What is the “maw?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

This word occurs just once in Scripture, Deuteronomy 18:3: “And this shall be the priest’s due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.” Just what is this “maw?”

We should immediately notice at least one context clue. The “maw” is a body part of certain animals. Basically, it is the stomach of ruminant livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, and so on). Apparently, the word is from an Old English term (“maga”) for “stomach.” As per the Law of Moses, the maw was one portion of the sacrificial animal the Levitical priest could take for his own consumption. Remember, the Levites (governmental officials) depended on the other tribes of Israel for economic support. The Levites (serving the LORD and the nation Israel in their Tabernacle and Temple duties) benefited via the collected “income taxes” of tithing. These crops/grains and meat fed Israel’s religious-political leaders. (See our related tithing study linked below.)

Also see:
» Must I tithe 10 percent of my income?
» What is the “caul?”
» What is the “purtenance?”