shewbread

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shewbread twelve loaves of unleavened bread placed every Sabbath in the Jewish Temple and eaten by the priests at the end of the week. David, when in flight from Saul (1 Samuel 21:4–6) once ate the shewbread himself; in Matthew 12:3–4, Jesus cites this to the Pharisees to justify his disciples picking and eating ears of corn on the Sabbath.

Recorded in English from the mid 16th century, the term, suggested by German Schaubrot, represents Hebrew leḥem pānīm, literally ‘bread of the face (of God)’.

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shew·bread (also show·bread) / ˈshōˌbred/ • n. twelve loaves placed every Sabbath in the Jewish Temple and eaten by the priests at the end of the week.

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shewbread twelve loaves placed every Sabbath ‘before the Lord’ in the Jewish temple. XVI. f. shew, var. of SHOW vb. + BREAD, after G. schaubrot, repr. Heb. lehem pānim ‘bread of presence’.

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Shewbread. The bread laid out in the Jerusalem Temple (Leviticus 24. 5–9).