Bible Questions Answered
 

What is a drink offering?

drink offering

Question: "What is a drink offering?"

Answer:
The first recorded occurrence of a drink offering was that given by Jacob in Genesis 35:14, right after God changed his name to Israel. Drink offerings were also included with burnt and grain offerings in God-ordained sacrifices, including the morning and evening sacrifices of Exodus 29:40. One-quarter hin, about one quart, of wine was poured out into the altar fire for each lamb sacrificed (Numbers 15:4-5). A ram sacrifice required one third of a hin (Numbers 15:6), and a bull required one half (Numbers 15:10).

It has been speculated that the offering of an animal, grain, oil, and wine—the smoke making a “soothing aroma to the LORD”—is a metaphor for providing food for God, an important cultural requirement in the Middle East. What we do know is that the pouring out of a drink offering is a metaphor for the blood Jesus spilled on the cross. Jesus spoke to this directly in Luke 22:20 when He instituted the New Covenant. He picked up a cup of wine and said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Jesus’ sacrifice fulfilled the need of a drink offering, His blood literally pouring out when the soldier pierced His side with a spear (John 19:33).

Paul took the metaphor further, twice using the image of a drink offering to describe his own service. In Philippians 2:17, he challenged the church in Philippi to live a life worthy of his dedication to them. In 2 Timothy 4:6, he sensed the end of his ministry, again comparing his efforts to wine poured out of a vessel onto an altar.

Recommended Resources: A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament edited by Roy Zuck and Logos Bible Software.

While he is not the author of every article on GotQuestions.org, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.


Related Topics:

Why did the sacrificial system require a blood sacrifice?

What is a grain offering?

If God hates human sacrifice, how could Jesus’ sacrifice be the payment for our sins?

What is a wave offering?

What is the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)?



Return to:

Questions about Numbers


Return to:

GotQuestions.org Home


What is a drink offering?