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Bread of Presence / Showbread


God had instructed Moses to build a table of acacia wood covered with gold plate on which the priests shall set 12 loaves of Bread of Presence (Ex 25:23-30). Priests placed this table in the Holy Place of the tabernacle outside the Holy of Holies. The priests had to replace the bread on every Sabbath, and the Law allowed only the priests to consume the leftover loaves of the previous week (Lev 24:5-9).

Jesus referred to an event when David approached the High Priest on a Sabbath day seeking food, while he and his companions were on the run for fear of King Saul (Mt 12:4). No priest had consumed the leftover bread from the Table of Showbread. The High Priest made an exception to let David eat the showbread and also allowed him to take it for his companions (1 Sam 21:1-7).

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