Altar of Burnt Offerings
Altar-of-Burnt-Offerings
Laver
Laver
Golden Candlestick
Golden Candlestick
Table of Shewbread
Table of Shewbread
Altar of Incense
Altar of Insense
Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant

“And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb; in the holy place shalt thou case the strong wine to be poured unto the Lord for a drink offering.”

Numbers 28:7


The drink offering was made after every public burnt offering. The essence of this ordinance was simply the act of pouring out wine from one container to a container upon the table of shewbread in the holy place. The act of pouring is significant. A transliterate rendition of Ex. 25:29, which describes the dishes upon the table reads as follows:

“And thou shalt make dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to pour libations, wherewith of gold pure shalt thou make them.”

The word libation is defined in Websters 1828 dictionary as the act of pouring wine in honor of the Lord. Thus, libation or the pouring of the drink offering is synonymous. The first drink offering mentioned in the scriptures was performed by the prophet Jacob in Gen. 35:14.

“And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Beth-el.”

The word ‘pour’ is used several times in the scriptures as a description of how the blood of animals used in sacrifice and food was to be disposed (see Ex. 29:12; Lev. 4:7; 17:13; Deut. 12:16) . Perhaps its greatest meaning withing the scriptures is to demonstrate the most sincere and devoted prayers that can be offered.  Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel proclaimed that she “poured out [her] soul before the LORD” (see 1 Sam. 1:15).  In Psalms we read: “Trust in him at all times: ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us” (Psalms 62:8).  The prophet Enos was concerned about the welfare of his people and did “pour out [his] whole soul unto God for them” (Enos 1:9).  While the people of Alma were being persecuted, and forbidded by their oppressors to pray vocally, they “did pour out their hears to him: and [the Lord] did know the thoughts of their hearts” (Mosiah 24:12).  When an important matter of judgment came before Alma, he prayed unto the Lord concering the matter, fearing he would do wrong in the sight of the Lord, “and it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul to God, the voice of the Lord came to him…” (Mosiah 26:14).  The great missionary Ammon, upon seeing numerous individuals covenant to be followers of Jesus Christ “began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God…” (Alma 19:14).  While under siege from their enemies, Heleman and his men “did pour out [their] souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen [them] and deliver [them] out of the hands of [their] enemies” (Alma 58:1).  And finally, all those who have made a covenant with the Lord “must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness” (Alma 34:26).

The drink offering was given by the Lord, to help instruct us in the manner in which the Lord Jesus Christ would offer his body and spirit, as the sacrifice, for all of mankind.  Beginning with the great intercessory prayer offered in Gethsemane and culminating upon the cross, the Lamb of God poured out his soul unto death, and gained the victory over physical death and spiritual death.

“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong: because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” ~ Isaiah 53:12

The wine of the drink offering is symbolic of the blood and sacrifice of the Lamb of God.  Jesus Christ shed his blood upon the earth in Gethsemane, he poured out his heart in prayer to the Father as he took upon Him the sins of the world, the blood in his body was further poured out upon the earth after the spear was thrust into his side (see John 19:34).  Indeed, the Lord Jesus Christ poured out his soul unto death, so that the blessings of eternal life could be made available to all.