Exodus 24:11 ESV)

Why is "breaking of bread" signified in "communion with God"?

  • The contrast is with Moses who went without for 40 days and forty nights. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. Exodus 34:28. There are two different covenants being expressed.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 15:16
  • And what are these covenants? Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 19:03
  • The Old Covenant and the New Testament.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 20:47
  • Could you expand on this? Did you mean the Old Covenant involved dinning and winning at communion with God and not the New Covenant or something,? Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 4:02
  • 1
    Your question confuses two things together - one does not 'partake of the divinity of the trinity' in sharing bread and wine in a memorial. 'Eating and drinking' are used figuratively, yes, in regard to spiritual assimilation. But that is not what happens in the memorial. The memorial is a remembrance and an outward act signifying the inward spirituality that has occurred.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 11:09

4 Answers 4


Eating and drinking are significant in that if you are unable to do either of them you will die. As such they are symbols for the sustenance of life. And life itself is symbolic of our spiritual condition, our relationship or communion with God.

Genesis 2:16-17 ESV 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

It is significant that it speaks of 'eating' of the fruit here too.

Jesus spoke a lot about this, because that was why He came. He was both of those for us:

Matthew 5:6 ESV “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

John 6:53 ESV So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

This concept is so foundational and incredibly important that Jesus talked about it just before He was crucified and even commanded us to remember it through the partaking of communion.

Now, whilst eating and drinking are very similar, they are still different. "Eating" is representative of the physical, and "Drinking" is representative of the spiritual. For Example:

John 4:34 ESV Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

John 4:13-15 ESV 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Now this is really significant when it comes to communion. Jesus is the "Bread of Life" and is full of the Holy Spirit.

His body was physically broken at the whipping post and Isaiah 53/Matthew 8/1 Peter 2 state that this was to redeem our physical condition. "By His stripes we are/were healed". As we eat the bread, we recognise that we are physically connected to God in that we are physically here to do the works of Jesus here on Earth and that we have the benefits of divine health also. A two way relationship. (Look at 1 Cor 11:29-30) Have you ever wondered why Jesus chose to die in such a painful horrible way if it was just his death that mattered?

His blood was poured out for us on the cross. He died (physically) that we might have life (spiritually). As we drink the wine, we recognise that we are spiritually connected to God in that because of what Jesus did, we can stand before Him holy and righteous (Colossians 1:22). We are given everlasting life. We are given the Helper, the Holy Spirit of God.

Given the significance of this topic, I feel I have done it no justice at all. In the same way that the body and the blood are interrelated, the physical and the spiritual are interrelated - eating and drinking are interrelated. As such it is difficult to distinguish between them. However the more you search the scriptures, the more you will see this pattern emerge!


A commentator for the Oxford Jewish Study Bible, Dr. Jeffrey Tigay, Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania, notes that "A well-attested way of celebrating the establishment of a convenant" was the act of sharing a meal. For example:

Genesis 26:28-31 (JPS Tanakh)

And they said, “We now see plainly that the LORD has been with you, and we thought: Let there be a sworn treaty between our two parties, between you and us. Let us make a pact with you that you will not do us harm, just as we have not molested you but have always dealt kindly with you and sent you away in peace. From now on, be you blessed of the LORD!” Then he made for them a feast, and they ate and drank. Early in the morning, they exchanged oaths. Isaac then bade them farewell, and they departed from him in peace.

Deuteronomy 27:1-8

Moses and the elders of Israel charged the people, saying: Observe all the Instruction that I enjoin upon you this day. As soon as you have crossed the Jordan into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones. Coat them with plaster and inscribe upon them all the words of this Teaching. When you cross over to enter the land that the LORD your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you—upon crossing the Jordan, you shall set up these stones, about which I charge you this day, on Mount Ebal, and coat them with plaster. There, too, you shall build an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones. Do not wield an iron tool over them; you must build the altar of the LORD your God of unhewn stones. You shall offer on it burnt offerings to the LORD your God, and you shall sacrifice there offerings of well-being and eat them, rejoicing before the LORD your God. And on those stones you shall inscribe every word of this Teaching most distinctly.

Dr. Tigay continues:

In covenants between humans both parties share the meal. Here, one of the parties, God, does not eat, and Moses and the leaders merely eat in His presence.


It's a sign of peace. Melchizedek did this with Abraham, after he went to war with kings and saved his nephew Lot. Therefore, Christ was God's way of making peace with mankind - to offer them Wisdom (Word of God) to eat and drink.


I don’t believe Exodus 24:11 ties to John 6:56 re: the Eucharist, though I can see why someone might think so.

At the time of Moses, the thought was that the sight of God would bring instantaneous death. However, after Moses, Aaron, etc. saw God, they “did” eat and drink.

. . . they saw God, and did eat and drink. (Exodus 24:11)

Pulpit Commentary Verse 11. - The nobles - i.e., the notables - the seventy elders, and other persons, already mentioned (vers. 1, 9). He laid not his hand. God did not smite them with death, or pestilence, or even blindness. It was thought to be impossible to see God and live.


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