As a born-again Christian, born and raised in a family of pastors, I have always been curious about some words used in the Bible. I learned that some words have hidden meanings and are used metaphorically. Recently, while reading the Bible, I noticed the word fat and realized it has been used in many verses. That is why I have been having the question, “What does fat symbolize in the bible?”
One popular symbolic meaning of fat in the Bible is that it denotes celestial things. According to Isaiah 55:2 (KJV), the Bible implies that the Lord says that we should serve Him, consume only the good things, and let our souls be delighted with fatness. Therefore, from this verse, fat is used to mean holy, meaning we should let our souls be thrilled with holiness. This is also shown in Jeremiah 31:14 (KJV), where the Bible implies that God will fill the Priest’s souls with fatness for his people to be satisfied with His goodness.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve more into the topic of the symbolic meaning of fat in the Bible. We will also get to learn other things, such as; the meaning of “fat is for Lord,” the kind of fat that God forbids his people to consume, how milk and fat are related in the Bible, and many more. Therefore, read until the end.
What does it mean that fat is for the lord?
The Bible uses figurative language such as “fat is for the Lord” to deliver its message to God’s people. According to Theology for the People, it is explained that the idea of fat is for the Lord means that anything good is for the Lord; hence we should give God the best offering. According to Leviticus 3:16, the Bible implies that the priests are to burn on the altar all the fat as a food offering with a pleasing aroma. Therefore, Christians believe that this verse teaches that they should take the best offering to God because that is His will.
The book of Number 18:12-13 suggest that God is to be giving the first fruit, which is; all of the finest oil and the best wine of the best grains. This verse gives us good examples of the fat of the Lord. The fat of the Lord is the first fruit that consists of the best harvest.
Also, from the story of Abel and Cana, in the book of Genesis chapter 4, we learn about the fat belonging to God. The story suggests that Abel offered God the fat of his firstborn sheep while Cana did the opposite. God was pleased with Abel because he offered Him the best offering. Therefore, it is the will of God that we get to offer Him His fat. This means that we should offer God the best offering instead of giving Him the rest of the things that are of no benefit to us.
3 Symbolic meanings of fat in the Bible
Symbol of Success over God’s people
According to Deuteronomy 32:15, the Bible implies that Jeshurun grew fat and even became obese. According to Bibletools.org, Jeshurun is a code name for Israel, meaning the upright one. Therefore, Christians believe that fat is used to symbolize the success that God gave Israel. Also, in Jeremiah 5:27-28, the Bible uses the word fat to show the kind of success that God blessed the people of Jerusalem with. Therefore, one symbolic meaning of fat is the success that God blesses his people with.
Symbol of fertile Land
A fruitful land in the Bible is symbolized by either fat, milk, or honey. When God was promising Joseph a productive land, he used the word fat of the land. This is in Genesis 45:18, where the Bible implies that God promised Joseph the best land of Egypt, where he would enjoy the fat of the land if he brought his father and family back to God. This land is believed to be located on the eastern Nile of Delta, which is the land of Goshen. Due to its location, it is part of Egypt’s most fertile land. Therefore God was using the word fat to symbolize fertility.
Symbol of Judgement
When God was declaring judgment over Damascus in the book of Isaiah chapter 17, he said that he would make the fat of the people diminish. According to Isaiah 17:4, the Bible implies that during that day, the glory of Jacob will fade, and his body’s fat will lean. This showed the judgment that God was going to make following the disobedience of the people living in Damascus.
Does God forbid people from eating fat?
Yes, God forbids people from eating fat, but not all kinds of fat. Leviticus 3:17 implies that God commanded the people of Israel that they are not to eat fat, and this rule should be followed by all their generations in every place. However, from the above verse, Leviticus 3:16, Christians learn that God was talking about the “fat of the lord,” which is his offering. This is because, in Leviticus 7:22-25, the Bible implies that God told Moses to tell the Israelites that anyone who eats the fat of an animal that is to be offered to God should be cut off from the people. Therefore, it is true that God forbids people to eat fat, but it is the fat from which a food offering may be presented to the Lord.
Also, according to Genesis 1:29, the Bible implies that God told Adam and Eve that He has given them all the plants yielding seeds on earth and all trees with fruits and seeds to eat as their food. Therefore, from this verse, we learn that God does not forbid people to eat fat that is contained in plants. It is only the fat of the animals that can be sacrificed to God that he forbids people from eating because their fats belong to Him.
What kind of fat is forbidden to eat in the Bible?
Fat that is from an ox, goat, or sheep is forbidden to eat in the Bible. According to Leviticus 7:22-24, the Bible implies that God gave Moses instructions to tell the Israelites that they should not eat fat that comes from a goat, sheep, or an ox. He also added that they should not eat fat from a dead animal that had died by itself or has been killed by a beast, instead, they should use that fat for other accounts. These animals were the animals that the Israelites used to offer as food sacrifices to God. Therefore, the fat of these animals belonged to God, and he did not want the people to consume it.
How are milk and fat related in the Bible?
Fat and milk are related in the Bible to show the abundant fertility of the land. According to Exodus 3:17, the Bible implies that God promised to deliver the Israelites from the land of Egypt, where they were afflicted, and to the land flowing with milk and honey. From this verse, we learn that God used milk to show how great and fertile the land he was taking his people would be.
According to Genesis 45:18, the Bible implies that God told Joseph to bring his whole family back to Him, and he will give Joseph the land of Egypt where he can enjoy the fat of the land. Also, in this verse, God uses the word fat to show the fertility of the land he was promising Joseph. Though the two lands are different since one was Canaan and the Other Egypt, both lands have been blessed by God for his people. Therefore, these two verses show that fat and milk are used in the Bible to show the abundance of blessing over the land that God was giving his people.
Where in the Bible does God give instructions about fats?
Leviticus 7:23 implies that God instructed Moses to tell the people of Israel that they were not to eat fats from a goat, sheep, or ox. In verse 24 God instructs that the fat of an animal that has been killed or died by itself is to be used for other accounts. Therefore, God gives instructs to not eat the fats of these animals in this Bible verse.
Exodus 23:18, the Bible implies that God instructed the Israelites that they should not let the fat of his sacrifice remain until morning. God instructed this when he was giving laws about Festivals and Sabbath to Israelites before conquering Canaan.
Leviticus 3:16-17, the Bible implies that all fat is for the lord and the people and their generation in all dwellings are never to eat it. In this verse, God was talking about his offering. Therefore he gave instructs that people are not supposed to eat the fat that is to be offered to Him.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.