What Does Fat Symbolize In The Bible?

In the Bible, fat is mentioned in lots of places. In most of them, it is mentioned in a positive light while in others, it is mentioned negatively. Whatever the case, fat has always been associated with fruitfulness, health, prosperity, and contentment.

As we shall see reading on, the Bible is never silent on matters associated with fat. From reading the various symbolisms, we can also learn what fat means in the various scenarios used. Without digging much into the subject and preempting, let us look at what does fat symbolize in the Bible.

Symbol Of Success

what does fat symbolize in the Bible

God wants his people to be successful. His promises to his people include the element of success here on earth as they await the glorious things of heaven.

In Deuteronomy, God points at the success of Israel also called Jeshurun and how it led him astray and abandon the true worship. In Deuteronomy 32:15, the Bible reads,

“Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, they became heavy and sleek. They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior.”

The fatness here is that of success. The bible acknowledges that indeed Israel became successful.

However, as a result of that, they started being driven by their ambitions and abandoned the way of the truth. That is not the idea of success that Gods desires for us. God wants us to stick to him even when we think we have made it in life.

In Jeremiah 5:27-28, the Bible also talks of this kind of success when describing the people of Jerusalem.

“Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit they have become rich and powerful and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor.”

Symbol Of Fruitful Land

Productive land is often symbolized by milk, honey, and fat. Understandably, land played a key role in the lives of the ancient cultures described in the Bible. Some of them were herders and others were crop farmers.

The Bible in Genesis gives the story of Joseph and his brothers. When Joseph was sold off to Egypt by his brothers, he went through different phases including being thrown in jail at one time.

However, he rose to be a prime minister of Egypt and at one time there was a famine and his brothers had to come all the way to get food in Egypt.

The long and short of it, Joseph recognized them and sent them to go and get his father and together he allocated them in the most productive land. In Genesis 45:18, the Bible reads,

“and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.”

This was the land of Goshen located on the eastern Nile delta in lower Egypt.

Symbol Of Judgement

Symbol Of Judgement

God pronounces judgement upon a group of people including his own when he is not happy. In the Bible, we see him talking about trimming and making the fat of his people fade. This was symbolic of judgement following disobedience on the part of his people.

In the book of Isaiah 17:14, the Bible talks of the fading glory of Jacob. It says,

“And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low, and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.”

This judgement is pronounced by the prophet as a result of Israel turning away from God to worship idols they have made with their own hands. The leaning of the fat and the suffering accompanying it is aimed to be a lesson to them.

The Cream Of God’s Sacrifice

God is delighted whenever his people make sacrificial offerings to him. Though he doesn’t eat the offering, the aroma of the burning sacrifice brings gladness to him.

That is why he tells his people to choose fat animals (e.g. pigs) for sacrifice. As the fat burns and the aroma gets into his nostrils, the more pleased he becomes and releases his blessings.

In Leviticus 3:16, the Bible says,

“The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the Lord’s.”

In the book of 1 Samuel 15:22, the Bible reiterates,

“But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”

However, at this point, he gives a clear indication that in as much as he loves the sweet aroma of burning fat, he prefers obedience more than sacrifice.

A Symbol Of Celestial Rewards

People who serve the Lord are assured of the favor of God. This is true of the priests and prophets as well as the ordinary people who live lives of obedience to the Lord. In several places in the Bible, the word mentions how God plans to take care of his servants by releasing the divine goodness upon the land.

In Jeremiah 31:14, the Bible reads,

“And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.”

In Psalm 36:8, a similar statement is recorded in scripture,

“They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.”

Fat symbolizes the epitome of satisfaction when God releases his abundance on his people.

Conclusion

Similarly to dragonflies, fat has a huge significance in the Bible. It represents success, fruitfulness, judgement, and the best of God’s sacrifices. It also depicts the divine rewards released to the people who worship the Lord. Having said that, the accumulation of fat in the Bible has often been associated with complacency and the risk of abandoning the ways of God.

Therefore, Christians need to be extremely careful because inasmuch as God wants them to be successful, he doesn’t want them to be disobedient.

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