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What does "suitable offerings" mean in the sentence below? Does it mean the offerings which are fit to be offered to God or the offerings that man must give to God?

Suitable offerings for the altar of 'the Lord thy God' include 'the firstlings of thy flocks, and of choice of thy fields, and of the chief of all holy things'. These animal offerings must be firstborn and perfect and, if from the flock, should 'divide the hoof and chew the cud'.

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, Drew, ab2, jimm101, Mitch Mar 27 '16 at 2:19

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because because the meaning is probably clear from the larger context, which is not given here. If it isn't try christianity.stackexchange.com – ab2 Mar 26 '16 at 17:54
  • @ab2 any religion can have a God. OP is discussing the phrasing of the language used not it's theological content. Why close? – Snoop Mar 27 '16 at 0:17
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    @StevieV I, myself, wouldn't try to interpret a short sample of religious text. I read your answer, and your logic wrt to English is impeccable (+1), but religious phrasing has many quirks – ab2 Mar 27 '16 at 0:32
  • @ab2 thank you for your compliment, but I am just an enthusiast :) The way I look at it, it's our job here on this site to shed light on things in the context of the language, regardless of the substance. – Snoop Mar 27 '16 at 0:44
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OK first take a look at...

or the offerings that man must give to God

We know that it cannot be this, because offerings are simply offerings and not something one must provide. While there may be some consequences for not making the offering, it is still not required. According to Merriam-Webster, an offering is only contributive in nature.

Now let's consider...

are fit to be offered to God

Let's think about some of the things that are said in the cited paragraph. The paragraph talks about...

the altar of 'the Lord thy God' include 'the firstlings of thy flocks, and of choice of thy fields, and of the chief of all holy things

So what we have here is a list of offerings if you will. This list is intended for who? God, as opposed to man. So, we are thereby giving a list followed by this description...

These animal offerings must be firstborn and perfect and, if from the flock, should 'divide the hoof and chew the cud

In these above two excerpts we are giving a list followed by a description of the offerings. This implies that we are justifying what should be fit for God. So, I'll take choice two:

The excerpt is describing offerings that are fit for God.

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