Would it be correct to compare sacrifices in the Bible books to Leviticus and Numbers to a typical meal( more specifically a meal in Western culture)?

For example, Let's analyze Numbers 28.

Numbers 28 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Laws for Offerings
1Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall [a]be careful to present My offering, My food for My offerings by fire, of a soothing aroma to Me, at their appointed time.’ 3 You shall say to them, ‘This is the offering by fire which you shall offer to the Lord:
(Animal sacrifice offering)two male lambs one year old without defect as a continual burnt offering every day. 4 You shall offer the one lamb in the morning and the other lamb you shall offer [b]at twilight;

(Grain offering)5 also a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering,

(Drink offering)mixed with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil. 6 It is a continual burnt offering which was ordained in Mount Sinai as a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord. 7 Then the drink offering with it shall be a fourth of a hin for each lamb, in the holy place you shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the Lord. 8 The other lamb you shall offer [c]at twilight; as the grain offering of the morning and as its drink offering, you shall offer it, an offering by fire, a soothing aroma to the Lord.

Modern meal(specifically Western culture) corresponds to Old Testament Biblical Sacrifice offerings

Main course (i.e., Steak, chicken, etc.) corresponds to Animal sacrifice offering of the Old Testament (i.e., bulls, rams, lambs, goats, etc. )

Carbs and vegetables ( i.e., rice, potatoes, beans, etc.) corresponds to Grain offering of the Old Testament (i.e., fine flour, bread, cake, etc. )

Liquid to drink ( i.e., water, wine, juice, etc.) corresponds to Drink offering of the Old Testament (i.e., oil and/or wine )

1) Would be correct to say that all 3 types of offerings( Animal Sacrifice offering, grain offering & drink offering) need to be offered in holistic manner ( in other words, all 3 types of offerings have to be viewed as being offered as a whole, and would Not make sense if only viewed individually)?

2) Would the above comparison with a typical Western meal be some what accurate?

  • Why the downvote? Careful reading & Analysis of Leviticus & Numbers religious rituals & offerings gives us a greater understanding of God's Holiness so I do Not think it is bad to spend time reading the aforementioned books. So Why downvote? Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 23:51

2 Answers 2


It would certainly be appropriate to recognize the completeness of the offerings as outlined in Numbers 28. This completeness is representative of their holistic worship and devotion to God, which might be illustrated by a well-balanced meal.

  • The animal sacrifices represent atonement for sin; this pattern is first seen with God making clothes for Adam and Eve when they realized their nakedness, and represented throughout the Bible. It is offered in the morning and evening to represent the dedication of the entire day. The sacrifice is burned to represent complete consecration.

Psalm 51:16-17 (NASB)

For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, God, You will not despise.

  • The grain offerings represent thanksgiving to God especially for His provision. The terminology for "grain offering" (מִנְחָה) is especially insightful here. From Strong's Concordance:

From an unused root meaning to apportion, that is, bestow; a donation; euphemistically tribute; specifically a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and voluntary): - gift, oblation, (meat) offering, present, sacrifice.

  • Oil can be recognized in the Bible as a symbol of consecration, anointing, and divine favor.

Exodus 29:7 (NASB)

Then you shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head, and anoint him.

Psalm 23:5 (NASB)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

  • The drink offerings might represent joy and being poured out in worship.

Philippians 2:17-28 (NASB)

But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.


Jesus presents us with a very important principle in determining the will of God:

Matthew 19:4,8

Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female? ... Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

God established this world, from the beginning, the way that He intended it to be. He started this world with an ideal setup. From that, we may look at God's original design, and thus find the best path for us to imitate or follow. Jesus uses this in discussing the issue of divorce, but the principle applies to every aspect of life.

Before sin, in the garden, there was no death. The diet given in genesis is described as thus:

Genesis 1:29

And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

This entails your fruits, grains, nuts, and vegetables. Applying the principle, we find here what God intended to be the permanent diet of man. The scriptures also reveal that we will return to this diet after this world comes to a close. (See Isaiah 11:7-9; Isaiah 65:24-25; Revelation 21:4)

It wasn't until after sin that death came into existence, but even then, it was not permitted man to eat the flesh of animals until after the Flood, and even then as a provision based on the special circumstances.

The sacrifices, however, we see began with Christ Himself slaying the first lamb, which practice was taken up and imitated by the faithful from there forward. (Genesis 3:21; Genesis 4:1-4)

So then, these sacrifices did not reflect what was being eaten, but rather, the provision that was being made on our behalf by God so that we might be redeemed. The animals which were slain to give life to man teach us about Christ who was slain for that very reason. Christ died once for all, not to be crucified again and again. (Hebrews 9:28). In fact, putting Him to death again and again through continued sin is seen to be an insult toward God (Hebrews 6:6). This teaches us the sacredness of life, and the incredible loss that is incurred because of our sins. The death of an animal is precious in God's sight;- but so much the more the death of His Son, of course.

It was never God's intention for anything to die, and it was never God's intention that we should have to partake of flesh. His will, purpose, and ultimate end for us is that we should be free from partaking of flesh. The sacrificial system, like the partaking of flesh after the flood, was given as a temporary provision for a time and a place.

God brought an end to sacrifice and offering at the cross. Thus, death finds its conqueror in the crucified Savior. We too should rejoice in this light, that death was not God's design, nor is it God's will, and apply this in our lives. Let us treat the animal kingdom also the way that we would have God to treat us, for, Christ teaches:

Matthew 7:2

For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

  • The concept of the animal sacrifice representing the Lamb slain to take away the sin of the world is valid, but this answer veers significantly off track.
    – llessurt
    Commented Apr 19 at 23:34

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