The Biblical Meal

The meal has an exalted meaning in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It serves in equal measure and in the same manner both the stilling of hunger and the “building” of a society. The simple satisfaction of hunger would not be considered a meal in the Bible. One need only remember the shared meals of Jesus and his disciples, the last of which demonstrates this in a special way. The meal is not just an expression of a communion (Gemeinschaft), but engenders and preserves this commonality. The acceptance of a guest into the fellowship of the meal is therefore simultaneously the granting of participation in one’s own existence.[1]

[1] Westermann, Claus. Joseph: Studies of the Joseph Stories in Genesis. (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1996). 79

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