What does meat symbolize in the Bible (Symbolism and Meaning)?

As a Christian with 15 years of experience in Christian ministry, I have been privileged to explore more about the Bible and its exciting topics. Recently, I was researching about meat and how it was used in the Bible. I came across interesting things that the Bible says about it and the kind of meat people in the Bible were allowed to eat. This made me wonder, “What does meat symbolize in the bible?”

Meat has been used in the Bible to symbolize God’s providence to his people. God commands Noah after the floods to use everything that lives, including the animals, for food, as suggested in Genesis 9:2-4. Meat has also been used in the Bible to symbolize the promise of God to his people. In the Old Testament, God would command people to slaughter an animal and use it as a sacrifice to him when he was about to make a promise to them. In Genesis 22, Abraham slaughters a lamb as a sacrifice to God. In return, God makes an everlasting promise concerning his descendants and the nations on earth.

In this article, I will explain the Bible’s view or say about meat, what meat means in the Hebrew Bible and the symbolic meanings of meat in the Bible. I will also discuss what it may mean to see meat in your dream and much more. So, read to the end to learn more about this topic.

What does the Bible say about meat?

The Bible suggests that it is okay for us to eat meat. After God created the first man, he gave him permission to eat only the fruits of every tree in the Garden of Eden except that of the knowledge of good and evil. However, after the floods had swept off the entire earth, God commanded Noah to eat everything on earth, including those with flesh.

The Bible also suggests that it is wrong to judge another person that consumes meat if their faith allows them to do so. Romans 14 speculates that one person’s faith may allow them to eat everything, including meat, and must not be judged. On the other hand, a person with weak faith can only consume vegetables and should not be looked down on by the one who consumes everything.

The Bible also speculates that not every meat is to be eaten, as some animals are unclean. In Leviticus 11, God gives clear instructions to Moses and Aaron concerning what the Israelites should eat and what they shouldn’t. Through this scripture, the Bible implies that any animal with a divided hoof that chews the cud is suitable for meat, as it is considered clean.

However, the Israelites were not to eat the meat of the animals that chewed the cud and did not have a divided hoof like the camel. The pig was also among the animals that were prohibited from being used as meat, as it has a divided hoof but does not chew the cud.

The Bible also suggests that it is wrong for one to eat meat that may cause another person to fall into temptations, as recorded in Romans 14:21.

The Bible also suggests that it was okay for people to use meat as a sacrifice or offering to God. Leviticus 3 gives us more details about the fellowship offering. In this scripture, we learn that it was okay for people to offer an animal that had no defect to God. Examples of animals used for meat as offerings include goats and lambs.

The Bible also warns against eating meat that has Blood in it. God instructs Noah to eat everything except meat with its lifeblood still in it, as suggested in Genesis 9:4. Blood was considered sacred in the Old Testament, and consuming it meant one was taking a life. Blood was also used as a sacrifice to God and was considered holy.

What does meat mean in the Hebrew Bible?

Meat in the Hebrew Bible refers to the flesh of any animal that was generally used for sacrifice or food. In Hebrew, the word meat is written as (בָּשָׂר) or ‘basar’. The Hebrew Bible, also known as the Torah, consists of the first five books written in the Bible. These books are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

In these books, God gave Moses and Aaron instructions on using meat for food and as a sacrifice. Meat in the Hebrew bible was majorly used for consumption, as the Jews were given a list of the animals they were supposed to eat.

This, in turn, resulted in the Hebrew dietary law that has been followed to the latter. The Hebrew bible allowed the Jews to eat meat from animals that had divided hoofs and chewed the cud. The meat was also to be used at paschal, as every household was called to slaughter a lamb and Passover.

What are the symbolic meanings of meat in the Bible?

What does meat symbolize in the Bible
Symbolic meanings of meat in the Bible. Image source: Pixabay

The covenants that God made with his people

Genesis 15 records the covenant between God and Abraham that involved meat. In the scripture, the lord commands Abraham to bring him a goat, a heifer a ram, among other things. He then instructs him to cut the animals in half and present them to him as a sacrifice. God then makes a covenant with Abraham regarding his descendants and the land he will give to them.

Provision of God to his people

Meat has also been used in the Bible to symbolize God’s providence to his people. In Exodus 16, the Israelites are lamenting the harsh life in the desert, as they accuse Moses and Aaron of starving them. God then informs Moses that he will provide them with bread in the morning and meat in the evening. God then provided the Israelites with bread and manna every morning and quals every evening until they reached the promised land.

Meat as a way of Thanksgiving

Meat has also been used in the Bible to symbolize the act of submission or surrender to God. In the Old Testament, people used to offer different kinds of animals as a sacrifice to God for the forgiveness of their sins or to thank him for their harvest or blessings that he brought into their lives.

As a symbol of hospitality

Meat has also been used in the Bible as a symbol of hospitality and care to others. Genesis 8:1-8 gives an account of when Abraham welcomed three strangers into his house. He then ordered Sarah, his wife, to bake some bread as he slaughtered a tender calf and prepared meat for them to eat.

Meat is a symbol of the nourishment of the body.

The Bible has also used meat to symbolize the importance of nourishing our bodies. The Bible suggests that our bodies are God’s temple, so we must take care of them. One way of doing this is eating what God instructed us to eat, including meat.

What is spiritual meat according to the Bible?

What meat symbolize in the Bible
Spiritual meat according to the Bible. Image source: Pixabay

The Bible does not talk about spiritual meat. It, however, talks about spiritual food, which most scholars suggest to mean the same thing. In this manner, spiritual meat can be suggested as anything that nourishes or adds value to one’s life.

In John, Jesus reveals that he is the bread of life, which does not sit well with the Jews. The Jews then question how Jesus can give them flesh to eat. Jesus informs them that one must eat his flesh and drink his Blood to have eternal life. Jesus uses his flesh to represent the spiritual nourishment that every Christian needs in order to enter the kingdom of God.

Spiritual meat is also used in the Bible to mean God’s word. Apostle Paul informs his congregation in Hebrews 5:12-14 that they need milk to feed on and not solid food like meat, as they seem not to have known the truth about God’s word, making them look like children before him.

Spiritual meaning of meat

Meat in the spiritual life may mean that your life is heading in the right direction, and you need to keep your faith or belief in check. For instance, dry meat may mean it is time to let go of your past and start another life. This may also be used to spiritually suggest that great things are coming your way and that whatever troubles you are having are coming to an end.

Meat may also be used in the spiritual world to represent your physical body. For instance, thick or healthy meat may suggest that your health is okay and there is nothing wrong with your physical body. On the other hand, skinny or malnourished meat may be used to mean that your body is not at its best or you will suffer from something that will weaken your physical body.

Meat may also be used in the spiritual world to represent sin. For instance, if you are a Christian and you encounter meat or dream of eating meat with Blood, it may spiritually suggest that there is an underlying sin that you may have committed and need to seek forgiveness.

Meat also be used as a source of power and strength. Meat, especially raw one, may be used to mean that one has the ability to control what happens in their life, just like one can decide what to do with raw meat in terms of cooking it.

Is God against eating meat?

The Bible does not reveal whether God is against eating meat or not. However, there are a few scriptures in the Bible that suggest it is okay to use animals as food. This is seen after the floods, where God commands Noah to eat everything.

Additionally, bible scholars suggest that Jesus would not have eaten meat during his time on earth if God had warned against consuming it. Luke 22:8-15 records Jesus giving instructions to his disciples concerning the Passover in which they were to eat later. The Passover entailed the slaughtering of a lamb, which meant that Jesus ate meat.

It is also suggested that God is not against eating meat as he gave the Israelites a list of the animals they were to use for food and those to refrain from. As Christians, we are encouraged by the Bible to eat and drink only that that brings glory to God, as suggested in 1 Corinthians 10:31. If you are the kind of Christian that has a strong faith, you may eat whatever your faith allows you.

What kinds of meat can Christians eat?

What does meat symbolize in the Bible?
What kinds of meat can Christians eat? Image source: Pixabay

Christians are encouraged to eat meat that has been labelled as clean. In the Old Testament, God revealed to the people the kind of meat he considered clean and was, therefore, okay for one to eat. Among the animals’ God gave an okay to eat are the ox, the goats, sheep, gazelle, deer, the ibex, wild goat, the mountain sheep and the antelope. These are animals that chew the cud and have a divided hoof.

The Bible also suggests that it is okay for Christians to eat meat from creatures that live in water, which have scales and fins. This may include Tuna, Tilapia and Salmon. Christians are also allowed to eat meat from any clean bird that may, including pigeons, ducks, turkeys and chickens.

Despite the Old Testament giving us a list of the meat to eat, several Christians have suggested that Jesus made all animals clean in the New Testament, and therefore a Christian can eat any animal of their choice. Mark 7:18-19 records Jesus revealing that a person cannot be defiled by something that enters him from the outside, referring to any food.

This scripture has raised various controversies about what meat Christians should eat. For instance, most modern Christian households enjoy pork, while t was prohibited in the Old Testament as pigs do not chew the cud.

What is the meaning of seeing meat in your dreams?

Seeing meat in your dreams may suggest that you are destined to be successful in the future and that you can achieve extraordinary things. Seeing meat in your dream suggests that you have a strong personality and power that makes you conquer everything before you.

Seeing meat in your dream may also mean a pending danger or something terrible is about to happen. For instance, seeing meat with fresh Blood on it may mean that there will be shedding of Blood, or you will get into trouble and might harm yourself.

Seeing red meat in your dreams may suggest that you will experience happiness in your life or you will emerge a victor in the things that you will do. Red meat in a dream indicates that you will experience financial breakthroughs that may come from your job or as a form of inherence.

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