|FATLINGS, FATTED |
Generally a young animal put up to be fed for slaughter. Sometimes a general reference to the strongest or choice among a flock or herd is intended. In Pharoah's dream fat cows (Genesis 41:2,Genesis 41:18) symbolized years of prosperity. Saul was tempted to spare the choice animals of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:9). In
Ezekiel 34:3,Ezekiel 34:16,Ezekiel 34:20 the fat sheep symbolize the prosperous leaders of Israel. As choice specimens, fattened animals made an appropriate offering to God (2 Samuel 6:13;
Amos 5:22). Fattened animals are often associated with banquets.
Fattened cattle formed part of the menu for the wedding banquet of the king's son in the parable in
Matthew 22:4. In the parable of the loving father a son is welcomed home with a banquet of a fatted calf (Luke 15:23,Luke 15:27,Luke 15:30). Fattened animals were used as a symbol for slaughter. In the New Testament, James pictured the oppressive rich as fattening their hearts for a day of slaughter, perhaps a reference to God's judgment on them (Luke 5:5).