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EBD: Fat
Farthing | Fashion | Fasting | Fasts | Fasts And Feasts | Fat | Fat (Vat) | Father'S House, Fathers' House | Father, God The | Father-in-Law | Fatherhood


Fat [EBD]

(Heb. heleb) denotes the richest part of the animal, or the fattest of the flock, in the account of Abel's sacrifice (Gen. 4:4). It sometimes denotes the best of any production (Gen. 45:18; Num. 18:12; Ps. 81:16; 147:47). The fat of sacrifices was to be burned (Lev. 3:9-11; 4:8; 7:3; 8:25; Num. 18:17. Comp. Ex. 29:13-22; Lev. 3:3-5).

It is used figuratively for a dull, stupid state of mind (Ps 17:10).

In Joel 2:24 the word is equivalent to "vat," a vessel. The hebrew word here thus rendered is elsewhere rendered "wine-fat" and "press-fat" (Hag. 2:16; Isa. 63:2).

Fat [NAVE]

Offered in sacrifice, Ex. 23:18; 29:13, 22; Lev. 1:8; 3:3-5, 9-11, 14-16; 4:8-10; 7:3-5; 8:16, 25, 26; 10:15; 17:6; 1 Sam. 2:15, 16; Isa. 43:24.
Belonged to the Lord, Lev. 3:16.
Forbidden as food, Lev. 3:16, 17; 7:23.
Idolatrous sacrifices of, Deut. 32:38.
Gen. 45:18; 49:20; Psa. 37:20; 81:16; Isa. 25:6.
See: Obesity.


The Hebrews distinguished between the suet or pure fat of an animal and the fat which was intermixed with the lean. (Nehemiah 8:10) Certain restrictions were imposed upon them in reference to the former; some parts of the suet, viz., about the stomach, the entrails, the kidneys, and the tail of a sheep, which grows to an excessive size in many eastern countries, and produces a large quantity of rich fat, were forbidden to be eaten in the case of animals offered to Jehovah in sacrifice. (Leviticus 3:3,9,17; 7:3,23) The ground of the prohibition was that the fat was the richest part of the animal, and therefore belonged to him. (Leviticus 3:16) The burning of the fat of sacrifices was particularly specified in each kind of offering.


i.e. VAT, the word employed in the Authorized Version to translate the Hebrew term yekeb , in (Joel 2:24; 3:13) The word commonly used for yekeb is "winepress" or "winefat," and once "pressfat." (Haggai 2:16) The "vats" appear to have been excavated out of the native rock of the hills on which the vineyards lay.


FAT - (chelebh, chelebh): The layer of subcutaneous fat and the compact suet surrounding the viscera and imbedded in the entrails, which, like the blood, was forbidden as food in the Mosaic code (Lev 3:17). It was to be sacrificed to God by being burnt upon the altar (Lev 3:16; 30). This had to be done on the very day on which a beast had been slaughtered, to remove temptation from the Israelite to use it otherwise (Ex 23:18). The law was probably a sanitary restriction, for, at an early date, leprosy, scrofula and disfiguring cutaneous diseases were thought to be caused by the use of fat as food. It was, moreover, an important pedagogical provision teaching the idea of self-denial, and the maxim that the richest and best meat of the edible animal belonged to Yahweh.


The expression "fat" is often used in figurative senses, e.g. abundant, exuberant, lusty, fertile, robust, outwardly successful (Dt 32:15; Ps 92:14 the King James Version; Ps 119:70; Prov 11:25; 13:4, etc.).

H. L. E. Luering

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