670. Thanks at Meals

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It was customary among the Jews to give thanks to God at the commencement of every meal. The usual form was, “Blessed be thou, O Lord our God the king of the world, who produced bread out of the earth.” They also had a form of blessing for the wine: “Blessed art thou, O Lord, the king of the world, who created the fruit of the vine.” These, or similar forms, were used at the celebration of the passover. See note on Matthew 26:2020Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. (Matthew 26:20) (#716). Paul, in allusion to this custom, calls the wine used in the Lord’s supper “the cup of blessing” (1 Cor. 10:1616The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16)). The expression “bless the sacrifice” in 1 Samuel 9:1313As soon as ye be come into the city, ye shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he doth bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get you up; for about this time ye shall find him. (1 Samuel 9:13), is also an allusion to the custom of asking a blessing before eating, the reference being to those parts of the peace offering which were to be eaten by the offerer and his friends. See note on Leviticus 7:1111And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the Lord. (Leviticus 7:11) (#156).