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1530, Tyndale's word (Exodus xxv:30), based on or influenced by German schaubrot (in Luther), literally "show-bread," translating Latin panes propositiones, from Greek artai enopioi, from Hebrew lechem panim, the 12 loaves placed every Sabbath "before the Lord" on a table beside the altar of incense, from lechem "bread" + panim "face, presence." Old English translations used offring-hlafas.
Ex. 25:30 (R.V. marg., "presence bread"); 1 Chr. 9:32 (marg., "bread of ordering"); Num. 4:7: called "hallowed bread" (R.V., "holy bread") in 1 Sam. 21:1-6. This bread consisted of twelve loaves made of the finest flour. They were flat and thin, and were placed in two rows of six each on a table in the holy place before the Lord. They were renewed every Sabbath (Lev. 24:5-9), and those that were removed to give place to the new ones were to be eaten by the priests only in the holy place (see 1 Sam. 21:3-6; comp. Matt. 12:3, 4). The number of the loaves represented the twelve tribes of Israel, and also the entire spiritual Israel, "the true Israel;" and the placing of them on the table symbolized the entire consecration of Israel to the Lord, and their acceptance of God as their God. The table for the bread was made of acacia wood, 3 feet long, 18 inches broad, and 2 feet 3 inches high. It was plated with pure gold. Two staves, plated with gold, passed through golden rings, were used for carrying it.
any of the 12 loaves of bread that stood for the 12 tribes of Israel, presented and shown in the Temple of Jerusalem in the Presence of God. The loaves were a symbolic acknowledgment that God was the resource for Israel's life and nourishment and also served as Israel's act of thanksgiving to God. The arrangement of the bread on a table in two rows of six (Leviticus 24) was an important aspect of the presentation because some verses in the Bible literally speak of "the bread of the arrangement" (1 Chronicles 9:32, 23:29; Nehemiah 10:33). The table, which stood at the west end of the "holy place" of the Temple, next to the Holy of Holies, was also important. The bread was changed every sabbath, and the priests ate that which had been displayed. Once, in an emergency, it was given to King David to feed his hungry men. Many aspects of the Christian Eucharist show that it was influenced by Israel's shewbread.